Are you finally tired of feeling like crap, and ready to make a change? Do you need to know how to choose a CrossFit gym? I believe that getting involved with your local CrossFit gym if the best way to get your body back to the athletic machine it was meant to be. You could be looking to regain an ideal fitness level that you’ve achieved at an earlier point in your life. Or you could be wanting to get into the best shape of your life. Either way, keep reading!
This is a post that’s all about how to choose a CrossFit gym. They aren’t even close to being created equal, and you need to be armed with the right questions, and answers.
Definitions you need to know
Definitions… just so we’re on the same page, CrossFit gym’s are commonly referred to as “boxes”. This is because they are usually shaped like a box, and nothing more. You won’t find all of the normal workout equipment that you’ll find in a regular “globo gym”, because the truth is, you just don’t need it. A CrossFit box will usually have lots of open space, similar to a warehouse. This allows for tons of fun, and creative exercise to be performed.
When you’re looking into joining a CrossFit box you need to pick carefully. Think of it as the same process as hiring a personal trainer at your “globo gym”. To become a CrossFit coach, you have to take a two day course that teaches the basic, and fundamental skills of CrossFit. This course is called a “CrossFit Level 1 Certification”. This is a very informative course that I think is great, but only taking the course will not create a great CrossFit coach. This comes with time, practice, and a great attention to detail. This is why you must interview your CrossFit coach to make sure they have the experience, and know how to help you achieve your fitness goals.
Questions that you should ask when interviewing a CrossFit coach:
How long have you been a CrossFit coach?
* Ideal answer – I have been a CrossFit coach for over 1 year, and have been personal training for years before getting into CrossFit.
How long have you been teaching fitness (personal training, group x, etc)?
* Ideal answer – 1+ years.
What are your certifications?
* Ideal answer – CrossFit Level 1, plus at least one other national certification.
What is your philosophy on form vs. intensity?
* Ideal answer – You need intensity to achieve results, but form will NEVER be compromised to achieve intensity.
Have many of your members been injured?
* Ideal answer – It’s inevitable that people will get injured even with perfect form, but we rarely have injuries. When injuries do occur we coach the members through the injury cycle, and teach them how to learn from the experience.
Will you tell me if I’m doing something wrong?
* Ideal answer – Without a doubt, absolutely!
Are the workouts scalable for new people?
* Ideal answer – Yes, all exercises should be scaled to an individuals ability level.
Do you teach a nutrition (such as Paleo) to your members?
* Ideal answer – Yes, we teach the Paleo nutrition program, and have Paleo challenges to motivation members on a regular basis.
Can I come in to the box early, or stay after class to work on improving faster if I want to?
* Ideal answer – Absolutely! You’re welcome anytime that a coach is hanging around the box. We encourage members to hangout and be a part of the community.
Do you have a new member course that is mandatory?
* Ideal answer – Yes, all members must take our CrossFit essentials course before entering regular classes.
These questions should help you screen the CrossFit coach at your initial meeting. From there it is important that your coach is giving proper coaching.
Be sure to ask questions, even if you feel stupid.
A good question is:
“am I doing this right?”.
And a follow up questions is: “what are you looking for when doing this movement?”.
This should trigger a decent explanation of where your body should be aligned, and what you should be feeling. If you don’t get the answer that you’re looking for, keep prodding. It should become clear at this point if the coach knows what he or she is talking about. Feel free to use these same questions for all of the coaches that you encounter at your CrossFit box. Most coaches will like the questions, and be encouraged to give you more assistance.
If your CrossFit coach answers these questions to your satisfaction, then you’ve found a good one. Nice work!
Now get busy, and let me know if you have any questions.