With CrossFit’s steady rise to fitness mainstream fame, access to CrossFit boxes has also grown with its popularity. Now, the problem has shifted from where do you find the nearest box to which box you should be a member of.
Some boxes are better than the others. There are also boxes that are good in their own right, but do not necessarily address your needs. Selection of your ideal CrossFit box should start with your own personal goals. The more you understand your own goals, the better chances you have at achieving them. Why have you decided to train in a CrossFit box? Do you want to compete? Or do you want to integrate CrossFit as a part of your healthy lifestyle? Some coaches are experts in specialized areas, so this is something you should take into account when you do your research (more on this later). If you’re into CrossFit as a part of your general healthy lifestyle advocacy, then a box with health and nutrition programs should be very helpful to you. Pin down your own goals first – budget, time commitment, etc. – before you examine your available options.
Once you’ve done that, you take your goals with you when you do your oculars. When you get to the box, take a good look at their floors, mats, kettlebells, barbells, and their other equipment. Are they clean and well-maintained? Are disinfectants and rugs readily available for the next user? You’re going to lie down and roll on the same floor other users in the box step on. It’s very important that it’s clean and disinfected.
Is the box well-lit? It should be. Lighting affects focus in ways you don’t think about. You could injure yourself in a box where areas that are supposed to be well-lit are dark. Does the box have a clean bathroom?
5-star luxury isn’t what you’re looking for in an ideal CrossFit box but at the very least, it should be clean and comfortable. Safety is a big deal in CrossFit. If the CrossFit box ensures the functionality and cleanliness of their equipment, it’ll give you hints that the box management will take care of its clients. Functionality includes the strategic placement of equipment.
Check out how the management designs its classes. Are there enough classes for beginners? Are there dedicated classes for lifting? Do they hold special training for people who are interested in joining competitions and throwdowns? Match their classes with your own goals. If you’re a beginner, prioritize the foundation classes and see if they fit your schedule.
Who conducts these classes? The coaches determine the quality of these classes. Their experience and certifications matter. Do they have L1 or L2 certs? What is their reputation in the local fitness community? The last question is just as important for people who want to do CrossFit as part of their cross training. If your coach happens to be a former basketball player, s/he can use that experience to recommend which exercises in the box are best in enhancing your performance in the court. What training philosophy do they adhere to? Are you more comfortable with the nurturing type or do you see results when subjected to tough love?
At this point, it’s a good idea to schedule a trial class. CrossFit boxes usually offer it for free. That way, you experience the coaching style first-hand. It’s also the opportune time to determine if the community is right for you. CrossFit is built on community but every community is different. The community should be a source of encouragement and motivation, not of insecurity and gossip.
Take advantage of the trial and see how it goes. If the discussion points in this article meet your goals, then it could be the right box for you.