New Member Advice

The following is a compilation of advice from No Excuses CrossFit members to new members of the gym. 


“Stick with it and don’t doubt yourself.”

— Liz Arnold

“1. Guys…check your ego at the door. Don’t worry about what others are doing…just try to do YOUR best everyday in the gym. Ladies…don’t be afraid to push yourself. Chances are you are stronger and faster than you think.
2. The coaches at No Excuses are very friendly and knowledgeable. Ask them lots of questions and talk with them about your goals and your performance during WODs. The information and feedback you receive will be invaluable.
3. Don’t underestimate the importance of the things you do outside of the gym such as your diet, proper hydration and sufficient rest.”

— Bryan Bembridge

NEVER QUIT. You may suffer illness or injury, or even doubt yourself. If you do, talk to the coaches. But never quit. Smile. Have Fun. We are all in this together! Celebrate the WOD. There’s nothing like thinking you aren’t going to be able to finish, you just…physically…can’t. But your inner beast kicks in, and not only did you finish, but you killed that WOD! That camaraderie is what makes CrossFit and No Excuses my second family.”

— Lennette O’Hern

“The main advice I would give new members is to keep 3 things at the top of your priority list:
1) Be safe.  Listen to the coaches and be smart.  Rome wasn’t built in a day
2) Only compete and compare against yourself – especially starting out.
3) Make friends and get to know everyone.  It’s a great community!”

— Erick Kobres

“It is intimidating at first, stick with it anyway and you will reap the rewards.”

Julian Pierce

“My first 2 months were brutal. I almost quit, not because I didn’t like it, but because I didn’t think I could do it. I was intimidated by everyone else’s level of fitness. I sent Holly a text and she told me to hang in there. I am so glad I did! I can’t even imagine doing any other workout other than CrossFit! Believe in yourself and don’t worry about anyone else. Be patient, consistent and have fun!”

— Jessica Hennen

“Believe it or not, nobody cares what you look like or how unfit you are. Effort is admired just as much as ability. Be consistent about coming in at least 3-4 times a week, and embrace the nutritional aspects of the CrossFit methodology as it will be your greatest catalyst to get you where you want to be. If nothing else, just show up! The coaches will get you through it!”

— Scott Epperson

“The first few months can seem very intimidating when you see all these people doing incredible things, but don’t get discouraged or compare yourself to others. You are trying to improve your fitness level and whatever that looks like for you. Stick with it and don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the ride!”

– CJ Minniefield

“Do not feel like you have to compete with the other members who may have been doing CrossFit much longer than you. You should really focus on getting good at all of the different movements and not try to speed through the wods at first but rather make sure your movement technique is good. Also be consistent by coming in at least 3 times a week and you will be sure to see great results in a matter of a few months.”

– Victor Lewis

“My first two months were more than difficult, but I’m so glad I didn’t give up. Stick with it! It gets easier, and it gets fun.”

– Laura Owings

“See it as you’re just like everyone else in the gym. You’re good at some stuff and improving on other stuff. We’re all the same.”

– John Burns

“Just keep coming back. You will have many “ah ha” moments. The achievements are endless and one day you will be somebody’s motivation and inspiration for coming back.”

– Barbara Parsons

“Just keep coming. It is hard and it doesn’t get easier, but the way you feel as you continue and see progress is beyond anything you can imagine. Also, don’t be afraid to scale the workouts. It’s better to take it easy some days when you just aren’t feeling it or are exhausted than to push too hard and be out with an injury.”

– Kim Lewis

“This is a process and you’re going to fail…and that’s ok. Everyone does. There isn’t one person in the gym that doesn’t struggle. And none of them will tell you that CrossFit is easy, but the truth is, you don’t want it to be easy. You want to constantly challenge yourself. Run harder one lap. Pull harder one deadlift. Squat lower one rep. The only way to way to get better is to push your limits and the only way to know your limits is to hit that wall and feel that pain. The next time you’ll be ready for it and know that you can push a little more.”

– Mathew Shamloo

“Fight through the first few WODs. Stick with it and do YOUR best. Don’t worry about what the other members are doing. Soon you will start seeing results and then you will be hooked.”

– Ward Woody

“Don’t worry about what others are doing. Stay at your own pace and try to get better every day while having fun.”

– Michael Jenkins

“Pick someone in class who challenges you. Chase their results and let it motivate you. By nature, we are all competitive. It’s a good thing.”

– Deb Walston

“Anything that’s worth achieving isn’t going to come easy.  Stick with it and work your butt off.”

– William Marsh

“Anyone can do this.  All the pain is worth it.”

– Frannie Cromer

“Keep on keeping on. Knock it out one rep at a time. Be the conqueror not the conquered. Keep a log and look back. You’ll be amazed at yourself. You got this!”

– Angie Drexler

“Make the most of each WOD. Every WOD is an opportunity to get a little stronger, faster, healthier, and encourage those around you. And always thank your coach after the WOD is over — they are awesome teachers.”

– Mark Ford

“I was REALLY scared to walk in those doors the first time. My husband is very competitive with CrossFit, so I automatically assumed everyone in the gym would be like him. Don’t be intimidated thinking that you maybe aren’t in good enough shape to start CrossFit or that everyone will be in perfect shape and fitness level. I made those untrue assumptions for a while before having the guts to come in for my intro assessment. Did I finish some workouts last? Yes, and I still do sometimes, but the truth is that every workout is scalable to your own level and there are folks all ages, shapes and sizes participating and killing it every day. You will be welcomed with open arms and cheered along every step of the way. And before you know it, you’ll get better and stronger and feel great about accomplishing your personal goals! I won’t say it ever gets easier, but then, why would you want it to be easy?”

