Continuing with the theme of getting the most out of your CrossFit experience, I am going to discuss my list of top things that I look for in a CrossFit gym in the order of importance in which I consider them. You personally may look for different things or consider some of these more important than I do, but I believe this is a great starting point.
- People – The fact of the matter is that CrossFit is all about the people you are going to be around, both coaches and members. CrossFit is not always easy and most of the time it is extremely challenging. Surrounding yourself with positive, like-minded people is key to keeping a positive outlook, and it is a huge motivator to get back in the gym every day. The vibe in the gym should be upbeat and fun.
- Coaches – Coaches need to be active in any given class. They need to be both encouraging and knowledgeable. They should be able to give quality corrections and cues for any movements you are asked to perform. Coaches should also be able to scale any movements based upon your fitness level, injuries, mobility, physical limitations, etc. Bonus points if they make class entertaining and add in some appropriate humor. If you are unsure what to look for in a coach, our Coaches’ expectations boards posted in the gym and in the office at Ktown are great reminders.
- Programming/On Ramp – There is a good deal of discussion and debate about what constitutes good programming these days. I believe that in general a good dose of common sense goes a long way. Take a quick look at some of the workouts a gym posts. Do they have an On Ramp program for new CrossFitters or do they just put them in regular classes? Do they program really long workouts every day? Do they ever do strength work? Do they ever take time for skill development? Then, talk to the coaches. What is the process they use for writing their workouts? What are the goals of a certain programming cycle? These are the basic questions that whoever is in charge of programming should be able to answer. That being said, there is more than one way to skin a cat in CrossFit. Just because some programming is different from what you are accustomed does NOT mean it is wrong. However, if the workouts seem unreasonable or raise some red flags for you, odds are that you are right. Trust your gut.
- Location – Notice that this point is fairly low on the list. A great gym location is valuable in that convenience will make it easier for you to get to class on time. Also, it is easier to go to the gym on days when you are tired and not feeling great if you know that it will not cost you a tremendous amount of time. A gym located close to either your home or work is the best. However, there are many people who drive significant distances to go to the best gym for them. Bottom line, when you find a CrossFit gym you love, do not let distance deter you.
The purpose of this list was to be a starting point for things to consider when visiting or finding a new CrossFit gym. At CrossFit Ktown, we work very hard to try to do these things for all of our members. Sometimes we fall short, but we are always striving to improve our product so that you have the best experience possible.