Good Question



A good question was posed in the comment section last night.  I had a series of posts that started on Monday about the brain making non-cognitive decisions and how that related to bodily movement and sport but, I’m going to answer the question posed by James.  “Is the goal of CFW to entertain people for an hour a day and send them home or train average people off the street to be elite athletes with a strong understanding of programming and advanced functional movements?”  Yes.  The answer to both questions is yes.  It has been my goal since starting CrossFit while deployed to day one of CrossFit Woodbridge in my parents garage to train people to the best of my ability and give them a better experience than any other coach or gym.  My gym, the people that work for me are under the same tenants.  This is a training facility for people want to learn, get better and to have fun.  Everything we do revolves around making this gym and community better in some capacity.  Whether that means us telling things you don’t want to hear or playing music that you may not like to constantly changing the way we do things to get better for our community.  So, yes, this is a fun, entertaining online forum as well as a learning experience.  I’ve always wanted to keep it light, keep it fun and make sure people aren’t getting bored with what they left other gyms for.  Making people into elite athletes isn’t the goal here at CFW.  It’s a very nice thing to have people that have elevated their fitness to a level in which we call “elite” but, it’s not the goal.  Our goal is, and always will be, is to take people who have zero, absolutely zero knowledge of CrossFit or fitness for that matter, work hard with them and move them toward a better life.   Luckily we are able to do this.   Luckily, we are also able read all the e-mail messages, facebook posts, comments and letters from those same people telling me and all my coaches how we have changed their lives.  That’s the goal.  To have the indirect ability to help husbands and wives to talk at their dinner table again, to save marriages, to bring people together, to celebrate a below parallel air squat, pull-up, double under, push-up, the loss of 5 pounds, the loss of 100 pounds, to see someone cry from the joy of finishing a WOD with their friends, to get Christmas cards, wedding invites, graduation invites, being named “the single most inspirational person in my life”, these are incredible, unexpected byproducts of what myself and CFW has tried to bring, and that is excellence.  What we have built can’t be defined here but it’s seen in everything I mentioned above and in day to day classes.  That’s our goal.


Run to track
100 DUs
80 Squats
40 Pull Ups
20 Burpees
Run to track

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33 Responses to Good Question

  1. Elysia says:

    Great post, Dan.

  2. Jason W. says:

    Are we allowed to run to the track???

  3. Candace says:

    Thanks for this post Dan!! You are in the business of changing lives in amazing and positive ways!!

  4. Justin Bullman says:

    Good write up Dan, the goals of the gym are solid and proven with every class and community event you guys hold. The CFW games were a great success and hopefully there will be more like it in the future.

  5. Jared says:

    Great post man…
    Went out of town this weekend and visited another gym. The people were great and very receptive to me and were complementing me on how well I paced myself and my technique. I was like, “Who? Me?”…lol…I don’t consider myself to be an elite athlete, but I was a contender at this spot. Not to talk about them, but the class didn’t start on time (and I had a wedding to get to), there was no accountability for botched movements, and there just wasn’t any structure…in short, thanks CFW. Now I only had a sample of their environment and maybe they were just off that day…but, first impressions are lasting.
    I know I have come a long way from the “train wreck” I was when I started (255 lbs to 185 lbs). I still remember myself about to pass out after my intro…lol…My initial intent was to do 3 months, lose some weight, and then quit…but, what kept me coming was the atmosphere at the gym. I have garnered some lasting relationships, friendships, and inspired people in the process. From co-workers, to family members, to friends…some have joined a Crossfit gym…others couldn’t cut it…lol
    Being among the elite at CFW just might not be in the cards for me, I accept that, and I am glad that CFW accepts me for me. I’m gonna keep pushing to catch you superheroes, but in the meantime, I’m gonna rock a CFW t-shirt every chance I get and be an inspiration to those who want/need to take control of their lives and get in shape…that’s my calling…for now.
    Proud of my gym, proud of what you guys are doing…real spit…keep it up…

