10 Unwritten Rules to Follow at a CrossFit Box

Updated September 22, 2023

If you have been CrossFitting for a while, you will recognize some or all of these. Here are ten unwritten rules that might be good to know when you attend your local box (or visit a new one). Some are meant to be humorous; others are serious. You can decide which is which:

1.) Check your ego at the door

This will always be rule number one at a CrossFit box. Because of the nature of the program, something will always humble even the greatest in the sport. CrossFitters must understand that CrossFit is a competition against yourself and be ready to do what it takes to improve.

2.) Be on time

Most CrossFit boxes operate on a class schedule. Unlike other programs, it’s hard to come in a few minutes late and catch up. Missing part of a warm-up can also increase your chances of injury.

3.) Chalk Wisely

Chalk your hands over the bucket and help keep the box clean.

4.) Stay until everybody finishes

Often, the last athlete finishing a CrossFit WOD gets cheered on more enthusiastically than the first. Once you finish, catch your breath and cheer on your teammates.

5.) Don’t drop an empty bar (unless you are bailing from a lift for safety reasons)

It’s LOUD. It’s also bad for the bar. And, again – loud.

6.) Support your teammates

As box-mates, people depend on one another to stay accountable and reach their goals. Encourage one another to achieve personal goals. If somebody falls off, reach out and bring them back on board.

7.) Don’t shave reps

Scale workouts to whatever is necessary, but don’t purposely come up short. CrossFit is about measuring you against yourself and cutting off reps to finish faster skews the data you have to measure progress. Worrying about your standing on the whiteboard won’t make you a better athlete – beating your previous PR will.

8.) Track your Results

Whether you use a journal, take pictures of the whiteboard, or use Wodify, do something to keep track of your scores. CrossFit is a data-based program. To see how you’re progressing, you need numbers to compare. Any workout log accomplishes this task.

9.) Don’t spot a back squat!

This one is a huge safety issue that can be seen at “globo-gyms” (and yes, unfortunately, even some CrossFit gyms). Other than the bench press, most lifts should not involve a spotter. Before attempting a heavy lift, make sure you are comfortable with bailing. Spotting lifts, especially back squats, is dangerous for both the lifter and the spotter.

10.) Be part of the community

CrossFit has one of the best communities around. Engage with your boxmates both in and out of the box. Plan get-togethers outside of the gym and get to know one another. Following rule 10 will reap far more rewards than just becoming more fit.

WOD Planet