Is your Foundations Class Alienating People?


What kind of Box are you establishing? What is your mission? If you are like my partners and I, when building your business you wanted to establish a passionate fitness culture but with a broader definition: mainly, a community of like-minded individuals that will empower, encourage, and embody a spirit that can be felt and lived for years to come. You wanted to enable them to use what they learn in our facility and take it out into the real world, whether it be helping a housewife with four children or the college senior trying to make it in the NFL draft. CrossFit has done wonders for our world population. Hence the reason we all got into it in the first place. And we should all have some common knowledge of CrossFit before we get really serious.

Foundation classes have become a great tool, but with all of these amazing people that we are helping, are we alienating them by doing a foundations class? Are we separating our athletes from our non-athletes? Are we creating cliques instead of a community?

Some of the issues I see with foundations classes and separating “average joes” and elite athletes is that it denies new and current members the ideals of your mission and your CrossFit family. For foundations, there is the timing issue. People want to start their fitness immediately, not have to wait a few days for the foundations class to get here. This is where your coaching comes in. Who is new? Have you done an assessment on their fitness? How do we scale this for them while giving them a workout? This is what we do at our facility. And we have seen great success by not doing a foundations class. It has kept us a close, tight-nit family, and those new prospective members get the most amazing class, because all of the members cheer them on.

Then there is the separation of your “elite” athletes. I never understood this. Do you know how many lessons could be learned by bringing in the new and old CrossFitters together? Open gym is a great tool to use when elite athletes want more training. But they can still workout with everyone.

In our facility we run everything as a group. Every single day we teach a warm-up. We teach, coach and instruct a skill or strength session. We describe in detail of every movement in that day’s WOD, and we stretch and mobilize afterwards. Our eyes are always circulating the room to emphasize form and technique. We scan, we fix, we pursue, we motivate. But we do it together and our Box is growing because of it.

Now, this is by no means saying foundations is a terrible idea because it isn’t. But is there a better way to do it? When I travel, I talk to many CrossFitters who have no idea who is in foundations until they have graduated after so many classes. But, we are a community. For us, jump right in and listen to everything we say. We got your back and we have your best interest at heart. You gain their trust and they see you as a father or mother figure. If foundations has worked for you, keep it up. And if having a separate class for your elite athletes is the best option for your Box, fantastic. I just wanted to share some thoughts in hopes of making your business better one blog at a time. Stay amazing. Love and light.

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