What to Expect At Your First CrossFit Workout

Most of us “CrossFitters” are not mildly into CrossFit.  The people who love CrossFit really love CrossFit… and the rest of the world seems to think we are all annoying as hell or that the “sport of fitness” is basically out to kill them.

While it certainly can be dangerous, it can also be an efficient and powerful addition to an otherwise varied exercise routine, depending on your particular fitness goals. But the intimidating nature of the most hardcore fans might keep you from knowing so.

To help take the intimidation factor down a notch, we want to give you the details on what to expect at your first workout!!

It’s Not Going To Be That Intense Right Off The Bat

When you hear about injuries due to CrossFit, at least some of the danger is a result of newbies doing too much, too soon.  The intensity in your first few months of CrossFit classes should be the last thing on your mind.  Our coaching staff will always focus on the fundamentals and the mechanics of the movements before we introduce any of the intensity.

Owners Jim Geraghty and Susanne Duato personally run every introductory class for new members (called On Ramp) where each new member is evaluated to asses their goals and current fitness level.  “We spend time getting to know each member and properly introduce our programming and philosophy.” Says owner Jim Geraghty.  Each of the two 90 minute classes that make up our “On Ramp” are designed to instruct new members on how to do most of the movements that come up in our Workout of the Day (WOD).   New members will learn and understand how to scale and modify movements; work around injuries; and generally feel safe and comfortable in their first CrossFit class.

“If you’re timid about getting started, it’s okay to take it slow. Duato says.  We show members how to modify difficult movements or scale back the volume to what is appropriate for an individuals fitness level.  – You can trust we are not in business to cripple you!” Duato adds.

But You Will Work Hard

Burpees for Badasses 2015Although we won’t have you doing the most advanced moves in your first few classes, we do expect you to work hard!  Intensity is a relative term for every person, but hard work is what gets results, says Duato, so don’t expect it to be too easy, either.

Think of your first CrossFit workout the way you would think of your first week at a new job. In those early days, everything you do is tiring because everything is new — yet a couple months later you are in the groove and feeling much more confident about your abilities.   You’re going to be tired and you’re going to be sore, but those are important reminders that you put your body through new positions.  We encourage most new members to come 3 times a week.  Listen to their bodies and take rest days!

There’s This Thing Called A WOD

CrossFit workouts vary by day, and as such they are called the WOD, or workout of the day.

Classes are generally structured around the WOD.   Most include 10 to 15 minutes warming up and 10 to 15 minutes honing certain skills for the workout that’s coming up. The workouts may contain a strength element and then a conditioning workout afterword that usually lasts 10-20 minutes.

There Are Nine Basic Movements

There are nine fundamental movements to master first. Those moves are: air squat (without the bar), front squat, overhead squat, shoulder press, push press, push jerk, deadlift, sumo deadlift high pull and medicine ball clean. These 9 exercises are things we do all the time in our everyday life.  For example,  picking things up off the ground and standing up with them (Deadlift) ; Sitting to standing (Air Squat).   Most people don’t realize that our bodies are wired to perform these multi jointed movements and we do them almost everyday.  Our CrossFit program utilizes these foundational movements among many others (rowing, jump rope, sled push, rope climbing, heavy carries, gymnastics movements and olympic lifting for example).

Susanne Duato makes a point to highlight CrossFit’s scalability.  “I tell our new members not to be afraid if the posted workout of the day (WOD) has movements they may find intimidating.” says Duato.   CrossFit110 teaches each new member there is no expectation that they perform the movements in a WOD exactly the way they are written.    “Our coaches are familiar and eager to guide and instruct members on the best variations of exercises for all members to get the most out of each workout safely and effectively.” concludes Duato.

You Want A Good Coach


Owner Jim Geraghty says that he and his partner Susanne Duato work hard to make each and every member feel safe & cared about.  “We instill the importance of connecting to members in our coaching staff and our community.” says Geraghty.   “We want our members to feel we are invested in who they are as a person, and what drives them.”

“The importance of a having great coaches on staff can’t be emphasized enough.” states Geraghty.  “Quality coaching and programming is paramount to the success and safety of our members.” he adds.   “We seek out highly motivated, experienced coaches and we are extremely proud of the team we have built here at CrossFit110. ”

CrossFit110’s primary coaching staff has advanced level2 CrossFit certifications along with advanced college degrees; certified personal training certifications and many CrossFit specialty certifications.  We pride ourselves on our deep knowledge base and experience as fitness professionals and CrossFit coaches.  Meet our staff.

