How CrossFit Jerusalem started and some lessons I’ve learned along the way.

Mar 26, 2019 | 0 comments

How CrossFit Jerusalem started and some lessons I’ve learned along the way.

Mar 26, 2019 | 0 comments

For my 30th birthday my girlfriend (later wife) bought me a months membership to a local globo gym.

 It quickly became apparent that Jerusalem needed a better option. As in, worlds apart better. Although it took some time until I made the final decision, that’s when the seeds of CrossFit Jerusalem were planted somewhere in my mind.

 Over the last 8 years, CrossFit Jerusalem has taken many forms. We started with very simple equipment and worked out in parks. Back then the only ones who came to work out were friends and family, or some of the early adaptors, guys like Kobi Yemini.

In a minute I will continue the story, but first let me share with you the five most appalling things I witnessed at the commercial gym which I vowed never to repeat:

  1. Shitty front desk service. The only customer oriented employee is the sales manager.
  2. Unhelpful trainers. I literally watched a guy badly hurt himself with a kettlebell while the “trainer” was busy getting his groove on with one of the female patrons.
  3. Speaking of female patrons, if I was a woman that gym would be the last place I would want to go to exercise. The place is dominated by bodybuilding types and cardio bunnies.
  4. Generally unfriendly and unclean vibe. No other way to describe it.
  5. Even dedicated exercisers were left to rely on youtube for instruction. Most people simply repeat the same program over and over again and wind up getting bored or stopping alltogether. I remember a great kid who was doing a strength program but found himself stuck simply for lack of variance. The road to hell is paved with good intentions but without proper coaching it is nearly impossible to progress.

 Here’s how I fixed those problems at CFJ.

 1. Focus on helping people. Some people come to me and I recommend that they DON”T join my gym if I believe that doing something different will get them closer to their goals!

2. Apply a rigorous training process for new coaches and enforce strict standards when it comes to professionalism in training. This isn’t always easy and sometimes it’s very expensive (like when you have to fire a coach to doesn’t make the cut). But I can look myself in the mirror and know that I am keeping my clients safe.

3.A guarantee that all human beings will be welcomed at our gym, period

4. A warm communal environment. Anybody who works out at CFJ will tell you that it’s the best hour of their day (or at least the hour which adds the most value to the rest of their day).

5. Exciting and constantly varied workouts. We also do regular goal reviews and if a change is needed we tweak the program for the individual.

 

Back to the story: We soon moved to renting space from the Mixed Martial Arts guys under the Stadium. In the summer we would be running CrossFit workouts while they were sparring. It’s a miracle nobody passed out in that hall from oxygen deprivation! But we did plenty of good workouts there and stayed for a couple of years until it became intolerable.

 

Later, we got our own place in the industrial area. It felt like we hit the lottery at the time. We were finally a real business!

I would bike over in the morning to coach and after a 14 hour day would get to work cleaning the bathrooms for the next day. We did stuff there like hosting huge competitions for charity, being featured in the evening news, and starting a weightlifting team for Jerusalem. A brutally hard period but super cool at the same time!

 When I signed a contract with the YMCA, I knew we were home for one simple reason, and its not because they have great facilities and a great location. We share their values of creating a space where everyone can come in and enjoy a good workout with friends!

Building a great business which adds value to people’s lives is a never ending mission, but one which is noble and worthy of sacrifice.

Tell us your story and your goals by booking a No Sweat Intro here.

 

How To Get Back To Fitness When You Are In A Rut: The Number One Rule Revealed!

When trying to change, be kind to yourself. I have never seen anyone truly succeed by beating the shit out of themselves or harping on what is flawed in themselves or their circumstances. Tiger Woods was (is?) the greatest golfer ever to play the game. But his drive...

Those Big Family/Holiday/Weekend Meals: A Two-pronged Approach for to Staying on Track

You know this story because it happens to all of us. You have a great week. You make it to the gym for multiple legendary workouts. Eating is clean. Work is going well. You look and feel great!  Then the weekend rolls arounds. So you allow yourself to splurge on...

How hard should you workout? (The answer might surprise you)

You want results and you want them fast. Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this.  You want to get leaner, stronger, and healthier.  One factor which will have a massive impact on your results is the intensity you apply in your workouts.  Unfortunately...

A Tale of Two Sisters

(Names have been changed to protect privacy) Kate and Judith are sisters. Like many parents, they have never put their own health and fitness as a priority, and over the years they’ve gained weight and seen their energy levels decline. Tired of being overweight and...

Will Lifting Weights Make You Bulky?

When I was experiencing the most severe pain of my back injury, the worst part wasn’t the physical pain. It was the humiliation of not being able to instruct my body to perform on demand. I literally couldn’t put my shoes on in the morning, but I insisted on doing it...

