Common Mistakes Beginners Make with CrossFit

CrossFit, and fitness in general, is such a fast growing area these days. More and more people hop on the CrossFit wagon and learn about all the GREAT benefits it has to offer every week.

I’ve been teaching and training CrossFit and olympic lifting for a long time now and I’ve watched hundreds of people walk in the door and take up this challenge. Some quit after just a few weeks , and I’ve seen other athletes train everyday and see minimal results. I’ve seen tons of mistakes too, mostly by beginners. These mistakes can really hurt your progress and even lead you down injury road.

Here’s a list of the thing I feel are some of the biggest mistakes beginners in CrossFit make:

  1. Trying to go too fast too soon

Many of our members have a strong background in athletics or some sort of fitness or cardio (running) training. Which is absolutely great. However, this can make you too overly confident, get you super antsy and having you jump the gun on your training. I know, you want to grow as fast as you can…but it’s a trap.

Going too fast out the gate won’t allow you the time to learn technique and proper mechanics for a lot of the things we do. Just know how to move properly will significantly help you with working out. In addition, if you’re not prepared for a high intensity workout, like CrossFit, you’re setting yourself up for injury. I make it a point to take all of our beginners through our Foundations Class, which is basically a beginners session to teach you the basics of CrossFit.

2. Over training

It’s not super rare to find someone in any CrossFit gym that trains 7 days a week. Even if you’re an experienced CrossFitter, I consider this over doing it. Over training can lead to burning yourself out and injury. Stick to this general rule for rest days: 3 days on, 1 day off.


CrossFit is a constantly varied program with different exercises each day. Workouts aim at testing and working on various aspects of strength, flexibility, agility, speed, power…etc… A common mistake that many beginners will make is choosing exercises that they find most interesting or the easiest ones for them and ignoring the others or the ones they find challenging.

Skipping any of your workouts will affect the usefulness of the program you’re paying for. As a result, some individuals will spend a lot of time doing CrossFit but with little or no results to show…mostly because you skipped that assault bike day the past 17 times. Working on your weaknesses is just as important as improving your strengths.

4. Not Doing Mobility

I don’t know how many times I have to tell people how important mobility is. Mobility work WILL increase your movement. Having better movement will increase your range of motion, allowing for faster and better recovery which is vital for success in any program. PLEASE give mobility and flexibility the time they need after class.

5. Competition

Thinking that everything is a competition is another mistake that CrossFit beginners tend to make. Competition can challenge you to work harder, it is not always good when starting out because it could lead you down the road of over training or trying to do things too fast. Especially if you’re trying to beat everyones scores 2 weeks in.

Don’t focus on how many reps everyone else did, how much more weight they lifted than you or any of that garbage. Remember why you started in the first place, to learn something new. The competition can come later, trust me on this one.