I get asked a lot about how I workout and motivate myself to do it. The other day I was talking to a pastor that goes to a Crossfit box and he said, “I don’t know how you motivate yourself to do crossfit by yourself. I have to have the people at my box to motivate me.”
I get it.
If you can afford to go to a crossfit box, get the coaching, etc. That is awesome and you should do that. It helps you stay motivated, on track and keeps you from getting injured from exercising incorrectly.
If you are like me, a crossfit box is out of your price range. I don’t have $200 a month for it. I know all the benefits from it, but my family goes to the Y for 25% of that and it has free childcare. Not as nice, but I can take my wife out for a few date nights each month from the difference.
I’ve done crossfit on my own for the last 16 months and have learned some things. Here’s how to do crossfit on your own:
- Be smart. There is a lot of debate about crossfit and injury. Most of the time that people get injured from working out, it is because they do it incorrectly or push themselves too much. Be smart about it. It will take time to to learn all the lifts. You won’t walk into a gym and do a snatch on the first try. That’s okay. It will take some time to learn double unders, kipping pullups and a whole host of other things.
- Have a plan. If you want the results promised in a workout program, you have to do it that way. For me, I follow a box. This helps me to get a workout program from a trained professional. Crossfit is a full body program and it is easy to overwork muscles when doing it. Following a training program helps me to keep that from happening. I also can see the times from that box so I’m able to see what I’m shooting for. This helps to push me when I start getting tired. Going along with a plan, you will need to learn when to go to your gym to do Crossfit. Since you will sometimes you multiple bars or multiple pieces of equipment, you need to go when this is more feasible.
- Don’t be discouraged. Most people quit exercising because they get discouraged. It will take some time. It took me 18 months to lose 130 pounds. It will take time to lose weight. Then as you lift weights, you will gain weight. At first, this can be very discouraging. Keep at it.
- Know your limits and when to push through them. This goes with being smart. But know what you can and cannot do. Yes, there are videos on line of people doing “Fran” in under 2 minutes. People can snatch 300 pounds. That probably won’t be you. If a WOD (workout of the day) is too heavy in the prescribed weight, scale it. Don’t be too proud to scale it. Scaling will also help you to build up strength and endurance to do the lifts at their prescribed weight.
- Eat right. Eating is more than half the battle when it comes to losing weight or putting on muscle. I do Crossfit 4-5 times a week. This means that I need to eat enough protein so that my muscles can recover. Especially if I do it 3 days in a row. You don’t have to eat paleo, although I’d encourage you to do that. You will feel a lot better if you cut wheat, bread and carbs out of your diet. Drink lots of water each day. I shoot for 100 ounces each day. Also, limit your alcohol intake. Yes, red wine is beneficial for your heart, but if you drink more than 2 glasses a day, you lose all the benefits. Alcohol also hurts recovery and has empty calories.
- Do research. If you don’t know how to do a lift or an exercise, watch it on youtube. Coaches have instructions for everything on youtube now. Then practice it. I still struggle with double unders so I do them several times a week in my warmup just to get better at them.
- Stretch. Stretch, a lot. Before, during, after. Do yoga on an off day. Your body is working hard and you need to keep it limber.
If you do crossfit on your own, what things would you add?