You might think joining a CrossFit box is as simple as paying the fees, signing the paperwork, and showing up for your first day. In some ways, this is true. However, truly becoming a part of a CrossFit box includes getting to know the other members and getting involved in the community.
If there’s one thing that sets CrossFit apart from other fitness programs and gyms, it’s the community aspect. Sharing your fitness goals is a great way to connect with people you might otherwise think you have absolutely nothing in common with. Plus, the group dynamic is very motivating and supportive. Many people find that the support of their box makes a massive difference to their overall fitness performance and progress.
While the community is an alluring aspect of CrossFit, some people do find it a bit daunting. It can feel strange showing up and feeling like everyone already knows each other so well. Many new CrossFitters get a bit overwhelmed by the pressure of trying to socialize with new people, particularly when it’s on top of the pressure of trying to keep up with the WOD.
Although most people you meet at CrossFit are perfectly lovely and welcoming folk, you might want a little advice for getting into the swing of things. Here are some easy tips for joining a CrossFit box and getting acquainted with those in your local CrossFit community.
Okay, this seems obvious, but some people don’t like talking to others – and that’s fine. Those people usually indicate that by standing away from the pack, doing their own thing. No problem with that, and people usually respect that they’re not chatty. However, you don’t want to look like one of those people if you’re looking to become a part of the community! Don’t be shy to say hi and ask people about their day. CrossFitters don’t bite – they’re usually excited to have someone new joining their gym and will want to get to know you.
For some reason, people sometimes feel nervous to compliment and congratulate others on their performance. However, if any place is a good place to cheer someone on, a CrossFit gym is definitely it. CrossFit is known for its supportive culture, so no one will think you’re weird for encouraging other members. Don’t be afraid to throw yourself into cheering on others when they do a great job. They’ll appreciate it, and will probably do the same for you the next time you need a little encouragement. If you see someone doing an interesting movement or generally smashing their workout, feel free to go ahead and compliment them when they’ve finished. There’s nothing wrong with helping others feel proud of themselves!
Work out at consistent times
When you’re joining a CrossFit box, decide on a certain time that works for you. Go to the gym at that same time as much as you can. Most people work out pretty much at the same times throughout the week. When you start seeing the same faces a few times each week, they’ll be more likely to open up and get to know you. In contrast, if you go at erratic times, people will think you’re just a casual member or drop-in. When you show up to class at the same times each week and talk to other members when you’re there, you’ll slowly but surely make friends.
Chat with people post-WOD
It can be hard to try and socialize during such an intense workout. Chatting with the people around you is probably the last thing you want to do during it. However, after the WOD is a perfect time to get to know people. You just went through the same hell as 10 or so others, so you have a perfect topic to discuss. Complain about it, talk about your favorite movement, or ask for tips to improve on a certain exercise. Alternatively, simply finish up by high-fiving and congratulating whoever’s around you. You all deserve it.
Find out if your box does any social meet-ups
A lot of CrossFit communities do activities such as post-workout drinks, Sunday brunches, concerts together, or other similar hang-outs. While seeing people in the gym is a great way to get to know them through a common activity, non-workout activities can help solidify your place in the community. You can use the fitness journey as a bridge to get to know about other people. You may have more in common than you ever thought!
Don’t worry too much about making friends when joining a CrossFit box
Sure, there are things you can do to improve the process. However, if you show up consistently and are nice to others, you’ll form some good relationships. Most people are surprised at how easy it is to make friends through CrossFit.
First and foremost, concentrate on your own fitness journey. When you work hard and focus on your own health, you’ll be surprised how many awesome people you attract.