Frequently Asked Questions

Basics
Gym Policies
Class Structure and Participation
Exercise and Training Questions
Nutrition

Basics

Do I have to be in good shape to do CrossFit?
Is CrossFit too intense for me?
What do all these acronyms mean? AMRAP, WOD, EMOM, etc. I am confused.
Do I need to visit the website once I am a member?
How do I sign up for class?
What is the best way to keep track of my results from the workout?
How do I sign up for Beyond the Whiteboard?

Gym Policies

What is the Attendance Policy?
What is your policy for showing up late?
What if the class I want to go to is full?
Can I bring a friend with me?
Can I drop in for a class?
Can I put my membership on hold if I am going out of town?

Class Structure and Participation

Is there any way to find out what the day’s workout will be before I show up?
Why do we do a warm-up and how does it work?
What do you mean by Strength WOD and Skills Practice?
I am a woman and I am worried the weightlifting will make me bulky. Will CrossFit make me look too muscular?
Why do we do so many squats? Aren’t they bad for your knees?
I have no desire to compete in the Olympics, why do I need to do the Olympic Lifts?
Is coming to class enough of a workout for a day? It seems too short to be sufficient.
I’m not a gymnast, why do I need to worry about these gymnastics moves?
What’s the point of all this conditioning?
Why do we do a cool down and how does it work?
If I come in during a class time and don’t want to do the WOD can I do something else?
What if I can’t or don’t know how to do a certain exercise and it’s part of the WOD? Should I still come in or wait for a different day?
What’s the difference between 5×5 and 5-5-5-5-5 during the strength WOD?
What if I can’t use the prescribed weight?
Do you include the weight of the bar when the WOD calls for a specific weight?
What is a Tabata?
What is the difference between a pull-up and a chin-up?

Exercise and Training Questions

If I’m injured should I stay at home and rest or can I still come in and workout?
How do I find out about upcoming gym events?
Where do I sign up for the activities outside of the normal WOD?
How many bathrooms and showers do you have?
Can I get private training?
My hands hurt from the pull-ups, can I wear gloves?
I got a bad blister on my hand, what should I do to take care of my hands?
Can I bring in my own jump rope? If so, where do I buy them?
Does it matter what kind of shoes I wear?
Should I have weightlifting shoes and a weightlifting belt?

Nutrition

What should I eat?
What supplements do you recommend?
When should I eat in regards to the WOD?

 

Basics

Do I have to be in good shape to do CrossFit?

NO. People of all ages, sizes and abilities are members of our gym because we cater each workout to the individual. You are coming in to get in great shape and we will make sure you reach your goals. Please don’t be apprehensive about joining because of your current fitness level, we will make sure the whole experience is welcoming and fun. We will also make sure your increase in intensity is gradual so it’s not too much for you at first.

 

Is CrossFit too intense for me?

NO. CrossFit works best when you are pushing yourself to your limits, but that doesn’t mean it’s too intense for anyone. We cater each and every workout to the individual, their level of fitness and their goals. We will make sure you are working hard, but also within your personal limits. The beauty of scaling the WOD is that an olympic athlete and a retiree can be in the same class and both getting a great workout.

 

What do all these acronyms mean? AMRAP, WOD, EMOM, etc. I am confused.

We all have been new to CrossFit at some point and have had to learn the lingo so don’t feel bad. Here is a short list of acronyms and their meaning:

WOD – Workout Of the Day
AMRAP – As Many Rounds/Reps As Possible
EMOM – Every Minute On the Minute
PR – Personal Record
Rep – Repetition of an exercise
Rx – As prescribed; refers to doing a workout exactly as written without scaling
SDHP – Sumo Deadlift High Pull, this is an exercise that you will learn in Fundamentals
Set – a number of repetitions; can be seen as 3×5 (3 sets of 5 repetitions, do a set of 5, rest, do a set of 5, rest do a set of 5)

 

Do I need to visit the website once I am a member?

We definitely encourage you to visit the website as much as possible. We’d love you to check it out each day because we are constantly updating and adding information to the website. Each day we will post the WOD and also write some brief words to either help you with the WOD, give you inspiration, teach you something new and many other topics. Over time we will also be adding more and more videos to our database of exercise explanations so it’s always a good idea to watch those.

 

How do I sign up for class?

To sign up for a class you need to be a paying member and have a login/password for ZenPlanner. For more details on what Zen Planner is, how you can access it online and on your mobile phone, and how it works click here.  Don’t worry about the ZenPlanner account because once you sign up to be a member we will create your account and get you all set up. Once you have your account you can go to our schedule on the website or on your mobile phone and click on the class you want to sign up for. Be sure to read our attendance policy so you know when you can sign up for the different classes.

