Choosing a CrossFit box is a tough decision. It is where you’ll probably spend a decent amount of your free time, and where you’ll hopefully make some of your best friends. Being a CrossFit box owner, a lot of my friends ask how to choose a gym to go to. After hearing the same question a few times, I thought a simple, five step process in how to choose a CrossFit box would be a good post for people to read. Here are the steps:
1. Actually physically GO to the box.
I know, this probably sounds like a very obvious thing. However, in today’s Google-dominated-world, it’s surprisingly common for someone to just choose a box without ever stepping foot inside. You should definitely use Google as a resource to get a feel for a gym before you go, but you should still go see if you feel a chemistry with the coaches and people there.
2. Meet at least one or two coaches.
When you go to the box, talk in-depth with at least one coach, if possible. You should be able to judge if that coach is going to care about your success, or just be happy to have another person in class. There is a difference, and it’s important to feel that out.
3. Ask about how new athletes start at their box.
Even if you’re an experienced CrossFit athlete, you should ask this question. Does this gym just put new athletes into class and teach you as you go? Do they do an intro class? Is there a formal OnRamp program everyone has to go through? These are important pieces to know.
4. Are the people in the box welcoming?
At the end of the day, what keeps you coming back to the gym is the people who are there. That can be a coach, your classmates, or the owner. Whoever it is, make sure you connect with at least one person the first time you walk in. It makes that first month much easier to have someone you know cares about your success.
5. Do they know what makes them different?
Hang with me on this question. If you ask a CrossFit owner or coach, “what makes your gym unique?” and their response is anything related to community or programming, walk away slowly. Yes, programming matters. Yes, having a good community is a bonus. But at the end of the day, the people who live that box day in and day out should have a more passionate answer than the standard, “community and programming” response.
Every CrossFit box is going to have just about the same equipment. The programming will probably look generally similar, and people are (typically) nice everywhere you go. You have to look deeper than that to know if a box is the right fit for you or not.