Want to Try CrossFit? Here’s What You Need to Know

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

With the CrossFit Open kicking off later today (woohoo!), I wanted to share some of the posts I’ve written about the “Sport of Fitness” over the years. I figured having them all in one place would be useful for those of you thinking about trying CrossFit in the future. I hope you find them helpful! And GOOD LUCK to those of you participating in the Open this year!

5 CrossFit Tips for Beginners: Ready to try CrossFit? Here are five tips that will help you get started!

How to Balance CrossFit and Running: Probably the most common question I receive!

My 8-Week Half Marathon Training Plan (with CrossFit Workouts included): If there’s a will, there’s a way! Spoiler: Not over-training is key!

My Pregnancy Modifications for CrossFit: These modifications worked for me during my pregnancy. If you’re pregnant, or thinking about it soon, you might find these modifications helpful to your CF workouts.

Diet, CrossFit & Running: What Really Changed My Body: I received so many questions about these things from readers, I finally wrote a blog post.

What to Pack for a CrossFit Competition: Here’s a post all about what I packed for my first CrossFit competition.

My Experience at the CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Course: A summary of my experience at the two-day CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Course and my thoughts about the instruction, workouts, exam, etc.

CrossFit Q & A: This post answers questions regarding class structure (i.e. Is the workout really just 5 minutes long?), how many calories you burn at a typical class, what shoes to wear, how to find a gym in your area, how to justify the cost of CrossFit, what to expect at your first class/intro session, and more!

CrossFit Q & A II: This post answers questions regarding being fit enough to try CrossFit (trust me, YOU ARE!), what’s up with the Paleo diet, doing CrossFit at home (check out my CrossFit-inspired workouts on Pinterest for a TON of ideas), and more!

CrossFit Home Gym Essentials: Thinking about building a gym at your home? Here’s a post about what we selected for our home gym.

How My Body Changed After Starting CrossFit: I wrote this post about a year after doing CrossFit on a regular basis.

What NOT to Wear to a CrossFit Class: Starting Crossfit, like any new fitness regimen, can seem overwhelming if you’re not prepared. Take some of the uncertainty out of your first workout by knowing what to wear or better yet, what NOT to wear.

Tips for Kipping Pull-Up Success: Here are a few tips and cues that helped me learn how to do kipping pull-ups.

Discouraged By Lack of Strength: A reader question and my reply. Spoiler: Don’t compare yourself to others!

My Favorite CrossFit-Inspired Workouts: Lots and lots and LOTS of workouts to try! 🙂

Question of the Day

Are you participating in the CrossFit Open this year? If so, any guesses for what we’ll see in the first workout?



  1. So many great links to hints and tips on this post. I’ve been thinking about starting CrossFit for some time now but I’ve always doubted my ability to do it. This has motivated me to take the plunge! Off I go……

  2. I gave up CrossFit about a year ago because I didn’t feel it was giving me enough cardio and my box was super expensive. I do however miss the camaraderie of CrossFit and am thankful for the many wonderful people and friends I met there. I always recommend people try it out! I participated in the Open for three years. Oye, those were some tough workouts!

  3. I started CrossFit 2 months ago and love it! I found your blog by searching for information about CrossFit for beginners and CrossFit blogs. I come from a running background and have gained so much valuable information and inspiration from running blogs so I was hoping to replicate that. Thanks for CNC! It’s been a big help as I learn about CrossFit and how to make it part of my life as a mother and a runner.

  4. I’m participating this year for the third time and hoping to finally be able to jump out of the scaled division and into the Rx for at least some of the workouts. My toes to bar and pullups aren’t great but I can do them which is a big improvement from last year so I’m pumped! Someone at my gym predicted Fran with dumbells instead of a barbell and that sounds like something Dave would do this year.

