Our last blog post highlighted one of the coolest parts of doing CrossFit - the international community of CrossFitters and CrossFit affiliates/gyms (aka "boxes") which welcome traveling CrossFitters looking to "drop-in" for a WOD during their vacation or business trip. Most areas we've been to, both domestically and internationally, have had CrossFit affiliates nearby which have welcomed us for a drop-in class or two. Sometimes when you're in class at Arena Ready you might notice a drop-in from out-of-town who has come to our gym to work out while in San Francisco.
As affiliate owners Sarah and I interact with drop-ins and drop-in requests on a regular basis. We decided to write a blog post on the subject of dropping-in to another gym, both as background information for our AR members regarding our own policies on drop-ins, and as a bit of guidance for our AR members who may be dropping-in to a gym themselves during their travels.
Visitors Dropping-In to Arena Ready
Our members are our NUMBER ONE PRIORITY. We enjoy meeting drop-ins and hosting them for a WOD, but only if it does not limit our ability to coach our current members in class. This is another way of saying we don't let newcomers (folks who are not already experienced with CrossFit training) drop-in to our classes. There is no exception to this rule. If I am spending most of my time keeping a brand new person (who I may never see again) from hurting herself during a complex movement she's never done before, then our current members are likely getting little to no coaching during that class. That is not acceptable to us, regardless of how nice/friendly/enthusiastic/well-intentioned the visitor is. Our people come first, always.
If a potential drop-in who has little to no experience with CrossFit takes issue with this policy, I simply explain the above situation and they usually begin to understand why we only accept experienced CrossFitters as drop-ins. It's a reflection of the value we put on coaching our paying clients. Yes, there are many gyms who do not have this same policy, and yes we are ok with the fact that it may alienate some folks who don't agree with or understand why we do things that way.
Arena Ready Members Dropping-In to Other Affiliates
If you're an AR member who is traveling and looking to get a workout in during your trip, we encourage you to try and drop-in to a CrossFit affiliate in the area. You can find a global directory of official CrossFit affiliates here: https://map.crossfit.com.
Here are some helpful tips when visiting another affiliate (aka the things we hope visitors to Arena Ready do as well when coming to see us for a WOD):
1) Briefly review the gym's website, which likely contains their drop-in policy. Some gyms have a sign-in policy like we do and others do not - it's good to know this ahead of time so you can plan accordingly.
2) Even if their website contains their drop-in policy it's helpful to email the gym ahead of time to give them a heads-up that you'd like to drop-in. Some gyms require that you send them your level of CrossFit experience, and some even ask for an email from your current affiliate's owner (i.e. Sarah or me) attesting to your proficiency with the basic movements. Regardless, some helpful items of info to include are:
*When you'll be in town and for how long (sometimes they can work out a deal if you are staying for an extended period of time)
*Ask when their least busy classes are, and if you're on vacation with a flexible schedule be respectful of their peak times if needed
3) Show up to class early so you can fill out a waiver and meet the coach.
4) Understand that during class they may do things differently than we do, so be respectful and go with the flow (assuming the flow isn't somehow unsafe, or something that you shouldn't be doing based on your current physical state).
5) Offer to pay (if you haven't already) and/or purchase a t-shirt, regardless of whether or not they charge drop-ins for class. Some gyms (usually outside of metropolitan areas) do not charge drop-ins. Either way, they have provided a service for you and it's only fair to pay or at least offer to pay. When folks who are not used to paying for drop-ins balk at our drop-in fee at Arena Ready, I explain what I wrote in the section above regarding our own members.
We are lucky to have a community of respectful and intelligent members at Arena Ready, so it's not necessary to go on and on about how "you are a representative of our gym so please act accordingly when dropping-in somewhere else." Be your friendly and enthusiastic selves, just like you are at AR, and prioritize your movement and goals just like yo do when you're training here.
Although Muscle Beach isn't technically a CrossFit affiliate this would be a pretty funny drop-in experience. Kyrie Irving's uncle Drew would be proud.
WOD for 07-11-16:
Alternating EMOM for 5 Rounds (10 Minutes):
Minute 1: 12 Unbroken Handstand Push-ups
Minute 2: 10 One-Arm Dumbbell OR Kettlebell Overhead Squat, pick load (For QUALITY, 5 per side)
AMRAP 9 Minutes:
12 Wall Balls @ 20/14 lbs to 10 ft (men & women)
9 Box Jumps @ 24/20 in
6 Deadlifts @ 245/175 lbs