How to be a Good Drop-In
Dropping into other CrossFit gyms is AWESOME. It’s a great way to see a new gym, get a new t-shirt, get some different coaching, and truly experience the CrossFit community that exists outside of the gym that you normally go to. Best part is with the popularity of CrossFit, there’s almost always one in the city you’re in, or at least one close by.
While many people who read this blog have dropped into other gyms before, many of you haven’t. As a gym owner, I LOVE drop-ins. I love meeting new people, chatting to them about their home affiliate, and hopefully make a new lifetime customer if they ever come back to town.
That being said, there is an etiquette that should be understood if you’re going to embark on dropping into another affiliate. Some are pretty obvious, but some might not be as obvious to you. Be sure you read this and follow these guidelines the next time you plan on dropping into an affiliate on your next trip!
READ THE WEBSITE
As a guest at the gym, it’s best to try and do as much research about the gym as possible before you go. The best place to do that is on their Website. You can tell a LOT about a gym from their website. The affiliates website should have their schedule, drop in policy or FAQ section, and other helpful bits of information (class length, class cap, reservations, etc). Read it all and do your research! Check out their Instagram and Facebook too!
CONTACT THE GYM WELL IN ADVANCE
Hopefully after you read the website you know how to drop-in appropriately. You still want to contact the gym well in advance before you plan on dropping in. My suggestion is to contact the gym 7 days in advance. That might seem over the top, but as an affiliate owner, this is VERY helpful. At a minimum, give the gym at least 48 hours notice. They could have capped classes that require reservations, or a “preferred” class for you to drop in at (it’s a good idea to ask what class is best to drop in at!). Do not show up 15 minutes before class without any prior communication and be surprised if they turn you away. That’s just rude, y’all, and it puts extra stress on the coaches and staff. When in doubt, send an email well in advance. If you don’t hear back from them… move onto the next gym.
PAY BEFORE YOU PLAY
Dropping into a gym is a lot like going out to eat at a restaurant. At the restaurants, if you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford to eat. Same thing with gym drop ins. If you can’t afford to pay their drop in fee, you can’t afford to workout. Do your best to pay online before you get to the affiliate. If they don’t have an online portal for payment, pay BEFORE you take the class. It puts coaches and owners in a weird spot trying to chase someone down after a workout to get them to pay their drop in… and it’s REALLY awkward to pull the old WOD’n’GONE. Don’t make it weird. Pay your drop in.
This should go without saying. You’re a guest in their house, and you’re representing your home affiliate (because I promise you, that WILL come up in conversation). Make it a positive experience for everyone. Work hard, and be nice.
STICK TO THE PROGRAMMING
Being off from your gym’s program for one day, two… or even a week is NOT going to kill you or hurt your progress. Please do not ask the coach to squeeze in your squat program while the rest of the class does power cleans. You’ll be alright.
We get it. You have allegiance to your coach at your home affiliate. But coaches love to coach people! If someone is going to take the time to watch you move and offer some advice on how they might improve your movement, don’t pull the “You’re not my real Dad!” Just smile, nod, and say “thanks I’ll try it!” Keep an open mind when you’re receiving some new tips. Often a different coach can say something to you that can really click. You just might learn something really great that you can bring back home to your gym!
READ THE ROOM
Pick up on the vibe in the room. When you’re dropping in, you don’t want to cause a disturbance. If the vibe is crazy competitive, loud grunts, splashing chalk like Pablo Escobar, and going so hard you black out, well then get buck wild with the community. If the vibe is more reserved, maybe pump the breaks on the banshee screams and keep your shirt on. Be apart of the community, not an outsider.
Dropping into a new affiliate is always an experience. Stick to these guidelines to make sure it’s a positive one.