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5 Important Rules for Visiting another CrossFit Gym

Burpees Suck

I love my box, CrossFitLKN, it’s great. I train everyday with Mid-Atlantic Regional competitors Kyle Ruth and Preston Austin. You can’t buy training like that, well I suppose you could, but I just consider it my monthly membership.

However, given my day job in the Fortune 50 world I do occasionally have to travel and the last thing I want to do when I’m on the road is miss a WoD. About two weeks ago I had to travel to New York on business and what follows is a few tips I picked up while visiting another CrossFit gym, specifically CrossFit Virtuosity and CrossFit NYC.

1. Don’t Drop the Weights

I learned this one the hard way at Virtuosity. During a push-press/sumo deadlift high pull workout, I started dropping the push press from the end of the rep to the ground, so I could pick it up and move straight into the high pulls. Each time I dropped, I noticed that the trainer had a look of more and more concern on her face, and then at one point she literally had to tell me: “Please don’t drop the weights”. Point taken. Point to remember? Ask beforehand if it’s okay to drop the weights. It’s an easy question and then you’ll at least know.

2. Show up Early

You’ve gotta sign a waiver and at least introduce yourself to the staff as a visitor. If a WoD is scheduled to kick off at 6:00am and you show up at 6:00am, that’s disrespectful not only to the staff, but to the other members as well because their workout is now delayed because of you. At minimum, i’d show up 15-20 minutes early to allow you meet the staff and fill out a waiver/visitor information.

3. Do Your Homework

CrossFit gyms are alot cooler than your big box gyms for multiple reasons; one of them being a “drop-in” policy. Most CrossFit gyms will allow you to drop in for a class or two if you’re traveling. Some will charge, some won’t. Some won’t charge for the first visit, but will charge for the second. Some will make you register for class using their online tool (CrossFit NYC asked me to do this) some just ask you to show up (CrossFit Virtuosity). It’s worth researching on the gyms website or by shooting them an email. I went the email route and found the staff at both gyms to be nice, answered my questions quickly and excited that I was visiting. Also, some will ask that you have a minimum amount of CrossFit experience prior to visiting (I’m good, 2+ years and Level 1 Trainer) my buddy traveling with me had 6 months of experience and he fit in just fine. Just make sure you check with the gym your visiting to know their exact qualifications for visitors.

4. Respect the Trainers/WoD

So the trainer may not be showing everyone how to perform a snatch the exact way that you would, so what? That’s how that trainer effectively teaches their class. Don’t be disrespectful. LEARN from the experience. Sometimes hearing the same thing told a different way you can pick up on some small bit of information that helps you grow as an athlete. Stay open minded. Also respect the WoD, both WoDs I did in NYC had elements that I looked at and said “oh we never do that at my gym” and “that looks easy” (famous last words in CrossFit). But that WoD is a specific part of that gym’s training program, so embrace it and perform to the best of your abilities on it.

5. Wear a Shirt (Maybe)

So my gym has a pretty slack (read: awesome) dress code policy. Basically it’s this: “If a bathing suit covers it, it should be covered in the gym” other than that, it’s fair game. So during these hot summer days (or let’s face it this is CrossFit: December too..) I’m rocking shirtless. NYC was hot. NYC was humid. NYC didn’t have anybody in the gym taking their shirt off. I was confused, I knew not what to do. I made the decision to stay clothed, get really sweaty and then jump in a cab (you’re welcome New York!). I was okay with it, but it is something you should be aware of, watch the other gym members. Follow their lead.

Summary

athlete rich froning 208x300 5 Important Rules for Visiting another CrossFit Gym

Will I get a chance to workout with Rich when I go to Cookeville? Time will tell…

I’m going to remember these  rules for visiting another CrossFit gym as I travel again in the next few weeks to Cookeville, TN. I need to be on my A-game at that point because I’m going to try and visit CrossFit Mayhem. Head Trainer there? Rich Froning Jr. I’m a 30 year old male, if I get a chance to meet Mr. Froning I’ll probably be reduced to a giggling school girl of roughly 13 but I’m okay with it.

What’s your most embarrassing moment in another gym? Or even your own gym? Leave it in the comments below!

  • Guest

    I agree with this post completely. Being in the military my husband and I travel a lot and do as much research on boxes as we can before we get there.

    That being said, I think it is also important for coaches and trainers to be respectful of visitors. Without naming names, I visited a box by myself and was greeted by a wonderful staff, until one of the trainers began making jokes about the Jewish faith and homosexuals. That just made the whole rest of my experience uncomfortable and I did not return for the rest of the week I was in town.

    So trainers: Know your audience and if you don’t, it’s best to just keep those thoughts to yourself.

    • EveryLastRep

      First off, thank you so much for serving.

      I’m really sorry you had that experience but you do bring up a good point about professionalism. It’s easy in the “boy’s club” of the CrossFit gym to forget that you’re dealing with people that come from all walks of life, faiths, ethnicity, etc… But the thing is, you can’t forget that, a CrossFit gym is a business and I would expect that any box owner would want his staff to be focused on customer service and satisfaction, but unfortunately like in your situation, we don’t see that all the time.