Evening Class Additions

Over the next week, we’ll be putting a slew of changes into effect based on member feedback. To avoid confusion, we’ll be outlining changes to the AM schedule, construction plans, equipment additions, further evening additions, etc. in a series of separate posts. First up, however, are these additions to the evening schedule, which will kick in this Monday, July 23rd:

[Related side note: as they all use the same programming, we're combining our “intermediate,” “advanced,” and “all levels” WOD’s into what we'll now be calling simply “Black Box” WOD’s.]

As in the past, from Monday through Thursday, the Black Box WOD’s at 5:00 PM, 6:00 PM, 7:00 PM and 8:00 PM will be held on the Third Floor at 26 Street. As they have been for the last month, on Friday, the Black Box WOD’s at 4:00 PM, 5:00 PM, 6:00 PM and 7:00 PM will be held at 28 Street.

Now, Monday through Thursday, we’re also adding new Black Box WOD’s at 6:30 PM and 7:30 PM, on the Fourth Floor at 26 Street. Beginners, if you’re starting to feel confident in your movements, consider trying out the Black Box WODs. The additional capacity of this fifth WOD at peak times should prevent us from ‘selling out’ at peak as we do now.

Additionally, from Monday through Thursday, there will be an additional Beginner WOD at 4:30 PM held at 28 Street.

In parallel, we are decreasing evening class sizes from 20 to 18. Along with our reorganization of the 28th St floor early this week (which yielded about 10% more space for each of the three WOD areas), this should give each class participant about 20% more space than they had last Monday. A large number of additional pullup bars and ring stations incoming shortly, as well as another $20,000 of equipment now on order (all detailed in a separate post) should make a serious dent in the problem, too.

More coming shortly.

Additional Note: Due to space constraints, we’re also suspending Open Gym and evening team practices until further notice.

Responses

  • http://linsfitnessjourney.blogspot.com Linnea H

    Amazing! Thanks for making Crossfit NYC so fantastic.

  • http://www.ryanshell.com/blog Ryan Shell

    I’d just like to openly say how irritated I am that I can’t get in the 5:45 pm class until Thursday. Part of Crossfit is the community, and it now appears I won’t be able to workout with the community of folks I’ve grown to know and enjoy. And yes, for me, the people matter… some might not understand that, others will.

    My weekdays have been scheduled around getting to the 5:45 class, but it appears that is pretty much out the door this week. I’ve been dedicated to your box, but that relationship is starting to feel EXTREMELY one sided.

    Owners, I’ve been a member for quite a while at this point and have sent
    a good amount of business your way. As of right now, I’ll not suggest
    anyone else join the gym until you get your crap together. Zero.

    And while I’m at it, you SHOULD provide free water until you have a freaking water fountain installed. $50,000 a month or more should at least get folks some water. I mean heck, Crunch even has a water fountain… and that’s setting the bar pretty darn low.

    By the way, disclosing how much flooring and new equipment costs is crap. You run a business, that’s part of the game, disclosing said costs doesn’t make up for BS and, what I consider horrible customer service.

    I’m sure I’m coming off as a complete jerk, but I’m pretty irritated.

    Ryan

    • Hari Singh

      We can only fit a finite number of people into any given class and allowing people to register more than 48 hours in advance does not change that fact.

      As we explained above, we have made a decision to lower the maximum number of people in the evening classes from 20 to 18. To date, better than 9 out of 10 people who have shown up “standby” have gotten into the class they desired, and probably at least 49 out of 50 people get into a class 15 minutes later. (The 6:00 PM class has the exact same programming as the 5:45 class.)

      We’ve got a number of problems, but the fact that only 18 people can get in the 5:45 PM class is not a “bug;” it’s a “feature.” We now have 5 classes and 90 slots during our busiest hours.

      We will certainly take your other comments under advisement.

      • http://www.ryanshell.com/blog Ryan Shell

        Hari, my days generally start around 5:30 am so that I can make the 5:45 pm class. According to the schedule, the first class that’s available tomorrow is the 6:30 pm class. 45 minutes might not be a big deal to you, but it is to my hectic schedule and the things that come after crossfit. Hopefully you can appreciate the annoyance that comes with the inability to schedule out my week. Getting in a
        class now seems like a crap shoot and if time slots aren’t immediately available it’s likely that workouts simply won’t happen. At that point I’m wasting money.

        I’m happy to now know that I’ll need to add yet another Crossfit NYC reminder to my schedule 48 hrs prior to wanting to attend a class: “Hurry, sign up for Crossfit before the classes fill up.”