  6. James C says:

    As I Sit here enjoying my delicious chocolate casein protein shake I can’t help but feel special that you choose to address my comment instead of The Bulls, sometimes what someone chooses not to do speaks more volumes them what they actually do.
    I am glad that you have saved peoples marriages, help people lose hundreds of pounds, and all that other liberal touchy feely stuff. I’m sure Doctor Phil read your blog post and is jealous and Opera’s staff will be beating down the door of the gym to get an exclusive interview. But if you can lay in bed at night and honestly say you have done your best to service the needs and goals of the majority of your customers over the last year and a half I think you have some issues that need to be addressed.
    Anyone that was been a part of CFW for more than 2 years can attest to the changes that rapidly occurred with the expansion. What started as a quaint little gym with reasonable sized classes violently grew overnight. Gone were the days of small manageable classes and one-on-one attention. Now classes were constantly over 15 people and you were lucky to get a pleasant greeting from the one and only staff member charged with leading the class, much less any assistance in advancing your skills and abilities. “Senior” clients have been neglected by the staff because they are too busy trying to teach the new members how to perform the most basic of skills because under the systems you have created clients get no intensive training before joining the general populations. You literally throw these people head first into complex full body functional movements, most of these people couldn’t tell a burpee from a squat clean if their lives depend on it. Explain to me how on earth you thought this was a good idea? Since the first expansion there have been not one, but two increases in membership dues. But one thing has remained constant at CFW…You still only have one instructor during your busiest classes that consistently are over 15+ members, day in and day out.
    Your blog makes it crystal clear that you are 100% happy with where your business is at and how it deploys the model you have created to service clients. Your belief in programing for the lowest common denominator only holds back the progress of the whole community. Your business model has embraced mediocrity and you have failed to take the steps to make your business superior. You are the only gym I know of that randomly programs week to week without any clear goals or cycles. This is at least better than a year ago when you programed day to day.
    At the end of the day I refuse to drink your coolaid because I have been very fortunate in my life to train at some of the best gyms in the country. Where new clients get the attention they need, day one, to learn how to perform these dangerous functional movements. Where every client is given the attention they desire and not offered some expensive Olympic Lifting Seminar down the road to try to undo the bad techniques they created by teaching themselves how to lift. You charge people a small fortune for mediocrity. You may think that this is just my opinion but it’s not. I’m just the first person that has had the balls to say this. There are many more like me who feel that they are being taken advantage by you, that you are taking our money and all we get back is a warm up and open gym to train ourselves.
    Your saving grace has been your staff. They have made the best out of the business you created. They work tirelessly to supervise and teach the new members of the gym and try to take care of the older clients. You should listen strongly to the things they have to say because at the end of the day they have a better understanding of the clients of this gym.
    My first day at CFW you pulled me into the office and told me all about how much better CFw was then where I came from. How you did all these seminars. You used the word community a dozen times. How much better your programming was. I can say after two years that you have not fulfilled any of those promises you made to me that day.

  7. Pete W. says:

    Hmm, interesting posts! Don’t know if this is a love or hate relationship for some of us here! I guess sometime we will stay true and honest to the things that we love the most and want to make it even better!

