Dropping Into A Box And Etiquette
This is definitely a gym owner problem, but most CrossFitters have at least been in a class where a drop-in comes in and says something along the lines of “I have my own program, can I go in the corner and do it?” There are so many variables to this situation, so I’m going to keep it pretty broad. I was definitely guilty of this as a new “elite CrossFitter”. I really thought that each gym should be able to open their doors and just be okay with having me in there smashing weights and doing complex movements that their members couldn’t do. I can’t remember if I ever did my own programming during a regularly scheduled class time at a gym that I had dropped into, BUT if I did, I am very sorry.
Every year I’ve done CrossFit, I’ve gone to regionals or the games as an individual or on a team. There aren’t a lot of people that can say that. I think it’s very easy for younger CrossFitters who are jazzed up on their program and super worried about any change to their regular WoD flow to bite the bullet and just be a regular drop-in. It is my opinion that anyone who wants to do separate or specialized programming needs to plan their trip or their visit to a new CrossFit gym accordingly. Message the box on Facebook (everyone responds this way) and send them an email asking for “open gym” times. Some gyms don’t do open gym. If that’s the case, you’re going to be doing the class WoD. If you come during a regularly scheduled class, you need to take a big slice of humble pie and throwdown with the other gym members.
“…bite the bullet and just be a regular drop-in.”
It’s what CrossFit is about, prepare yourself for the unknown and the unknowable. Being a competitor isn’t about lifting heavy weights, there are a lot of competitors that can out squat me, out press me, out deadlift me and none of them have gone to regionals. If you’re in a class and you want to be a competitor, then be the best person in the class, have the best reps, have the best attitude, but don’t sit on a rower at a half-assed pace for 5 minutes getting your prescribed warm-up in. Do something different and learn a different movement, maybe the warm-up will have a backwards run or a hold that you never do.
“…be the best person in the class, have the best reps, have the best attitude…”
The argument is always that if they do the wrong series of movements that it will derail their cycle and all their previous work and future work will somehow be negatively affected by the change. I can see this being the case for some master’s athletes who have a history of injury, but in the open division if the athlete is already committed to competing at a high level, they should be used to dramatically changing their life and lifestyle. If they aren’t changing their lifestyle to be a competitive CrossFitter then they won’t be a successful competitive CrossFitter at this point in the sport.
Most established CrossFit competitors don’t do this (as far as I know), but a lot of younger or newer competitors get confused about their place in a CrossFit box. As a competitor if you “NEED” to only do your programming at your specific training time then you need go play in traffic. You don’t NEED your supplements, or your specific food regimen, or “body work”, or your programming. Jump into a class and see how much work you can get done in an hour and how much harder you push with a group around you. Very few people can get to regionals as an individual training on their own. I can and I did. But you need to have a purpose that extends beyond “I want to go to regionals”. In 2016 I ate one meal a day and slept maybe 5 hours every night and got 36th place in my region. All you need to do is push the sled as hard as you can for as long as you can.
“Jump into a class and see how much work you can get done in an hour…”