Finding the right CrossFit gym aka box for someone who has never done it before can be easy and challenging at the same time. Easy in the sense, that you may not really know what to look for as far as the “good” and “bad” and the “do’s” and “don’ts”. Chances are you will walk into a facility that you found on the internet or heard about from a friend, make a judgment based on first impression and appearance and give it a try. In this blog, you will be provided with some tips (in no particular order) on what you should be looking for when choosing the right box to get started.
- Cleanliness: Is the facility clean and organized. Are things put away in a somewhat organized manner? Are the floors relatively clean or are they covered in dog hair? Check the bathrooms. Are the bathrooms clean and usable. You can teach anyone how to program a workout or coach a class, but you can’t teach someone to truly care and have a passion for what they do. You want to see if they care, check the bathrooms!
- Greetings: When you walk in, does someone come and introduce themselves to you? Is the coach or management at the faculty identifiable, either by apparel or by the attention and control they have over the class. If you walk in during the middle of class and the coach leaves the class unattended to come chat with you for more then 2 mins, then leave and don’t go back…unfortunately at that time, his/her job is to instruct class and not answer questions about the facility. If the coach or management briefly introduces themselves, and explains that he/she can answer any and all questions you have after class and explains they need to get back to coaching the class….thats a good sign, stick around…you should hear what they have to say! The management has instilled proper core values.
- Questions and answers: Can the person you are talking to answer any and all questions you have. Questions ranging from “What is CrossFit ?” to “what is the class schedule and what programs do you offer?” Does the person answering your questions appear genuinely passionate about why you’re there. Do they appear passionate explaining why they do what they do. More importantly, are you asked why you are interested, or what caused you to go in to their facility? Were you asked what your health goals are for the future? These questions already set they tone that they are genuinely interested in you.
- Location: a well run facility will spend a good amount of time outside, weather permitting. Look around the facility. What kind of road is the facility located on? Is it a quiet side street or a two lane, busy cut thru. This matters, because you want to be safe when outside. Also, look around the parking lot and perimeter of the facility. Is there a large enough area for cars to park along with room to be outside for workouts.
- Foundations/On ramp/intro Program: I’ll keep this part simple. If the box/affiliate you are looking at doesn’t require someone new to CrossFit to complete a On Ramp/ Foundations/ or some type of in-depth introductory program then run the other way. They don't offer it for 1 of 3 reasons. 1. They aren't educated enough to do it 2. They just want you to sign up and get your money 3. They are lazy. Either one is unacceptable. An intro program is crucial to the success of the new member. A well run introductory program will consist of a physical assessment and continue with a progressive program built around your own ability level. It should be designed around the 9 fundamental movements of CrossFit and expand into common movements done on a regular basis. This should take place over multiple one hour classes with no more then a 1:3 coach to athlete ratio. If you are told, “we can watch you during class and catch you up to speed”, that facility only wants your money and could careless about your long term success. Facilities like that are an embarrassment and should be shut down!
- Price: A facility that is confident in what they offer will not negotiate pricing. They will not de-value what they offer. Its human nature to want a “deal”, but you get what you pay for. If someone is willing to cut their price in half to get you in the door, how much do they actually value what they’re offering. If they are willing to cut pricing, they probably won’t be in business much longer anyways so another reason to find somewhere else to go.
- Reputation: Ask some of the members during your visit why they are there. Ask how long they have been part of the community. Ask them why they continue to stay there. Ask about community events and social outings. This will give you a true understanding of the culture, community and reputation of the box. Ask your friends that do CrossFit, what they have heard about the box/facility you are visiting. Word of mouth and reputation carries a lot of weight in the CrossFit world.
- Community: The foundation of CrossFit is based on community and creating a family inside the box. Its about bringing like minded individuals together that share common goals in living an active health lifestyle. Are the members smiling and hanging out before and after classes? Do the members appear to happy and eager to learn? Are the coaches entertaining the class with education and instruction while having fun at the same time? Are their college kids sitting in the corner on their computer trying to get some work done because they would rather be at the box where their friends are then sitting in a bar or in their dorm. Does there truly appear to be solid bonds and close friendships? If you can answer yes to those questions, then it sounds like a pretty cool place to be a part of.
- Follow up: Regardless of how the initial meeting went, did the facility follow up with via email or phone call. If they took the time to reach out to you regarding your first visit, this means they are thinking of you and checking in on your journey into a more active, healthy lifestyle.
CrossFit is as much a workout and fitness methodology as it is a lifestyle movement to help fix human behavior to cure the worlds most vexing problem, chronic disease. Its not about the CrossFit Games or being social media famous. Pick a box that sets its core values and mission on community, family and changing human behavior so 10-20 years from now, you are still running around and having fun!
Bionic Charity In-house Comp: 12/16 @ 9am *for any and all levels. Ask management for details
Bionic Christmas Party: 12/22 @ 5pm *catered by Blackmarket Kitchen (paleo approved food)
Christmas Schedule: 12/24: 8:30-10:30 12 Days of Christmas WOD
12/25: No classes
New Hoodies should be in, within the next two weeks.