Crossfit for Beginners

CrossFit consists of three general modalities: weightlifting, gymnastics, and mono-structural movements.  Weightlifting refers to lifting external objects or weights like power lifting or Olympic weight lifting.  Gymnastics is moving your body weight through space. Calisthenics is another term that can be used to describe this, examples would be a bodyweight squat, push up, pull up, and sit up.  Mono-structural movements are what most people commonly refer to as “cardio” like running, swimming, or rowing.  We do not use the term “cardio” to describe this modality because in essence, we are able to achieve a cardio response combing a number of different movements from weightlifting, gymnastics, and mono-structural activities, not just running alone.  If you’re thinking of starting Crossfit, but you don’t want to join an affiliate yet.  Here’s how you do it

A good beginning program should consist of movements from all three of these modalities.  It should be designed around the following parameters:

•    Low technical skill requirement
•    Minimal coaching requirement
•    Simple, easy to follow
•    Accessible for beginners
•    Ability to progress to more advanced Crossfit programs
•    Be able to fit in any schedule

You need to be able to master the basic functional movements like the squat, deadlift, overhead press, and running.  The squat is a body-weight air squat, not a back squat.  Master these foundational skills before you could move on to the progressions of these movements.  But learn the foundations first, and then everything else will come easy.  The great thing about Crossfit is that it is a free resource online and it’s free!  That’s how I learned everything, I was self taught.  I spent countless hours watching and studying videos on  I learned how to do kipping pull ups, deadlifts, and the Olympic lifts from reading articles and watching videos online for free.  I suggest you do the same.

Here are some guidelines to keep in mind before starting this program.  Start with the greatest weight in which you are still able to properly execute the movements.  This is a 4 day per week workout program and each workout should not take longer than 30 minutes to complete. Try to increase your load by 5lbs per week on the deadlift and presses, only increase loads when the last workout was completed successfully.  Increase your squats to 18 on week three and to 21 on week four.  The intensity and volume will gradually increase each week to build work capacity.

The great thing about Crossfit is that it is universally scalable being able to accommodate everyone from moms to be, grandfathers, to professional athletes.  The idea is to scale intensity, load, and volume to fit any fitness level.  Movements should not change but can also be modified to make it easier or harder.   Here is a video explaining how to modify the push up from a beginner level to a more difficult progression.


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