When CrossFit started, it went against the grain. Lifting heavy weights in place of traditional cardio was once an unpopular idea, and CrossFit gym owners pursued it because they believed it was a better way to exercise. It was the underground, the counterculture, the secret that owners had to be steadfast and stubborn believers in. It wasn’t necessarily the best way to make a great deal of money, but to them, it was worth it because it was the right way.
The current trend among CrossFit gyms is the addition of programs and classes to please the masses. Gym owners add Spin classes, powerlifting classes, mud-run classes, kickboxing classes, CrossFit-lite classes, Pilates classes ... the list goes on. The list exists because gym owners have become obsessed with pleasing the most people as possible in order to compete in a saturated market. This allows business owners to draw in more clients, keep prices low and compete with the neighboring CrossFit gyms. This, in my opinion, is also setting CrossFit gyms up for failure and setting the stage for the imminent implosion of the new boutique CrossFit gym.
In spreading themselves so thin with a laundry list of variety classes, CrossFit gyms do not end up being proficient in ANY of these programs. The gyms lose focus. Instead of teaching what they believe in, they end up teaching what the consumer believes in.
This is not only a disservice to the member, who is paying to be taught correct and healthy ways to exercise, but it’s also a disservice to CrossFit in general. CrossFit gyms without focus lose the one thing that attracted us all to CrossFit in the first place — the belief in something greater than money: knowledge, character, integrity and a close-knit community. This doesn’t happen when the focus is dispersed to a myriad of result-driven miracle workouts. It does happen when the focus is on learning, process, movement theory and working together.
Do what you believe in and do it well. Hold fast to your gym’s philosophy and teach it proudly.