We love how our friends at CrossFit Headquarters in Santa Cruz describe this revolution: “We believe that where you train is less important than how you train, and whom you train with matters more than what gear you have. We know this can be done anywhere. We’ve proven that the back yard to the garage to the warehouse is as good an environment as any for forging elite fitness.”
Once you have narrowed down the (official) affiliates you want to try, take the time to visit. Talk with the Coaches, talk with the members, read the reviews. Spend time observing a morning class and an afternoon class. By just being in the space you’ll learn a lot about class structure and Coaches’ personalities. Ask the Coaches what their philosophy is for training and exercise and life. You will know when you have found the “right place”
If there is no “design” behind the programming and there are “Hero WODs” and 40 minute workouts everyday, you should probably run fast and far. Most progressive CrossFit gyms will lead you through warm-ups and mobility, teach you new skills, work on strength and take you through a short to medium length workout with a focus on quality of movement and intensity in that order.
Although the fundamentals of CrossFit are the same wherever one goes, it’s safe to say no two boxes look the same. What matters most is that you feel comfortable in the space. Is it clean? Does it look like the gym invests in good quality equipment? Is there room for everyone to move around safely? Are there enough Coaches? Most boxes don’t have a wall of mirrors (if any at all); there may be a stationary bike or some rowers, but no machines. Decide for yourself if it’s the environment for you. Trust your gut!
At most big box commercial gyms there is no need or desire to get to know the people next to you on the elliptical or treadmill. CrossFit, on the other hand, is one hundred percent all about the people you workout with every day. As CrossFit increasingly becomes a bigger part of your life, so, too, will your fellow CrossFitters. This is the best hour of every members day, and soon it will be yours too.