 

What is the best way to keep track of my results from the workout?

We recommend and offer a free service called Beyond the Whiteboard as well as their Beyond the Whiteboard app. This is basically a digital training log where you can post your results, compare your results to other gym members and track your progress over time. There are other apps out there where you can type in the WOD and your results, but the great thing about Beyond the Whiteboard is we input the WOD for you. All you have to do is log your results and the program does the analysis for you. If you are old school, you can keep a paper workout log too, but we recommend Beyond the Whiteboard due to it’s ease of use, methods of accessibility and quick reference.

 

How do I sign up for Beyond the Whiteboard?

Send us an email at info@crossfitswitch.com requesting to become a member of Beyond the Whiteboard and we will send you an invitation along with instructions on how to join.

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Gym Policies

What is the Attendance Policy?

Click for the full attendance policy. The quick answer is that we want you to sign up for class ahead of time, show up 5-10 minutes early and sign in once you arrive. If you sign up for a class and can’t make it, please cancel the reservation as soon as possible to help other members.

 

What is your policy for showing up late?

If you show up late for a class you have signed up for do a warm-up on your own and work into the class.

 

What if the class I want to go to is full?

If the class you want to go to is full then you can add yourself to the wait list and if a slot opens up you will be notified. There are also other time slots that you are welcome to sign up for. If there is only one time slot you can attend and it is full, just let us know and we will let you join the full class.

 

Can I bring a friend with me?

You are always welcome to bring a friend as long as they have some CrossFit experience and sign a waiver when they arrive. We don’t like to have absolute beginners in the regular class because we don’t have time to teach them the exercises enough to ensure they do not get injured. If you want to bring in someone to join our gym then they are welcome to sign up for our Free Intro Class or our Free Saturday Workout. This will provide them with the best possible first time experience, explanation of CrossFit and ensure they learn all the exercises properly.

 

Can I drop in for a class?

Yes, anyone can drop in for a class or more as long as they are an experienced CrossFitter.  Drop-in cost is $20 or you can pay $25 which includes a free t-shirt.  To drop in, you need to sign up and  reserve a class which can all be done on line via this link.  Click on the class you’d like to go to and fill out the appropriate information.  Please arrive at the class a bit early as you’ll need to complete a waiver before participating.  Dropping in is a great way to stay active during the holidays or when traveling and we welcome it!

Can I put my membership on hold if I am going out of town?

Yes, as long as you are going to be out of town for more 15 days or more. Just let us know in writing the dates that you will be gone and we will put your membership on hold until you get back. Once you arrive back in town your membership will continue as previously established.

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Class Structure and Participation

Is there any way to find out what the day’s workout will be before I show up?

Yes, every evening we post the next day’s WOD on the WOD Blog in our website. Knowing that the workout will be hard or contain exercises you don’t like isn’t a valid reason for not showing up. We post the WOD so you can research the exercises before you show up if you don’t know them and to also allow you to follow the programming if you are out of town.

 

Why do we do a warm-up and how does it work?

We spend the first 10-15 minutes of the class doing a dynamic warm-up and exercise practice. It will vary, but usually begin with dynamic drill such as high kicks, high knees, butt kicks, side stepping, jumping jacks and many other exercises. These are designed to literally warm your body up, loosen your joints, get your synovial fluid moving and prepare you for the WOD. The exercise practice will be specific to the WOD and this is to target the specific muscles that will be used as well as ensure you have the proper form down before the WOD.

 

What do you mean by Strength WOD and Skills Practice?

Once we have completed our warm-up we will move into either a Strength WOD or Skills Practice. Determining what we will do is based off our programming methodology and just know that regardless of how often you come or what days you choose to come, you will get a great variety of Strength WODs and Skills Practice. The purpose of the Strength WOD is literally to make us stronger. This doesn’t mean we are going to make you a body builder or a powerlifter, we want to increase your strength so you can utilize heavier weights and perform more repetitions during the WOD. The purpose of the Skills Practice is to work on those difficult skills that are sometimes present in the WOD. We will have a set skill to practice, but you are welcome to work on something else if you already have that skill down.

 

I am a woman and I am worried the weightlifting will make me bulky. Will CrossFit make me look too muscular?

NO. Women have very low levels of testosterone, which is a major hormone responsible for building muscles. Unless you have abnormally high levels of testosterone or are taking anabolic steroids then you will not look muscular from weightlifting. Additionally, you would have to be consuming an extreme excess of calories. If you would still like to read more about this, here are a couple links that talk about women’s inability to get bulky.

