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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 03-24-2014, 08:09 PM   #1
Luke Conner
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At what point do I need to get serious

I've been coaching for a while now, and with the knowledge of our gym owner I've been training people in my backyard. These were all people from our church who otherwise can't afford crossfit. For a long time we didn't charge anything. It actually only started with one person, and one by one has grown now to a little over a dozen.

A few months ago we bought a bunch of equipment because of how many people we had. At that point we ask everyone to decide a monthly amount they could pay to help cover the cost of equipment. Most people pay around $50. Someone hurt their back a few weeks ago, and we also picked up our first set of people we didn't actually know directly.

I'm thinking maybe we need to get a little more serious about it. I don't have a desire to become a real gym, but I'm wondering if I should get some insurance and make people sign a waiver. Any thoughts?
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:45 PM   #2
Eric Montgomery
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Re: At what point do I need to get serious

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke Conner View Post
I've been coaching for a while now, and with the knowledge of our gym owner I've been training people in my backyard. These were all people from our church who otherwise can't afford crossfit. For a long time we didn't charge anything. It actually only started with one person, and one by one has grown now to a little over a dozen.

A few months ago we bought a bunch of equipment because of how many people we had. At that point we ask everyone to decide a monthly amount they could pay to help cover the cost of equipment. Most people pay around $50. Someone hurt their back a few weeks ago, and we also picked up our first set of people we didn't actually know directly.

I'm thinking maybe we need to get a little more serious about it. I don't have a desire to become a real gym, but I'm wondering if I should get some insurance and make people sign a waiver. Any thoughts?
Umm, yes.

You're putting yourself at a huge risk by accepting money to coach people in your own backyard, with equipment that you bought, without setting up any kind of legal protection. This sounds like the kind of scenario that personal injury lawyers dream about.

You need to ignore the fact that most of these people are "friends" or "acquaintances" or whatever, because if one of them gets seriously hurt I can guarantee they'll suddenly have a different view of their relationship with you. And I can also guarantee that your gym owner would play dumb and refuse to offer you any legal support, because he's not going to want to risk his entire livelihood over a member who's doing unsupervised coaching outside the gym.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:52 PM   #3
Adam Morden
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Re: At what point do I need to get serious

without a doubt get insurance and waivers. Also, if you haven't already, get certified. even if it's not CrossFit - legally any certification is better than none, but since you're teaching CrossFit that would be the best one to get =)

Final point - do you know why the guy hurt his back, or if not why, then how (what movement etc)? if you don't off the top of your head, try to find out. No trainer wants to see someone get hurt, but it is inexcusable to have someone get hurt and not learn from it.

Good luck man, I started out of a park back in 2004 and it's been an awesome ride so far.
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Old 03-25-2014, 06:51 AM   #4
Luke Conner
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Re: At what point do I need to get serious

I'm level 1 certified and CF Kids certified. He hurt his back on heavy single deadlifts, but he had a prior injury. Can you guys point me to some insurance I can get? Something on the cheap end since this is more of a hobby than anything else.
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:10 AM   #5
David Osorio
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Re: At what point do I need to get serious

Despite you describing this as a hobby and I'm sure having excellent intentions, there is an inherent gravity to training people. It's okay to not want to have your own gym and be primarily doing this for fun, but if you're going to take responsibility for the safety of people paying (or even not paying) to train with you then you need to do your due diligence and not cut any corners when it comes to liability protection. You literally stand everything to lose if something even beyond your control happens to someone while training in your backyard.

We use Nexo/CrossFit RRG and Smartwaiver
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Old 03-25-2014, 12:41 PM   #6
Joel E Cox
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Re: At what point do I need to get serious

First, I give you a lot of respect for being willing to do what you are doing. Second, please get insurance and make sure people are signing a waiver. And I would recommend that any waiver you you use be reviewed by an attorney as each state has it's own rules regarding what can and cannot go into them, and how they must be formatted. There is an inherent risk to any physical fitness program, and I would hate to see you get sued for something you doing out of good will...
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:15 PM   #7
Brian Strump
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Re: At what point do I need to get serious

Wow! This can become a very expensive hobby when something goes wrong.

It would be wise to also contact your homeowners insurance too, or $hit can really hit the fan if something goes wrong.

Call Vaughn Vernon at Affiliate Guard, 801-688-4883. He'll take good care of you. We've been with them for 4+ years.
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Old 03-27-2014, 06:49 AM   #8
Luke Conner
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Re: At what point do I need to get serious

I contacted Affiliate Guard last night, thanks for the info everyone.
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:05 AM   #9
Skip Chase
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Re: At what point do I need to get serious

Your friends are your friends until they become injured while training with you. If an injury is severe and they miss work and income SOMEONE is going to suggest they seek legal advice.
It is never wise to train ANYONE anywhere without insurance and waiver, especially at your home. You are liable and risk losing any assets you own.
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:19 PM   #10
Chris Sinagoga
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Re: At what point do I need to get serious

Vaughn is the man! Very cool to talk to and easy to work with as far as setup goes. Been rolling with him for almost 2 years now. He's an Ohio State fan though, so don't hold it against him.
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