Personalized Programming Done Right

personalized programming

You more than likely opened your business as a means to offer small and large group training. However, as Affiliates seek out other streams of revenue opportunities, personalized programming is becoming more and more popular.

Tim Steel, the owner of CrossFit Hershey in Annville, Pennsylvania, offers personalized programming at his Box because they want their members to have the opportunity to seek out these individualized journeys.

Their individual program design is $239 a month, which includes a gym membership and programming from Steel anywhere from two to five days a week.

“I came from a personal training background,” said Steel. “I like the one-on-ones because I can get more personal with people and address their specific needs. We will do post-surgical and post-rehab design. We design programs for marathon runners, powerlifters and more. We also have people who, frankly, after a long day of work just don’t want to be around people.”

Steel explained CrossFit Hershey doesn’t push the group training even in the beginning. After they assess the needs of potential clients or first-time visitors, the trainers sit down and have a conversation about where they see potential for the clients’ workouts or fitness journey.

“We don’t push people to go into our classes,” said Steel. “In fact, there are some people that come here and we think they should not go into classes and we tell them that early on. We give people the option when they are going through the orientation to go into classes or to stay alone. About 20 to 25 percent stay in the individual or personal side of training.”

Amy Boyd, the facility director and a Coach at CrossFit 8035 in Des Moines, Iowa, also sees personalized programming as a unique offering for her gym members. She explained the staff at the Box take time during workouts to explain the offering to members they notice struggling with particular movements.

“If you are programming a certain movement in your workouts and notice people are struggling, you can walk over and ask them to come in on the side to work on it,” said Boyd. “If you see frustration building on them, you can explain that personalized programming is always an option.”

For the clients who do take this opportunity at CrossFit 8035, they structure their workout time around classes. It is a good way for the gym to justify downtime in their gym schedule.

“Everyone has dead time at their gym,” said Boyd. “Any time there is dead time, your gym isn’t making money. It makes sense to incorporate personalized programming into your business, but you have to have that salesmanship about you. If you have people in your gym that are seriously struggling, which we all do, you have to sell yourself on saying, ‘I can actually make you a better athlete.’”

That confidence to pursue members at your gym and convince them personalized programming might be the right avenue for them needs to carry over into teaching as well. Steel explained he has seen Boxes hire outside personal trainers to cater to those clients. He encouraged other owners to see the benefits of allowing your in-house Coaches to fit this into their schedule.

“If you are a CrossFit Coach, you should feel confident teaching someone one-on-one,” said Steel. “I think we push individualized design at our gym because we want to be able to help as many people as we can. We don’t want to see people that are scared of CrossFit never come to our facility. We are very purposeful with our marketing because of that and letting them know our individualized design isn’t just taking the workout of the day and regurgitating it to them. It’s taking their specific needs and addressing it.”

Steel also suggested reaching out to local physical therapists and chiropractors to establish strong relationships with them, as their clients could potentially be referred to your gym.

“By gaining that respect from the professional community and really pushing our individual design program, it’s only helping our business grow,” said Steel.

Kaitlyn is a staff writer for Peake Media. Contact her at