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 (Rich Froning’s 2011 rope climbs anyone?). CrossFitters have to 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
No need for the Lebron James. Chalk your hands over the bucket and help keep the box clean.
4.) Stay until everybody finishes
Often times, the last athlete that finishes 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 reach 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. In order to see how you’re progressing, you need hard numbers to compare. Any type of 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 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.