With over 12,000 boxes worldwide, you have options when choosing a box. Here are a few things to ask yourself when searching for a new box.
What are classes like?
Do they follow a format? Do they start and end on time? Are they coach led?
All CrossFit boxes are individually owned and operated. Even though the Rx workout is CrossFit, there isn’t a prescription for how classes are taught and therefore the format varies at most facilities. Some gyms will write the warmup on the board and members are to show up whenever and complete the warmup on their own. Others are coached from the time you walk in the door until the time you leave.
At CrossFit Chicago, we lead everything from the warmup to the cool down. Our coaches go through extensive training and are able to correct faults and change programming on the fly if needed to match how individuals are moving with what needs to be accomplished. We believe this assessment starts in the warm up and continues thru the end of class and, in some cases, afterwards with special individual exercises or skills to work on. At CrossFit Chicago we want to make sure that each athlete who comes thru our doors is getting a great experience and is leaving better off than when they walked in, and we have found that great coaching is key to this.
How are the facilities?
Do you have enough space? How about equipment? Do they require class reservations? Do you mind spending time at the bottom of your burpee on that floor?
Many gyms require class reservations in order to ensure there is enough space, equipment, and coaches to go around. In theory, this makes a lot of sense. However, at CrossFit Chicago, we believe that our gym is your escape from the real world. We know that schedules change and the unknown happens – and often! For that reason, we do NOT have class reservations – show up for any class time and you are good. Just make sure not to be late, there is a 3 burpee penalty for every minute you are late and who wants to do extra burpees?!? Oh and speaking of the dreaded burpee, our floor is cleaned twice a week by a professional cleaning service and 3 times a week by in an industrial floor Zamboni – it’s pretty cool (and super clean!).
Is anything besides CrossFit offered?
What happens if you are injured? How about open gym hours?
Face it, CrossFit is HARD and with anything hard, there is a possibility of getting overly tired and/or under recovered. If you are choosing to invest in a CrossFit gym, it is wise to make sure they have other options besides CrossFit to help with body soreness, strength gains, and any extra cardio needs. Who wants to pay for two gym memberships?
At CrossFit Chicago, we have carefully developed our offerings, and in addition to CrossFit, we offer a strength program (or two!), SweatFest (cardio/recovery), and Advanced CrossFit just to name a few. If at any time just want to come in and sit on a rower, we allow that too.
Injuries are a fact of life and as much as we try to prevent them at CrossFit Chicago, they happen whether in the gym or walking down the street. Our coaches are very experienced with modifications and keeping athletes working out through almost any injury. It is very important to CrossFit Chicago that our members continue moving, and we will do everything we can to make sure you are able to do so if ever in that situation.
Does the gym have classes for all levels of fitness?
One basic tenant of CrossFit is recording workouts to make sure you are better today than you were yesterday. Having a next step or a goal is always very important whether it’s a specific movement or going Rx on 90% of workouts. At CrossFit Chicago, we have plenty of options for our members. Check out our classes to see all our offerings, or check out one of our favorite skills clinics.
How knowledgeable are the coaches?
If you are new to CrossFit, this can be a little tricky to asses. However, if you are trying the gym out or attending an introductory session; does the coach talk to you? Do they address you by name? Do they try to fix your movement pattern effectively? Do they use multiple cues to get you in the right position? Do they seem to know what they are talking about? Do you trust them?
CrossFit Chicago is committed to investing our time and resources in full time coaches to ensure the best possible experience for our members. Our full time and Lead coaches have multiple certifications in a wide range of disciplines including CrossFit, Strength and Conditioning, and Nutrition; as well as regularly attend clinics and participation in continuing education on a weekly basis taught by CrossFit HQ seminar staff member, Rudy Tapalla. And they go above and beyond to share what we learn with our athletes. When you work with a CrossFit Chicago coach, you know you’re getting the most knowledgeable, current and accurate training available to ensure your safety as well as improve your performance.
How long has the gym been open?
Do they have a good reputation? How are the other members? Do they seem happy? Do they introduce themselves to newbies?
When moving to a new area or starting CrossFit for the first time it might be a good idea to visit a few boxes and see what you think. Talk to the members, see if they’ve always been at that box or if they’ve been to a few in the area and settled on that box.
At CrossFit Chicago, we welcome new potential members and people just dropping in. If you have CrossFit experience, come on in for a class on us! If you are completely new to CrossFit, come in for a free Community WOD or an intro session led by one of our full time staff members. We are confident that you’ll love it here as much as we do! Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
And just in case you were wondering, CrossFit Chicago was the 18th box to open in the world. Currently, there are over 12,000 boxes worldwide so we’ve been around for a bit – 2008 to be exact!
How about nutrition?
Unfortunately, fitness goals don’t happen in the absence of good nutrition (especially over the age of 20!). Working out and good nutrition should go hand in hand and is a very important part of staying in shape at any level. A box that understands and promotes good nutrition is both reputable and will attain results.
In addition to a few Precision Nutrition certified coaches and holding box wide nutrition challenges a few times a year, CrossFit Chicago is happy to partner with Bryce Wood and Better Than Yesterday (BTY) consulting. BTY is a nutrition program that uses the Poliquin Bio-Signature formula to help you understand and breakdown your hormonal make-up to optimize your health, body composition, strength, and general happiness. By finding out how to manipulate your nutrition timing, supplement protocol and workout regimen, you’ll be better prepared to take on your everyday life. The formula for success in Better Than Yesterday, is sustainability. Bryce will help you make a plan that will not only get you closer to your desired short term results, he will help find a way to make it sustainable for a lifetime. Email Bryce@crossfitchicago.com for more info and program details.
Are the coaches invested in your overall goals?
Not everyone goes to the gym for the same reasons nor do they want the same outcomes. It’s important to make sure that your gym has options and the coaches are invested in you meeting your goals. Do they offer support? Would they stay after class to help you learn or perfect a skill? Do they take time to put on skills clinics?
At CrossFit Chicago, each new member is assigned a team that is headed up by one of our full time coaches. Although every coach at CrossFit Chicago cares about every member, your coach is there for you and will help you be accountable. They will answer questions, do an FMS screening to determine any weaknesses and can help with skill development. Additionally, our full time coaches put on quarterly skills clinics on foundational CrossFit movements that are free for members to attend. Check out one of our favorites on double unders.