    My story at CFW started last October, and honestly I can say this has been the most effective form of exercise in the time frame that was allowed, training for only 2 days a week. I hired personal trainers in the past, shed out some major dough. I see the results but not as fast as what I have experienced here at CFW. The $17.50 per class that I currently pay is definitely cheaper than the $45 that I use to pay per hour. When I started out here at CFW class sizes was a bit smaller, I remembered coming to a 7:30pm class on a Friday night with only 3 members. But class still went on as usual. Recently class size grew quite a bit, but the time slots that I go to is still manageable. This part has been a mixed bag of feelings for me; on the one hand I welcome more people to a point. Seeing everyone work so hard besides me, just push me even harder! I was there a few weeks ago, when a girl had more weights on her front squat than the majority of guys there. That night definitely pushed me to try harder, while at the same token I left like a total wuss! Now, the other side of the story! Sometimes I hate having to hunt down a spot on the floor just to put down my bar on those packed classes. After the new year, I realized there was a price hike, no one like to pay more, but I realize this is unavoidable unless you lock down a long term contract as with any gyms, plus everything else keeps on going up in price these days! I still remember my VTech days, when I fueled up my car for $0.95 a gallon at Blacksburg. But to the dismay of other gyms, here at CFW I can physically see where my mula went. New coaches were hired; a new track was built along with pull up equipment and wall ball stations, more interesting events was being offered on the weekend. Not to defend Dan, I think he can more than handle it himself. I full heartily believe he wants to do a good job and help the most people he can. Personally I think class sizes grew because of all the positive reviews, attention and feedbacks the gym received and crossfit as a whole (I got into crossfit after seeing it on ESPN). No one wants to go somewhere that sucks and without results! With all the social media these days, words travel fast. One point that I’m grateful for what Dan did for me, was that he agreed to hold off my membership for a month due to my work training in NY. I don’t think a lot of the big box gyms out there would do that for me after I have signed on the dotted line. To an extent I think more emphasis should be put into teaching new members fundamental Olympic lifting skills. Even after all of these months, I’m still having issues with some of these lifts myself. I can’t really put all the blame on the coaches, since a lot of times when I struggle with a lift (especially the proper form), I promise myself during class that I would go home and hone on these skills by myself. But when I get back home, its one excuse after another, I know if I really try I could find the time to fit all of these in. At least string more than three double unders in a row on a good day. I think a coach could only teach you so much; you have to put the time and sweat if you want to go places.
    One thing that also puzzles me is the seemingly randomly programs from week to week. I was taught by all of my friends, including the Internet (I know you can’t believe everything that’s online and that the Internet is for P0rN, j/k) to keep track of everything and that you should stick to a basic set of lifts to gauge your strength. You should do the same routine day in and day out! I know that we have been taught to keep track of our weights for the major lifts in class, but sometimes I really don’t see a pattern with the lifts? So far I can only see is that on most Mondays, its strength and on Tuesdays is more cardio. As for the rest of the week, I don’t quite know! It’s kind of funny although I don’t see a clear pattern, but I do see an increase in my strength and body composition. I can now do 10 strict pull ups, which I started out with only 1. I still remember the days I had to bring out the bands for warm ups! (I know this may not sound like a major accomplishment for a lot of people, but it’s a step for me)

    After joining crossfit, I got really interested on the topic of nutrition, and how it affects your body. Most previous articles which I have read is for people to to eat small 5-6 meals, max 3-4 hours apart per day to stay fit. But recently a lot of emphasis is on the topic of Intermittent fasting and another author on the Chaos Diet. How a large number of people are able to stay fit and lean by eating only 1 meal between a certain feeding time frame. Haven’t tried this myself, but I guess anything is possible, maybe there is some logic to this random training schedule too. So far I have my strength and my 2 inches less pant as proof of this randomness. But part of me still wants some predictability. I’m thinking of doing some other set strength programs along with crossfit to satisfy my boring routine needs! For one thing I would like to go to class more, but work has been hectic! Hopefully I can go back to a set schedule of sorts soon. These 18 hour work days are killing me, well hopefully not literally. Hope to see you all at the BOX!

  8. Cori says:

    I think there is a way to share your opinion, comments, and suggestions in a more respectful way.

    And, as a side note, I want to say “Thank You!” to Dan for building this community! The success your business has achieved speaks for itself!

  9. Justin Bullman says:

    Nothing that James has stated is incorrect here, however, I plan to write a suggestion letter for the CFW suggestion box with my experiences over the past 2.5 years (good & bad) and my thoughts for areas that need improvement. I hope they are taken seriously, as I desire to see CFW rise to the occasion and a serious threat in the mid-atlantic.

