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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 11-25-2007, 07:58 PM   #1
Alex Byron
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Question Introduction and Question about CrossFit Affiliation

Hi everybody!

I apologize in advance for the length of this post, but the back story is relevant to the question.

I live and work in Silicon Valley, and have been working out for 10 years (weight lifting, running, Aikido) before I discovered CrossFit at the beginning of this year. Needless to say, I saw amazing results and got hooked

I was lucky enough to be able to attend a Level 1 cert seminar this summer, enabling me to share my passion with others. Thank you, coach!

I recently found out that there was a high level of interest at my company for a short, effective workout at the office to enable people to exercise without too much impact on their busy schedule.

So I
  • put together a workout program that is based on the CrossFit concept (short, high intensity, constantly varied, functional movement)
  • took a subset of exercises that can be done with little or no equipment (they only have a pair of light dumbbells, a step stool/bench, and a towel), i.e. push-ups, squats, bent-over dumbbell row, shoulder press, ab-mat sit-up, dumbbell swing, short run, box jumps, supermans, burpees, thrusters, etc.,
  • scaled it down to Buttercup level (these are mostly out of shape cubicle dwellers with little to moderate exercise history, mainly in their 30s)
  • and offer them 3 times a week a short workout at 11:30am outside the office. It's 5 minutes of a quick warmup, explaining the exercise components and proper form, explaining the format, and then have them do the actual workout which I design to last about 10-15 minutes.
Guess what? They love it! Even though it's harder than any workout they have done before, they are totally into it. I have almost a quarter of the company signed up (10-12 people coming regularly plus several occasionals).

After only 4 weeks they have reported successes such as much improved time, better posture, more stamina for other activities, lost inches, built muscle, feeling better, etc. etc. etc.

I love it, too - Seeing them happy and excited about it, being able to share this with them, seeing them commit, persist, and succeed, is a fantastic feeling. I had no idea that it would be such a success.

I enjoy that I get to share my passion with others, and I get the trainer experience, learning to work with people, motivate them positively, etc. with the goal in mind that in a couple of years, when my wife and I move out of Silly Valley, I may open a CrossFit affiliate gym.

I am very clear to the participants that the workouts are based on the CrossFit concept, and I encourage everybody who listens to check out the site, but I also explain that it's only a subset and scaled down to Buttercup level and modified to work within the given limitations of space, time, and equipment.

Now to the question part of my post:

When I shared my story with XF HQ I received a nice reply encouraging me to affiliate.

This is great, I appreciate the vote of confidence and support, but would this really qualify as an affiliate?

Right now,
  • there is no website, just a company-internal Wiki page
  • only people from my company are participating
  • there is no gym, just a piece of grass next to the office building
  • everybody has to bring their own equipment
  • there is no olympic lifting, no rings, and pull-up training is rare due to their lower skill level

I repeatedly read the FAQs and affiliate req's to see how I can make this work.

Insurance: I'll call my insurance agent tomorrow to get a quote for personal trainer insurance. There are threads on this site with leads to affordable insurance that I will review as well.

Website: I just slapped together a website yesterday - http://getupgetfit.wordpress.com/ - would this suffice? I'll start taking some pix this week to add.

Certified: I got Level 1 certified in July, so that's taken care of.

XF experience: I've been doing the workouts since early this year, posting my results, reading comments, and browsing the forum here. I also subscribe to the journal.

Rates: I'm doing this for free as mentioned above, which doesn't violate any XF rules.

Advertising: I guess I could post flyers in adjacent office buildings to find other people that may be interested.

So what do you think?

My main concern is

a) the extremely limited schedule of only 3 30 min. sessions per week (which is all my current work schedule and life goals allow) and

b) the limited subset of exercises offered due to resource limitations

which differentiates this setup from what I'd consider a real XF affiliate.

Don't get me wrong - I'd be honored to be officially affiliated with CrossFit, and am planning in a couple of years down the road to possibly run my own full-fledged CrossFit gym.

I just would like to get some feedback about this wonky setup I got going and hear what others have to say/comment/advise.

Thanks much for any input and for reading the entire post

Alex
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Old 11-27-2007, 03:12 PM   #2
Leonid Soubbotine
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Re: Introduction and Question about CrossFit Affiliation

Whatever it takes!
Affiliate and get going!
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Old 11-27-2007, 06:22 PM   #3
Steve Reggio
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Re: Introduction and Question about CrossFit Affiliation

I am in the process of affiliating and from everything I read and from what I have heard coach say about franchising- there is no cookie cutter, one size fits all approach to affiliating (and CrossFit) in general.

You do what you can with the space/equipment you have and as long as you adhere to the basic principles of CrossFit you are golden.

Build this up and looking for space may happen sooner than you think!
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Old 11-28-2007, 06:54 AM   #4
Monique T. Ames
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Re: Introduction and Question about CrossFit Affiliation

Alex,
First, congratulations on getting your co-workers on board with you.

IMO, Affiliate if you want to do the folllowing:
Raise awareness of this great program called CrossFit
Advertise/market/promote CrossFit
Start getting paid for your time and expertise (it may be limited but it is more than those who train with you)

Note: Just because your resources, times etc are limited, doesn't mean people won't pay for it. People will pay for results and that's what you are giving them. It doesn't take a crapload of equipment or time to get reults, CF proves it.

I suggest you read CFJournal 1 Garage Gym; 19 What is CrossFit; 21 Zone; 26 Beginners Guide to CF; 34 Consistency before Intensity; 36 Fundamentals, Virtuosity and Mastery; 38 Rhabdo; 41 Professional Training; 41 Scaling Professional Training...to start
Train/learn the Olympic lifts from a qualified Coach.

You are on your way. Good luck.
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:42 AM   #5
Randy Tarasevich
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Re: Introduction and Question about CrossFit Affiliation

Go for it! Sounds like you have a great thing going already.
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Old 11-29-2007, 12:58 AM   #6
Alex Byron
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Re: Introduction and Question about CrossFit Affiliation

Well, stick a fork in it cause it's done - I applied for insurance with sportsfitness.com as recommended here and submitted my affiliate application.

Thanks everybody for the encouraging replies, really appreciate it!
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