Every single one of the gym owners we've talked to are just like you and me. They are brothers and sisters, husbands, wives, Moms and Dads. What sets them apart is their gusto. It takes a serious leap of faith - especially with those that have left a career they were established in to try something new. When we take that into consideration, it's not pity we feel for them, it's respect.
Some of them post gym rules up on their wall as a reminder to all of us and some don't. For those that don't, here are 7 Unspoken Rules which I think we all should abide by. Just a little forewarning - some of these might sting a little but after you read them, can you really argue?
- If they offer a Free Intro Class or Free Week on a rotating basis don't take advantage of it beyond 1-3 classes. - Some folks have not heard about CrossFit yet [Yeah, hard to believe, I know :)] so offering a free class or free first week is a good idea for the gym owners to allow people to have a look before they commit. Just because the local gym offers a free class every Saturday morning doesn't mean it should be filled with all the same people every time. That's abusive. If you've got a bunch of friends and you bring one or two with you every week then cool. People like workout buddies, especially when going somewhere they've never been.
- Pay your Dues when they are Due - Ouch. Yep, I think we've all slipped on this one from time to time.
- Always Speak Highly of The Gym Owners and Coaches -
- Show Up for Class Early - Keeping #3 in mind, we all get the occasional bump in the road where everything doesn't go as planned. Traffic, sick kids, important phone calls, etc... And the Coach understands that too. But if you do show up late, don't make a grand entrance, stop the whole class so you can ask what's new with everyone. Instead, slide in as unnoticeable as possible [ninja style] at one of the far ends and pick up where everyone is. If getting to class on time is a constant battle, consider changing class times to one that works better.
- Work Hard and Listen - We all know CrossFit is about intensity. The normal class structure for the gym is Stretch/Mobility - Warm Up - Skill - Strength - WOD - Cool Down. It's an hour long and it's packed full of information and movement. That's the only time many of us have to devote to the gym so while we're there, take advantage of every minute. Repeated trips to the water cooler or bathroom only rob us of opportunity to improve. And it can be interruptive to others, especially new comers who will think it's okay. It's only an hour. Have a strong work ethic, respect and listen to the coach when they talking and work hard. Always.
- Put Back What You Take Out - This should really be a no brainer. But more and more I'm seeing pictures posted on social media of equipment that was left out and for each +1 or Like, the guilty party has to do Burpees. Yeah, that's reasonable punishment :) At the end of the workout we're all busted up and understandably it takes a few minutes for us to gain our composure. But then we get up and clean up. It's our reasonable service to put things back neatly in the place they go. Nuff said.
- Keep Track of Your Workouts and Max's - Even in a small gym, to expect the coaches to know your max Dead Lift or last time at that benchmark workout isn't realistic. Journal Menu and keep track on your own. They've got some really neat covers and the information is indexed well so it's easy to find. And keep it in your gym bag so you've got it with you all the time. A buddy of mine, Jeff P. here in Victor showed me a really neat trick. He grabs his smart phone after class and takes a quick snap shot of the whiteboard after class. That's neat. Instead of having to record all that stuff while standing there along with everyone else you can do it at home after class.