How to Keep it Clean

Keep your Box clean!Horrified. That’s how Mary Catherine Alexander felt when she found blood on the taped pull-up bar at CrossFit Franklin.

Athletes had performed an Open WOD the night before. When Alexander went to jump onto the bar to demonstrate proper pull-up form to the 5:30 a.m. class, she caught sight of what was there. Apologizing to the class, she ripped off the tape as soon as possible.

At the Box located in Franklin, Massachusetts, cleanliness is top priority. That incident only proved that constant vigilance and reminders are necessary to keep the gym clean. Alexander explained that her staff pulled together after that and said it better not happen again.

To avoid incidents like the above, in each corner of the gym sits paper towels, disinfectant spray and hand sanitizer so athletes can wipe down equipment. Alexander said it’s like a cash out when they ask members to take five minutes after the WOD to wipe down bars, rowers, racks, etc. “That’s what we do everyday,” she said. “We try and really make sure we are keeping it clean. It takes two minutes to make a big difference for everyone.”

Although the staff at the Box need to constantly remind the members and one another to keep the gym clean, Alexander said it’s worth it. CrossFit Franklin even has a cleaning crew that helps prevent bacteria and possible infections. “It makes you feel better when you have equipment that’s clean,” said Alexander. “It says a lot that we care about our Box and we care about our people, so we try to really make an effort to do that.”

Alexander said members need easy access to the cleaning products. If the disinfecting spray is put strategically by rowers where people can’t miss it, they don’t have to put in extra effort to go and find a bottle. Placing hand sanitizer in the bathroom and around the gym allows for quick but effective cleaning of the hands.

Ultimately, as a business in the realm of health and fitness, keeping it clean to keep members healthy makes sense. “Really, at the end of the day you want healthy people,” said Alexander. “You want to send a clear message. Not even just fitness for life, but it’s really important to keep everything clean so you stay healthy.”

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at