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CrossFit Q & A

Posted Feb 23 2012 4:25pm

Hi, guys!

Fun and exciting things are happening here today!

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The CrossFit Open officially started last night, so Mal and I are gearing up to do the first workout tonight, which is a 7-minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds as Possible) of Burpees.


Mal loves Burpees (he actually hoped that the first WOD would include them), but I sort of hate them. Even still, I’m wicked excited about tonight’s workout!


Today’s lunch was a random mix of goodies from the refrigerator, all thrown together into a big salad. I love using up leftovers just for this reason!

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In the mix: arugula, carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, avocado, truffle oil, and fried Brussels sprouts .

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A couple of hours later, I snacked on a container of plain Greek yogurt with granola and fresh blueberries mixed in. I need energy for tonight’s Burpees!

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I love that so many of you are interested in learning more about CrossFit. I’ve received a ton of questions from you guys lately, so I decided to do a little Q & A on CNC. If I missed any of your questions, just leave a comment on this post, and I’ll do my best to respond!

CrossFit Q & A

When you do the WOD in Crossfit and it only takes say 9 minutes, are you done? Do you just go home or do you repeat it? It’s crazy to me to only work out for 10 min even though I know it’s a great one.

The WOD is just one part of a typical CrossFit class, and they can range from 2 minutes (if you’re an animal) to 30 minutes (or more). Each day that I go to CrossFit, I plan to be there for an hour.

Every CrossFit class is different, but here’s what the majority of them might look like:

  • 10-15 minute warm-up, usually done as a group
  • 15-20 minutes spent on either practicing a skill (rowing technique, handstands, jump rope skills) OR strength (deadlifts, overheat squats, Olympic lifts)
  • 10-30 minutes for the Workout of the Day (WOD). At my box, 90% of the WODs are done in under 20 minutes, but they’re no joke.
  • The last 5-10 minutes of class are spent on mobility and improving range of motion (stretching, foam rolling, etc.).

How many calories do you think you burn at CrossFit?

CrossFit doesn’t estimate calories burned because there is so much variation between classes and WODs, but Health magazine (January/February 2012) estimated you’d burn about 200 calories per 20-minute session, such as one of the longer WODs.

I want to try CrossFit, but I don’t know if there’s one near me. How did you find yours?

Check this out: Find a Local CrossFit Location . All of the boxes listed are independently-owned CrossFit affiliates.

I’ve checked out a few CrossFits near me, but their rates seem really expensive. If you don’t mind me asking, how much do you pay?

Every CrossFit is different, so the membership rate varies quite a bit, and it depends on a number of factors, including the location (city versus suburbs), how often you go (unlimited, 3 x week, 2 x week), number of members and coaches, how long the box has been open, etc.

Mal and I joined CrossFit 781 as a couple, so we pay $300 ($150 each) for an unlimited monthly membership. (We can attend as many classes as we’d like during the month.) The regular (non-couple) unlimited membership rate is $175/month, and there are other membership options that cost less as well as discounts for students and those who are members of the military and law enforcement. Similar pricing options exist at other CrossFit locations.

From what I’ve heard from other CrossFit-ers, our monthly rate falls somewhere in the middle of the pricing spectrum. I’ve heard of people paying as little as $60/month as well as more than $200/month for an unlimited membership. Every CrossFit is independent of each other, so prices vary quite a bit, which means you’ll need to contact your local box to see what the going rate is.

I can’t believe you pay so much for CrossFit. I could never justify that amount. Why do you pay so much to workout when you could run outside for free or join a gym for so much cheaper?

I agree, CrossFit is expensive, but for Mal and me, it all comes down to our priorities. Fitness is a huge of who we are and what makes us happy, so we decided to “invest” our money in this area of our lives. We told ourselves when we signed up for CrossFit and made such a substantial financial commitment, we’d take full advantage of it—meaning now we attend 5-6 classes each week, we cleaned up our diets quite a bit, and we go out to bars and boozeface a lot less.

CrossFit is also like no other workout I’ve ever done, especially one at a regular gym. Even in group exercise classes, I wasn’t able to push myself like I can at CrossFit. I used to be the fastest/strongest/most coordinated person in group exercises classes, but at CrossFit, I typically fall toward the bottom of the pack, which means I’m constantly motivated by my peers to step-it-up, which makes me fitter overall.

