We all have to start somewhere. Maybe you came from an aerobics background or attending the odd class here and there. You have decided you want to set yourself a new challenge by taking up weightlifting/Olympic lifting, beginning a new free weights programme or joining your local Crossfit box.
You walk into the gym and you hear people shouting and roaring, see women throwing up big weights and men kipping pull ups and bouncing a weight off their shoulders into the air. It scares you but excites you. You want to learn and join in!!
Alternatively, you’ve started a new free weights programme, walk into the free weights area in your gym and you are seeing massive guys in vests, grunting, needing five other men help them get their dumbbell’s in the air to start their set.
"If you see a woman lifting more than you be impressed, not threatened."
Don’t look around and pressure yourself into thinking that you need to be picking up the same weight as everyone else or running at the same pace. If you see a woman lifting more than you be impressed, not threatened. Everyone started from scratch. No one walked into a gym and deadlifted 100kg (with good form). They learnt how to move with a bar. An empty barbell. THEN they gradually increased their weight.
No one woke up one morning after never worked out in their life and ran a marathon.
Taking it back to Crossfit, no one walked into a box, swung around on the rings for a bit and done a muscle up. Or hung from the rig like a fish out of water and then produced some fantastic butterfly pull ups.
You get these movements wrong from the beginning, and you WILL get injured. You need to increase your basic level of strength, proprioception (the coordination of knowing where your limbs are and what your body is doing) and increase mobility before you move on to looking like a weightlifting god/goddess.
We’ve all heard that expression “leave your ego at the door”. But it is actually more than that. Small steps towards your goals, practicing movements with no weight, doing the accessory work and increasing your overall strength (rather than just the movement you want to be good at all) will get you to your goal a lot quicker. It is a case of being patient, checking your ego and getting strong by being smart.
That’s the fantastic thing about going to a Crossfit box (or a good one anyway). There is always more than one coach there to help you. Whether you are in a class or doing your own programme. They are there to make sure you are moving well and with good form. They don’t give you corrections or take your weight down for any other reason other than to help you reach your goals with your wellbeing and safety in mind.
Give yourself a fitness or weightlifting goal and enjoy the journey….safely!
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