- Friendly faces
This might seem like a strange requirement to start off with, but clients are looking for a box where they can build a strong group of friends. The beauty of community-focused fitness is that it’s a contrast to the gym:
Dragging yourself through a lonely workout with your headphones on
Going to see your friends and having fun doing a new WOD
The staff may be very knowledgeable, but if they can’t make your clients feel welcome, those clients are going to feel awkward and uncomfortable every time they show up for a workout. With the right gym environment, they’ll look forward to seeing all their friends at class and will stay motivated to make it to one of the best hours of their day.
- Toys, lots of toys
Anyone can buy a bar and a set of bumper plates for their garage or basement, and pick up a jump rope at the local sporting goods store and do some variations of functional movements for intensity at home. But if members are paying a premium for a CrossFit Box membership, you should at least have bars and bumpers, balance trainers like the BOSU®, dumbbells, kettlebells, plyo boxes, rowers, air bikes, medicine balls, and unique items such as the Surge®. That’s just the starter list. Many gyms will have another batch of tools that relate to their specialty bias: think gymnastics, strongman, or kickboxing equipment. Don’t get greedy and expect a swimming pool though.
The more passionate about CrossFit you get, the more blood, sweat, and tears you will shed doing it. Your gym should have someone cleaning all that up. Writhing on the floor for 5 or 10 minutes after a miserable workout is cool unless the floor is so filthy that your sweat makes mud. And check your bathrooms, they will tell clients a lot about how much a business values its members.
- Firebreathers and First-timers
A quick survey of a good box’s athletes should reveal a variety of experience and performance levels. Prospective members shouldn’t be too impressed if the gym has elite competitor credentials like Regional or CrossFit Games qualifiers. Chances are that the high-level CrossFitters are training twice as much daily as others plan to. You want a gym with a coaching staff who are experienced at modifying workouts and building fitness in athletes with very little or no prior workout experience. Giving former college athletes a venue to stay engaged in athletics is great, but empowering grandparents with a level of functional fitness that enables them to roughhouse with their grandkids is just as good. Make sure your members have a group they can join that fits their level and meets their goals.
This is a tough one to recognize or discover. But prospective members will look at a gym’s website and social media platforms and try to find a mission statement or creed. A CrossFit Box is more than a gym – it is a community – and to really serve a community means you’re also engaged in the community. Good boxes will show signs that they support their members in ways that transcend fitness, great boxes will show signs that their members support causes and efforts outside of the gym altogether.
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