Get With the Program

By Monique Ames

In Affiliation, Coaching

February 14, 2010

PDF Article

Guiding new members into CrossFit classes can be tricky. Monique Ames of CrossFit Evolution explains how she does it and why her methods are always evolving.

Most people recognize the need for some type of foundation or elements class for new members. The tricky part is knowing how to implement the best program.

At Crossfit Evolution, we’ve used many different models, and all were great at inception. Our current Foundations Program is set up to clearly delineate the levels of entry into our gym. This allows our prospects, new members, current members and staff to understand and appreciate the coaching involved in our program. This is one of the many steps used to demonstrate excellence. A clear program also helps sell the membership.

Our Foundations Program is a set curriculum that teaches basic nutrition and introduces and develops the movements of CrossFit. Graduation requires basic competency in all movements taught: correct form, proper technique, full range of motion and consistency. Graduation is required for entry into our CrossFit Classes and is not guaranteed by mere attendance.

In the world of CrossFit, it’s always been about trying everything to see what works best. If it works, keep it. If it doesn’t, toss it. When it stops working, find something else. Success is based on you, not a stagnant program, system or model. That’s not to say you don’t need a system—you do. Just make sure it’s evolving, just like your training. In the gym, you can’t expect to get better by doing the same thing over and over, and maybe the CrossFit business model is the same way: always evolving and always requiring you to chase excellence in everything.



8 Comments on “Get With the Program”


wrote …

Another great article. I enjoyed it.


wrote …

Great article. Any thoughts from affiliate owner's about effective strategies for foundations/elements classes?


wrote …

This is a good article and the methodology seems sound but in my opinion it came across as cold, brash and alienating (aka when she writes, "If people are
messed up (fat or with serious physical limitations)" or when she says she despises taking calls from people that are not good candidates). I understand that the crossfitter is another breed but isn't it just as important to spread this message to the people who may not be good candidates on first appearances? I don't run an affiliate or a business in general so I don't have the same view point but it seemed a bit detached. just my 2 cents.



I am glad you enjoyed the article. It's a business article that was meant to be clear & concise (detached), to be used & implemented by affiliates, to help with ramping of new members into their existing base. It's assumed that every affiliate knows that they need to care about their members and build a sincere & real relationship with anyone THEY WANT to do business with. But I am also saying that it's okay if you don't want to help everyone. Note: many Affiliates have been known to even "Fire" members for various reasons.

If your sole purpose is to reach out and help everyone that you can, then great! It's incredibly admirable and it's exactly what Skip Chase is working his ass off to do, and more power to him. Our community needs more people like him. But that's not how it is for all of us. I don't work with children and I don't work with overly needy persons. It's my choice, and that's okay. Zach Even Esh also prefers to work with a specific group of persons.

I don't feel it's my responsibility to do anything, unless I WANT to. Now, that probably sounds cold, but it's not. I care very much about helping people, that I WANT to help, it's just not everybody. I don't get enjoyment out of helping everybody. Some people really suck the life out of me and then I would be of NO help to anyone. I feel that my purpose in life is simply, to be happy. I have a job doing what I love and I love working with the members of my gym. I work at expanding our gym community consistently, but I don't want everyone. What we do in our gym is not for everyone. But that's just my gym, not every Crossfit gym.


wrote …

Thanks for the response, I agree that some people can be energy drains and I'd assume that running an affiliate changes as you become more successful (i.e. increased clientele, or reaching a max number) because it allows you to bring in people that are part of the PMAC (my term for positive mental attitude club)and also allows the members that "privileged" status of being part of your affiliate. Thanks for the comparisons on both side of the fence w/ Skip and Zach, both great trainers. Good Luck!!


replied to comment from Brian Hassler

amazing article, I am just starting as a trainer at Globo Gym and using the crossfit method (legal). I am still working out the qwirks or the foundation class.
But personally I do not want to lose focus and the mission of the crossfit methodology, will be joining an affiliate again in the Denver, CO very soon.


wrote …

I have been a personal trainer for ten years . Iam booked in for my Ievel 1 certificate soon . The question I have got is can you be a successfull Crossfit owner if you pick annd choose your clients.Coming from a personal training back ground a lot of clients are very draining and dont reach many goals because they are not willing to eat and train properly .They are more interested in making excuses why they cant train or eat properly.What attracted me to crossfit is you can measure your improvement.But my clients would never be interested in training in this way it is just to hard for them (in their minds)anyway


replied to comment from Monique Ames

I must say excellent reply and although I don't agree with the perspective it was put very well and that is, as the business owner it's up to YOU and your WANTS, I just read the article written on essentially kicking out (firing) members that they didn't want and that's entirely the owners prerogative and if you're as successful as can be and happy as can be then that's awesome. Seriously good reply on your emphasis on personal desires and the individuality of being your own boss. It's just a dangerous thing for many to only want a specific type of athlete but clearly it's working for you! I'm eager to read more of your articles!

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