As a newbie you recognize that CrossFit has a culture of its own. Although each CrossFit affiliate has its own quirks and norms, some things are pretty constant. These rules are pretty universal, so whether you’re joining a new box or you’re visiting one far from home they can help you be a better member.
- Do show up on time!
- Do sign up for class!
- Do clean up after yourself!
- Do introduce yourself!
- Don`t drop an empty barbell!
- Don`t empty the chalk bucket!
- Don`t break down equipment before everyone is done!
- Don`t ignore the coach!
At CFH, we actually had our own rules written on the wall of our first location. Since then, we never felt it would be necessary to write down such things as every coach & member knows and lives up to our “rules” naturally. Nevertheless, it can`t hurt to remind not only the newbies but also the veterans that we have certain rules. Yes, your coaches love when you clean your own chalk mess and leave the training floor as neat as possible. The individual sign-in for every class is necessary not only for members being able to track results, but also for your gym-owners. Because reliable numbers are necessary to run a business successfully.
Apart from specific rules there is such a simple thing called manners. Being on time, a friendly “hello” and “goodbye”, helping others clean-up, listening to the coaches, not cheating on the rep count, not putting away equipment before everyone finished the WOD…these are all examples of good manners. And manners are more important than rules. Because the strength of a community is reflected in the behaviour of its members. Every gym has rules, but that alone doesn`t keep away assholes from joining a gym. It`s the culture that attracts the right people.
Cancellations are part of the game. They happen for different reasons and lately they appear to grow into a serious problem. Some people cancel because of the WOD, many others because of work or kids and some people because they don`t seem to care about others. Currently it`s holiday time and not all classes are fully booked. But the problem remains the same. Your coach is checking his schedule in the morning and sees a full class with people on the waitlist, only to realize in the evening his class has more cancellations than participants.
If you book several spots at the same day just to decide last minute, i would call it selfish behavior. A late cancellation might not affect you too much if you have unlimited membership. But there are other members who would have loved to take your spot, but can no longer react so close before the class. Did you ever think about that? We kindly ask you to think about your fellow athletes, when you reserve and cancel classes for whatever reason!
Remember the WOD is visible 2 days in advance. If you like to avoid certain movements because of pain or individual restrictions, you have enough time to check out the WOD, before it`s too late. If you like to avoid certain movements, because you just don`t like them, then it`s probably your weakness and you are a damn cherry picker. If you like to cancel because of the outside temperature, remember there is a thing called weather forecast that can be looked up a day in advance as well. And another fun fact: Inside our box it`s currently a lot cooler than outside.
We actually don`t like to write down rules and point out people. Let`s behave empathetic and only reserve training spots, where you plan to attend the WOD! No matter if there are Thrusters or whatever, no matter if it has thirty or zero degress outside, it has to do with discipline and manners. I don`t care if you attend your german lessons or if you see your dentist on a regular basis. This is your business. But CrossFit HelvetiX is my (and Micha`s) business. If you cancel classes on a regular basis, it affects your box owners, your coaches, your fellow athletes and leads to stricter rules. So please, think about others, if you like to remain a member of our community! I have certain people on my watchlist, who produce more cancellations than attendances.
Well, you may think it doesn`t matter if someone cheats on his/her own reps. But that couldn`t be further from the truth. Let`s first of all distinguish between “i`m not sure if i did count all my reps/rounds 100% correct” and “if i cut 10 reps per round, i will hopefully finish first”. The first thing can happen to anybody and is called miscounting. In this case you could probably use a handcounter, or ask the athlete next to you which round he/she is in. Lots of members have different strategies that help them keep track during the WOD. And even if you miscounted a rep accidentally, no one will blame you. Your coaches advice is quite simple: Better one rep too much, than one too little!
The second thing is called cheating and that doesn`t happen accidentally, it`s intentionally. I don`t talk about scaling. I talk about intentionally shaving reps to save energy and finish faster. Don`t do that! No one cares about your time if you were cheating. Instead of choosing the Rxd Medball or the heavy barbell, why not going for lighter weights and therefore finish all your reps? Remember, scaling is not a crime. Please, do not cheat on your rep count! No one likes cheaters. Check out the meaning of Integrity!
Support each other!
This is one of the most impressive aspects of Crossfit. Of course, a WOD is competitive, but every single workout is also about helping EVERYONE involved to improve and work on their fitness together. You see this same mentality at every level of Crossfit, from the fittest people on earth at The CrossFit Games right through to a newbie in our 2-Coaches class. Please, don`t just sit around and chat with your gym buddy, if there are still athletes working their asses off to finish in the timecap. If you can walk and didn`t pass out, support your fellow athletes! Call it camaraderie, fellowship or whatever, but we push each other through f#*ing Mordor and back. Because that`s how we do it at CFH.
Your Coach & Co Owner “Daniel”
This post was inspired by an Invictus blog post and may serve as an appeal to good manners. Manners Are More Important Than Laws – Invictus Fitness (crossfitinvictus.com) You can also read one of my older CFH blog posts related to this topic:
Please note: This text reflects my own opinion and doesn`t necessarily match every single team members opinion. I apologize for inappropriate wording or offending. I would love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave a comment below!