With summer travel season coming up and many planning summer trips, it’s important to know that you can “drop in” at other CrossFit gyms to continue pursuing your fitness goals. Generally, gyms charge from $10-45 per drop in session depending on the location and reputation of the gym. It’s important to know the proper drop in etiquette and also what to look for in a gym when choosing where to visit.
There are a few ways besides www.google.com to find the closest crossfit gym to where you will be traveling to. The most common way is to use the affiliate map on www.crossfit.com. Another good way is to download the DropIn App (http://www.thedropinapp.com/).
First let’s talk about what to look for in a gym to drop in. Obviously, location is important your’re on vacation, so you want to be efficient with your time, but not all gyms are created equal! Some key things to look at are their social media and their reviews. See what their gym looks like in their photos. Is the gym overcrowded, or does it look spacious enough to fit large classes? Do you see coaches on the floor, correcting form and instructing, or does it look more like an open gym with supervision? Are warm ups programmed, or do the coaches jump right into a workout? Check out the WODs on their website if they are posted. Are they doable for you? If you are unsure, this is something you can ask one of your coaches here at Vesuvio, so we can help you decide if we think this is the right fit for you.
Once you’ve found a gym or two you want to visit on your trip, we want to make sure we have proper gym etiquette. The rule of thumb is to always contact a gym before dropping in out of courtesy, so they are expecting you. Some classes require prior sign ups, and all should require some sort of waiver to be filled out, so a coach being prepared for a drop in makes the process much smooth. A good coach at a good gym is going to have several questions for you to be sure you’re going to be able to get a good workout in safely. For example, how long have you been doing CrossFit, how many days a week do you train, any injuries that he/she needs to be aware of, any movement issues to be aware of etc? If they don’t ask these questions, this may be a red flag. If you still want to try out this gym, it is good to let them know this background information on you so that they can help you have a great workout experience.
Here’s where the contact gets tricky. Not all gyms have a phone or even check messages. However, with technology and social media, Facebook messages to a gym’s page has become an easy way to contact a gym, and they will most likely get back to you quickly. Some gyms will require a coach/owner of your gym to verify your membership as well. I (Chris) am a great resource for you as I have been to almost 200 CrossFit gyms around the world and know owners of gyms all around the country from the Affiliate Owners board. Your other coaches can also be of use to you if Chris is unavailable. We are happy to reach out to the owner of a box you want to drop in at on your behalf.
Always arrive early for the class you’re dropping in to at a gym You’ll have to sign the liability waiver and pay your drop in fee before the class begins and as a visitor, you don’t want to hold up their class. This is simply a matter of being respectful to the gym, the coaches, and the current members. Always plan on doing their WOD. Refrain from asking things like, “Hey can I do my own wod or open gym?” when dropping in. If the gym allows open gym, it will be posted on their website or the coach will offer it up. It’s just one of those unwritten rules about visiting other boxes you should be aware of. Again, always respect those in the gym you are visiting!
Lastly, enjoy your drop in visit! Of the almost 200 I’ve visited I can tell you details of each. Visiting other boxes is a fun hobby and I even keep a list of the ones I’ve been to. Every one is different I’ve enjoyed learning from them and used those experiences for what we do and don’t do at Vesuvio. It should be a fun experience for you too! See how other boxes work, network, make new friends in the CrossFit world, and find a home away from home when you vacation. If you do a drop in over the summer, drop a comment on this post and let us know how it went! We would love to know what boxes you visit, and maybe one day we will drop in there too!