"So what's so special about your gym? CrossFit is CrossFit, right?"
That's one of the most common questions I get about CrossFit 818, and the answer isn't always understood, so I wanted to take the time here to clear some things up.
We all know what CrossFit is right? Mix up strength training, conditioning, gymnastics, and plyometrics into short and intense workouts that you change up every day. Boom. Pretty simple. That's the training methodology and since that's what CrossFit is, and all CrossFit gyms generally follow the CrossFit methodology, then there must not be much difference between different CrossFit gyms? Wrong. So very very wrong.
CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program while a CrossFit gym is where you choose to get that workout. While the workouts will generally be similar from gym to gym, the gyms themselves can be (and almost always are) incredibly different.
Here's an analogy I hope will clear up the difference: college is college is college right? You can take a psychology course at pretty much any college in the US, and since most Intro to Psychology courses cover pretty much the same things, there's no difference between taking that course at Glendale Community College and at Harvard University.
So what's are the variations between CrossFit gyms? They pretty much fall under 3 categories: class organization, coaching staff, and general doodads.
This category covers simple things like class size (not coach-to-athlete ratio, which is totally different and usually misleading), but it also covers how the actually classes flow. For example, is there a set structure ( e.g. warm up, skill practice, WOD, and cool down) or does it feel like every class is run however the coach feels like it? Does the class start and end when it says it will? Does the coach actually teach every movement involved in every part of the class? Is the coach working out with class and using class time as their own personal training session (as in, you're basically paying to work out with the coach)?
This has to do with not only the background of the coaches at a gym, but also their attitudes and styles. Assuming your coach has the bare legal minimum to call themselves a CrossFit coach (their Level 1 certification), do they have experience coaching or teaching? Have they studied anything pertaining to fitness, either in school or on their own? Are they confident in what they know while also able to accept that they don't know everything? When they coach, are their classes about how cool they look and sound or are the classes about getting the most out of their clients?
This covers everything else. Is it always crowded at the gym? Is there a shower? Are the bathrooms clean? Is the gym itself clean? Is there junk thrown around everywhere? Is there a pro-shop where you can buy accessories and stuff?
These are just a few examples of places where CrossFit gyms can have great variety...this doesn't even cover intangibles like the sense of community and the culture of the gym.
CrossFit is not CrossFit is not CrossFit.
Handstand push ups
Posted by Armen.