    On a lighter note, enjoy the gif below:

  10. Mike says:

    As someone who has been a member of CFW for just under a year now (and has upgraded their membership from bronze to silver to gold, so I can attest to the costs involved), I can honestly say that while the experince has not always been perfect (class sizes and attention can of course be a problem occasionally), it has by far been a more positive expeince than negative. I came from a place where my fitness level was laughable and was unable to complete a single pull up of any kind without significant assistance – or many other routine exercise movements we work on day-to-day.

    For the most part, the level of help and instruction I have received from the coaches has been excellent. And when the class may be particularly full, take last night for example, I was lucky enough to be paired up with a much more experienced member who was able to offer me a few pointers on my form and progression that was extremely helpful. While I relaize this isn’t his responsibility, this is the community aspect that makes CFW stand apart from every other gym I have stepped foot into.

    My only real suggestion (and I guess I should add it to that suggestion box) would be to see if we can get a view of say 2 weeks worth of programming in advance. Personally this would help me plan my off days a bit better to attack my numerous weaknesses :-).

    As with any endeavor, or business nothing is ever perfect and tweaking will always be needed to improve the product and environment. But overall, from my point of view, both the product offered at CFW, the people offering it, and the associated community has been outstanding.

  11. Tony C says:

    As I sit here enjoying my afternoon non-paleo coffee (lots of creamer here; keep your butter you weirdos), I feel it’s necessary to provide a second perspective in reference to the “senior” clients described by James. I’m not sure of the criteria for that quasi-label (don’t care for it either), but I too have been a member of CFW for over two years and have experienced the changes and growth. The gym and classes have obviously grown and there are new faces walking around on a daily basis. Being the social butterfly that I am (a bad joke), I do my best to make eye contact or smile and then fade into my own little world in preparation for the workout. Yes it gets crowded at times, but my point-of-view on this matter is much different than the views expressed by others. I don’t see an expanded class as an indication of neglect in relation to my interaction with the coaches. Will I have a coach watching each of my reps for the duration of the workout? Likely not, with the exception of Lloyd; he sees all. Do I feel I need someone there to coach/coddle/motivate my ass to flawlessly execute each movement? No thanks. I attribute any shortcomings and/or imperfections on my part to execute a correct lift, movement, or workout (God knows I have plenty of these) to my own decisions. Did I eat right today (usually don’t)? Was it a good decision to get 5 hours of sleep last night (asked myself that this morning)? Did I wait long enough in the Clean to make it to the pockets instead of popping the bar off my quads (I’ve been reminded of this by a certain CFW coach at least 100 times)? Am I sore today because I neglected to stretch after the workout (Dr Pauley to the rescue)? I could continue with these for hours, but I’ll spare you my dirty laundry. Bottom line, my lack of skills or ability to execute isn’t on a coach, fellow-fitness nut, or one of the self-described CrossFit Gods walking among us at CFW (as some members have depicted in their posts). It’s on me. I’m accountable for my actions. I don’t feel cheated, taken advantage of, or bitter about my experiences at CFW because I’m not “front and center” at all times to the coaches. That does not apply to me. If I have a question about a lift or movement, I find a coach and ask. They’ve always answered, even when my question was addressed 45 seconds earlier during the pre-warmup!!

