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How to select the right crossfit affiliate?

 

Each Crossfit Affiliate operates as a license and not a franchise.  What this means is that unlike McDonalds, the experience can vary significantly depending on where you go. CrossFit HQ do not specify how an affiliate should run their gym. Nor do they require pre-requisites such as a Personal Training Cert before a person can complete the Crossfit Certificate 1.  This means anyone who has the money can essentially complete a cert 1 certificate over the weekend and be qualified to teach Crossfit.  However don't let this lack of quality control stop you from trying Crossfit as there are plenty of good quality Boxes out there.  Just take the time to do your research. Pick one that is right for you.

Not all boxes are equal. Some focus on endurance, while others focus on strength. Some may even focus on the competitions while others are more social.  The focus and the demographics define the culture of that box.  Our recommendation is to try a few boxes before settling on one. The good news is that there are plenty to choose from. Find a local box here.

Things to consider or ask when visiting a box:

  • The experience of the coaches. Number of years doing Crossfit? Do they have any other sport training qualifications?
  • Do they have a beginner’s program? Be weary of gyms that have one free trial session and then you’re ready to join. This should send alarm bells ringing. A good box would offer a beginner's intro course which may consist of 2-4 sessions getting you familiar with crossfit movements, particularly the more technical movements like Olympic lifts.
  • If you are interested in competitions, do the coaches compete? It often helps for them to be in it to be able to advise and guide.
  • Does the culture and focus match you? Eg. Are you after a serious competitive box environment or good social mix?
  • Is nutrition discussed? Exercising without focusing on what “fuels” you is just half the story.
  • Do they publish their programming? This indicates that they are confident in what they are doing.
  • Look at their programming. 
    • Do they dedicate time to mobility and skills technique? 
    • Do they customise warm up for the upcoming WOD? 
    • Do they do a warm down? 
    • How structured is the class? eg. During strength sessions everyone should be on the same rep to ensure sufficient rest time between each rep.
    • Is the program constantly varied? That is, each week are you working on different muscle groups?
  • You may want to speak to existing members or observe a few classes. Whatever gives you the level of comfort before you sign the dotted line.
  • Community. Is the box active in it’s local and crossfit community?
  • What are the exit clauses? Notification period, contract etc?
  • Are you able to freeze your pass when going on holiday or if injured?
  • Is the Box generally open during public holidays? eg. Some Boxes may offer morning classes, while others are close for the entire period.
  • Is there any Open gym time for you to come in and practice? Improving technique is often hard during a WOD. Practice is the key.
Remember one bad experience does not define all Crossfit Boxes. It's not a one size fits all.
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