Ask a Coach: Do I Have To Be Fit To Start CrossFit?

ByDan Hollingsworth, CF-L4April 5, 2023

Short Answer: No, you do not need to be fit to start CrossFit. You do CrossFit to become fit; you don’t become fit to do CrossFit.

If you were struggling in math class, would you wait until you got better at math to hire a tutor?

If you wanted to ensure that you had enough money to live on in your retirement, would you wait until you were already wealthy to seek the expertise of a financial planner?

The obvious answer to these questions is “no.” You would seek out the assistance of someone trained to help you overcome your hurdles and make progress toward your goals. A math tutor and a financial planner can do just that, regardless of what your current math skills are or what your investment portfolio looks like.

These two scenarios are directly analogous to the title question of this article. If you want to improve your health and fitness, it only makes sense that you START with the program that has demonstrated time and again to be the most effective for developing truly comprehensive fitness: CrossFit.

Starting a running program to try to get in shape for CrossFit is like taking a science class to help you with your math struggles. There might be some carryover, but it ultimately won’t get you to the end goal. You do CrossFit to become fit; you don’t become fit to do CrossFit.

While we understand that walking into your local CrossFit affiliate can be intimidating, there is truly no better place for you to take that first step. CrossFit trainers are experts in the art of scaling and modifying workouts to meet you where you are. Much like a math tutor can break down the complexities of algebra and create structured drills for you to practice so you can improve, a CrossFit trainer will do the same for complex functional exercises.

Getting started in CrossFit is much easier than you might think. Many affiliates have entry-level programs designed to get you up to speed on the program before allowing you to enter group classes. This ensures that you have some comfort with the movements as well as a head start on building your fitness base. Others will integrate new members directly into classes, while being ever mindful of using proper progressions and meeting you at your current level.

Every CrossFit athlete understands how hard it is to get started. The memory of our first workout is forever etched in our minds — which is why the community is so welcoming to new members. We have walked in your shoes. We have felt your struggles and fears. We have persevered and overcome, and we are excited to see you do the same.

About the Author

Dan Hollingsworth is a physical therapist and Level 4 CrossFit Coach. He has been on CrossFit’s Seminar Staff since 2010 and has taught Level 1 and Level 2 Seminars, and CrossFit Masters and CrossFit Kids courses. For 14 years, he and his wife have owned Kitsap CrossFit in Poulsbo, Washington, where they live with their two daughters and crazy dog.