        All I can do is think about the days when 35 or 40 people were in a class. And we stuck by you. Now, those same people are being pushed out of classes.

        Ryan

        PS – if you have a new 48-hour scheduling rule in place, how is the 5:45 pm class on Wednesday already full?

        • Hari Singh

          Until recently, people were able to sign up weeks in advance. We typically have had an average of 3 to 5 people not show, which is why such a high percentage of people who show up”standby” have still been able to get into closed out classes.

          We reasoned that many people had been “defensively” registering in advance and then sometimes forgetting to cancel. We therefore decided to limit how far in advance people can register.

          At the moment, the people you see registered more than 48 hours out did so before we changed the system.

    • mike n.

      I just use the water from the bathroom sinks…is that not good to drink?

      Regarding the space issue, it’s hard not to agree with Ryan. I mean you don’t have to be a math genius to figure out that eventually you can’t add any more classes at the times that people want to go and the peak times get signed up for quickly. Crossfit’s already a race to see who can do the WOD the fastest, now it’s a race for who can sign up the fastest once registration opens. While this might not be the situation today, 2 months ago no WOD time was at capacity and tomorrow almost every class is full. The fact that the 6:30 has some times or 7PM is open doesn’t mean much to the person who just can’t wait another 30 minutes or doesn’t want to. The solution to this problem lies in changing the way people are processed. Think about how you would get 40 people through the filthy 50. More of an assembly line. More equipment would be needed obviously. Coaches would coach a segment of a WOD repeatedly instead of walking one class through the whole hour. If you had a WOD where part A was back squats and part B was Fran, wouldn’t it make more sense to have the gym set up all day to accept people at these stations as opposed to having everyone load and breakdown bars (or set up a place to throw a wall ball, do situps etc..). Maybe I’m missing something in the logistics here but if you are running out of time looking for where time is being wasted would help and waiting for 18 people to go get bars, plates and figure out where to set up eats time. I’ve watched it for 3 years now, there’s down time during the hour and basically that’s something that can no longer be afforded. A couple of years ago the gym had something called express WOD’s. Sometimes the old ideas were good they just weren’t so good for the time and the space at that time. While the express WOD’s had no real coaching (which is not the part I am suggesting), the part that worked was for something like Fran, there were bars already on the ground with varying weights, no set up, no breakdown…maximum amount of people can get through. More seamless transitions between parts of the WOD.

      • Hari Singh

        “Regarding the space issue, it’s hard not to agree with Ryan. I mean you don’t have to be a math genius to figure out that eventually you can’t add any more classes at the times that people want to go and the peak times get signed up for quickly.”

        This is correct. Like every restaurant, every theater and every CrossFit, we can only handle a given number of people during our busiest hours. In the past week, we have reorganized our operation to increase that number.

        You are suggesting that we may be able to increase capacity further by speeding people through. Perhaps. We may also be able to increase capacity by adding still more space. We are working on both approaches.

        (We added the capacity at 28 Street faster than we wanted because we were in a similar crunch late last year. Much of the frustration people are expressing now is directly related to the lack of time we have had to complete the build out, showers, water fountains, etc. We are now wondering whether we should take the same approach again, opening up another raw space.)

        At the moment, we are a bit like a new restaurant that just got a positive write-up. Our regulars are annoyed that there favorite eatery has been discovered, and now they can’t always get a reservation at their favorite hour or arrive on time and have to wait to be seated

        Probably three times a week, I turn to Court and Josh, and say, “I just wish it would stop growing for a while.” Until then, we will continue to do our best to maintain a high level of coaching while also managing the logistics.

        • mike n.

          Not speeding people through. That probably is how it sounded, but using the time better. If I came into a WOD where I was expected to warm up, then do back squats for 20 minutes and then some met con with a 20 minute time cap, how quickly could you get a group through that. If the group didn’t have to set up anything or do very minimal set up it would go quicker. Already have bars set up and places for the people to go. Maybe that means WOD’s are now 45 minutes long but the same amount of stuff is covered because no one had to set up a spot, they just went there and started the WOD. For non beginner WOD’s time is often spent reviewing lifts, I’m not saying people don’t need this but maybe that should be something that the non beginners no longer get. Going step by step through a clean after you’ve been here a year might be a time waster.

          I don’t have the answers, just suggestions and they might not even be good suggestions but clearly there is a problem, a good one to have if you are running a business. And if you wished you’d stop growing for a while, I guess there are ways to grant that wish.

