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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 04-29-2012, 07:53 PM   #1
Chad Evans
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New affiliate

Hey guys,

I am hoping to open up an affiliate soon (waiting to hear from Crossfit) in my garage. The garage is just over 400sf.
I have: 2- pairs each of 20,25,30 lbs kettlebells, a 45lb kettlebell
2- 20lb Med balls
2- 10lb Med balls
2- 12", 1 20", 2 24" plyo boxes
Pull-up bar for 3 people
2- 45lb barbells
335lb of iron weight plates
2- racks
3- sets of rings
skipping ropes
couple sizes of large tires
I am hoping to teach classes of about 4-5people eventually (though it will probably be mostly one on one or one on two to start). I am thinking this should be enough equipment (?). Also, I dont have any bumper plates yet. Most of this equipment is stuff I have collected over the years for my own use and I am trying to keep my overhead or new cost to a minimum. Do you think that I need to go out and buy some bumpers now or can I get by with the iron weight plates for now. I will definetly get some soon. Probably my next purchase once I get some clients.

Any advice would be great.
Thanks!
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:15 PM   #2
Matt Charney
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Re: New affiliate

Get the bumpers ASAP.

It was one of our first purchases. I was able to buy used bumpers from the 09 qualifiers.
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:04 PM   #3
Chad Evans
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Re: New affiliate

Thanks Matt.
I am thinking maybe 2 pairs of 45 and 2 pairs of 25 lbs to start. Most of the clients would probably be beginner to novice Olympic lifters.
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:41 AM   #4
Scott McIntyre
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Re: New affiliate

Get lighter bumpers than that, if you are training girls at all, MANY movements will require them to go much lower than 95#.

The 10s get used in my box quite a bit by the ladies, even the 5# cookies.
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:07 PM   #5
Chad Evans
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Re: New affiliate

Thanks Scott. Makes sense.
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:23 PM   #6
Nicholas Scarabosio
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Re: New affiliate

Before you buy anything sit back and realize what type of clientele you are going to currently have and attract?

Unless you are in an area that seems to ooze Athletes, not much weight is needed to begin. If you are getting person after person who is just getting off the couch or has no athletic background...your first requirement is to teach them how to handle their body weight.

We still to date have WODS that require no more than a PVC. PVC Good Mornings (locked out overhead), PVC OHS. You may or may not be suprised at how many people strugle with these types of movement. Why give them weight when they have not perfected it without?

Also if anything, Dumbbells are where you spend the money. You can do Swings, Presses, Squats, Deadlifts, etc. We spent the majority of our first equipment buy on two nice sets of York 5-50# dumbbells. And they get used constantly. We actually added a 3rd set.

You can teach every movement with DB and use them as a substitute for the lack of other equipment. We bought Bumper Plates as well and use them 1 out of every 3 times we use DB. And because of it, when we do play with the barbells, i.e. Deadlift our clients still see improvements.
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:38 AM   #7
Scott McIntyre
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Re: New affiliate

Im in the same boat as you kind of, my garage is a bit larger tho, about 900sq.ft or so.

Im also waiting to hear back from CrossFit, in the mean time Im building up more gear. I plan to train 4-5 members at a time. So when Im done putting together gear, I will have.

Bars - 5 mens, 1 womans
Bumpers - 8 45s, 2 35s, 6 25s, 6 10s, 2 15s, along with a bunch of metal plates.
3 rowers
3 sets of rings
1 GHD
5-6 places to do HSPU.

I put together a rig, I picked up a Rogue R4 rack, added an infinity rig attachment, and am just about to order another extension. This will give us, 7 places to do pull ups, with a higher dirty south bar. It will give me 2 extra places to hang rings(full time, not taking them down 9 feet high) and I have a set hanging from the attic hatch in the garage for muscle ups, toes through rings.

We are building boxes this weekend, so in total I will have 5 games boxes, 20,24,30".
I need to order many more med balls and kettlebells. I think it is the little things that I will need that will make a big difference. Making sure there are med balls, boxes, kettle bells, speed ropes. Once that is covered I think it will be fine. I built up this gear over the last year, I started with a large order from Rogue when we built the box, so we were covered at the start.

So far, I have about 10 paying people ready to train, outside of all my training partners and 8 of them are women...so I have to keep in mind, that not all will be using 2 poods, 20# KBs or 45# bumpers. See what I mean?
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:57 AM   #8
Brendan McNamar
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Re: New affiliate

You will need lighter stuff. #6 med balls and a barbell solution between PVC and #45. This could simply be a PVC filled with sand or re-bar and capped off. I have 4 different barbell sizes 5, 10, 15 and 20 kg. We use them all to move people up in weight on things like over head squats.

Because they are sold by weight 10, 15 and 20 pound dumbbells open up a lot of options fairly cheap.

Remember for met-cons if the weight is light the member can go faster or do more rounds. If the weight is too heavy they can't safely complete the workout.

You can use the squat (front & back), press, bench press and deadlifts to build strength with the iron plates for now.

Bumpers will be a high priority. My 10's & 25's get used the most in met-cons.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:03 AM   #9
Brendan McNamar
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Re: New affiliate

Women who want to lose weight and change their body composition are great early members. There are a lot of them. Most haven't had good training direction. Get them to clean up their diets and do CrossFit 3 or 4 days a week and they see progress fast. Most will be lifting heavy for the first time so they love the strength gains. They don't need a lot of heavy/expensive equipment like big strong guys. Great ROI (return on investment).

I built my business in the first year on these members. They still make up 50% or more of my membership base.
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:45 PM   #10
Chad Evans
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Re: New affiliate

Thanks for the replies guys. Its a great help.

I agree Nicholas. Dumbells have been on the top of my list for a while. I am just pricing them out now. I do have some and we also use them quite a bit. Not only are they a little easier to use than a dumbell, I think they are less intimidating to someone who is new to all this. We also use sand bags and those have seemed to be a good option as well.

Thanks Brendan. I train about 6 or 7 people now and most are like the women you described and those will be probably be most of my new client base, at least in the beginning. We have lots of PVC pipe we use, but the Pipe with sand is a great idea. I am making some tomorrow!

Scott, your gym sounds awesome! I also got rings and a rope hanging from an attic hatch. Good luck with the gym and affiliation. Sound like it is going to do great.
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