Why is CrossFit so expensive?

Why is CrossFit so "expensive"?

     I had a Facebook user direct message me a while ago, asking me the question, "why is CrossFit so expensive?"   
     A very common question most people (including yourself at one point or another) have thought or even asked your friends and colleagues before you joined the box. 
     If you're at the hallway at work getting water or coffee or out to dinner with friends/family who ask you this question, I would like to share some fun facts to better equip you for that conversation. 

#1 - If you go to Kindred, you got a deal!   I did a price check/comparison of other boxes in the Silicon Valley, yes, the area with the HIGHEST COST of living in the country, and most boxes are charging close to $200 - $250 per month.   I'm not hating on other box owners. I'm really not. This is America (pronounced 'merica for emphasis), land of the free, home of the brave and land of free trade and commerce. Therefore, I believe that every owner/man/woman has the right to make a living to feed himself/herself and his/her family.  So higher prices for membership is not a bad thing if members are getting the appropriate value for the price.  Therefore, you can't argue about our pricing here and if you're not fully utilizing your Kindred membership you're leaving money and value on the table! 

#2- CrossFit Owners pay more for space per member and more for training and other maintenance costs.
We pay affiliate fees, equipment, and training for owners and staff. TheCrossFit certifications are more expensive than the other personal training certifications such as NASM, ACE or ACSM, that are used by trainers at traditional gyms.  Since we are not franchisees, CrossFit owners take on the cost of doing business for themselves and therefore have to pay for marketing, equipment replacement and other ongoing maintenance costs. Also, more square foot per person is required to do CrossFit and as a result, our commercial rent per member is much higher than the traditional gyms or non-CrossFitgyms.  We need more floor space for barbells (men's barbells range 7'-8'), box jumps, HSPUs,  rowers, free weights and space to dump our barbells.  We have to cap our workout space so athletes can safely move around unlike traditional gyms where members can packed it in like sardines in a can.

#3 - CrossFit offers different value than your traditional gym.
At a traditional gym, you may pay $10 - $100 per month depending on which gym, BUT you're not getting programming, coaches, community, encouragement, check-in's, your coaches celebrating your PR's with our “PR gong,” or your gym friends high-5'ing you for crushing that WOD.  At a traditional gym, if you know how to use the machines, have previous training, and have the time and patience to wait for the treadmill or elliptical, then it may work. However, the average gym goer doesn't have the experience, expertise and most importantly the MOTIVATION to make it work.

#4- CrossFit is about training.
The tradition gym is about "exercise" and CrossFit is about training. What's the difference?  Exercise is "activity requiring physical effort." So this could be running or getting your steps in or any physical activity. Yes, you burned some calories, but was it the same as doing "Fran," or the "Filthy Fifty" or that insane 40 EMOM we did last year? No it is not!  Training is also exercise, BUT it is the kind used by professional athletes who employ their body for sport or competition. You might be thinking to yourself, "well I'm not an athlete so I don't need to train."  That's also not true.   This is the type of training thatmakes you into an athlete and helps shape your body into an athlete's body, if you are pairing your training with good nutrition, rest and recovery.  This is the type of training that will actually produce long term results if you stick with it and if you are willing to improve mechanics & technique (you can always improve at something regardless of how long you've been doing it).

I just chuckle now when some people complain to me about the "expensiveness" of CrossFit.  Some of these people are the same folks that are willing to spend $100s or even $1,000s on new shoes, cell phones, the latest gadgets, fast food, alcohol, cigarettes, lottery tickets, partying, fast foods and desserts, which are further pushing them away from health and fitness. Is CrossFit really expensive when it helps improve your health, boast your confidence, gives you joy and relieves your stress?!   I'll tell you it's a lot cheaper than surgery or taking medicines your whole life or having an addiction to retail, gambling, drugs or alcohol.

I guess the next time someone ask me (or you) why CrossFit is soexpensive I can give them the above answers and also ask them if whatever they're doing is it really working for them health wise. 
Anyways, I'll get off my soapbox now.

Article by Vanna Truong
CrossFit Kindred Co-Owner, Small Business Owner & Entrepreneur.