I opened CrossFit Hell's Kitchen NYC in September 2010 and since have coached thousands of CrossFitters. I have had athletes make it to the CrossFit Regionals as well as place in many local competitions. Prior to CrossFit, I ran a Kettlebell club at a gym in midtown Manhattan while I worked as a personal trainer. I am a licensed massage therapist who worked on Randy Johnson "The Big Unit" during his pitching days with the NY Yankees.
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The certification process is at a cost of $1000.00 and is weekend long process under watchful eyes of the CrossFit HQ staff. Yes, as the popularity of CrossFit increases, so does the demand for more coaches as well as the increased demand for HQ to provide more certification seminars. They sell out almost as quickly as they are posted. In order to be able to use the CrossFit name, one must be a level 1 certification, be a licensed affiliate by HQ, have the proper insurance a live web site and a few other things. Here is the link to CrossFit HQ's site with all the details: http://community.crossfit.com/how-to-affiliate No, CrossFit HQ does not limit the number of affiliates in a city or region. The belief is that a free market and competition will allow everyone to be their best and thrive, and I couldn't agree more. As the saying goes, "The cream always rises to the top".
There have been so many transformations at CrossFit Hell's Kitchen, it is hard to say. The most recent one I can think of is a gentleman involved in our corporate program who has lost 44 pounds over the past 2 months by coming in 3-4 days a week and following a strict Paleo diet. He has gotten such great results, he now has even better support as his girlfriend has joined as well.
That is a really tough question to answer, as the economics of a large city like NYC where CrossFit Hell's Kitchen is located compared to a CrossFit Gym in a rural area will be completely different. Different gyms will be outfitted with differing amounts of equipment. For example we have 60 feet of pull up rigging, 40 Olympic Barbells and almost 4000 pounds of bumper plates as well as 15 Concept 2 rowers and 4500 square feet of fully mat covered floor space. We also have a 6 GHD's, 20 sets of rings, 40 med balls, full dumbell set and a host of other goodies, air dynes, logs, farmers handles, 40 kettlebells and full locker/ shower facilities. We are a full time, fully equipped CrossFit facility. Others start out much smaller, sometimes in their garage, with only a single pull up rig and barbell. Growing slowly from there as they start to train others, any money made is reinvested into more equipment. If you plan on opening up a full time serious CrossFit gym, then, yes, there is a substantial upfront cost involved, not only equipment, but also the lease, legal fees on setting up the corporation, affiliate fees, website set up, insurance, architect fees, build out of the space and the list goes on and on and on. When is a profit returned? It depends on all of those variables and really cannot be answered. I have friends who run one of the largest CrossFits in the states, and for the first 5 years, they either were at a loss, or just broke even. It was only after their 6th year in business that they showed a profit. Others I know, with minimal investment, were able to make money after the first 6 months, but still had to keep their day jobs and run their box part time. I think one of the best things to do is have a SOLID business plan in place before you spend a dollar on opening up. Know what you are getting yourself into and be prepared to pour your heart and soul into your CrossFit. If you aren't willing to sacrifice that much then go in cautiously, you had better LOVE CrossFit and be willing to be broke for the first few years. The benefits of this business cannot and should not ever be measured in dollars. If you are after a financial profit alone, you will be very disappointed. If the money isn't your concern, and you love CrossFit and helping others, then you won't need to worry about a profit, it will happen, maybe not right out of the gate, but eventually it will. How soon though? That I cannot foresee.
That is an interesting question. It was a direct extension for my desire to improve my clients performance. After examining several other forms of training, I felt it was in the best interest of my clients to revisit CrossFit and it's principles. As a CrossFit Coach, I am able to bring a multi-disciplinary approach to my athletes training. Using the best of weightlifting, powerlifting, gymnastics, kettlebells, as well as varying the intensities, duration, rest and loads I have been able to improve overall performance, strength, power and conditioning of the people I coach.
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The tires used are actually from some huge vehicle! Most to the time they can be found at junk yards and usually are free, since taking them relieves the junk yards from having to recycle them. One of the problems associated with the used tires though, is the lack of standards in weight and/or size. Despite them weighing the same at manufacture, the use of the tire over it's lifetime wears away an amount of rubber, leaving no two tires the same weight. One ingenious way to create a standard in tire flipping practice is this device: http://www.milofit.com/the-flipper/ While it may be a bit more expensive than the tires, it allows for many different weights to be trained with and can be done so in a much smaller space and without the need for several different sized tires. It is one of the next things on CrossFit Hell's Kitchen's wish list!
Marketing? In what way? Only recently, with Reebok's involvement has there been any marketing at all. I was around before Reebok or any marketing took place and was busy and successful long before they came on board. I think one of the greatest things about CrossFit is the LACK of marketing. Look at the ads from globo gyms like Planet Fitness or NYSC or Equinox. They have advertisers that set up ads and marketing budgets. CrossFit relies on word of mouth and member referrals, all of which are unsolicited. I really do no marketing at all, have never been good at networking, exploiting connections or advertising. What I am good at though is training and coaching people. We get great results with the people here, weight loss of 15-20 pounds is pretty common as well as phenomenal strength and performance increases. To say it is "just plyometrics packaged for the masses" shows a lack of understanding of what it is that is done here. We do a lot more than just plyometrics, but I'm sure you know that. I think a lot of the success with the individual CrossFit Gyms comes down to how well they are run, the knowledge and coaching ability of the owner and staff as well as the level of customer service. If it were brilliant marketing without something to offer, there would no retention of members. I have had people here with me for years and didn't have to rely on marketing at all. So, long story short, no, not brilliant marketing, but rather a brilliant system of fitness. And, yes, indeed, it does work!
CrossFit total, which consists of the following lifts: Squat, press and deadlift has had a 405 squat, 185 press and a 565 deadlift by an athlete that weighed in at 190 pounds. Deadlift of 335 by a 105 pound athlete. 215 pound snatch and 270 clean and jerk by an athlete weighing 195 and a 285 clean by a 200 pound athlete. One girl who made Regionals last year and weighs 105 has a clean and jerk of 165.
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