With all the newcomers to TYL, I thought it might be handy for you to know a few things. I came up with the following list:
Things you should know if you are new to Crossfit TYL
1. Come early, stay late (or at least come early)- Coming to TYL early is a must in order for everything to run smoothly. You should come early enough to have plenty of time to put on whatever workout gear you choose to wear, get out equipment and warm up. For most people, this is about 15 minutes or so before the workout starts. The class times listed are usually pretty close to the time that the coach will try to explain the workout (WOD) to the class as a whole, and when people come in at the last minute, it can cause classes to run behind. As for staying late- usually when you come to class, you can take some time after the workout to stretch, do the strength work, etc. as long as you are courteous about not interfering with the class after. Many members work on specific skills or goals before or after the workout that they want to improve on.
2. Ask for help if you need it- It’s rough being new, and we’ve all been there before. Whether it’s understanding the lingo, figuring out where equipment goes, or needing clarification on a movement, you are sure to have questions. Ask one of the coaches- we’re there to help- or some of the regulars who have been coming for a long time can help. We want to make this as positive an experience as we can, so don’t be afraid or feel silly asking something.
3. Get out your own equipment, clean up and put away your equipment- If there is equipment sitting out, chances are, someone else has that set up to use. If you know what you need, try to get out your equipment before it is time to go over the workout. When you are new, you are going to need to ask for help in knowing what weights to use, but once you get experience, get used to getting set up as soon as you can. This includes knowing where you will do movements on the bars or rings if necessary- you may need to ask others where they are going to avoid confusion when the workout starts. When the WOD is over, it’s important that everyone cleans up after themselves- you wouldn’t want to use equipment that someone has gotten all sweaty or bled on and you wouldn’t want to have to clean up or pick up after someone else, so don’t make others pick up after you.
4. Know your limits- when you come in, it may be tempting to try to lift the same amount or push yourself to the extreme. Although we want you to push yourself and do your best, we want you to be safe as well. If a coach suggests you go down in weight, go down in weight. Even though you may feel that you can do the heavier weight, chances are that coach has seen something in your form that indicates that it is too heavy, whether because of strength (struggling at the weight) or form. It is better to start out at a lighter weight with better form than to do heavier weight with poor form because you form improper muscle memory with poor form. As far as pushing yourself otherwise, listen to your body and take some rest days. For most beginners, just a few days of Crossft a week is sufficient- don’t try to start out doing the WOD every day if you have never done workouts like Crossfit before, so take a rest day in between.
5. Encourage others- As you continue to come to Crossfit, you will find that the group that comes regularly to Crossfit often talks about this being their family, and once you have come to TYL for some WODs, you can see why. We celebrate each others’ accomplishments, cheer others through the last reps and tough reps, and encourage those who are not feeling confident. This attitude makes TYL a positive, uplifting place and is one of the biggest reasons that many of us keep coming back. We ask that you add to that atmosphere by getting to know others, and being positive and encouraging as well.
6. Track your results- Whether the workout is an AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible), maximum repetitions per time, or some other variation, members find it necessary to keep a notepad handy. Part of the reason for this is because we write our results on the whiteboard at the end, but part is also so you can track your own progress, especially on workouts that we repeat over time. If you sign up for a 6-month membership, you can use Beyond the Whiteboard for free to track the workouts (ask a coach for the link) or there are several other websites and apps out there to help you track. You will find that over time, it is nice to see how much progress you have made on the movements, which you sometimes don’t notice if you don’t go back and look at your previous results. Often we improve more than we think.
7. Be prepared to hear explicit language- As in many sporting events, you will probably hear a little cursing when you are at the box. Obviously, we don’t curse each other, but someone may curse themselves (if they miss the lift) or a movement they especially dislike (such as burpees). You may also hear some crude joking from time to time (like the references to the snatch movement and ensuing snickers). It happens. If you are bothered by that kind of thing, try to look past it or get used to it. Although it may not happen excessively, you should understand that it is a pretty normal thing at the box.
8. Don’t get overwhelmed by the lingo- AMRAP, WOD, EMOM, T2B- What do they all mean?! When coming into the box, you will come across acronyms that we use as a shorthand for the movements or workouts. Don’t get in a fluster about learning them all right away. Just come regularly and you will eventually get to know and find yourself using the language from the whiteboard. Since the coach explains the WOD (workout of the day) at the beginning of class, you should have no trouble when it comes time to do the movement or variation of the movement. But, if you are still confused, again, feel free to ask.
9. Focus on being the best version of yourself, not someone else- When you come into TYL, you will find a wide variety of skill levels and abilities. It may be tempting to be discouraged if you are not at the top of the leaderboard or not able to do some of the movements that others do, as previously mentioned, but we all had to start somewhere. Instead of getting down on being last to finish, having the lowest amount of reps or something like that, celebrate what you have accomplished. Just continuing to show up day after day is one accomplishment, improving your form is another. And if you track your workouts as mentioned above, you should be able to see your progress over time. Many times others see our progress better than we do. Put the work in, put the time in, and you will see progress that you can be proud of.
10. You are very likely to become addicted- Make that “WODdicted,” as many Crossfitters put it. Ask many regulars (and even some fairly new) and you will hear how much they don’t like missing workouts, feel guilty missing them and sometimes have a hard time making themselves miss to take a rest day. The people who come to Crossfit TYL develop a passion for what we are doing, a passion that has a positive influence on the rest of our lives. For most regulars, over time, this passion also carries over into the rest of their lives, as they also begin paying attention to things like sleep, quality of food, and other health factors, often to help performance, but also to help with quality of life.
We look forward to seeing you at Crossfit TYL and welcoming you as a new member of our Crossfit family!