Why Is CrossFit So Expensive

CrossFit has become one of the most popular fitness regimens in the world. And the reason for that is simple- it works!

A quick search on Instagram will show you hundreds of weight loss before and afters, weight lifting PRs, and exciting milestones like your first pull-up or muscle up.

But there’s one knock on CrossFit that is common for beginners. It’s expensive!

Admittedly, CrossFit is not the cheapest exercise program available. Depending on where you live, a one month unlimited subscription could cost upwards of $200.

But like most things in life, you get what you pay for. Here’s a breakdown of why CrossFit is expensive, so you can decide if it’s right for your budget.

Professional Coaching

One of the main reasons that CrossFit is expensive is because the coaches (and gym owners) invest a lot to make sure clients receive quality instruction.

Each CrossFit coach is required to obtain their CrossFit Level 1 Certification, which means participating in a 2-day seminar and passing a written exam.

The course costs $1000 per coach. Any gym using the CrossFit name must have coaches with their CrossFit L-1 Certification.

Most coaches, however, have invested more time and money into their coaching than just the L-1 certification.

There are plenty of other “specialty” certifications available to CrossFit coaches, like:

  • CrossFit L-2 Certification
  • CrossFit Kids Certification
  • CrossFit Kettlebell Certification
  • CrossFit Running Certification
  • CrossFit Aerobic Capacity Certification

Many coaches also have undergraduate or graduate degrees in exercise science or a related field.

While CrossFit is expensive, it’s likely that you are in the hands of a qualified coach. Few other fitness brands promote as much training and continued education for their coaches.

Limited Class Size

Because the coaches are qualified, good CrossFit gyms limit their class sizes.

This ensures that all participants get plenty of individual attention and corrections, which keeps athletes progressing and safe.

Most gyms cap their class sizes at 15-20.

Bigger boxes may even schedule 2 coaches for their busiest classes (5pm or 6pm, for example) to cut the ratio in half.


Whether the owner or a coach writes the workouts or they pay a third party to do it, CrossFit programming is a resource depleting process.

It requires a deep understanding of exercise physiology, stress, and biomechanics.

The programmer must also have an understanding of progressions, pay close attention to details, and often times, write modifications.

In the case of the latter, that might mean writing an entirely new workout.

Good programming takes time and experience. At least you’ll know your CrossFit membership, pricey as it may seem, helps ensure it’s done well.

Class Options

Most CrossFit gyms don’t just offer standard CrossFit classes. At the very least, joining a box with no CrossFit experience means going through on-ramp training, where an athlete learn the fundamental movements.

You may also have the option to take Olympic weightlifting, yoga, or competitive CrossFit classes, too.


A good gym is like a good church. People support each other, hold one another accountable, and build relationships.

At the end of the day, CrossFit is about community. The best gyms make it easy to make friends, fit in, and celebrate hard work as a group.

A CrossFit box may accomplish this a number of different ways.

For example, hosting community events like competitions or fundraisers, weekly partner WODs, or even meeting at the local park for a Sunday bodyweight training session.

The best coaches aren’t just good at programming exercise. They also buy into and help establish a gym’s community.

Your CrossFit coaches should get to know you, your goals, and strive to bring out your best.

Building community takes time, and thus, costs a little extra.

If, on the other hand, you prefer to train alone, maybe something other than CrossFit will work for you.


CrossFit may seem expensive, but in life and fitness, you get what you pay for.

There’s no sense hiding from the fact that if you simply need a space to work out, you can probably find something cheaper than CrossFit or build a home gym.

But if you’re looking for quality coaching, individual attention, an array of class options, and a community that will celebrate you and hold you accountable while you strive towards your fitness goals, CrossFit may be the way.

It may help to think of it this way: you aren’t paying to get a workout; you’re invested in a better, fitter version of yourself.

A good CrossFit gym can and will do that for you, forget what it costs.