The main thing to remember: Every CrossFit affiliate is different. When you’re on their turf, it’s their rules. Here’s how to drop in without looking like a jerk (the bad kind, that is).
1. Do Your Homework
Research your choices ahead of time. If you’re visiting a large city, you’ll have many choices for places to visit. Use the CrossFit Affiliate Map or the Wodifind feature in the Wodify app. Online reviews on Yelp and Google will give you a good starting point for narrowing the field, but Facebook and Instagram profiles are even better. You’ll get a pretty good feel for the personality of the place.
Drop-In Policies vary widely from box to box. While many are very casual, others require drop-ins to come to particular class times, and some don’t accept drop-ins at all. Check the affiliate webpage for details. If you don’t see any specific directions or links to pay online ahead of time, email the box to ask for their procedure. Include details like your full name, phone number, experience, and the specific days you’d like to drop in.
Holiday hours might be drastically different from the usual schedule. Make sure to ask if it is not already posted on their website or social media.
2. Arrive Early
Nothing is more disruptive to a class than having a visitor show up right at class start time, or even worse… late. Show respect for the box you’re visiting by showing up at least 15 minutes ahead of class (at a bare minimum). You’ll have plenty of time to pay for your drop-in, sign the waiver, and mobilize. Some affiliates expect you to do your own warm-up and mobilization ahead of start time, so allow for that if necessary. Meet the coach, and let them know if you’re nursing an injury or need to substitute a movement.
Every coach has a different toolbox to get the job done. You’ll likely hear new cues and methods than you do at your home box, and that’s a great thing. Often, coaches are trying to get you to accomplish the same thing with different verbal cues. They might have a trick that really speaks to you, so listen up!
If a coach asks you to do something you know is unsafe, go ahead and sub for a different movement or lower weight. It’s their turf, but it’s your body. No need to be argumentative.
4. Go ahead, be a tourist!
You’ve got a great opportunity to rub elbows with the townsfolk, so take advantage! Be friendly with the people in your class. After all, the locals always know the good places to go, right?
It’s pretty much a required CrossFit tradition to collect t-shirts from the places you’ve visited. Lots of boxes prefer cash, so come with a few bucks to pony up for a sweet souvenir.
If you had a great time during the class, it’s okay to ask someone to take your photo with the coach. Believe me, they will take it as a compliment.
4. Leave Feedback
Don’t be afraid to post about your experience on the affiliate’s social media, Yelp, or Google page. Feedback is valuable to a small business.
If you saw something you really liked at another box, be sure to let us know!
Safe travels 9Nation, and happy holidays!
Dropping in at CrossFit9?
We’d love to have you! We have t-shirts, welcoming members, and we’re right smack in between Downtown St. Pete and the beaches! Click here for drop-in details and payment links.