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Old 05-11-2012, 01:12 PM   #141
John Eisenhood
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Re: Too much $$$

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Originally Posted by Chris Brigham View Post
I am sorry, and I dont want to take on the masses, but why the hell is crossfit so damn expensive? i cant find anything for less then $150 a month. And I dont understand the arguement that it is personal training, it is a class setting, which most gyms have, for the normal prices. I just dont get it
I think the original question is a good one and it stems from a few perfectly reasonable perception problems perhaps.

Look at the average Gobo Gym and you see locations that are often in high traffic retail strip mall areas, have large floor plans, and lots of shiny machines and equipment. Contrast this with the average Crossfit affiliate which are often (at least in my area) located in more industrial or commercial locations and have something of a minimalist presentation insofar as you simply don't see half an acre of shining machines & cardio equipment.

At first blush it seems odd that my local Workout World with their two stories of gleeming white machines and treadmills and huge floor plan can provide monthly membership for as little as $50 down and $20/mo. Contrast this with the nearest Crossfit affilliate which is basically a warehouse location with a roll up door, located in the semi-industrial part of town with none of the gleaming white machines but charging something like $120/mo.

What gives right? The answer is muti-faceted.

First and foremost I suspect the basic business model issue mentioned previously. WoW and globos like them are modeled on a "sign em all up....hope nobody comes" approach. Their model forecasts membership that far exceeds capacity and actual utilization. In essence they rely on the basic assumption that a great majority of their members simply will not show up....and you know what? They don't. So it works. So there's a great deal of member/non-user subsidy occurring. Yes, there are personal trainers and structured classes offered but ofen these involve ancillary fees and the fact remains the basic operating model is geared around a "self serve" approach to the floor full of equipment. Contrast this with the almost exclusively class based structured WOD and the "group/community" based structure of the Crossfit affiliate. Such a model must, by definition, take far greater account of the possiblity of peak utilization and plan, staff, and operate accordingly. It's a very different operating model with a far lower level of member/non-user subsidy occurring.

Then you have the question of staff qualifications, staff involvement, and staff-to-member ratio at any given time. While I'd be reluctant to over-generalize on this since I'm sure there are good PT's at WoW I'm not always sure about the qualifications of the average WoW floor staff. They have trainers sure....which you might have to pay extra for.....but on average the qualifications for many of their staff seems to be the ability to read the instructions on the machines with you and maybe wipe it down should a member forget. Okay that's not fair...but you get the drift. In general I don't get much or expect much from the average Globogym staff member other than openning the door on time, turning on the lights, and scanning me in. Contrast this with my local CF affiliate where I get a good deal of personal attention as a direct feature of my membership and where my workout is structured, tailored, and monitored for me. Additionally I think it's safe to say the average CF affiliate is providing trained staff who are far more engaged with the members and hold different certifications that are more relevant to my own fitness goals. That equates into a rather different staffing & payroll model I think. Imagine if your local globogym had to operate under the assumption that EVERY member who wandered in would be provided with a tailored and structured workout. I daresay their operating costs would change in a hurry.

I'm not sure about liability insurance or some of the other overhead cost considerations but those surely play a role too.

The surface presentation of the average globo sure makes it "seem" like they should cost more...or at least the average CF affiliate sure seems like it should cost less. But consider that the general the globo is mainly unlocking the door, turning on the lights, and leaving most members to wander in past a girl at the front counter who is mainly there to run the bar code scanner for a couple months until her summer vacation is over. Whereas the level of attention and service I get at my CF affiliate, not to mention the motivation and sense of community I derive from thier operating model, is light years diffferent despite the surface perception of "low cost location & equipment".

All of that is not only worth something in terms of my own soft value judgments but I suspect actually costs something in real terms despite the surface appearance of things.
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:47 PM   #142
Jason Wuennecke
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Re: Too much $$$

I figure if I can spend $145.00 a month for cable and internet, and about $100.00 for the month to go out to eat once a week on the weekends, then I can spent $100.00 a month for a fun way to help get me in to shape and stay there.
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Old 05-12-2012, 06:23 AM   #143
Jeremiah C Johnson
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Re: Too much $$$

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Originally Posted by Jason Wuennecke View Post
I figure if I can spend $145.00 a month for cable and internet, and about $100.00 for the month to go out to eat once a week on the weekends, then I can spent $100.00 a month for a fun way to help get me in to shape and stay there.
YEP! I totally agree! My wife and I used to go out to eat and watch bands every weekend. We were spending almost $100 a week on food, cover charges and drinks! YIKES! At the same time I'm like "I wish I could afford Crossfit." I decided to start going out every other weekend and joined my box with money to spare. WELL worth it.
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