What is the Foundations Course all about? What will I learn there? Why can’t I just start working out with the rest of the group? I’m very fit!

FCCF is committed to three tenets: Technique, Intensity, and Community. However, without proper Technique, you won’t be able to transition to performing with great Intensity. It’s the way we keep you safe from injury. The FCCF Foundations course will not only give you a good sweat, but it will instill the proper mechanics to keep you safe and in the long run allow you to lift more efficiently and heavier as well as some book knowledge on why CrossFit is so effective and why nutrition is key to your physique and your power output. We won’t forget teaching you about mobility as well, to keep you active and injury free for years to come. I appreciate you’re ready to get going and we’ll always consider fast tracking you, but we have to ensure that any bad habits you’ve gotten by not working with a coach in the past. You may have an injury just waiting to happen with 100 more bad reps! By completing the Foundations course you’re also letting the rest of the athletes know that you’ve assimilated proper technique and you’re ready for the intensity of a WOD.

Is CrossFit a sport?

Originally, it was meant to supplement your life and make you better at your other activities. However, is has, itself, turned into the Sport of Fitness. CrossFit has its own CrossFit Games with everyone having a fair and equal chance of making it to the elite finals. Over 190,000 athletes participated this year!

Do I have to train every day in CrossFit?

No, we encourage you to train intensely but also rest periodically to recover from the exertions as well. It’s vital to keeping you healthy and allowing you to push next time to new personal bests. Over-training is something we discourage because it does not help you achieve your fitness or health goals and increases the risk of injury. We recommend either a 3 days on, 1 day off approach, but we find that a 5 days on, 2 days off works better with most people’s schedules.

Is it true that CrossFit is only for elite athletes, firefighters, military and police?

Absolutely not. Anyone can gain from the benefits of CrossFit. It is true that CrossFit was initially designed as a fitness program for firefighters, military and police who needed to have a level of fitness to be ready for anything (what we call the unknowable and unknown). This level of fitness allows them to not only be able to save their own lives, but other lives as well. Everyone can benefit from being stronger, faster and more functional.

What does Scalable mean?

It means we can adapt the work out to suit your, or anyone’s, level of fitness and ability. Scaled according to your ability!

What does WOD refer to? I hear everyone using it.

WOD, or Workout of the Day, is the list of exercises for a given day. Since CrossFit is constantly varied, everyone is always anticipating what tomorrows will be.

I heard that CrossFit is too challenging for someone like me. Is that true?

One of my favorite quotes is this: “If you think you can’t do something, you can’t.” The person who told you CrossFit was too challenging for you might not be up for the challenge, but I’m guessing you’re reading this because other options have failed you in the past. The answer to your question is a resounding “No.” One of the beauties of CrossFit is that it is infinitely scalable, which means that we can tailor any movement we ask our members to do to meet your current level of fitness. Every new member will talk to a Coach about your health history, current body issues, and your short and long term goals so that we can help you reach them. Turns out that both Olympians and Grandmas can benefit from CrossFit, the only difference is the prescribed scale for the movements.

What should I expect in my first workout session?

Fun for one. Learning something new for another. Saturday classes are normally Team Workouts of the Day (WoDs), so you’ll be paired with one of our veteran members who’ll help show you the ropes once initial instruction is concluded. Foundations will have you surrounded by other’s new to CrossFit as well. In each case, there will be a full body warm-up that we will walk you through. During Foundations, you’ll get a little “chalk talk” first, before the warm up. Then we’ll go through the technique of the movements in preparation of the day’s work and any extra mobility work needed. And then we’ll sweat. Coaches will be on hand to ensure you are moving properly in line with the technique we just showed you so you stay SAFE. After, there’ll be mobility work to ensure you remain flexible and injury free.

What makes it so different from all the other stuff out there (park bootcamps, P90X, gyms) that tells me it will get me in shape?

