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Old 06-05-2013, 11:58 AM   #31
Katrina Fox
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Re: What does a "good box" mean to you?

Yeah, coming in early to warm up on my own would not work for me. As it is, I leave my house at 430am to get to class by 545. I do try and get there a bit early to do extra stretching on my own if I feel like I need it, but some days I'm busting my rear just to get there on time. When I injured my shoulder, I made sure I got enough stretching done on my own, either before class or while we were setting up weights, etc. It is not uncommon for someone to request certain stretches during the warm up as well- and our coaches work it in to their plan. Granted, our warm ups vary with the coach, the WOD that day, previous WODs, etc. I can't imagine a single warm up ever being appropriate for the wide variety of skills and movements used in CrossFit.

I am shy as well and am pretty quiet by nature. I like that our morning class basically comes in, gets the work done and leaves with just a bit of chit chat. That doesn't mean we don't have a sense of community. When one person doesn't come to class for a week and then walks in, he gets crap for being gone. We laugh about the 80s music that was selected for the warm up that the younger crew has never heard before. I don't think you need to hang out after class together to get that or offer it to new members. I don't think I would have stuck around as long as I have if people didn't talk to me just because I was new and not up to their skill level (heck, I'm still no where close to most of the skill levels of those I work out with!)- all it takes is a "hi", "do you need help with that", "wow, these burpees are going to suck", etc.
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:28 AM   #32
Erin Potter
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Re: What does a "good box" mean to you?

I'm glad that I'm not the only one having this experience/thoughts. I'm new to crossfit and tried to do research on the local boxes before signing up. I originally joined a beginner's group that was every other day (M/W/F). It was very structured with the warm-up, WOD, and cool down all done together. We did a tiny bit of mobility work and did new skills each class as this program was designed to get us ready to jump into the regular WODs at the box. Each workout worked with the one before - warmed up using movements from the previous day and then did the WOD using other movements to allow for rest/recovery.
I did two rounds of the 3 week program and then signed up for the unlimited membership a couple of weeks ago. Warm-ups are on our own, WODs are together but not a ton of training, no skill work, and no mobility except what we figure out on our own. Over the past two weeks I have done push-ups or burpees every time I've been there. I'm having shoulder pain and with those movements every workout...
For me the kicker was this morning - one of the guys was having a hard time getting through the pushups so was getting a lot of encouragement from a couple of other guys and the trainer. I was struggling finishing the WOD (pushups) while they stood around talking and nothing was said at all til I was done.
Yes I'm feeling a little sorry for myself but after reading some of what is out there at other boxes, I think I'll look around.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:57 AM   #33
Glenn Plomchok
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Re: What does a "good box" mean to you?

I believe a good gym/coach should provide structure. That means group warm up/stretch and then go over the movements for either the lift or the WOD. Once the bell rings, it's not time to socialize...

I also agree there should be a focus on strength and skill work for sure. Without those two ingredients, I don't see how you can improve. Some movements may come naturally, many will not. I like seeing a strength portion and short/intense WOD after. Some days, if a Hero or longer Wod is on the board that is great too...

As for culture, it sucks that you see clicks and sub groups. I try to talk with everyone. November will be two years at my gym so I am a longer-term guy and want to help where I can. I try to encourage folks and if they want my advice or help I give it but always tell them to ask the coach to verify what I'm telling them. If those people decide to leave shortly thereafter it is what it is but I'll help folks regardless.
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:23 AM   #34
Erica Bonilla
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Re: What does a "good box" mean to you?

When I first started at my box on April 1st, no one really talked to me or made me feel welcome. In fact, no one made eye contact with me. This surprised me because I had been reading the boards on here and on other sites, and they all talked about how everyone was so encouraging and motivating and would cheer you on to help you finish in case you were last. Some boxes I read about had introductions for newbies and that's how camaraderie was built. But my box wasn't like that. It was intimidating to me at first. I thought, "well it looks like I'm on my own here" so I went in, did my workout and walked out. Now that I've been there going on 3 months, I know people's names and we say hi, and we hang out a few minutes before and after to chit chat.

There's definitely a sense of having to prove yourself in the first few weeks and months. I'm still one of the slow ones or last to finish, but I've made friends and it feels nice. When there are new people that come in, I make sure I pat them on the back when they're done and say, "Good job!" because it's what I wanted someone to say to me when I was just starting. I do the same with the ones that have been there a long time. It's always appreciated. I just wish more people would do it with each other. It helps motivate and makes one feel welcomed.

In fact, one of the members is hosting a "Paleo Potluck/BBQ Party" at his home next Saturday. Everyone is invited. I can't make it because of three other commitments, but it's something that I would definitely attend so as to "prove" my commitment to the box and build more friendship and camaraderie.
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:08 PM   #35
Katy Calcagni
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Re: What does a "good box" mean to you?

