True, the seemingly endless pull-ups, burpees, and rope climbs can be intimidating. But anyone can benefit from trying CrossFit if they keep a few important pointers in mind, says Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, a certified trainer and professional athlete who earned the “Fittest Woman on Earth” title after winning the 2014 CrossFit Games. Follow her top tips and prepare to become more buff than ever before.


6 Things You Should Avoid at CrossFit

1. DON’T…practice kipping movements before learning strict ones

The basics of CrossFit include movements such as dips, pull-ups, squats and push-ups. You’ll continue to work on these movements for as long as you participate in this form of exercise.

When you get started in a new program, it’s imperative to build the strength necessary to do strict gymnastics movements before learning how to kip or butterfly–which speed up movements drastically so you can do more reps in less time.

2. DON’T…cut corners

Cheating, cutting corners and missing full reps aren’t even options for athletes with purpose and integrity.

Maybe someone in class is beating you. Maybe people are waiting for you to finish. You’re just sick of doing burpees. Maybe you feel like your elbows were close enough to full extension to count the rep. It could be you forget how many rep you’ve done.

These thoughts can easily lead to you getting lazy and cheating a bit to finish the work. Instead, commit to being honest and full of integrity by deciding never to cheat reps or cut corners—no matter what.

You may need to slow down, take some breaks or not count the rep when standards aren’t being met, but that’s a much better approach in the long run.

3. DON’T…expect a PR each training session

At the beginning of your CrossFit journey, you may hit several personal records and feel like you’re almost always doing something new and better. This is not a “quick fix” program, though.

There are progressions in CrossFit, and you have to put in the work to see major improvements. Each day you get to the box, think about putting forth your effort, regardless of the outcome.

If you focus on quality repetitions and learning, you’ll continue to gain strength and speed.

4. DON’T…ignore the power of quality nutrition and recovery

Doing high-intensity workouts that use several muscle groups is incredibly taxing. Yes, it’s a good thing, but not if you’re neglecting recovery or eating junk food.

Make sure you prioritize the need to get at least 7.5 hours of sleep each night. You’ll also want to focus on cutting out (or at least limiting) processed foods, sugars and alcohol. Try to get adequate amounts of protein and carbohydrates to fuel your workouts, as many vegetables as you can, and some quality fats and fruits.

5. DON’T…bring negativity to the box

Always come to the box with a positive mindset. Don’t get in the dangerous habit of complaining about the program, coaching, other athletes, equipment or anything else.If you have concerns, bring them to the box owners in private.

Additionally, keep your self-talk encouraging in order to get the best results. Work to keep your words strong and positive so you have a good impact on others and set yourself up for success.

6. DON’T…compare yourself to others

You’re wasting valuable energy by concerning yourself with what someone else is doing.

You can’t control it—they’re not you. They have their own desires, goals and motivations. They may be seeking something different, and they’re likely on an entirely different path than you are.

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