In come the members, sweeping into every empty corner of your Box. You’re thrilled — at last, the numbers to support your business have arrived.
But, is it really a good thing? Or, is something becoming lost in translation?
Class size is important, especially in the CrossFit environment where the roots of personal training are clearly seen. Every Box is different in how many members it can hold. Nemanja Nikolić said for True Glory CrossFit in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, class size decisions are based on the Box’s mission.
“Our goal and our mission is to provide the best possible coaching attention to every single athlete that joins here,” said Nikolić, a co-owner of True Glory.
Nikolić said he sees the max number a Coach can teach being about 15 people, so when True Glory’s classes get up to numbers in the mid 20s — some classes reach 25 consistently — two Coaches are present. This provides for the best possible attention to every athlete.
CrossFit Mt. Lebanon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has a total of 14 Coaches. “Nine times out of 10, there’s not only a Coach and an assistant Coach on the floor, there’s also Coaches in the WOD,” said Kevin Beamon, a co-owner of and the director of operations at the Box.
Beamon said it’s important that Coaches are continually moving, giving cues and keeping an eye on things. “You’re going to snake in and out of each athlete as you go, encouraging, correcting and making sure people are doing what they should be doing,” he said.
The number of Coaches scheduled for a class depends on the workout. Beamon said they look at the programming — which is set two to three months prior — and draw up the coaching schedule about two weeks in advance. Plus, it helps that the class numbers often stay consistent.
But, members don’t reserve spots in classes at Mt. Lebanon. “Unless you have to have a reservation system because of the size of your Box, I don’t think people, a community, likes that per se, because it becomes a competitive thing,” said Beamon.
Dan Courtright, another co-owner of True Glory, said they don’t have a reservation system for classes either as they don’t want to stop people who can only make certain class times from coming. “One thing we wanted to make sure was that we provided a class for any one of our members,” he said. “We didn’t want to really shortchange anyone from being able to become a member at our gym.”
In both Boxes, the ability to provide a quality community ties in to how classes are run. For example, True Glory schedules its classes with 30 minutes in between to avoid rushing members out of the Box. This, said Courtright, puts emphasis on the community factor.
What works for one Box though may not work for another. While neither Mt. Lebanon nor True Glory cap their classes, while both have room to spare, some Boxes might need to have a reservation system or to limit class size. This was a point Beamon stressed. “Find out what works for your community and your Box,” he said. “CrossFit is not a cookie cutter type of business, so what works here may not work down the street.”
Photo by Metcon Photos