There are four reasons why Jake Crandall believes a gym should host competitions.
“It’s a way to increase their presence, their local footprint, show off their Box and make a little bit of money,” he said.
Plus, it’s a chance for your members to compete on their home turf. But as a newbie, competing can be scary. That is a driving force behind Crandall’s creation of Kill Cliff New WODs on the Block competition.
Specifically a scaled competition, it looks to draw in those first-time competitors. To make sure the competition is actually scaled, competitors will be separated into two divisions — gold and silver — at the end of four workouts. “Even in a scaled division, you’re going to have that much separation,” said Crandall, who also owns CrossFit Okie and OPEX Tulsa.
Brandon Wilton, the owner and CEO of CrossFit South Bend in Mishawaka, Indiana, explained the elite athletes at his gym make up five percent of his membership. So why would he pander to them and not the other 95 percent? “You can really get the newer people inspired to be accountable, to learn new skills, to get a new experience feel, to make them face the truth about their fitness and all that kind of stuff,” he said.
The idea of bringing outside competitions into your gym is growing. New WODs on the Block is one of several fitness concepts out there. Crandall explained the idea behind such competitions is to make it as easy for the gym owner as possible to host a competition in his or her Box.
CrossFit South Bend is hosting a New WODs on the Block competition on August 26, along with about 17 other gyms across the nation. Crandall explained in order to run a competition, all he needs is space, equipment and volunteers. The idea is to have gym owners do what they are best at, which might not be running a competition, but rather getting their people excited about it.
There are a few pros and cons Wilton looks at when encouraging members to compete for the first time. First, it’s a great opportunity for them to learn new skills, work on things like mental toughness and teamwork, and stay accountable in their training. On the other hand, if their expectations are wrong and if they aren’t training correctly, it can be detrimental. Plus, he noted while it’s good for short-term accountability, they need to find something to keep them accountable long term.
In the end, Crandall hopes to only grow New WODs on the Block in order be that fulfillment piece for gyms. “Why am I doing this? It’s the same reason I mentor gyms,” he said. “I’m filling in that gap. I mentor gyms because I get something out of it. I hear things that maybe I wouldn’t have been able to apply to my own gym.”