CrossFit Blog

  1. 27

    My First Month – James

    This week marks the end of my first month as a coach in CrossFit Ireland, and what a month it’s been. This still doesn’t seem real at the moment and I haven’t really taken the time to sit back and think about it properly. Busy trying to get up to speed with everything… still in the process but I’m getting there.

    As soon as I started training CrossFit I knew it was for me, so it is a real dream for me to be able to coach this stuff full time. For the last two years I had been working (my day job) as a trainer in a conventional gym and spending whatever other time I had immersed in CrossFit; training, interning with Tom, assisting Colm and Will in classes, covering occasionally if they required some time off and essentially trying to learn as much as I could.

    I was overwhelmed when the guys(Colm, Tom, Will) approached me with the offer. It’s not every day your dream job is presented to you like that. I jumped at the opportunity needless to say. When do I start? I can hand in my notice this week. I was super eager to get started.

    I’ve learned so much in my first month here, there is such a huge amount of work that goes into running CFI behind the scenes. I knew a lot from my time spent interning as a trainee coach with the guys, but it still surprises me how much they do day in day out. There’s much more to think about than just what your class plan is going to be for that day.

    There was a lot I had to learn and there is always room to improve. One of my goals is to improve on something everyday, pick one thing and try to get better at it. I think CrossFit is quite like this, there are so many areas you can focus on, you couldn’t possibly focus on everything in the one day. The best approach is to pick one thing per day and try and better yourself.

    I’ve also started at a pretty exciting time in the CrossFit calendar. The 2012 CrossFit Opens are in full swing and it’s great to view this as a coach and not just as an athlete. It is amazing to see everyone challenge themselves weekly, smash personal records and exceed their own expectations. This gets me excited, I enjoy seeing people do well in CrossFit competitions just as much as I enjoy watching people figuring out the squat or the kettlebell swing for the first time.

    I’d like to thank everyone for the warm welcome I received upon starting in CrossFit Ireland; from both the members and the staff. I am always surprised by how kind and thoughtful our members are. I really love CrossFit and I’m very thankful for this amazing opportunity. I hope to express this gratitude through my hard work, enthusiastic coaching and try and become better at this stuff everyday.

  2. 17


    “Keep doing what you’ve always done and you will always get what you’ve always got”

    If you want to build something, truly remarkable in any area of your life then you have to get into a remarkably uncomfortable space. This requires some hard and often daily decisions that go against everything you have done before. On top of that you need to be ruthless about this, there is no 10% slippage, no wiggle room and no debate.

    For many of us what we are trying to do is pretty incredible, so it requires a incredible amount of discipline and sacrifice to get even close.

    With that kind of effort you will be amazed at what happens, it feels like it was all of a sudden but it wasn’t. It was on that shitty day when everything went badly for you and you kept at it, it was the day everyone was having a few beers and blowing off steam and you were knee deep in paint and dirt.

    It will be ALL the decisions that you make that get you there.

  3. 10


    It’s a new year and lots of people are looking to make some remarkable changes in their lives. I use the word remarkable in this context: People remark on whatever it is that you have done. So for example:

    • “That guy can walk around on his hands”
    • “She looks amazing”
    • “You have lost so much weight”
    • “You can deadlift 230kg at a bodyweight of 82kg”
    • “Did you see how smooth through that bend he was on that bike” **

    **That one is specifically for me.

    Any of these are going to take a remarkable amount of work, sacrifice and effort for anyone. There is no debating it, if I want to achieve something remarkable I need to do some pretty remarkable things.

    Is your goal remarkable? Are you prepared to do all the remarkable things required?

    Biz: For other box owners reading this, the biggest place we see this having an impact is on the initial phonecall I recieve. I have to set and manage somebodies expectations from the very start. If they are looking to have a big impact on their life and physique, then I make it clear that we need to see a big investment from them. If they want to look like the cover of a magazine and are looking at your minimum investment, then you MUST have that frank and honest conversation with them.

    This is the fair and decent thing to do. Anything less creates a problem for you downstream, these problems can be big or small but it will create a problem. Be honest. Do not sell them magic beans and make clients accountable for their results. It is not down to us, it is directly affected by the effort they put in.

