Welcome to Nation!
I've been involved with the gym since it's founding in 2008. I became head coach a few years later and in 2015, I bought Another Level Fitness. CrossFit Nation (our affiliate name) has been around for over 10 years now! I truly believe there isn't another gym around who can do what we can do. Our knowledge base is wide and our diversity vast. We have a unique demographic in that most of our members are “masters.” That is—over 35. And they all are Nation Strong.
There are many tips that I'd like to give, but I'll restrain myself and limit it to just the best and why they are the most important. I was born with a connective tissue disorder that has required much physical therapy and surgeries. I have started and stopped physical activity many, many times. Coming from that background and now specializing in post-rehabilitative exercise, here they are:
Tip number 1: Listen to your body.
If it hurts, you need to stop. The minute you decide to attach a goal to your exercise regimen, you become an athlete and classes become training. When training, your body tells you what needs to be worked on. It's language is discomfort, pain, and fatigue. Generally, it is simply a muscle and can be addressed by foam rolling. However, do NOT ignore it. If your mobility is compromised because of a sore spot, your body will seek it from somewhere else in order to meet the demands of what you are asking of it. Use PVC, go light, and learn the movements first. CrossFit looks different on different people. Be you.
Number 2: Never underestimate the power of REST.
The very first sub 4 minute mile was achieved by an athlete who took 2 weeks off before the event. The medical community thought it might not be possible, but in 1954 Roger Bannister proved them wrong and ran a mile in 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds. He was well rested and ready for his event. The very best performers—athletic and intellectual-- can perform at their peak only for a little while. Then they rest. They take walks. They meditate. It's called periodization. We work really hard for a bit, then we need to rest. Unless you like chronic fatige, mental dullness, brain fog, and otherwise poor performance, you will need to take rest days AND deload weeks serisously. By the way, the current mile record sits at 3:43.13. There's a goal for ya!
And the last, number 3: Get your diet in line.
I have mast cell activation disorder. If I eat histamine-releasing foods, I am unable to function. My joints ache and dislocate. It took doctors nearly 20 years to diagnose it. I use food as medicine. Dessert is not a reward. You are what you eat and your performace will show it. Largely, disease comes from poor dietary habits. We offer nutrition coaching. Our clients get off of their meds, are symptom free from Crohn's, and some are no longer diabetic. We don't do diets. We do food. Take adavantage of it.
Why are they the most important? You'll get the most bang for your buck if you follow them. You'll stay injury free, out of a nursing home, and functioning well, well into old age.