 

Why do we do so many squats? Aren’t they bad for your knees?

We do so many squats because they are the king of all exercises and the most beneficial exercise for total body fitness. No other exercise recruits as many muscles and has such an impact on the central nervous system. Contrary to very old popular belief, squats are not bad for your knees. Not only are squats NOT bad for your knees, they are actually very good for your knees. Squats will strengthen your stabilizer muscles around the knee which will greatly aid in knee health and stability. Squats also develop your quadricep (front of the leg) and hamstring (back of the leg) evenly so there aren’t muscle imbalances that lead to knee and hip injuries. The idea that squats are bad for your knees originated from a single, old study done and it was adopted by the populace without any skepticism. It has since been refuted time and time again, even the scientist who did the study now agrees that squats are good for the knees.

 

I have no desire to compete in the Olympics, why do I need to do the Olympic Lifts?

The Olympic Lifts are the Snatch, Clean and Jerk. We do these exercises because they are powerful, multi-joint movements. Yes, the odds that you will have to snatch an object in your daily life are slim, but we don’t do them because of their functionality. We do the Olympic Lifts because of their benefit in total body strength and conditioning. There are no lifts faster and more powerful than the Olympic Lifts. All facts aside, they are just plain fun too!!!!

 

Is coming to class enough of a workout for a day? It seems too short to be sufficient.

Short answer, YES. When you come in for a class you are receiving a thorough warmup, strength or skills portion, a WOD and a thorough cool down including mobility improvement. This is more than enough for the common person to get in the best shape of their life. Even if you took out the strength portion and just did the WOD, which typically lasts 15-20 minutes, then you would be getting a great workout with no need to do additional work. Often times people will do more workouts on their own and this can often lead to overtraining and injuries. You come in to our gym, receive a high intensity workout, and now your job is to eat properly and rest so that your body can recover. The workouts that we do are anaerobic and we do anaerobic workouts because they are the best way to increase strength, conditioning and aerobic conditioning simultaneously.

Many people think the measure of a good workout is the amount of sweat you produce or your heart rate and this is not a good way to look at fitness. There are so many additional factors involved in truly measuring the effect of a great workout, plus you don’t even need to workout to get those effects. I lived in South Mississippi for about 2 years and I can tell you that during the summer there is no need to workout if you want to sweat, all you have to do is stand outside in the 100 degree 100% humidity. Additionally, your heart rate can be increased due to anxiety, arousal or excitement, none of which improve your level of fitness.

The only times I recommend additional work outside of the gym is if you are training for a specific sport. In that case you will want to work on your sport specific skills as well.

Here is a great 15 minute video with Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit, discussing Anaerobic vs. Aerobic conditioning.
Anaerobic vs Aerobic lecture video

 

I’m not a gymnast, why do I need to worry about these gymnastics moves?

When we talk about gymnastics we aren’t talking about what you see when watching the Olympics. You will not show up to our gym and be expected to do triple backflips and twirl around on a balance beam. When we refer to gymnastics we mean any exercise in which you are manipulating your body weight. This means pull-ups, sit-ups, push-ups, dips, squats without weight, muscle-ups, etc. Some of these are easy to learn and execute and some are tough to learn and execute. We do them because the ability to manipulate your bodyweight in different ways is the purest form of strength and fitness. It teaches and develops tremendous core strength while doing it in a manner than can be conducted anywhere.

 

What’s the point of all this conditioning?

This is referring to the WOD, Workout Of the Day, and this is the core of our program. The WOD is the crucial piece to the puzzle that is getting you in the best shape of your life. The conditioning is what will develop your cardiorespiratory endurance so you can walk of a flight of stairs without getting out of breath, play with your kids in the yard without having to quit early, run a 5k race for charity and much more. The conditioning will also build your muscular endurance so you can endure those long hours at the plant or carry your child around when they are too young or too tired to walk. Without the conditioning portion we would just be strong people who can’t use our strength for anything because we tire too quickly.

 

Why do we do a cool down and how does it work?

When we cool down we aren’t necessarily getting cool, you could do that by sitting in your car with the AC on. What we are doing in the cool down is developing our flexibility, mobility and working to prevent injury and soreness. The cool down will typically last for 10-15 minutes and will be comprised of static stretching, dynamic stretching and mobility work. We will take a lot of our mobility work from Mobility WOD, which is an amazing resource for keeping your body supple and mobile. This will help prevent some of the muscle soreness that is inevitable and to keep you flexible so you can avoid injury in the future.

