You get what you pay for.
When I first walked into my affiliate in 2010, I had NO idea what it cost for a membership to a CrossFit affiliate. My brother-in-law had been training for a while up in Chicago and I had a vague idea what he paid, but I assumed that living in a much smaller city in Central Illinois, that the price of training here would be significantly less.
I can remember walking in with a certain number in mind. Basically, I was at a point in my life where I was fed up with my physical appearance, general unhealthiness and poor eating habits, so I was looking for a change. But I also have three other people in my family to support and bills to pay. I went in and met with the box owner, toured the new facility and talked about training. The price I was quoted, to train three times a week, was much less than I was expecting.
I signed up on the spot and have since completed more than 1,000 workouts.
But since 2010, much has been written about the rising costs and price structure of CrossFit affiliates around the world. Because coach Greg Glassman is a libertarian and fan of free-market enterprise, there is no template to follow. CrossFit boxes are free to sell what they want, market however they want and set their prices for membership. In our area, we are right in the middle in terms of cost.
Part of the reason I’ve stayed at my box is that we have only seen a price increase of about $20 a month in almost six years. There are some areas in the Midwest, though, where prices are much higher. I have to assume that people are having to make tough decisions between investing in their memberships for CrossFit and balancing their family budgets. Prices in our area have not gone much past the $100 per month mark (give or take), and this is still considered to be on the high side of fitness training in our area.
But what I found from looking at prices online and talking to affiliate owners in our part of the country is that what is charged at our box is a lot less than people would pay to train in other cities and states.
Unlimited access in Minnesota can run anywhere from $200-plus a month all the way to $135 for twice a week. In the Chicago suburbs, $185 a month for unlimited access is not uncommon, but as you go farther south and west of the city, you’re more likely to pay closer to $150. If you head to the downtown area of Chicago, it’s not uncommon to see memberships in the $220- to $335-a-month range, depending on whether you are getting a standard or exclusive membership. In some Missouri boxes, including some that have Regional and seminar staff members as coaches, they only charge slightly more than $100 a month, and some will let you and your spouse train for $150.
While I am well aware that the overall cost of living is also not standard in all these areas, I have to guess that much of what is being taught in these locations is very similar. Is my “Fran” experience going to be better if I was paying more than $300 a month to do it? Would my snatch finally surpass 200 pounds if I was paying more than twice what I am paying now?
Although CrossFit costs more per month where I live than most other gyms or fitness programs, I look at it as an investment in my fitness and ultimately my future. Because I coach, I no longer pay the monthly amount, but I certainly did for five years without question and would happily do it again.
Do you think the fee people in your area pay for CrossFit is worth the cost?