With the holidays upon us, many CrossFitters who are used to training in an affiliate may be forced to temporarily purchase the services of a commercial gym, more commonly referred to in CrossFit vernacular as a Globo Gym. With the rapid expansion of CrossFit there are probably some folks out there training in an affiliate who have never been to a Globo Gym. Others may simply have been away from the Globo Gym for so long they've forgotten how it works.
Fear not! We at EYF are veteran Globo Gym CrossFitters. Indeed, before opening CrossFit Monterey we infiltrated Globo Gyms from California to Washington D.C. to London, England, and managed to avoid getting kicked out (though we may have been warned a time or five...) We're here to help! Follow these five simple tips to make your travel training experience as painless as possible...apart from the WOD, that is.
1) Don't hog equipment. Okay, so in your affiliate, you can do the "Filthy Fifty" while someone else is doing the "Twisted Twelve" and three other people are doing the "Hungry Hundred" (alright, I made that one up.) But most Globo Gyms will have a couple of barbells and squat racks, a few benches, dumbbells, maybe a couple rowers, and if you're really lucky, a decent pullup bar. That's about all that you'll find of use to you. And believe it or not, you're not the only person who wants to use that equipment! Maybe the guy who wants the squat rack is going to do quarter squats, but the fact is, he paid just as much money to be there as you did. He can do all the quarter squats he wants. I'm not saying don't use the squat rack for as long as necessary: I'm saying don't take 10 minutes between sets just because you can. And I'm definitely saying don't use more than one piece of equipment at once. Globo Gyms are not the kind of place where you can take the squat rack, the bench, and the pullup bar all at once. If you don't think you can get a nasty workout with one piece of equipment, you probably haven't been CrossFitting very long.
2) Have your workout planned before you arrive. I own a gym, and this means I can show up whenever I want and play around with all the toys until I decide what I want to do. But my athletes show up and know what they're supposed to do. It shouldn't be any different in a Globo gym. You should at least have an idea of what you want to do, and modify it as their equipment allows. Don't waste time dicking around with equipment other people may want to use.
3) Play by their rules. If they say no chalk, don't bring chalk (okay, so the pot is calling the kettle black here, but it was Russ' idea!) Don't try to lift barefoot – trust me, they won't like it. If they say no Olympic lifts, don't Olympic lift. You will be okay if you don't snatch for a couple of weeks, I promise.
4) Be respectful of non-CrossFitters. Here's what I want you to do when you get frustrated with the guy doing bicep curls and half range-of-motion bench press: Look at him...really look at him...take a deep breath...and then say to yourself "I used to be that guy." Because you did. You know you did. And you sure as hell wouldn't have wanted some douchebag telling you that what you're doing is totally useless and non-functional. Play nice. And if people ask you "what the hell are you doing?" try not to come across like you're terribly superior. I've had CrossFitters do that to me, another CrossFitter...I can't imagine what those assholes would have said to someone who had been doing leg presses.
5) You can do plenty of your training outside of the gym. Ideally, you should use the Globo Gym for your heavy lifting and maybe some monostructural metcon (rowing and swimming come to mind, if you're lucky enough to find a Globo gym that has a rower and a pool.) If you bring a jump rope, a pair of rings, and an empty sandbag with you on your trip, you'll have plenty to get you through a couple of weeks worth of workouts. Or even invest in a cheap pair of dumbbells once you're there...it probably won't cost much more than going to the Globo Gym every day. I recommend 30-45lbs for guys and 20-30lbs for gals, depending on your fitness level.
Happy Holidays from Evolve Your Fitness! Don't forget to set at least one PR on New Years Eve!