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Old 03-23-2008, 05:32 PM   #1
Chris Salvato
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CrossFit Gyms that are not up to par

I have recently moved across the country and one of the first things that I did was seek out a new x-fit gym.


Let me preface this with the fact that I have hit up several CrossFit gyms since I have been on the program. Like most people, i deviate from the WOD and I program a lot of own stuff for my own goals in life and sport. I have been to great gyms like CrossFit Rochester, The Black Box in Manhattan and Primal Fitness in DC. All of these gyms are really unique and I had a good experience at every one of them.

After training at the new x-fit gym in my new home for a couple of weeks, I was really turned off to this gym. For now, I will not disclose names or locations in the interest of their business and I want to help the community, not hurt it.

At this gym there are 4 trainers. 2-3 of them run crossfit classes but only ONE of them is certified, level I. Like most x-fit gyms, they deviate from the websites WOD and program their own routines.

Of the trainers there, 1 or 2 of them do a really great job but there are some trainers who don't even know proper OHS form teaching classes...the PVC they were training with was not directly over their head but out in front, without an active shoulder, narrow grip width and arms not locked out. With a 5 lb plate, this guy would have been working VERY hard and the trainer didn't even know there was a problem. When I was doing kipping pullups, said trainer told me to "get those pullups any way you can" implying that my kips were cheating. In the meantime, other people in the class weren't even going to full ROM in their pushups, pullups and squats and was not corrected -- and was actually encouraged.

The routines that they program are not also very good. One involved movements that were remarkably similar to biceps curls which i was instantly turned off to. Other workouts are just absolutely insane and would take most x-fitters over 30-40 minutes to complete, which is fine, but they are programmed on a regular basis and the amount of cheating (not using full ROM, not achieving lockout on push presses, no full extension on box jumps and things like this) allows their members to do them in under 20 while I was pushing myself to my absolute failure limits.

My main issue is that I do not want to be a part of a gym that is "CrossFit affiliated" but knows nothing about CrossFit. At another CrossFit gym in the same area, I was told that my head should be looking straight or up, totally altering the natural curve of my cervical spine and that I should not dip my hips past my kneecaps on squats. I do not feel that this is acceptable.

I am not crossfit certified. But if these people are, it makes me very fearful for the future. CrossFit is built on excellence and I am seeing the quality of the newer gyms to be breaking down.

What can I do to correct the problems at my local crossfit gym? What can I do to correct the problem that certain people who are opening crossfit gyms know less than they should about the program and proper technique?

I have already sent an email to CFHQ but i rec'd no response. I am sure they are very busy, but i would like to reach out to the community on this one.

Thank you.

Last edited by Chris Salvato : 03-23-2008 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 03-23-2008, 06:08 PM   #2
Patrick Donnelly
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Re: CrossFit Gyms that are not up to par

Unfortunately, with such an open system of affiliation, it's inevitable that some bad gyms would be formed. If you don't get a reply from CFHQ in about 10 days, resend the message, and be sure to included details and names, even though you left them out here for privacy. Also, let both the gym staff and the gym members know your opinion about the horrible service.
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Old 03-23-2008, 08:52 PM   #3
David Wood
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Re: CrossFit Gyms that are not up to par

And thank you for keeping the gym unnamed. Smart decision.

I think it's inevitable that there will be some quality problems across an organization of this size, with a relatively "lax" structure. I don't know (in fact, I doubt) that HQ has "police" to go out and check up on them . . . but I really hope they'll at least call.
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Old 03-23-2008, 08:57 PM   #4
Randy Tarasevich
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Re: CrossFit Gyms that are not up to par

I am constantly thinking about this. I want any person who walks through my door to have as good of an experience as they would at any other high quality affiliate. I work hard to constantly perfect my training and gain knowledge so that I will never give subpar service to anyone I train.
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Old 03-24-2008, 05:06 AM   #5
David Long
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Re: CrossFit Gyms that are not up to par

Randy I think everyone above had solid advice. I don't know the excatc count on affiliates to date, but I have had the pleasure of working out at six seperate ones. I would say 1-2 were great, 2-3 werk "ok" and 1-2 were sub par. Instruction was poor, attitude poor, not very safe. One place we just walked in to check the place out (no one answered phone or e-mail) and they just let us jump in a group WOD. They had no waivers, no medical background, and no idea if we had ever done CrossFit or not. There were ZERO modifications. They had only 24" boxes and 20" balls and racked all Rx'd weights. The girl next to me was getting owned and still would not stop becasue the "coach" was screaming about not quitting. I think most affiliates do a good job, some do an outstanding job. People will come and go on this alone. Nature will take it's course, people will leave and either find good CF gyms, or open their own. Sorry you had a bad experience, but like you will never go back, many others will not and that will be the end.
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:43 AM   #6
Roger Harrell
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Re: CrossFit Gyms that are not up to par

It's going to happen. Unfortunate, but without some major meddling from HQ this will occur. To some degree market will work a lot of this out. Poor affiliates will not do nearly as well as great affiliates. Unfortunately some will be turned off of CrossFit because their first experience is at a poor affiliate.
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:53 AM   #7
Jason Tanner
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Re: CrossFit Gyms that are not up to par

Agreed, but if there is no other crossfit gym competition then it's very difficult for the gym to be immediately wiped out. For me although I think it will be great to have a chance to open a gym in a town where there is no crossfit I see that it is inevitable but greatly helpful to the quality development of the gym.
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:38 AM   #8
John Velandra
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Re: CrossFit Gyms that are not up to par

Remember coach's words about virtuosity.... excellence will always rise to the top. Ultimately, if the trainers are not quality, they drop off or are let go.... bad trainer = no clients or constant loss of clients.

UNFORTUNATELY, that also means a negative experience for the client - customer - athlete.... so the owner really needs quality control. Just cause someone is "certified" doesn't mean they know squat (pardon the pun).

Chris, you asked what you can do. Did you speak with the owner??? One of the issues I've run into with our biz, is that sometimes clients don't want to "hurt feelings." Screw that - PLEASE tell me what's wrong so I can fix it if needed and improve the experience! Remember, YOU are paying for a service... it's our JOB to make sure it is the best possible.

Hope that helps.

Last edited by John Velandra : 03-24-2008 at 10:42 AM. Reason: not enough info on post.
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:57 AM   #9
Randy Tarasevich
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Re: CrossFit Gyms that are not up to par

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Velandra View Post
Remember coach's words about virtuosity.... excellence will always rise to the top. Ultimately, if the trainers are not quality, they drop off or are let go.... bad trainer = no clients or constant loss of clients.

UNFORTUNATELY, that also means a negative experience for the client - customer - athlete.... so the owner really needs quality control. Just cause someone is "certified" doesn't mean they know squat (pardon the pun).

Chris, you asked what you can do. Did you speak with the owner??? One of the issues I've run into with our biz, is that sometimes clients don't want to "hurt feelings." Screw that - PLEASE tell me what's wrong so I can fix it if needed and improve the experience! Remember, YOU are paying for a service... it's our JOB to make sure it is the best possible.

Hope that helps.
Zactly.
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Old 03-24-2008, 04:43 PM   #10
Lincoln Brigham
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Re: CrossFit Gyms that are not up to par

Quote:
At this gym there are 4 trainers. 2-3 of them run crossfit classes but only ONE of them is certified, level I.
Well there it is. A gym with a single Level I trainer is not going to be equipped to monitor the performance of non-certified trainers running Crossfit classes.
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