Erin- don't feel bad about feeling bad. You have every right to. I'm sure that killed you to have everyone cheering for someone, and then whe you're struggling to finish, just act like you're not even there. I'll share some embarrassment too to make you feel better:

The last team workout that we did, coach made us pick our own teams. I tried to join 3 different groups, but "sorry we're full". It took everything I had to not walk out. I've never felt so much like I was in middle school gym class as I did in that moment. I finally made a team, and we were terrible, but we had fun. We've kind of bonded now, calling ourselves the "not cool kids," and we laugh about how one day everyone will be begging to hang out with us (and we'll welcome them, because we are that cool!)

Erica-that's so cool about the Paleo BBQ. If I didn't live in an apartment, I'd totally throw one just to get to know everyone!

I wanted to say my coach really did listen to me, and we actually did skill work today. It was awesome. It showed me that I am totally not ready for muscle ups, but really lit a fire under my *** to get strong enough to do them. I'm going to suggest partner workouts next, which I think will help build more of a team mentality. and then sneak some more suggestions here and there.... And the oly class at the other box was GREAT! I will definitely be back for more!

Thanks to everyone who's taken the time to reply. It makes me feel like I'm not alone!
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:37 PM   #36
Jeremy Schultz
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Re: What does a "good box" mean to you?

I guess I will chime in and give my point of view, as the owner of a mostly-complete CrossFit box in my basement - whose group classes consist of my wife and me.

I personally can't see the point in spending somewhere around $100 or more a month to work-out at a box that doesn't fit what you are looking for. If you think about it, the cost of a year's worth of box-monthly-dues can get you well on the road to putting your own garage gym together. And 2 or 3 years of dues can create a GREAT garage gym. And there are plenty of GREAT online programming resources out there, such as CFFB or Outlaw. The OP sounds like she was fairly athletic and in pretty good shape prior to joining her box anyway - so I assume she does have at least a basic knowledge base.

So, what I'm trying to say is that, to me, there are only a few reasons to go to a box and pay a lot of money - and (if these are important to you) a sense of community and GOOD, skill and motivation-based coaching are the only two I can think of off the top of my head. So, if community is important to you (and I fully support and encourage that feeling of being "included"), then I would suggest looking into another box. Or, if you feel that you need coaching for skill work - either demand that your coach help you out, or again, look for another box.

If you can't find those things to your satisfaction, then sometimes it's worth just bagging the box and creating your own gym. Just IMHO.
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:49 PM   #37
Glenn Plomchok
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Re: What does a "good box" mean to you?

Jeremy makes a great point...if you are paying and it's not what you want don't continue to pay. I know I wouldn't...I also don't think I could do it 100% from home. I have a rig and some equip at my house but that is for my wife and I to use when needed.

In short, find a gym that fits your personality. This will usually start with the owner and lead coaches. I have visited some great gyms and met some really cool owners/coaches. They are out there...as are some great gyms with strong communities.
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:31 PM   #38
Tom Nguyen
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Re: What does a "good box" mean to you?

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Originally Posted by Glenn Plomchok View Post
Jeremy makes a great point...if you are paying and it's not what you want don't continue to pay. I know I wouldn't...I also don't think I could do it 100% from home. I have a rig and some equip at my house but that is for my wife and I to use when needed.

In short, find a gym that fits your personality. This will usually start with the owner and lead coaches. I have visited some great gyms and met some really cool owners/coaches. They are out there...as are some great gyms with strong communities.
Agreed. My personal garage gym has pretty much everything and even better equipment than my affiliate (I have an awesome weightlifting bar, better GHD, nicer rack, better hours =) - However, it's missing the people, the community, the watchful eye of a coach, and the competition. I can push myself pretty hard at home on strength and weightlifting workouts but can't push myself nearly as hard on a metcon compared to being at the box. For many, the sense of community is one of the most powerful incentive to belong to an affiliate - especially in our modern, detached, electronic world.

Last edited by Tom Nguyen : 06-06-2013 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:39 AM   #39
Chris Jones
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Re: What does a "good box" mean to you?

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Originally Posted by Tom Nguyen View Post
Agreed. My personal garage gym has pretty much everything and even better equipment than my affiliate (I have an awesome weightlifting bar, better GHD, nicer rack, better hours =) - However, it's missing the people, the community, the watchful eye of a coach, and the competition. I can push myself pretty hard at home on strength and weightlifting workouts but can't push myself nearly as hard on a metcon compared to being at the box. For many, the sense of community is one of the most powerful incentive to belong to an affiliate - especially in our modern, detached, electronic world.
for me its this. I like the aspect of trying to keep up with the others that are around my level, and using that competition aspect to keep me hungry.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:56 AM   #40
Page Johnson
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Re: What does a "good box" mean to you?

Yeah, I tried working out at home, but just got bored and never pushed myself. For me, it's been well worth joining a box. I've been at it 4 years with no end in sight.
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