Choosing a CrossFit Gym
If you are an educated consumer and have done any research, you have found that there are several CrossFit affiliate gyms in the Atlanta area. All are independent of one another, but we are all part of a much larger, worldwide fitness movement- CrossFit.
We encourage you to try multiple CrossFit gyms out. Each has it’s own culture, type of clientele, class structure and offerings. Our recommendation is to find a facility that works for you and your goals. We hope that BTB is that gym. At BTB, we pride ourselves on the quality of our training, our understanding of and experience in teaching the CrossFit movements and the stunning results that we have produced over the years.
At BTB, we concentrate on one thing- strength & conditioning through CrossFit. We do not have fusion aerobic classes. We do not offer cardio-kick, or whatever the latest fitness craze happens to be. What we do concentrate on however is virtuosity of movement, proper coaching, a welcoming community and our family- yes, family. Our clients have become a part of our BTB family and we treat them all as such.
What kind of questions should you be asking? Well, that depends on what kind of place you are looking to train in, and who you want to train with.
1) How does a gym handle beginners to the program? Is there a formal gateway into becoming a member, or do they just take you in at any time and try to get you up to speed along with all the others? At BTB, we have developed a very successful formula for those who are new to CrossFit- our 2 week Dynamics course. It may seem as if we make it hard to join our gym because of this gateway. Well, we will only accept the best for our clients, and this prepares them for the rigors and intensity of our all levels group classes. If you are resistant to coaching, or lack the patience to learn the ropes of the program, we may not be the best fit for you.
2) How long has a gym been affiliated with CrossFit? Did they open as a CrossFit gym, or are they an existing gym looking to get on the CrossFit bandwagon? Why did they open a facility? BTB was the 2nd CrossFit affiiate in the state of GA, and one of the first in the Southeast. We initially started our training company in the outdoors. In our quest to develop our program, we discovered CrossFit, and began training with our dear friend, Dan Macdougald over at CrossFit Atlanta- the first facility in Atlanta. After realizing our passion for CrossFit and its philosophies, Dan encouraged us to affiliate. We did so in March of 2007, and the rest is history.
3) Ask about the training staff. How long has their most experienced trainers been certified to coach CrossFit? How many CrossFit certified trainers are there? Are there any Level 2 coaches on staff? (The level 2 crossfit certification is an intensive process with about a 40% pass rate. It is quite an accomplishment.) At BTB, we have 21 certified CrossFit coaches. To our knowledge, this is the most of any other facility in the state. Of those 21, there are 4 who are Level 2 certified. There are 2-3 facilities in the country with more level 2 coaches. In every BTB class, it is normal for there to be at least 2 coaches present at any given time.
4) Ask about specialty certifications and other fitness related experience within the staff. At BTB, we have folks with extensive experience in teaching the Olympic Lifting movements, power lifting, gymnastics, kettle bell training, endurance training, and other disciplines. We also have folks who are highly educated in physiology, nutrition and even biochemistry. We are very proud of those who call BTB home. They are not a highly paid staff, rather a group of like-minded folks that train at BTB out of passion. They have helped to shape our culture.
5) Does the facility follow CrossFit HQ workouts, or do they do their own programming? If so, why do they follow HQ? If not, why not. If they are doing their own programming, what is behind it? What is the end goal? If your facility does not have a good answer for this, well you know……
6) Price- obviously this is a big factor in your decision making process. There is an old adage that still rings true. You get what you pay for. We ask more than some of the other affiliates in Atlanta. Our experience, quality of training and in depth knowledge of CrossFit simply warrants that. We do not cut price to match or beat competitors. If you are simply looking for the cheapest product, we’ll be happy to refer you to the most inexpensive facility in the area. No questions asked.
7) Facility: Is the facility equipped to handle groups? Is there enough space? Part of CrossFit requires easy access to the outdoors. Is there easy access? Simple square footage does not make the facility work. There are many nuances that make a facility suitable to be a great box. At BTB, our experience in CF has allowed us to identify those great nuances and have built spaces around them. Also, as a BTB member, you’ll have access to any of our 3 training facilities around Atlanta.
8) Culture: Visit a facility when there are classes going on. Take a look at the clientele. Are the happy? Are they working hard or simply hanging around? Are they being actively coached and are the coaches engaged? These are some key things to look for.
9) Fitness levels in the gym: When you are looking at facilities, take a look at the fitness levels. Is the entire gym filled with young fire breathing guys and gals? Is it filled only with fitness beginners? At BTB, you’ll find a wide mix of folks. We have coached athletes into qualifying for and competing in the national CrossFit Games, division 1 collegiate athletes, the weekend warrior, all the way down to re-hab clients working to get back into shape after an illness or accident. We have experience with and welcome all levels. Those who are stronger or faster help those who are not. Elitism is not acceptable at BTB. We all play on the same team.
There are many other things that can be covered, but these are some of the basics you should look for. CrossFit is a serious sport- the sport of fitness. Although you don’t need to be a serious athlete to do CrossFit, you should choose your facility wisely.