Additionally, it depends on the CrossFit, but, in my experience, the classes are typically small group personal training, which, for the money, is actually a really good deal. My box has about 50 members and two coaches, which means the average class has anywhere from 6-15 people. Our coaches are awesome and really want people to succeed, so they’re constantly checking our form and encouraging us, which is something I don’t get on a run outside or workout at the gym.

I really want to try CrossFit, but it’s so expensive. Don’t they have one I can do at home or at my gym?

Yep! CrossFit Headquarters  posts their WOD every day on their website. Additionally, check out my post about At-Home and Budget-Friendly CrossFit Ideas !

Do you wear those special CrossFit shoes? Do you think you really need them?

I wear the New Balance Minimus shoes for my CrossFit workouts. Initially, I didn’t think I needed to have “special” shoes for training, but they make all of the difference. Check out this post about what type of shoes you should wear for CrossFit .

I love your posts about CrossFit, and I decided to take an intro session. I’m going to my first CrossFit class this weekend. What should I expect?

Again, it depends on the box. Most CrossFits have intro sessions to teach you everything you need to know before you join a regular class. For example, my box has a CrossFit 101 course, which is (6) one-hour long sessions where our coaches go over just about everything you need to know: essential movements, barbell safety, Olympic lifts, rowing technique, how to modify movements and scale weight according to your ability, and how a typical class runs. At the end of each session is a workout.

If you’re interested in giving CrossFit a try, contact your local box and ask about these intro sessions to get you started.

I have the itch to try Crossfit, but I AM SO NERVOUS! I am scared to give up cardio, I am scared I won’t be able to do anything, I am scared I will fail and be disappointed in myself, I am scared I will hold others back in the class. Any words of wisdom for me? 

Don’t be nervous! CrossFit is so fun! I actually felt pretty intimidated by CrossFit too, especially because of the way it’s portrayed and talked about ( Pukie the Clown , bleeding hands, etc.), but, from my experience, it’s not that way. It’s actually a very supportive and friendly environment.

As for giving up cardio, CrossFit is cardio, plus SO much more! You’ll get more out of a 15-minute WOD than you will peddling away on an elliptical any day! Trust me!

As far as thinking you won’t be able to do anything or you might hold people back, you won’t. I promise. Every move at CrossFit is scalable to your abilities, and it’s not unusual to see people taking advantage of these modifications. I’d say more than half of classes at my box have members doing some sort variation of exercises/movements in order to complete a WOD. Plus, tons of people do Level 1 and Level 2 WODs. I actually kind of like that I need to work my way up to prescribed WODs because I know I’m getting stronger, faster, and fitter!

My advice for your first class(es):

  • Have fun.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help and/or clarification on exercises, movements, form, concepts, etc. Remember everyone started as a newbie at some point, so most people (obviously, the coaches) are happy to help.
  • Along the same lines, start light and get your form down before adding weight. Don’t worry about that beast deadlifting 485 next to you.
  • Remember that you are competing against yourself, not others. Strive to improve on YOUR time, YOUR weight, YOUR skills. 
  • Know that it gets easier… sort of. No CrossFit workout is truly easy, but you’ll get stronger, build up a greater aerobic capacity, and become more mentally tough overtime.

It seems like you’re overdoing it with CrossFit. Why do you go so much?

Honestly, I just really love it. I’m getting stronger, faster, and fitter each and every class and the community aspect is what keeps me going back day after day. I’ve met some amazing, like-minded people, and I really enjoy spending time and working out with them. 

What is the CrossFit Open?

The CrossFit Open is a competition that is “open” to any CrossFitter from anywhere around the world. There are five Open WODs, which are announced by CrossFit Headquarters, once a week for the next five weeks. Each participant has seven days to complete the WOD in that particular week. Your scores/times are then recorded and you can see how you rank against other CrossFitters. The best of the bunch go onto compete in the CrossFit Regionals and CrossFit Games.

And I’m off for tackle Workout #1! Wish me luck!

P.S. It’s National Dog Biscuit Day today! celebrated appropriately!

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