    What does apply to me is feeling motivated. I’ve grown stronger, faster, and more aware of my own capabilities in the past two years than throughout my military years and high school/college athletics. I love to workout, sweat profusely, feel exhausted, recover, and come back stronger on a daily basis. My motivation comes from within and from those around me working harder than I am (quit showing me up Shafer). Also, my motivation isn’t to achieve “elite” status or to dethrone Sir Froning as the Michael Jordan of CF. Sure I’d like to at least beat the fire breathers at a challenge or two during the local events (maybe by the time we hit Masters status??), but I see being motivated as something larger than aspirations of winning a competition or event. I have heart disease and high blood pressure in my family. I also inherited what’s described as a “shitty lower back” in non-medical terms (degenerative disc disease x 2, spinal stenosis, etc.). This gym has helped me address these issues tenfold. I want to run circles around my son by the time he’s 18, which may be difficult as he’s already a CrossFit junkie at age 6 courtesy of Coach Eve! My wife, now a member, pushes me to be better daily and will soon pass me up as far as abilities go. These are just a handful of reasons why I’m motivated, and grateful for my decision to join CFW. It’s not perfect, but it’s sure as hell been a rewarding experience. My first meeting with Dan B. involved my hesitancy to commit to CF based on the prices. Dan’s response, he was confident in his product and that I would benefit tremendously from what the gym has to offer. He was right, was and is a great investment. No regrets here, see you all at 5:30. – TC

    • Amanda B says:

      Great post Tony!

    • Jeremy says:

      Every gym has its plusses and minuses. I appreciate what James has said, along with Tony’s post, and the posts of the many folks that have improved their fitness here. It is challenging to run a business and address the needs of everyone, so I am sympathetic and look forward to see what changes might be coming.

      My notes are in the suggestion box. One thing I would request, would it be possible to get a rundown once a month of some of the suggestions that the gym might be considering implementing? Not for a vote per se, but I would love to know if, for instance, we are going to plus up coaches for certain high volume classes, or to hear about future expansion plans, that sort of thing. It has been kind of quiet on that front, and I know a lot of us are curious given the rate increases and the crowded state that we all sometimes experience.

      All in all, I am thankful for the gym. It gave me a place to meet folks when I was brand new to the area, it improved my fitness overall, and is flat out fun. Even on days when I gotta chase Tony on some ridiculous metcon. So thanks to Dan, Lloyd, Eve, Nick, and our new coaches for the hard work, and I look forward to hearing what comes next.

    • Dr Pauley says:

      Hey Tony there’s no excuse now! That low back is doing great!!!

    • Sarah R. says:

      Did I read that right??? People put butter in their coffee??? Gross…. 🙂

      • Jeremy says:

        Its tasty! Add a little cacao powder and you will never go back to boring old cream and sugar 🙂

        • Justin Bullman says:

          Add some coconut oil too.

          You’ll go crazy.

          Use grassfed butter though, and not some funky soy bean oils 🙂

          • Sarah R. says:

            Jeremy & Justin,

            You both are crazy.


            P.S. Who says I put cream and sugar in my coffee anyway??? LIES!!!! Straight up whole milk lattes only, but only on Saturday afternoons…

          • Jeremy says:


            You just need to try it once!! It is super tasty and nicely filling. Best pre-wod drink ever.

            P.S. We did lots of muscle ups today. You were missing. You owe me tomorrow 🙂

  12. Dr Pauley says:

    As a small business owner who himself has begun with a small clientele and hopes to one day double (triple?) it, I can definitely relate with folks who started with me early on not loving the direction I may plan on going. However, you try to find a way to best serve every client to the very best degree possible while simultaneously growing as a business. As far as CFW is concerned, I think it’s a great box that has the potential to grow and become even greater. I think it’s pretty amazing how I have seen it grow in clientele since I only started in July 2012. I know that I have seen increases in my own fitness more so here than at the previous box I trained at. However, every box has it’s strengths and weaknesses, and as long as we can constructively critique I think that things will always improve for the best. I think everyone can make suggestions, and as a business owner Dan can sort through these and decide which will help the ultimate destiny he foresees for his business. – Dr P

  13. Kelly says:

    How about a tact and diplomacy WOD? Save it for the suggestion box, or have a one-on-one…

    You have successfully insulted not only the box owner but many of the newcomers to the gym. I am one of the people taking up the precious space and time that coaches used to devote to the more “senior” members. I came to CF feeling unhealthy and miserable, and my health and lifestyle and outlook on life has made a complete turnaround, crowded classes and all.