 

If I come in during a class time and don’t want to do the WOD can I do something else?

Yes and no. If you want to come in and work on some movements that won’t interfere with the class going on, then you are more than welcome. If there is a trainer present at the gym, no class is being taught and you want to come in to work on some movements, then you are more than welcome. But when you come to workout we want you to do the WOD. We have a detailed programming process that is designed to give you the best results possible. You are always more than welcome to provide comments or requests for workouts and we will listen to every comment.

 

What if I can’t or don’t know how to do a certain exercise and it’s part of the WOD? Should I still come in or wait for a different day?

We absolutely want you to come in regardless of whether you are injured or don’t know how to do a specific movement. Let us know what injury you have and we will tell you how to adjust the workout to not stress the injury. Working out an injury is great for the healing process as long as it is done properly. We will ensure you do it properly so you can get back after it as soon as possible. If you don’t know how to do a certain movement don’t worry. This won’t happen very often because you will receive instruction on the exercises used most in our WODs, but from time to time we will work in a new exercise to change things up. When this happens we will make sure to go over it well enough in the warm-up so that nobody will have questions about it during the WOD. If at any time you aren’t feeling comfortable with a certain exercise please let us know, we are very approachable.

 

What’s the difference between 5×5 and 5-5-5-5-5 during the strength WOD?

When the strength WOD is written as 5×5, that means you should pick a weight and stick with it for 5 sets of 5 reps. When the strength WOD is written as 5-5-5-5-5 that means you should increase the weight with each set of 5 reps.

 

What if I can’t use the prescribed weight?

That’s no problem at all, we will find a weight that is perfect for each individual person. It’s better to start light and slowly increase over time. You are not alone, many people don’t use the prescribed weight.

 

Do you include the weight of the bar when the WOD calls for a specific weight? For example, if the WOD says to use 95lbs, is that the bar plus 95lbs or 95lbs total?

All weights include the weight of the bar. So, if you are using a standard men’s bar for a 95lb workout you would add 25lbs to each side for a total of 50lbs added to the 45lb bar.

 

What is a Tabata?

A Tabata is a specific interval timing that can be used with any exercise. It is 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest for a total of 8 rounds. The workout lasts exactly 4 minutes and your score is the least number of reps you conducted in the 20 second intervals.

 

What is the difference between a pull-up and a chin-up?

A pull-up is when your palms are facing away from you on the bar and a chin-up is when your palms are facing towards you on the bar.

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Exercise and Training Questions

If I’m injured should I stay at home and rest or can I still come in and workout?

Absolutely come in and workout as I mentioned in an earlier question. We will work around your injury so you can still get a great workout without aggravating that injury. Additionally, you want to rehabilitate injuries with active recovery because it will increase the blood flow around the injury. Increasing blood flow around the injury will flush the toxins from the injury and pump healing nutrients into the injury.

Watch these videos by Kelly Starrett, the founder of Mobility WOD to learn about training through acute injuries.

Training Through Acute Injuries, Part 1
Training Through Actue Injuries, Part 2

 

How do I find out about upcoming gym events?

We will mention all upcoming events in our blog, as well as having them posted on our online schedule. If at any time you want to find out about an event or recommend an event please don’t hesitate to talk to us.

 

Where do I sign up for the activities outside of the normal WOD?

When we conduct activities outside of the gym such as a pot luck, yoga or other activities we will announce it on the blog and post an online roster for you to sign up on.

 

How many bathrooms and showers do you have?

We have 3 bathrooms and 2 showers.

 

Can I get private training?

Yes. The hourly rate for members is $45 and this is in addition to your membership if you are a member of the gym. You do not need to be a member to receive private sessions though and the non-member rate is $60 per hour. The rates are based on the fact that you will be receiving private, one on one training from a trainer with multiple certifications who can get you the specific results you are looking for. Also, this factors in the extra time each week the trainer will have to spend to write a program just for you.

 

My hands hurt from the pull-ups, can I wear gloves?

You are welcome to wear gloves if you would like, but we don’t recommend them. Common weightlifting gloves are too thick, bulky and soft which is a hindrance for what we do in CrossFit. If you desire to wear something we recommend baseball batting gloves, football gloves or gymnastics grips.

 

I got a bad blister on my hand, what should I do to take care of my hands?

