There’s no doubt about it, girl, CrossFit isn’t for the faint hearted. It’s a hardcore high-intensity-training system designed to separate the best from the rest – with badass female athletes to match. Women who make the seemingly impossible almost look easy – taking functional fitness to a whole new level.
Yet, they all had to start somewhere, girl. Even the best of the in the world had their first WOD.
So, dive right into the box (CF lingo for gym) and take on yours today. Try one of these modified WODs (Workout of the Day) created specifically for CrossFit beginners.
Table of Contents
- Think you can hack it? – A Beginner’s Guide to CrossFit
- CrossFit Lingo
- What you’re gonna need, girl
- Getting box ready – beginner guidance
- 3 CrossFit Workouts for Beginners
- #1 – Modified FRAN
- #2 – Half-HELEN
- Conclusion – The final rep on CrossFit for beginners
Think you can hack it? – A Beginner’s Guide to CrossFit
We’re gonna be straight up with you here – CrossFit can be one helluva fitness ride. Nobody ever said she was an easy mama to conquer.
That’s because CrossFit was created to find out exactly who is the fittest woman (and man) on planet earth. It focuses on workouts built around hardcore functional fitness; featuring everything from Olympic lifting to swimming and even leaping over fire.
CrossFit never stops growing, girl.
In fact, as you get fitter and improve as an athlete, the workouts get tougher too. If you’re after a sport that will take you to your limits you’ve found it!
Find the courage to crush it in the box and you’ll get fit, toned, and strong AF. It won’t take long until you’re lifting with the best of ‘em, showing the whole world just how strong and powerful us women are.
Do you think you can hack it?
Trick question, girl. Of course, you can.
CrossFit is a system designed in such a way that every workout can be adapted to the individual. We’re all on our own journey and the only competition we face is ourselves.
It’s up to us to decide how hard we go, how much weight we lift, or even what days we work out on. CrossFit’s constant variety and fun flexibility is perfect for all ladies who lift – so what’re you waiting for?
If you’re gonna walk the walk, you’ve gotta talk the talk, right? That means getting to grips with all the lingo CrossFit girls throw around like barbells on the daily.
Luckily, we’ve hammered out a few WODs in our time ladies. SpotMeGirl know our AMRAPs from our EMOMs like the back our chalky hands, so we’ve got you covered.
Learn these phrases and you’ll be queen of the box before you know it:
- Box – CrossFit gym space
- WOD – Workout of the Day
- Rx’d – If you have this marker up next to your score, it means you mastered the WOD without any modifications
- AMRAP – As Many Reps as Possible
- EMOM – Every Minute on the Minute
- For Time – Hitting a workout as fast as possible to finish in the quickest time
- Score – Total number of reps hit, time taken, overall weight, or the result of whatever your WOD calls for
- Modified – Changing a workout or exercise slightly to best suit the individual
- Assisted – Using a piece of equipment to make an exercise easier
- PR – Personal record
You’re sounding like a WODstar already, girl. Now that you’ve got the lingo on lock, let’s look at what you’re gonna need.
What you’re gonna need, girl
- Olympic bar with bumper plates
- Resistance band
- Kettlebell – start with lighter than you need if you’re a total beginner
- Box – to jump on
- Flat soled footwear or weightlifting shoes – say no to spongey running sneakers, girl
All set? Cool. Time to go, girl.
Getting box ready – beginner guidance
Before you start, we’ve gotta talk about being a beginner. And while you might think it’s not something to shout about, we can assure you it’s not all bad.
Believe it or not you’re in an awesome position, especially for starting out in CrossFit. Imagine yourself as a rough piece of stone ready to be shaped and sculpted into a Goddess of functional fitness. Exciting, right?
First up, embrace your new-found fitness focus. Nobody is expecting you to qualify for the Games (CrossFit’s mega-Olympic style event) so don’t feel the pressure to rush. Learn each move to the tiniest detail and always choose form over lifting more weight.
