Within CrossFit runs an unspoken code of etiquette. Many of the unacknowledged expectations boil down to simply being considerate of fellow humans, but in a gym setting sometimes the standard of behavior is unclear.

In the early months of doing CrossFit I committed many faux paus unknowingly. One night, during a lifting session, I adjusted my weights and walked around while a man across from me attempted a heavy backsquat single. I was oblivious to how heavy his attempt was or that I was placed directly in his line of vision. (I was also completely drowned in the swamp that is fitness and math composting together.) So I cheerfully slapped weights on and chatted to someone nearby, unaware of the conquest happening mere feet away on the opposing rack.

A few moments later the kind man came over and gently explained that during very heavy lift sessions it is polite to cease loading and stand quietly so as not to distract the person lifting near you… or rather, watch and cheer them on loudly. Thus, I learned an unspoken rule in CrossFit: be aware of what is happening around you, and be courteous of what others might need to succeed.

Group fitness classes use a shared space for athletes of all levels to exercise together. This type of exercise invites a unique opportunity to cheer one another on and celebrate victories, but it also means that you must pay special attention to what is going on around you in the class.

“Thus, I learned an unspoken rule in CrossFit: be aware of what is happening around you, and be courteous of what others might need to succeed.”

Here is a list of Crossfit etiquette to help orient beginners:

1. Don’t complain about the workout.

We are all here to learn and grow, no matter our current fitness level. The WOD is the method we chose to better ourselves, so we respect the method. It is a blessing to be able to participate, even if we must scale each movement.

2. Don’t push yourself so hard that you get hurt.

Daily WODs are not a competition. If you don’t know your limit in a certain movement, then err on the lighter side until you are comfortable with an appropriate weight. Safety comes first!

3. Respect the coach, and listen when they explain the workout and movements.

Our coaches are expertly trained to conduct the class with all the warm up and cool down in exactly one hour. They can only accomplish this task if everyone is quiet when they speak and pays attention when they describe the safe way to perform a movement.

4. If you don’t know, ask!

Our coaches and regular members are committed to helping you reach your goals and are always open to questions.

5. Wait for the coaches’ attention.

The coach must pay attention to the form and scale of several people at once. Don’t interrupt or force your way into a conversation if the coach is already busy with someone else. Be patient; the coach will help you find your appropriate scale when they are ready.

6. Wear appropriate clothing.

You don’t need all the accessories and gear to do CrossFit, but definitely wear clothes that don’t inhibit your ability to move well. There’s nothing worse than having to pull up your pants after every burpee—trust me, I know. Invest in at least one well-fitting outfit and one pair of comfortable shoes. You’ll get best results if you can move comfortably and freely.

7. Allow room for everyone in the group to exercise safely.

Remember that in group fitness, you’re sharing a space. Take turns if needed. Don’t walk too closely to someone’s bar if they are lifting. Give everyone room to do the movements without bumping into each other.

8. Don’t drop equipment.

Be respectful of the equipment—it doesn’t belong to you, and it is expensive. Dropping weights or dumbbells could result in someone getting hurt by the bouncing items. If you absolutely need to ditch a lift, of course do so safely, but preferably not from the overhead position.

9. Wipe off your equipment after use.

Sweat, spit and blood happens in CrossFit. Make sure that you use the gym’s disinfectant wipes to clean the surfaces that you touched, be it a bar/wall ball/kettle bell or even a particularly gross spot on the floor.

10. Be friendly.

CrossFit has a very strong culture, and entering the sport can be intimidating. Be friendly to everyone in class, encourage them in their efforts and save the personal talks for after class.

Progressive Fitness CrossFit is a box where elite athletes and beginners who have never set foot in a gym before can exercise together. We welcome all levels of ability. Hopefully these now spoken rules of conduct will help beginners know what to expect when they join a class. So don’t be afraid to come join the fun and see what you are capable of. We look forward to working with you–check out our class schedule here.