CrossFit involves speed, heavy weights and high reps, so coaches want to make sure you know the basics to avoid injury. I found out I had to take Elements, a six-class course about CrossFit’s history, lingo and form, before I could take a “real” class.
You go to a box (not a gym) and do a WOD (workout of the day), where the goal is often doing AMRAP (as many reps or rounds as possible in a given time). The CF community speaks its own language.
Be ready to write your name, the weight you lifted, number of reps and how long a WOD took on a whiteboard. Making your results public is motivating—I got a little competitive. There were high fives.
Olympic lifts like snatches and moves like handstand push-ups can be intimidating. But coaches give modifications—there are at least four ways to do ring dips!—so you can work at a level that’s right for you.
Photograph by Christopher Sturman. Styling, Lida Moore Musso; hair, Dallin James; makeup, Jessica Ortiz.