Why are CrossFit gyms more expensive?

At first glance CrossFit gyms are a lot more expensive than your typical gym, places like Planet Fitness, 24hour Fitness or Axiom. There a couple different reasons for this and it’s helpful to understand why.

Different Business Models

Typical gyms sell cheaper memberships and they sell a lot of them. Their business model is based on the fact that most people rarely use their gym membership so they can sell thousands of memberships at $30/month but only see a small percentage of those members using the facility. Because the monthly fee is so low people keep paying it even though they are not using the facility. Many gyms also charge a starup of initiation fee of $20-$100. It's just a one time fee but still adds to the overall cost of your membership.


We want to believe the best about ourselves and we think, “I’ll go to the gym tomorrow.” Statistically tomorrow rarely ever comes. This means that typical gyms make money on you not getting healthy. They capitalize on human nature and take your money every month knowing that you more than likely won’t ever set foot in the gym. Coupled with the fact that they may not need to pay trainers and have little to no wear and tear on their machines the overhead is pretty low.

CrossFit gyms on the other hand care about your health and fitness. We succeed as a business when our members succeed. But with people actually going to a CrossFit gym we can quickly run out of space. We don’t want to and can’t sell thousands of memberships because it’s impossible to run classes with thousands of people in them. In order to pay the trainers, improve the gym, and replace used equipment the membership fee has to be more.

CrossFit Gyms Offer More by Default

What if your one of those few people that actually use your membership to a typical gym? Do you know what exercises to do? If not you’ll need to pay a personal trainer up to $100/hour. How many times a month do you want to see that trainer? One? What about the other 29 days that month? Maybe you see them once a week. Then you’re getting close to the cost of a CrossFit gym, maybe more depending on the cost of the trainer.

Don’t forget the up-sell. Most regular gyms carry a line of supplements that the personal trainer will recommend. Why? Because they make commission on sales. I’ve heard of some people even purchasing heart rate monitors through their personal trainer. All of these add-ons can get spendy quickly and your once inexpensive gym membership is now costing you $300/month to get some actual training in hopes of getting results.

CrossFit gyms offer small group training where you get a trainer watching you and improving your movement every time you come into the gym. You can maximize this experience by finding a gym with smaller class sizes.

Monthly Cost Comparison
Typical Gym CrossFit Gym
Membership Fee $30.00 $125.00
Trainer $160.00
4 sessions @ $40.00
Supplements $50 ---
TOTAL $240.00 $125.00

CrossFit Has Some of the Best Trainers

Did you know that most personal trainers did not have demonstrate an ability to move properly to get their trainer certificate? For most trainers they just take a written test after studying some material. CrossFit Trainers spend hours between lectures and movement sessions learning how to move well, see faults in movement, and how to fix those faults. Then after all that hands on instruction and demonstrating they can perform the movement well they are required to take a test.

As you can see comparing a typical gym to a CrossFit gym is not really a fare comparison. It’s like comparing apples to oranges. Once you add on the extras to a typical gym membership to get something that kind of resembles the offerings of a CrossFit gym you are probably paying more, only seeing a trainer once a week, and maybe receiving poorer training quality.

Above all that. CrossFit is a community. Our members are not dollar signs, they're our friends, they are our family. No where else will you find a gym that cares about you more than at a CrossFit Affiliate. To see for yourself stop in and check out one of our classes.

Now go move better.