7 Important Scaling Tips for Crossfit Beginners

Finding the right weights and reps and starting out as a Crossfit beginner isn’t so easy so here are 7 tips to help you out.

Everybody who starts Crossfit begins with a different types of experience and levels of fitness. A big advantage of Crossfit is that everybody can join and scale their workout individually, so everybody is challenged but never over challenged. You can adjust the training to your level at the beginning and keep changing it as you process.

1. TRACK YOUR PROGRESS

A training log can help give you an overview about the progress you are making. Be proud of the steps you already made and work on them to improve further. When you write down your achievements, you can comprehend your successes and you can make sure to move forward. It’s important to celebrate the small victories.

2. KNOW YOUR LIMITS

As a beginner you will see many athletes in your box lifting heavy weights and doing many more reps than you ever thought possible. But they have also been through the same process as you, everyone is a novice at one stage. Do not compare yourself with others too much, but find out where your limits are, and what is possible for you to lift. Overestimating yourself can heighten the risk of injury.

Megan and laura female uk crossfitters
Train hard, consistently, intelligently and safely and you WILL improve!

3. DON’T UNDERESTIMATE YOURSELF

On the other side of the coin, it is also important not to underestimate yourself. Find a path in-between to keep your training safe and effective. If you keep the weights too low and don’t challenge yourself then you are missing the point of Crossfit, you won’t progress and and you won’t reach your goals. Even if the steps are small, it’s important to keep moving forward. 

It terms of overall progress on a time scale, it’s often an intelligent idea not to overestimate what you can achieve in a month, but never to underestimate what you can achieve in a year. Consistency is the key to development.

4. KEEP CHALLENGING YOURSELF

Crossfit is an ongoing progress. Never stop trying to challenge yourself even when you reached one of your goals. You can always increase the scale and make it a new challenge for you. Try not to rest on your success but set new goals and always try to reach higher than before.

“What you get by reaching your goals is not nearly so important as what you become by reaching them.” Zig Ziglar

5. DON’T BE SCARED TO ASK FOR HELP

As a beginner, Crossfit is not only a new sport but also a new language. There is a lot to learn at the beginning and getting an overview by yourself is challenging. Ask your trainer for help by working through a beginners program that is perfect for you. Your trainer can help you find the right number of repetitions and weights for your level of fitness, they can help you scale every workout in a way that suits you, yet will also challenge you.

chris hinshaw and sara sigmundsdottir talking on the track
A good coach knows how to encourage and support athletes of all levels.

6. COMPETE WITH YOURSELF BEFORE WORRYING ABOUT OTHERS

It’s impressive to see what others in your box are already able to do. Sometimes other beginners with a different sporting background will be able to lift heavier than you. But especially as a beginner it is important to concentrate on yourself and find your own way. Challenge yourself and build up a basis before competing with others.

7. SCALE LOAD AND INTENSITY

You can always increase the number of repetitions or the weights you are using if it does not feel challenging for you anymore. But you should never start changing exercises as a beginner. Your trainer had a reason to teach them with correct technique. Doing exercises in your own way can raise the risk of injury and will not lead to the outcome you hoped for.

For more advice and tips, check out this article:

8 Important Crossfit Exercises for Beginners to Learn


Megan and laura female uk crossfitters © Megan Lovegrove / Laura Faulkner

chris hinshaw and sara sigmundsdottir talking on the track © Chris Hinshaw

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About The Author

I’m Carla, I live in Germany and study communications and english. I’m interested in different kind of sports and try to keep myself fit in the gym. CrossFit is new for me but it’s interesting to learn about it.

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