A Guide to CrossFit for Beginners

A Guide to CrossFit for Beginners

In recent years CrossFit has seen a huge increase in popularity, with dedicated gyms popping up all over the country to cater to those taking to this fitness regime and lifestyle. For those who have heard of this type of training but aren’t sure what it is, and for those who are wondering how to get started, our useful guide has you covered. 

Detailing what CrossFit training is and what benefits it offers for your physical health, as well as some beginner-friendly plans to help you get started, the guide below provides you with all the information you need to learn more about this high-intensity training regimen. 

What is CrossFit?

CrossFit is a type of training programme that focuses on functional movement at high-intensity intervals to improve muscular strength and conditioning. CrossFit exercises typically focus on types of movements that you’d do in your daily life, so you’re likely to see a variation of squats, jumping, stretching, pushing, and pulling movements in your regime. However, the workouts will also include cardio and weight training exercises for an all-round fitness routine. You can expect to use machines such as bikes, plyo boxes, medicine balls, free weights, and much more, but your instructor will be able to guide you through how to use this equipment and teach you the correct form. We recommend seeking out dedicated CrossFit gyms as you’ll be surrounded by other like-minded individuals to help motivate you and keep you on the right track.

Additionally, many CrossFit gyms and instructors will encourage you to follow a nutritional diet plan to help support your exercise. This will include things like eating very little starch and no sugar to improve your performance and reduce body fat levels. Therefore, for many CrossFit can be seen as more of a lifestyle change rather than just a training plan.

Is CrossFit good for you?

If you put in the work, CrossFit can provide you with many benefits that will improve your overall health and well-being. It’s important to note that CrossFit is a challenging thing to do, so dedication and consistency is key here. If you can stick with it, the following are some of the benefits that you can expect to see. 

  • Improved overall fitness

  • CrossFit training will help you to achieve a better body composition by helping to replace your body fat with lean muscle. You’ll also see improvements in your strength, flexibility, cardio endurance, and performance output.

  • Better sleep quality

  • High-intensity workouts can help you get a deeper and more restful sleep whilst your body recovers overnight. In turn, this can bring a more positive outlook and improved performance in both exercise and daily tasks.

  • Improved Confidence

  • Any beginner will be familiar with feeling a lack of confidence when they first start out exercising, however, CrossFit can help you to overcome this and see results that will motivate you to improve your performance as you work to personal milestones. This will leave you feeling more confident in your abilities as well as improving mental resilience as you challenge yourself.

    Beginner CrossFit workouts

    To help you learn the correct technique and form, and to help you stay motivated, we’d recommend seeking a CrossFit class or qualified instructor either online or at your gym to help you when starting out, it shouldn’t be difficult to find one as there are over 668 CrossFit friendly gyms in the United Kingdom according to the website’s official affiliate map. However, we understand that this may not always be possible or you’d like to try out the exercises first to build confidence and test the waters. Therefore, we’ve listed some beginner-friendly CrossFit exercises below that you can practice on your own. If you’re not sure of the technique, try researching some online videos or ask a gym staff member who will be able to give you a visual demonstration. The following routines are Workouts of the Day (WOD) which were created by CrossFit.

    The Cindy

    The Cindy workout operates based on completing as many reps as you can within a timeframe of 20 minutes. The exercises are beginner-friendly, and you are likely to be familiar with each, so this is a great one to do when you’re just getting started. 


    • 5 pull-ups - if you cannot yet do a pull up, use the pull-up machine at the gym to complete these reps

    • 10 push-ups - you can use your knees if you struggle to do regular push-ups. Alternatively, you can reduce the number of push-ups you do if you’re a total beginner

    • 15 squats - use only your body weight when doing this exercise, do not add any extra weights to your squat.

    The Helen

    The Helen is another beginner-friendly exercise, one which also includes cardio. Unlike Cindy, this workout operates on three timed rounds. If you’re just starting, you can choose the time to complete the round yourself until you’re comfortable with your ability and can push yourself to complete the rounds at a quicker pace. We’d recommend that you start by limiting each round to 3-5 minutes.

  • 400m sprint - This will likely be completed quickly, but since you will be doing it three times, you don’t need to increase the distance

  • 21 kettlebell swings - Be careful not to overload your weights as this could cause injury, try a test run with a lighter weight before starting your workout to make sure you can lift correctly, form is more important than weight

  • 12 pull-ups - Use the pull-up machine to complete this if you cannot yet do pull-ups unassisted.

  • The Baseline

    Working on a basis of ‘as fast as possible’ to complete each exercise, the Baseline is a great choice for beginners as there is minimal equipment involved. 

  • 500-meter row - you can use the rowing machine at the gym to complete this, it doesn’t have to be set to a heavy weight or resistance

  • 40 squats - take a short break in between your reps if needed, but try to push through

  • 30 sit-ups - try to do these unassisted if possible, but adapt if necessary

  • 20 push-ups - you may use your knees if you need to adapt this exercise

  • 10 pull-ups - use the pull-up machine for assistance if required

  • How often should I do CrossFit as a beginner?

    Rest is extremely important when doing CrossFit, especially for beginners. You should gradually increase your intensity as you progress, but you should stay consistent to see the best results. It is recommended that beginners do a CrossFit workout 2-3 times a week with a day's rest between each session. As you improve, you can increase your frequency, ensuring that you have at least one day of rest each week. 

    What should I wear when doing CrossFit?

    Since you’ll be doing a variety of exercises it’s best to choose clothes that are both breathable and flexible to cater for the cardio and weight-based exercises as well as the stretching involved. You may also benefit from accessories such as weight and training grips or gloves which offer better grip and can help to reduce the risk of injury. 



    Weightlifting Wrist Support 


    Padded Weightlifting Straps  Men's Training Gloves

     However, the most important thing you’ll need to consider is your footwear.  You will need a pair of trainers that can adequately support you during the various exercise types which will include things like running and jumping. The following options are good choices. 



    Nano X4 Womens Training Shoes


    Nano X4 Mens Training Shoes


    Prepare for CrossFit training with Start Fitness


    At Start Fitness, we understand that having the right equipment can have a huge impact on your performance. That’s why we stock a wide range of CrossFit clothing, footwear, and accessories to help you find what you need to get started on your journey, simply browse through our collection to find what you need.