  4. 25

    Having a superb team

    I read or listen to books all the time, mostly related to business or around that area. I got a excellent quote from a book that suggested if you cannot walk away from a business that you own and it will still operate then you are in the unfortunate position of now owning a job. One of the many goals I have for CrossFit as a business is that all the members of the team complement one another and we can all help each other out without having one person carrying all the weight.

    You can imagine my delight then at being away for 10 days, an eternity, and not getting one phone call from Colm and Will. This was huge, the guys just got on with it and if a issue came up that would normally require my attention they sorted it out and got it done. When I came back we had a quick informal meeting about what had gone on and back to work, this is huge to me and very important in the long-term plan we have for what we do here.

    What does your business or career look like when you come back from being sick or on holidays??

  5. 20
    1 comment

    Sharpening the Axe

    Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Abraham Lincoln

    So, I have decided to step away for a few days, the offer of a holiday in Croatia with an old mate who knows the place like the back of his hand was too good to turn down. I also decided after a chat with my mate Paul, when little things start to piss you off it’s time to sit down and see where you are going. I deal with stress poorly, it closes in on me and affects how I do things and my ability to look more than 3 days ahead. Fire-Fighting in your own head is not fun.

    No e-mails. No phone calls. No alarm clock. Then I will get over the initial feeling of guilt, that niggle telling me that I should be doing something but accepting it and spending a little longer over lunch and dinner. As the break gets a little longer the head will clear and I will relax, giving me the chance to see things from a different perspective. Right now the business feels somewhat like reading a big long book in a tiny room, if that makes any sense.

    A few long lunches and relaxing dinners with a few beers thrown in will have me wound down pretty quickly, from there I can have a different perspective on the business and take some satisfaction in what we have achieved.

    Poor Colm and Will then have to tell me to SHUT-UP and stop coming up with 25 ideas and doing none of them. I am excited about the break and having a proper rest, it’s been a hell of a run for the last 550 odd days and it’s gonna be even more fun when I get back. (I put in the days to remind myself, it’s not a 5/6 day week for us. We never switch off, there is always something to do and a plan to implement. See you guys soon,

    P.S. As this is the business blog, are you pushing hard or coasting? Do you need to up your game or find some headspace and back off a touch?

  6. 19
    1 comment

    Estimating Cashflow

    The final video in the latest series on what it takes to start up your CrossFit box.

  7. 5

    Working Week (Hourly Breakdown)

  8. 28
    1 comment

    Costing a Facility – Fit Out

  9. 19

    Costing a Facility – Premises

    In this video, Tom talks through the numbers you could spend in a year on running the facility, from rent to toiletries, fire safety certs to admin costs and everything in between.

    CrossFit Ireland (Biz) – Costings for Premises from CrossFit Ireland on Vimeo.

    Disclaimer: We have left out professional fees as these can be dramatically different depending on who you use and how much preparatory work you do beforehand. You will need a solicitor and an accountant, trust me.

    All the numbers in this video are realistic but will move around depending on the premises and how you want to do things in your business. Please use your discretion when interpreting this information, I am no expert but wanted to provide people with an outline. I hope you find this useful and appreciate any comments. – Tom

  10. 7
    1 comment

    Meeting with the Accountant

    Now that we’re into year two and have a number of months of accounts behind us we can have regular meetings with our accountant – who aside from being a top notch number cruncher also built a very successful business himself from scratch.

    These meetings give us a steer month to month on how we’re progressing and where to focus on.

    Our first one revealed that we’d managed to keep our costs down. “In any service business, you’d expect to see a minimum of €100,000 keeping the place open”. It was comforting to know that we hadn’t been reckless with our spending in the first year, as we really didn’t know the full extent of the costs of running the business at the start.

    Secondly we were given permission to spend on upgrading the equipment and facilities. This gives us a boost as it allows us to continue bringing the entire place up the standard we want it to be in for you all. We’ve plenty of improvements in the pipeline and will keep you up to date on all the proceedings as they start to happen.