Mirror, Mirror?

Mirrors don’t exist very often in CrossFit boxes (not any of the ones I’ve trained at), and it’s not really something that I even really thought about until recently.
By Jamie Toland, CF-L1 ,

Mirrors don’t exist very often in CrossFit boxes (not any of the ones I’ve trained at), and it’s not really something that I even really thought about until recently.

I have been helping in the On Ramp (beginner’s) classes since I got my Level-1 certification in June, and I love working with these new members for a whole host of reasons. Aside from a few of the obvious reasons, it’s also refreshing because they bring in an outside view … and questions.

Last week, one of the On Rampers commented, “It would be easier to work on my form and see what I was doing wrong if there were mirrors in here.”

I hadn’t honestly considered that. To me, mirrors are for the self-absorbed globo-gym, earbud-wearing, curls and bench-press crowd. Ever since I’ve being doing CrossFit, I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to train in a place where there are mirrors all around. When I travel and have to train in hotel fitness centers, it’s actually uncomfortable for me to look up and see my reflection mimicking my movements.

But are mirrors a bad thing? The CrossFit world would probably argue that they are more for looking at yourself and admiring your cute new fitness outfit than actually being used to check your form while executing a lift. But does that mean they’re bad? The On Ramper who brought up the topic was very sincere in her questioning and, although mirrors have become uncommon at affiliates, students new to CrossFit have probably always trained in mirror-filled rooms.

Obviously, in a place where the occasional off-balanced Olympic lift will cause some people to stumble around before securing the weight overhead or where classes line up to kick upside down into handstand push-ups, it may not be the best idea to line the perimeter of your box with a wall of glass.

I honestly think it goes beyond the safety concerns that may arise. I think in the mind of many CrossFit owners, the walls of mirrors, much like the pec-deck machine or lat pulldown machine, have no place inside an affiliate. When the motto is “less is more,” frivolous things like machines (aside from the Airdyne or Concept2 rower) and mirrors have no place.

What is your take on mirrors at affiliates? I know some places out there have them, but I’d say a majority don’t. Does your box have them? What do you think about them? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page. I’ll give you a minute to reflect on this one.

Stay on the Grind.

Jamie Toland
CFL-1 Trainer
Twitter @JTolgrinder
Jtolgrinder@gmail.com

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