– Jamie Poore

“You’re stronger than you think you are, so prove yourself wrong.”

– Kathleen Hoehn

“Don’t overlook how important your diet is when you start working out!  You will get stronger and be faster if you incorporate Paleo into your daily life.”

– Nicole Wilkins

“Don’t push it so hard that you burn out. Make sure you attempt the Paleo diet sincerely. It is hard enough to do pull ups when you aren’t over weight, but if you are, it makes it that much harder. Don’t compare yourself to the people that have been doing it for a year or so. Find that person that is comparable to you in ability and push each other every day. Show up and have a good attitude and get to know the other members and coaches. Know this, Brandon loves to have the WOD altered, Laci and Laura are always looking for music opinions before the WOD and Chris Fischer can show you how NOT to do every move in the book!”

– Glen Wilkins

“Don’t give up. It really is hard for the first couple of weeks. You’re using muscles that you didn’t know existed and you are so sore you can barely move but all that means is that it is working. Just stay with it and you will see results come fast!”

– Michelle Jones

“Just stick with it!! If you are like me and not that fit when you walk in, it will hurt and you will be tired, but keep coming. Talk with the other members as they are the nicest group of people you will meet. Try and go to a regular time if you can, and you will quickly fit in with the group and want to be there everyday. Also, check your ego. There are some WOD’s where I do really well and can have great times or reps. There are other times I hit a wall and am like five minutes behind everyone else. You will experience both and learning to love those strong days, but not beat myself up on the hard days is something I really had to learn.”

– Bill Bozeman

“My advice to others is to be true to yourself and stay focused on your goals and progress. Don’t compare yourself to others but use them as a resource to get where you want to be. The CrossFit community is more than willing to help you get there.”

– Lisa Orlandella

“Stick with a routine; set yourself up for success. You’ll find yourself reaching your set goals faster. “

– Julia Debreceni

“You have found the avenue for achieving to be fit. Don’t give up, don’t give in, keep pressing on and forward and you WILL achieve what CrossFit has done and meant to so many others.”

– Ashley Kubiak

“Consistency is the key to success, and always work toward goals and getting better.”

– Scot Poore

“You are capable of much more than you realize. But, the only way to achieve that potential is to keep showing up. Work hard and you will see results!”

– Dodson Strawbridge

“Don’t give up. Stick it out and it’ll eventually ‘catch’.

– Justine Parker

“Just keep showing up. And keep records of your workouts.”

– Elizabeth Anderson

“Check your ego at the door. Don’t be intimidated to try and don’t be intimidated to fail. We’ve all had our starting points so don’t get discouraged if you’re not as strong or as fast as others. I get beat by a girl sometimes (only because she’s on PEDs..), but I’ve learned that if YOU go as hard as YOU can go, you get the same workout everybody else does.

Give it four weeks and if you’re not looking and feeling better and completely addicted to it, I’ll let you kick me in the shin. The proof is in the before-and-after pictures at the gym. The trick is you have to get off your butt and put your work in, it’s that simple.”

– Ryan Flanagan

“I don’t really have any advice, but do remember the “new kid at school” feeling I had when I started CrossFit. It will pass. And you’ll find that you care for the people you meet here and it’s because of the bonds you develop with them as you struggle together through your workouts. I can’t explain why it works out this way, but it’s pretty awesome. Maybe there’s a particular level of vulnerability we share in sweating and trying so hard, and hearing the encouragement from others as we fight through the pain of a WOD together. New members who are committed to their fitness and goals will quickly find out what I’m talking about!”

– Kim Barb

“I would tell the new members to get involved in the No Excuses community! It really is special. Ben and the other coaches have created a really great environment that is encouraging to everyone. Participate in the CrossFit Open or another competition, join the Paleo Challenge! Other members have experienced the same issues when they were new and are great about providing advice or insight.”

– Greg Hayes

“When I first came to the gym I was inspired by looking at the ‘Then and Now’ board. Brandon and Chris Mount have amazing stories! I also saw someone doing a rope climb and knew I wanted to do that! Look around there are plenty of inspiring people in our gym!

• Take it one WOD at a time.

• Record your WOD and results, I would make this a requirement for new-bees.

• Soreness will be a way of life, embrace it.

• Set short-term and long-term goals!

• Be proud of yourself for working hard and finishing!

You can have excuses or results, not both.”

– Cathy Mele

“DON’T GIVE UP… Crossfit can/and will be discouraging at times. Some skills will come quickly and some will be a ‘goat’ for years. You have to take the small victories and use those to motivate you to keep persevering.”

– Matt Ziesmer

“Forget about the weight and concentrate on technique and form! It’s pretty intimidating looking at some of the guys throwing big weights around, but you need to focus on yourself and your own strength! I have to remind myself of that, work on technique and the weight will come!”

– Carlos Gonzalez

1 thought on “New Member Advice”

  1. I loved reading through these!! What an amazing group of people. Whoever is blessed to train at No Excuses will certainly transform their life! Not by the methodologies, or programming, or structure, but by the people!! I feel so blessed to have been a part of the community! Be blessed, be fit! – Ben