Getting What You Pay For

By Kristin Steinmetz

After my husband and I had our first CrossFit trial class, there was no doubt that we wanted to sign up.  The biggest factor that kept us in debates for a few days was the price. Now I like to think of myself as a person who likes to get what they pay for.  Some call it frugal, some call it cheap. I just think we work hard for our money and I don’t like to waste it. 

In this day and age of huge, seemingly full-service globo-gyms that offer memberships for pennies a day, the price of the monthly CrossFit membership can be hard to accept at first glance.  But is it apples to apples?

I’ve had a number of gym memberships in the past. They’ve cost me anywhere from $25/month to over $100 for the full service luxury gym. The fact is that the economical “globo-gyms” are built on just that: economics. They are able to charge more because they are offering less.  Their model is to sign up as many people as they possibly can…then hope they don’t actually show up.  There is no community and no accountability.  And more often than not, you are making up your own random programming.  How’s that working out for you?  Are you doing more than just texting on the treadmill?  Are you even going on a regular basis, or do you figure, “hey, it’s only $20/month, so it’s fine that I get there only a few times a month.”? Are you seeing mental and physical results as a result of your membership?

And yes, that fancy gym offers a juice bar, sauna, rock climbing, hot yoga…but are you using ANY of that? 

Maybe you have a personal trainer?  That’s a great option!  It’s personal, goal-oriented, and flexible.  But that can also cost in a week what our memberships would cost for a month!!!

Let’s put other gym options aside completely now.  I started to look at what else I would spend +- $150 in any given month: 

  • One pair of designer shoes or boots
  • One dinner date with the hubby (with or without cocktails depending how “fancy” the restaurant)
  • Two holiday dresses for my daughters
  • A facial
  • A watch
  • Some new makeup
  • 2 pairs of jeans (probably in a size I wasn’t too happy with)

Maybe for you, it’s toys for your kids, some video games, or your favorite wines.  But I realized that my health and sanity, that feeling of accomplishment and that little something for ME, was worth just as much, if not more, than many of the things on this list.

If you decide to join your local CrossFit box, you will be spending on average $150-200/month depending on your geographical location among other factors. If you go the average 4 days a week, it works out to about $10 per class! 

But what will you be getting for that money?  You will have access to educated, certified trainers who have your individual safety and goals in mind every time you are in class.  You will have small group personal training with daily workouts that have been specifically programmed for the members with short-term and long-term strength and conditioning goals in mind. You will have fun, varied workouts on a wide-range of equipment.

You will gain friends, community and a new social circle.  You will find a new sense of yourself – someone stronger, fitter, happier, and more accomplished. And, I think most important in my decision-making process, I found a place I WANTED to go.  The gym was always a chore for me…CrossFit is a lifestyle. So I think it has been money well spent so far.