So I said I was going to write more. Here we go.

Listen, I get it. CrossFit gyms are different. They’re gritty. They’re not pretty and polished. We don’t have juice bars and saunas and fancy reception desks. We have a few people running the show, barbells, rigs, and chalk everywhere. Sweat angels on the floor and a dog in the corner.

Still, there are unspoken rules of how to conduct yourself when you enter the land of burpees and thrusters. It’s time to address these rules and make sure you’re not accidentally being a douchebag. It’s ok. We all learn from our mistakes.

  1. If you’re using a band for pull ups or doing negatives and using a bench or box to get up to the pull up bar, do NOT use the low bars. Use a high one.
    Here’s the deal. If you’re doing assisted or negative pull ups, your probably standing on an object to get up to the bar. Select one of the higher bars on the rig and leave the lower ones for the people doing unassisted pull ups. Why? Seems dumb? Well, remember that you’re stepping up to the bar, and those folks doing the movement Rx are jumping up to it. Don’t make it more difficult on them to have to jump to the highest bar every time they break a set by monopolizing the low bars when you’ve got a 2-4 foot booster. Trust me, when you get pull-ups, you’ll appreciate it.
  2. When the workout is over, don’t immediately announce that you won.
    True, part of why CrossFit yield such drastic results is the competitive nature of a group environment. We push harder when we’re with other people because by nature, we’re competitive. We want to win. We want to be faster, be stronger. That’s fine. Now, that being said, it’s important to remember that you have no idea what the fuck is going on in someones day. Maybe they feel like shit. Maybe they had a late night and are just trying to get through the workout. Maybe it’s movements that are particularly hard for them. Fuck, maybe they’re just straight up not quite as fit as you are. The thing about CrossFit that we all love to talk about is how the loudest cheers are for the person finishing last. Don’t forget that. Don’t get caught up in the competitive nature of sport. When someone finished a WOD after you and is putting their score in, you shouldn’t be standing there waiting to see their score so you can announce that you beat them. They know that. They can read. Don’t be an asshole.  Just say good job and move along. Remember, they might lap you tomorrow.Unknown
  3. Don’t use someone else’s equipment.
    Forgot to set something up for the workout? Don’t jump on someone else’s shit. Plain and simple. It’s your problem that you didn’t take the time to read the workout and get the equipment you needed ready to go. They did. Even if they’re nowhere near needing to use it, it was your responsibility to get your shit set up. Remember, it’s just training. You can take a few seconds mid-WOD to go grab a kettle bell or whatever else it is that you need. It’s not the end of the world. It’s not a competition. Just get what you forgot and get back to work. Oh, and if your gym lets members keep some things there, like grips, wrist wraps, shoes, etc…don’t use someone else’s shit without asking that’s been left because you didn’t have the sense to buy your own. It’s not yours. It’s in a bag or cubby or locker. It’s not community property.
  4. What’s ‘light weight’ for you isn’t ‘light weight’ for everyone.
    This is something I see a lot. A long time member, who over a year or two has built up their strength, tells someone struggling with an 80 lb push press that ‘it’s light’ or that ‘it’s not even a lot of weight’. Fuck off! Remember where you started. There was a time where you had never picked up a barbell. There was a time where you didn’t know what the hell a snatch was. What’s easy for you is not easy for everyone. What’s light for you may be someone’s 1RM. Be respectful of your teammates progress and do your best to encourage, not dismiss, their efforts.
  5. Let someone else’s PR be about them and their PR.
    We’ve all see the videos. Someone gets a PR and a coach or fellow member freaks out so much that the video goes viral because of the freak out. Now, that exctitement is AWESOME. It’s wonderful to see people so happy for someone elses accomplishment, but be careful not to make the PR about your excitement. When those videos go viral, no one is talking about the person doing the lift or getting the handstand. Everyone is talking about the coach who is hilariously freaking out. Let the person who achieved their best lift or first muscle up revel in that success without turning the conversation or attention to your high level of pumped-up-ness. People should be talking about their accomplishment, not your excitement. Let them have their moment and then give them all the props and high fives that they can handle.
  6. Clean up your shit!
    This is on every ‘gym do’s and don’ts’ list that has ever been written. You get it by now. Your coaches aren’t your maids. The owners aren’t your mothers. Clean up your fucking shit before you leave.Unknown-1
  7. Don’t ever….EVER…tell someone “I don’t want to have muscles like you”.
    I’m not kidding. This shit happens. All the time. For some reason, society decided that it’s completely acceptable to tel la muscular woman, to her face, straight up, “I don’t want to look like you”. What the actual fuck is wrong with you people. First of all, that’s bullshit. Secondly, no one is accidentally jacked. Big muscles are the result of big work. They happen because you spent hours and hours and weeks and years under a barbell. They happen because you got stronger. They are badges of honor. They are signs of struggles, of tears, of practice, and of getting a little bit better every day. Of decided to go to the gym instead of watching TV. Of picking squats over cocktails with friends. You’ve been training for a few months a few times a week? You don’t have the fucking RIGHT to say you don’t want to ‘have muscles like you’. You haven’t earned it. Keep that shit to yourself and try to figure out why you feel the need to proclaim that. Why do you think the body that someone has due to their tireless efforts and hard ass fucking work is a body that you’re entitled to criticize? Would you walk up to someone who is overweight and say, “I don’t want to be fat like you”?. Would you walk up to anyone and say, “You look gross. I don’t want to look like that.” No? So don’t say that shit about a girl with muscles either.
