1. Don’t ghost ride the whip! In other words, don’t dump an empty barbell. Simply put, this damages the equipment so don’t do it. In the same way that CrossFit is a community affair, think of the equipment as community goods. If you damage them, you damage them for everyone.
2. Rest! Don’t WOD seven days on, zero days off. (You know who you are!) Also, take rest days that are actually rest days. I am pretty sure the CrossFitter invented the concept of the “active rest day.” I am all about staying active on days off from the gym. But lets get serious people, running a 5k or doing 500-meter row sprints, is not exactly resting.
3. Don’t let life get in the way. On the flip side, don’t take too many rest days. We don’t want to get into the habit of making the gym an intermittent occurrence. One or two days on followed by five or six days off will interrupt the workout routine you’ve worked hard to establish.
4. Scale appropriately and scale often. Contrary to popular belief, your goal in CrossFit is not to perform every WOD as prescribed. Your coach programs your workouts for you to feel a particular stimulus, at a particular capacity, for a particular amount of time. Scale to meet this intention, not your ego’s.
5. Don’t Cheat. Don’t be that person fudging their reps, times, and weights when it comes time to record scores on the whiteboard or on the web. It diminishes everyone else’s hard work and makes it impossible to track your own progress. Plus, it’s just really annoying.
6. Ask questions. Unsure what weight to use? Having some difficulty with the turnover in your power cleans? That’s what your coach is there for! And not only are they open to your questions, they typically are addicted to talking about CrossFit and you might not be able to get them to stop talking once they start.
7. Make friends. CrossFit isn’t a come in, put your head-phones on, workout, and go home kind of affair. CrossFit is about community, and that community is what is going to keep you accountable when you’d rather eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and watch Netflix than hit the gym. So, say hi to the new comers and stick around to shoot the breeze for a few minutes after class.
8. Don’t talk while your coach is talking. Do I have to even explain, or did your first-grade teacher take care of describing the common courtesy behind this rule?
9. Be coachable. Your CrossFit coach became a coach to help people become better, stronger, faster, and healthier. Listen to them. Even if the skill they are going over is a strength of yours, listen anyway. You just might learn something new, and the day we stop learning is the day we stop excelling.
10. Never say “I can’t.” Learning new skills and getting good at them takes time. Saying “I can’t” isn’t going to help you get that first double under or unassisted pull-up. Have patience and try not to get frustrated.
11. Don’t gossip. We’re all here to lift one another up. Gossip will never accomplish this.
12. Put form before all else. Rather than throwing form out the window to win those big numbers now, put your time and energy into perfecting your form and your overall potential to put up big weight will increase in the long run. Plus this will help you avoid injury that could keep you out of the game and further from your goals.
13. Check your ego at the door. CrossFit is a humbling experience. No matter how strong, how fast, or how tough you are, at the end of the workout everybody looks the same laying on the floor in a pool of sweat. Don’t cover up your vulnerability. Own it. This is what makes you human. And hiding your weaknesses with arrogant pride is what makes you a scumbag.
14. Look to improve daily. Practice equals progress. Pick a skill and make it your prerogative to get good at it. Dedicate a few minutes before and after class to develop this skill and before you know it, you will have another strength in your pocket.
15. No chalk parties. The barbell doesn’t get lighter by wearing a sheen coat of chalk over your entire body. I swear. Also, if you spill the chalk bucket, please clean it up. Basically, try to leave the gym in a better condition than you found it in. We may workout in a warehouse, but that doesn’t mean we can treat it like a barn.
16. Don’t be late. First off, it’s just rude and disrespectful. Second off, it’s rude and disrespectful! Plus, in the CrossFit gym, lateness is punishable by burpees. And literally, no one, likes burpees.
17. Always finish your workout. The only thing between you and finishing the WOD is the little voice in your head telling you, you can’t. CrossFit may be all about community, but at the end of the day, your time in the box is about showing that dirt-bag voice in your mind whose boss.
18. Cheer for Others. We’ve all be there: the lone soldier fighting through the last of something long and heavy. Don’t be the one who starts putting away their equipment while leaving your fellow comrades to fend for themselves with no encouragement. Give them that extra push they need, the same push that you would appreciate if you were in the same position.
19. Eat clean. You can’t exercise yourself out of a bad diet. Reinforce the hard work you are putting in at the gym with some hard work and discipline in the kitchen. If you aren’t sure where to start or need to get some food frustration off your chest, your coach will be able to give you the guidance and support you need to pull off this lifestyle shift successfully.
20. Workout while on Vacation. Running, air squats, pushups, lunges — they’re all portable and won’t get you searched going through security. Working out while you’re away will keep you feeling at your best so you can enjoy every last moment of your vacation. Use it as a way to get out and explore the local culture. Maybe even drop into the local box (especially if your visiting the home of CrossFit Surf City, Huntington Beach, CA)!
21. First thing, sign in! Every CrossFit gym is different, but for the most part this is a standard part of the process. Plus if your gym uses software that links attendance with progress tracking, it’s to your benefit to remember this.
22. Stay involved! Go to events and competitions where your box is represented. Follow your gym’s blog and Facebook page…. And if you aren’t in the Huntington Beach area, follow our blog and Facebook page too for more posts like this one!