    Before you talk so much about what CFW has lost and how it isn’t a great gym anymore, consider that you are taking away from what so many people have found there–a better lifestyle, better health, new friends, and supportive, encouraging coaches that keep us coming back because they care. It might actually be why CFW is growing at such a phenomenal rate. If it were only about the elites, Dan would still be in his mom’s garage.

    Thanks Dan, for all you’ve done to build CFW. I’ll drop any suggestions in the box…

    • Cori says:

      Kelly, so wonderfully stated! Cheers to you!

    • Justin Bullman says:


      I don’t think that Dan has been insulted by the comments. He is a strong business owner and likely respects all aspects of involvement with his clients. The healthy development of any business is a good relationship where ideas and feelings (good/bad) can be exchanged without the fear of retribution. If people are insulted by comments posted on a website that were geared toward improving the gym for everyone, that can’t be helped unfortunately. I don’t believe James was downplaying any of the gains made in the gym for anyone; nor did he say that ‘elite’ athletes deserve more attention than new-comers. Everyone deserves equal attention; that should be the expectation, but it is difficult in the current climate. These discussions will hopefully prompt ideas and solutions to the problem for everyone.


      • Kelly says:

        I appreciate your comment, Justin. You are obviously giving this a lot of consideration and both supporting Dan and understanding John’s POV. I am personally not insulted, but I do feel that his very public statements were condescending and rude and could have been handled differently. Kudos to you for your diplomacy.

        • Rae says:

          Give me a break. You can’t say with a straight face that James’ post wasn’t rude. Regardless, it’s true that people feel the need to vent sometimes, but really, a public blog isn’t the best place for airing all of those frustrations. I’d have read the post with a lot more understanding if it wasn’t so insulting. I know Dan is a big boy and will handle it maturely, but let’s call it what it is.

          • Justin Bullman says:


            I never said the post wasn’t rude… I said I strongly believe that Dan was not insulted, and that I only ask for those who were insulted by it to look past that issue and address the facts. I can agree that his points would have garnered more support if they were not presented in such a manner.

            The public blog might not be the best way to air some dirty laundry, but it has people talking and maybe some good can come of this.


        • Kelly says:

          *I meant James, not John.

  14. Amanda B says:

    I think this is a great place to share our thoughts and suggestions, in a respectful way. I have been at CFW for 2.5 years and have made amazing progress. I went from a limited athletic background to now being able to confidently call myself an athlete. Am I an elite athlete? Nope. And I never will be. CFW does train elite athletes….we see them every day in the box multiple times a day. And then there are some of us that are “elite” in comparison to where we came from. I think I speak for myself and many other women, with like backgrounds, that CFW has been life changing. I do feel like I have a solid understanding of functional movements, because I ask questions, do research and pay attention. Do I know why things are programmed the way they are? No, but I trust my coaches. Part of the draw of CF is not knowing the WOD until the day of. Expect the unexpected. Aside from the fact that I have rarely repeated the same WOD, there has never been a WOD that I have thought, “oh wow, this is super easy, this must be for people like me.” On the contrary, most WOD’s I find overwhelming and that they are programmed to the “elite” athletes. I definitely don’t feel like I come to the box to be entertained. I work my butt off. I think we all take CF seriously. I have no experience with other boxes, but I have heard a lot about several other boxes (all over the country) and I feel like CFW is remarkable in comparison.

    I don’t want to rant. At the end of the day there is no “perfect” gym. There will always be room for improvement. That’s part of being a growing business and community. I don’t love being in class with 10 other people, especially since I spent the first 1.5 years in a class of only 2 or 3. But the larger classes do afford me the opportunity to help newcomers…and what better way to learn then by doing. I have never felt neglected by any of the coaches. If I need help. I ask for it. I am thankful for Dan and his staff and proud to be part of CFW. I think it’s awesome that we can share our thoughts and suggestions openly with Dan and he is open and willing to consider them.

