I have a question concerning starting a Box and figured i'd ask here before registering on yet another forum.
This may sound like a stupid question, but if i want to open up a Crossfit gym/'Box', do i have to do the workouts myself? There are many good trainers/coaches out there in the industry as a whole, and not all ov them actually do the work they prescribe. I do understand that there is a credibility concern with the 'do as i say and not as i do' approach, but again... there are some extremely good teachers out there that dont actually practice, for whatever reason.
If it would help, i definitely do look fit, am pretty strong, i can do pretty much all the exercises with good form, and i know my stuff. I'm just not in a position to actually train like that right now, or in the forseeable future... though i have been thinking about this venture for a while now. I am a very good coach, if that helps, and have been personal training/strength coaching for years now. I have also spent a good deal ov time at the local Crossfit, and was able to learn a lot about the business and whats involved with it in that time.
Last edited by Judas; 10-20-2012 at 05:49 AM.
I'm the owner/trainer for my PD and I program the workouts for our Affiliate (spdcrossfit.com).
What kind of workouts do you do? You may be able to incorporate them into the CrossFit programming, so you'll actually be doing the workouts. But most trainers don't actually workout with their classes, so no one will actually see what you do anyway. If a trainer is working out at the same time as their clients, then they aren't training them.
Normally i olympic weight with bench thrown in to keep it up. Right now i'm specifically powerlifting for the near future (competing). Overall i am interested in all-out strength and power... supertotal training; 5-lift. Either way, i dont do cardio, am not interested in cardio (for myself) and quite honestly, am having a hard enough time keeping myself together just doing what i'm doing without adding other stresses like running, jumping, gymnastics and certain plyos. I'd love to get my cardio back eventually, but i cannot lose any muscle mass and my knees and forearms are currently being complete bitches... making the very idea ov Crossfit impossible... for me anyways.
That said i'm a good olympic coach and strength coach, and have (long before i started lifting) done quite a ridiculous amount ov cardio before. I've got some ideas i'd like to explore with this and honestly, for a trainer with my credentials, Crossfit is a helluva way to make some money.
Last edited by Judas; 10-20-2012 at 08:03 AM.
That's perfect. Powerlifting and Olympic Lifting go very well with CrossFit. Have you checked out Outlaw CrossFit? They are an Olympic Lifting based programming that you could use for your members, so they would be doing similar things, but with some cardio thrown in. Also Misfit-Training.com has some good programming. I run a Westside Conjugate based programming with minimum cardio (spdcrossfit.com).
No. You do however, need to properly teach them and should experience them for yourself at some point. I own a training facility and do not train like most of my clients do that just want to be "fit" since I train for powerlifting.
Incidentally... i trained at the local Crossfit a couple years ago. I knew the owner and after our gym went tits-up and i needed a place to train he offered a corner in the back. The timing was perfect, as i had just given up powerlifting and wanted to start olympic lifting exclusively. So i was able to train there twice a week for 2-3 hours a session... just doing my own thing. I quickly offered my own coaching should they need/want it, as i was infinitely more qualified and experienced at olympic lifting than the coaches there were... but they never asked. They even indirectly made a point ov telling me not to at times... even though they were pretty much doing it dead-wrong. I wasn't there to make waves so i quit trying.
Thing is... after a month or so it became obvious that they had a problem with me not doing the WOD's. It started out as fun ribbing, but after another month they were almost insisting i do the odd one. I was pretty much strict-pressing the max squat ov the stronger members, so the sheer power disparity became an issue too. I did do the WOD's i thought i could get away with at that time (was nursing some extremely annoying injuries), and seeing me fail miserably at them brought some small harmony to the arrangement.
It lasted three months before they said it was no longer working out. And that was that.
Thats the reason i ask. It was a problem there. While i was there i saw a LOT i would do differently... many typical Crossfit failings that the internet has made popular. I really do like the IDEA ov Crossfit... but the utter disdain for technique in lifting and the sheer attrition i think is largely preventable. I'd like to explore the idea a bit, and again, quite honestly, from what i've seen it is a definite money-maker.
