How Do You Break into the Fit Market?

Are you reaching the fit market?I’m closing in on my first full year doing CrossFit at an Affiliate. I remember the first day when the owner of the Box asked me if I’d ever done anything like this before. My response of course was “yes,” just not at a Box. Oh, how the next 10 months would open my eyes.

Prior to joining a Box, I would have assumed that the typical CrossFit member would have come from some form of athletic training — whether that had been years in a gym, long-distance running or recreational sport. However, my perception of the CrossFit athlete has drastically been altered while exercising at a Box.

In my opinion, the only true demographic CrossFit has is someone eager to become more fit. Truthfully CrossFit empowers people of all walks of life. I’ve tackled a WOD next to people of all ages, sizes and abilities. Additionally, I’ve been impressed by more people than I can count.

In CrossFit people continue to astound me with how strong they can be or how hard they can push themselves. What is even more striking is the results individuals seem to receive while doing CrossFit.

Prior to my joining a Box I had spent years running with people and lifting at a gym. I’ve watched people continuously work with trainers or walk in the gym five to six days a week, without reaching their goals. The people I see that use CrossFit achieve some goal typically pretty early on. Is this due to CrossFit being measurable? Possibly, but it’s also because of the movements and how it designs the body for ability and performance, not just weight loss or muscle definition.

So how do you convey what I’ve noticed in a year to potential members? Your immediate response might be that you don’t, but I still notice the CrossFit fear in athletic friends that refuse to try a WOD.

Over Christmas an extremely fit family friend said there was no way he could handle a CrossFit workout. He’s younger and much more fit than myself, but as I talked about how great the workouts were, he just kept saying, “there’s no way I could do that.”

Where does this CrossFit fear come from? In the fitness industry it’s discussed how new members may be afraid to come into a gym. I can understand that feeling if you’ve never exercised previously. But in CrossFit, attacking the fit demographic is easily as difficult.

So, how many WODs does it take to reel in a fit non-member? Fit people tend to size themselves up with other fit people. While your stay-at-home mom may know another mom that does CrossFit, she can easily see a peer that can do a WOD. However, when a former athlete or fit gym rat looks at CrossFit, they immediately want to size themselves up with Rich Froning or the other top 10 finishers at the Games — which we know is insane.

While attacking this group should be easy, I find it’s very difficult to get off the fence. I’ve been pushing a group of these individuals to try a WOD with me for the last year. Luckily the comments about injury or bad form have slowly dwindled, but now it’s intensity that is freaking people out.

What have been some of your successful strategies in marketing to this certain demographic? Do you find yourself scratching your head more than having breakthroughs? Reach out and tell me how you break into this group, because it’s the one group I tend to end up tossing up my hands to.

Tyler Montgomery
Tyler is a former editor of Box Pro Magazine.