How to Make CrossFit Work for You

goal setting
The Myth of Linear Fitness

This spring, I was forced to take time off from CrossFit due to a surgical procedure. During this time I recognized that fitness is not the linear progression we would like it to be. There are always going to be bumps in the road. At the top of the hill there are just more hills, and as much as we’d like it not to, life does get in the way. I saw my surgery as a way to really take a step back and ask myself: what is the big picture? What is the real reason why I come to CrossFit? Once you can answer that question, knowing how to go about your workouts every day becomes the easy part, and goal setting is the first step.

Identifying Your Goals
At its core, CrossFit is considered to be a “GPP,” or a General Preparedness Program. This is the idea that you can be prepared for any task by doing constantly varied, functional movements and performing them at high intensities. To achieve this, CrossFit uses cardiovascular conditioning, gymnastics and weightlifting. But the tricky part is how to make a general program work for so many people. Members all have varying levels of fitness and experiences and drastically different abilities. This is where you have the ability to become an active participant in the programming process. By understanding your main objective, you will truly understand how to make CrossFit work for you. Identifying your personal goals is the key to making CrossFit work for you.

Taking the First Steps
Whether you’re looking to join a CrossFit facility or are currently a member of one, you need to first identify what your main goal is. Why did you join CrossFit? If you already participate in CrossFit, are the goals that you have now different from when you joined? Are you trying to lose weight? Gain mobility? Become stronger? Run a marathon? Once you have determined your initial goals, then break down your goals into time frame increments–three months, six months, one year. Take your short and long-term goals, write them down and talk to your coaches. Your CrossFit coaches can help you establish realistic goals that will not only guide you through your CrossFit journey, but help you to enjoy the experience along the way.

Erin Boyer is a head coach at Reebok CrossFit Back Bay.