CrossFit vs Other Gyms: Welcome and Childcare

I never thought I would like CrossFit.

I have lots of friends who do CrossFit. My friends who know my workout style said I would like it. I tried it. I really did. I went to two different gyms and honestly, I didn’t see what the fuss was about. When I walked in, I felt like those they show in the Planet Fitness commercials.

I felt like I was walking into a gym with super big pumped up guys who have lots of muscles,

muscles on top of muscles

muscles on top of muscles are muscles

lifting up hundreds of pounds of weight.

Here I am, a big girl who can barely do a push up.

Yet, I still had it on my mind. Since I had moved to Florida, I decided to give it another go.

For the most part, one thing that I like about most gyms is they will give you a trial. The downside of the trial is that it really isn’t long enough for me to determine whether I want to use their service long term.

Since I’m all over Groupon, I have been checking for a good deal for a while.  I found this awesome deal for 1 month of unlimited CrossFit classses for $29. I mean, who can pass up a receiving a month long CrossFit membership which normally costs over $100 for the price of a regular gym membership. So, I figured, what the heck.

And I went.

And I went.

And I went.

I went all month and ended up going 16 out of the 30 days.

So, I thought about what kept me motivated to go to a gym that is typically seen as extreme. I mean, you see the buff women and men competing in the CrossFit games! What other chain gym has a competitive aspect.


Seriously, what is up with these people?

I wasn’t absolutely positive about what I liked about the CrossFit gym over going to another gym. It was confirmed when I went with a friend to a regular gym and I could make a clear comparison on what I liked about it. Since, I think there are several aspects, I will break this into several parts.

CrossFit describes itself as a program that delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist. But this is why I think CrossFit has the cult following and have such strong supporters.

In short, CrossFit is results-oriented, group personal training with support from your trainers and your classmate.

Tweet: CrossFit is results-oriented, group personal training with support from your trainers and your classmate. via @theaprilnoelle

Crossfit vs Other Gyms


When walking into CrossFit, I was almost immediately greeted by a trainer who was also the owner.  If you’ve ever been to CrossFit, it’s typically one huge room with some weights, weird looking contraptions and balls… lots of balls: medicine balls, slam balls, and kettlebells (not actually balls, but they fit into this category).

As overwhelming as it was, Dana walked me around the gym, not only showing me all of the stuff, but also introducing me to the people who were there. Since she was in between classes, I was able to talk to some of the members and ask them real questions. I asked about her experience and her length of time coaching and owning. I also asked the important question:

How often do people get injured?

Her response? In 8 years, only one injury ~ during a tour, where the touree (is that word? maybe tourist? just sounds weird) thought she could do something after being advised not to try, tried to d oa jump which landed her right on her face, and a broken wrist.

She didn’t leave me until I felt comfortable to continue and all of my questions were answered. Of course, timing for this was important since I came between classes.

I started that day, and go in my first very hard workout. It reminded me very much of my workouts from my high school athletic days. Everyone was not only enthusiastic to be there… I don’t mean happy, giddy, but energetic, but they were encouraging me, the first time visitor to push a little harder. Immediately, I felt comfortable.

On the other hand, on Monday, I went to another gym. When I went to check in with a guest pass and the first thing they wanted to know was whether I was ready to sign up. I just walked in the door. I’m not sure if it was because I was with a member, that was the end of our interact (except for the childcare issue which I’ll talk about in a minute). Even checking in was somewhat of a pain because every few seconds, a member walked in, and the person behind the desk stopped to help them. I felt unimportant and and unwanted. It really didn’t matter if I was there or not.

Between checking in and getting my children checked in, it took a good 15 minutes just to check us in… without actually asking for more than my ID or giving me any information about the gym itself.


Honestly this part for CrossFit, this part is very short and sweet.

Most CrossFits don’t have a child care. That’s it, no childcare.

That said, a lot of them do have a kids play area. The area is typically unsupervised, but separated from the workout area. I’ve seen three of them.

The first was an area separated by tires, with a little door for the kids to get in and out. Because of the age of my kids, they won’t stay in that area unless I chained them down. They’d work to climb out every time.