  15. JV says:

    I must be the last person to read through all of this because I’ve heard about it from about 15 people. With only one exception, everyone who spoke to me was appalled by James’s comment.

    I really appreciated the other comments above (you cracked me up, Kelly!). And yes, Bull, I appreciate your diplomacy in most of this but disagree WHOLEHEARTEDLY about whether or not the original comment was insulting. It was MEANT to offend.

    With all that out of the way… I kind of feel my head spinning reading through the past two days’ messages. Things escalated pretty quickly, huh? I think Dan was very amicable in the way he addressed James’s comment from the previous blog. (I think not addressing Bull’s comment here was wise, too. Having a tit-for-tat back and forth about every little thing when it appears many more members were enjoying the little brain test seems like a waste of time.) Anyway, it sounds to me like there were some long-standing bitterness building up and it finally came out in what I think is an inappropriate manner.

    Like so very many people, my life has been changed in countless ways from finding CFW. I’ve found friends that are like family, conquered some pretty significant fears, changed my body and more importantly, my ideas about how a woman’s body should look, and learned to push myself. My whole family now attends CFW. It is something that binds us together. We each find something valuable here.

    I haven’t worked out at other boxes, but my friends who aren’t (yet) in love with CrossFit will often send me articles they find criticizing it. Whenever I read about CrossFit “horror stories” I think, ‘That would NEVER happen at our gym!’ I am constantly amazed at our coaches’ extensive knowledge. I wrote on my website once that I consider my CFW coaches part of my healthcare team.

    Like Amanda said, I don’t want to rant (although I feel I could go on all night). Plus I’m exhausted. And I have a big day at the gym tomorrow: I’m going to do some specialized programming in preparation to redo a hero WOD. I couldn’t make the special sessions, so I emailed the coach and she sent me the practice WOD early. My bestie is coming up to do it with me. <–This is what CFW gives me, and I can't see myself anywhere else.

  16. Justin Bullman says:

    I wanted to clarify a few things:

    I am not detesting the offensiveness of James’ post, but the factual information given is accurate. I am only asking that everyone involved look past the emotion in the content and move forward to giving the facts some attention. A majority of the comments so far have taken a defensive stance and treated James like a whistlleblower, while he is screaming from a mountain top while everyone else is waiting with pitch forks below. His passion for the subject should be somewhat commended, because he obviously cares enough to honestly share his thoughts with the owner and community rather than stay quiet. There is something to be said about that…

    There is no disagreement that CFW has changed lives and done amazing things for every person who is a member, to include myself. I consider myself to be a friend of everyone in the gym, so hopefully my comments are taken logically and like my best friend would say, “I hope not to lose my nose despite my face” on these issues. I believe the focus of the conversation should be looking forward to improving the experience (especially of new clients). If anyone here honestly thinks that one coach is enough per class size, they must be naive. Do not confuse that statement with the quality of coaching at CFW, the quality is excellent. The quantity however, is not. Coaches are overwhelmed by large class sizes and it is impossible to provide the services expected by each client, to them. We all pay a premium membership price for use of the facility/equipment, specialized coaching and information about fitness and programming, but how many can honestly say that expectation has been met to its fullest? Daily we have people performing movements incorrectly (more importantly lacking safety) and this is just the climate that has been created by the current model of training the classes.

