CrossFit, like any sport or activity, invites many different people from various walks of life. But one thing that everyone should know is that there are some widely accepted etiquette rules that don’t really need to be explained. A lot of it is common sense stuff and/or things that are commonly known among the CrossFit crowd.
But in case you’re new or are just oblivious to what you may be doing that’s out of line in the box, we’ve provided 13 etiquette rules everyone should follow…
1. Be Humble
Sometimes when you’re the big dog in the gym, or maybe you just kicked butt in class, it’s easy to let it get to your head. Now don’t get us wrong, confidence is awesome and everyone should have it. But there’s a difference between confidence and arrogance.
Confidence is good for everyone involved and it’s how we accomplish things together. It’s great for training and competition if you use it the right way too. But having a cocky attitude can get you injured and it’s frowned upon, especially when training with others.
It’d be much better to do things intelligently and be respected than to try and be a gym show-off. That also means keep the bragging or smack talk to yourself unless you’re engaging in friendly banter with someone who’s fine with it.
2. You don’t really need chalk for everything
Chalk is good and can help you greatly with CrossFit activities… but using it for essentially all movements, well, that can be considered inconsiderate. There’s really no need to chalk up for everything and subsequently, leave your mark in the gym so that it’s there everywhere you (and other people) turn.
If you need it because it helps then, by all means, have at it. Otherwise, save it for when it’ll benefit you most.
3. Put your weights back
This one is pretty standard and there’s probably not a single etiquette article that doesn’t include it. But not everyone wants a workout before they actually get to work out. And not everyone from the next class wants to use the piece of equipment you left out for them. This honestly cannot be said enough because it still happens in pretty much every gym, on a daily basis.
Not only is it extremely inconsiderate but it makes you look like you don’t care about anyone else but yourself and it’s pretty dang annoying.
4. Be welcoming to newcomers
There’s nothing more distasteful than to be treated wrongly because you’re the new guy or girl. We’ve all been there at some point. However, some CrossFitters or exercisers, in general, can look down on someone and/or be impatient with them too.
Not everyone learns at the same pace and they’re there to learn. Sometimes people forget that when you’re skilled at something, it took time to become that proficient. So don’t have different expectations for others who are at least making the effort to try and learn something.
5. Give your best and don’t cheat
Every WOD (workout of the day) has its standards but that doesn’t mean everyone will necessarily be honest and comply. This is especially true when being pitted against others, can tempt you to want to short a rep or somehow manipulate the situation to your advantage.
Some people even compare their scores knowing darn well they cheated!
If you can comfortably place your head down on the pillow at night and be fine with knowing you weren’t honest, then we’ve got some work to do. CrossFit requires patience and it yields growth as a result which should be the desired end result. Give your best effort but do it the right way!
6. Respect time
While some people may have not developed a sense of time, most CrossFitters take the sport seriously. Being punctual is a sign of respect for everyone involved. Sure, life can happen sometimes and you won’t be able to make it on time. But if you choose to be a part of CrossFit activities with others, you’re expected to be a responsible person (this should be the case even if training alone).
And really, you should follow this rule whether you’re going to CrossFit training or anywhere else for that matters because good habits carry over to other things and other people take notice. So, do your best to get to the box a little early before class is in session. Plus, no one likes to play catch up.
Also, pay attention to your coach. They’ve taken the time to be there and appreciate when you’re present. They shouldn’t have to explain something again because you were distracted.
7. Don’t get in the way
This one is rather simple and straightforward. Don’t get in the way of someone’s workout because it’s dangerous for both of you. This is, unfortunately, an all too common problem. But it’s crucial that everyone is extra aware as to not violate this rule.
Be aware of your surroundings and stay several feet away from others at all times while training is going on.
8. Stick around and show respect/support for others
The CrossFit crowd is big on showing respect and supporting others. With that being said, those last to finish a WOD deserve the same amount of respect. Stick around and cheer them on. Unless, of course, they exceed the time cap and you’ve gotta go.
Many gyms typically wait for the last to finish the WODs and everyone tidy’s up together.
This makes it much easier for everyone, especially at the end of the day. If you must leave before everyone is done though, try to help clean up as best you can but try not to get in anyone’s way who is still doing the workout.
That leads us to the next rule…
9. Don’t get careless with dropping the weights
We get it, weights can be pretty heavy. But that doesn’t mean you should sling them around as if there’s no one around you, or if it’s impossible to damage the equipment. These tools are to be treated with respect as you’re not the only one who has to use them, plus, they can be pretty costly.
It’s OK to drop weights sometimes though, but do it the right way and in a way that’s less likely to cause any disturbance or damage. Catapulting the weights while doing thrusters is a good way to build a bad rep.
10. Leave your excuses out of the box
Face it, you’re not always going to be the best at everything. And you know what? … that’s OK. We’re always learning and trying to improve. But don’t think of every excuse in the book for why you weren’t better or how you could do x amount of reps or weight before.
Nobody really cares! Just accept that you need to make some adjustments or put more time in to get better and let your performance do the talking when the time comes.
11. Don’t just think you can use equipment because it’s close to you
Just because there’s a piece of training equipment close by, it doesn’t mean it’s yours for the taking. You don’t know what it’s being used for or by whom. Politely ask, otherwise, grab the items that you’ll need from where you’re supposed to get them from!
You especially don’t want to mess with someone’s equipment mid-WOD (e.g. sitting on their plyo box or using the pull-up bar while it’s being used).
It’s a good idea to try and talk to other people in your CrossFit gym, especially aside from just the coach. It’ll benefit you greatly to get to know your fellow CrossFit mates since activities can be very involved. It’s sort of like a little community where most people are there to get support and to show it.
Someone else may be more experienced than you in a movement and if you’re serious about CrossFit, you’ll benefit greatly from asking and making new contacts.
13. Take care of your hygiene
Few people can tolerate an awful stench. And the problem is, the smell could be coming from anywhere which makes the thought of sniffing someone crease funk all the more gag-inducing. Also, some people seem to be completely oblivious to the fact that they don’t smell too friendly.
So if you’re reading this, understand that just because you can’t smell yourself, it doesn’t mean others can’t smell you. Take a daily shower, take care of your oral hygiene before getting close to people, and have clean clothing/shoes.
This will go a long way in keeping CrossFit sessions as happy and enjoyable as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some important CrossFit gym etiquette rules?
We’ve listed 13 of them which include:
- Be humble
- You don’t need chalk for everything
- Put your weights back
- Be welcoming to newcomers
- Give your best/don’t cheat
- Respect time
- Leave your excuses outside of the box
- Stick around/show support
- Don’t get in the way
- Be careful how you drop the weights
- Don’t use any equipment
- Be social
- Take care of your hygiene
Do all CrossFit gyms recommend the same etiquette practices?
It’d be impossible to think that all gyms are exactly the same. Therefore, different gyms may have a different culture and atmosphere.
However, basic etiquette is something that’s generally universal.
What should I know before entering a CrossFit gym?
We’ve listed 13 etiquette recommendations that we believe will save you from embarrassment and ensure your experience is as pleasant as possible.
But you should do your own due diligence as with anything, by using available resources.
Will I get kicked out of a CrossFit gym for breaking gym etiquette?
That might be a little harsh and it’s certainly not the case in most instances. However, you may be corrected if you do something that is frowned upon, and in the worst cases, asked to leave the gym. But again, it depends on the action.
These are rules that everyone involved with CrossFit should follow without compromise. It makes the experience much more pleasant for everyone and helps the sessions to run as smooth and stress-free as possible. We expect that every CrossFit gym is different to an extent but for the most part, these rules are universal.
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