As one of the world’s fastest-growing sports and fitness programs, CrossFit is beloved by hundreds of thousands of people that can’t get enough of getting fit. This sport is an intense fitness program. Therefore, nobody can launch into this activity for the first time and expect to put in the same level of work as someone that has been CrossFitting for several years.
11 Common CrossFit Mistakes
Though this sport is incredibly popular, many people end up getting injured. Why? Because they commit some of the more common fitness mistakes. Want to get fit without committing a CrossFit sin? Read on for 11 common CrossFit mistakes to avoid.
1. Not Building a Solid Base
Of course, many beginners want to start this sport as passionately as possible. However, to prevent injuries and guarantee the best results, these individuals must build a solid base before they get down to the nitty-gritty of working out.
Anyone new to this sport must learn the basics of the system before getting into heavy lifting or the more intense workouts. While many people want to lift large weights or start doing more reps every day, this isn’t the smartest way to workout.
If you hope to succeed in this sport, be prepared to take everything one day at a time. Start by building a base of the fundamental exercises that you can build on later.
2. Prioritizing Reps Over Form
In this sport, it is tempting to get caught up in the passion of the exercises and want to complete as many as possible. However, going for the most amount of reps while sacrificing the form is one guaranteed way to injure yourself.
Don’t jump straight into trying to put more effort into completing more reps. Instead, it’s important to make sure you have the form nailed down.
Focusing on perfecting the correct form for every exercise should be one of the first things that anyone does when getting into this sport. As so many of the exercises build on each other, part of starting with a solid foundation requires that the form be flawless.
This means taking a slower approach when initially learning a new exercise. While you may want to increase your intensity, never sacrifice your form. With a lack of solid form comes an increased risk of injury, so do yourself a favor and be sure to focus on getting the proper form every time you perform an exercise.
3. Training Too Intensely
Just as it’s important to focus on building a base and correcting your form, it’s just as necessary to limit your intensity.
Oftentimes, many of these CrossFitters don’t recognize when they’re overtraining until it’s too late. These individuals can easily push themselves past their limits in an attempt to do as much as possible and set new records. However, if you’re body isn’t ready for this level of training, you’ll be putting excessive strain on yourself.
The worst part about overtraining is that it can be difficult to recognize that you’re doing too much. For many people, this sport is a way of life that choose to participate in almost every day of the week. Overtraining becomes apparent if you notice a change in appetite, irritability, a plateau in performance, a loss of motivation, or a change in sleeping patterns.
This type of overtraining will quickly lead to feelings of burning out and oftentimes injury. Instead of trying to train as intensely as possible, CrossFitters must always make time for recovery and listen to their body’s when enough is enough.
4. Focusing Too Much on Competition
Competition is a major part of this sport, but you’ll need to pull back if you find yourself trying to compete when you should be training.
This sport is known as a sport of fitness, so it can be difficult to discern when to draw the line between competition and practice.
CrossFitters that make the mistake of blurring these lines often push themselves too hard by pushing intensity and volume wand following an unstable and incompetent workout routine.
These people can avoid making these CrossFit mistakes by pacing themselves and focusing on training intentionally.
5. Failing to Scale Properly
Scaling is another important part of CrossFit and a failure to scale properly is a common mistake that newbies make. While scaling is unique to every person, the process makes it possible for an athlete to complete workouts safely.
This scaling allows for stability as you continue to advance as a CrossFitter.
Scaling properly will require you to know your limits and to perform the WOD’s within these limits. For example, if your coach says a WOD requires everyone to perform 950-pound thrusters in 10 sets, if your record is 55 pounds, never overdo it.
To scale properly, you must make incremental shifts when adding on more weight or increasing the level of intensity.
All CrossFitters should know that every exercise can be modified to decrease the weight, slower, decrease the reps, and focus on the form.
6. Not Having Accountability
Another major part of this sport is the accountability with one’s self.
When seeing other’s gains it can be tempting to post higher numbers than what you’re actually achieving. While this looks better on paper, in reality, this sort of inconsistency is only keeping you from progressing as you should.
Avoid making the mistake of not holding yourself accountable by sharing your reps and sets with a friend. As it is easier to remain accountable when working with another person, you’ll both be able to hold each other accountable and make sure you both are training in the way you say that you are.
7. Failing to Warm Up
Warming up is an important part of any type of fitness activity, especially for the WODs in this sport. Regardless of how intense your workout is, your body always needs to warm up in order to perform properly.
Part of any warm-up will help to make your muscles alert and get them warmed and ready to work, thus reducing the likeliness of injury.
The best warmups involve extensive stretching so your range or mobility is sufficient enough for the exercises you will do. A full workout involves bodyweight skill work, stretches for your muscles and joints, and full-body movement patterns.
8. Skipping Mobility
Mobility and flexibility are another key part of this sport. By skipping mobility, any CrossFitter is that much closer to an injury. As mobility directly improves one’s range of motion, focusing on increasing flexibility and mobility will prevent injury and encourage faster recovery.
After making sure you’re stretching properly, use your foam roller for targeted mobility exercises to improve your range of motion and keep your body flexible.
9. Not Getting Enough Sleep
It’s easy to want to keep pushing through when doing these exercises. Many people make the mistake of prioritizing this sport so much so that they ignore other telltale signs of their declining health, like a lack of sleep.
As sleep is a key component in recovery after the intense workouts that this sport promotes, by failing to get enough rest, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Ideally, you should be getting between seven and eight hours a night. Without this amount of sleep, your performance will deteriorate. In fact, your body will start to break down, and your cortisol levels will increase. And that often ends up resulting in weight gain.
Instead of putting yourself through this, be sure to get enough sleep at night.
10. Neglecting Post-Workout Nutrition
Many people view post-workout nutrition as optional. But in reality, it is one of the most important aspects of participating in this sport. After the intense workout you put your body through, it is absolutely essential that you replenish your body with the right nutrition, carbs, and proteins.
Proper post-workout nutrition requires that you replenish your body within an hour or less of your last workout. This will ensure that you recover as efficiently and as fast as possible.
Not sure what to eat after your workout?
Be sure to load up on carbs and protein to make sure you are able to get the amount of nutrition you need. Most people opt for protein shakes and a snack afterward. And experts recommend that you consume 30 – 100 g of carbs and 15- 35 g of protein. Additionally, the carb sources you should eat need to be higher in glucose but low in sugars.
Many people opt for sweet potatoes, plantains, white rice, oats, chicken breasts, fish, lean ground beef, bison, low-fat yogurt, and low-fat cottage cheese.
11. Missing the Small Victories
This sport promotes a very goal-oriented environment. So it’s important to set lofty fitness goals. However, it’s just as important to remind yourself of the small victories along the way.
Many newbies become discouraged early on in their CrossFit experience as they see how far away they are from meeting the goals they hope to reach. Counteract this sort of thinking by setting micro-goals during the days and weeks leading up to the timeline you’ve given yourself.
Every time you make a gain or show any sort of improvement, allow yourself to celebrate. This little amount of positivity will go a long way as you try to accomplish your sports dreams.
Final Thoughts on CrossFit Mistakes
As a popular sport, CrossFit has committed followers that are dedicated to improving their fitness. Take it one day at a time. By focusing on form, limiting one’s intensity, and following other best practices, anyone can use this sport to better their bodies without injury.
Use these 11 CrossFit mistakes as a guide for making sure you are able to navigate the ins and outs of this sport as safely as possible.