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Old 10-31-2010, 08:18 AM   #1
Steve Loeding
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Guest days

Hi peeps - Do you allow people to drop in and try a class ? Or do you have certain days where you have open time and tell those who are interested to stop by then ?

We usually allow people who want to check out to drop by - but I don't like that idea anymore. Number 1, we are busy. Number 2, we have to teach the new person how to do the lifts correctly. Number 3, we may already have a full class.

What I'm thinking is having 3-4 days per month, towards the latter part, where people can stop on by for a free trial workout, where we can teach the basic squat, pushup, pull ups - which then builds a foundation for the beginner classes. Also, this won't be posted on the website, but on our personal gym calender, so we would know if / how many people are going to be there.

This includes the current athletes who want to bring a friend in - although I have learned that people will not stop in unless their friends are with them, I'll either tell them to come with or tell their friend they'll have to man/woman up and try the unknown on their own.

Thoughts ?? Ideas (love ideas - throw 'em out at me) ??



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Old 10-31-2010, 10:19 AM   #2
Brian Strump
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Re: Guest days

I REALLY like the idea of implementing a set foundations program, and I see other affiliates doing that well, and understand the reasoning behind it.
That being said, 6 months in, and we have our "essentials" class that's 1 hour, every Saturday, and then we slowly implement them into our classes. In that "essentials" class, it's usually squat, DL, shoulder press, maybe a 4th movement, then an 8-12 min AMRAP.
When they come to the next class, if it's a "simple" technique(run, row, wallball, double unders, etc) think "simple" = low likelihood of injury. Unlike power cleans, kettlebells, GHD......we allow them to participate as best we can with the class, we may sub out a movement if haven't taught it yet. We'll sub DL, for Cleans; Back or air squat for OHS.
We slowly will try to integrate them into the class dynamic.

Eh, now to answer your question. This is a business, and in order to keep it growing, I need new members. SO, I'm not going to limit myself to 4 or 5 days a month that they can take a class. I know I can program safely for a deconditioned, sedentary person. Ideally, if we have another trainer there at that time, one runs the WOD, other works with new people, but it doesn't always work that way.
Most people don't just stop in for a class, without calling, but if they did, I would not turn them away. I would explain to them how and why our classes run the way they are, and do our best to get them moving safely, working hard, and likely to return.

I too, would love to hear what others do.
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Old 10-31-2010, 11:34 AM   #3
Andrew Craig
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Re: Guest days

Hey bud,

Thoughts - you are going to limit your opportunity of attracting new people. Only having set days when someone can participate in a trial will send tem to other places that can accomodate there schedule.

Ideas - Let them come in whenever they want to. Allow them to get involved right from the off but change/scale movements for them as appropriate. Don't let them do complex skill movements but don't wrap them in cotton wool either.

I say this on the understanding that you would be able to assess their ability just by the warm up. I can always tell what I am going to allow any new person that walks through the door to do.

I let new people have 2-3 free intro sessions and then if they want to join they sign up to the on ramp. This is where i drill technique and introduce some structured intensity.

These thoughts/ideas are based on my experience as a Owner and CrossFit coach and what has worked for me personally.

Good luck fella.

Oh and we have had plenty of people come in that aren't with their friends.
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Old 10-31-2010, 01:00 PM   #4
Steve Loeding
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Re: Guest days

I hear where you're coming from - however, I have 2 concerns.

1. Complicated movements during that WOD - Cleans, snatches, Deads, OHS, esp when combined with a metcon...

2. One trainer per class, with a mix of newer and competent CrossFitters. The new ones still need a bit of coaching and cues...and since they've paid, they may not like the fact that the new "free" person is getting training that they have paid for.

3. Missing the basic moves, in order to show how a good air squat leads to a good front squat leads to a good OH squat, etc.

*** How about free days every Tues and Thurs evenings at 5:30 (no classes at that time - yet) --- however, they still have to reserve the slot, cuz I don't want my trainers, who work for free right now, to sit and wait around for no one
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Old 10-31-2010, 02:44 PM   #5
Brian Strump
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Re: Guest days

I think the T/Th is a good start, that's twice as many times as you thought previously. But, that still might be too early for some, that get off work at that time; and I would also suggest doing something in the morning hour too.

Granted, you won't be able to please everyone.
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Old 10-31-2010, 02:48 PM   #6
Steve Loeding
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Re: Guest days

Yeah- mornings would be nice - but I work at 7 AM as do my other trainers - I have 6 AM classes M-F, so no time for mornings, as my trainers also have full time jobs.

Might be able to do a Thursday 6:15 intro class....
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:10 PM   #7
Damon Stewart
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Re: Guest days

We do it 2 ways: Everyone who contacts us and wants to try Crossfit gets a free intro session. It's 1 on 1 with a trainer and lasts 45 minutes. Typically around 75% of people who try it this way join.

We also allow people to bring a friend or try Crossfit on Saturday mornings. I don't track it but I do know a much lower % join. However, it's been a good way to increase awareness of what we do and it's a lot of fun having 20-40 people come hit it. I program very simple movements on Saturday so I'm not teaching someone to snatch in a met-con on their first day.
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:54 PM   #8
Mauricio Leal
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Re: Guest days

It's simple really. Beginners should just be doing squats (on a box), deadlifts (kb or pvc), presses (pvc), pull-ups (ring rows), push-ups (from knees), and running (walking if necessary) their first day (and probably first week/month) at low intensity with impeccable form. Every high skill movement can be reduced to those fundamentals. Even if they demonstrate exceptional fitness due to prior whatever-credentials, their form probably sucks and could use some humility.

Not only is it a terrible idea to try to throw new people into the full on mix from a business and coaching perspective, they don't need it, and the whole class will respect you more for sticking to your guns and not succumbing to the wow factor. Also, never underestimate how deconditioned/weak new people are. I've had a few young people with shaking legs from just doing sets of 5 air squats to a box.
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Last edited by Mauricio Leal : 10-31-2010 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 11-01-2010, 05:26 AM   #9
Andrew Craig
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Re: Guest days

Steve, like i said bud no complex movements cleans, back squats, front squats, snatch, deadlift etc first free session.

Work on squat technique in start of session when they are warming up. The warm up always shows me how someone squats. I stop them when needed and coach.

You have a 6 am class - great they can come to that also. It's another class after all.

As far as people getting annoyed with you giving coaching to a person on a free trial - i doubt that would cause an issue as most people would have been through the same thing and would understand the need.
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Old 11-01-2010, 05:51 PM   #10
Kyle Redinger
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Re: Guest days

We offer a free day every Saturday and have been offering a 9 class introduction course we call "On Ramp."

It's our view that when people haven't drilled the basis in a controlled environment they are no way qualified for intensity or the demands of a regular class where the movement demands are much more complex and potentially dangerous.

People with strong athletic backgrounds can usually get waived from this class and we put them into a private three hour class to review the basics.

The athletes who graduate have a solid fundamental understanding which helps us a lot in our regular classes. We don't have to spend nearly as much time dealing with basic issues and can focus on the more complex issues in our regular classes.
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