Greg Amundson to Beginners: How to Prepare for CrossFit

Few people have been coaching CrossFit longer than Greg Amundson, who got his start in CrossFit back in 2001 at Greg Galssman’s original box in Santa Cruz. This past year Amundson—with a career in law enforcement that spans just about everything, from local police work to the U.S. Army to SWAT teams to his federal post as a special agent for the DEA—stepped down to part-time positions in the law enforcement and military worlds (including his promotion to Captain as a reservist in the United States Army) so that he could attend to his central passion that is CrossFit. In addition to opening CrossFit Amundson in Santa Cruz, he is the Subject Matter Expert for CrossFit, Inc. teaching weekend goal-setting seminars. And even more: Amundson is an instructor for the CrossFit Kettlebell course and also teaches one-day seminars that introduce CrossFit to a variety of law enforcement agencies.

Greg Amundson–the original firebreather of CrossFit

A contributor to the CrossFit Journal, Amundson has also expanded his writing efforts. His new book, “Your Wife is Not Your Sister,” was, as he says, “never a book he intended to write” but felt compelled to after a period of self-examination following the collapse of his marriage.

Although he has exchanged his primary work focus from law enforcement to CrossFit, Amundson says his intent is one of giving back. “My dad was an officer in the Navy and he always taught me about the importance of public service.”

As CrossFit continues to grow, Amundson’s opportunity to continue to be a spokesperson for the fitness movement will continue to increase. The word is that the number of CrossFit affiliates in the world has surpassed the 5000 mark. Meaning that CrossFit is continuing to become available.

In a phone interview recently for a story that will be appearing in the CrossFit Journal, I asked what advice Amundson had for people who have become interested in CrossFit but think they might not yet be prepared for the program.

“I hear that in my travels frequently,” Amundson says. “Someone will say, ‘I want to get into CrossFit but first I have to get in shape.’ I tell them that the only way to get in shape for CrossFit is to do CrossFit. You have to trust in the beauty of the program. From the training at a local CrossFit gym to the Level 1 course. Just go. Just go and keep going.”

Amundson says that the fear that keeps some from putting up CrossFit is something he talks about in his goal setting workshops.

“The hardest part of the workout is a metaphor for other things in life. It’s always the moments leading up to it that are the worst. We have a saying in martial arts: ‘Hell lies between two swords.’ What that means is the most stressful moments are the moments before engaging.”

“What we’re doing is just projecting in the future. And it’s never going to be as bad as we make it out to be in the those moments.”

In other words, Amundson says, don’t let your imagination talk you out of it.

“The fear is natural,” he says. “Just get over it and get into the gym.”

In Inside the Box, veteran journalist and marathoner T.J. Murphy goes all in to expose the gritty, high-intensity sport of CrossFit®. From staggering newcomer to evangelist, Murphy finds out how it feels, why it’s so popular, and whether CrossFit can fix his broken body.