Ever since I was in high school, I loved working out.  I was relatively active in sports such as Football, Wrestling, and Lacrosse when I attended high school — never was the star athlete though.  If I’m going to be totally honest, I started to slack off when I graduated college.  The gym was becoming boring and I was quickly losing interest in working out.  In the last two years or so, I discovered a kind of workout that would quickly change my outlook on fitness: Crossfit.

 

Crossfit is not your average workout nor is it the average Golds Gym or YMCA.  It involves a plethora of different kinds of workouts such as olympic cleans, running, pull ups, push ups, and many other exercises.  There’s nothing crazy about a Crossfit gym: no bulky and crazy machines that work out only one part of your body; no tread mills, ellipticals, or stair masters; and thankfully there’s no soft rock Billy Joel that kills the mood (Billy, your music is great, but not when I’m maxing out on the bench press).  In fact, one of the major pros about Crossfit is that you never knew what the workout was gonna be that day.  If there was anything that was constant when it came to a Crossfit workout, it was your body being extremely sore the next day.  I don’t recall doing the same workout twice in the three months that I did Crossfit; it is like the Forest Gump of working out: you never knew what you were gonna get.

 

Besides the actual workout, Crossfit has a very unique business models when compared to most of the standard gyms.  At standard gyms, where people usually do their own workouts, individuals are most likely in their own mind frame and barely pay attention to other people which makes it more awkward to socialize.  The Crossfit experience is totally different.  Everyone does the same workout together; it is as if you were part of a platoon partaking in a mission together.  Crossfit gyms stress communal support within its facility and you will hear nothing but encouragement from your peers.  Crossfit gyms tally your stats and repetitions to see your progress over time.  Some gyms have awards such as person of the month or hardest worker which makes you want to work harder when you go to the gym.  The competitive atmosphere certainly makes the workout more enjoyable and interesting; hard work and dedication are very important to the philosophy of Crossfit.

 

Another unique characteristic that Crossfit gyms possess is a strong sense of entrepreneurship.  There’s practically no uniformity when it comes to Crossfit gyms — unlike a  NYSC (New York Sports Club) or Golds Gym where each gym is identical and inseparable from one another.  Not one Crossfit charges the same prices or has the same deals, and each Crossfit is unique in its own way.  The owners of each Crossfit gym mold it in a way that is unique to themselves which breeds innovation and creativity.  It is safe to say that all Crossfit gyms are not created equal and there’s a vast diversity between the gyms.

 

Some Crossfit gyms are the size of a normal gym, and some are actually as big as a two car garage — in fact thats how some Crossfit gyms first started.  Crossfit gyms are way cheaper to start up which gives less wealthier people an opportunity to start their own gyms.  It costs millions of investment dollars just to be a franchisee for Gold’s Gym.  To be a franchisee for Crossfit, you must first become a certified level one trainer — which costs around a $1,000 worth of fees and multiple hours of training — then you have to be certified by pay $3,000 dollars of annual fees to Crossfit (plus all the other miscellaneous costs such as utilities, rent, equipment, etc).

 

Crossfit is a brilliant example of market innovations and it truly has revolutionized the fitness industry.  Crossfit started out with one gym in 2001 and today they’re around 10,000 gyms today.  It isn’t surprising to see why Crossfit has been so successful: the independence that the company allows each gym to have, the low start up costs, the communal support that exists within each gym and the sport itself, and the competitive and determined spirit that makes this workout fun and enjoyable every time.

 

Crossfit isn’t for everyone and I don’t mean to bash the standard gym that has existed for decades.  Crossfit is extremely challenging and I wouldn’t recommend it if you are prone to injury.  But one thing is for certain is the impact that Crossfit has had on the fitness industry.  To be honest, you would most likely need a crane to pull me into a normal gym again.  The wonders of Crossfit are all around you and I highly recommend it to anyone whose looking to break a sweat and challenge themselves like they never have before.