Stay safe out there ladies
Secondly, if you’re in doubt about how to do something, play it safe. Ask a more experienced CrossFit friend what you should do or hire a coach to show you the ropes. You’re there to craft and sculpt your body while having fun, girl. Don’t do anything you’re not comfortable with.
Finally, when you’ve found your feet give it your all. CrossFit is about pushing your limits of functional fitness and constantly setting new boundaries. After all, it was created to find out who’s the fittest female on earth.
Let’s go, girls!
3 CrossFit Workouts for Beginners
#1 – Modified FRAN
FRAN can be pretty full-on, so we’ve modified this box favorite to be beginner friendly. Choose a weight that allows you to complete each rep with good form and go rack a new PR.
Complete this CrossFit lady as fast as you can and record your score for time. If you’re feeling competitive you can even challenge friends to beat it too.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Barbell squat thrusters – 16 reps
- Assisted pull-ups – 16 reps
- Barbell squat thrusters – 10 reps
- Assisted pull-ups – 10 reps
- Barbell squat thrusters – 6 reps
- Assisted pull-ups – 6 reps
How to do it:
- Take hold of a barbell with an overhand grip set just outside shoulder-width
- Next, bring it up to shoulder height so your palms are facing upwards and your elbows pointing towards the floor
- Hit a squat by bending at the knees. Engage your core and keep your back straight here to support your spine
- Once your hammies are parallel to the ground explode upwards and press the bar above our head – thrust your hips here just like at the top of a deadlift
- Lock your arms and legs out straight to finish the move
- Wrap a resistance band around the bar and pull to make sure it is secure
- Carefully step one or two feet into the resistance band while simultaneously gripping the bar with a wide grip – 1.5 x shoulder width is perfect, girl
- Squeeze your lats and pull your whole body up toward the bar until you touch it with your chest
- Slowly lower yourself to the starting position in a safe and controlled manner
#2 – Half-HELEN
3-Rounds for time
Hitting HELEN for your first WOD isn’t impossible. Hell, if you’re feeling super-fit today feel free to test your limit. Yet, we decided to cut her in half to make a more beginner friendly CrossFit challenge.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Run – 200 m
- American kettlebell swings – 12 reps
- Pull-ups – 6 (10 if assisted)
How to do it:
- Run on a track or treadmill at 200 m
American kettlebell swings
- Stand upright with the kettlebell one-to-two feet in front of you and your feet hip-width apart. Keep your chest up, projecting proudly and your shoulders pulled back and down
- Squat slightly and break at the hip by pushing your butt backwards. Next, grab the kettlebell with both hands
- Stand upright and let your arms straighten under the weight of the kettlebell. Engage the core to protect the spine and squeeze your shoulder blades together
- Push through your heels to propel your hips forwards. This motion will set the kettlebell swinging and start to create momentum. Always keep your core engaged while the kettlebell is in motion
- Keep the arms straight girl, ‘cos it’s all in the hips
- Now, expect the kettlebell to start its descent. As it approaches, you shift your weight into your heels and break at the hip, allowing the weight to swing between your legs and load up your hammies, glutes and quads
- Once the bell has swung all the way back, drive hard through the heels. Accelerate the kettlebell until both arms are fully extended above your head
- Control the kettlebell in its rapid descent and repeat the motion until you’ve completed the rep set. Remember not to stop in between reps as it’s all about maintaining momentum and intensity
Top tip: If you’re finding the American swing too tough, shoot for the Russian alternative. Instead of going all-out overhead simply swing the kettlebell to a manageable chest height.
- Grab a pull up bar with an overhand grip – stick to 1.5x shoulder-width apart
- Let your arms straighten until you’re at a dead hang – this is your starting position
- Without using momentum pull your upper body up towards the bar. Let your chin go over the top and touch it with your chest
- Squeeze the lats and glutes for maximum muscle fiber recruitment and damage
- Lower yourself in a controlled manner back down to the start
- Repeat, repeat, repeat!
