School of Fitness: Part 1

By Emily Beers with Tony Leyland

In Affiliation

December 20, 2010

PDF Article

CrossFit Vancouver started out as a humble CrossFit box, but it’s now a provincially registered school of fitness. Emily Beers explains.

Six years ago, Craig Patterson started training a handful of clients, a dedicated group mostly made up of his close friends, who paid a mere $5 an hour for personal training.

“Then I raised my price to $10 an hour and I lost half my clients,” Patterson said.

Today, Patterson is the owner of CrossFit Vancouver School of Fitness, a venue that boasts six full-time coaches, 18 apprentice coaches, in-house coaching programs and an executive business-mentorship program. More than 100 students walk through its doors each day.

Vancouver’s School of Fitness, located in East Vancouver, is a spacious 7,000-square-foot training facility with a loft that hosts a fully furnished lounge and bar. With more than 400 students currently enrolled, the facility is always bustling with energy.

But the road to establishing the school wasn’t an easy one.



10 Comments on “School of Fitness: Part 1 ”


Great article that gives me hope! One of my athletes "pays" me in raw milk!


Zach Even - Esh wrote …

AHHHHHHH, this was an awesome article w/tons of gems in there! YEARS ago, I saw Patty speak at FilFest I believe or maybe it was a cert.

It was an older journal video and it fired me up like a mad man as Craig was being simple, talking about following your passion / doing what you love and his most impt. words was he said, "There is No ONE way to run your CrossFit Gym"....

That gave me a little green light to move forward with my idea of training only athletes.

It's cool to see more coming from Patty.... I definitely wanna see some video footage of the new gig!

GREAT lessons to be learned regarding finding a location that is GOOD and not about to get you kicked out, etc.

My next step is to buy a warehouse and NOT waste money on rent.

Thanks Guys :)



wrote …

great job em and prof!! i am really proud of everyone at our gym, you guys rock! love yah, pinky.


wrote …

very nice article, same as zach i want to see some vedios of this gym and the way they operate. By the way like seeing you zach being very interested in the crossfit community.


wrote …

Awesome article. Serious fan. I'd like to see some vids as well. For now I'm really looking forward to part 2.


Zach Even - Esh wrote …

Eugene, thnx so much, I guess I'll always be a student first and I love CrossFit, no 2 ways about it :)



Cody Limbaugh wrote …

Really looking forwatrd to Pt.2. We have grown but we are deffinately ready to take the next step.

One other itme I would hope to see in Pt.2...It was mentioned that Coaches could sell off ownership- or something to that effect, to leave a leagacy for thier families. This is very important to me and something I have always wanted to provide for my coaches. Would love to see more details on the systems and pay structure.


wrote …

Buying a building is not always the best solution.

A single tenant industrial property can cost you approximately
$50 per sf x 7,000 sf = $350,000 30% down = $105,000

exlcuding your due diligence, atty, closing costs, another $20,000.
Insurances on your building, real estate taxes and other fixed costs will also cost you a lot. I hope your roof na d your HVAC has long warranties.

Unless you get a multi tenant building, continuous growth or contraction in space will be difficult.

What else can you do with $150,000? This is your Opportunity Cost.

Food for thought.


wrote …

If you're looking to be the best coach, you need not look any further! Just pop in to Crossfit Vancouver! The education and coaching development that I received throughout my apprenticeship was nothing short of amazing!

I've since teamed up with Rocky Point Crossfit and run a successful coaching practice in Coquitlam. We are growing rapidly with new clients joining the gym regularly and we've done little or nothing towards advertising.

In fact, two of the most important lessons I learned from Patty and the box are;
1. Don't just like you clients, love them. Embrace them, make them an integral part of you life.
2. Focus on what's best for your community and being and better coach, and your business will grow itself.

I would highly recommended Craig Patterson and Crossfit Vancouver to anyone looking to develop a career in Crossfit. They are a highly educated group and are sure to point you in a direction of success.

- Errol Clark, Crossfit Coach


wrote …

Great competition and amazing friends!

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