I am writing, when it comes to CrossFit gyms, from over 10 years experience….the most in these neck of the woods, as they say. I have had the fortune of traveling and visiting other gyms all over the nation and even outside of the country. Many of them are great and I have learned from them even in a one hour class, but many have left me expecting more, to be honest. I believe a membership at a community based gym can be life altering in many ways, much like neighbors or a church. Choose wisely….
Here are a few things I look for when I plan to drop in to a gym and would consider before joining a gym….
1- How do I get Started? – Does the gym have an on-boarding/starting program that is purely based around the individual and their goals? Each person has their own issues, concerns, medical history, and goals…..they should be handled accordingly. We have learned over the years that a one-on-one start up program helps do this and even accomplishes a few other things….. It allows the coach to get to know the person very well to establish a relationship, they can schedule each session around the clients schedule, and they can progress at the clients unique pace. This really does set the tone for the group classes that are on the horizon. It makes them more fun as everyone starts at a base level of fitness in the group classes.
2- Variety in the Workouts – Is the programming/workouts covering lots of movements, varying time allotments, and allows someone to lift heavy periodically. These may sound obvious but I often see some of these missing or biased towards the owners preferences. An owner has their own biases, such as power lifts or cardio sessions….we are all humans and must avoid these biases. This is important along with a coaching staff that can assist a member with modifying a workout as the client may need it. The coach ensures each client gets the stimulus of each workout despite their unique scenarios.
3- Do the coaches care about you? – As silly as this sounds, is the coach just running a clock and making sure you do not get hurt or do they show concern about who you are and that you get value daily. Our mission to is impact others through fitness. We know our program will get you fit but more than anything we want the class and every time you visit our gym to be the best part of your day. Do you feel that way each and every week? Does your coach reach out to you outside of the gym to check on non gym things? Are they invested in you as a person or as a paying client….we are focused on the person.
4- Community – Does the gym have a thriving community? This may not be easy to tell at first glance but I have found that most people get relatively fit in the first 9 months but it is the community that keeps them engaged. They will continue to see progress but the community is what makes it fun….and we have the best community ever….promise!
5- Do you find the gym making you a better person? – I do not even mean just more fit but as a whole person….are you better for it? Does it challenge you to be a better you? Are you looking forward on Sunday evenings to see your friends at the gym this coming week? The answer, no doubt, should be yes to these questions.
I can speak for myself, that I have found some of the greatest friends at our gym, I have never been more fit, and I am challenged to be a better person each week. To be a better father, friend, coach, and leader. We push each other physically and mentally to be the best we can….that is invaluable and I cannot put a price tag on that!
Choose well my friends!