CrossFit has been taking the world by storm.
Since its inaugural “CrossFit Games Championship” in 2007, CrossFit has grown at an unprecedented rate.
In fact, when compared to corporate chains across any industry, CrossFit breaks the top 10 list for the most locations and is ranked among the world’s largest franchises- Burger King, Subway, and Pizza Hut.
This workout regime, sport, and way of life has become internationally recognized and now has locations in over 100 countries.
With the growth of CrossFit each year, it’s interesting to look back at how this industry has progressed. Starting as a rehab program for founder Greg Glassman, CrossFit is now at the forefront of everyone’s workout considerations.
Below we look at 11 facts and statistics which continue to set CrossFit apart from every other fitness regime.
What is CrossFit?
CrossFit is often referred to as either a series of workout programs or just another fitness brand. Here’s the definition described on the CrossFit website:
CrossFit is a lifestyle characterized by safe, effective exercise and sound nutrition. CrossFit can be used to accomplish any goal, from improved health to weight loss to better performance. The program works for everyone—people who are just starting out and people who have trained for years.
CrossFit can be broken down into two different entities- there’s the competition side of CrossFit that culminates in the CrossFit Games each summer and there’s the health and fitness regime CrossFitters preach to help the normal population look good naked.
Both sides make CrossFit what it is today; the average joes train to become beasts and the beasts compete to motivate the average joes. And this fitness movement has even spawned CrossFit-specific workout gear, which has bolstered the already strong fitness industry.
Part of CrossFit’s massive appeal is its inclusiveness to individuals of varying characteristics.
Thanks to the brand’s ability to “scale” each workout to accommodate different ages, genders, and experience levels, CrossFit is much more welcoming to the general public than many hardcore bodybuilding or powerlifting gyms.
According to statistics published by Rally Fitness in 2014, CrossFit participants come from almost all age ranges. Just take a look at the percentage breakdown.
- Under 18: 18%
- 18-24: 6%
- 25-34: 40%
- 35-44: 20%
- 45-54: 8%
- 55-64: 2%
- 65+: 5%
The largest portion of CrossFitters are in the 25-34 age group. This makes sense since this age group is very active and probably has the disposable funds to invest in a membership.
Additionally, 40% of CrossFit participants hold post-graduate degrees. It appears that the same driven mindset that pushes individuals through a grueling hero WOD transfers easily to advanced education.
You might also be surprised to learn that over 50% of CrossFitters earn $150,000 annually. That means those masters and doctorates are being put to good use and maintaining a CrossFit membership isn’t a problem.
Finally, and this is really interesting, there’s an even split between male and female CrossFit participants. Yes, the gender discrepancy is so close that it’s not statistically significant.
It just goes to show you that the brand’s training style and accommodations are truly unbiased and both men and women equally enjoy improving their physical fitness at their local box.
CrossFit Affiliates Statistics
Since CrossFit started, and is kept alive by those joes in the 6am WoD, we will look at some CrossFit facts and statistics on that side of the Box first.
- Jeff Cain, CrossFit CEO, silenced nay sayers gossiping about CrossFit’s downfall by stating the number of affiliates worldwide hit a new high in July 2019 at 15,200 (CrossFit)
- 358,646 people signed up for the 2019 open and 144,276 completed all five workouts at the Rx level. Not only are more people participating in the Open but more people are capable of completing the workouts as prescribed; the world’s fitness just keeps getting better (Morning Chalk Up)
- The largest CrossFit box, CrossFit NYC owned by John Newman, has over 2000 members and offers more than 200 classes per week. (Fox Business)
- There is at least one CrossFit box in 162 different countries (last updated at the end of 2018). (CrossFit)
These affiliates and their members are what give birth to the beasts we love to watch come August in Madison, Wisconsin. Thank you for making the Games what it is today.
CrossFit Games Facts
Over the last 12 years, the CrossFit Games has more than 10x’ed its size since starting out on the Ranch in Aromas, California. What started as a day for passerby’s to join a workout, has turned into a worldwide series of competitions.
