Walking into a box for the first time can be intimidating — equipment you’ve never used, people you’ve never seen, and exercises you’ve never done. While these surprises are all part of the adventure, there are a few things we can tell you to expect ahead of time.
6 Things That Will Happen in Your First Class
1. Your WOD Will Look Different From What’s on the Board
This is because your coach will most likely scale it to better suit your skill level. For example, instead of spending the entire WOD trying to get one kipping pull-up, you might scale it to banded kipping pull-ups or jumping pull-ups. The idea is to give you a scaled version that’s still challenging but doable.
This is totally normal, and it’s the best direction for you as an athlete! It’s not because your coach doesn’t believe in you or think you’re capable.
2. You Might Be the Last to Finish
Again, this is 100% acceptable. Have you heard other athletes say that it’s the last person to finish who gets the biggest cheers? It’s true.
Finishing last is not a reflection of you as an athlete — aside from telling everyone that you never gave up. Do your best, and that’s all that matters.
3. You Will Try Exercises You’ve Never Even Seen
You’ve spent time in a gym, so you’ve seen it all, right? Even if you’re not the best at it, you know everything there is to know, right? Well, maybe not. Functional fitness is so challenging because it includes such a wide variety of movements — and more are being created every day. Expect the unexpected.
The biggest challenge you face during your first class might be trying to find the nerve to complete a single box jump. Don’t worry — we all go through this.
4. You Might Take a Lot of Breaks
Your body isn’t used to this kind of conditioning. Don’t fret — functional fitness isn’t supposed to be a breeze. If you have to take frequent breaks during your WOD, it doesn’t make you any lesser of an athlete. Just get back to your training as soon as you safely can, and keep a positive mindset.
5. You’ll Probably Write Your Score on the Whiteboard at the End of Class
Once the WOD is finished, your coach might have you write your score on the board, like how long it took you to complete the WOD or how many total reps you got.
You might not be thrilled with the idea of sharing your score, seeing other people who did way “better.” We promise, with certainty, nobody is judging you. Nobody is criticizing you. Nobody is laughing at you. Be proud of how well you did.
6. Other Athletes Probably Already Formed Their Groups
The people you’re training with have already made friends with each other and gravitated to their own groups. There is always room for more. Introduce yourself, make friends, and get to know the people in your box. They’re happy to see you there.
Don’t forget that most boxes require new athletes to complete an onboarding program, which means a coach will take you through some of the basics to help you begin building a sturdy foundation. Every box is different — some have onboarding programs that last a few classes, others a few weeks. Rest assured you will not be thrown into a class with zero training.
Ready to give functional fitness a shot? Good luck!