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Running a CrossFit Facility Tips and guidance on how to open and operate a CrossFit gym.

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Old 11-20-2010, 08:08 AM   #1
Keith Martin
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Transition from Trainer to Affiliate

Here's the deal: I've been doing CF for 3 1/2 yrs. I started showing my friends what I've learned and helping them for about year. I am going to L1 Certification next month to be a trainer (confidence). How did those who may have gone this route transition from trainer to affiliate owner (which is what I plan to do)?

I've read on the boards that just because you become L1 certified, it doesn't necessarily qualify you to open an affiliate. So at what point do you realize it's time to do so? How many "man hours" should you put in to earn the "right" even though you are eligible after getting your L1 Cert?

My desire is not to be a paper L1 trainer (comes from paper MSCE from my IT background). What do you do?
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Old 11-20-2010, 06:07 PM   #2
Brian Strump
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Re: Transition from Trainer to Affiliate

Keith,

IMO, most affiliates just get their L1, with no prior training knowledge, or educational background(schooling, or books) and have opened affiliates. That's the bad news. I've been to some affiliates that I could not believe their doors were still open. Either lacked professionalism, business acumen, and/or training knowledge.

Only you'll know when you're ready. If you don't want to be a "paper trainer", continue your education. CrossFit certs, and search outside of CrossFit for information. There's ALOT of information out there, classes to take, seminars, etc.

Find a mentor(not necessarily CrossFit affiliate, business in general) ask questions, learn from their mistakes, mimick their successes. Train them for free, in return for their advice.

When you're ready to get started, start small, your garage? No rent. And CHARGE people something! Don't train everyone for free, and expect when you open up to have all those people come pay you. You'll be sadly mistaken.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Martin View Post
Here's the deal: I've been doing CF for 3 1/2 yrs. I started showing my friends what I've learned and helping them for about year. I am going to L1 Certification next month to be a trainer (confidence). How did those who may have gone this route transition from trainer to affiliate owner (which is what I plan to do)?

I've read on the boards that just because you become L1 certified, it doesn't necessarily qualify you to open an affiliate. So at what point do you realize it's time to do so? How many "man hours" should you put in to earn the "right" even though you are eligible after getting your L1 Cert?

My desire is not to be a paper L1 trainer (comes from paper MSCE from my IT background). What do you do?
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Old 11-21-2010, 08:48 AM   #3
Theo Tsekouras
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Re: Transition from Trainer to Affiliate

I concur with Brian. Even though you are an L1 doesn't mean you can teach someone. Put in the time. I started in the garage and had zero clients. I convinced a friend and his wife to start and yes I charged them. The garage will be the best place to get the experience as an affiliate. Don't be afraid to ask a question about something you don't understand. I have ask Brian before. I have asked the owner of my old box about things. You will not know everything. Ask. We are a community.
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Old 11-21-2010, 11:06 AM   #4
Diego Sommariva
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Re: Transition from Trainer to Affiliate

I got my L1 back in April and have been doing personal training since. I had introduced a few friends to CF before then at my globo gym but as a buddy-buddy thing, so I don't consider it as the same. My advice is this: Start off slow, learn the trade, read and study a ****load more than just the L1 stuff (nutrition, anatomy, training systems, strength, conditioning, progressions, journal Coaches Prep Course videos, etc.) so you're ready for anything. I've focused it along the lines of physical preparation for sports and people wanting to become policemen, soldiers, firemen, etc. and have had some success in this area. There's a big difference training one-on-one than it is a group of people, and also athletic type peeps vs people who've never done anything or have two left feet. You'll need to experience training all of them to become better, because they all have their peculiarities and you need to know how to deal with them.

Good luck!


