Myth: CrossFit is Too Expensive
When most folks start looking into CrossFit they are surprised at at the price of a monthly membership. I know I was when I joined my first CrossFit gym in March 2010. For years I had been a member of Gold's Gym. I paid $49 a month for the opportunity to workout (on my own) at Gold's and I probably attended an average of twice a month. This may surprise you since I own True Spirit CrossFit; but, I too, struggled for years with motivation to go to the gym.
When I found CrossFit in 2010 and I had sticker shock at the $135 monthly price tag for a 12 class membership. Was I seriously considering more than doubling my gym membership to only be able to attend 12 classes per month? I mean I had been paying $49 to attend whenever I wanted to. Why would this be so much better? And why was it so damned expensive?
First, I had to compare what I was purchasing. A membership at Gold's Gym did not include group classes, coaching or programming, it only paid for access. If I wanted to attend group classes it was an extra charge. If I wanted a program to do on my own it was an extra charge. If I wanted a trainer to hold me accountable and make sure I did things correctly it was an extra charge. Everything that was included in the monthly CrossFit membership was an extra charge at Gold's Gym. By the time all of the extra charges were summed up it was more expensive that the CrossFit membership.
Second, after my first CrossFit class it was clear to me that the community and camaraderie of the group class was a much more powerful motivator than my solo sessions on the treadmill listening to my own music via earbuds. I used to walk into Gold's Gym and avoid eye contact. I used to be intimidated to go to the "free weights" section because of all the meatheads. There was no way I could ever befriend someone next to me on the elliptical because, they, too had earbuds inserted and eyes down.
Third, I no longer had to create my own workouts. I had purchased books, repeated my college rowing workouts, bought exercise videos, you name it in order to come up with a fun program that would keep me engaged. I was so frustrated with life after rowing. I had couldn't believe that after years of high-intensity erg and on the water training sessions and dry-land weight sessions that included back squats, power cleans, box jumps, etc., that now my fitness was supposed to be sustained with 60 slow minutes on the elliptical and some random "free weights." After my first week at CrossFit I was sore and happy and I felt just like I did when I was a competitive athlete. I had a coach who told me what to do and adjusted my training to meet my needs. I knew that CrossFit programming could get me back into shape.
Fourth, the cost was a motivator to attend classes. At $135 for 12 classes per month it cost me $11.25 per class. At that price I made damn sure I made all 12 classes. Not only did it make economic sense to get what I was paying for, but the fun I was having and the success I was having totally motivated me to continue.
Now, on the other side of the fence, I absolutely believe in the value of our Coaches and the efficacy of our programming, and the power of our community. I've also learned that Gold's Gym low cost and the low costs of all the other "Globo" gyms is purposeful. They intentionally set those prices low so that you willingly pay each month and rarely attend. Take a listen to this NPR Plant Money podcast on this very issue.
Finally, as a small business owner, I can tell you how important it is to support a family business. We don't have the power of a large corporate entity to do our marketing and business administration. James and I, with collaboration of all the Coaches, decide on our own best practices and ensure that our services meet the unique and ever changing needs of our community.
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