I'm going to look further into it i think.
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Yep. That much i know. I came thiiiiiiis close to getting that back then as well.
I don't mean to ramble here and I hope it all comes together to my point, but..
Our coaches are there to train us in Crossfit WODs that they program as a group. There's usually a structure to it or at least a long-term objective that changes every 6 or so weeks and offers us an opportunity to repeat some WODs or strength movements and see how we're progressing. We all want different things. I personally after all this time decided several months ago to rehab my lower back and then make a push for increasing strength, which put things like handstand pushups, muscle-ups, and some other "skills" on the back burner because I know pure strength will help me later with everything we do there. Some people there are always in training for the next upcoming competition, so they may focus on other things. Some others show up just to WOD and take whatever benefit it gives them--they just want to exercise and let the programming take them where it takes them.
The conflict comes down to when some members are working on things other than the daily WOD because in-theory, the WODs should be encompassing every facet of fitness (strength, agility, endurance, speed, power, etc). However, we all know that working on all of them at once isn't as beneficial as developing them more directly and applying them later-on to the WODs. Yet, some members see other more advanced or experienced members doing something else, and it turns into a situation where only performing the daily WOD (which what the gym expects of everyone) with the other members doesn't seem fair. Yet, time and space and equipment limitations aren't going to allow everyone to do something different.
That's a conflict you'll see as your membership increases. All that in mind, if our owner or some of the coaches decided to focus on something like powerlifting or bodybuilding and slacked off on doing the WOD that the members are expected to do, I personally wouldn't mind. But, I feel like that for $125 a month I should have the opportunity to do extra work on my own, which is essentially what I do. What I (and most others in my position) do do is work on strength or other things AFTER performing the regular WOD. Honestly, considering the money I spend, I'd like the opportunity to come in and only lift whenever I want (as long as I stay off the main WOD area) and only do the WOD a couple times a week if it fits into my other training, but as long as I'm allowed to do it the way I've been doing then I won't complain.
So, some might find fault in you not wodding regularly and some won't, but if you can find a way to give people some freedom and let them understand that we all have different goals, then you'll probably be ok. I honestly think it would be better if a gym was able to accomodate everything. Have the WOD classes, and double up on those and offer maybe a Crossfit Football WOD or some linear progression stuff and allow people to pick and choose what class they want. That involves more employees and equipment and space though. My gym does have additional classes and things, but hasn't really gone all-out on the branching into different stuff simultaneously yet. I see it headed in that direction though because membership has absolutely exploded this year, and these current Crossfit Games airings on ESPN will only increase the demand.
I think you should go for it. I would love to have my own gym..maybe down the road a few years. I've got a lot of improvements that need made.
Heh... yeah a bit ov a ramble... but point made.
Quite honestly, what i saw in the three months i trained there was mostly positive. They were pretty conventional Crossfit, in terms ov how they did things and what approach they took. The fact that it was owned by a cop (combat instructor), and the second and third senior members were also cops (also physical instructors) and subsequently at least 6-10 members at any given time were also cops probably kept things pretty regular. They were all after the basic Crossfit ideal... superfit in a general way... know you... Marine-fit (i'd say cop-fit... but we all know most cops aren't all that healthy). They were interested in strength, but not enough that they'd sacrifice the prime directive for it (which is most certainly what I'M doing). They didn't do any ov the newer Crossfit off-shoots. I saw lots ov very fit, though rather small (and relatively weak) men there, and lots ov very fit and VERY strong (relatively) women there. Heh... in fact... there wasn't a huge difference between the strength numbers between men and women there. I'm not sure if this is a general Crossfit phenomenon.
I loved the competition, and the relentless drive they got from being around so many other relatively equal strength/fitness people, and the drive they got from pushing for PR's in everything, the leaderboards that inspired that even further, and the resulting atmosphere ov it all.
I love the hybridization ov olympic lifting, powerlifting (i'd add more bench though), extreme cardio, gymnastics, plyo... all the cool stuff a real-world badass needs.
