Whether you’re new to CrossFit or you’re a seasoned vet looking for a new gym in a new town, you’ll want to find a good gym. We all know how much of a cornerstone your affiliate can be in your life, so choosing wisely can have a major affect on the rest of your life in general. Here are four basic things to look for when gym shopping:
1. The Vibe Is Everything. At the end of the day, these people can become like a second family to you. By “these people,” I don’t just mean coaches and staff, I mean everyone.
Try to visit the gym around class-time hours so you can get a feel for what it’s like. You’ll know quickly whether it feels like a welcoming place to spend your time, money and sweat in. Do students come up and introduce themselves? Is the staff excited that you’re showing interest in their program?
2. Price. If you’re looking for a deal, you’re probably unknowingly choosing a discount experience, as well. As a gym owner, I’ll be the first to tell you that most gyms know what their competition charges. Though it’s not universally true, most gyms offering a bargain are trying to compete in ways their services can’t.
Seek quality. Most gyms are priced accordingly.
3. Are They Able to Use Progression? I’d encourage anyone to take a class at a gym they’re interested in joining beforehand. You’ll want to choose a gym where the coaches are able to progress athletes of all levels toward their movement. If the coach only warms up his/her students and describes movements, it may be difficult to safely and effectively learn new movements.
You’d like to see a coaching staff use not just scaling but also progression to get students up to speed on more complex lifts. This is a coaching skill that’s worth every penny.
4. The Little Things. Greg Glassman once said you can tell the caliber of an affiliate by the cleanliness of its bathroom. At the end of the day, CrossFit is a pursuit that rewards attention to detail. If the gym you’re looking at is dirty, doesn’t take pride in its website or hasn’t ironed out the finer points of its customer service experience, it may not be the place to place your health and fitness in, either.
Happy gym hunting!