What Should I Expect From a CrossFit Class?

What Should I Expect From a CrossFit Class?

If you’re just about to head off to your very first CrossFit class, or you’re considering it, we’ve got a few tips and insights to help you hit the ground running. Lets start with some basics.

What is CrossFit?

CrossFit is the brand name for a type of . There are benchmark workouts, used to measure progress, but no two CrossFit workouts are ever exactly the same. Constantly varied, functional fitness, that’s the goal.

A typical CrossFit class is divided into three parts:

The warm-up

Most CrossFit boxes will, or should, take warming up seriously. When you go diving into barbells and burpees, swinging around and jumping on boxes, it’s a good idea to make sure your body is ready for it, no matter how experienced you are. CrossFit classes usually last an hour, and it’s common to spend up to twenty minutes stretching and doing dynamic warm-up exercises. We recommend getting fully involved in this part.


Next comes the strength element. It could be squats, pressing, deadlift, snatch. Every coach programmes differently, of course, but the strength portion of the class normally focuses on refining technique, and building strength in both volume, and working towards a one-rep maximum — a personal best.


The Workout of the Day (WOD) or Metcon (metabolic conditioning) part of the class is where you get to test out your strength, stamina and skill. The combination options for WODs are endless, and really, that’s one of the main draws of CrossFit. If you’re someone who gets bored doing the same thing at the gym, rejoice, because with CrossFit, you’ll do something new every day.

Workouts might be 7 minutes long, or 30 minutes long, and structured either ‘for time’ or in an ‘as many rounds as possible’ way. A typical, mid-length WOD might look like this:

  • 15 minutes, complete as many rounds as possible:
  • 10 deadlift
  • 10 burpees over the bar
  • 50 double-unders with a jump rope

Some common CrossFit terminology:

WOD – Workout of the Day
AMRAP – As many rounds/reps as possible
Metcon: Metabolic conditioning (used to refer to the workout itself)
For time: Complete the workout as quickly as possible
PB: Personal best
1RM: One-rep maximum (most you can lift for one rep)
Box: CrossFit gyms are known as Boxes (because they used to be very small)
Percentage: Most strength work will be done using a percentage of your 1RM
Hero: Hero WODs are especially challenging, and named after deceased servicemen
HSPU: Handstand push-up
DU: Double-under (jump rope passes under your feet twice on every jump)
TTB: Toes-to-bar (a gymnastics movement)
Kipping: Using the hips to generate momentum on pull ups

How much should I expect to pay?

CrossFit memberships are more expensive than regular gym memberships, because you’re paying for daily professional programming and coaching, as well as the use of expensive equipment. Monthly memberships range from around £50 for 2-3 days/week, to upwards of £120 for unlimited.

What should I bring to my first class?

Nothing too fancy. You’ll need sturdy shoes, some water, a towel and some kind of recovery snack, like a protein shake, or something from the FitBites Online Shop.