Times have changed from when Jason Leydon first opened CrossFit Milford in Milford, Connecticut.
In 2008, members heard about his gym through guerilla marketing, community outreach and fliers. Now that he’s been in business for eight years, has helped open three additional Boxes and the fact that social media exists, the tools and resources Affiliates can use when opening a Box are in abundance.
In Adrien Tapia’s venture opening up CrossFit Siege in Miramar, Florida, he connected with an investor who agreed to partner with him. And Tapia said he is thankful to have his investor as a business resource.
But Tapia also relies on the community of CrossFit Affiliates to stay on top of the CrossFit industry, as well as for tips on how to operate a small business.
For instance, he attended Box to Business, a seminar on owning an efficient Affiliate, led by Jason Khalipa of NorCal CrossFit and JP of BRICK CrossFit. There, he was not only affirmed in how he was running CrossFit Siege, but received helpful advice. “A lot of times you say things that people don’t agree with. Then you kind of doubt yourself. But then you hear guys like them and you’re like, ‘OK, I’m not that crazy,’” said Tapia.
For Keith Wittenstein, his Affiliation journey started with practical knowledge. Wittenstein, a Level 3 Trainer at Guerrilla Fitness CrossFit Morristown in Morristown, New Jersey, was interested in yoga before CrossFit.
In 2000, Wittenstein received his 200-hour yoga teacher training at Sonic Yoga in New York City. In the process of learning about yoga, Wittenstein said he “really geeked out” on the anatomy portion of the training – so much so that he received additional help from cadaver labs and Jill Miller, the founder of Yoga Tune Up.
He used that knowledge on tissues, muscles, bones and how the human body moves to develop homework in the Coach’s Training Program at CrossFit Virtuosity, where he formerly coached.
“I’m a product of liberal arts education. I think that it’s good to have diversity in knowledge and to not be too specialized. That’s the CrossFit thing, too. We don’t generally specialize,” said Wittenstein. “The more diverse your knowledge is, it lends itself to more fluid understanding and more adaptability to more concepts.”
Leydon said the community of CrossFit has helped his Box stay at the top of the industry. “That’s a really great thing about a community. You can reach out to any Coach, no matter who they are, and they’ll probably get back to you. And they’ll probably answer any questions,” said Leydon. “The key thing people can do is talk to other Coaches who have been in it a while and have been successful and have had ups and downs and have continued to grow and establish themselves and rework their models.”
Wittenstein will often go back to a resource that was around at CrossFit’s beginning: The CrossFit Journal. Dating all the way back to when Greg Glassman was running the blog himself, this time period is one Wittenstein refers to as the “Old Testament” of CrossFit. The journal has an abundance of information and videos Wittenstein will view on a weekly basis. “Coach Glassman always said that the one trait that you need to be a good Coach is care … And that’s really it. If you care about being a Coach, you will eventually start to go down the rabbit hole of needing to know more,” said Wittenstein.