Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past ten years, you are well aware of the fact that CrossFit style training has quickly become THE training system for those looking to build functional strength and endurance, get into incredible shape, and feel better than ever before. And as with any new system, suddenly popularity often leads to an influx of “newbies”, brand new to training in such an intense environment. It’s okay, we’ve all been new to something, at some point in our lives. However, special care should always be taken to ensure you are following the proper rules of etiquette for the CrossFit world. Let’s check out some rules of CrossFit etiquette that you just cannot overlook!
First off, show up on time. CrossFit isn’t run on an open gym schedule like your old Globo gym. Things work by the clock here. The trainer and other participants respected the group enough to be on time, and so should you. Not only will you disrupt others with your late entrance into the foray, but you’ll also be cheating yourself of the wonderful overall benefits that arrive as a result of properly completing a CrossFit workout. They are designed to deliver maximum effectiveness as a result of the exercise order and duration from start to finish. Plus, your trainer might have you doing extra burpees as punishment for your tardiness! Squat-thrust your way to getting a reliable watch!
Point out broken equipment
If you see something broken – say something! “Muscle-ups” can quickly become an alarming “Man down!” if damaged rings go unreported. Even if you aren’t using that equipment, you can rest assured that eventually, somebody will. Do everything you can to keep your fellow CrossFitters safe by notifying management or a trainer of any damaged or dangerous equipment or circumstances that you encounter.
Welcome the new members
It’s your box and you take pride in it, but you’re also always happy to see new people join your CrossFit endeavor. More members mean more membership fees – and soon you’ll see new amenities, more trainer, and perhaps even added space for your training facility. Introduce the new people, catch their name and share a smile – then turn your focus to getting the job done!
Keep your lips sealed
Completing the workout of the day (WOD) requires work ethic, tenacity, and above all, concentration. The person training next to you doesn’t want to hear about the cute thing your cat did, or your view on global geopolitics. He or she is there to conquer their former self and perform at a higher level than ever before. And if you have the urge to chat, it may be a pretty strong indicator that you aren’t all that focused upon your own workout to begin with, right?
Your clothing should be more utilitarian than showcase. You have the other 23 hours of the day to look your best. Think practical and choose clothing that allows flexibility but isn’t loose. You don’t need Army boots, you don’t need sandals – choose some comfortable tennis or training shoes and you’ll be good to go!
In order to successfully complete a CrossFit workout, one should be able to throw themselves completely into the workout. When focus is wasted upon looking from side to side to ensure you aren’t going to collide with someone, the effectiveness of the workout is certainly lessened. Measure your spacing ahead of time, based upon the proximity to the trainer and available floorspace in the facility. If you’re stepping on toes, it’s time to move back. If not, your double unders might just end up becoming quadruple-unders as a result from a collision with the person training next to you!
One of the worst things about a traditional mainstream commercial gym (Globo) is the presence of gym bags on the gym floor. For some reason, muscleheads often believe the bigger their arms, the bigger bag they are permitted to leave sitting in the middle of the training area. A 19-inch upper arm equates to an 80 pound duffle bag for some people! These bad habits sometimes emerge in CrossFit facilities as well. Lesser impactful but equally important is the cleaning up of straps, chalk, clothing, and other gear. Leaving these items on the floor is an eyesore but can also present a health hazard to others. Clean up!
Avoid the clanging
Don’t be a jerk on the C&J! There is a good way to drop weights, and there is a very bad way to drop weights. There are going to be times during the commission of a lift that you will release a barbell or weight plates and they will seek the assistance of gravity in reaching the floor. It happens as one trains to failure and it’s time for a set to end. However, there are also times when a person will just toss weights (they do bounce and roll!) or drop them in a loud and dangerous manner which really startles other members, causing them to break concentration. This behavior can also lead to damaged equipment. Remember, you’re just renting your time in the box – treat the equipment with respect!
Leave the EGO at home
Yes, you are always intent on pushing yourself to failure and reaching new personal bests in everything you do in your WOD. However, training with weight you cannot handle or using unsafe form to force additional repetitions is a formula for disaster! Use your brain, listen to the wise words of your CrossFit elders, employ common sense, and above all, have fun!