Episode 8: The Life and Death of a CrossFit Box… Sort Of


Ever wonder what it’d be like to have a dream, see that dream fulfilled and then lose that dream?

While out in California for the 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games, Heather Hartmann sat down with Forrest Jung, the Affiliate of CrossFit South Bay to talk about how he started in CrossFit and came to own a Box with a location in Torrance and Hermosa Beach, California.

In fact, the Torrance location was a dream come true for Jung. Starting with the 2,500-square-foot space in Hermosa Beach, he wanted a place that could combine CrossFit with yoga, Pilates and cycling. He wanted to have small details like clean drinking fountains and color-coded kettlebells become a reality in a space that was large enough to grow a thriving community. And he shares how he made it happen.

But, his story doesn’t end there. He got real on the podcast, sharing hardships with an investor and what that meant for his Affiliate. However, Jung also dives into what he is doing now and how he got out of the dark place he was in by remembering that it was the little things which made him passionate about owning a Box in the first place.

Listen to the podcast with Jung, learn from his mistakes and be inspired by his fight for continual success.

Show Notes

  • Initially, the Box shared a space with Olympic weightlifter Sean Waxman.
  • If you hate your job, apply to business school!
  • Four miles from the beach is FAR in the California beach cities.
  • The first South Bay location was a converted auto shop.
  • About seven people joined South Bay’s initial on-ramp class in 2009.
  • What exploded CrossFit South Bay to 400 members?
  • MINDBODY, online marketing, making it a lifestyle versus just a workout, etc. came together to grow the gym!
  • How Jung got his dream space out of an old Goodyear tire shop.
  • For an Affiliate, when the toilet backs up it’s the end of the world.
  • Marketing the Box as a place to simply get healthy.
  • One-on-one intros end with Jung writing a detailed fitness and nutrition plan.
  • The difference between each location’s demographic.
  • “Extreme Ownership: How Navy SEALs Lead and Win” and how it applies to an Affiliate owner.
  • Systems, like color-coding, can really alleviate confusion.
  • Jung’s Torrance facility meets all his expectations and dreams, but something happened.
  • If you’re looking for an investor, get a good lawyer and have a good operating agreement.
  • Jung gets real about how the small wins helped him out of a dark place.
  • Having the Torrance location exist is still better than not having it at all.
  • Don’t let anyone else control your success.

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


  1. Avatar

    Angela Gerry

    August 6, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Thank you for this pod cast and insight. As a box owner since 2006 I heard a lot of my story in your story. We didn’t have the investors, but we have certainly had our struggles. It was nice to hear the encouragement at the end of finding the joy in the little things still. Like first pull-ups and muscle ups or even being able to squat below parallel. That is what makes us do what we do: not developing the winner at the Crossfit games, but changing people’s lives everyday. And I can say, I have seen people’s lives change over and over in the last decade since we opened our doors and that brings so much joy!

    • Avatar

      Forrest Jung

      August 8, 2016 at 6:27 pm

      Hi Angela,

      Thanks for the feedback. I know as an affiliate owner, we all experience similar challenges and similar wins. It is not an easy road but this is why we do it! I was foolish and got a little blinded by my aspirations and made some poor decisions. I am glad that this podcast could offer some help in your journey. Keep up the good fight!