The CrossFit Traveler on Drop-Ins


His work at a Biotech pharmaceutical company made Greg Lukas travel quite a lot. But despite visiting different states and countries, his commitment to CrossFit remained constant.

In fact, Lukas has visited just shy of 500 Boxes around the world. “It’ll happen. I’ll get 500,” he said.

Because of his experience, Box Life Magazine and Sweat RX have both written features on Lukas, calling him “The CrossFit Traveler.” He’s coined the name, creating his own blog and soon-to-be charity, the Be Awesome Project, which funds various CrossFit-related organizations. He’s even turned his experiences into a resource for the Affiliate of his home Box in Wilmington, North Carolina.

In his travels, there are of course Boxes Lukas has enjoyed more than others, but he said he’s never experienced a bad CrossFit gym. Below, he shared about what he’s learned from his time spent dropping in at Boxes, and what advice he has for Affiliates on how he or she should treat drop-ins at their gyms. All in all, there’s a lot to think about in order to provide the best experience, make guests feel comfortable and help drop-ins have fun at a new Box. Lukas came up with 10 pieces of advice for Affiliates concerning drop-ins:

Create a Box Culture that Welcomes Travelers

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“Everyone and anyone should be able to walk up and introduce themselves — owners, Coaches and members.”

Introduce the Drop-in to the Class

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“Ask them to say where they are from, etc. Make it personal — CrossFit athletes and Affiliates are proud to be a part of our culture. Help make it personal. Be genuinely interested.”

Make Sure Not to Ignore the Drop-In During Class

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“Coach them, but also balance your time. It makes me feel uncomfortable if the Coach is talking to me more then coaching the paying members. Balance.”

Ask the Drop-In to Sign Waivers and Pay for Swag/Drop-In

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“Ninety-nine percent of Boxes don’t charge drop-ins if [the drop-ins] buy swag. About 10 Boxes so far, out of my 450-plus drop-ins, have charged me a drop-in fee regardless. And I was fine with it. I’m there to support [his or her] Box. If [he or she] are dropping in for multiple days, you should charge a nominal fee. Your members pay good money and a traveler shouldn’t expect a free week’s worth of training.”

Help the Drop-in get Acclimated to Your Gym

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“Where to change, warm up area, water, how class will run, etc.”

Partner Them Up

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“It makes it more fun if the drop-in has a member to ask questions to and train next to. It usually happens organically, but sometimes it helps to have the Coach connect two athletes. “

Have Fun

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“Seems simple, but remember that this drop-in is a member at [his or her] own Box and will be going back to talk about how awesome your Box was. Make it awesome.”

Invite Them Back

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“A simple ‘thank you’ for choosing to drop-in to your Box makes a difference. These days, there are a lot of choices as to where to train. They chose you. Ask them how they found your Box. This will help with how to improve your marketing efforts. If I am completely new to a city, I usually check the Affiliate finder map on HQ site and then check websites and Coaches’ profiles to get an idea of where to drop-in.”

Use Good Judgment

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“It’s OK to turn down a request from a drop-in if it doesn’t fit your Box. Example: not a lot of room and the drop-in wants to do [his or her] own programming. If it works and it won’t interfere with your class, then OK. If not, then just let them know. Say it kindly and with understanding. Remember, many times it’s more about ‘how’ things are said then it is about ‘what’ is said. Again, be kind and confident. “

Don’t be Upset if the Drop-in Didn’t Follow Your Instructions on Your Website

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“[Like] ‘Call ahead or email’ if you are a drop-in. It’s only happened a few times. I purposely don’t call ahead because I like to see what type of culture a Box has when they really get a random, unexpected drop-in. If you don’t have space for them in a class, then just let them know when the next open spot is. But again, be kind. How you explain is more important then the explanation itself.”

Hayli Goode is the former digital editor for Peake Media.