With as much as we do pull-ups and lift weights you will inevitably encounter some type of hand blister or hot spot. Calluses form from rubbing, pressure and the drying of your hands due to chalk. Calluses are good as long as they are maintained to prevent ripping. The best tips are to wash your hands after each workout to remove the chalk, moisturize your hands and maintain your calluses by using pumice stone on them to file them down. The best time to use pumice stone is when your hands are soft like after a shower. My personal favorite method is to soak my hands in warm water for 5 minutes, then use a Ped Egg to file down my callouses.

 

Can I bring in my own jump rope? If so, where do I buy them?

You are absolutely welcome to bring your own jump rope, but it isn’t necessary because we have plenty at the gym in different sizes. If you would like your own personal jump rope to ensure you always have a rope at the proper length we recommend you go to one of the links on our Equipment Resources. There you will find a plethora of jump ropes at different prices.

 

Does it matter what kind of shoes I wear?

The type of shoe can matter depending on what you are doing. To cover the myriad of exercises you will perform in CrossFit we recommend a minimalist shoe. There are many companies that make these now: Nike, Reebok, Inov-8, Merrell, New Balance and many more. I personally have tried a ton of shoes over the years and have found the perfect shoe in my opinion, it is the Inov-8 F-Lite 195. I get no money from you buying these, I have just found I like them most out of everything I have tried. Try out different shoes and see what you like the best. Just be careful if you have always used thick running shoes and are now transitioning to minimalist shoes. Start running short distances and slowly increase over time. The thin sole will require you to use your feet naturally, which you probably have done and this will recruit more muscles and cause soreness initially.

 

Should I have weightlifting shoes and a weightlifting belt?

Neither of these items are mandatory or even strongly recommended, but they absolutely help A LOT. Good weightlifting shoes have the proper rigidity and support that will greatly help you with your lifts. It’s not uncommon to add 5-10lbs on each lift just from adding the shoes. The down side to these is you can’t run in them and it’s harder to jump or do other agility drills. They are strictly a weightlifting shoe so we only recommend them during the Strength WOD. Companies like Nike, Reebok, Adidas and Risto make weightlifting shoes in addition to many of the links on our Equipment Resources. A weightlifting belt helps by giving your midline something to push against and create pressure during a lift. This also helps ensure there is proper support to the spine during max loads. As well as with the weightlifting shoes, the belt can easily add 10-15lbs to each lift. We recommend thick leather belts by Inzer or one of the links on our Equipment Resources for the slow lifts (squat, deadlift, bench press, press) and a thinner, velcro belt for the Olympic Lifts. You can buy one type of belt and do all the lifts with it, regardless of the type you get. We just like the leather ones for their stability and strength in the slow lifts and the velcro for the sleekness and lack of a buckle when doing Olympic Lifts.

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Nutrition

What should I eat?

We recommend you eat lean meats and vegetables; some fruit, seeds and nuts; and no grains. If we had to line this up with any specific diet it would be the Paleo/Caveman/Hunter-Gatherer Diet, whichever term you prefer. We also recommend you stay away from processed foods, sugary drinks and basically anything that isn’t found in the wild. We will have nutrition discussions often because nutrition is absolutely the most important factor in health and fitness.

 

What supplements do you recommend?

We really only recommend a protein supplement if you aren’t getting enough protein from your diet, glutamine and fish oil.

Protein is extremely important in satiating yourself and repairing damaged muscles. For the level of activity we do in CrossFit we recommend that you equal your body weight in pounds to grams of protein. For example, a 150lb man should try to get 150g of protein each day. This is hard to do with just food so protein supplementation is recommended. If you are only coming to the gym a couple times a week then you can reduce this number.

Glutamine is valuable because it increases the saturation of nutrients by your intestines. Getting sufficient glutamine will maximize the nutritional value of your food. We recommend 20-40g of glutamine each day. It is also a great idea to take it after your workout to help repair muscles.

Fish oil is by far the most important supplement due to its benefits with the heart and muscle recovery. We recommend a 2.5 gram minimum dose of EPA/DHA daily, at a minimum, but this depends upon your body size and training volume.  A good rule of thumb is for every 10lbs of bodyweight you have, you should take 1/4 of a gram of fish oil. So, a 170lb man should take 4.25g of fish oil.

When buying fish oil make sure you pay attention to the EPA & DHA content. This is the only number that is important so if the bottle advertises 1200g of fish oil, look on the back to see what the EPA/DHA content is. In cheaper supplements it’s usually much lower.

 

When should I eat in regards to the WOD?

We recommend you don’t eat closer than 2 hours before coming to the gym, we wouldn’t want you showing everyone what you ate!!! For after the workout we recommend you eat as soon as possible to replenish your body of crucial nutrients after the workout.

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