CrossFit Gym Etiquette

All social situations require some sort of etiquette, but often you have to learn by making mistakes. Wouldn't it be nice to know all the social norms of a situation before ever entering it? Here are some aspects of CrossFit Gym etiquette that hopefully you'll find useful.

Arrive on time (or early).

Community is an important part of any CrossFit gym. Showing up on time or a little early is a great way to spend some time with others in your class or cheer on people in the class just before yours.

The other people you work out with are pretty cool and totally worth getting to know, but it’s really hard to have a conversation when you’re in the middle of a AMRAP of squat cleans and over the bar burpees.

Keep the chalk in the bucket.

We provide chalk because it’s hard to hold onto the pull-up rig or a barbell when your hands are sweaty. It doesn’t take much chalk to solve the sweat problem so there is really no reason to get chalk all over the floor.

  1. Grab a piece of chalk.
  2. Turn it over in your hands a couple times while your hands are directly over the bucket.
  3. Drop the chalk back in the bucket.
  4. Rub your hands together to get an even application of chalk.
  5. Return to the workout.

Cheer for everyone.

Our workouts are hard and sometimes people can get discouraged when everyone around them is finishing up and they still have 15 burpees left. This is your opportunity to come along side your friends and help them get through the workout. It’s acceptable and encouraged to cheer louder for the last person to finish than for the first person.

Setup your equipment in an orderly fashion.

Not everyone performs every workout the same and because of this it might seem to make sense to setup your equipment for how you’ll be modifying the workout over in a corner and let someone else set up in another corner. Don’t do this.

Setup in a way that movements are being performed together. Keep the boxes for box jumps together and the barbells for your deadlifts together. There are a couple reasons this is important.

  1. You’ll be more aware of where the other people are in the workout and that can push you to work a little harder and be a bit more competitive.
  2. It makes it possible for the coach to watch everyone's movements easier. For the most part people move through the workout at roughly the same speed. So a coach can watch and correct more people at one time if they don’t have to keep spinning around in a circle to see everyone in the various corners of the gym.

Don’t drop an empty barbell.

A good barbell should last several years, maybe even a lifetime with proper care. Dropping the barbell without bumper plates on it can cause damage inside the collars that allow the barbell to spin properly. If the barbell doesn’t spin well it can makes it more difficult or even dangerous to perform the Olympic lifts.

It is also considered dropping an empty barbell if you slide all the weights off one side and it falls and hits the floor. This is most common way we see barbells being misused. It’s not difficult to hold the bar with one hand and set it down under control.

Pay attention to the coach

Coaches are there to help you get the most out of your training session. We try to help you improve all the time and we have years of experience and knowledge that can help you… if you pay attention.

Our goal is not to give you a tough workout and make you sore. We want you to get faster, stronger, and overall more fit. Every day we go over the workout and explain what the desired stimulus for the day is. We’ll offer up some guidance on how to approach the workout for the day and some scaling options to help you experience the desired stimulus. Pay attention to this stuff, and ask questions if you are not clear. Even if you’ve heard it before, it may be new and really helpful to someone in the class. And if they see you’re not paying attention they may not pay attention either and miss out on something very helpful.

Respect the platform.

When we’re working on heavy olympic lifts it’s very distracting to have someone walking around you. If someone is attempting a heavy lift give them some room. Stop moving, get out of their line of sight and generally let them focus.

Introduce yourself

If you don’t know someone please introduce yourself. People come and go for a lot of different reasons and it’s hard to be sure if someone is new or if you’re new and they’ve been on vacation. So if there is someone in your class you don’t know, please take a minute to say hi and introduce yourself. You’re about to suffer together and it’s a much easier to cheer someone on if you know their name.

Put your equipment away.

It’s expected that you know how to setup your equipment when you show up for a group class. (We cover this in our Elements Course if you don’t know how.) This also means we expect you to clean up after yourself.

Sometimes if the workout is on the shorter side we have a little more time to roll around on the floor in agony, but other times we need to put stuff away quickly so we can get on with our mobility for the day and get out of the way for the next class.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, as every gym is a little different. Most of these things come down to just one rule, “Don’t be a dick,” or said more politely “Be considerate of others.” It’s not too much to ask. Just try to think of how your actions may impact another person whether another athlete, a coach, or the person who may have to clean up the mess if you leave it.

If you’re unsure of anything just ask. We know there is a learning curve and we want to make it as short as possible.

Now go live better.