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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 09-14-2012, 10:48 AM   #1
Jason Roney
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uncertified CF gym/trainers saying they offer CF.

I am the co-owner of a small box in a small town. We have built a very nice CrossFit Community, Box, and CrossFit Kids program over the past two years. We continue to hear how CrossFit is being offered at other gyms in our town. Clients have heard the gym owners say "we do CrossFit, we're just not allowed to call it that, so we call it Cross-Camp". Obviously we love CrossFit, and think everybody should do it if properly trained and/or supervised. Just this morning we had a gentleman come by our box. He saw the tires and said "every time I flip those I throw out my back" we asked him where he flips them and he said
"__________ they do CrossFit too." then proceeded to tell us the name of the trainer. I wanted to at least show him how to properly flip a tire, but he didn't stick around long enough. We have taken the high road and just tried to ignore these comments and focus on the high level of instruction and quality we give to our clients. However, lately we did talk to one trainer and asked that they stop using the name CrossFit because it is a trademark violation. Obviously it has not helped. We are at our wits end on how to handle this. I have called HQ and left a couple messages, but have not received any call backs. Because we are in a small town I feel that I need to protect the business that my partners and I are building and the CrossFit name. The last thing I want to happen is for someone to get seriously hurt, and say "oh, well I was doing CrossFit, thats why I'm....." Would love to hear suggestions on how to handle this frustrating situation. Thank you in advance.

Jay
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:08 PM   #2
Brendan McNamar
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Re: uncertified CF gym/trainers saying they offer CF.

http://iptheft.crossfit.com/

They do everything by email. Just document it for them. Give as many details as possible.

I would also build into your website and promotional materials that you are the only CrossFit Affiliate Gym in town.

Your community and results should do the rest.

Those of us in bigger towns have to deal with poorly run and coached affiliate gyms so you situation is easier. I have other CrossFit gyms hurting our reputation with poor coaching and programing locally. Though we are starting to get a reputation for doing it right and attracting strong members from weaker gyms so it pays off in the long run.
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:52 AM   #3
Mark Khamboonphet
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Re: uncertified CF gym/trainers saying they offer CF.

Jay,

I'm pretty much in the same situation. My box is located in a small town with roughly 12,000 people. When I opened, I billed myself and my gym as the first box in the county. Next thing I know, people are saying no there's already a CrossFit here. And then someone else says they've been doing CrossFit "over there" as well. I did my homework and just like you found out about these fake affiliates or gyms that were telling their people that were doing CrossFit but just not allowed to call it that. It was like they were trained to say it except they all were saying they were CrossFit and doing CrossFit. I reported them but all HQ does is give them warnings and demand that get certified and affiliated. So now I have 3 CrossFit boxes in this small town and I keep hearing about a few other people teaching CrossFit out of their garage or church. The fact is that it sucks but there's nothing you can really do about it. One of the gyms actually ok and good people. I will always refer to the other gym as the fake affiliate since they did for over a year without getting certified or affiliated. Their members know this but are ok with being lied to for a year. The only thing you can do is just focus on your gym. Have best gym out there and hold better standard for your members. I did write a blog giving my opinions on how to pick a CrossFit gym and leave it on my website. In the big picture, I love CrossFit and I want it to spread. If someone chooses another gym over mine, I'm okay with it. I just want to make sure they know what to look for. If you're new to CrossFit and step into any gym, you might think all gyms run that way whether it may be good or bad. My biggest fear is for people to get me confused with any of the other gyms when they have a bad experience or get hurt at the other gyms. Then it just gives CrossFit and the community a bad name overall. There's a video out there that HQ released called the Boogy Man. It's basically Glassman talking about that he hears about these bad gyms but he's never seen it or been to them because he feels they don't exists. I disagree with the video and his view on it. I believe that there are bad gyms that do teach bad form and give CrossFit a bad name. I believe it's what happens when people get certified and the next month apply for affiliation. I don't know the process of approving affiliates but I think everyone should be able to take the Level course but maybe there needs to be more QC involved in approving affiliates. I mean what would someone's affiliate essay really be like that just started CrossFit that's now trying open an affiliate. "I started CrossFit 1 month ago, got my Level 1 certification last week, I love CrossFit. Now I'm ready to open my own box.") I guess you have to give everyone an opportunity to do it. I'm sure you can sense my frustration. Maybe I'm wrong and this just my opinion. So again, just be the best gym and owner you can be. In the long run, lets hope that the boxes that did it the right way out last the other ones. Good Luck dude!
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:28 AM   #4
John Franklin
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Re: uncertified CF gym/trainers saying they offer CF.

The cream will always rise to the top. If you provide exceptional value for the service you are offering, it shouldn't matter if there are 50 fake affiliates near you. Make the lives of your clients better, and they will make sure that you stand out from the crowd.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:09 AM   #5
Jason M Struck
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Re: uncertified CF gym/trainers saying they offer CF.

sadly though, people are not well educated about what makes for a good coach or a good facility or not.

They will try the place that is convenient, cheap or recommended by their friends. If it works, they will stay. If it's terrible, they will say "Crossfit is terrible".
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:04 AM   #6
Brian Strump
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Re: uncertified CF gym/trainers saying they offer CF.

Agree. Same thing with most professions. Consider your accountant. You may think he's great, because you never owe anything money for taxes. So you stay, when perhaps a better one would have gotten you back $2000!

Although I agree with you, we still do not waste our time complaining about some that make CrossFit a $hitty product. As we improve ours, that one person may have missed it, but the next person that walks into our affiliate will realize the difference when they go elsewhere.


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Originally Posted by Jason M Struck View Post
sadly though, people are not well educated about what makes for a good coach or a good facility or not.

They will try the place that is convenient, cheap or recommended by their friends. If it works, they will stay. If it's terrible, they will say "Crossfit is terrible".
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