Finding the right CrossFit gym can be a daunting task, whether you’ve been doing CrossFit for years, or you’ve never done a single burpee. Are you looking for an affordable CrossFit Gym? Are you looking for one that’s easiest to visit? Today we’re going to give you a rundown on the things you need to know before you start your search, things you should look for when checking out a box, and the questions you should ask when talking to the coaches.
Know Before You Go (What are your goals, what is an affordable Crossfit gym for you?)
First things first. What are your goals here? Do you want to…
- …get stronger?
- …lose weight?
- …look like Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy? (This may or may not have been my goal when I started my CrossFit journey…)
If you’ve been doing CrossFit for awhile, chances are you already know what your goals are, but now might be a good time to re-examine them. If you’ve never done it before give it some thought. There isn’t a right or wrong answer here, but this is going to help you figure out everything else you need to know. If you want to get more brute strength, you’re going to want to look for a gym that does a lot of powerlifting. If you want to get better at gymnastics and body weight movements, you’ll need a gym that focuses on those skills. A good way to find out if the box specializes in whatever it is that you’re hoping to improve is by checking out past WODs. Even if a gym uses a system like Wodify (as we do) and doesn’t post WODs publicly, the coaches should be able to give you an idea of what skills they work most often. This will cut down on the number of gyms you need to visit.
The other big thing to consider before going is cost. You need to figure out your monthly budget for fitness. The cost of CrossFit can seem daunting (although it’s not as bad as it seems, which we discuss here.) so it’s important to go in with clear eyes about how much you’re going to spend. You want to find an affordable CrossFit gym for your situation. So find out what their monthly membership costs. Using a Groupon is great, but if after a month the cost becomes more than you can bear you haven’t done yourself any favors.
Learn the Lay of the Land
So you’ve found one or more boxes you want to check out. What’s next?
- Judicious use of drop-in policy. If you have been doing CrossFit for more than a few months, most gyms allow you to drop-in to a class for a small fee (usually $20-$25). If you are considering a few different boxes, drop-in to each one. You don’t need to let them know you are looking for a new gym, you can just say “I live in the area, and I’ve always wanted to join you guys for a WOD.”
- Talk to current members at the box. Find out what they like and what they don’t.
- If possible, ask for your old coach’s advice. Chances are they have some good insights.
New to CrossFit
- First, Most boxes offer a free class, or week to new CrossFitters. Take advantage of that.
- When you’re there, look around. Check out the bathrooms, the weight racks, where the med balls and ab mats are stored, and the shape of the pull-up/squat rig. Is everything clean? Well maintained? Organized? These will all give you hints as to how the owners run this business.
- Pay attention to how your body feels after the class or classes. Some soreness is to be expected, but not pain or serious discomfort (This is also good advice for your CrossFit practice overall.). If this is the case it is a big red flag that this coach is not the right one for you.
Talking to the Coach
You’ve taken your class, you feel great, you like the vibe, so now it’s time to talk to the coach. Here are a few things you might want to ask.
- “How far in advance do you program workouts? Weekly, monthly, day to day?” While you might not notice it day to day, coaches are usually aiming at a few goals. This is a good thing. You want to make sure it’s something they consider both for your long term growth, as well as to avoid over use injuries.
- “Do you have any particular focus in your programming?” The coach will be able to tell you if they do a lot of powerlifting at their gym, tons of cardio, or anything else. This would also be a good time to discuss with them your specific goals, and see if it’s a fit.
- “Do you offer any membership discounts?” It never hurts to ask, and can help you to find an affordable CrossFit gym.
CrossFit is an amazing way to improve your fitness, mental clarity, and even your social life. Hopefully this guide will help you find a box that can feel like a second home!