The New Year is upon us, and that means it’s fitness resolution time. If you’re thinking about taking the plunge and finally joining a CrossFit box, that’s great! However, a little bit of homework is necessary. Here are five essential questions to ask every gym owner/trainer when attempting to determine the best box for you.
1. What certifications do your coaches hold and at what levels?
CrossFit Level 1 is the basic certification, and all CrossFit coaches must obtain it in order to legally instruct in a CF gym. The L2 is an additional level of certification a trainer can obtain, but it is not necessary to lead classes or coach individuals. Note that holding an L1 is not the same as being a certified personal trainer, so don’t be shy about asking coaches exactly what certifications they hold. The USAW (or USA Weightlifting) certification is helpful but not necessary to teach, since Olympic lifting is covered in the L1.
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2. What is your box’s mission?
A CrossFit box that truly invests in its clients’ healthy life choices wouldn’t be worth its salt if it didn’t have a clear mission. If the owners and trainers can’t clearly lay out why they want to help you and how they plan to do so, turn around, walk out the door and never look back.
3. How important is mobility training?
Without proper mobility training, you will not only be unable to accurately and effectively perform the movements in CF classes, but you will also risk injury. Mobility training should be a part of any reputable CrossFit box’s programming, so be sure to ask how and when the coaches incorporate it into their training.
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4. What if I don’t feel comfortable doing a movement in the WOD?
The answer to this question could be the most telling when it comes to assessing a CrossFit box. If a trainer tells you that you must try to do it anyway—no doubt spouting absurd maxims like “Quitting isn’t an option!” or “Pain lets you know you’re alive!” you have my permission to laugh in his or her face before you grab your water bottle and run for the exit. A good coach will answer you by saying he/she will not force you to do anything that makes you uncomfortable, and that he/she will work with you to come up with a scaled version of the movement that you do feel comfortable doing.
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5. What are my payment options?
Every CrossFit box has its own payment plans and packages, and sometimes this information can be a little overwhelming. Ask for a hard copy of payment options so you can review everything on your own time with zero pressure. If a gym doesn’t seem to have a payment plan that fits your budget, don’t be afraid to ask if a custom package can be created for you.