    More often, peers look to each other for advice or quality checks on highly technical and dangerous movements. This is a giant red flag, staffing, as an entire unit, does not support the needs of all the customers. I am not saying that we shouldn’t help each other out, by providing movement efficiency tips or dietary advice; I am saying we are not qualified to do so and that can be a slippery slope. I hate for more than anything to see someone injure themselves or learn a movement incorrectly (terrible habits are hard to break). If I were a coach in a class of 8+ students, there is no way I could give the attention that I would expect from a coach to each athlete. The numbers just simply do not match up. I’m not sure if there is some magic number of coach to client ratio, but I can tell you it is not 1 : 20 . How many clients out there are content with their performance on any number of movements, only to find out that the only attention you’ll get for that is maybe 2-4 minutes pre-wod as a class or a quick 45 second overview on how to perform the function. Tons of clients need hands on attention and correction for these things, but you have to pay for a 1 hour one-on-one? I think that is unacceptable, but that is my opinion and I could be wrong. Just think, how many people do you see day in and day out perform movements incorrectly or not at all because they don’t get the attention they need. There are some very superior and challenging movements expected by Crossfit. Rope Climbs, Squat Cleans, Squat Snatches, Pistols, GHD sit-ups, Double Unders (specifically mentioning yesterday’s class, all that was given for coaching was “100 double unders, if you don’t have them just do 300 singles”. Sure that is a great scaling option, but if more than a couple people don’t have double unders they NEED some attention before and after the workout!)

    Anyhow, I could continue for days and that is not my intent. I’ll be working on some ideas for the gym and I would love to chat with anyone with concerns or who wants to hear more of my opinions (don’t blame you if you don’t want to hear my rants…lol). I feel that my experiences from the years should be documented and given to Dan/CFW to help keep the gym strong and the community alive, because that is what I want to see and that is what many of us are passionate about. Hit me up any time, i’ll also be in the box today @ 1530.


    • Rae says:

      This is very well said, and I totally agree. And btw, I think James is an awesome kid and know he was just frustrated – no pitchfork here. I just worry a little about a searchable internet and what things will come up when folks search CFW and find the comment. Finding constructive criticism would be one thing, but finding anger and frustration doesn’t look so great for the business. I guess I’m looking at it from that perspective. We should all be cautious about the image we convey. Maybe that shouldn’t really be our concern, but I think part of the community aspect here causes one to feel a certain ‘ownership’ of the box, which is probably where the defensiveness comes in. Thanks for your comments. I appreciate everything you wrote.

    • Jeremy says:

      I think you clarified your point nicely Justin. I think I would be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t at least once comment about how nervous they were throwing around a barbell during an extremely crowded class, especially with the kids class on at the same time. Or who didn’t feel like even though they knew how to do a movement at a decent level, didn’t wish they could get some additional coaching to take them from “ok” to “proficient” without having to pay extra.

      I love our gym for sure. I also love the extra seminars. But I won’t lie and say I didn’t balk at the price of the Oly lifting seminar. I think its great that extra classes are offered as part of packages for seminars, but it never is something I can take advantage of since I am already on a gold membership, and the corresponding discount is minimal. I also can’t say that I feel I get the individual coaching as much as I probably need it for certain movements, especially during these more crowded classes.

      I am confident Dan and the team will address these issues, and in the meantime, keeping the community informed will go a long way to quelling discontent and preventing bad information and speculation from running rampant.

      Thanks again to everyone who participated in this discussion. It has been hugely enlightening and encouraging to see a community that cares enough to rock the boat a bit in order to make things better. Conflict is often a precursor to improvemement (somebody write that down!), and given the number of type A personalities this sport attracts, we will all always have an opinion!

  17. MrsBull says:

    I wasn’t going to write anything at all because, honestly, I think one Bullman in this post is enough but I did want to say one thing. I completely agree with Rae on the aspect that the blog is on the internet and it is an open forum and when people search CFW, I want them to see everything that’s great about it and why I love it so much. I can see maybe that’s why some of you are so defensive. However, I think what some of you may not know is that Dan (and anyone who has access to the blog for that matter) has the option of deleting a post or not. I believe it was left up for various reasons but I’ll let you think of your own. It shows me that Dan is ok with handling situations that are good or bad with an open mind and can welcome comments, suggestions, and criticism. Hopefully, everyone else can do the same and share our opinions and know that not everyone will agree with them.

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