Overcoming Hurdles at Rugged CrossFit

The inspiration for Rugged CrossFit’s name came from Rugg Road, on which the Box is located. However, it now describes much more.

“The first day we drove up, one of my friends who was looking at the place with me said, ‘Hey, Rugged CrossFit would be a cool name,’ and that’s what we do, we build rugged people,” said Rob Stephenson, the owner of Rugged CrossFit. “One of our core mottos is, ‘we build strong bodies and powerful minds.’ We make you more rugged.”

Located in Boston, Massachusetts, the Box already has two and a half years behind it. Stephenson however has been in the fitness industry for nearly a decade. When he moved to Boston in 2010, he tried out CrossFit for the first time. Afterwards, he saw a demand in the demographic and started Rugged CrossFit to fill that gap.

“I saw a very big appeal for it,” said Stephenson. “I saw a very attractive product in the fitness industry. A big priority of mine is to educate people and communities one by one on just how to live a healthier life. It doesn’t have to be complicated and hard.”

The environment at Rugged is focused on the community and teaching those in it. “Something we do try to foster here is an environment of progressive-thinking individuals and people who realize that the stuff that we do in CrossFit — the workouts, the strength work — all that stuff transcends beyond the four walls of our Box,” he said.

Stephenson said there are a couple of keys to success for a Box. “Listen to your members and constantly pursue excellence in fitness and in yourself,” he said. “The constant pursuit of excellence leads to great things like integrity. It’s such a good thing to practice.”

Rugged’s eight coaches all have various certifications. Plus, all of its coaches had been members of Rugged at one time. However, Stephenson said they look for several attributes in someone when looking to hire a new team member. “[We look for] somebody who is able to completely let go of their ego and not identify with any one state of mind,” he said. “Somebody who wants to learn and always stands up for the right thing. We look for passionate educators who want to continue educating themselves on human movement and anatomy and nutrition and who want to selflessly give back to others to help be a part of their transformation.”

Overall, Rugged CrossFit looks to not only help people live a healthier life, but to grow. “It’s not all flashy, jacked-up, ripped people,” said Stephenson. “It’s people overcoming hurdles in life. It’s people taking themselves to an uncomfortable place, doing things they never before thought imaginable. It’s showing them we’re not superhumans, we’re just all humans together. We’re all on the same team.”


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