The second was a closed in room with a television and toys. Again, because of the age of my kids, I’m not comfortable with the kids in a room where they can’t see me and I can’t see them.

This CrossFit, the kids area is a closed in room, but the walls are windows. The kids can see me and I can see them. Since my eldest is 11, he watches my little ones while I get in my workout. Since we go right after I pick up my son, I pack their snacks to keep them occupied and give them something to do. It’s not the most exciting hour of the day, but I is teaching the kids to be more inventive in their play.

On the other hand, the other gym promises a supervised play area. Great! Right?

On Monday, we went to one gym in the chain. The play area smelled like urine. Since it took so long to get started and since we could only workout for 30 minutes because the play area would close soon, I sucked it up. The “supervision” didn’t so much as question me checking in the child and was sitting in the same seat when I left to when I returned.

On Tuesday, we went to a different gym in the chain. The room was a lot nicer and cleaner. This supervision seemed slightly more involved, asking the names of my children.

Disappointing, yet understandable (I guess) was that they don’t change diapers and was requested to have just changed my child’s diaper. But that also means that if they poop the second I walk out the door, they will sit in that diaper until my return. Also, no food or drinks in the room. Understandable, but means an extra planning step on my part to make sure they are fed and dry while I workout.

There hours were also limiting. It’s 8 to noon, but they don’t open again until 4.

The weird thing about the childcare for a guest pass is that it’s $5 per day per child. That’s $10 per day. So, if I went all seven days, it would’ve been $70 in childcare fees alone. They have a $10 monthly membership (per child), but that’s only open for those who are current members.

By the end of the checking in process, I didn’t even feel like they wanted my business really. As a mother, I felt like this was a lot of work for little pay off.

Come back for Part Two: Fees and Workout and Part Three: The Community


My CrossFit Gym:


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Address: 7231 Haverhill Business Pkwy, Suite#205, West Palm Beach, FL 33407

29 thoughts on “CrossFit vs Other Gyms: Welcome and Childcare”

  1. I am currently struggling with my gym because I need one with childcare. I can’t keep going to the gym at 5am to get my work out in while my husband is home with this children and they are all sleeping!

  2. I have heard a lot of people talking about CrossFit, but I didn’t know much about it. That sounded like a great Groupon deal.

  3. I know a few people who talk about crossfire but I never really knew what it was or looked into it. I don’t get out to the gym, or anywhere enough, so I do everything from home!

  4. I would not want to have my daughter unsupervised with a bunch of other people’s children while I worked out so I agree with you 100% there. Kids are so mean sometimes. My daughter has health issues so I she is always in eye sight or ear shot.
    My daughter is 7 a lot of places that do have child care are usually only for the younger ages.

    I think the gym sounds like a lot of fun if you can find a sitter or go while the child is at school.

    1. Thankfully there aren’t a lot of kids, only one or two on occasion, but still, that could change depending on who’s working out and some children are very mean. When you see a child, when a parent is watching, clothesline another child, it’s hard to be comfortable without seeing them.

    1. I can pretty much only walk outside (or run, but I hate running), otherwise my girls work their best to get underfoot. 🙁 Believe me, I have a whole slew of dvds that have worked in the past that I can’t pull out.

  5. Robin (Masshole Mommy)

    Joining a gym makes me nervous. I think I would rather work out from home. But, CrossFit sounds great, though!

  6. I am not really a gym person, but Crossfit does sound like the ideal gym to join if you do have kids and will have to keep them in mind if I do decide to join a gym. Thanks for sharing, April 😉

  7. Crossfit sounds like it might be a good choice for many. I at this time in my life, will stick to walking and just doing some strength training at home.

  8. I’m not a gym person. I tend to like to wander and hike in the woods. BUT, my sister is big into Crossfit and finds such a welcoming and embracing community. Oh, and that’s how she met her husband!
    The childcare is SWEET. I’ve never heard of that.

  9. Pingback: How the Obsession with CrossFit Workouts Can Benefit You - April Noelle

  10. Pingback: West Palm Beach CrossFit: The Community - April Noelle

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