As I read through the comments I notice that a lot of people are improvising and substituting and making do.
Sure. This is *the* fitness website for folks whose operating philosophy is "improvise, adapt, overcome".
I used to chock that up to inadequately outfitted gyms, but the comments I see now give me the impression that more people are trying to make crossfit work in their basement and their backyard
Yes. And in schools and barns and company warehouses and firebases and lots of other places.
To me, that is a hopeful sign of a fitter, saner future. It means that people are opening themselves up to functionality and variance, but it also means that more people are finding the confidence to exercise outside the 'meat market' gyms. Most importantly, perhaps, it means that people are taking fitness outside the capitalist, corporate control of 24-Hour Fitness and World Gym and personalizing it--making it something more real and more permanent.
Yes Nic, this is the future of fitness and you are helping to make it. The real issue is not "taking fitness out of the gym". It is redefining what it means to be "fit" along with reclaiming the concept of the gym.
The problem with 24-Hour Fitness, World Gym, et al, is not that they are "capitalist" or "corporate" and that they ask for your money. It's that do a lousy job of delivering fitness and are, for the most part, a poor place to find friendship and community.
There is no anti-commercial bias to CrossFit. In fact, it is quite the opposite. CrossFit is so unabashedly free enterprise that you are strongly encouraged to start your own CrossFit facility. You don't even have to pay to use the methods. You only pay a modest sum if you want to affiliate and use the name. Oh, and there is no "CrossFit" branded equipment to buy, either. How's that for free market capitalism?
CrossFit is successful because the protocol flat out works and is a magnet for the kind of people you'd want to hang out with. You can get some of the benefits of the protocol training on your lonesome in the basement. But you only get the full experience when you enjoy the company of other CrossFiters. So Nic, bust through whatever barrier is holding you back, and come out to CrossFit North for SOS on January 8th and you will see what I'm talking about.
Basement and backyard CrossFit home gyms are larval CrossFit affiliates. The magic ingredient is not the equipment, it's the people. I'm about 90% equipped over here on the Eastside with my carport gym. What's missing is not the glute-ham machine, it's the other CrossFiters. Believe me, there is a business to be had in bringing them together.