This is the article when I sound like a grumpy old man. For those of you that know me you’ll know I’m halfway there on that one. However, there’s nothing more annoying than getting to the gym for your session and not enjoying it due to someone’s poor Crossfit etiquette. Here are 5 of the most common Crossfit etiquette faults you need to be aware of…
Rule 1 Don’t be a wanderer
So this Crossfit etiquette breach is one of the more personal gripes I have. There is arguably nothing more annoying than setting up for a lift, squat or set of gymnastics and someone walking across you. It causes no end of distractions and throws any form of concentration you had out of the window.
I come form a golf background. In golf, when someone is setting up for a shot there’s no movement. When a rugby player is lining up a kick, there’s no movement. When a weightlifter is lifting there is no one moving. So why, oh why, oh why do you have to walk across someones path in a gym!?
Okay, I get it. There’s a lot going on and you can’t be aware of everything. However, it’s pretty obvious when someone is setting up for a big lift. Just don’t walk in front of them. If you’re carrying a plate, set it down and put it back after the lift, it’s basic Crossfit etiquette. Gym’s get busy so sometimes you have to walk in between people, but just check before strolling past when someones going for a new PB.
Rule 2 Avoid becoming a chalk monster
This piece of Crossfit etiquette is a classic. We are all guilty of using chalk a bit excessively at some point or another. Sometimes we even use it as an excuse to get a bit of cheeky rest in. However, there is always the one person who chalks up for anything and everything… Double under’s included!
Chalk is there for a reason, to help your grip. It’s not there to cover every bit of equipment so you don’t have to chalk your hands up! If you’ve got so much chalk on that you have ‘leftover’ to rub on the bar or rings, give it a rest.
Using too much chalk (outside of being poor Crossfit etiquette), has its downsides for you as well. It can dry your hands out so you are more prone to ripping. Furthermore, it actually worsens grip when sweating a lot, so that’s a vicious circle in itself. Finally, it covers all of your clothes so you leave looking like you’ve been trying to bake a cake with a 5 year-old.
By all means, chalk up, but you’re not Lebron James coming onto court. Use it sparingly!
Rule 3 Try not to be a space cadet
So, this may be a more subtle Crossfit etiquette pet peeve. Through life, we all have some knowledge of where we are doing whatever it is we are doing. For example, we don’t stand nose to nose when having a conversation. So, in a gym, there’s no reason for this basic life skill to go out of the window!
If you’re about to crack on with a set of double under’s, please do so at least the ropes length away from someone. No one likes whip marks, especially if they’re not self-inflicted. Likewise, if you’re on the way to get changed, try not to walk directly under a 140 kilogram jerk attempt with your bag. Not only is this poor Crossfit etiquette, it’s also dangerous!
Some gyms can be small given the type of exercises going on, fair enough. In addition, I know you get in the zone during workouts, however, please try to keep some awareness of your surroundings. Whilst it can make for quite comical moments (being stuck in a handstand whilst someone catches up on gossip), it can also be pretty annoying. Keep your eyes open to avoid this Crossfit etiquette fail.
Rule 4 Keep the chit-chat outside of workouts
I know what you’re thinking, “Crossfit is all about the community and making friends”. Yes, I’m not for one minute disagreeing with that. Crossfit is all about the community and the fact that the people you train with become friends outside of the gym. However, this doesn’t mean you need to find out what Sheila has been up to during a 20 minute amrap.
The conversation and banter in the gym is always one of the best things going on. The key is to keep this outside of the time you’re working. Ignoring this not only does this massively reduces the intensity of your workout, but also the persons you’re talking too.
Arrange to get to the gym 15 minutes earlier, catch up after you have trained or break conversations up in between sets. All of them are fine, but if you suddenly get the urge to ask Dave how his holiday was, save it until after his set of back squat.
Rule 5 Put equipment back where it came from
The bars live with the bars, 20 kilogram plates go with 20 kilogram plates and ropes go with ropes. You get the picture, but this is a classic Crossfit etiquette breach. Crossfit kids excluded, we should all be able to put equipment back where it came from. There’s nothing worse than having to sort through all the plates in the world as they’ve been put back on the wrong pile.
In addition, the problem only gets worse if it’s not picked up early. The snowball effect of racking dumbbells in the wrong order is an OCD nightmare. The owners of your Crossfit gym probably take a fair bit of pride in their equipment. It also costs a fair bit to buy, so the least we can do is remember where it goes.
We’re all guilty of doing this accidentally at some point. However, if a PVC pipe ends up on a bar rack for more than one week there’s a problem. If you’re new and unsure, just ask. If you’re a veteran member and unsure, just ask. That’s all there is to it really. Unless you’re 6 years-old and reading this (If you are fair play), there’s no excuse for not tidying up.