  8. Don’t mad dog girls in their booty shorts and sports bras.
    Newsflash guys, they’re not wearing them to impress you. They’re not wearing them to attract you. They’re wearing them because, a) it’s hot out, b) they feel good about themselves when they wear that, and c) it’s fucking comfortable and pants are the worst.  Ladies in the gym, wether they’re wearing sports bras and booty shorts or long pants and sweatshirts are there to do work, not to be oogled. Keep your eyes in your face. This isn’t the place. Same goes for you, ladies. Don’t evil eye the girl who takes her shirt off. Don’t make faces to your friends about the girl who wore short shorts, regardless of what her body looks like. What someone else is wearing doesn’t impact your life. Live and let live.
  9. If you’re not taking class, respect the class.
    These days, there are a lot of non-class members at CrossFit gyms. Olympic lifters, competitors, ‘fire-breathers’, even coaches just coming in to train. The folks who come to the gym regularly, but don’t take the group classes. Do what you gotta do, but the scheduled class comes first. Don’t set your shit up in the middle of the floor. Don’t walk over and try to have a one on one with the coach who is running class about your personal training. It’s not the time. Same goes for asking for personal advice. If someone is there getting ready to take class, say a coach or the nutrition coach at your gym (yes, this is from personal experience), don’t use that time to try to have a meeting about your training or nutrition. Schedule something. Do not try to use that persons free/training time to get a free session out of them. We’re just there trying to get our workout in. It’s just not the time. Would you want someone from your office showing up at the gym just before class to talk to you about a project you’re working on? No? Same applies here.  One last thing, if you’re a weight lifter training in a CrossFit gym, don’t talk shit on CrossFit in the middle of a class. I’m not going to explain why. You look like a shit.
  10. Show up on time.
    This seems simple enough, but when you stroll in late to a class, what you’re saying is, ‘My time is more valuable than everyone else’s here.”. Don’t get me wrong, shit happens sometimes and we get held up. I’m not talking about being late every now and then. I’m talking about the people who are regularly, and habitually late. By 5, 10, or even 15-20 minutes. When you show up late, you’re distracting from what’s happening in the class. Now we’re all waiting for you to warm up. Now you’re behind in the strength session. Not the entire class is running late because we’re trying to include you and start as a team. You’re not special. We’re not all waiting for you. Have some respect for the others involved and show up on time.
  11. Don’t ask your box owner for a discount or free membership.
    This was a last minute addition. There’s something about small business that makes people feel like they should get discounts. All the time. (I’m not talking about bartering here. Exchange of services is one thing and a great resource for box owners. Most gyms offer student, military, EMS, police discounts and things of the like. That’s also not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about straight up ‘I don’t want to pay the full membership, it should be cheaper for me.) You might be surprised how often a member will approach the owner of their gym asking for a free month of membership, or a discounted membership because ‘times are tight’ right now. “I can’t afford the membership fee, but I still want to come into the gym 5 days a week….how do we work that out?”The thing is, more often than not, I’ve seen said owner give the discount because they care about this persons well being. They want them to be able to keep training. The problem with this is that that owner/coach also needs to pay their bills. Your membership doesn’t buy them a fancy car, it pays for their groceries, for their electricity, just like your paycheck at your job pays yours. We don’t go to the electric company and ask for a discount because they budgets tight. If your boss came to you and said, “Hey, we’re gonna need you to work for free this month…the budget is a little tight.”. You would probably respond with, ‘fuck you, pay me.’.Part of what CrossFit has done is allow people to start their own businesses from the ground up. All you needed was some capital for equipment (which, back in 2009 wasn’t a 50K Rogue Rig), and your Level 1. From there, it was up to you to build your business. That’s what it is. BUSINESS. These box owners don’t make next to nothing half the time for fun. They do it because they’re invested in improving the lives of others. This isn’t extra money in they pocket. It’s their livelihood. Not only does your membership pay for their you know…lives…but it pays to allow the gym that you’re going to to run. Rent. Heat. AC. Equipment. Coaches. None of that shit is free. That’s what your membership pays for. You have your job. You value your time and you expect to be paid for your work. Why do you think that the owner of your gym is any different? When you pay your membership, you’re supporting small business. You’re keeping the gym doors open. Don’t ask for free rides. Cut costs elsewhere. Definitely don’t ask for a discount and then post pictures on Facebook of your wild night in Atlantic City or your brand new $300 pair of sneakers. It’s just bad form.

Ten seemed like a solid place to end it…but that discount thing got me last minute. Some of these might seem obvious. Arriving on time, cleaning up after yourself. You’d be surprised, though, how often those things happen over and over again. CrossFit keeps people coming back because of the community. That cliche word that we all love to throw around. If you’re going to be a part of it though, if you’re going to talk about it…be about it. Respect your coaches. Respect your fellow members. Respect your gym.