        • http://www.ryanshell.com/blog Ryan Shell

          Hari, I’m not sure what the profit margin looks like, but regarding your last statement… have you ever considered capping membership? Doing so could be an incentive for current members to pay on time and to not lose their slot. There are pro’s and con’s to each method, but this might help you control scale.

          • Hari Singh

            The most economically efficient way to cap membership is to raise prices. We have not taken that approach, but rather have held our prices at $199 per month for the past 6 years and periodically working through these sorts of growth spurts.

            At this time, we intend to work hard to respond to our members concerns and stay the course. We work this this with the same mindset that a good CrossFitter works through a long chipper, one rep (day) and a time; and when the judges (our member) call “no rep” we accept that and redo (fix) what’s wrong.

    • Sean M.

      I’m really sad for you that you can’t get into your 5:45pm class you whiny fuck.

      “Now, those same people are being pushed out of classes.” – In the name of safety, equipment usage, instructor capacity, floor space, etc they are capping class size. To accommodate the displaced they are adding more classes.

      I’m glad you are the center of your own universe. Maybe I should make a post about losing open gym and team practices in the evening and how that forces me start going to CFNYC at 6am instead of 6pm (like I have for years), or drop into a regular class, or meet new people, or make new friends, or change anything – oh the humanity of it all.

      “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time” – thanks Lincoln.

      • http://www.ryanshell.com/blog Ryan Shell

        Of course you’d take it to that level. Congrats.

        • Sean M.

          Your absurd sense of entitlement and self-importance brought it to that level. You should really be congratulating yourself.

          After complaining about how crowded the classes are, they adjust class sizes and times to accomodate. Now you are having trouble getting what you want…and are “pretty irritated”

          You are totally glossing over how these changes might be effecting people other than yourself. I don’t expect you are capable of realizing that, and I’m sure once you can get into your precious 5:45pm class because of your hectic schedule, all will be right until the next time that something doesn’t match your expectation at which time we can all be blesses with your next “i’m so irritated because (fill in blank)” post.

          • http://www.ryanshell.com/blog Ryan Shell

            Sean, the overcrowding was due to the addition of a 4th class at 28th St – you seemed to miss that level of detail.

            And no, I’m not overlooking other people – the feedback I’ve provided isn’t just coming from me.

    • Kameron

      Ryan, I understand you have a “hectic” schedule. But so do a lot of other people; their name is EVERYONE. The amount of flexibilty Josh, Hari, and Court have shown during this build out is not something you’re going to find at a lot of businesses. In fact, try finding a 5:45pm class (the only time you can attend) at any other box in the five boroughs or NJ. You might find one or two. And I think I’m overestimating there.
      I’m not trying to be snarky here, but I think you need to put things into perspective. Sometimes you’ll get into the 5:45 class, sometimes you won’t. That’s life. But at least you have three gym owners that give enough of a shit to listen to your feedback and try to make immediate adjustments to appease as many people as possible. If you want to WOD badly enough, I’m sure you’ll find some way to make 6:30 or 6:45 work for you. The rest of us do.

      • http://www.ryanshell.com/blog Ryan Shell

        Kameron, maybe it’s a shock to the system when changes turn “normal” upside down. Thanks for the note.

        • Kameron

          Now you’re just being dramatic.

          • http://www.ryanshell.com/blog Ryan Shell

            A 25 lb weight weighs 25 lbs. Feel free to twist that statement as well. :)

  • Ben

    Hey is getting really difficult to reserve 8:15 beginner’s which is the only class I can make!

    I’m totally sympathetic to the growing pains of scaling a business so don’t expect everything to be perfect, but would love some more later classes (if it makes business sense)!

    Thanks for the hard work of the entire CFNYC team

    • Hari Singh

      We just added a 4:30 PM class at the beginning of the evening. We will add an 8:30 PM class at the end of the evening, if demand shows it is necessary. However, I do not believe we have ever had 18 people in the 8:15 PM WOD.

      • Ben

        I’m surprised the data shows that, as a regular attendee it seems full more often than not

  • Jay_Goebel

    I have a groin injury and can’t really do any of the classes. Is there any time at any location I can come in and work out?

    • reisbaron

      It’s been very common for coaches to custom make WODs on the fly for people with injuries. If you can find out who is teaching a particular class you’re registering for, maybe reach out to them ahead of time to let them know.