However... there were also things i didn't like... and i mean things i really did not like at all.
It IS a great idea, and ideal, and it works pretty well, but the 'cult' is not quite deserved. A used to have a friend that was a Scientologist... whole lotta similarities there. Maybe in another 10 years if it cleans up the garbage and completely overruns the industry... but not quite yet. Its not something that particularly bugs me enough to care... but it has its annoying moments.
The money aspect is utter bullshit. When a "cheap" monthly Crossfit rate is around $100, and some are more like $150, well... i brought that up a few times, but that brought me back to point A... Still not a dealbreaker for me, but personally... there is no way in HELL i could ever afford to actually pay that, and i wonder how many other would-be enthusiasts were similarly turned away before they even started. A fitness phenomenon that excludes all but the rich leaves a bad bad taste in my mouth.
But the biggest issue i took was with the lifting itself. Especially the weightlifting. You simply cannot, in one weekend, learn how to instruct the Olympic lifts. Not even close. Not in 5 weekends. Now, a truly dedicated would-be coach could spend millions (again with the money issue) and hit every coaching course that comes around, but from what i've seen and read this simply does not happen. Now i've done enough WODs to know what happens to form when the body gets tired, and a VERY good coach could work with this... and eke a truly amazing workout out ov the client... but an average coach cannot, and a bad coach is literally begging for injuries. Crossfit is notorious for its injuries, and from what i've seen again, its not because people push past comfortable limits, its because they are not stopped from doing unnecessarily risky bullshit. Even the simplest ov things like squats, deadlifts, chin-ups and push-ups... I honestly think that for the average would-be coach, one long weekend might be enough to cover the powerlifting and calisthenic basics... the more advanced stuff? unlikely. Weightlifting? no chance in hell.
I'll get flamed for that, but i'll pre-counter with this... I did one WOD twice, some C&J for time type WOD. First time i did it i did the first few lifts proper style, then as i got tired i lapsed into the usual lift-abortions to squeeze out more reps. The second time i did it i did only what i could with perfect form till the end... the result? far less reps, but a considerably harder, far more intense workout. Not only are people risking life and limb doing things badly, but they are still cheating themselves ov the benefit.
Basically, i was just pondering what a Crossfit run to address the above issues (and maybe a couple more) could be like.
Man i must type fast... it never looks like that much when i hit enter...
I agree wholeheartedly with your concerns. The comeback for the money argument will always be a comparison to the cost of comparable hours of personal training, but that doesn't really fly. Crossfit is a group setting--not one on one.
As owner/coach you get to program the workouts so you can get rid of most or all high rep Olympic lifts, and you can also focus on teaching. I personally think the Level 1 cert should have a pre-course examination of skills for the exact reason you mentioned. Again though, you can control this in your own house.
Yes the "cult" part is annoying but you'd be surprised at how many people don't get caught up in it. It will only benefit your box to have plenty of socialization but I've seen enough from other boxes to fully believe that if you put forth and preach the right attitude you won't have much problem with attracting "zealots".
Ideally think you'll be just fine as long as you stay consistent and be present as much as possible to maintain control.
$150/month is nothing. I have people pay $250/month at my gym for group training. If I did own a crossfit box and I would charge at least $200/month with a year contract. Its a matter of priorities, almost anyone serious will find a way to pay for it. Charge too little and then you get shitty clients. My rule is if someone is complaining about prices that means I need to raise them. I have people routinely pay me $600/month to train at my gym. If you go to low then there becomes a point of diminishing returns and lack of quality.
It takes $8,333/month to make 1,000,000/year, then you have all your expenses. $150/month is completely reasonable and IMO too low of a cost.
Fuck, fight, or hold the light.
To counterpoint Judas a bit. Crossfit as a training regimen, can be done on your own, at a globo or your garage. The monthly dues is mostly for the "expert" coaching. Quotes are there because expertise varies quite a bit.
ThomaG - You must have a gym that caters to a very specific type of clientele. That kind of money is not for a gym membership, it must be for someone's expertise at that gym. The assumption being they know more than the required material for an L-1 cert.
