CrossFit for Beginners: Everything You Need To Know & 4 Steps For a Successful First Day at The Box

CrossFit is a workout routine that has been around for over 20 years, however, it has exploded in popularity just in the last 10 years. This CrossFit for beginners article will tell you everything you need to know. More than just a workout routine, CrossFit is a lifestyle for its over 4 million gym-goers around the world and despite the common myth, CrossFit can be for Beginners!

CrossFit workouts are intense, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercises that work on your aerobic and anaerobic fitness levels. Workouts can be scaled for any level of athlete from CrossFit elite athletes all the way down to crossfit for beginners.

The majority of their workout routines are made up of three core tenants: strength, conditioning, and agility/mobility. The overarching goal is to make you a more well-rounded athlete with higher fitness levels in the shortest time possible by pushing your body to its limits each day through constantly varied functional movements at high-intensity intervals.

CrossFit For Beginners Box Jumps
The box jump is a very popular exercise incorporated in a lot of CrossFit WODs

Let’s get into the Crossfit for beginners Basics:

CrossFit is primarily focused on functional movement, which means developing all aspects of your body so it can work together as a team. CrossFit for beginners workouts are no different than most crossfit and are typically high intensity with low rest periods.

Here are most of the acronyms you will run into when walking into a CrossFit gym:

  • WOD: Workout of the Day.
  • AMRAP: As Many Rounds (or Reps) As Possible. Used when the workout is a circuit, and you’re supposed to do as many rounds as you can within the given time cap.
  • EMOM: Every Minute On the Minute. Used for interval-style training and are similar to Tabata workouts.
  • Box: Another term for gym. When people say, “I’ll see you at the box,” they mean the CrossFit gym.
  • GPP: General Physical Preparedness, or the term CrossFitters use for overall fitness.
  • Metcon: An abbreviation for “metabolic conditioning,” a type of training that improves endurance.
  • The whiteboard: Where CrossFit gyms write the WOD and athletes’ scores. 

Here are the top 5 movements to learn for CrossFit for beginners:

As the name suggests, the WOD will change from day to day and good gyms will make sure the workouts are variable enough throughout the week so that you can come to multiple days without getting muscle fatigue from working the same muscle group too close together.

How to Find a Box(CrossFit Gym)

What stops most people from trying out CrossFit is the intimidation from not thinking they can do the exercises and they will be left to “fend for themselves”. At a quality gym, this is the furthest from reality. This crossfit for beginners guide will help ease your fear of walking into the next Crossfit gym.

We would suggest that you try a few different gyms out for the first month to check out a couple of things:

  • Get a feel for the coaches and the quality of coaching
  • How they view and adhere to safety in the gym. Be observant of other members and their interaction with the coaches.
  • Get a feel for the local culture in the gym. Is it supportive? Uplifting? Or does it feel cold or dead?
  • Understand their class schedule for one to make sure it can work with your life schedule but also to get a pulse on how well the gym is doing. The more classes offered typically means they are attracting more members and are growing. That is typically a good sign of good quality.

A quick local web search can help you find plenty of gyms to choose from that are great crossfit for beginners locations and take advantage of all the free and discounted classes offered to new members!

Your First Day: Intros/Assessment/WOD

When you walk into your first day at a CrossFit gym it can be pretty intimidating but good quality gyms understand this and try to make it as inviting as possible for first-time guests.

CrossFit For Beginners


Your introduction with the coach is important as it is prime time to get one on one time with the expert and ask a lot of questions about the gym, the equipment, and what is involved in going through the workouts. The coach will be interested in your goals, current physical abilities, and any health conditions they should be aware of. Then you will probably jump into an initial fitness assessment.

Initial Fitness Assessment

The initial fitness assessment is given by your coach at your first session with them at their gym. The initial fitness assessment can be different depending on which CrossFit gym you go to but they will always involve some form of body composition analysis such as measuring height, weight, and estimating body fat percentage. They will also test your aerobic capacity and functional strength.

They are looking to gauge where your current physical fitness level is at so they know where to start you in the workouts and how to help you progress towards your goals. Don’t try to “show off” or push yourself, this test is all about getting a baseline that you can then improve on as your fitness journey continues.

After the assessment, you and your coach will sit down and go over the results. This is where they will start to create your CrossFit program. As a beginner, don’t be intimidated by CrossFit – it is scalable to any fitness level and CrossFit is brimming with support, motivation, and encouragement.

Your First CrossFit Workout: A Typical WOD (Workout Of The Day)

Now that you have been through the fitness assessment and you have a decent idea about what the CrossFit program is about, it is time to get started with your first workout. The CrossFit class consists of a warm-up followed by the workout of the day (WOD). The warm-up is essential as it gets your blood pumping and prepares your muscles for activity.

The WOD itself will be designed around CrossFit principles such as Cross Training, Cross Conditioning, and CrossFit high-intensity interval training (HIIT). The WOD is designed to help you build strength, agility, and stamina. It will be a combination of weightlifting movements such as squats, pull-ups, or lunges combined with compound exercises like jumping onto boxes and bodyweight exercises.

