A Frank Discussion about Gym Pricing

Let’s talk about why CrossFit is so expensive. More often than not, new people and potential new clients are taken aback by the prices we charge. In a world where it is totally acceptable to spend $10 at the coffee shop every day, the thought of spending $9 a day on a CrossFit membership is offensive. Why do we feel this way? When did health and fitness fall so far down the priority list? First, let’s look at why the Globo gym model is so cheap, or why it appears to be cheap.

The average cost of a gym membership in the U.S. is roughly $58 dollars, some even offer memberships for $10 a month. How are these large Globo gyms able to charge so little and stay in business? Most of these gyms have close to 6,000 members! Have you ever seen all 6,000 members trying to use the facility in one day? No way, that scenario is not physically possible since the average facility can only accommodate 300 people at one time. (Well I guess it could be possible if the facility was at capacity for almost 24 hours, possible but not likely plausible) If all of the members who signed up actually went, the Globo gym would have to charge much, much more. According to the NPR Planet Money Podcast, about HALF of new members NEVER actually step foot in the gym a single time. The Globo gym model only works because they are banking on people never showing up but continuing to pay their membership fee every month.

Some people argue that the Globo gyms are built, decorated, and ran in a way that attracts a client base that will not be dedicated enough to use their memberships. Gyms are designed to look and feel more like a bar, pizza night and bagel breakfasts occur once a month in some chains. According to NPR, lower cost gyms lose about half of its members every year, enticing new members with free food has proven to be effective. Beware of the gym that uses food to sell memberships, not RESULTS. So what is the actual cost of these memberships? According to a study by University of California-Berkeley economics professors, members who choose to pay a flat monthly fee of over $70 attend an average of 4.3 times per month. This means those members pay close to $17 per class.

In stark contrast, CrossFit gyms actually WANT you to show up. Our capacity is much lower; we are prepping for the scenario where all of our member attend in a day. We don’t’ offer pizza night or bagel breakfasts, we have no mirrors or mood lighting, but we do offer quality. Our classes are capped; this allows our coaches to spend more time with each member. We are also small enough to get to know you, and we are also very aware of when you do not show up (many times prompting a call or message). We watch your movement, keep you safe, and provide programming, all for an average of $10 per class. In the Globo gyms, there are three to four trainers present, none of which are obligated to watch you perform any movement, unless you are willing to pay the $50-70 an hour private training fee that is. So yes, CrossFit gyms charge more, we expect you to show up, and we are invested in seeing you achieve results. Is that worth the higher monthly membership? Your answer to this question says a lot about how important your fitness goals really are to you.

KJ CrossFit is located in Longmont, Colorado. They offer CrossFit classes for all skill levels. Convenient location for all of Longmont, Dacono, Firestone, and Frederick.

DellaVigna, Stefano and Malmendier, Ulrike. “Overestimating Self-Control: Evidence from the Health Club Industry.” Stanford University, Graduate School
Smith, S. “Why We Sign Up for Gym Memberships but Never Go to the Gym.” Planet Money Podcast, NPR