COVID-19 Advice: Physical Challenges, Don’t Stir the Pot and Know Your Market

COVID-19 advice
Photo courtesy of CrossFit Durham

Three Affiliates share their advice to ensure all Boxes make it through the coronavirus pandemic together. 

David Rubin
Owner of CrossFit Durham
Partner of Bull City CrossFit

  1. Every member teamed up to work one-on-one with one of our Coaches to get personally customized versions of our programmed daily workouts.
  2. Schedule regular online activities for folks to stay connected with one another, like virtual trivia or Happy Hours through Zoom.
  3. Create a physical challenge for the month. For us this month it’s burpees. These challenges encourage folks to continue to move, work on a common challenge and put our name out all-over social media in the process.

Steve Pinkerton
Owner of Vitality Fitness

  1. Routine. This has been a huge one for me. You need to keep a routine at all costs. It doesn’t have to be the same one you had pre-quarantine, but it needs to be consistent. If you lose this, it will spill over into a number of different areas. Your routine needs to include similar time allotted for programming, training, member relations, staff engagement, etc. just like before the coronavirus changed all of this. 
  2. Don’t stir the pot. There are already plenty of people sitting on social media giving advice and opinions that are backed by zero science or experience toward this pandemic. In my opinion, this is one of the reasons we are where we are currently. Don’t make it worse by doing the same thing. Your community looks up to you as a leader, and whether you think so or not, what you say will have an effect on them. Make sure whatever comes from you is from the optimist in you, the positive self-talk they need to hear. They don’t need any more negative thoughts, especially from someone like you. 
  3. It’s not time to pivot yet. This may not be a popular piece of advice, but it’s what I believe. There are a lot of people/companies out there trying to capitalize on this pandemic by convincing Affiliates they need to hire them to help make a transition to a more permanent virtual platform. I strongly disagree. No one knows how long this will last, but one thing is for sure: the majority of Affiliates are not set up to take their business online permanently. 

    In my opinion, it would take months to make this transition. And by the time the transition is completed, the doors will most likely be open. But if they are so immersed in establishing an online platform, they won’t be ready to hit the ground running inside their own Affiliate. 

    One of the reasons the attrition rate is most likely lower than anticipated across the board is because our communities take pride in supporting their Affiliates. They are not continuing to pay their membership because of the amazing value they are seeing from what we are all trying to provide for them. Sure, some have done an amazing job while others may be struggling a little more with creating content for their members. The bottom line is long-term companies like Peloton, MIRROR and others are much better equipped to provide virtual fitness than Affiliates. Now, let me leave you with this. I’m not saying it can’t be done if we have to; there will be some that can make that transition. Many more will not. Either because they don’t have the ability, or they choose that virtual fitness isn’t the reason they became a business owner in the first place. 

Charles Johnson
Owner of CrossFit Potcake

  1. Know your market and community. Just because it’s a trend somewhere else doesn’t mean it will work for your Affiliate.
  2. Give members an alternative to the gym that creates value, especially for the members that paid up for the year. An example is to have equipment checkout and virtual workouts.
  3. What works for me during this time is that CrossFit Boxes were designed for one Coach. It forces you to truly focus on your own business and your community, because it’s your community that built CrossFit. We have to take care of them especially in these times because when this passes these are the same people we will look to in order to jump start our Boxes.

BONUS: Read more Affiliate advice on COVID-19 here.

Taylor Brown is a staff writer at Peake Media. Contact her at