Admittedly, most of our functional movements and exercises aren’t ground-breaking or new. However, the way we mix them up and combine that with knowledgeable eyes-on coaching, mobility and nutrition advice is NEW. If you’re working out at home, you risk bad technique and probably not pushing your strength potential. At an ordinary bootcamp, they vary exercises, but gaining real strength may be an issue as well as certified coaching. Gyms, may give you all the great equipment, but can you drop it if it gets too heavy? Or have the ability to gauge your intensity? Is the coaching affordable? Is there enough equipment available and is laid out so that you can maintain intensity safely? Is anyone talking to you about nutrition? Simply stated: our dose of exercise programming is the most potent out there. Why do you have to wait to get in shape?

I heard from my gym that CrossFit can hurt you, is this true?

Yes and no. First, consider the source, they don’t want you to leave and they’ll plant fear to further their gains. OK, so onto answering the actual issue, not dodging it. ANYTHING you do in life can injure you if you don’t do it correctly, or haven’t taken into consideration your level of fitness, flexibility or health. If you’re spending too much time on the couch right now, that’s hurting you, too! Runner’s get shin splints, tennis players get tennis elbows, strength trainers get strains, basketball players get sprained ankles, and couch potatoes get obesity, high blood pressure and coronaries. At FCCF we will instill Technique BEFORE Intensity. We will keep you safe by having a watchful eye on you during your entire WOD. By increasing your strength and flexibility, we will actually make it harder for you to get hurt! CrossFit done properly, is both safe and potent.

For the kind of money you are asking for, why don’t I just go find a Personal Trainer?

You could do that, but you’d end up paying a great deal more. Let’s say you find someone that’s willing to train you for $25/session and we’ll even go as far to say that they have every piece of equipment that you’ll find at FCCF. Even if you only go 3 times a week (we encourage 4+), that’s $300 per month, well over our price. Also, you probably wouldn’t get the camaraderie, competitive push, and/or the support that you’ll feel working with others in a group setting. If you finish first, you’re still expected to support everyone else that is still working. So, when you’re done, you’re not really done!

Why are you better than my gym?

The business model for most franchised gyms (we call them “globo-gyms”) is they want you to sign up and never come in. You may get a tour of the gym, or a quick overview of the equipment with a trainer, but, you’re on your own after the first one-hour session. They aren’t there to ensure technique is good when the weight gets heavy or you get tired. Further, you are as accountable to us as we are to you! We believe in earning your loyalty, that’s why we don’t charge initiation fees. WE WILL EARN YOUR BUSINESS EVERY DAY. If you haven’t come in in a week, we notice. So will the members you’ve grown accustomed to working out with. Expect a call or an email, or even a friendly call out on Facebook, if you haven’t been coming in! Of course, there will ALWAYS be a coach watching form in our classes. This leads to less injuries and the confidence to best your previous efforts. Plus, you can drop the bars and weights on the floor at FCCF. Our floors and weights are made for it!

I heard CrossFit is a cult.

No, if you have to call it something, call it a tribe. Cults tend to follow blindly to a leader, tribes work together to the group’s benefit. We do tend to be passionate about what we’ve found though because it works so well and so potently for seemingly all body types and walks of life. What makes us different from the normal corporate chain, or “globo” gym experience is that we develop a community spirit based on encouraging each other to succeed. We support and push each other in our efforts to achieve our goals. There is never any shame in finishing dead last in a work out as you’ve already beaten everyone that decided to stay on the couch that day. We are all in this together and that’s what makes CrossFit so addictive to so many people. Besides, you will be amazed at your new level of fitness and your awesome new body. You may find yourself spouting the virtues of what you found not long after you start as well!

What is CrossFit?

It’s a workout methodology based on constantly-varied high intensity movements that help everyday life. Why it works is because your body never adapts to any one movement thereby keeping the effect of any given day’s workout at maximum – and you never get bored. The intensity that everyone takes part in ends up galvanizing our supportive community.

Can you help me lose weight?

A lot of people think they can get to their weight-loss goals just by working out. We make clear that working out provides a foundation for weight loss and for healthy bodies, but weight loss is primarily about eating right. We direct clients to resources that can help them eat right.

