choose

Each and every CrossFit Box [gym] is different from one another.  CrossFit is an affiliate program, and not a franchise.  There are ONLY two things that you are guaranteed every CrossFit box will have in common:

  • They are affiliated – They have paid a premium price to use the name “CrossFit” and to be listed on the main crossfit.com site as an affiliate.
  • They have at least one instructor who has attended and passed the “CrossFit Level 1 Instructor” class.

After that, it can be a free-for-all.  CrossFit is a business, but a business that should be concerned about health, fitness, and community.

 

So, how do you find the right CrossFit box for you?  This is what we believe you should consider:

  1. Programming – Every person is different.  Every person has different strengths, different weaknesses and degrees thereof.  So, it only makes since that the CrossFit box you choose as your new home for getting fit understands this.  The vast majority of CrossFit boxes program for what the majority of that box can do, or not do as the case may be.  Few look at the whole as a group of individuals, with more specific programming for the individuals’ needs, and not just saying that “scaling” is the answer to that problem.
  1. Location – Most of us work long hours, have kids, other responsibilities throughout the day.  If the location is not convenient enough to get to fairly easy from home or to/from work, you will quickly find excuses not to show up.
  1. Class schedule – Does the box offer enough times during the day/week to allow for your already busy schedule?  Sure, you may have to make some adjustments to your schedule to get to class some days, but the schedule is important, or again… you will not go.
  1. Coaching – This can be tricky, especially if you are new to CrossFit, or fitness at all.  Just about anyone could tell you things you want to hear and show you the movements, but how do you know if what they are saying is correct?  The tough answer is, it is hard.  Use your gut.  Talk to current members.  Read reviews.  Use the eye test.  You have probably seen some videos online, or on TV. Do the members look like they are doing them correctly?  You will figure it out.
  1. Cleanliness – Though some boxes out there are moving into shopping centers, most of us are still in warehouses or any other large space we can find to accommodate all of the equipment and people.  It is NOT “Globo Gym”, Lifetime Fitness, etc. but it should still be clean.  You use the restrooms, you workout on the floor [and die a little bit after rough WODs] on the floor, so that floor needs to be clean.
  1. Class size – Good coaches, with the proper space and adequate equipment, can handle classes up to 15 people with no real issue.  If classes get bigger than that without multiple coaches, you are probably not getting the attention, especially as a beginner, that you are paying for and deserve.  So ask about class size, take stock in what the space looks like, observe a class or two.  Get a good feel for what is going on.
  1. Community – The CrossFit community worldwide is a very close group.  The community at the box you choose should make you feel comfortable being there, especially in the beginning.  They should be encouraging, yet push you when you need that push.  CF communities are family.  Also, what events are offered?  Nights out?  Box competitions?  Volunteering?  These are all important things to the vast majority of CrossFitters.  Find out about their events.
  1. Nutrition Advice – Does the box focus on eating well?  Can they advise on how to do better with your eating, either gradually or cold turkey?  The coaches are there to help, and general knowledge and advice is part of what you pay for in terms of nutrition.
  1. Price – Price is last on this list for a reason.  CrossFit is going to be more that most normal gyms.  You are getting attention from a personal trainer at every class.  You have the encouragement of your fellow members.  You have someone to work on form, give advice, etc.  CF is just like anything else; though there are definitely exceptions to the rule, you generally get what you pay for.  If a particular box in the area is significantly lower that everyone else, that usually means they are having to compensate for other shortcomings to add members.  If they are significantly higher than everyone else, you just may not be able to get all of the value for your money if you are not an elite athlete, or unless they offer so many more services that you can take advantage of.  In all life choices, price is a consideration, but should be lower on your list of deciding factors.