Don’t Break the Bank – What it Costs to Start a CrossFit Gym

Don’t Break the Bank – What it Costs to Start a CrossFit Gym 1

It is the latest and greatest form of exercise. And everyone is joining millions of fitness fanatics in the CrossFit craze. Including your colleagues, friends, family and neighbors.   Everyday, more and more people fall in love with Crossfit. 

It’s all about  swinging kettlebells, climbing ropes, and pulling up on monkey bars. No matter if CrossFit is your workout of choice. If you are an entrepreneur wanting to start a new business, starting a CrossFit box could be your best move yet.

But before you jump into it, there are several important factors you need to understand before opening a CrossFit gym. And know that it can cost you anything between $20,000 and $60, 000 to get started. It is important to know exactly what the costs will be for you to go into business and what it will take to stay there.

Table of Contents

The Business Model

Starting a traditional gym is different from opening a CrossFit gym. Unlike traditional gyms, CrossFit gyms are affiliates, not franchises.

Being a CrossFit affiliate means that there is no stipulated rule book. Nor is there a guidebook for opening your CrossFit gym. This can be a good thing seeing as you have the freedom to get creative. And it also makes starting up a little easier. But it can cause some hiccups if you do not take the time to plan your business.

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Figure 1: CrossFit Affiliation (Image SRC: CrossFit)

CrossFit Affiliation 

CrossFit affiliation fees totals $3000 per year. This fee gives you the bragging rights to carry the CrossFit logo. Downside is that it does not confine gym owners to specific territory or areas. Meaning, your neighbor can open another box around the corner from your gym.

CrossFit Trainer Certifications

Besides the annual affiliation fees, it is a rule that CrossFit trainers should carry certification. Certification courses start from $1000 per trainer and stretch over a couple of days. So, even before you crunch down to set up your box, make sure you get affiliated and certified.

The CrossFit brand prides themselves in the development and advancement of human health. This includes body, mind, and spirit. CrossFit enables their trainers to provide measurable definitions for health and fitness. Their definitions and calculations can all be measured, repeated, and observed.

There are several certified levels of education available. Each level aligned to deliver the highest standards of effectiveness and efficiency. Aiding you to achieve excellence in developing physical human health.

Level 1 Certificate

The level 1 CrossFit trainer certificate is an introduction to the fundamental principles and core movements that makes up the CrossFit model. 

This is the starting block for trainers wanting to learn more about nutritional strategies and effective training. It is also the basic foundational requirement to train other individuals in the exercises of CrossFit.

This course is a two-day classroom course with small-group, and coach-led workout sessions. It costs $1000 per person to complete. This course is supportive of all levels of athletes from beginner to the more advanced.

The level 1 CrossFit trainer certificate is an entry to the fundamentals of CrossFit. It covers principles and core movements that make up the CrossFit model.

This is the starting block. Aimed at trainers wanting to learn more about nutritional strategies and effective training. It is also the basic foundational course. It will allow youto train other individuals in the exercises of CrossFit.

This course is a two-day classroom course with small-group, and coach-led workout sessions. It costs $1000 per person to complete. This course is supportive of all levels of athletes from beginner to the more advanced.

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 Figure 2: CrossFit Certificate level 1 (Image SRC: CrossFit)

Level 2 Certificate

The Level 2 Certificate Course is the intermediate-level course. This course builds on the methods and concepts from the level 1 certificate course. It focuses on trainers who are looking to enhance their level of coaching. Or those looking to broaden and build their CrossFit skills.

This certificate course is also a two-day classroom study. But adds  one-on one, and group workout sessions. It requires a lot of interaction and engagement and is very discussion based. This certificate also costs $1000 to complete

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Figure 3: CrossFit Certificate level 2 (Image SRC: CrossFit)

CrossFit Kids Certificate

This certificate course is a webinar course. It leads trainers through interactive sessions on how to teach kids between the ages of 3 and 17.

It guides trainers through methodologies and movements for kids CrossFit. It focuses on building age-appropriate workout sessions.  And also teaches how to make workouts fun and interactive. This certificate will cost you $500 to complete.

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CrossFit Kids Trainers Course at Cape CrosssFit, Cape Town, South Africa on 4 December 2016, Trainer: John Brown

Figure 4: CrossFit Kids Certificate (Image SRC: CrossFit)

Level 3 Trainer Exam Course

The Certified CrossFit Trainer (CCFT) credential focusses on more experienced trainers. If you wish to show a higher level of CrossFit coaching knowledge and ability, then this course is for you.

Completing the CCFT will ensure that you have the knowledge and competency required to train your members. It teaches  safe and effective ways to train inside your CrossFit box.

Maintaining this certificate will take 3 years. And it requires effort and dedication. You need to get 50 continuing educational CF units. And complete at least 300 coaching hours. It also requires that you abide by the CrossFit standards of professional practice.

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Figure 5: CrossFit Level 3 Certificate (Image SRC: CrossFit)

Level 4 Coach evaluation Course

The Certified CrossFit Coach (CCFC) performance evaluation is a one-day assessment. It assesses your ability as a trainer to coach CrossFit movements. And looks at how effective you run group and one-on-one classes.