  • Mark Lohmann

    Gents,
    Just my 5 cent here – the signing up routine that has been implemented does NOT WORK.
    For a work out Wednesday – I can only sign up Monday evening. That makes plannig (WHich training is much abt) totally impossible….
    Again I have to think back to the time with Crossfit Copenhagen who accomendated a LOT MORE members than we do here right now.
    They have an eletronical system where you, as here, register online. Arriving at the gym you swipe your Crossfit card and check in to the class (This makes wait list MUCH easier to handle).
    If you sign up for a class that you do not show up to – the rest of your weeks classes gets cancelled automatic – or at least someone from Crossfit goes in at cancel them as penalty.
    One person could only have 3 bookings at a time (Not including waitlist) and bookings opened one week ahead.
    For me – it seems somehwat caotic that you got to have a person running around keeping track on who shows up etc – when a system could do the same and keep better track of people in that way.
    Anyways the core of my post – you need to open up for bookings 1 week at a time as 2 days prior makes it hard to plan any serious training…
    BRGDS/Mark

    • Hari Singh

      There is a lot of useful stuff in your post.

      Until recently, people were able to register several weeks in advance. Now, we have cut that to 48 hours. You may be entirely correct that the optimal choice is one week. If so, should come to that conclusion fairly quickly. Also, the idea of canceling people’s future reservations if they “no show” is intriguing.

      Part of this week’s problem may be that so many people had registered weeks in advance that those who tried to register today found most of the classes closed. (We did not think it was fair or practical for us to cancel reservations that were already in place.)

      Also, people obviously could not have previously registered for any of the three new classes we have just added (4:30 PM, 6:30 PM, and 7:30 PM). It is likely that some people who were already registered in other classes would have chosen these new classes had they been available previously, and now that they are available, people are likely to take advantage of them, thereby decreasing the demand for all other classes.

      We are planning on upgrading to a better software system, one with the type of features you describe.

      • Mark Lohmann

        Hi Hari,
        Of course there is a period for adjusting – logically and therefore also jsut a friendly comment. But in length 48 hours would not cut it for me – but lets see how it develops. In CPH it was one of 2 – changed during my membership. One was that it opened the entire coming week Sunday during the day – the other was that it opened one day at a time – can not say which one was the best to be honest.
        But def. the software system – where all member get a card was very good compared to the current system here in NYC.
        Anyways – the way it was done in CPH (Having more members than here in NYC) is VERY different and would of course be happy to tell you more if needed or to put you in contact with the owner who might be able to give you his experiences – as they faced the exact same problems/responses roughly a year ago…

        • Dave K

          I will have to agree with the above on restricting how many
          classes to sign up for. This was one of the most irritating part of signing up
          for classes at regular gyms like NYSC where you had 24 hours to sign up for the
          next class but somehow they were already filled. And the answer to that was that I never
          wound up going. One of the biggest parts of why I enjoy going is bring
          able to keep my routine with my set time and know for the next 2 weeks when I
          am working out and work my schedule around that. Predictability in the schedule is key.

          I am not sure having the 48 hour restriction will be a
          sustainable solution for me (and most likely many) to continue being part of
          this gym in the long-term. I suspect it may actually lead to more no-shows
          given unpredictability of people’s schedule if they need to change times and actually
          result in decreased membership in the short-term. Maybe have the system send
          out e-mail reminders for reservation with 24 hours notice with a link to cancel
          if need be?

          At least make it a 1 to 2 week out and I like the idea of
          penalty for no-shows (as long as it is accurate) versus rest. I am not sure of all
          the stats are accurate from above but it shows 15% of each class are no shows
          and standbys fill it up. Seems 15% can be handled in alternative ways instead
          of the 85% that seem to work ok. (i.e. Some customers are just bad for business
          and may not be worth it..)

          Thanks for posting and responding. It is showing you are
          receptive to change and that is all we ask for.

      • Peter

        Hari – my wife works out at a spinning studio in Flatiron and they have a pretty good class registration system that allows members to register for a weeks worth of classes at a time and penalizes members for skipping registered classes. If you’re interested, drop me an email and I can talk you through how it works.

        • Emily L

          I am with the other members above. I need to be able to sign up for at least a week in advance as I have to make a concrete work schedule and I base it around said classes. Please keep us posted on this as it is one of the key things that enables me to keep coming.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=556545004 Kaleena Castillo

    So there will be no open gym at either location at all?

  • Sam G.

    This Shit be Craz!

    • Rick G

      See ya soon Sam.

  • Kellene

    this is annoying that i can’t sign up in advance! I liked that I could do a week in advance and schedule my whole week around my WODs, now I can’t and forget to sign up or sign up too late and can’t get in grrr…. can’t we go back to the week in advance at least? those who are dedicated should be punished for those who don’t show up…