“The end of an Era”
Are we witnessing the end of CrossFit® as we know it? CF has entered into a new era which started by dismantling the CrossFit Games®, its structure, and staff. Next came CrossFit’s attempt to start rebranding itself. What is the ultimate corporate goal behind these moves? Is it good for the over 15,000 affiliates?
Let’s dive in…
I haven’t publicly voiced my opinions since CF came out with all these changes. I wanted to take the time to sit back and listen to Glassman, and those in the know about CrossFit®. I now feel ready to weigh in on what I believe may be too little, too late.
CrossFit took the fitness world by storm from 2001-2014. It went from 1 affiliate (Greg Glassman’s) to 10,000. Then from 2014 to 2017 it continued to grow adding 5000+ more affiliates. CrossFit had more than 15,000 affiliates worldwide. With the success of CrossFit came the creation of the CrossFit Games in 2007. The Games would quickly grow to become the face of CrossFit, and in my opinion, the beginning of the end.
CrossFit became known as a sport, not functional fitness, and all over the internet people saw videos and pictures of athletes that looked like Greek Gods and Goddesses. Their physical feats of strength were impressive AND intimidating to the average person. It didn’t show regular people doing functional movement and having incredible success doing it. CrossFit is very successful at getting “ordinary” people into the best shape of their life.
CrossFit was soon labeled as dangerous, intimidating, and too intense for the average person. So, what did CrossFit do about this to help it Affiliates and continue the growth of its brand? CrossFit stepped on the gas and went full steam ahead making The CrossFit Games the face of CrossFit. Instead of adjusting the compass and focusing on CrossFit’s bread and butter (its average member) it continued to highlight what people saw as unattainable, becoming a Rich Froning, Fittest Man On Earth. As a result, CrossFit’s growth slowed and was being leap frogged by other fitness brands astute enough to focus on the average individual.
This all brings us to 2018-2019 and Glassman has had enough. He has decided to try his best and reinvent his brand by making The CrossFit Games a side show and distancing CrossFit from people’s vision of the unattainable physically elite. I don’t believe this was enough, or even the right way to go.
He’s dismantled the structure of the Regional competition and The CF Games, but so far, he has done nothing to place the focus back on the Affiliates and its members. CrossFit still doesn’t provide its Affiliates any national advertising. CrossFit still allows Affiliates to open across the street from one another, with everyone pulling from the same pool. Besides some of the most ridiculous and actually embarrassing new social media videos, they have done nothing to make people feel less intimidated and apprehensive about coming to CrossFit. So, outside of distancing itself from the games, what has CF done for its Affiliates? In my opinion, not nearly enough. I’ve heard lots of talk about CF nutrition, but still no direction from headquarters.
I do believe that Glassman had to “burn the house down” so that he could refocus the mission of CrossFit back to his original intentions. Unless CrossFit immediately begins pushing out national advertising that appeals to the average individual and releases a comprehensive nutrition program to guide his Affiliates, I think it may be too little, too late. For these reasons, I’ve been developing a clear mission for my brand, SC FITNESS. SC FITNESS will continue utilizing the best elements of CrossFit, while incorporating many new elements into our fitness culture. One, which I am excited about is the MyZone® heart rate monitors that help members stay motivated and work to their potential while participating in the SC Pulse and SC FIT classes, set to roll out this April. We also offer a comprehensive and supportive nutrition program. It’s not a one size fits all as we realize individuals have individual nutrition needs. Our programs offer on going, one on one attention, so that our members can realize success. I believe Gregg Glassman is very intelligent and if you listen to him his vision in changing the health of America is truly inspiring, but as I’ve said before CrossFit is experiencing a lack of true direction for its Affiliates at the moment. SC FITNESS won’t be an Affiliate floundering…it will be an Affiliate flourishing.