Last edited by DoUgL@S; 10-23-2012 at 05:19 PM.
Move heavy weight, eat, sleep, repeat.
Geniuses make complicated scenarios simple, morons take simple concepts and complicate them.
Shitty trainers(there are plenty) shouldn't make any money let alone 150-200/mo.
If you don't see the value in a competent trainer that's ok, there are plenty of people that do. Its not like crossfit is struggling because its too expensive. I think the good crossfit boxes should charge more and if it were up to me the bad ones should go out of business.
There must be some serious awesomeness going on for $600/mo..lol
I was gonna tell Judas earlier and forgot..$150 a month isn't that big a deal for people to swing if it's something they want. Plus, it DOES keep the clientele attendance consistent and the douchebag count a little lower.
I still think it's too much. It's worth it to me only because it helps keep me consistent.
Now, i agree with this... charge $40 a month and any idiot with an extra $40 left over after buck-a-beer night can afford you. You are running the risk ov sounding like someone that bases a person's worth on income... and while that might not be you, it can sound like it.Charge too little and then you get shitty clients. My rule is if someone is complaining about prices that means I need to raise them. I have people routinely pay me $600/month to train at my gym. If you go to low then there becomes a point of diminishing returns and lack of quality.
It takes $8,333/month to make 1,000,000/year, then you have all your expenses. $150/month is completely reasonable and IMO too low of a cost.
That said... the Crossfit i was at was pretty full... they were actually at capacity without a single shred ov advertising... 100% word ov mouth. He actually refused advertising because he didn't have enough space for more clients, even after he moved to a much bigger place he did not want to advertise. I can only assume they were all paying that ridiculous amount. However... to thwart one ov your points... even that fee did not keep the idiots out... and though few, they definitely did have their share ov lazy, stupid or just time-wasters. Heh... funny enough... some were cops. Haha
Possibly the point you are trying to make is that we should base the worth ov this on a curve... and if a total dip-shit newb PT can demand $50-60/hr on top ov the local rec-center drop-in, then a Crossfit coach + box + atmosphere should be able to demand ten times more. Good theory... but i would counter that it is the idiot PT that should be making $5/hr instead. Now... i am more than willing to charge a good rate, even the crazy $100+ they generally ask at Crossfit... but i'd have to offer much better coaching than i've seen.
I come at this from a different view though... I've always thought it ironic that the BEST training the public can generally find is often FREE. Olympic weightlifting clubs are everywhere... where there is population anyways... and from what i've seen/heard it is rare to find one that actually charges money. The three best clubs near me are all free, and honestly... what is stopping someone from just going there to learn, and do, then taking a more Crossfit approach to it? Sure Crossfit is worth a LOT more than the average PT, even the Crossfit boxes that fill YouTube with 'fail' videos... but it is FAR the other side ov the scale price-wise. Even a good solid powerlifting club, if you can find one, can set you up for a good Crossfit type regimen, with the equipment needed, and they are generally pretty cheap as well.
So yeah... its kinda hard to picture droves ov people wanting to pay out the nose for something like this... even if (and WE all know how true this is) it is worth every god damn penny. Maybe there is just nothing else to do in places like Ohio, New Jersey, Texas... but people there just seem to take their lifting far more seriously than they do here.
Wow, those prices you talk about are crazy. $150-600/month! The military base gym is free and an old school powerlifting/bodybuilding/strongman gym nearby has $5 daily fees and their sign showed $450 for a 2 year membership. There is no coaching involved with those prices (but you can talk to folks there who have years of experience for free). The disparity between 2 years and a possible month at another facility just astounds me.
"There is no reason to be alive if you can't do deadlift!"
- Jón Páll Sigmarsson, World's Strongest Man Champion (1984, 1986, 1988, 1990)
Gym / Competition Lifts - all unequipped
435lbs / 413.3lbs
325lbs / 286.6lbs
565lbs / 551.1lbs
Federations Lifted In: PRIDE Powerlifting (now defunct), AAPF/AWPC, USAPL, WABDL