Frequently Asked Questions
This is probably something best discovered for yourself, but I can tell you my experience. I studied exercise science in university and worked as a personal trainer for years before I even discovered CrossFit, so I come by it honestly. I was impressed by the fun variety of programming and the results that followed. It’s not one of those “exercise fads” as a lot of people tend to throw the name around. Unfocused difficult exercise is still a waste of time. Anyone can throw a bunch of hard exercises together with no measurable or predicted outcome. (I believe this is usually called boot-camp) True CrossFit programming is designed to increase your capacity in ALL 10 physical skills, and we will show it to you. We will expect you to learn and progress. You will always have a coach correcting, encouraging and teaching you. Anything less is leaving weak spots, literally, in your overall fitness. It is also a unique community of support, encouragement and challenge. Everyone celebrates our collective achievements and the community gets stronger as a result. At Natural Strength CrossFit you will train under a certified, qualified and experienced strength and conditioning coach who happens to be a proud member of the CrossFit community.
Other gyms require “On Ramp” sessions prior to my joining. Do I need this?+
We strongly encourage newcomers to book personal training sessions with one of our qualified coaches. We will be able to go over the necessary skills in a one-on-one or small group setting and we will be able to focus on your progress at your own pace and make sure you feel prepared before joining our group workouts. However, if you are confident or experienced you are welcome to join our regular group sessions right from the start. At Natural Strength you have a coach with you during every session who will be leading the warm-up, teaching the skill work and explaining the elements of the workout. EVERY TIME. The fact is that we have all different levels of strength and experience participating in every class, so we don’t see the need to segregate people. We certainly do identify the different skill levels and make the appropriate modifications but this is not dependent on how long you’ve been with us. It is simply based on your current abilities, and since we do this for all our members all the time, we safely welcome new-comers to join in the regular group experience. Your first few workouts will be closely monitored and reduced in volume until we get to know what you are capable of, and you get a feeling for what the workouts are like, but we all progress at different rates and each individual is encouraged to explore their full potential.
Are all CrossFit gyms the same?+
Definitely not. They can be extremely different in fact, and this has it’s good side and down side. Anyone who is excited about CrossFit can easily open an affiliate and start coaching others. This is great for the growth of the CrossFit community but it has the downside of perpetuating a problematic situation. Not all CrossFit coaches are qualified coaches. Each gym you visit will have a different “feel” based on the coaches personality and philosophy. Some will be drill instructors, some will be cheerleaders and some will be quieter. They will all hold you to a different standard, some will be strict some will be lax and some will be just plain wrong about things. (Hopefully) they will all teach you skills according to their level of knowledge, and their levels of knowledge will vary greatly. What you need to do is be an informed consumer and decide what it is that you want and see if they are offering that. Ask questions, ask about their education, their experience, try a class, see how they interact with their athletes, ask the other members how they enjoy their experience.
What is OPEN Gym?+
OPEN gym is time for you to come in and work on anything that you desire. There will be coaches present that can help you and answer questions, but there is no formal group workout at these times. It is a good time to make up something that you missed or to work on your own personal goats. You can certainly perform the workout of the day or the barbell programming during these times. OPEN gym basically means the gym is open for you to come and play however you wish :)
What about cardio? Aren’t the workouts too short?+
Our variety of programming ensures that we train ALL metabolic pathways, but if you are unsure about the cardio – please join us for a Helen, Fight Gone Bad or even Fran. Likely you’ll understand halfway through. This is not your typical “strength training” 3 sets of 10 with a walk to the water fountain and conversation in between. We are concerned with high power output, intensity driven workouts rather than longer, easy efforts. You simply gain way more benefits. Our anaerobic training will extend our aerobic capacity while the reverse is not true, so we spend more time training in the more useful zones. Shorter, more intense workouts create better, positive adaptive response. If you feel like this is not enough cardio for you (which most regulars will likely find laughable) then it is a matter of your current fitness level rather than the workout design. If you find that people around you are huffing and puffing and sweating away while you are feeling fine, then it is either because A) You are a gifted super-athlete or B) You are not working as hard as they are. Basically you get out what you put in, and if you are not strong enough or have enough stamina to maintain the intensity in a given workout, then it may feel “too easy”. For example, it’s EASY to run 400m, anyone can complete one lap around a standard track – now if I tell you to do it in 50 seconds, not so easy. You may need to build up the work capacity necessary for higher power output. YOU MUST TRY HARD and BE CONSISTENT!