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Old 05-23-2011, 03:10 AM   #1
Caleb Morley
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Question Information for someone that wants to get fit first so they can then Crossfit

Hi All,

I took my auntie to our local affiliate on Saturday. After her intro she said that she thinks she needs to get fit before doing Crossfit as its really hard and she’s not fit enough yet. I explained about scaling and gave her the analogy of “if you want to get better at a certain sport then you start doing that sport”.

I know this is a topic that comes up from time to time. Has anyone got a link to an article about this issue? I looked through the sticky’s and searched on CF.com but couldn’t find anything.

Cheers,

Caleb
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Old 05-23-2011, 04:54 AM   #2
Dave Traeger
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Re: Information for someone that wants to get fit first so they can then Crossfit

Tell her she wouldn't mop the floors before having the cleaner come over.
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:45 AM   #3
Jarrod Henry
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Re: Information for someone that wants to get fit first so they can then Crossfit

Honestly, I'm not fit. I'm going to be.

I'd suggest to your aunt that she ignore the other things going on for the time being. It's intimidating to walk into a box and see people doing muscle-ups like they were candy, and I can understand the logic of "I don't belong here" taking over after seeing that.

We did a highly modified Fight Gone Bad at the box we visited this weekend. It was insane. But beforehand, we were asked what we've done, how long we've been doing it, what we do for a living, etc.

It is scary, but she can do it. We all can.
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:43 AM   #4
Devon Morante
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Re: Information for someone that wants to get fit first so they can then Crossfit

My wife thought the same thing before we started doing it, but she sucked it up and gave it a try and now she loves it. Everything can be modified and you do to the best of your ability and will slowly keep getting better and better. When she first started, she was 225 lbs and could barely do girl pushups on her knees. She's now down to 180 and pops the girl pushups out like they're nothing and will soon start working on real pushups and has graduated from jumpy pull ups to banded pullups. Everyone has to start somewhere, hopefully she'll give it a shot!
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Old 05-23-2011, 02:15 PM   #5
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Information for someone that wants to get fit first so they can then CrossFit

If she is willing then it is the coaches job to scale correctly. Yes it will be into the uncomfortable range for her but that is the whole idea. She shouldn't be so wiped out she can't function in the rest of her life.

She can alway request extra scaling. I have a client who is a middle aged school teacher with extra weight. She can't be pushed, she pushes herself when she feels up to it. 6 months later she is a pretty good CrossFitter. Constant work is her strength, fast and heavy is not her favorite but she is in much better shape. Her weight is down and she just recommitted to Paleo Diet.

This is where you find out if the coaching is any good.
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:51 AM   #6
Valarie Wright
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Re: Information for someone that wants to get fit first so they can then Crossfit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caleb Morley View Post
I took my auntie to our local affiliate on Saturday. After her intro she said that she thinks she needs to get fit before doing Crossfit as its really hard and she’s not fit enough yet. I explained about scaling and gave her the analogy of “if you want to get better at a certain sport then you start doing that sport”.
I hear this from new Yoga students all the time .. 'I need to get flexible before I come to Yoga.'

Honestly, the reason we do any exercise is to accomplish that exercise. For example, my students will ask me, 'Whats the best way to learn how todo a Handstand.' I respond, 'By doing the Handstand.'

And that is a scaled exercise.

I dont have any articles, but I use the example of teaching a child to walk - you simply take them by the hand and gently guide them, one step at a time.

It really is that simple ..
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:43 AM   #7
David Hansen
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Re: Information for someone that wants to get fit first so they can then Crossfit

When people say things like this, it makes a lot more sense if you run it through an ego-not-checked-at-the-door interpreter.

"I need to get in shape before I do crossfit" => "It will be too humiliating to come in last place on a timed WOD"

"I need to get flexible before I do yoga" => "It will embarrass me if I fall over during a yoga pose"

Basically, statements like these are akin to people wanting to "get better" in private before they put their abilities on display. It's not an unreasonable mindset for people with ego issues. The problem is of course that no action is taken in private, either.

I would suggest recognizing that these statements are not idiocy, but a matter of ego. Address what they mean, not what they say. Make it clear to them that most people at the affiliate started out in last place too.
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Old 05-31-2011, 01:33 PM   #8
Charles Fey
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Re: Information for someone that wants to get fit first so they can then Crossfit

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Originally Posted by David Hansen View Post
When people say things like this, it makes a lot more sense if you run it through an ego-not-checked-at-the-door interpreter.

"I need to get in shape before I do crossfit" => "It will be too humiliating to come in last place on a timed WOD"

"I need to get flexible before I do yoga" => "It will embarrass me if I fall over during a yoga pose"

Basically, statements like these are akin to people wanting to "get better" in private before they put their abilities on display. It's not an unreasonable mindset for people with ego issues. The problem is of course that no action is taken in private, either.

I would suggest recognizing that these statements are not idiocy, but a matter of ego. Address what they mean, not what they say. Make it clear to them that most people at the affiliate started out in last place too.
I think this is totally spot on. People get blown up like I did the first time they come into the box and feel like they'll never be competitive. Then they insist they'll go home and do sprints or something, don't, and wind up being too proud and unfit to get fit. Speaking to my personal experience that was my first reaction after my eval - "holy hell, this is so beyond what I'm currently capable of, and I don't want to come be the remedial student every day."

My coach had me read right away when I talked to him about my misgivings, probably because they see proud people all the time who just assume they'll be the one miracle human that walks into their first CrossFit workout and has the conditioning to perform. Even though I'd barely been active in the last year I had the same delusion for some reason. I asked my coach, "What should I do to get better before next time?" figuring he'd prescribe some runs or something over the weekend before my Foundations started. And he said (I'm paraphrasing): "Rest, sleep, stay active, and eat right. This is a unique program, and you need to do CrossFit to get better at CrossFit."

That's probably not strictly true, but for a lot of us it is functionally true. It's probable that if you went home and did your own metcon / strength routine in between the occasional session at an affiliate that you'd make strides. But for people without exigent regimens like myself, establishing the routine with a trainer is the best possible thing you could do for your fitness level. If you aren't fit changing that reality is about altering a whole ecosystem of behaviors. You need diet to change, sedentary habits to change, ego and expectations need to change, your irregular exercise routine to change - it won't happen all at once and the signpost of your regular group WODs will be a huge component of re-programming yourself.

So will the initial futility. The cold, hard "failure" of your initial performance level is part of building the internal humility and motivation to improve your body. Don't shrink from what you are, be honest about what you are, and use the prescription of the program to make yourself better. Most of all, don't quit.
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Old 05-31-2011, 01:40 PM   #9
Jarrod Henry
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Re: Information for someone that wants to get fit first so they can then Crossfit

I think that's a very, very key point there. Don't quit. PUSH. Fight. Don't be afraid. I'm not strong, and I'm not flexible, but I do push, and I do leave it on the mat. I'm already better than I was just two weeks ago when this all started, and in two more weeks, I'll be better than that.
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:26 PM   #10
Michael Kelley
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Re: Information for someone that wants to get fit first so they can then Crossfit

I think there is a legitimate concern regarding injury for people who do not have recent experience with high intensity workouts or explosive movements. I think the concept of scaling as it relates to injury prevention and overuse should be explained as well.
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