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Old 11-03-2009, 11:44 AM   #1
Collin Thompson
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In college - thoughts on crossfit as a career?

Hey all my name is Collin Thompson and I'm a freshman at Oregon State University studying Exercise Science, majoring in athletic training. I've been following Crossfit and the crossfit variations for a few years now, and I just absolutely love it. I just finished an intro class that gives all the EXSS students an overview of all the fields offered in the department and representative from each came in and spoke about their specific career and whatnot and none really intrigued me the same way the crossfit community has. I've been so curious as to what it would be like to own/operate a CF affiliated gym and/or work directly for Crossfit. Clearly the Crossfit industry has picked up some major momentum over the last few years, but will that continue? Is Crossfit something worth considering investing a lifetime towards? I've heard all the shpeel about people changing careers/occupations 4-7 times in their lives, but just for discussion-sake, does Crossfit offer a concrete career-path in the fitness industry?

Thanks so much for any feedback!
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Old 11-03-2009, 12:10 PM   #2
Sean Dunston
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Re: In college - thoughts on crossfit as a career?

As a career, there's not a lot of money to be made in CF competitions... it is all about the glory!

Okay - in seriousness-
In my opinion, FITNESS is a very worthy and noble goal - and there is money to be made in the process of getting and keeping people fit. For any "career" choices though, you need to be PASSIONATE about it. if it doesn't light a fire under you - it isn't the right one.
If I were in your position -- an eager student, in school with an eye towards an exercise science degree, I would study and explore all facets of the fitness industry, and use it to improve your knowledge base. There is a *****-ton of history to learn regarding fitness. If you then decide to open your own box, you'll have a broader base than just "CrossFit" and you will be able to discuss the pros and cons of everything with your clients, trainers and colleagues.

Oh yeah. While you're still in school, don't forget to mix in a couple of business management and accounting classes while you're at it!

Best of luck.
Sean
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Old 11-03-2009, 01:07 PM   #3
Collin Thompson
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Re: In college - thoughts on crossfit as a career?

Hey thanks a lot for the advice Sean. Fitness certainly does light the fire in me (to say the very least) and I just left that out because I figured it wasn't the place to go on and on about my passion for health and well-being. And I know there is a TON of stuff out there, and all throughout high school I spent countless hours reading and researching and reading some more about the industry/what it has to offer/other miscellaneous fitness-related things, so I am sure this is the field I want to be in. I'm just really curious from say, an affiliates' perspective, as to what it's like having Crossfit as a part of their occupation.
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Old 11-03-2009, 01:08 PM   #4
Leonid Soubbotine
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Re: In college - thoughts on crossfit as a career?

It is possible to make CF your life & make a living by coaching CF.

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I'm just really curious from say, an affiliates' perspective, as to what it's like having Crossfit as a part of their occupation.
What do you mean specifically?

In my case Cf is not a part of my occupation, rather it is my occupation.
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Old 11-03-2009, 01:19 PM   #5
Collin Thompson
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Re: In college - thoughts on crossfit as a career?

Ok perfect! See I'm totally in the dark on this subject...I wasn't sure if a majority of the affiliates did crossfit on the side, like on top of an unrelated day-job or something like that. How did you wind up having crossfit be your occupation?
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Old 11-03-2009, 01:24 PM   #6
Leonid Soubbotine
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Re: In college - thoughts on crossfit as a career?

I think most affiliates do have it as hobby/side thing.

Back at Bally's over 3 yrs ago Monique (now she's my wife, we were both trainers there back then) been talking a bunch about wanting a gym with all the cool toys & hardcore like the military. I kept telling her to check out CrossFit, she kept telling about the gym of hers (she's a former Marine - stubborn as hell). So finally she did check it out after I said that I didn't want to hear any more about her gym.

We opened CF Evolution about 6 weeks later. That was in Feb-Mar 07.

It was a small 2000 sf dinky box, but it worked & it got us started.
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Old 11-03-2009, 01:58 PM   #7
Sean Dunston
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Re: In college - thoughts on crossfit as a career?

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Originally Posted by Leonid Soubbotine View Post
I think most affiliates do have it as hobby/side thing.
Really?

That surprises me.
Maybe it is just the folks in this area, but I would have guessed that the box is the primary source of income for the affiliates around here.
It seems that it would be very difficult to develop a successful program if it was only a hobby or side item.
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Old 11-03-2009, 02:08 PM   #8
Leonid Soubbotine
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Re: In college - thoughts on crossfit as a career?

Sean - yeah, but how many do you know that also have primary jobs while running their boxes & so many boxes we don't even see yet they're garage gyms/park affiliates.

And successful program vs hobby are two different things. One doesn't need to be particularly successful at CF if it's offsetted by their primary job.
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Old 11-03-2009, 03:10 PM   #9
Collin Thompson
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Re: In college - thoughts on crossfit as a career?

Hmm interesting - Cf being the primary job is what I'm interested in finding out more about. Now I'm not sure if this is entirely accurate, but I'm thinking it would be safe to say that most affiliates did not start their working-careers with Crossfit, but rather within some sort of other fitness/health industry-related field, and later found or further pursued Crossfit. Because of those who have branched out and helped expand Cf, would it be safe/smart to pursue a career in the Crossfit industry the same way one may plan to be a professional sport team's athletic trainer or dietitian? Basically, does Crossfit offer what other careers in the fitness industry offer too, or is it a recreational/side-job at best?
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Old 11-03-2009, 03:18 PM   #10
Sean Dunston
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Re: In college - thoughts on crossfit as a career?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Collin Jesse Thompson View Post
Hmm interesting - Cf being the primary job is what I'm interested in finding out more about. Now I'm not sure if this is entirely accurate, but I'm thinking it would be safe to say that most affiliates did not start their working-careers with Crossfit, but rather within some sort of other fitness/health industry-related field, and later found or further pursued Crossfit. Because of those who have branched out and helped expand Cf, would it be safe/smart to pursue a career in the Crossfit industry the same way one may plan to be a professional sport team's athletic trainer or dietitian? Basically, does Crossfit offer what other careers in the fitness industry offer too, or is it a recreational/side-job at best?
At my affiliate, that is what happened. 3 people from a globo decided to open an affiliate and they did it. About a year later, there was a nice young lady finishing a degree similar to yours from a local university, and she needed to have XXX hours in a gym prior to graduation, so the affiliate took her on as an intern. Subsequently she got her Level 1 (in addition to other certifications of her choice), and then graduated and she is now a paid trainer and splits time between the affiliate and another gym.

Could she start her own gym if she wanted too? Sure. But I don't know if that's what she wants to do.
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