Why People Leave CrossFit

Ask why your members are leaving.As a Box owner, it is imperative to understand why people leave CrossFit. Knowing why people move on can provide you with the information you to need to help improve your business in both the short and long term.

The goal of any Box is to retain as many members as possible. If you are not doing so already, you should be keeping a close eye on your membership numbers and how many members are you gaining versus losing every month. There are guaranteed to be fluctuations every month in your membership total.

As much as some owners would hate to admit it, CrossFit is a revolving door. People will inevitably come and go. Athletes you thought were hooked will shock you by leaving. Athletes you see hanging on by a thread will eventually make it official. There will be new athletes just as excited as your former members once were when they first started. It will always hold true that some CrossFits do a better job at retaining members than others. However, knowing why you are losing members may assist in you eventually staying in the right direction.

Every Box will have specific reasons as to why people leave. However, there are trends that are consistent across the board. While surveying people for the reason why they left CrossFit, the number one was price. Other reasons such as lack of time, schedule issues and plain ol’ something just got in the way were close seconds.

As a Box owner, it is important to not take it personally when people leave. Fitness is often the part of people’s lives that is cut out when “things get busy.” Most individuals would rather be at your CrossFit than going to school, chauffeuring their kids around or preparing dinner. The individuals that put fitness on the top of the priority list are limited in numbers. If people are leaving your Box because of price, then maybe it is time to offer tiered pricing options, discounted memberships for people who are willing to commit to a fixed time or attend low traffic classes, or create weekend programs that will allow for people to stay committed but at a lower price. Working with people is one of the great abilities you have as a Box owner. If there are ways to make it work, then why are you not finding them?

In general, every Box should have a system in place to track members month to month as well as differentiating between the reasons why members are leaving. This may be as easy as setting up an exit survey that will allow athletes the ability to express why they are leaving. Be careful how and when you do this. In person, people are going to be more likely to give you an answer that is generic or insincere.

I suggest sending an email survey a month or so after the member has left. At this time, they will be more likely to give you their honest reason for leaving. The survey can literally be one question asking them to choose what contributed to them leaving. Over time you will see how the responses will bunch up to a few specific reasons.

Your Box is unique, your members are unique and, as a result, the reasons why people are leaving will be unique to your Box. Offer choices such as coaching, programming, location, joined another CrossFit, members were not supportive and the like. It may be hard to hear the truth, but this will give you the best insight on why your CrossFit is losing members.

In 2009, Ben Isabella received his C.S.C.S from the National Strength and Conditioning Association. As well as being a strength and conditioning specialist, bootcamp instructor, and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, he is a physical education teacher at Sayreville High School. Keep up to date with current fitness and nutrition info by following him on Instagram @Ben_Isabella.