Retaining January Members at Koda CrossFit Native

Images by Samantha Legler

The influx of members in January is often a given, but how do you keep them once the fire of the “new year resolution” has gone out?

At Koda CrossFit Native in Bethany, Oklahoma, the answer has been the Koda Kickstart.

The program kicked off in January and runs for eight weeks, ending on March 4, 2020. It’s two nights a week, but members are also encouraged to attend regular Saturday classes to meet the rest of the gym community. Natalie Pulgini, the head Coach at the gym, said the program was designed to help new members get over the one-month hump and to engrain them into the community.

“We wanted to have a class that would be all beginners and they could all learn together. It has turned out really great because they are all so supportive of each other,” said Pulgini. “They are able to relate to each other and grow as a group. It’s a really motivating environment.”

That relating to one another is what keeps members around. Pulgini said getting them connected is essential to keeping them past the January rush. Before, during and after classes, it’s the Coach’s focus to help connect members to one another. If done right, then the members are keeping each other consistent and accountable. 

On top of community, Pulgini noted knowing why members want to be there and their goals are powerful tools in helping members stay at your gym. At Koda, they’ve been experimenting with a specific way to do this.

“Understanding their goals and helping them keep track will hopefully make them feel valued and important to your gym,” said Pulgini. “One new thing we have started this year is putting our members on different ‘teams.’ These teams have a Coach as their team leader and their Coach is responsible for checking in on what their goals are and how they want to progress throughout the year.”

With the success she has found in the Koda Kickstart program this year, Pulgini shared three final tips for Affiliates looking to boost their retention in the months and years to come:

  1. Focus on smooth transitions/logistics during your classes to create less chaos and a better learning experience. 
  2. Create opportunities for your members to get to know each other better during class and outside the gym.
  3. Teach your staff to create good rapport with the members so they feel like they can reach out with questions or for guidance.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at