Your workouts contain push-ups and pull-ups. I can’t do a single one of either. How can I work out with you?

Lots of people can’t do a push-up or a pull-up. We decrease the load, change the angle, provide some supported analogue of a pull-up, so that even the most deconditioned person, or elderly people, or children, who start off not being able to do a pull-up eventually can do a pull-up. It’s about progression and starting with what the client can do, and working in reasonable steps toward what the goal is. It doesn’t really matter how long it takes. It just matters that steady increments of progress are made.

What should I expect when I arrive at the gym for my first session?

Expect to see a gym that’s not typical, in a really fun way. You’ll see some different equipment, such as kettlebells, pull-up bars, parallel bars, and Olympic-style weightlifting equipment. Athletes are the machines! The great thing is you will be trained and coached on all these things. And you’ll see people having fun and working hard!

What would you say to people who are nervous about the intensity or about being coached?

If you’re not used to a strenuous workout, that’s perfectly fine. The trainers have a way of pushing you appropriately and backing off. Some people aren’t used to having a lot of stress on their body, and that’s okay. This is the kind of training that will let you progress in strength and work capacity. As for the trainers, their job is to make sure you get the training you need to progress, and they have years of experience with these exercises, so their suggestions are valuable. If you do the hard work of working out, you’ll be surprised how fast you progress.

What if I can’t squat because of knee problems or some other problem?

Lots of people can’t squat properly. Generally, the knee and hip problems people have are caused by the fact that they didn’t know how to squat right. So by changing the range of motion or decreasing the load, providing whatever the advantage is that they need to begin to squat properly, we start to strengthen the proper muscles and help the client start to obtain the proper range of motion and almost without exception, this fixes the knee and hip problems. Sometimes we talk instead about sitting down and standing up. Everybody has been able to sit in a chair. So we stack mats under them to limit the range of motion to that of sitting in a chair, or even less, so that we can start building the squat. It’s such a fundamental movement that we absolutely have to address it. We have to get a decent movement pattern with the squat.

I’m worried about over training injuries from the exercises you use, which are new to me. How do you prevent injury?

Over-use injuries are unlikely because we vary the exercises so much between workouts and even within a workout. We’ll combine a push with a pull, an extension with a flexion. Proper range of motion reduces the chance of other injuries. For example, in weight-supporting exercises like the push-press, thrusters, and even push-ups, if you lock out the arms at full extension like you’re supposed to, you are supporting the weight properly. The coaches are there to make sure you use good form. When you can do a full range of motion, then you need to be doing a full range of motion. When you can’t, we use modifications to support the movement and slowly increase the range without putting strain on other joints. Joint mobility drills, done without weight, can relieve tension on tight muscles and connective tissues.

I play sports. Why shouldn’t I just practice my sport and skip these extra workouts?

Our primary goal is not training people in a specialized way for a sport. What we do is help you build a solid foundation of athleticism, no matter where you start or where your fitness level is. You’re going to do better at your sport once you’ve learned how to move like an athlete, using your hips and legs, the strongest parts of your body. You can get more value out of sport-specific training with the foundation of work capacity, strength, and flexibility that we train. A sport coach might not address basic problems like tight hamstrings. CrossFit workouts reveal weaknesses you might not have found another way, and address them. For example, one client was a surf-ski paddler, and we found he wasn’t using his hips properly in paddling. He had been unable to progress beyond a certain point in his sport because he wasn’t using his hips, and we were able to identify and address that basic issue. Another client is getting more serious about his swimming. That training wouldn’t do him as much good without a full range of motion in his shoulders, and strength through the whole range. Before he started working on shoulder flexibility, tight shoulders prevented him from being able to do the swim stroke through its full range without pain. And that can lead to injury. We’re not training muscles and strength for their own sake. What we’re doing is training movement—movement that lets people enjoy whatever it is they’re doing, whether it’s high level sports, gardening, or cleaning out the garage. That kind of work is all about lifting, twisting, carrying, pushing, stacking, the full range of human movement. We train people to move their bodies effectively, powerfully, athletically, pain-free. And movement is fun.