One of the biggest drawbacks with CrossFit is the price tag. Its much more expensive than most commercial gym memberships, and on the whole they offer much nicer facilities, with shiny modern equipment, heating, showers, a nicely fragranced changing room and fancy lockers, maybe even with a hair dryer and a mirror for you. On the face of it, a CrossFit gym charging more than a commercial gym is somewhere between lunacy and daylight robbery. If we look just below the surface though, it becomes a little easier to stomach. Here are my 5 reasons a CrossFit membership is worth it, and more:
- The programming: When you go to a normal gym, you probably follow a routine from one of 2 sources; some form of magazine for bodybuilding (electronic or paper), or a mate who has been training a while. In a CrossFit facility, the programme is carefully designed to illicit maximum results whilst promoting recovery and better movement. As a rough guide, to pay for programming alone costs £30-60 per month!
- The coaching: The best you can hope for at a commercial gym is a brief introduction to the equipment. Dont be fooled, this is purely to cover the gym should an accident occur, and is probably a condition of their insurance. At a CrossFit facility, every movement is coached, working towards proper form, and furthermore, appropriately scaling each movement and weight to suit, yet benefit,
each individual. With the vast majority of classes capped to 8-10 clients per coach, this is like small group personal training. An hour with a personal trainer worth their time will cost north of £25
- The equipment: Commercial gyms tend to be filled with quite expensive equipment that is specifically designed to look and feel comfortable. Truth be told though, its mostly not that effective. CrossFit gyms, whilst largely austere in nature, are packed full of the essentials; equipment, which over the years has proven to be most effective at getting, results. It might not look as fancy, but it is often better quality and most certainly fit for purpose.
- The atmosphere: Weve all been the nervous newcomer in a gym, not sure where certain things are, or what to do, but we cant ask where the 12kg dumbbells are, because the only guy around is grunting at himself in the mirror with his headphones on so loud, the gym doesnt require a sound system. In a CrossFit box things are a little different. Were built on the principles of community, which is not only much friendlier, but evidence shows time and time again that a great friendly atmosphere is more conducive to an effective workout. I challenge you to find a more motivating environment.
- The knowledge: You will quickly realise that whatever your level, goals, injuries or other factors, there is a way to workout that best suits you. There are also many more movements and much more detail to each movement than you probably realised. Trying to guide you through these unaided can be daunting at best, but at worst could lead to a serious injury. The ability to seek help when its needed from coaches, who have invested their time and money in bettering themselves through practice and study, is a luxury many people dont consider. The truth is though, that its less of a luxury, and more just part of the service with most boxes.
As with anything, there are good and bad CrossFit gyms, good and bad coaches, and good and bad CrossFitters. On the whole though, what you get for your monthly fee, trumps what you get elsewhere by a considerable margin. As an example, our memberships are £65 per month Unlimited Classes and £55 per month for 3 classes per week. To get a Personal Trainer at a commercial gym, for 4 sessions per week, would cost roughly £400 per month. The odds are that if they are only charging £20-25 per session, they probably dont have the depth of knowledge youd expect either. Id also suggest whilst PT might help address specific areas individually, the class environment will bring better results as youre driven to push harder. So yes, its a bit of an investment, but one that I think youll come to like very quickly, and a damned sight cheaper than a comparable alternative elsewhere!