Shopping for a Spot to Squat:
Tips for Choosing The Right CrossFit Gym

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So you’ve decided to take a dive at CrossFit. Or perhaps you’re new in town looking for a new home gym. There’s an intimacy in choosing the right one, seeing as how you will be spending a lot of your personal free time there. It’s important to choose one that’s right for you, so consider these 7 points:

#1. Plan your first visit. 

Reach out to the gym to schedule a visit. You can either watch an active class or request a free class and tour. Come ready to ask questions and discuss fitness goals at your visit.

 

#2. Tune into the vibes.

You should always shop with an open mind, but pay attention to the vibe of the staff and facility because this will be your new home away from home.

  • Was it welcoming?
  • Did the staff and members appear positive?
  • Are the coaches attentive to the class and members?
  • Were your questions answered and did you leave feeling supported?
  • Do members seem supportive of each other; a sense of camaraderie?
  • Is the atmosphere relaxed or competitive in nature? *

*Note* The culture of every gym is different in nature. So it’s important that you understand the type of atmosphere you will thrive the best in. 

 

#3. Cleanliness and Organization

No gym will be museum clean (naturally), but the cleanliness of a gym speaks to the quality of service and attention you will get on a 1+1 basis. Some chalk remnants on bars, bells, and floors are normal, but overall how comfortable is this space for you?:

  • Are the floors free of trash and debris?
  • Is the equipment arranged safely and with good accessibility?
  • Is it clear where to put your personal belongings?
  • Are the bathrooms and showers clean?
  • Is it well lit and easy to breathe in?
  • Are there whiteboards, leaderboards, and a properly working timer?

 

#4. Programming

This one is important, and perhaps the most debated in the CrossFit community. Pay close attention to their programming. 

“Remember that a good program should provide variety, but be results-driven and easy to explain to a new athlete.” 

  • Does this gym have original programming?
  • Does it stick to the main CrossFit site on a regular basis?
  • Or does it purchase programming from a specialist?
  • Does the gym have open gym hours, a competitors program or sport-specific training?

 

#5. Beginner’s Program

Also known as “on-ramp” or an “elements course”, these are the classes for beginners to understand the fundamentals of CrossFit before attending classes. Figure out if these points are addressed:

  • Does the coaching staff discuss recovery and mobility?
  • Is the importance of nutrition and the right diet for you discussed?
  • Do they overemphasize competitiveness?

 

#6. Coach Resumes

A great coach could make or break how much or how often you want to show up! So there’s nothing wrong with interviewing your potential coach and their staff. 

  • What is their experience with CrossFit, personally and professionally?
  • Do they discuss the importance of nutrition and sleep?
  • Is there a good reputation?
  • Do they show a passion for CrossFit?
  • Do they impose suggestions that support each client individually?
  • Are they well versed in beginners as well as advanced? *

*Note: It’s important that they are able to both scale down as well as scale-up for more complicated lifts/movements. Ideally, you want to see a coaching staff use both scaling and progression to get their members comfortable with the more complex lifts. A well-rounded and informed coach is only beneficial to you!

 

#7. Ask Questions, Be Open and Have Fun!

You’ll hear the word community quite a bit because friendships are built on the support and camaraderie of working toward common goals. Share your story with others, and listen to theirs. Ask questions and check out CrossFit.com for the latest in the world of CrossFit!

 

#8. And Finally, Don’t Forget To Ask Yourself These Personal Questions

  • What am I willing to give or give up to add CrossFit to my life?
  • How much am I willing to spend?
  • What is my time commitment? (Any amount of time is OK!)
  • What are my fitness goals?
  • Am I (finally) ready to increase my strength, build mental fortitude and make some cool new friends along the way?

CrossFit PTV would love to support on your journey! Let us know about your experiences, comments or questions we would gladly like to answer here.

 

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