We started Jurassic CrossFit on $17,000.
We had several business partners, but right before signing the lease, every single one of them backed out. We were terrified, but prayed about what we should do. I told Lucas that if this is something he really wants to do, that he should go after his dreams because I would rather him feel failure than feel regret.
Now, $17k isn’t much to start a gym. Most gyms cost at least 100 times that much (which is about $1.5 MILLION). The small budget was actually an advantage though. Instead of focusing on the chrome and mirrors that attract particular newbies to gyms, I was forced to buy ONLY what worked. I had no marketing budget and I knew I would have to depend on my clients and myself to spread the word about Jurassic CrossFit, which meant I had to get RESULTS.
We got lucky and was able to purchase almost everything we needed from a CrossFit gym that was permanently closing. We had barbells, some kettlebells, boxes, big rubber bands, mats, a small rig, rowers, and a handful of medicine balls. It really was all we needed.
For almost a full year, in a small 700 square foot spot that used to be a local tax business in Nicoma Park, we got people VERY fit. No mirrors, no chrome.. We made a lot of noise (both figuratively and realistically speaking). These days, I put money into a fund to be able to buy more equipment, but what I buy is more of the SAME equipment: bikes, rowers, jump ropes, pull-up bars, bumper plates, and boxes. You still won’t see pec decks or cable crossovers or leg extension machines. Instead, you’ll see people doing squats and push-ups and pull-ups. Because that is what actually works.
Very fit people know that a large variety of equipment is a red herring. Most gyms sell comfort: padded machines, oiled stacks, polished chrome. But truly fit people – or people who NEED to lose weight, perform, or are desperate to fix their bad backs – avoid that stuff. People with skin in the game know they don’t need more choice; they need more work.
Almost everyone who comes to Jurassic CrossFit who has been to other gyms will say, “I just didn’t get anywhere.” They looked for the cheapest option or the largest or the one with the most machines, but eventually when they decided they needed results, they went looking for a coach. And coaches don’t use that stuff. Professional, career coaches, whose livelihood depends on getting results, use barbells, boxes, squats, push-ups, and food plans. Forced to choose what works, professionals choose the basics.
Many new clients who book a No-Sweat Intro/Consultation tell me, “This just looks like a lot of open space.” It’s true: You need space when you’re going to move a lot. And if you want to get fit, you’re going to move a lot. Fitness requires no chair, no padding, no seat belt.
Everything you need. Nothing you don’t.
No wasted space. No wasted time. No wasted effort.
Under the bright LED’s, our clients are doing burpees and snatches; climbing ropes and smiling. They’re far more fit than they were back then. Our coaching has improved tenfold. Our equipment hasn’t changed at all.
Written by Kayla Allen
Inspiration provided by Chris Cooper at catalystgym.com.