A few months ago, on our family’s trip back east, we went to a good amount of CrossFit gyms. An owner asked me what the best gym I’ve ever been to was. I was kind of perplexed, thinking about it. I though about all the gyms I’ve been to, but the answer was simple: our gym, CrossFit Oakdale. Maybe it’s the great coaches, the awesome community, the brilliant programming (blush), the beautiful owner (hi-YO!) or maybe it’s something else. But CFO is hands down my favorite gym.
In that regard, we always want to keep our kung fu strong, and here it comes…the dreaded etiquette post.
Please understand – this is not a call out. If you think you are an offender, maybe you are. But we still love you. If we haven’t approached you about something you read, it’s probably because it’s a small thing. But, small things add up, and that makes our kung fu weak. If we have said something to you about an issue – we’re not rubbing it in. And we still love you. Maybe it’s a learning point, or you just left the toilet seat up and got caught. Someone said “teachable moment” in the last 10 years, right?
Please be on time for class. We get you for 1 hour, let’s use the whole thing. In a class, we generally get 15 minutes to warm up, 20 minutes to work strength, 15-20 to condition, and maybe 5 minutes to clean up or cash out. That’s it! Take advantage of that whole time. We have smart, creative coaches that have planned out warm ups. Take advantage of it. I don’t believe in burpee penalties or any such nonsense (it’s not the army and it’s your nickel) but if lateness becomes an issue, will I publicly acknowledge your presence to the class? Probably. We all run late. The light at Gregor stinks. But if it becomes a constant issue, please plan accordingly.
CrossFit Oakdale’s are all volunteers. They volunteer their time, energy, knowledge and passion to help you reach your fitness goals. Please be respectful of their recommendations.
Further, be respectful of the coach “on the floor.” We’re lucky to have great coaches that like to hang out, but if you are attending a class, it is that coach’s class. If you have an idea or question, please refer it to the coach that is running the class.
It is very important to us that coach’s participate in class WODs. If you are training with a coach in a class, please be respectful of their WOD. They are great people, but when it’s their turn to work, please let them work hard and focus on their WOD.
Cell phone usage
I understand it’s 2014, but I hope CFO can be a place where you can focus on YOU, not all the white noise that comes with modern life. Cell phones should be put away, whether you are in class or not. If you are anticipating a call, by all means, have your phone close. If you are going for a PR lift, or your first muscle up, pull out that phone and video it. Finally RX Fran? Take a picture of the white board with your sweet iPhone 6. Wanna send a 10 texts to your bestie? Please take it outside. Wanna scroll through your Facebook feed? Please take it outside.
I understand phones are a huge part of our daily lives. I ask that you please understand that too. Even standing off to the side, scrolling through your IG feed to see how many likes you have or if Julie Foucher is following you, may take someone’s mind off of working hard and return them to that email they need to send of that document they need to review.
Words – Positivity
This is higher level stuff, but please use positive, encouraging words whenever possible. What words are to be avoided? Any and all usage of DON’T, or STOP, or QUIT or any other negative word you can thing of. Replace “Don’t Stop” with “Keep moving.” Replace “Never Quit” with “Be Strong” or “Compete!”
Think about encouraging things you would like to hear in a WOD. I’ll never forget my buddy Chad leaning into my ear during a competition in Fresno, when I was rowing my ass off and saying, “Your legs are strong! Use your legs.” It was like Obi-Wan telling me to use the force.
Also remember, when someone is mid WOD, less is usually more. We might need one good strong word of encouragement, not a constant play by play. Or counting the time. Or counting reps. When in doubt, be positive, judicious, and effective in your language.
In the same vein, please respect the equipment, yours and ours. Naked bars are not meant to be dropped, either on accident or on purpose. Also, there is no reason to get mad at the equipment. Sometimes it’s ok to yell out the f-word if you are missing that Jerk over and over again. But it’s not the barbell’s fault. Don’t kick it the bar. If a set of wallballs isn’t going your way, it isn’t ok to slam the ball to the ground. You energy will usually be better served by stabilizing your midline like a mother grabber, taking a deep breath and – breathe and fire. Be zen. Use the force.
Please clean your equipment with wipes after each use. Spray down areas that you slugded up with sweat or man/woman gravy. This means bars, balls, bell and mats. Once you’ve used a wipe, PLEASE throw it away. We find these little gifts deposited throughout the gym. Same goes for water bottles. Please throw them away – I may be the worst offender on this.
We want folks to work hard and work their goats. But please remember the class is always the priority. I am guilty of warming up in the pull up rig while classes are lifting or are mid WOD. I know this because my lovely bride told me to quit distracting her athletes with my noisy stretching. Duly noted! As always, if you have extra work, please ask the coach on the floor if it is ok. If you think you are being a distraction, you probably are. Move and take steps to be quiet as a church mouse. There are busy classes that I do not recommend extra work – basically 4:30p or 5:30p. 6:30p is generally a little looser, but that’s when I train, so you better be working hard.
This may sound a little strange, but if you’ve noticed it, it may make more sense. Please refrain from laying down while working out. I don’t mean falling down after finishing Fran, although maybe I am if it’s egregious. I’m talking about laying or sitting on the floor in between lifts. I understand sitting down to restore energy between lifts – if you choose to sit, grab a box or a chair. I would classify laying or sitting on the floor as being shorter than a toddler or a dog – it’s a good way to get hurt. Weights are getting thrown on the ground, and there you are, sitting, unable to get out the way of someone’s missed lift. Plus, and this may just be me, seeing someone lying down while I work hard may distract my mind from the task at hand and wish I was laying on the comfy ground. If you are tired, please get up and find a safe place to sit. If you are playing macho head games…well played!
Finally, always remember the Golden Rule – treat others as you want to be treated. We opened CrossFit Oakdale to train at the type of gym that we wanted. Each one of you is a valuable member of the community – if you see something you don’t like, please say something. If you feel comfortable enough, talk directly to the athlete. If you don’t, please tell a coach. Guess what – we talk! We talk about your successes, who plays well with others, who we need to keep a sharp eye on and more. Why? Because if you are EVER asked what is the best gym you’ve ever been in, we want you to say CrossFit Oakdale.
A fun little post on CrossFit Vs. Yoga from the Atlantic Video.
Workout of the Day
Back Squat, Heavy set of 3
Add 10# to last weeks lift
Parking Lot Run
3 Burpees to Plate
Parking Lot Run
6 Burpees to Plate
Parking Lot Run
9 Burpees to Plate…
Burpees keep going up by 3…how high can you go???