The other week I was scrolling through my newsfeed when I stumbled on an article by Breaking Muscle. This particle article was written from the perspective of a coach who was introduced to a new client who after 6 months of CrossFit, still couldn't complete a proper push up.
Within the first 5 lines of this article, it had me thinking about what made a CrossFit box great too.
You see, whether it's a box or a gym, when we pass through those doors for the first time, we have certain expectations. We expect that the coaches and trainers on staff will be there to provide us with guidance, assistance and correction, not only to avoid injury, but to improve performance overall.
Unfortunately, it seems like a large portion of the facilities out there have dropped the ball. Form isn't being corrected, assistance isn't provided and more and more clients are injuring themselves in the process.
I want to be clear on one point here though - I fully recognize that some people, even with plenty of coaching, still refuse to perform the movement properly and can therefore injure themselves. As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.
My argument here, is not regarding these individuals, rather the facilities who fail to fully invest in their clients success and ultimately do them a disservice.
So, what does make a CrossFit box (or any gym for that matter) great? Here are 3 of my favorite points (there are 11 in total) made from the BreakingMuscle article, which you can read here.
An excellent point was made here. Coaches should be assessing your general movement for flexibility and general motor control. This provides them with a good indication of where you're at physically and what you should be focusing on first.
For example, some people have little to no hip and ankle mobility, which will make back squatting very difficult. By assessing your movement and assigning you a few mobility exercises, you will be able to safely progress to the back squat without fear of injury.
Structured and Varied Programming
Another excellent point - there should be a clear objective for the way WODs and strength programs are created. They should also be complimentary to one another so you aren't over training a particular muscle and doing more damage than good.
As for varied, well variety is the spice of life so we're in agreement there too!
System for Dealing with Injury
Rounding out my top 3 is their acknowledgement that injuries will and do happen, even with great coaching. The difference is, great facilities align with health professionals so you can feel confident that your best interests are at stake.
We may be trainers with a background in physiology, but that doesn't make us professionals. Acknowledging our limitations is critical to maintaining safety.
"Work through the pain" is not a suggestion of the intelligent either, it's a sign to run for the hills.
I could create a list of credentials that I would want my ideal box to have - great coaching, varied programming, high quality equipment, etc - but what I really want to know is this; What makes a CrossFit box great for YOU?
Share in the comment sections below and be sure to let us know what you think of the other 8 points made in the BreakingMuscle article.
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