Choosing A CrossFit Gym

We recommend you visit or try out several CrossFit gyms before choosing one, and we hope you’ll choose us on this basis: CrossFit Atlanta provides the best quality CrossFit instruction available. We’re fully committed to CrossFit as the best path to fitness, and we’ve been doing CrossFit longer than anyone else in Georgia.

CrossFit HQ does not franchise; they don’t grant territories. They operate the basis of licensing the CrossFit brand name to “affiliates.” They do not specify anything about how an affiliate should run their gym. Thus, each CrossFit gym is different. Each has a different vibe. It’s not like McDonald’s or LA Fitness. Some will let you bring your dog, some won’t. Some won’t allow to use chalk (stay away from those!). Some will let you take your shirt off during the workout and flop down and make sweat angels on the floor after the workout, some won’t. So choose one that suits you, one where you feel comfortable, where you will stay the course.

Not so long ago the world of CrossFit consisted exclusively of folks who truly believed that CrossFit was the best general physical preparation regimen in existence. But that has changed. Many established fitness players have felt threatened by the rapid growth of CrossFit. They view it as the latest fad, like Tae-Bo, Zumba, or cardio kickboxing, and they seek to retain or gain clients by hopping on the bandwagon and adding it to an existing hodgepodge of fitness offerings. Sometimes they do so without much understanding of CrossFit methods or any real belief in CrossFit’s efficacy. We didn’t hop on the CrossFit bandwagon because it was popular. We led the way. We were the first CrossFit gym in Georgia, back in 2005 when hardly anyone had even heard of it. There are now over 10,000 CrossFit Affiliates world wide. We are #27.

Gyms that are dedicated to CrossFit only have a totally different feel and culture than operations where CrossFit is one among a variety of fitness options. In many gyms the people working out are are alone: focused inward with their headphones, watching TV, or checking themselves in the mirror. At a real CrossFit gym everyone is talking, interacting, encouraging one another, laughing, having fun, making friends.

We don’t sit on machines that take all the skill, balance, and coordination out of human movement. CrossFit uses complex, multi-joint movements, and teaching them involves recognizing and correcting movement faults, and requires fixing mobility/flexibility issues that prevent correct movement. We teach people how to move correctly, and coaching expertise makes a huge difference. Greg Glassman, the CrossFit founder, has said that even bad CrossFit training is better than almost all other training, and this is true. By comparison, good CrossFit training is remarkably safer and more effective. Most people are not equipped to judge whether they are getting good, mediocre, or bad training. So why do we claim to be better?

  • The CrossFit Level 1 course is a two day seminar. Attend, pass the written exam, and you are a CrossFit Level 1 trainer. The CrossFit Level 2 trainer designation is a step up from the Level 1. Formerly, it came via a clinical test was designed to test a trainer’s ability to see and correct movement faults. It was a difficult test that had a 40% pass rate. All the trainers from CrossFit Atlanta who took this test had a 100% pass rate on the 1st try. CrossFit Atlanta has more of these Level 2 trainers than any gym in the area. The new pathway to CrossFit Level 2 comes from taking the CrossFit Coaches’ Prep Course, and we have more of the new L2 certificate trainers than any other Atlanta gym. Also, there are five CrossFit trainers in the Atlanta area who have in the past or who now currently work for CrossFit HQ as trainers of CrossFit trainers, teaching at the Level 1 seminars which aspiring CrossFit trainers must attend. These are the best of the best. Four of those five Atlanta based HQ trainers are at CrossFit Atlanta, though two are no longer actively training clients (they are too busy with CrossFit HQ). It’s also worth mentioning that several CrossFit L1 trainers who work at other gyms are paying members at our gym.
  • Another reason to choose us is the quality of our Olympic lifting instruction. The Olympic lifts are a foundational element in the CrossFit method, [read Foundations, by Greg Glassman], and our O-lift instruction team is led by people who have competed or coached nationally and internationally in Olympic Lifting. The only place you can get higher level O-lift coaching in the Atlanta area is at Coffee’s Gym, and that’s where we send our folks who want to compete in Olympic lifting.
  • Lastly are the results our people are achieving. The founder of CrossFit has said that the needs of elite athletes do not differ in kind from the needs of ordinary people, they only differ in degree. What we are doing is proof of that hypothesis. On the elite side, we have trained D1 college athletes, professional athletes, high school athletes hoping to make varsity or win scholarships, competitors in just about every sport, and we have qualified a team or individuals to compete in the CrossFit Games  every year since 2008. Our athletes perform exceedingly well in other CrossFit competitions, and on the playing fields in a wide variety of sports. But we take the most pride and get the most satisfaction from watching people without any competitive aspirations transform themselves with the very same program. We are producing winners in life and sport.

Atlanta CrossFit History

CrossFit Atlanta is the oldest CrossFit affiliate in Georgia, and for almost 2 years we were the only one. We began with Saturday afternoon meet ups in the fall of 2005 in the backyard of Dan MacDougald. At that time very few people had even heard of CrossFit.

Early Days At The Shed


In January, 2006 we took a “Field of Dreams” plunge and opened up in a small warehouse space (1400 sq feet) on Watkins Street, where we remained until November, 2008.


In 2008 we moved into a 5,000 square foot facility on Chattahoochee Ave, shown below.


We outgrew that space and in 2013 we moved a short distance to our current 10,000 sq. ft. facility at Permalume Place, just off Chattachoochee Ave. CrossFit in the metro Atlanta area has grown from our one gym to over 150 CrossFit Affiliate gyms at last count, many of which were started with our help, and we remain committed, as always, to spreading the reach of what we believe is the best general fitness program in existence.