Unwritten Gym Tips

Unwritten Gym Tips
Written by: Coach Slater

You know how there are unwritten rules in life? Like, at Church, not washing your hands in that vat of water they keep near the back door (I don’t go, so I’m just guessing)… or when walking down a public sidewalk, and not making eye contact with the crazy person who’s on the corner spouting something about the end of the world? You know that unwritten stuff?

Well, there are unwritten tips which can help your gym experience, too. Most of these tips are very real. A couple are not. I’m not telling you which is which. Here goes:

1. To keep your clips in place during a WOD, put them on “inside out” with the handle making contact with the big plates. For additional cool points, keep your change plates (2.5s and 5s) on the outside of your clips during the Strength portion of the class.

2. After wrapping your wrists with elastic straps, take your thumb out of the thumbhole. It’s just there for helping you wrap your wrists, but it should be taken off once it’s done its job.

3. If cleaning, snatching, or jerking heavy, move all of your other plates AWAY from underneath your bar. You DO NOT want to drop the bar on one of those plates and have it bounce back at your shins. You do not want that pain in your life.

4. All iron and 10/15lb plates must be placed on your bar with their numbers facing in. Always. I’m serious. I will turn your plates around if I witness you putting them on with numbers facing out. It’s for luck and I want to give you every opportunity to lift big weight.

See Sean's 5lb and 10lb plates facing out? That's a harbinger of bad luck. He probably missed this squat.
See Sean’s 5lb and 10lb plates facing out? That’s an omen of bad luck. He probably missed this squat.

5. You don’t need to take a water break or a restroom break mid-WOD. You don’t need water that badly. You’re not fooling anyone.

6. You’re totally gonna lift more weight by adding more 10lb plates to your bar. You need at least 30, so they’re falling off the bar. No one else needs them, so use all of them to prevent anyone else from using two.

7. Once the bar gets really heavy for a deadlift or a clean, pull the plates on and off. Don’t push them on. Pulling plates on/off is much easier. We also have a “deadlift bar jack” which you can use to prop up one side of your bar at a time for easy weight removal.

8. Use the “Kill Cliff” 5lb plate for good luck. Or, avoid it for good luck. Some people think it’s good luck, some think it’s bad luck. It has special powers and it’s up to you to determine which one it is for you.

The infamous Kill Cliff plate.
The infamous Kill Cliff plate.

9. Buy your own jump rope and belt. If you’ve been CrossFitting for over a year and you don’t have your own rope, what are you even doing? And, you need a lucky belt. Shark’s lifetime PR’s have all come while wearing the gym’s red leather belt. Personally, I buy a new Harbinger belt once every two years so I’m sure the velcro is fresh.

10. If your mobility sucks, or you have shoulder/hip pain, work on it pre- and post-WOD based on coaches tips. Don’t bitch about it and then do nothing about it.

11. In a 3-Round WOD, you’re guaranteed to go faster in rounds 2 & 3 if you take your shirt off after round 1. This is called “Cooking” it. If you witness someone else doing this mid-WOD, you must yell “Cooked it!” otherwise you will fail your next PR attempt.

12. Keep your hands in the bucket when lightly applying chalk. Doing so helps keep the chalk where it belongs… IN THE BUCKET. That might mean you need to bend over mid-WOD and reach in to apply it. You know how to deadlift, so you know how to hip hinge and reach your hands to shin height. A chalk bucket is a similar height. You can do this. I believe in you.

Just looking at this picture makes me shake my head.
Just looking at this picture makes me shake my head.

13. The more you cheer on the last-place finishers in a WOD, instead of putting away your weights when you’re done, the more you’ll find people cheering you on when you’re the last-place finisher. Lesson: don’t put your weights away immediately after you finish. Cheer on someone. They might need it today, just like you might need it in return some day.

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