The popularity of CrossFit has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few years. This popularity is further fueled by the annual CrossFit Games where the best CrossFit athletes around the world compete against each other for the title of the Fittest Man or Woman in the World. Of course, CrossFit Gym etiquette is key to ensuring that everyone has the best workout possible.
You may have heard about CrossFit, which is considered as a lifestyle for its enthusiasts. But it’s more of a community rather than a simple sport. CrossFit athletes not only compete against each other, but they also support each other, especially if they belong to the same gym or CrossFit box.
With this in mind, it’s also important for newbies to know that there are some protocols to observe when you join a gym or you need to follow CrossFit gym etiquette. While there may be some slight differences in the customs in each gym, they are basically similar to each other.
If you’re planning to join a CrossFit gym and have no idea what CrossFit gym etiquette you should follow, we got your back. We listed the more common CrossFit gym etiquette you should be aware of so you won’t have to worry about what to do and what not to do when you’re in the gym.
But, before we go into the details of the do’s and don’ts about CrossFit gym etiquette, let’s talk about what etiquette is all about and get you up to speed on the most common CrossFit box rules.
CrossFit Gym Etiquette
CrossFit gym etiquette is similar to having good table manners. It’s mainly about respecting others, the equipment, and the gym. Since the gym or the box is a place where people exercise and push themselves to the limit, it is essential for everyone to avoid affecting everyone else negatively.
While people exercising in ordinary gyms normally keep to themselves, CrossFit athletes are different. They normally treat everyone in the gym like a family. So, they end up wanting to make friends with everyone else.
Due to this, they end up encouraging each other. CrossFit athletes support everyone in the gym so they can reach a personal record. They basically consider everyone like family.
Despite this camaraderie, there are still some things you should avoid doing in a CrossFit gym. Some of these are unwritten rules that everyone already knows and follows. These rules are basically the etiquette that you should observe if you intend to become a part of the CrossFit community and join a gym.
Gym etiquette is common sense manners that everyone is expected to follow. Following them ensures everyone has a positive experience while working out in a CrossFit gym.
Since there are a lot of things to keep in mind when talking about CrossFit gym etiquette, we’ll divide it into two categories so it’ll be easier for you to remember. These two categories are general CrossFit gym etiquette and CrossFit gym etiquette while working out.
General CrossFit Gym Etiquette
The following are the things to remember when it comes to general CrossFit gym etiquette.
#1: Be Early
While you may be at the gym just to work out, joining CrossFit means you also get to join the community. This is an integral part of the fitness lifestyle, so you may want to socialize with the other members of the gym or box.
With this, arriving early at the gym allows you to get to know everyone else in the gym. Socializing at the gym allows you to make friends. What’s more, you may even get a tip or two in improving your personal record if some exercises.
Aside from mingling with other gym members, arriving early is also advisable if you signed up for a group class. You will have time to prepare and avoid disturbing the flow of the class.
#2: Leave the Phone in your Bag
These days the smartphone has become an extension of our daily lives. Some of us would even have a mini-panic attack if we can feel it in our pockets. But, checking your social media account or playing a game or two can distract you from the task at hand, working out.
So, you may want to leave the phone in the bag. Focus on the workout of the day and hitting your personal record. You can always check it later after completing a killer workout.
#3: Introduce Yourself
If you see someone new to the gym, you may want to introduce yourself to him or her. While it may not be a requirement, it’s one way for you to let them feel welcome. This is particularly true when he or she is new to CrossFit.
You may have experienced this when you were new to the gym. The coach may have introduced you to everyone else and made you feel welcome. At this point, you may take the initiative to introduce yourself to the newbie and not wait for the coach to do it for you.
When the newbies feel welcome, they’ll likely give the gym or box a positive review. This will allow the community to grow bigger and bring in more business to the gym. Moreover, you’ll find it easier to cheer for someone you know by name.
#4: Cheer for Everyone
People have different strengths and capabilities. When they encounter workouts they find challenging, they may become discouraged and end up not completing it. Due to they need all the encouragement they can get.
In a CrossFit gym, everyone is encouraged to cheer louder for the last person to finish a workout than the first one. Being a part of the CrossFit community will be an opportunity for you to help them complete their workout by cheering for them.
We never know, you may also need some encouragement to finish the last 15 burpees in the future.
#5: Pay Attention to your Coach
Paying attention when the coach is giving instruction to a class is one way for you to show respect to the coach. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie or a veteran CrossFit athlete. You should not have private conversations at this time.