2019 marked the first year athletes can qualify for the Games by means of competition outside of the Open and Regionals. This has expanded the competition field and opportunities for those seeking this highly regarded opportunity to showcase their fitness.
We dedicate the next 7 CrossFit facts and stats to those competing in some form or another.
- There are now 15 CrossFit Sanctional events athletes can attend starting in November to qualify for the Games. The top man and woman from each event move on to the Games. (CrossFit)
- Outside of winning a Sanctional event, the top 20 men and women worldwide in the Open proceed to the Games along with the National Champion for qualifying countries, and 4 additional athletes are invited to the Games. (CrossFit)
- 2019 is the first year the CrossFit Games has incorporated National Champions, expanding the field to 488 total individual athletes from 114 countries (previous years maxed out at 80 individuals- 40 men and 40 women) (CrossFit)
- Tia-Clair Toomey has become the first woman to win three CrossFit games championships. There have been 2 men to accomplish the feat, Rich Froning and Matt Fraser, but Toomey is the solo woman atop the three tiered pedestal. Bonus fact, Toomey has the greatest point-margin victory of all time as well at 195 points (Morning Chalk Up).
- The 2020 Open begins Oct 10 and registration is already live. (CrossFit)
- Toes to bar, double unders, chest to bar pull-ups, thrusters and muscle ups have appeared in at least one Open workout each during every year of competition. (WOD Prep)
- The most frequently-appearing WoD scheme for Open workouts is a couplet, used for 23 of the 45 Open workouts so far (WOD Prep)
The CrossFit Games is an exciting competition, even for those not participating. It is part of the reason why us fire breathers die a little in the Box with every WoD.
Despite the injuries often televised during the Games, it’s safe to say that the event, and CrossFit as a whole, are here to stay.
This outlook on fitness has touched millions world-wide and continues to change lives every day. If you’re thinking of joining a CrossFit gym, or maybe one day starting an affiliate of your own, you would be investing in the healthiest future you could sculpt. CrossFit is not just a daily workout, it is a lifestyle.
CrossFit gyms worldwide teach their members about proper movement, eating habits, and recovery to maximize your livelihood. The expansion of CrossFit is not expected to slow down any time soon so get in the Box and get involved; this workout regimen is here to stay.
Fun side CrossFit fact, Samantha Briggs (previous Women’s Champion) qualified for the 2019 CrossFit Games in every way possible.
Winning the Dubai Sanctional event, placing 20th worldwide in the individual Open, qualifying for the Age Group Online Qualifies, participating on the winning team for the Reykjavik CrossFit Championship, and being crowned U.K.’s national champion, Sam Briggs could have competed in this years’ Games in 3 different divisions (individual, masters and team).
The Crossfit brand appears to be on the decline. In 2019, Glassman removed regional qualifiers from the brand’s CrossFit Open competition, and dropped the brand’s Facebook and Instagram accounts leading to a considerable decline in awareness for the CrossFit Games. Additionally, the search data on Google Trends confirms that the term “crossfit” has been trending downward from 2015-2020. It’s difficult to say where CrossFit will go next since former CEO Greg Glassman resigned from his position and the brand was sold to Eric Roza, a gym owner in Boulder, Colorado.
Approximately 216,000 to 432,000 people do CrossFit in the world. This is based on the fact that there are over 15,000 CrossFit gyms in over 150 countries as of 2019. Each gym typically hosts 6-8 daily classes of 12 people on average, 6 days per week. Assuming each active member attends only 2-3 classes per week, that gives a range of 144-288 members per gym.
CrossFit gym memberships range from $75 to $225 per month. This price is based on the quality of the facilities, location, popularity in the CrossFit community (try training at Mat Fraser’s gym), and whether you’re charged per session or per month. Monthly memberships tend to be cheaper.
CrossFit Facts & Statistics
You can see that CrossFit has been growing tremendously as both a brand and its own industry. It was only a few years ago that the brand was just starting out and now it’s exploring international competitions; a milestone that Glassman probably couldn’t have predicted.
It’s important to pay close attention to this popular fitness brand to anticipate where trends may go in the next 3-5 years. This accurate prediction may provide better knowledge of what methodologies and products we may see in the near future.