CrossFit is becoming a heavily saturated market. In years past, you would find one or two Boxes in a city, but now there will be three to four in a 15-mile radius. This makes it all the more important to find features or offerings that set your gym apart from the crowd to bring in new athletes.
In Denver, Colorado, Mountain Strong owner Will Gordon created his gym from this principle. He combined his two loves of CrossFit and rock climbing to create a gym specific for those who shared his interests.
“I tell other Affiliates all the time to be your own customer,” said Gordon. “We had multiple memberships to climbing gyms and CrossFit gyms. We are our target customer to some extent so we combined two in one to create Mountain Strong.”
Inside the gym is all the equipment you would normally find in a typical CrossFit space: rigs, barbells and rings. But along a wall is their climbing area. In fact, Gordon even programs two unique workouts for each day: one catering to a more CrossFit style and one with the dedicated climbers in mind. The athletes are encouraged to give each style a try, and some days elements of each are incorporated into group workouts.
“I have never seen anyone walk in our doors and not be bit surprised with what they see in terms of a fully outfitted CrossFit gym with an intimidating, yet fun looking climbing wall,” said Gordon. “The gym consumer has gotten a lot smarter in terms of knowing what they want and what works for them. There is no way you won’t remember our gym when you go in, and that was the first big step for us in making sure we stood out in our market.”
Gordon even incorporates the climbing aspect to their in-house competitions to ensure the athletes are always working on both the CrossFit and climbing sides of the gym
“We have serious CrossFit athletes and dedicated climbers compete in our competitions, and we try to make it pretty much even overall with how we programmed the competition,” said Gordon. “We start by making everyone do a CrossFit workout, followed by a climbing workout, and then we add a lifting piece for fun.”
All in all, Gordon has found a unique way to stand out in the Denver-specific market by catering to a typical activity of the city’s residents. While there are other climbing gyms and CrossFit Boxes located close to Mountain Strong, Gordon feels strongly they are masters at combining the two in one central location.
“A couple of the climbing gyms in the Denver area offer fitness classes similar to CrossFit,” said Gordon. “But they aren’t necessarily Coaches, they are workout facilitators. And that’s how I explained to my Coaches that we stand out. We realize these big box, climbing gyms were doing something similar and having fitness programs, but we figured we could step in and do it better than they were, all while having a unique product.”