#3 – Bodyweight blast
10 mins AMRAP
Your body is your best friend, ladies. So, why not use for an awesome workout? Set 10 minutes on the stopwatch and keep going ‘till you drop.
We’ll be going all out for this AMRAP so don’t hold back. Complete as many reps as possible in a total time of ten minutes before raising your hands in victory.
Remember to record your score ladies and try to do better next time. After all, CrossFit is about taking your fitness to a whole new level – so embrace the hard work ethos and go get it, girl!
Here’s what you need to do:
- Air squats – 10 reps
- Crunches – 10 reps
- Mountain climbers – 10 reps
- Push-ups – 10 reps
- Box jumps – 10 reps
How to do it:
- Stand with feet shoulder width apart, back straight and eyes facing forward
- Break at the hips and push your butt backward while keeping weight over the heels
- Imagine you’re sitting back into a small chair until your hammies reach parallel with the floor. Try to keep your knees pushed slightly outwards and your back straight by engaging your core
- Once you’ve gone ass to grass, drive back through the heels until you’re standing up straight
Top tip: If you feel your knees start to buckle inward grab a mini-band and push against it with your thighs
- Lie flat on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor
- Cross your arms over your chest or place your hands behind your head (link up with a friend too if possible)
- Contract your abs in order to raise your shoulder blades off the ground – a few inches will do if you’re just starting out
- Once you’re at the top, squeeze your abs again to maximize muscle damage (this is a good thing, girls)
- Lower yourself back down to the ground in a safe and controlled manner
Top tip: To stay safe out there do not pull on your head. It may make the exercise feel easier, but it’ll force the neck out of alignment, potentially causing pain/injury.
- Start out in a plank position with your arms fully extended
- Pull one of your knees up towards your middle until it’s in line with your elbows – keep it elevated
- Next, reverse the movement until your foot returns to its starting position
- Repeat the above steps with your opposite knee
Top tip: Up the intensity by staying in constant motion rather than resting between reps.
- Lie in the prone position (face down) and place your palms flat on the floor – slightly outside shoulder-width
- Pull your feet apart so they’re in line with your shoulders
- Imagine your body is a single straight rod and engage your core
- Now you’re ready to go! Push through your palms without flaring your elbows outward
- Once your arms are fully extended, hold the position for a second before reversing the previous step
Top tip: Squeeze your glutes and look slightly ahead of you to hold a straighter position. Also, if you want to make the push-up easier, do them on your knees and not your toes.
- Stand in front of a sturdy box with a safe enough distance for you to jump on top of it – one foot or more usually does the trick
- Bend at the knees and explode upwards and forwards into a jump. Both feet should leave the floor at the same time as you pull your knees into your chest
- Once you have safely cleared the lip of the box lower your feet into a controlled landing – make sure to land with flat feet and bent knees to absorb the impact
- Step down from the box to reduce the risk of injury and go again!
Top tip: Keep your eyes facing forward or slightly upward as you leap onto the box. Looking down feels tempting but it’ll reduce how high you can jump.
Conclusion – The final rep on CrossFit for beginners
Now you have the workouts it’s up to you to discover your functional fitness potential. We suggest trying each one first with lighter weights to find your starting point, and then ramping up the intensity once you’re familiar with the moves.
Feel free to chop and change any of the plans too. As you know, CrossFit is always evolving, so why not embrace this with bouts of creativity in the box?
Once the workouts start to get a little easier, step up the weight, time or rep range. If you’re getting a little burnt out – pull things back a bit and alter whatever you need to, to get your workout in. As a beginner, you’ll still be learning all about how your body reacts so be your own boss.
Finally, you’ll have noticed we’ve not told you how long to rest. It’s not because we’re mean or lazy – but simply because you decide! It’s up to you to judge how hard you’re gonna go on the gym floor.
Good luck, ladies!
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