Community is by far the best part of CrossFit. In every box you meet people of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life grinding through the WOD together. But even as CrossFit continues to grow and spread there always seems to be a recurring cast of characters you’re sure to find in any box. Meet them below and maybe you'll recognize a few familiar faces.
There’s a love/hate relationship with the Gymnast. This athlete comes in on their first day and strings together 10 muscle ups, meanwhile after 6 months you’re still struggling to get your first one. Their strength, coordination, and body control makes them a natural when it comes to crossfitting so it’s no wonder why so many top crossfitters have a gymnastics background. Don't let their skill bring you down though: they can help you improve your technique and increase your stamina.
The most prepared on this list is the Gearhead, hands down. Stuffed in their gym bag you’ll find Oly shoes, running shoes, and cross training shoes; and that’s just their shoes! Regardless of the WOD the Gearhead always has the best, latest and perfect combination of gear on hand (or feet!) to crush it. They won't hesitate to tell you about their newest acquisition, which makes the Gearhead a great resource to learn about any new Crossfit product before buying it yourself (knee sleeves, jump ropes, supplements, shoes, and the list goes on).
Despite being around for a long time the OG is often the most unassuming athlete on this list. Not always the first to finish the WOD but usually the first to crack open a beer, the OG has some great stories about watching the first CrossFit Games at the Aromas ranch or training at the original CrossFit gym in Santa Cruz.
The community aspect of CrossFit makes it very family oriented, which is why you’ll always see at least a couple of kids running around your box. Their high energy level fits in perfectly with CrossFit, and all the equipment can make a box the greatest playground ever! You'll need to watch out for their safety, but you'll also want to watch out for the day when they're old enough to hit Fran for the first time!
The Engine does not know the meaning of the word “Stop.” Capable and willing to suffer through anything, this athlete is usually the first to finish, but will be there cheering on the very last athlete to call “Time”!
The Beast derives from the same family as the Engine but excels in feats of strength. Not necessarily the fastest, the Beast is the athlete on this list that leaves you with your mouth dangling wide open telling yourself “Holy Sh*t!” as they effortlessly pull a 600 lb. Deadlift or Clean and Jerk 165 kg.
After wrapping up a collegiate athletics career a very small percentage of athletes go on to compete at the next level. CrossFit provides the Ex-College Athlete the perfect outlet to stay physically active and channel their competitive drive at a high level.
Okay, technically not a “person,” but there always seems to be a dog at your box. And why not? Lovable and friendly, they often become the gym mascot, and the Dog can always be counted on to be there for you at the end of a tough workout, and to do the most rest and least work.
Can you think of any other people you meet at every box? Tell us in the comments.
Chris Spealler is not only a CrossFit legend, but he's arguably the best bodyweight specialist to ever compete at the CrossFit Games. Watching him fly through muscle ups or handstand walk his way past the competition was truly amazing and inspiring to watch.
With over a decade of CrossFit experience as both a coach and athlete, and with 6 Games appearances, Chris Spealler has racked up a wealth of knowledge on proper movement and technique.