CrossFit Gym Etiquette – Part One

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Good CrossFit gym etiquette says “Yeah…You’re going to have to clean that up”.

Just like every day life in a civil society, your box will have a set of rules and CrossFit gym etiquette that will make life a lot easier, and more enjoyable for all. While a lot of these may seem like every day common sense and courtesy for those who are part of the community, some of those new to CrossFit may not be aware of them.

1. Introduce yourself

At Furnace we make sure that when newcomers are attending their first class after On Ramp we introduce them to the rest of the class, and often if time permits, individually to other members. That being said we all remember those first few sessions and how daunting the whole experience can be. Everyone seems to be talking a foreign language, there are more acronyms being thrown around than you can keep up with, and on top of that you are about to work out with a group of what seem to be incredibly close knit athletes.

Take the initiative, and when you see a new face, introduce yourself, spend some time having a chat and if the WOD allows for it, invite them to lift with you. That being said, if you are the newcomer, introduce yourself and strike up a conversation with another athlete, it will make your experience from day one a lot more enjoyable! As your coaches, we like nothing more than seeing a room full of athletes training together – as oppose to a group of individuals training at the same time.

2. Use the booking system and don’t leave it till the last minute to reserve your spot

While other boxes may pack as many people as they can fit into a session, we specifically run classes with a maximum of 14 places, and make sure there are enough staff on hand to properly do what you are paying us to do…..Coach! To ensure this system works we provide you with the Zen Planner App to allow you to reserve all of your preferred classes in advance. This means you can book classes up to three weeks in advance and gives you the power to choose which classes you want to attend.

Yes, you can still book in at the last minute if you need to, but what makes the system work even better is to book in as far in advance as you can. If your coaching staff are given enough time to see who is attending classes, and at what times, it makes it much easier for us to tailor WOD’s to your individual needs. From a management point of view this also lets us know if we need to alter any programming (I always program with the philosophy of having the right amount of equipment for each athlete in the WOD) or staffing due to the numbers, this can be hard to do with very little notice. We even increase classes at certain times if they are popular.

You spend a lot of time on an electronic device each day, chances are you are even reading this blog on one, so spending a few minutes booking classes wont take too much effort, and the upside is a better experience in classes for everyone. Just like Maury Finkle, founder of Finkle Fixtures, Biggest Lighting Fixture Chain in the Southland says, “Do it”.

CrossFit Gym Etiquette

Do it. Do it. Bacardi and Coke, Do it.

3. Turn up to class on time

A major part of CrossFit gym etiquette is punctuality. Yes, life is busy, I understand that. I don’t even mind if you are one or two minutes late to a class on occasion. Classes run on a schedule, so we make sure they start and finish on time, because your time is important, but we also will generally be running a class straight after the one you are attending. Your fellow athletes are paying good money to get their hours worth of instruction, so be fair on them and be ready for your chosen class time.

4. Pay attention during the explanation of the days training

Going hand in hand with turning up on time is paying attention whilst the coach goes through the whiteboard at the beginning of the class. We spend time describing what the days training will entail, why we are doing it, and what we want you to get out of it. It makes it much easier on both your coach and your buddies if you pay attention during this time. When you arrive before class, take a quick look at what is programmed, or better yet, check your Beyond the Whiteboard App earlier in the day to get this information, that way you will have already thought of anything that needs clearing up. Thirdly, when the coach asks if there are any questions this is the time for you to ask! We understand that you might not want to draw attention to yourself for asking what you think is a silly question but chances are, the person next to you is battling with the same existential crisis. So just ask! We are always more than happy to go through doubtful points because after all it makes the experience more enjoyable for you and is good CrossFit gym etiquette on the coaches part. The same goes for demonstrations and movement standards before a WOD, this is the time to clear up any doubts, not when the coach is mid way through “3, 2,1….Go”.

CrossFit gym etiquette and box rules
5. Listen to your coaches advice, and act on it!

Unlike a Globo-Gym, we know all of our clients. We know your strengths, we know your weaknesses, we know your current abilities, we know your goals, and we know how to help you achieve them. For me, this is the best part of being your coach! There is numerous times throughout a week that I will watch a class training, or see you achieve that first pull-up and quietly celebrate the fact that I helped you get there. What can drive your coaches crazy though (and possibly your fellow athletes) is when you receive advice but fail to put it into practice. This applies to prehab and rehab advice as well. If we offer you advice to mobilise more, show you how to foam roll, suggest you do more push-ups at home or anything else that will benefit you, don’t be surprised that we will pull you up on it if you complain about not being able to improve your Air Squat, or do a strict Ring Dip, or comfortably extend your arm above your head and admit to not following our advice. Experienced coaches also have the ability to see if you are following up on coaching advice by how you perform. Like an overbearing mother, we are always watching.

From the athletes side, ask your coaches for advice. If there is something you want to know about, or don’t understand then ask us! We want to see you succeed, We love to see you happy. Be coach-able. Help us, help you.

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