How should I lose weight? (Tell me exactly what to do Josh!)

Did you know that the word Diet comes from the Greek word Diaita, which means Way of Life?   For many people, the word Diet is associated with periods of restriction, sometimes extreme, followed by periods of reckless abandon, during which the loathing is deep....

Keto, IF, or Plant Based. Which Diet is Best for Weight Loss?

You probably know someone who is doing one of the following three diets:  The Ketogenic Diet (Very high fat, very low carb), Intermittent Fasting (not eating for most of the day, squeezing all of your meals and snacks into a specified window, usually 8...

Is Weightlifting Safe for my Joints?

There are few activities you can do which will provide more of an immediate benefit to your day to day life more than lifting weights.

Training with free weights (not machines) will make it easier to pick up your kids, bring in the groceries, make more kids, carry more groceries, and a host of other functional activities.

Alas, we have all heard the horror stories, or experienced them ourselves, of people getting hurt in the gym.

So can you do upper body work without developing shoulder, wrist and elbow soreness? Can you deadlift without risking a blown out back? And can you squat and lunge without ruining your knees?

I am going plant based. Here’s why it doesn’t matter.

The great news is that whatever your goals are, you will get there faster by logging your intake. It really doesn’t matter if you are eating Paleo, Vegan, or anything else, as long as you are getting the right amounts of good quality foods.

Strength Building Dinner Option: Quick Tangy Beef Sauce.

Strength Building Dinner Option: Quick Tangy Beef Sauce. If there is one thing that drives me bananas, it is people who dump sugar into everything they cook “so that the kids will eat it”. Kids like real food, they don’t need to be bribed to eat when they are hungry....

How To Get Back To Fitness When You Are In A Rut: The Number One Rule Revealed!

When trying to change, be kind to yourself. I have never seen anyone truly succeed by beating the shit out of themselves or harping on what is flawed in themselves or their circumstances. Tiger Woods was (is?) the greatest golfer ever to play the game. But his drive...

Those Big Family/Holiday/Weekend Meals: A Two-pronged Approach for to Staying on Track

You know this story because it happens to all of us. You have a great week. You make it to the gym for multiple legendary workouts. Eating is clean. Work is going well. You look and feel great!  Then the weekend rolls arounds. So you allow yourself to splurge on...

How hard should you workout? (The answer might surprise you)

You want results and you want them fast. Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this.  You want to get leaner, stronger, and healthier.  One factor which will have a massive impact on your results is the intensity you apply in your workouts.  Unfortunately...

A Tale of Two Sisters

(Names have been changed to protect privacy) Kate and Judith are sisters. Like many parents, they have never put their own health and fitness as a priority, and over the years they’ve gained weight and seen their energy levels decline. Tired of being overweight and...

Will Lifting Weights Make You Bulky?

When I was experiencing the most severe pain of my back injury, the worst part wasn’t the physical pain. It was the humiliation of not being able to instruct my body to perform on demand. I literally couldn’t put my shoes on in the morning, but I insisted on doing it...

How should I lose weight? (Tell me exactly what to do Josh!)

Did you know that the word Diet comes from the Greek word Diaita, which means Way of Life?   For many people, the word Diet is associated with periods of restriction, sometimes extreme, followed by periods of reckless abandon, during which the loathing is deep....

Keto, IF, or Plant Based. Which Diet is Best for Weight Loss?

You probably know someone who is doing one of the following three diets:  The Ketogenic Diet (Very high fat, very low carb), Intermittent Fasting (not eating for most of the day, squeezing all of your meals and snacks into a specified window, usually 8...

Is Weightlifting Safe for my Joints?

There are few activities you can do which will provide more of an immediate benefit to your day to day life more than lifting weights.

Training with free weights (not machines) will make it easier to pick up your kids, bring in the groceries, make more kids, carry more groceries, and a host of other functional activities.

Alas, we have all heard the horror stories, or experienced them ourselves, of people getting hurt in the gym.

So can you do upper body work without developing shoulder, wrist and elbow soreness? Can you deadlift without risking a blown out back? And can you squat and lunge without ruining your knees?

I am going plant based. Here’s why it doesn’t matter.

The great news is that whatever your goals are, you will get there faster by logging your intake. It really doesn’t matter if you are eating Paleo, Vegan, or anything else, as long as you are getting the right amounts of good quality foods.

Strength Building Dinner Option: Quick Tangy Beef Sauce.

Strength Building Dinner Option: Quick Tangy Beef Sauce. If there is one thing that drives me bananas, it is people who dump sugar into everything they cook “so that the kids will eat it”. Kids like real food, they don’t need to be bribed to eat when they are hungry....