  5. I’m a long time reader but have never commented before (hi!!!). I came here specifically to see your post about your pregnancy modifications. I’m pregnant now (7 weeks) and doing the Open. I feel AWESOME at the gym and really hope that I can continue to work out my entire pregnancy. It was helpful to see when you modified certain things but I would love to know why also! I guess I am mostly curious about why you stopped doing HSPU at 8 weeks. Also, have you ever written a post about supplements that are pregnancy safe? I get the sense you don’t take a ton of supplements anyway, but I am curious as to what you continued to use during pregnancy (for example, I know BCAAs are fine according to some people, but not according to others.) Thanks so much–I am a glutton for content about maintaining fitness during pregnancy! 🙂

    1. The only reason I stopped HSPUs is because I really couldn’t do them. Haha! I just didn’t think it was a skill worth working on while pregnant since I was just going to get bigger/more awkward! 🙂

  6. First time poster.

    Just please listen to your body when starting CF. Balance the critical analysis with those who are experiencing euphoria. Too much to soon is not good. There is definitely a learning curve when starting this new workout regiment. CF has definitely changed since its beginnings back in 2000, and the first CF games back in 2007 at The Ranch. Please exercise with caution.

    The resurgence in weight lifting is truly phenomenal, and to be coupled with the increased interest in running (5k, 10k, half, and marathons) is what society needs. I tried passing up posting on this thread, but this is CV awareness month. Nearly, 60% of CV disease can be avoided or decreased by simply changing the lifestyle. I say find your motivation, and do what you enjoy.

  7. This is my first official Open; I started crossfit last year the week of 16.5, ugh. That sucked lol. But I’m very excited for this year – especially since I JUST got my first kipping pullup and t2b (only singles, but they should help!).

    My guess is the dumbbells will come into play in the form of thruster or clusters. It pains me just thinking about it. Or maybe Turkish getups, since they keep posting that demo video on facebook.

  8. Hi there,
    Longtime reader here. Loved reading the different posts here. I know you said lifting heavy really changed you, any suggestions for someone who can’t lift heavy like that? I have degenerative disc disease and have had 2 back surgeries, I was lifting but then advised that going heavier would have detrimental effects later on…..so I have moved more towards pilates reformer, yoga, barre, and spin for cardio. Any suggestions you can give??
    Thank you!

  9. Hi Tina! This post is perfect as I had been meaning to e-mail you about recently starting CrossFit. I have read your blog for years and finally this January my boyfriend and two of our friends started CrossFit together. We won’t be participating in the Open, but we just started our 7th week and I can’t believe how great I feel and how much I enjoy CrossFit. Your positive outlook, encouragement and the info. you have shared about CF over the years definitely influenced my confidence to start – THANK YOU!!

    To anyone who is thinking about starting – YOU. CAN. DO. IT. I have about 80 lbs to lose and haven’t had a regular workout routine in years and I have finished every CF workout (our Gym has a F3 level that we are in to complete prior to moving into L1). Not only that, there are such a variety of athletes in every class that I never feel out of place and always feel motivated by what other people (who are more advanced) are doing.

    Thanks again for sharing so much of your experience with CF and for being so positive and encouraging! 🙂

  10. I just registered for the open this morning. I wasn’t originally planning on it since i’m still a newbie and can’t do most of the workouts rx’d, BUT i figured, why not?! I can do them scaled and then redo them next year (hopefully rx’d) to see how far I’ve come. I’m hoping 17.1 is going to be something mildly easy and by ‘easy’ i mean, not doubleunders…#uncoordinated

  11. I’m looking forward to reading through these tips, I have always wanted to try crossfire, but sometimes am intimidated. Only way to change that is to try it!

  12. Thinking about starting crossfit. Do you feel like you could have lost weight/toned up without the running portion? I run occasionally but nothing like 7 miles and such that you do! I suppose my fear is just that I bulk up when really I would prefer to be tight/toned. Thoughts on this?

    Thank you!

    – Kate

  13. Hello Tina
    Long time reader. I think I started to read your blog in 2008 or so. Your blogging inspired me throughout the years. Went to my first Crossfit Lite class last night. Wow. Feeling the burn. I bought a 20 class card and I hope someday I will graduate onto Crossfit.

    Have a good day.


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