At the Box: What Makes a Great CrossFit Box? (Part 4)

Updated September 14, 2023

We’re almost there, having covered the coaches and the community. Now, let’s focus on the core!

Core is integral to CrossFit and a crucial aspect of a great box. We can break down core into two parts: the physical core and the ideological core.

Physical Core:
When we say physical core, we mean that a great box should be conveniently located. For example, Jason Khalipa’s Box is excellent, and I would love to work out there. However, it’s not accessible to me because of the distance. Similarly, when looking for a great box, it should be easily accessible, whether near your workplace or home. This is common sense, but let’s take it a step further.

A great box prioritizes its physical well-being by maintaining functional and well-maintained equipment. When something breaks, it gets fixed promptly. If bars need replacing or rigs become unstable, they are quickly addressed. I recently heard from a box owner who reinvested in the equipment for the sake of the community. A great box should have the appropriate equipment for CrossFit workouts. CrossFit can be demanding, and box owners must create a safe environment for intense workouts. We should be able to work with properly functioning and safe equipment. This doesn’t mean everything needs to be brand new or have a recognized brand name, but rather that a great box is one where owners genuinely care for the facility and reinvest in it.

Ideological Core:
The core isn’t just about the physical aspect; it’s also about the ideology. A great box knows where it wants to lead its members and how to provide them with an exceptional experience.
Large corporations use vision statements and slogans to capture their core identity and leave a lasting impression on customers. A great box does the same for its members. Whether it’s “Forging Fitness for Life,” “Looking Better Naked,” or “Where the Best Get Better,” these slogans encapsulate the core identity of the box. Not every box needs a slogan, but the best ones often have carefully thought-out slogans that guide their members down a clear and expected path.

This path will vary depending on the ideological core. For example, if a box’s focus is “fitness for life,” it will provide great workouts, seminars, and training that shape the mind. The ideological core should be ingrained in the members’ lives, so great boxes infuse it in all aspects of their training.

Furthermore, a great box clearly expresses and integrates its ideological core into the community, taking its members on a journey of growth and development. It explains why they train in a specific way, clarifying any rules or principles, such as kipping. If a box emphasizes foundational movements and progression, it continuously reminds its members of this. Great gyms inspire and guide their members by sharing their vision and reminding them of what they’re working towards. For instance, something that seems repetitive, such as wall walks, is a progression to the handstand push-up. Great boxes never lead their members blindly; they constantly show them the way and provide the necessary tools to achieve their aspirations.

This is just one perspective on what makes a great CrossFit box. I’ve personally visited many boxes and witnessed these qualities firsthand. I want to express my appreciation to all the great CrossFit boxes out there, as these articles would not exist without you.

Thank you to all the great CrossFit boxes. Let’s continue to build this community and strive for greater heights!

This article is Part 4 of our “What Makes a Great CrossFit Box?” series:

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