CrossFit is the amalgamation of exercises classes, a brand name and fitness competition that has been growing over the last decade.

In CrossFit’s own words

“CrossFit is constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. All CrossFit workouts are based on functional movements, and these movements reflect the best aspects of gymnastics, weightlifting, running, rowing and more.”

While this may sound like an aim of most fitness centres, CrossFit has conquered its section of the fitness market.

According to Men’s Health, there are currently

“Over 500 CrossFit affiliates in the UK, almost 3000 in larger Europe and approximately 13,000 worldwide. Moreover, it’s continuing to spread everywhere.”

Not only are the number of centres or “boxes” staggering but so it the number of people taking part. According to a recent report from CNBC,

“With 4 million CrossFit devotees, roughly the population of Los Angeles, it is crystal clear that this fitness program … has tapped into something that was missing in the fitness industry.”

This trend is happening at the same time as the explosion in the growth of the budget fitness centres, which have continued to grow and develop offering exercise at a fraction of a cost of a standard CrossFit membership.

While CrossFit has not been without its critics, its popularity and membership numbers cannot be ignored. With that in mind, is it possible to take its best parts and work them into a successful corporate fitness or wellness programme?

Create communities

One of the most significant points that make people stay with CrossFit is the sense of community attained from the classes. A combination of the group nature of the exercise, the competition and teamwork involved in pushing each other through the daily WOD’s results in the sense of community that most fitness centres can’t match.

Be on the floor

CrossFit coaches are there for each WOD, assisting with technique and motivating the member. This time devoted to the members and to help them develop is something that all fitness centres aspire to achieve.

Make them work

CrossFit is hard. Most people like this. Deep down we know that nothing worth having is achieved quickly or easily and while we shouldn’t see exercise as a punishment, there is a sense of achievement involved with finishing a workout.

Learn something

CrossFit places emphasis on learning new movements whether its Olympic lifts, gymnastics or even skipping. Whereas some fitness centres may give you 5 minutes and an instruction manual to the treadmill, CrossFit helps people learn. This level of engagement can provide a reason for members to come back more frequently and stay with you for longer.

Give them something to aspire to

The CrossFit Games provides a window into the elite of CrossFit, held once per year it is competition anyone can enter through the open competition, but only the elite ever reach. Nevertheless, the ability to benchmark yourself against the best of the best can motivate to some to return and improve.

Offer more than your customers expect

As sales and leadership author Marc Wayshak states

“A typical gym is a place to exercise.”

While many corporate fitness centres offer more than this, CrossFit seems to go that extra mile.

“These independently owned gyms will often develop tight-knit communities, create diet challenges, host social gatherings and encourage all members to enter into a CrossFit competition.”

All of this combines to offer more value to the member than they expect, which is the fundamental aim of all corporate fitness centres.

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