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Feeling Boxed In By CrossFit? Ready To Take Your Knowledge To Your Own Garage Gym Instead?

If the answer is “yes”, then you’re not alone! While CrossFit gyms exploded in the years 2011 through 2015, the once massively popular, cult-like, gritty exercise regimen has slowed down in popularity and appears to be in a consolidation phase, likely due to a confluence of events.

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Which Exercise Training Are You More Likely to Stick With All Year Long? Yoga or CrossFit?

It has become a cliché.  Every January 1st, millions of well-meaning men and women resolve to go to the gym and work out more. Then, along about February 1st, all bets are off and gyms are empty except for all but a die-hard few!

Recently, some exercise experts had predicted that the popular practice of yoga would change all that. The mostly low-impact, stretching focus of this exercise regimen is much easier on aging bodies than say weight-training. However, it might surprise you to learn that participants of CrossFit, not yoga, will stick with their resolution to work out.

Where the Rubber Meets the Concrete

According to new data from data intelligence firm Cardlytics and reported on CNBC, “46 percent of new gym customers drop off by the end of January, and nearly 80 percent of them give up entirely by the fourth quarter. However, it turns out that the type of gym can make a difference in how long it takes for new gym-goers to give up.”

The reports shows that among specialty workout choices, new yoga clients have the highest drop-off rate, with a full 70 percent leaving after the first month. CrossFit members, on the other hand, are about twice as likely to stick it out until February or the end of the year.

What Accounts for this Stick-to-it-ness?

According to the report, it’s all about the community.

"It's the culture and the sense of community," said Ian Albert, manager of CrossFit Concrete Jungle in New York City. "CrossFit gyms hold you accountable and will check in on you if you don't show up. It's not a huge membership, so we notice if somebody is not coming in."

"CrossFit members have more motivation to show up because of the community, the cheering and high-fiving, and camaraderie," he added. "It's more fun to workout with other people that know you."

Click here to watch the brief CNBC report

The Primary Objective of Big-Box Gyms: Selling Memberships

The commercial gyms which tend to be the most profitable are the so-called “Globo-Gyms” (a reference to the hysterical move “Dodgeball). However, the profitability of big-box gyms such as Gold’s and Planet Fitness has little to do with regular attendance. Selling memberships is the driving force in these businesses. Typically, the business plans for these Globo-Gyms is to offer special introductory memberships in January – cashing in on those New Year’s resolutions – and aggressively trying to sell memberships in the early part of the year.

Ironically, the best scenario for these big-box gyms is to have very few of their paying members show up on a daily basis. This is due to the fact that most of these large facilities don’t really have the room to accommodate all of the members who have shelled out the cash for their annual dues.

The “spinning category” of gyms such as SoulCycle and FlyWheel, have gained a small amount of growth partially because their customers typically pay for their workouts as they go.

A typical CrossFit facility invests in trained, motivated staff and the correct amount and types of equipment, while the facilities are often “Spartan.” This unique environment leads to more camaraderie among participants and trainers and thus more support for participants to meet their fitness goals over the long run.

Support from CrossFit friends and trainers is a powerful motivation for an individual to reach and exceed their fitness goals. When this is combined with the thought that every CrossFit participant has said, or at least thought: “Hey, we survived another workout…together” is a very compelling proposition!  

What are your fitness resolutions? Let us know (link to Contact Us) and we will share them with everyone else.