Rules for the Road: 10 Tips for Visiting CrossFitters

Luckily for the wandering CrossFitter, there are thousands of affiliate gyms across the world—more than 5,000 are located in the United States alone! You can’t travel far without stumbling across a local box that has the resources you need to train, but also a whole new code of conduct to abide by. With help from CrossFit Coach and frequent explorer Ryan Engelhardt of CrossFit Kennesaw in Marietta, Georgia, we’ve compiled a list of ten simple rules traveling CrossFitters should follow.


Once your vacation is planned check out to find the nearest box. Get to know the gym through online research—explore the website, read about the coaches, and check out any photos they may have posted. Most importantly, note the gym’s hours and class schedule.


Some boxes may have a code of conduct listed on their website or inside the gym, but rules can also be passed along to members via word of mouth. If you don’t see rules posted, ask. Inquiring about the law of the land is not only a sign of respect, but will also keep you safe.


Remember that you’re in someone else’s house, so don’t insist on acting like you’re at home. Coach Engelhardt gives this example: “Just because everyone warms up barefoot in your home gym, doesn’t mean you should walk around barefoot in a gym you’re visiting.” Upon arriving at the gym, take a moment to observe your surroundings to find clues about the gym’s culture.


If you’re a more advanced athlete and are working with a coach on a specific training schedule, it’s best to give the gym you’re visiting a heads up. Call ahead and ask if the gym has any open hours and then explain your training regime. Most boxes will be happy to accommodate you as long as they know what to expect.


If you don’t have a specific training schedule and simply want to drop in on a scheduled class, be flexible. The WODs at the gym you’re visiting may be much different from the WODs at home. Ask questions if you’re confused and enjoy a break in your routine!


Show up early for scheduled classes to give yourself plenty of time to meet the coaches, learn the rules, and understand the workout. Walking into a class late can leave a bad first impression with the gym you’re visiting.


Always defer to what the coach is telling you, unless you’re being directed to attempt something dangerous, then use common sense. Coach Engelhardt explains, “If a coach tells you, “I’d like you to reduce the weight you’re lifting, because I don’t like your form,” do it. Even if your coach at home approves.” It’s important to respect the coaches on site.


Coach Engelhardt reminds us, “ego is an athlete’s worst enemy.” Visiting a new gym and checking out stronger, more advanced athletes may inspire you to push yourself too far. Take a deep breath and remember you’re off home turf before attempting to break any local records. “Sometimes a vacation is a good excuse to get some rest in,” adds Coach Engelhardt.


Your gym can start to feel like a second home, so visiting a strange box can be nerve wracking. Remember to enjoy yourself! Visiting distant CrossFit gyms is an excellent way to connect with fellow athletes and shake up your routine.


In addition to learning the rules, it’s also important to be aware of your own capabilities before squatting at a different gym. “I would caution beginners who have not completed an introductory course at their home gym,” warns Coach Engelhardt. Learning CrossFit techniques and lifts is best done at your local gym, and not at a strange box while on Spring Break.


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Scrapes, blisters and calluses are everyday owies that happen anywhere, including the box. Come prepared for minor CrossFit injuries with an arsenal of first aid remedies.

Start with the basics: Bandages and cold packs are must-haves in any first-aid kit, including the one you toss in your gym bag. Calluses are impossible to avoid in the box. The best way to keep them from affecting your fitness is to shave them down and keep them smooth with a specialized callus shaver with safety slide. There is no magic potion out there for aches and pains, but there are plenty of salves and ointments that do the trick. Aquaphur Healing Ointment prevents chaffing and helps to soothe irritated skin, while Biofreeze relieves achy muscles and joints with an instant cool and tingling sensation. Roll out those knots with the Gemini, which was created specifically with CrossFit athletes in mind. And last, but not least, just think of the sweaty paws all over those kettlebells—kill some of that borrowed bacteria with good ole’ fashioned hand sanitizer. Bring your WOD-ready first-aid kit to your next workout and you’ll be ready for anything.



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CrossFit First-Aid Kit: Band-Aid Flexible Fabric Bandages via | Instant Cold Pack viaWalgreens | Tweezerman Callus Shaver via | Aquaphor Healing Ointment via | Biofreeze Pain Relieving Gel via Performance Health | MobilityWOD Gemini via Rouge Fitness | X3: Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer via |


Workdays are a blur, making it tough to find time for fitness. The key to squeezing a quick workout into your hectic day is to simplify: Organize your schedule, manage your time, and carefully pack the bare-minimum of gear for your mad dash to and from the gym. Skip the gym bag altogether, because these bare essentials can easily fit in your purse. Start with Patagonia’s bold green running top which features a built-in bra. Throw on a pair of light shorts, then lace up Merrell’s Vapor Glove running shoes which weigh in at 10 ounces—total. Even during a quick workout, hydration is vital! Bring along Vapur’s collapsible water bottles that roll up and are easy to store when empty. And as you wipe the sweat from your brow and head off to your next appointment, stuff your stinky gym wear into Flight 001’s handy Gym Gear Bag, which separates your sweaty clothes from the clean stuff.



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Minimalist Gym Bag Fashion Features: Gamut Sport Top via Patagonia | GTD Running Shorts via The North Face | Gym Gear Bag via Flight 001 | Barefoot Run Vapor Glove Running Shoes via Merrell |Water Bottle viaVapur |


It’s amazing what you can learn in 140 characters or less. 200 million Twitter users generate approximately 340 million tweets a day. According to a San Antonio-based market research firm, Pear Analytics, 40% of Tweets are “Pointless Babble,” but 9% have pass-along value. Don’t worry about digging through the pointless babble and spam to find the Tweeters who matter—we’ve done all the hard work for you! Check out the Top Seven Best CrossFit Lifestyle-Inspired Tweeters:



This is the official Twitter account for CrossFit. Chock-full of motivational quotes, WODs and links to fascinating content, this is a must-follow for CrossFit Tweeters. Follow @CrossFit for all the news and tidbits from the official source.


This year’s CrossFit Games have come and gone, but that hasn’t stopped the official Twitter account from Tweeting out interesting links, quotes and interviews with CrossFit athletes. Follow @CrossFitGames for a first hand look at hardcore CrossFit athletes.


CrossFit Journal is a fitness, health and lifestyle publication dedicated to improving athletic performance and quality of life. Follow @crossfitjournal for links to articles, videos and audio files covering everything from exercise technique, nutrition and much more.


Mark Sisson is a blogger, athlete and author of the book “Primal Blueprint”. Sisson’s diet tips incorporate many aspects of the Paleo Diet, which is closely tied to the CrossFit lifestyle. Follow @Mark_Sisson to get great tips on healthy eating and general fitness.


Dr. Andrew Weil is a teacher and writer on holistic medicine. Dr. Weil is a guru when it comes to all-natural diets and drool-worthy recipes. Follow @DrWeil for Tweets about integrative medicine, nutrition and all-around natural health.


Robb Wolf is a strength and conditioning coach who is also a New York Times Bestselling author! Follow @robbwolf for Tweets about the Paleo Diet, fitness and general nutrition.


Dai “The Moose” Manuel is a motivational speaker and CrossFit athlete. The Moose sends out upbeat Tweets about health, workouts and positive living. Follow @daimanuel to get motivated!

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