Diego
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Old 11-22-2010, 07:03 AM   #5
Keith Martin
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Re: Transition from Trainer to Affiliate

Thanx guys. I appreciate all of your advice. I will definitely take it to heart.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:15 AM   #6
Keith Martin
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Re: Transition from Trainer to Affiliate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Theo Tsekouras View Post
I concur with Brian. Even though you are an L1 doesn't mean you can teach someone. Put in the time. I started in the garage and had zero clients. I convinced a friend and his wife to start and yes I charged them. The garage will be the best place to get the experience as an affiliate. Don't be afraid to ask a question about something you don't understand. I have ask Brian before. I have asked the owner of my old box about things. You will not know everything. Ask. We are a community.
Theo, if you don't mind me asking, how long did you train in your garage until you transitioned?
Also, when you began, did you do your own programming or did you follow mainsite/affiliate?
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:19 AM   #7
Keith Martin
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Re: Transition from Trainer to Affiliate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diego Sommariva View Post
I got my L1 back in April and have been doing personal training since. I had introduced a few friends to CF before then at my globo gym but as a buddy-buddy thing, so I don't consider it as the same. My advice is this: Start off slow, learn the trade, read and study a ****load more than just the L1 stuff (nutrition, anatomy, training systems, strength, conditioning, progressions, journal Coaches Prep Course videos, etc.) so you're ready for anything. I've focused it along the lines of physical preparation for sports and people wanting to become policemen, soldiers, firemen, etc. and have had some success in this area. There's a big difference training one-on-one than it is a group of people, and also athletic type peeps vs people who've never done anything or have two left feet. You'll need to experience training all of them to become better, because they all have their peculiarities and you need to know how to deal with them.

Good luck!


Diego
Thanx Diego,

I've been all over the journal and before deciding to do the L1 cert next month, I was actually studying for the ACE PT exam, which had a lot about anatomy and physiology. I decided to switch up and do the CF cert since it became available in my city and then go back to ACE, even if not for the actual cert, just for the study material.
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:37 AM   #8
Diego Sommariva
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Re: Transition from Trainer to Affiliate

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Originally Posted by Keith Martin View Post
Thanx Diego,

I've been all over the journal and before deciding to do the L1 cert next month, I was actually studying for the ACE PT exam, which had a lot about anatomy and physiology. I decided to switch up and do the CF cert since it became available in my city and then go back to ACE, even if not for the actual cert, just for the study material.
That's a good idea Keith. I myself am studying some other texts to have more to put on my CV but also to learn more. Some of this stuff I have already started to use and it has helped me a lot. The L1 is very basic, and unless you expand your knowledge through other means will limit you tremendously unless you have been doing sports most of your life and absorbing knowledge at the same time.

I realise now if I'd had the funds to open a box straight after my L1 I may have bombed. There's a chance I might not have but I'm happy I started on the bottom rung instead of thinking I could jump straight to the top. Many times I've felt I learned more during a PT session than my client

Good luck!


Diego
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Old 11-23-2010, 02:58 PM   #9
Theo Tsekouras
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Re: Transition from Trainer to Affiliate

Keith,
I had 13 + years of training experience, just not in CrossFit. I am a Houston Firefighter foremost and because I am at a training station, had the liberty of training new recruits and rookies. Before that, in college, I managed several restuarants and implemented several training programs throughout that time. I took those skills and applied it to CrossFit, because I love this sh*%. One of the most important aspects of coaching, no matter the subject, is being as fully informed as possible and able to convey the message in a clear manner, so the recipient understands fully. I realized the potential when other clients at the box I used to be at, was asking me about form and technique instead of the coaches. I say the garage is the best place because you can hone your skills of communication without the worry of paying rent. Stress free environment. Hope this helps!
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Old 11-23-2010, 03:06 PM   #10
Theo Tsekouras
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Re: Transition from Trainer to Affiliate

Sorry Keith,
I forgot to answer the second part of your question. I do almost all of my programming. Every once in a while I will take from main site. I take my experience from my other job as well as being on the Firefighter Combat Challenge team here in Houston.
As for when I started, I actually went from working out at my old box to affiliate in the same month. Granted, I told the owner before hand but that was it. I wasn't worried about the training aspect. My main focus was on clients and retention. I knew once I got people in, the rest would follow. I am 5 months in and at 40 people. I just signed a lease for a 3200 sf. place. and have people wanting to get in. I am really at capacity. I could possibly do more, but I love may neighbors and they have been patient.
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