The coach wants to make sure you get the most out of the training session. Even if you already know what to do, your fellow athletes may have no idea about how to perform some exercises. Due to this, you should keep quiet and let everyone learn a thing or two from the coach.
Moreover, the coach may give additional information you haven’t heard before. You may even learn how to make a lift easier to perform. So, it pays to be attentive.
#6: Respect the Zone
There are CrossFit gyms or boxes where athletes have different programs and training levels. In these places, they are normally preparing for a competition or two and are working at different times and levels.
With this in mind, you may see some people warming while others are preparing for a workout. Due to this, you should respect the zone. Respecting the zone means checking out the gym before you start socializing.
A short conversation may force one athlete to warm up again. In this case, you may want to take a step back and talk to them after the workout. If you see someone standing in front of a bar while focusing on the clock, you may want to avoid having a short chat with him.
If you were in his place, you wouldn’t want your focus to be broken since you’re already in the zone.
CrossFit Gym Etiquette while Working Out
The following are the things to remember when it comes to CrossFit gym etiquette while working out
#1: Strip the Plates Properly
Barbells are normally designed to last a long time if you take care of them properly. But, if you drop it without the plates, the collars of the barbell may be damaged. When this happens, the barbell will not spin well, which will make it less safe for you to perform Olympic lifts.
So, if you’re stripping the barbell, you should do it properly. Lift the barbell before sliding off the plates. Then, you should put the barbell down properly. Never let it fall into the ground.
Aside from damaging the barbell, you’ll likely get an earful from your coach because of this since replacing a barbell is not cheap.
#2: Clean As You Go
When you were young, your parents may have told you to keep your toys after playing with them. Well, the same thing goes when you’re in a CrossFit box or gym. While you don’t have to go around picking trash, you just have to put the gear away after you use them.
One rule of thumb you can follow is to leave the box better than the way you found it. This means to put everything in their proper place. You should arrange the weights in their correct order, return wall balls into the racks, and put foam rollers to their correct position.
If you use gym equipment, wipe them down after you use them. It’s more than just removing your sweat, you have to make sure you stop germs from spreading. Just a paper towel with some disinfectant can go a long way in keeping everyone safe in the box. This is one of the most important CrossFit rules so be sure not to neglect it.
#3: Don’t Steal Equipment
Stealing equipment doesn’t mean that you bring it home with you. It’s more of getting gear while someone else is using it.
For instance, taking a bar someone set up for a workout of the day will likely get you dagger looks. This is a faux pas you should never commit in the box.
Even if you think it’s an honest mistake, imagine yourself in the shoes of the other person. You wouldn’t want to stop in the middle of your workout because somebody stole your equipment.
#4: Respect the Platform is an Important CrossFit Rule
The platform is a sacred place where you should not cross or walk around when someone’s using it. It’s mainly for courtesy and safety. When you see someone preparing for a lift, stay away, and don’t cross behind the person.
The person lifting may be distracted by your presence so you should give them the room they need. Stay out of their line of sight and allow them to focus on their workout, especially when they’re lifting heavy Olympic weights.
#5: Return Equipment You Borrowed
When you borrow someone else’s gear, make sure you return it after you use it. Never pass it to someone else without the permission of the owner.
Let’s say you want to borrow a roll of tape from someone. If someone sees you with the tape and asks to borrow it, the least you should do is to go to the tape’s owner and ask him if you can let someone else borrow it.
#6: Good Etiquette Mean Not Spreading Chalk All Over the Place
Chalk is available for athletes to use since it’s not easy to hold a barbell or pull-up rig with sweaty hands. But, you should take note that you don’t need lots of chalk to deal with a sweat problem. So, you should avoid spreading it all over the place.
When you use the chalk, grab it and turn it over your hands several times. Make sure your hands are over the bucket. Then, drop the chalk in the bucket before running your hands together.
After this, you can go back to your workout. You don’t have to bring the chalk around while turning it over your hands a couple of times.
These are just some of the basic things you need to know about CrossFit gym etiquette. While there may be others that you can add, most, if not, all of them are simply promoting courtesy and safety in the CrossFit gym or box.
Have your Say about CrossFit Box Rules and Etiquette
Do you have any advice or other Crossfit gym rules that you’d like to add to our list? Leave a comment below and let us know. We’d love to hear from you.
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