Too Much of a Good Thing

Anything in excess can become a problem. Doesn’t matter whether it’s running, lifting or even desserts, too much can lead to problems.
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Anything in excess can become a problem. Doesn’t matter whether it’s running, lifting or even desserts, too much can lead to problems. Does this apply to affiliate growth in an area? On one hand, CrossFit’s growth is reaching more and more people around the world. Theoretically, more boxes will equal more members and more health-conscious people everywhere.

But what about in your market? Do too many affiliates in too small of an area cause problems with fighting over members and carving out their part of town? Or is it a case of the more the merrier?

Taking a glance around the community, I’ve witnessed both sides of this issue. There are some areas, Denver for example, where people believe there are too many affiliates popping up in too small of a space and it can lead to a problem. The argument is that so many openings can reduce the quality of instruction and that programming safety might be impacted when growth happens too fast. A lack of quality programming can occur sometimes when box after box start appearing block to block like a Starbucks.

On the flip side is the argument that CrossFit HQ promotes growth and a free-market economy. Essentially, it’s the “more is better” notion, and that we as a community should encourage as many others to be involved in CrossFit, which ultimately could lead to a more productive society around us — more people ready to accomplish more things in any given circumstance.

I live in a Midwest town with a population of roughly 115,000 people (not counting the surrounding town). It’s not exactly the suburbs, but it’s similar. When I first began training in 2010, there was one affiliate, and another was located inside a globo gym down the road. In the past four years, we have added four more affiliates and one in a nearby town. How has this affected our box? Our membership has gone from 30 to 40 members to about 150. In this case, more affiliates have not hurt our membership numbers nor has it deterred the numbers from the other boxes in our area. There are a few cases of some members switching from one box to another, but all in all the affiliates stay out of each other’s way and get along hosting competitions together and attending each other’s events and even hosting Open workouts for the others to attend.

I can see how some areas might be affected negatively with fights over members and thinning out of competitive talent, but where I live, this has not been the case. So far.

What do you think about the number of affiliates growing in your area? Is this a problem or is not?

Let us know in the comments on our Facebook page.

Stay on the Grind.

Jamie Toland (JTol)
Twitter @JTolgrinder