The Gym Is Called A Box

Crossfit Burpees 1.31.15 078 (deleted 5b7ded3fccfc21dfcc51d1e994aa1119)CrossFit gyms are not your typical fluffy amenity-filled gym — there are no fancy bathrooms, walls of mirrors, magazine racks, smoothie bars, or TV screens or treadmills.  “Most CrossFit gyms have a more “rugged feel” says Susanne Duato.

“We have 6000 square feet of space, with lots of room to move around.  Essentially its an open box, and that is just the way we like it!”  says Duato.  We choose to spend our money on quality coaching and programming and ensuring we have plenty of quality equipment to provide the best results.  We leave the fluffy stuff to the Globo gyms.”  she concludes.


Be Prepared To Get At Least A Little Competitive

CrossFit110 encourages members to keep score of repetitions completed or weight lifted during class in their member tracking system called WODIFY. There are two benefits to this friendly competition. First, it allows you to track your personal progress with a more concrete measure. Members can look back at past performance and graph and measure their progress.

“Keeping score also helps our members push themselves just a little bit more,” says Duato.  As members get to know one another in class they find others who are at similar fitness levels.  It is always important to have short term and long term goals. ”  Susanne says.   “If my friend is there and we’re at relatively the same fitness level, and she did 25 reps, I might try that much harder to make that happen,” she says.   “That’s by no means the goal, but a little competition gives you an edge that you just won’t get doing the same moves alone at home.”

Wear Comfy Clothes

Anything you can move in will work.  I usually encourage new members to wear a “flatter” sneaker is usually best.   A big cushiony heel could throw off your balance for some of the movements we program in our classes.

It’s not as expensive as you might think!

One of the major complaints against CrossFit is the high price tag, but “you get what you pay for,” says Duato. If you’re looking for a premium product, expect to pay a premium price, she says. “Often once a new member sees how much time, effort and expertise we put into our programming and our coaching and begin to see the amazing results they realize the great value they get for the price. ”  says Susanne.  “As a personal trainer I used to charge $80 to $100/hour for  private sessions with clients.”  I still provide the same level of coaching as I always did, with better results.” says Duato.   ” In addition members love the amazing community aspect here which is unlike anything they would get at a typical gym or a few personal training sessions each month,” she says.

Many people spend a good deal of time at their gyms. Going 5-7days a week for 1-2 hours at a time without getting the results they are working hard for.  Here at CrossFit110 coming three times a week will certainly give you results, and working up to 4-5 can bring radical, life-changing results.  “I have worked in a lot of gyms and tried a lot of different programs in my time. However,  I can honestly say I have never seen the kind of body composition changes on such a large scale as I have since opening our CrossFit gym 4 years ago”  says Duato.

The results people get doing CrossFit is one of the reasons there’s such a strong sense of community among CrossFit devotees. I believe this “cult-like reputation we get is simply the result of the unity and the relationships that are built from doing something hard….together.  Our members are very close and those friendships were built out of the shared experiences, the  highs and lows — the frustrations and the great successes says Duato.

Anyone Can Do It

“One thing people don’t truly grasp is that CrossFit is really a universally scalable program,” says Duato. Beginners might think of it as too intense or only for the super-fit, but we have 60 year old members doing things they never thought possible.  Members who have come off the couch who never worked out in their lives and lost 50 to 100 lbs and get their first pull up or complete their first 5K. “Anyone can do CrossFit,” says Duato. “but it’s not for everybody.”

For anyone looking to get more information on CrossFit?

Call us at (978) 455-2417 or email us at admin@crossfit110.com

We have FREE TRIAL classes that run every Saturday at 8am – designed to give members not familiar with CrossFit a chance to “try before you buy”.

If you are ready to get started then Congratulations!!  We would love to register you for our weekly On Ramp classes (required for all new members who have not done CrossFit before) by emailing us at admin@crossfit110.com.

We have a GETTING STARTED SPECIAL rate for new members.  $59 for your first month of CrossFit (includes 2 on ramp classes). 

About the author

Susanne Duato