Re: Complete newbie
Welcome. Buckle in and enjoy the ride - it's like nothing you've experienced before. But where to start?
Start by reading the Faq a bunch of times, and then the link called "Start Here." Both are in the list of options in the navigation menu on the top left of the main page.
Seriously. Read the Faq.
The Faq will answer most of the questions most of us have when starting. Like where to find resources. What substitutions to do for exercizes when you don't have equipment. How to scale the workouts. Etc. etc. It's quite simply among the best faqs on the web, regardless of the discipline ... and should be required reading for CrossFitters. After a month's time reading this section of the message board, you'll understand why many say this.
No, you don't need to use a CrossFit gym - though if there's one near to you it would be an excellent option. The instruction and support in CrossFit affiliates is outstanding. But lots of us work out in our own home gyms, or in commercial ones we haven't been thrown out of yet... Read the CrossFit Journal article on The Garage Gym - it's one of the free ones.
Expect to get your butt kicked by the Workout of the Day (WOD). No matter what you've done before, one WOD or another will reveal glaring weaknesses that make you feel like a little girl. Most of us feel that way some days - except maybe for the Crossfit monsters. Your performance on timed workouts etc. will get tuned up even within the first 6 weeks - hang in there till a WOD repeats; you'll be surprised comparing your first and second cracks at one. So make sure you do post your performance on the daily comments page - it's invaluable on a bunch of levels.
Your capacity to do what now feels like silly numbers of repetitions on dips, pullups etc. will also improve - especially if you make yourself do the CrossFit Warm Up (see the faq) each day. Just decide one day to finish the apparently ridiculous number of reps Coach prescribed, however long it takes. It will happen, if that's what you decide. You'll discover that CrossFit is not just about physical training, but developing a will - and you won't be able to let yourself off the hook anymore. That's a skill for real life, as well as for workouts.
Dive into the message board, using the search function liberally. Most topics any of us can dream up have been addressed before by some pretty outstanding talent. The minimal effort is well worth it. There are some frighteningly generous and knowledgeable people here; it's worth not irritating them.
Finally, spend some quality time watching the exercise demonstrations and the excerpts from teaching at certs and such in the "exercises and demos" section. Some outstanding instruction and coaching tips, and inspiring athletic performances.
Oh, and yes. Doing just the WOD is enough, if you go hard enough. Even if it seems way too short to be effective. Trust me.
If you do attack the WODs with real fervor, be prepared in a month or so to start the obligatory "Cripes, I'm amazed" thread in the Testimonials section. This stuff is as close to magic as it gets, so long as you commit yourself and do it, hard. Bloody good thing the WODs and instruction here are free, 'cause you (and I) couldn't afford to pay what they're worth.
Two or three months from now, it's your turn to write this note.