CrossFit®’s mission is “to fuel a revolution in fitness based on the pursuit of function.”
We love how our friends at CrossFit Headquarters in Santa Cruz describe this revolution: “We believe that where you train is less important than how you train, and whom you train with matters more than what gear you have. We know this can be done anywhere. We’ve proven that the back yard to the garage to the warehouse is as good an environment as any for forging elite fitness.”
Take off your Coat and Stay Awhile
Once you have narrowed down the (official) affiliates you want to try, take the time to visit. Talk with the Coaches, talk with the members. Spend time observing a morning class and an afternoon class. By just being in the space you’ll learn a lot about class structure and Coaches’ personalities. Ask the Coaches what their philosophy is for training and exercise and life. You will know when you have found the “right place”
If there is no “design” behind the programming and there are “Hero WODs” and 40 minute workouts everyday, you should probably run fast and far. Most progressive CrossFit gyms will lead you through warm-ups and mobility, teach you new skills, work on strength and then take you through a short to medium length workout with a focus on quality of movement and intensity in that order.
The same but different.
Although the fundamentals of CrossFit are the same wherever one goes, it’s safe to say no two boxes look the same. What matters most is that you feel comfortable in the space. Is it clean? Does it look like the gym invests in good quality equipment? Is the equipment easily accessed? Is there room to move around in? Are there enough Coaches? Most boxes don’t have a wall of mirrors (if any at all); there may be a stationary bike or some rowers, but no machines. Decide for yourself if it’s the environment for you. Trust your gut!
It’s the People, People!
At most big box Globo gyms (Think Lifetime/Xsport etc..) there is no need or desire to get to know the people next to you on the elliptical Coach or Stairmaster®. In any case, they’re probably too busy watching TV or reading US magazine. CrossFit, on the other hand, is one hundred percent all about the people you workout with every day. As CrossFit increasingly becomes a bigger part of your life, so, too, will your fellow CrossFitters. You don’t have to like everyone, but don’t be surprised if it turns out you do. This is the best hour of every members day, and soon it will be yours too.