Gym Owners: How Fit Is Your Pricing Structure?

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As someone not only involved in the CrossFit community as an athlete and a coach, I am exposed to countless boxes who wholesale products from my brand ORIGINAL Nutritionals. It’s a joy to see the full spectrum of CrossFit in practice. The different look and feel of various gyms is inspiring to me. I take a bit from each new experience with different coaches, too.

CrossFit Pricing Structure

One concept I never understood was how many gyms land on $150 for membership dues. Now believe me, I am a free market guy. I’m a voter who is registered Libertarian. In my opinion, gyms should charge whatever they wish, but I think this number $150 could use some examination.

The commonality of $150 per month for unlimited training is so common that I’d be hard pressed to think there wasn’t some copycat price structuring going on out there. Maybe it’s assumed that CrossFit is a commodity (God forbid!) and that $150 is the going rate.

I disagree.

Now, before you go cutting me down for being the guy from L.A., home of astronomical real estate and the rich and famous, let me explain. Let’s say I am every coach’s favorite student and I show up religiously six days a week (three on, one off). I never complain, and I’m committed for the long haul.

With that training structure in place, I would have trained 24 times in December for my 150 bucks. That's $6.25 per class. Now, since I’m the student in this thought experiment, I ought to stop writing now because I like this deal. It’s a steal!

Let’s flip the script. Thinking of this from a coach’s perspective, I can look anyone in the face and say 100 times out of 100 that what I provide in an hour is worth more than $6.25. “But, it’s a group class,” you may say. I agree, and that’s partly my point. A good coach’s services may only be worth $6.25 per class if students are in a class of 25 students. My rebuttal to that is simple. Doesn’t your website say you’re “Forging Elite Fitness”? Not much elite fitness is being forged in classes with 30-to-1 student-to-coach ratios.

What if you trained fewer students more effectively, for more money? That sounds like a win-win to me. Comparing $150+ per month to the cost of a membership at your local globo gym will always be a battle, unless you make it clear that your product is different.

The answer? I’m not saying your pricing structure needs to look like mine, but at least create a model that’s thought through. Owners and coaches owe it to their students to provide a quality product. Sometimes that quality comes at a cost.

Logan Gelbrich