Affiliates, Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Affiliate, can't we all get along?

I travel a lot. And because I am a Box owner of a CrossFit Affiliate, a passion of mine is visiting Boxes. Along my travels, I love to listen to humanity’s stories. But there is one story that seems to resonate throughout the entire CrossFit community. And unfortunately it is never a good one: the story of the infamous Box who opened up next to another, or the member who left and started their own Affiliate.

One day a couple of years ago, I sat intrigued and disheartened by what I was hearing. It was a story about how one particular CrossFit facility wanted to be the first one in the city. However, someone beat them to it. It wasn’t out of spite; it was out of passion for bettering the lives of people. And they didn’t even know this new Box owner and never took the time to get to know them. In fact, they were forced to wait one more week to have a their second name approved. This circumstance got the better of them and they became jaded and that led them into a darkness and this darkness began to wear off on their members.

This has become an ongoing issue and it is problematic, not for CrossFit, Inc., but for the owner. More and more CrossFit Affiliates are opening. Greg Glassman has done a phenomenal job of selling his brand to the general public and elite athletes on an international scale.

But when a new CrossFit Box opens a mile away or a member leaves and starts his or her own Affiliate, suddenly our perception of CrossFit changes. How dare they? Who do they think they are? This is where the darkness takes hold. Normally when someone acts like this, they are afraid of failure, rejection, and in some cases, no longer being the only one.

People, its not just about you, it is about the community as a whole. We should rejoice in the fact that more Affiliates are opening because the majority of us that have our Level 1 Trainer certificates have the same goal: to change the human condition that has swept our nation and help people live and lead better, more fulfilling lives. Why should we rejoice? Because you cannot accommodate every single person that walks through your doors. And more Affiliates means more lives changed.

Here I have listed my top five reasons why we should be jubilant about other Affiliates opening up or that are already established around us.

  1. If you are like my partners and I, we LOVE to coach and we do NOT like cattle So, we limit how many people one of us coaches at a time. You may have a member base of 200 members and that is fantastic. But your city may also has 200,000 people in it and you can’t accommodate 200,000. And if we believe in the CrossFit brand, then we want more people to do CrossFit, whether it is with us or not.
  1. We get to learn from each We share workouts, ideas, modalities and coaching techniques. I am grateful for my travels because I get to visit different Boxes where different Coaches with different personalities have different ideas. So, having others to work off of and with is a blessing we should all take hold of.
  1. Another Affiliate around you should push you to be better. I am not referring to getting more certifications but to building a stronger community, paying more attention to your members and having stellar customer service.
  1. Egos are extremely detrimental to this sport. When another Box comes to town, grow your Box by showing your love for others. Desire to be reverential to other owners and other athletes, because in return you will build their community, too. And vice versa. and don’t they deserve it, just like you do. You represent CrossFit HQ. Let’s change the course of everyone we can.
  1. When someone else either opens a Box or leaves to begin their own, here is my question for you: Can you do anything about it? You can scream, you can cuss, you can threaten, you can accuse them of poaching coaches and stealing athletes, but at the end of the day, all you need to do is just, “Let it go.” Because the outcome will not So my advice, fulfill your destiny, use your God-given talents and abilities, your connection with people. Let’s help them become great at living life, and let’s help each other as owners become the superlative Coaches and owners I know we all can be.


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Jonathan Burgard is the founder and co-owner of True Glory CrossFit. Contact him at