Here is an example of a more popular WOD:

CrossFit For Beginners Cindy Wod


  • 5 Pull-ups
  • 10 Push-ups
  • 15 Squats
  • As many times as possible in 20 minutes

At the end of your CrossFit class, your coach will typically capture your results of the WOD or have you record them on the Whiteboard.

The Low-Down on CrossFit Nutrition

healthy eating crossfit body puerto vallarta 1024x532 1 - crossfit for beginners

CrossFit and other high-intensity workouts demand a lot from your body, and proper nutrition is essential to meeting those demands. Without the right fuel, your body will quickly run out of energy, leaving you feeling fatigued and unable to perform at your best. In this crossfit for beginners guide we provide an in-depth look at Crossfit Nutrition needs.

That’s why crossfitters need to pay special attention to their nutrition, making sure to consume enough protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats to support their training. crossfit workouts are notoriously demanding, often involving multiple rounds of high-intensity exercises that max out your muscular and cardiovascular systems.

Proper nutrition is essential to recovery from these types of workouts, as your body needs the right mix of nutrients to rebuild muscle tissue and replenish glycogen stores.

A crossfit-specific diet should emphasize lean protein sources, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats,” says Ashley Hall, Registered Dietitian and crossfit coach at Crave Nutrition in San Diego, CA.

“Protein is especially important after a crossfit workout, as it helps to repair damaged muscle tissue and promote muscle growth. Carbohydrates are also key, as they provide the body with quick energy during exercise and help to replenish glycogen stores post-workout. Finally, healthy fats are essential for optimizing hormone levels and supporting brain health.”

healthy steps nutrition crossfit tips - crossfit for beginners

When it comes to specific nutrient timing, Hall says that crossfitters should aim to consume a meal rich in protein and carbohydrates within 30 minutes of finishing their workout. “This will help to jumpstart the muscle-building and repair process,” she explains. “If you’re not able to eat a full meal right away, a protein shake or bar can also be a good option. Just be sure to consume something within that 30-minute window to get the most benefit.”

For those who are training multiple times per day, Hall says it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough calories and nutrients throughout the day to support your activity level. “Crossfitters often need more calories than the average person, so be sure to pay attention to your hunger cues and eat when you’re hungry,” she advises.

“It can also be helpful to divide your day’s food intake into smaller meals or snacks consumed every few hours, rather than three large meals. This will help to keep your energy levels up and prevent you from getting too hungry between meals.”

If you’re not sure how many calories you need to support your training, Hall recommends working with a Registered Dietitian or certified sports nutritionist who can help you create a personalized meal plan. “They can also offer guidance on specific nutrient needs and how to best time your meals around your workouts,” she says. “Overall, the most important thing is to be mindful of what you’re eating and make sure you’re getting the nutrients your body needs to perform at its best.”

Let’s Talk Gear

Due to the nature of the workouts and the high intensity the workouts ask of CrossFit members, workout gear designed with the cross fitter in mind has become almost essential to the sport.

We are definitely not saying you NEED any gear other than quality workout clothing and shoes but we have provided some additional gear options you might see other members using and that you might fancy as you get more comfortable in the gym yourself.

CrossFit Workout Gear:

CrossFit For Beginners Gear

CrossFit shoes that are well suited for lifting, squatting, and jumping. They also need to be durable enough to take heavy use over time. CrossFit Shoes should have a rubber sole with good traction so you don’t slip out during certain CrossFit exercises like box jumps or burpees.

Knee sleeves provide compression and warmth to the joint, helping you push through those last few reps when your muscles are fatigued. CrossFitters often wear knee sleeves during CrossFit workouts for squats, Olympic lifts, and other exercises that put stress on the knees.

– A CrossFit belt is another essential piece of gear for CrossFit athletes. It helps support your back while you’re Crossfitting and it’s a safety precaution. CrossFit belts should fit snugly, but not tight enough to restrict your breathing or cause discomfort.

Gloves can help save the skin on your hands while doing CrossFit workouts like pull-ups, deadlifts and rope climbs where things get rough on the palms of our hands. CrossFit Gloves should be flexible to allow you to grip CrossFit equipment easily.

Here is some of the gym equipment you will run across during your workouts(not an all-inclusive list):

Kettlebells are the only CrossFit equipment that’s not a piece of gym machinery. They’re cast-iron weights shaped like teapots or bowling pins, depending on their size and weight load. Kettlebell exercises focus on strength and cardio, and Crossfitters use kettlebells for a wide variety of exercises including swings, snatches, cleans, and presses.

– CrossFit gyms often have bumper plates which are rubber-coated Olympic weightlifting plates. They’re designed to minimize the noise made when dropped from overhead during CrossFit exercises like the snatch and the clean and jerk.

– Crossfit gyms also have a variety of machines, including rowers, Assault bikes and Air Dyne bikes, jump ropes, TRX straps, and more.


CrossFit is a great workout for beginners as it can be scaled up or down based on your fitness level. Finding the right gym with quality coaching and CrossFit programs is essential to making sure you enjoy the experience of working out at those gyms. Make sure to keep this crossfit for beginners guide handy and to try multiple gyms before committing so that you find one that meets all your needs!

After going through this crossfit for beginners guide, are you ready to get into a CrossFit gym now? Have any more questions let us know in the comments below!

Leave a Comment