At The Box: What Makes a Great CrossFit Box? (Part 1)

Updated August 20, 2023

Welcome to our “At the Box” series, where we’ll explore various aspects of CrossFit. In today’s discussion, we’ll focus on what sets a great box apart. Over the next few weeks, we’ll dive into each component in more detail.

Let’s start by identifying three key elements that make up all great boxes. For simplicity’s sake, let’s give them names starting with the letter “c” (not because CrossFit starts with a “c,” but you get the idea).

1.) Coaches

The foundation of a successful CrossFit experience is the coach. Why? A good coach is essential in teaching proper form, lifting techniques, and gymnastic skills. They are there to support and motivate you when things get tough. Just like Mickey in Rocky, a good coach will make you believe in yourself and knows when to step in and make necessary adjustments.

CrossFit requires expertise in many areas, but no single coach can be an expert in everything. However, a great box will have a diverse coaching staff with various strengths. You might have coaches specialized in gymnastics, others certified in strength coaching, and even those who bring an entertaining touch to the workouts. A combination of different skills ensures a well-rounded coaching experience focused on mobility, strength, and skills training. Look for a box that offers depth and diversity in its coaching staff.

2.) Community

If there’s one thing that sets CrossFit apart, it’s the strong community it fosters. Beyond a fitness trend, CrossFit is a supportive network of like-minded individuals who celebrate both victories and struggles. The camaraderie formed through shared experiences creates a sense of belonging.

A great box is characterized by its community. Pay attention to the box rules; you’ll notice that they emphasize teamwork and unity. A truly supportive community cheers for every member, regardless of their finishing position. Are people encouraging and supporting each other? Do they help each other clean up and put away equipment? This collaborative spirit is a hallmark of a great box.

3.) Core

The concept of “core” in a great box can be understood in two ways: physical core (location) and ideological core (box goals).

Physical Core (location): A great box should be accessible to you. This doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be close by but rather that it fits your lifestyle and location. It may require a drive, as long as it’s manageable and doesn’t discourage you from attending workouts consistently. Convenience is important, but don’t sacrifice coaching expertise and a strong community just for proximity. Take the time to visit different facilities, observe the atmosphere, and even ask for a trial period to make an informed decision.

Ideological Core: Beyond physical proximity, the ideology of a box is crucial. A great box goes beyond just physical training; it aims to empower you in multiple aspects of life. Look for a box that has a clear mission or program dedicated to your overall health and personal development. A great box invests not only in your physical well-being but also in your mental and emotional growth.

These are just a few initial thoughts on what makes a truly great box. Stay tuned as we delve deeper into each component in the coming weeks!

This article is Part 1 of our “What Makes a Great CrossFit Box?” series:

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