How to Be a Good Drop-In

Written by Coach D

We are on the eve of the biggest travel season of the year.  And while most people use the Holidays as an excuse to take some time off from exercise because they are away from home, that doesn’t have to be the case.  Because of the awesome community of CrossFit, you are welcome to “Drop-In” to gyms around the world for a workout.  But there are very clear “Do’s and Don’ts” to dropping in.  Want to be the best drop-in EVER? Follow these steps.

First, do your research of the gym you are dropping in to.  What does their programming look like?  What are the qualifications of their trainers?  How long have they been in business?  All of these answers are available to you if you simply use “The Google”.  Based on the information that you find, drop-in to the gym that best suits your needs and fits your training style.  If you have done your job as an athlete, you should be comfortable going to this gym knowing what type of programming to expect, how qualified the coaches are, and the general “vibe” of the gym.

Second, contact the gym before you attend a class; ask if they have space in whatever class time you would like to attend, and what their drop-in rate is.  I promise every gym will give you contact information on their webpage.  When sending the email also let them know how long you have been doing CrossFit, if you have any injuries or limitations, and where you would fall on the fitness scale, beginner, intermediate (just looking for a workout), competitive or elite. This way the trainer is not completely blindsided and has an idea about what to expect from the athlete.  It also gives them time to consider components such as class size and scaling options.

The author dropping in in Mexico

The author dropping in in Mexico

Thirdly, be respectful and willing to learn from any and all coaches regardless of appearance, sex or age. You can learn something valuable from every coach including the fact that their teaching style may not particularly work for you. In fact, this is a great opportunity for a new set of eyes to see how you move and perhaps give a cue that “clicks” with you.  Use dropping in as an opportunity to become a better athlete, and hear what other coaches have to tell you.  Every coach is different.  They see movements differently, they have been taught lifts differently and they have different cues for adjusting movement.  Without immediately saying “Well my coach says this…” just try the correction the coach is giving you.  If it works, great.  If it doesn’t, then bag it.  Just like anything, there is more than one way to teach movements.  Remember, CrossFit is all about variety, and hearing a variety of cues is going to make you a better athlete.

Dropping in to other gyms is a ton of fun, and we highly recommend it, as long as you follow the rules.  First you are going to do your research!  After you decide which gym is best for you, contact them.  Don’t just tell them you are coming, tell them about your skill level, aches, pains, injuries etc…  Once they give you the go ahead and you attend their class, be respectful of their trainers and make it your goal to learn something new during that class.  Keep an open mind and be willing to be coached by someone different.  After that, you will be officially labeled as the “Best Drop-In Ever.”