While he was working at New Braunfels CrossFit, Chris Coker became impassioned by weightlifting.
Learning from champs like Ursula Papandrea, Coker explained that passion followed him when he opened CrossFit Wylie in Wylie, Texas. The Box, despite being made up of a family demographic, soon found success in weightlifting through several of its athletes. “Through some of the success we had through that, we got hooked up with Spencer Arnold and his team at Power and Grace Performance,” said Coker.
Coker has become heavily involved with Power and Grace Performance on the weightlifting side of things. As a resource that offers information on topics such as competition, as well as individualized coaching/programming, Coker said his involvement in Power and Grace has helped his own business.
For instance, his workout database has grown. Programming for an individual can morph into general programming for CrossFit Wylie. Plus, Coker has been able to carry over ideas on how to approach nutrition, implementing programs with specific macro plans versus the typical nutrition challenges he used to hold. The knowledge he is able to transfer from Power and Grace to CrossFit Wylie has been beneficial to the members at the Box, said Coker.
In fact, even CrossFit Wylie’s taste of the weightlifting world has helped the business. Coker said there is a different level of understanding in his community when it comes to Olympic lifting and elite athletes, simply because the Box holds a few competitive members. “Our community as a whole isn’t very competitive at all by that sense,” said Coker. “We’re just a bunch of normal people trying to have fun exercising. Then we also have this other side to it where we have these competitive athletes going to Nationals and winning National Championships in weightlifting.”
Another benefit is Coker is able to step away from his business because of his passion and pursuits outside of CrossFit Wylie. He explained having staff that allows you to find time to go outside of the Box, outside of the fitness industry, is crucial.
More often than not, Coker said he sees gyms shutting down not because they aren’t successful, but because owners are burned out. In his eyes, it’s essential Affiliates stay well-rounded and take a step away from their business now and again.
And ultimately, that starts with building a staff. “Don’t just get caught up in teaching your members,” said Coker. “Teach your Coaches.”