It’s Time to Turn Up the Heat

Could heating make a difference?I know not all Boxes in the U.S deal with cold temperatures. Some of you are still enjoying 70-80 degree days, blue skies and doing 400 meter runs in shorts and t-shirts. Well, from those of us that deal with the cold, we envy you … some more than others.

Recently, I stumbled onto a blog talking about dealing with the cold inside your Box. It was more for members, but I started thinking about you, of course. The Box I attend, CrossFit Bluegrass, has a massive heater that hangs from the ceiling. It heats the Box really well and even has an extremely warm spot on the floor which certain Coaches enjoy — but I feel that spot is a real destroyer of workouts, especially if they contain burpees.

On days that we have runs in the winter, I truly enjoy the heater. Personally, I’m not one of those people that looks forward to going out and exercising in 20-40 degree weather like its 75 outside. That’s just not my makeup and it never will be (feel free to make your wussy comments at the bottom, but keep them PG).

A couple of the people on our staff attend Boxes that don’t have heat. Once you get your heart rate up this isn’t much of an issue, but when you’re trying to warm up, it can be hard to get going. Additionally, when you frequent a non-heated Box and you know it’s going to be cold, that’s just one more hindrance for your members.

I know CrossFit is supposed to be tough and hard core, but what about the potential members that haven’t reached beast mode yet? Are you losing them because you don’t want to invest in heat?

When I wrote for commercial fitness clubs, one thing that was always discussed was the 85 percent of the population that didn’t use a fitness club. In CrossFit I haven’t heard of gyms trying to obtain the elusive 85 percent, but I have heard multiple other discussions from, “if they don’t want to be here, we don’t want them” (counterproductive), to “we want to appeal to everyone” (can also be counterproductive). I’ve heard everything in the middle too, as well as Affiliates that only want competitive athletes in their Box.

If your mission is to be a facility that cares about people, you’ll do just about anything to get them inside and on a fitness voyage. People look at CrossFit and they think “success.” They see the athletes on ESPN and they want to either look like that, or get close. Hell, if the average person could become 1/10th of one of those athletes, our world would be a much cooler place.

It’s on you to operate your business in a way that people want to partake. If you are a business owner, you’ve got to consider your losses when you don’t invest in amenities — until I got into CrossFit, I didn’t consider heat an amenity. I’m sure your new members don’t either.

Air conditioning is something else because you can open your doors and let the breeze come through, but heat is a whole other discussion. Think about if you could advertise a heated facility with showers and lockers as an amenity? I know you’re equating that to an expenditure right now in your head, but think about the people that haven’t given you a shot because they love some of the most basic of amenities that they receive from their commercial gym. How could a simple heat bill change your business?

Tyler is a former editor of Box Pro Magazine.