From the Grungy Garage Gym to the Glass Front Retail Space: The Evolution of the CrossFit Affiliate

December 8, 2021 by
Photo Credit: NCFIT

Function over everything has been at the heart of CrossFit since its inception. This extended to early CrossFit gyms, which were often found in home garages, and went so far as to almost pride themselves as being a little grungy.

In those early affiliates, new and shiny equipment, let alone professional cleaners, were not required. In fact, a thin layer of grime was to be expected. As long as you had a rusty barbell and bumper plates, a sturdy pull-up bar and a homemade box and medicine ball, you were off to the races. 

Of course, as CrossFit communities grew, gym owners eventually needed to find bigger spaces, and the answer was usually found in an industrial, warehouse-type of space in a less desirable area outside of the city center.

Fast forward to today, and while most CrossFit affiliates still tend to be housed in warehouses in industrial areas, more and more gym owners are turning to fancier, more expensive retail spaces to become their gym’s home. And they say the trade-off is worth it. 

NCFIT Embraces Retail Locations

NCFIT, founded by 2008 CrossFit Games champion Jason Khalipa, includes four gyms in the Bay Area of California that are owned and operated by NCFIT, another 10 NCFIT partner gyms around the world, as well as 14 corporate wellness sites.

Three of their four Bay Area gyms, each of which are approximately 6,000 square feet, as well as a handful of NCFIT’s partner gyms, are in retail locations, a decision Khalipa made strategically, most notably to keep up with how the industry has evolved in recent years. 

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