CrossFit is a form of high intensity interval training that builds strength through various and often challenging workouts. There is a big focus on body weight training; using the body as a form of weight, but there are also exercises that use a variety of different equipment too. If you are someone who enjoys CrossFit perhaps you have reached the stage where you are considering taking your passion for your hobby to the next level and are considering training to be a CrossFit coach with the view to opening up your own CrossFit gym (or box as the CrossFit world like to call it). If that is the case, you’ll have plenty to think about, so we’ve made the job easier by thinking about some of the things you need to consider when planning your new CrossFit gym.
Is It Safe?
As with any form of exercise there are of course risks, but risks can be minimized by making sure your gym and the equipment within it have been checked thoroughly and meet all current health and safety regulations. All of the equipment and machines that you buy should come with their own forms of guarantee, but you might want to check it all out for yourself before letting any potential clients use it.
Items like pull up bars that are attached to either a wall or ceiling need to be properly secured and tested using a chatillon force gauge to show you how much force can be applied before it reaches breaking point. And if you have any raised levels that may require the use of a portable bridge system you would be advised to click here.
Most of the equipment you use will be weight based, so things like barbells, kettlebells, free weights etc. and the risk with these is purely down to the way they are used. Professional CrossFit coaching training is essential for both you and any staff that you hire. CrossFit workouts (or WOD if you’re going to use the proper pro term – that’s workout of the day by the way!) involve endurance, lots of repetitions and at quite a fast pace. Because of this it is really important that people have good form when it comes to doing the exercises properly, otherwise the risk of injury increases significantly. As owner and trainer of your new CrossFit gym it falls to you to make sure this doesn’t happen to your members.
Make Sure All Of Your Paperwork Is In Order
When you set up a gym there will inevitably be lots of paperwork to fill out, but it is absolutely imperative you get it right so that your business can be the success you want it to be and to ensure there are no repercussions along the line. You will need a lot of different insurance to cover not just your business, but also your property, any staff you employ and of course the people you take on as clients. It’s best to look for specialist sports insurers who will likely offer packages to cover every aspect of the type of insurance plans you need. As a basic guide you will require:
- Public liability insurance – to cover against if someone is injured or if any of their belongings are damaged on your property.
- Commercial property insurance – to cover your premises against fire, flood, theft or other damage.
- Building and contents insurance – covers accidental damage, loss or theft of gym equipment.
- Employers liability insurance – to insure against personal injury of your staff.
You will also need to follow the basic standards as set out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) so make sure you are clued up on what they entail. In addition, the FIA (Fitness Industry Association) request that all gyms comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. All fitness instructors need to be trained to the standards set by the Register of Exercise Professionals and you will also be expected to have a certain number of trained first aiders on the premises at all times.
Some of the paperwork you fill in may also require you to use the services of a notary to act as a signature witness to ensure that what you are signing is legally binding. You should learn more about this as this is a paid for service and so you will need to account for it in your budget planning.
Know Your Market
Before you get to the stage of opening a new gym you must do a lot of planning, and part of that planning process involves finding out whether there is a market for your business. Because what is the point of opening a gym if no one is going to go to it?
Location is a key factor and you should be asking yourself:
- Does it have high footfall?
- Is it easily accessible?
- What is the competition like?
- Is there a need for this type of business?
Fortunately, CrossFit is a fully inclusive workout and is therefore accessible to all levels, shapes, sizes and ages. It is a notoriously supportive community, but also one that may not immediately appeal to beginners, so you must bear this in mind when you start to plan your marketing strategy.
Research other gyms in the area to find out what they are offering and whether you can fill a gap in the market. Don’t be afraid to ask family and friends to help you with this, and encourage them to ask lots of questions.
Opening a new gym is a daunting, yet exciting project, but if you are passionate about CrossFit and your dream is to extend that passion to others, hopefully the tips above will help to make that dream a reality.
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