If you want to partake, you will  coach two workout sessions. Evaluations cover six domains. They are, teaching, seeing, correcting, class management, presence and attitude, and application. This course can chomp $1000 out of your budget per trainer.

Success will earn you the highest trainer credentials in the CrossFit world.

Brand Name and Logo Design

While your creative juices are flowing, crunch down and decide on what you will be calling your CrossFit box.

Once you have a name in mind, check to make sure that the domain name is available and get it registered. This will cost you anything between $15 and $100 per year. Now that you have named your business you can engage with a professional graphic designer to design a professional logo for your gym. This process can cost anything from $250 to $1300 for a basic logo design.

Choosing your name and designing your logo is the first step when starting your CrossFit box. Once you have your name, your logo and your domain registered, you are in the clear to start putting together your CrossFit business plan.

Location – Renting vs Buying Your Gym Property

One question new CrossFit gym owner’s always ask is whether it is better to rent or buy a gym property.

While there is no clear-cut answer, it is always advisable to rent a property until you have established yourself in the market. Basic rental can cost anything from $1500 per month.

When you are out there searching looking at different locations for your CrossFit box, do not allow your excitement to get ahead of you. Before you grab the first available property, there are a couple of important key notes to consider.

  • You need to find a location that can bring in the feet. It is important that your business location is in a popular area so that people can notice and enter your business.
  • Ensure that the price for rental fits into your budget. Do not over commit.
  • Size matters, so make sure you have enough space to fit in all your members, but not too much that the gym seems empty. A good estimate is about 10 square meter per budgeted member.
  • Ceiling height is particularly important. You would need gymnastic pull up rings, climbing ropes and pull up bars. And you need enough space so that your members can complete workouts without height constraints.
  • Make sure you have room to expand and grow your business. Do not settle for a space that is too small. As your members grow, you would need more equipment and space. Make sure your current space accommodates that.
  • The demographic of your location is key. Your clientele will not want to travel too far from home to get to your gym. So, when choosing to set up in the outskirts of town, make sure it is an area that your members will be willing to travel to.
  • Make sure you have enough parking to accommodate all your members.
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Figure 6: CrossFit Premises (Image SRC: Pinterest)

General layout and flooring expenses

Other than investing in a good and safe property and great fitness equipment, you would also need good rubber flooring and great lighting.

A good suggestion for effective lighting is to add some floor to ceiling mirrors to your gym space. This will not only light up your space but will also help your members to concentrate on their form. Invest in a good quality rubber flooring. Not only to protect your members from injury, but also to protect your weights and other equipment from getting damaged when it drops.

Other than that, you would need a reception area with a desk and computer. Also budget for a locker room, a staff room and decent toilets and showers.

Gym equipment costs

CrossFit equipment is a lot simpler. Unlike traditional gyms with treadmills and commercial machines. CrossFit box equipment will include things like ropes, rowing machines, barbells, kettlebells, gymnastic rings, medicine balls, and more. Buying wholesale, might secure better rates for your quality exercise equipment.

Put aside anything between $6,000 and $20,000 for your equipment, depending on the size of your gym. As your classes grow, you can invest in more equipment. Start with the basics and work your way up.

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Figure 7: CrossFit Equipment (Image SRC: Two Rep Cave)

The ‘I’ in Insurance

Do not skimp costs when it comes to insuring your property and equipment. Bit it is most important to make sure that your insurance covers you against any member injuries.

Accidents happen daily. You have a large variety of members signing up to your CrossFit gym. Some might have injuries or illnesses that you are not aware of. To protect your business and your team against any possible lawsuits, make sure you are insured. Get insurance with a service provider who can offer you the most benefits. And one who understands the world of CrossFit.

Grow your Team

You would want enough trainers on your floor to accommodate the number of members in your gym. Set aside about $5000 per trainer to start out, per month in your budget.

Remember to use trainers that are CF certified and have a passion for growing your business and bettering the health and fitness of your members. Not trainers that look good and are in it for the money.

Your staff can make or break your business. So, spend time and effort investing in the right team to support and carry your dream into the future.

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Figure 8: CrossFit trainer (Image SRC: Morning Chalk Up)

Mastering Marketing

The success of your gym will be determined by how many members you sign up, and this is no easy task.

It is tough to compete with the best CrossFit gyms out there, in a market that keeps on growing and gets more competitive by the day. So, invest in the marketing and advertising of your box. There are several ways to get your name out into the community and draw people into your CrossFit business.

  • Website –Start by creating a comprehensive website. One that allows members of the public to access all the necessary information about your gym, online.
  • Social media – Get your box active on social media platforms. Look into Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • Pre-opening specials – Run a pre-opening membership specials. This will allow  a discount if members join before your opening day. And will create a buzz on opening day, and you will start your first day with actual members training in your gym.

Budget around $2000 for a decent website and start-up marketing. This should get you on your way to a great start.

Parting Words

So, this all started with an idea. The idea became a vision and before you know it, you will be looking at your home away from home – your CrossFit Box.

Working smart during your start-up can save you buckets of money. And investing as much time and effort as you do money, will benefit you in the long run. Now, all that is left, is for you to get out there and share your passion with the world!

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