Episode 64: Building Community through Athlete Engagement


A sign of a healthy Box is great athlete engagement.

Keeping members engaged is what builds community in your business. But how do you build that engagement, and thus, community? Drew Larsen of SugarWOD, Nicole Christensen of CrossFit Roots and Cody Sunkel of Zen Planner sat down with editor Heather Hartmann in this episode of Box Talk.

They discuss their CrossFit journeys, what makes CrossFit unique, the power of networking in the gym and keeping athletes engaged throughout the year. Practical application and tips are given as well to help grow community and engagement in your own gym.

Listen to the episode below and come away with one takeaway to build better athlete engagement in your Box today:

Show Notes

  • The mistake Drew Larsen made on the way to his first CrossFit class.
  • Why Nicole Christensen had to take her shoes off for her first CrossFit workout.
  • How Cody Sunkel went from gymnastics skill sessions to selling.
  • What struck Larson as unique about CrossFit.
  • Who CrossFit invites into the gym and what connects them together.
  • The network Christensen found that went beyond working out.
  • Keeping members engaged throughout the year – what that might look like.
  • What SugarWOD didn’t have to force people to do.
  • How to get athletes to feel connected to those driving the community.
  • What you should do on a 400 meter run to break the ice.
  • Why you might need different privacy settings on your community engagement software.
  • Some of the most effective programs in Sunkel’s eyes.
  • How to not let anyone slip through the cracks.
  • The way technology brings the 6 a.m. class together with the 5:30 p.m. class.
  • Larson’s “the five and five” and why you should use it.
  • An announcement from SugarWOD and Zen Planner about the CrossFit Games.


This episode is sponsored by Kettlebell Kitchen, a goal-based meal delivery service that believes in fueling the body with high quality, nutrient-dense foods to help you perform your best. Visit kettlebellkitchen.com and use the code “BOXTALK” to get $25 off your first two orders of $50 or more.

This episode is also sponsored by Zen Planner. Zen Planner makes fitness businesses wildly successful with member management software, digital marketing and websites, payment processing, full service billing and member self-service capabilities. Zen Planner currently serves over 7,000 businesses and over 900,000 members. On May 16, 2019, Zen Planner announced the acquisition of SugarWOD, the top workout tracking and community engagement software for affiliate gyms. The combination of Zen Planner and SugarWOD enables affiliate gyms to achieve the perfect end-to-end experience for box owners, coaches and athletes.To learn more about Zen Planner and SugarWOD, schedule a live demo here.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at heather@peakemedia.com.