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Running a CrossFit Facility Tips and guidance on how to open and operate a CrossFit gym.

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Old 08-23-2006, 09:34 AM   #1
Daniel Fannin
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G'day!

I'll start by saying that I know this question could be kinda silly, but for me it's an honest concern. I'm not affiliated (yet!) but I do introduce a lot of people to Crossfit (easily 150 people in the last two-three months), so this seemed to be the proper forum to post my question. If it's not I apologize in advance.

Question:
Safety is a huge concern for me during the WoD, it's my top priority. I've had most of my pride beaten out by various bars, trails, and other stuff, and I want to help other people avoid my pain when I'm introducing them to Crossfit. Even though I've only been doing this for about a year (with breaks for those injuries) I'm probably the most experienced person with oly lifting and those kinds of things in the group I work out with, and so I try to make sure everyone is watching everyone for form, appropriate weight and other safety stuff.
How do I get across to the ladies that if I watch them it's because I'm concerned for their well-being and not because I'm checking them out? My personal technique is to be up front about it before the workout begins and ask them if they want me to watch, if not, I'll honor that request but then I'd feel terrible if they got hurt. I've also tried to get a lady friend of mine to help since she's an awesome athlete, but she's never available because of work, school, etc. Does anybody have any tips you are willing to share?

Danny
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Old 08-23-2006, 11:51 AM   #2
Roger Harrell
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If you're gonna coach, coach. Gender shouldn't be an issue. I coach both males and females and I've never once been accused of oggling. I think if you're up front about your intent you shouldn't have a problem. It also depends on the culture of the gym/workout place. It's tough for me to train anywhere and not coach/comment on other's routines, but I hold back a bit at places like 24hr fitness and the like because I don't have the time to fully explain myself when folks challenge my recommendations.

If you see unsafe behavior, then in my opinion you are obligated to comment. Allowing someone to get hurt simply because you're worried about what they might thing is not acceptable.
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Old 08-23-2006, 01:15 PM   #3
Frank DiMeo
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Roger is right, don't make gender an issue.
People will appreciate your thoroughness & professionalism by offering them the most challenging, yet safest, training possible.
Most of my clients are ladies (about 80%)and even the most independent ones appreciate safety in their training. The end result of that is there are some very strong gals coming out of this gym; and we've had no serious injuries, thank GOD!
They leave exhausted, but still in good health.
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Old 08-23-2006, 03:20 PM   #4
Skip Chase
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When a client enters Mt. Baker CrossFit, I am going to watch. I am the professional and the clients expect and deserve my attention. There isn't a choice..I don't ask them if they approve. They are investing a lot of money to learn how to become fit and healthy in the safest environment possible.

As trainers/coaches we are going to watch, critique, manipulate, touch, encourage, listen to, observe and motivate every client, regardless of gender, race, nationality, religion, etc.

www.mtbakercrossfit.blogspot.com
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Old 08-23-2006, 05:11 PM   #5
Daniel Fannin
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Thanks guys. I needed the voice of experience (that I don't have) to point me in the right direction. In the future I'll be sure to pay close attention regardless of gender, etc.
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Old 08-23-2006, 07:33 PM   #6
Darren Coughlan
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I agree with all the previous posts. Having had feedback from lots of girls about why they stay or quit, it always comes back to one thing...they just want to be treated the same as guys, exactly the same.

If your are coaching them you are suppose to be watching. Its part of the service to guide them while training to help them progress and to prevent injury.

Just make sure everyone gets the same level of service reguardless of gender.
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Old 08-23-2006, 11:11 PM   #7
Jamila Bey
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My friend, a sane woman can quickly, clearly and easily get the distinction in being observed and being ogled.

I think it's wonderful that you're already thinking of your clients' feelings, but I'd wager you're being too sensitive.
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Old 08-23-2006, 11:37 PM   #8
John Seiler
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I agree with Jamila. I also think you are more likely to have an issue if you do bring it up. Think about it, professionals have a job to do. If a woman goes to a doctors office for a breast exam it's not necessary for the doctor to explain the exam is a medical procedure. Same thing goes for men if we're having a hernia checked, prostate exam, etc. NOW, if the doc starts justifying what he's doing, it'd make you wonder wouldn't it?
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Old 08-24-2006, 06:35 AM   #9
David Ristau
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I also train a number of women and it's a close knit group. They know I'm watching and spotting when and where needed. It's not only appreciated and welcomed, they ask me what’s wrong when I don’t say anything. The flip side of the coin is there are the 'comments' about me watching the ladies, but it's just the close group having fun at my expense. They call it 'payback'.

As already mentioned, be professional. I only bring it up when a new person, mail or female, starts working out with us. There are different people with different personal boundaries. My welcome discussion includes a comment that they are to talk with me if they have any issues along these lines. I have had comments come back from people, but never any problems.
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Old 08-24-2006, 11:11 AM   #10
Jeremy Jones
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And uhh. . . don't touch their boobies. That is a big one.



Seriously though - If you look proffessional, act proffessional, and talk proffessional, there will never be an issue with any sane women.

I do reccomend that if you train a woman (or child of either sex) in a personal training session, that you do it where there are people around, never completely close any doors. And if this is unavoidable for any reason - mount a video camera where it watches the session.

Not only will this make the trainee feel more comfortable, it will also deter any lawsuits or false accusations. It will also help prevent any awkward situations where a trainee might get the wrong idea of your feelings for them.
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