What to Expect at Your First CrossFit Class

ByKelley LaxtonSeptember 19, 2023
Found in:Essentials

Welcome to your first CrossFit class!

You might be nervous, and that’s normal. You will see movements you have never done before, people doing many different variations of a workout, and lots of cheering and fist bumps at the end.

But this is just the start of your exciting CrossFit journey. You will meet a new community of people all rooting for you to achieve your fitness goals, and with time, you will start to see just how strong your body can be.

So, before you jump into your first CrossFit class, here is everything you should expect and how to prepare.

XLAB CrossFit

What to Bring

All you need to bring to your first CrossFit class is a water bottle, comfortable workout clothes, and relatively flat gym shoes. All other equipment you may need for the workout will be provided for you at the gym.

Reserve Your Spot in Class

Each CrossFit gym will have a schedule of classes throughout the day ranging from early in the morning to the evening. Most gyms cap their classes to ensure the coach can give individualized attention to everyone in the class, so it’s important you reserve your spot before you arrive.

Be sure to let the gym know this is your first class, as every gym has a different onboarding process. Check out the gym’s website or give them a call to reserve your spot and learn how to pay for the class, if necessary. Check out this map and search the name of the affiliate to find contact information.

Show Up Early

Most CrossFit gyms need you to show up 10-15 minutes early to sign a waiver and to introduce you to the space, such as where the restrooms are, where to put your belongings, where the equipment is located, etc.

Find Your Coach

Before class starts, introduce yourself to your coach and let them know this is your first CrossFit class. They will walk you through everything throughout the class and answer any questions you may have.

If you have any injuries, make sure to let them know so they can scale your workout appropriately.

What Does a CrossFit Class Look Like?

A CrossFit class is a one-hour group session led by a coach. A typical class looks like:

Whiteboard brief — At the start of class, the group will circle around a whiteboard or TV. The coach will talk through the workout, the movements within it, the intended stimulus — the purpose of the workout and what level of intensity it’s designed to elicit — and ideas for scaling. Some gyms break the ice by having each person say their name and/or answer a “question of the day.”

Don’t worry if you don’t understand the movements listed on the board. The coach will walk you through the movements after the whiteboard brief. Your first class will focus on learning the movement technique, using a PVC pipe or very light barbell for any barbell movements and scaling other movements to your current fitness level and ability.

Warm-up — The coach will lead the class through a warm-up to prepare for the workout.

Skill practice —The coach will lead the class through skill practice, typically related to the movements that appear later in the workout.

Workout prep — Each person will get out the equipment necessary to do the workout, such as a barbell or rowing machine.

Workout — The coach starts the clock and everyone does the workout together.

Cleanup — After the workout is over, athletes give each other fist bumps and high-fives, wipe down and put away their equipment, and meet back at the whiteboard to write down scores.


CrossFit Expedition

Keep Track of Your Score

At the end of class, you will gather at the whiteboard again to write down your score for the workout. This could either be the time you ended the workout, how many reps you completed, or the weight on your bar.

CrossFit is measurable, observable, and repeatable. We use scores to track our fitness over time, so the next time you do the same workout you can see your progress.

This is your first class, so don’t worry about comparing your score to other athletes’. This is your starting point!

Introduce Yourself to Your Classmates

A big part of CrossFit is the community. Introduce yourself to your fellow classmates. They all remember the first time they walked into a CrossFit gym and can help you acclimate to class.

This is also your time to trial the gym’s community to see if it’s the right fit for you.


CrossFit Connect

Keep an Open Mind

CrossFit is hard. We aren’t going to sugarcoat it. But that’s what makes it so empowering. You will soon be able to do things you never thought you could do before. You will be able to flip onto your hands into a handstand, climb a rope, or even get your first pull-up one day.

But it doesn’t happen overnight.

Use your first class to get a taste of CrossFit, learn more about the affiliate, and have fun. You will learn more with time.

Amber CrossFit

Next steps

Now that you have experienced your first CrossFit class, it’s time to consider signing up for a membership! If you enjoyed your class at that affiliate, the staff will help walk you through the next steps.

Related Content