Choosing A CrossFit Gym
We recommend you visit or try out several CrossFit gyms before choosing one, and we hope you’ll choose us on this basis: CrossFit Atlanta provides the best quality CrossFit instruction available. We’re fully committed to CrossFit as the best path to fitness, and we’ve been doing CrossFit longer than anyone else in Georgia.
CrossFit HQ does not franchise; they don’t grant territories. They operate the basis of licensing the CrossFit brand name to “affiliates.” They do not specify anything about how an affiliate should run their gym. Thus, each CrossFit gym is different. Each has a different vibe. It’s not like McDonald’s or LA Fitness. Some will let you bring your dog, some won’t. Some won’t allow to use chalk (stay away from those!). Some will let you take your shirt off during the workout and flop down and make sweat angels on the floor after the workout, some won’t. So choose one that suits you, one where you feel comfortable, where you will stay the course.
Not so long ago the world of CrossFit consisted exclusively of folks who truly believed that CrossFit was the best general physical preparation regimen in existence. But that has changed. Many established fitness players have felt threatened by the rapid growth of CrossFit. They view it as the latest fad, like Tae-Bo, Zumba, or cardio kickboxing, and they seek to retain or gain clients by hopping on the bandwagon and adding it to an existing hodgepodge of fitness offerings. Sometimes they do so without much understanding of CrossFit methods or any real belief in CrossFit’s efficacy. We didn’t hop on the CrossFit bandwagon because it was popular. We led the way. We were the first CrossFit gym in Georgia, back in 2005 when hardly anyone had even heard of it. There are now over 7,000 CrossFit Affiliates world wide. We are #27.
Gyms that are dedicated to CrossFit only have a totally different feel and culture than operations where CrossFit is one among a variety of fitness options. In many gyms the people working out are are alone: focused inward with their headphones, watching TV, or checking themselves in the mirror. At a real CrossFit gym everyone is talking, interacting, encouraging one another, laughing, having fun, making friends.
We don’t sit on machines that take all the skill, balance, and coordination out of human movement. CrossFit uses complex, multi-joint movements, and teaching them involves recognizing and correcting movement faults, and requires fixing mobility/flexibility issues that prevent correct movement. We teach people how to move correctly, and coaching expertise makes a huge difference. Greg Glassman, the CrossFit founder, has said that even bad CrossFit training is better than almost all other training, and this is true. By comparison, good CrossFit training is remarkably safer and more effective. Most people are not equipped to judge whether they are getting good, mediocre, or bad training. So why do we claim to be better?
- The primary reason is that we have great trainers. The CrossFit Level One course is a 2 day seminar. Attend, pass the written exam, and you are a CrossFit Level 1 trainer, and you can open a CrossFit gym or add CrossFit to your existing fitness business. But the CrossFit Level 2 designation is a clinical test. It is designed to test the trainer’s ability to see and correct movement faults. It is a difficult test of coaching competency that has a 40% pass rate. All the trainers coming out of our gym have a 100% pass rate on the 1st try. CrossFit Atlanta has more Level 2 trainers than anyone in the area, and several Level 2s now at other gyms got their start our gym Also, there are four CrossFit trainers in the Atlanta area who currently work for CrossFit HQ as trainers of CrossFit trainers, teaching at the seminars which aspiring CrossFit trainers must attend to learn CrossFit methods. These are the best of the best. Three of those Atlanta based HQ trainers learned their trade at CrossFit Atlanta.
- Another reason to choose us is the quality of our Olympic lifting instruction. The Olympic lifts are a foundational element in the CrossFit method, [read Foundations, by Greg Glassman], and our O-lift instruction team is led by people who have competed or coached nationally and internationally in Olympic Lifting. The only place you can get higher level O-lift coaching in the Atlanta area is at Coffee’s Gym, and that’s where we send our folks who want to compete in Olympic lifting.
- Lastly are the results our people are achieving. The founder of CrossFit has said that the needs of elite athletes do not differ in kind from the needs of ordinary people, they only differ in degree. What we are doing is proof of that hypothesis. On the elite side, we have trained D1 college athletes, professional athletes, high school athletes hoping to make varsity or win scholarships, competitors in just about every sport, and we have been sending people to the CrossFit Games since 2008. In 2010 our members took 1st & 2nd for both men and women in the Georgia Sectional Qualifying, and that year our team finished in 8th at the Games (the team competition involves all the CrossFit gyms in the world). In 2011 one of our athletes and trainers, Leah Polaski won the Southeast Regionals. In 2012 & 2013, our team won the Southeast Regional Qualifier and took 10th, then 13th at the CrossFit Games (out of over 7,000 teams worldwide). Our athletes perform exceedingly well in other CrossFit competitions, and on the playing fields in a wide variety of sports. But we take the most pride and get the most satisfaction from watching people without any competitive aspirations transform themselves with the very same program. We are producing winners in life and sport.