(image above stolen from BoxLife Magazine)
We’re going to switch lanes here a little bit moving forward with our monthly posts. While we will still present you with mindsets from time to time, we are now going to include some informational posts. These posts will range from CrossFit methodology to random thoughts, and from nutrition topics to helpful tidbits around the gym. Enjoy the first of the new format as we discuss dropping in and etiquette for dropping in.
It is almost spring (well technically it’s been spring for a while most places) and that means travel. While COVID is still a thing, people are finally starting to move around the country again. Whether it be for spring break, summer vacations, or just random travel, it is helpful to remember that you don’t need to put your fitness on hold. The beauty of Crossfit is that no matter where you travel, there is most likely a Crossfit gym nearby. I personally enjoy dropping in to other gyms on my travels, A) because I like to work out even when on vacation, and B) everyone has a different way of coaching and you might pick up a useful trick or two by going to a different gym.
Now since some of you may not be familiar with dropping in, this post will introduce the concept to you and then provide some basic etiquette for dropping in at another gym.
What is dropping in?
I’m sure that some of you have been in a class where someone has been visiting and came to our gym for a workout or two. That’s basically it. They are literally “dropping in” and joining us for a class.
How do I drop in?
You can do this too when you travel! Most gyms will allow drop-ins to join them, assuming that you are familiar with Crossfit (read: passed an introduction course and regularly attend classes at an affiliate), and restrictions in the area allow it. One thing to note is that dropping in is gym specific, and it is up the affiliate owner on whether or not they allow dropping in.
One strategy is to google Crossfit gyms in the vicinity you will be staying. This will usually pull up the gyms in the area and also might give you some other gym recommendations. Another option is to use the affiliate map on Crossfit.com (https://map.crossfit.com/). Just zoom into the location you will be traveling to and this will show you all of the Crossfit Affiliates in the area. You could also ask people if they have been to a gym in that area – you will often see these posts on r/crossfit on Reddit or the like. This is a good way to find out what the gym is like as well and find out if it will be a good fit for you.
I found a gym, now what?
The first step is to look at the gym’s website. There should be information that will tell you if they accept drop-ins, how much each drop in is (usually around $20), what you need to do to drop in, and their schedule of classes. Some will have you register and pay ahead of time, some will have you do it when you show up for the actual class. If I am going to be visiting for a while, I will always email the gym to let them know, and ask if we can work out a deal for an extended drop-in instead of paying the drop-in price every day I show up. If you reach out early enough and are polite, they will usually work with you. Keep in mind that restrictions may be in place and that you should check with the owner to make sure you are complying with the rules in place.
Always, always, always, always show up early. Sometimes we are a bit lax when it comes to rolling into classes on time, and generally I am ok with it. I know schedules can get crazy and time just gets away from you. However, when you are dropping in to another gym, DO NOT BE LATE. In fact, if you aren’t there 15 minutes early, you are late, especially if you haven’t signed a waiver yet. Be respectful of the coach and other class members and be there on time so that the coach is not rushed to get you all squared away before the class starts.
Be nice! You may not know anyone in the class, but introduce yourself and talk to their members. They are just people too and it is really awkward if no one talks to each other. If you don’t have anything to talk about, talk about Crossfit. Let’s be honest, we can always find something Crossfit to talk about…
Pay ahead of time if possible. Sometimes you get caught up in the workout and forget to pay at the end. Usually this is not a big deal, but it can reflect badly on you. Pay ahead of time and you won’t have to worry.
Ask if you can drop weights/use chalk/take off your shirt/swear/etc. Some gyms have different rules and you don’t want to be that person who comes in and messes up their feng shui.
Leave a review! Whether it be on Google, their Facebook page, Yelp, etc. it can help their business. Or, if it is a bad experience, please talk with the coach/owner before leaving a bad review so that they are aware of it.
Go back a second time. If you liked your drop in, make it a point to go back the next time you are in the area. I have several gyms that I have frequented and it is almost like having a second home to go to.
If you have any specific questions or need help finding a location to visit while traveling, do not hesitate to reach out to your coaches. Many of us are well traveled and may have some recommendations for you depending on where you are traveling!