Early CrossFit stages focus on learning the technique for exercises like the deadlift.
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The CrossFit training system aims to provide the most well-rounded workout possible, such that the performance gains you achieve transfer to the widest range of activities possible. There isn't a set curriculum that you pass through, however, as there is with other training programs, such as the belt system in martial arts. CrossFit trainers have broken the process that people go through into five stages, each with unique challenges and rewards.
Stage 1: Pre-CrossFit
People in the pre-CrossFit stage are either not actively following a training routine, or are staying well inside their comfort zone. They do have some goals for themselves, for example to lose weight or to increase strength, but their progress toward these ends is slow and the methods they use to achieve them are conventional. Typically, people in the pre-CrossFit stage work out alone and rely on self motivation.
Stage 2: CrossFit Infancy
Once an individual has taken the step of joining a CrossFit box, they are in Stage 2: infancy. People in this stage might be a little anxious about their new undertaking, and perhaps a little intimidated about the process. At this stage the primary focus is on learning. This means learning the correct and safe way to perform the exercises, learning CrossFit vocabulary terms and also improving knowledge of nutrition.
Stage 3: The Adolescent Growth Spurt
By this stage, the trainee has learned the nine fundamental CrossFit exercises, much of the nomenclature and has gotten to know the teammates well. Exercise form has improved greatly and post-workout soreness is reduced as the body improves its recuperative abilities. Now that progress has begun, time-based workouts will be completed more quickly, with more weight lifted and nutrition further established.
Stage 4: Adulthood
After a great deal of practice, the trainee develops exercise technique at a high level. Performance has improved greatly, as has the ability to push oneself. The trainee is now at approximately the same level as the people whose physical prowess was intimidating in stage one. However, by now the body is well adapted to exercise and further gains are harder to come by. Training focuses on identifying and overcoming weaknesses, and injecting more variety into training. The trainee might also start to become a trainer in this stage.
Stage 5: Mastery
Despite the implications of the name, Stage 5 is not the end point, but is an ever-continuing process. Here the trainee has mastered the movements and adapted them to better suit one's own biomechanics. The trainee's knowledge of mobility and exercise has developed enough to become a trainer -- able to diagnose and offer suggestions to common problems. Of course, the trainee has improved times and poundages drastically since Stage 1.