As a CrossFit Affiliate Owner, you’re likely familiar with the young, buff, ‘kool-aid drinking’ CrossFit athlete stereotype. However, that’s most likely not an accurate representation of the membership at your gym. So, who is the average athlete coming into your gym? Will the recent changes to the format of the CrossFit Games, and the focus on CrossFit Health, affect the demographics of the sport at large or the membership at your gym? Triib gym owners Mike Burnes and PJ Massey, Co-Owners of CrossFit Rail Trail (CFRT), and Ronda Rockett, M.D., Owner of CrossFit Launchpad share what their gym membership is like below.
Triib: From the day you opened the doors to your gym, to the present day, has the typical person who has walked through your doors changed?
PJ: I think if you have a good mix of demographics, it’s healthy for any fitness business or any program. At CFRT we still have a fairly good mix of athletes. We have the young kids that come in that try to push too hard in the beginning and then kind of reel back. Then we have older folks that come in and they just know they need to be here. Then we have middle-aged folks like myself. I want to make sure all our athletes come in and get a good workout and leave in one piece, and continue on with their life outside of the gym. All of our athletes, despite their age, get a good support system at our gym. I haven’t seen any kind of separation yet. I think it might change a little bit because this is still the first year with the recent CrossFit changes, but I think that any changes that promote a healthy mix of demographics at your gym are great.
Mike: The way our culture’s been set at CFRT, I don’t see the recent changes in CrossFit affecting it much. I think we’ve had the healthy mix that we have had for a while, and it’s going to continue to be that mix because of the culture that we set. The uber-competitive people that want to come in and look for the leader board, they usually don’t last here. It’s just not the culture that we have at our gym. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. I’m just saying that’s not what we have fostered. I actually can see this focus from health, coming off The Games, perhaps enhancing our culture and boosting membership at our gym.
Ronda: We have a neighborhood gym. It’s almost completely word of mouth, which is great. My youngest member is eight. My oldest member right now is 74 and he’s awesome. He’s writing a blog and he went to our deli shop that everybody goes to in town. Just this morning, another member of ours overheard him asking if they would put a Paleo menu together for all of us. It’s awesome to see people are changing their lifestyles in not just our gym, but our community as a whole. So we also have a mix of membership at our gym. We have parents and their kids coming to work out together. Young parents in the neighborhood with an infant, who might not know anybody yet, they’re meeting people at our gym. The variance in demographics at our gym is definitely enhancing the community.
CrossFit is known for its inclusivity, and as an Affiliate Owner, you probably have witnessed an array of demographics at your gym firsthand over time. As Founder Greg Glassman has said regarding CrossFit, “The needs of Olympics athletes and our grandparents differ by degree, not kind.” With the recent focus on health, it seems that membership at CrossFit gyms could become even more inclusive of the general population than ever before. Have you noticed any change in the demographics of your gym membership recently, or has it been consistent? Comment below! Interested in the full interview? Check it out here.