Thanksgiving with a Side of WOD


Sweet corn casserole. Stuffing. Yams with marshmallows. Pumpkin pie. Turkey.

Thanksgiving is an American holiday represented annually by a lot of great food, friends and family. But according to Franco Montelione, the co-Affiliate of CrossFit Steam in East Rutherford, New Jersey, Thanksgiving is also a perfect way to demonstrate the community at your gym.

“And what always happens, especially for a holiday WOD, you have members that come in the morning and you have members that come in the evenings. They never really cross paths, so the ThanksgivingWOD, it’s special.”

Since they opened in 2012, CrossFit Fenrir in Lakeland, Florida has offered a Thanksgiving WOD. “We’ve always encouraged people to dress up as turkey’s and have themed workouts. I love it. I think we have a really good time with it,” said Affiliate Olly Goddard.

Because his gym doesn’t typically have a “Bring a Friend Day,” he believes Thanksgiving is a perfect time to bring in friends or family that are in town for the holiday.

In fact, Goddard said the annual Thanksgiving WOD is one of CrossFit Fenrir’s most successful marketing wise, and that’s just from advertising the event on social media and by word of mouth. According to Goddard, the Box typically brings in three or four new members on that day.

He also usually programs a partner workout, The Gobbler, which he adopted from CrossFit New England. And it may even last longer than the typical hour class.

The workout consists of a lot of body weight movement, so new members aren’t intimidated by the barbells, but Goddard said it allows his Coaches to demonstrate their ability to coach.

CrossFit Steam does not bring in as many members as CrossFit Fenrir by their Thanksgiving WOD, but Montelione said it strengthens the community with his pre-existing members. “It’s a holiday. People are in a joyful spirit and everyone likes to see one another. It’s like telling your Affiliate you’re not supposed to have a Christmas party. That’s crazy. So, I do believe in opening up for the holidays,” Montelione said. “I just think it brings the members closer together for that time of the year.”

But Montelione and Goddard understand that even they have to recognize the holiday with their friends and family. Both Boxes will only be open for one or two classes on Thanksgiving Day.

“That’s the number one thing that I do here, is just make it about my members. At the end of the day, they’re the ones that are going to keep you running, they’re the ones going to keep you open. So that’s why I open up. I open up for them. It’s why I opened up a CrossFit, to introduce this to new people and they have the same results I’ve had,” said Montelione.

Goddard said since he spends over 15 hours a day with his members, it just makes sense to spend his holiday with them. “Or at least part of it,” he added.

Hayli Goode is the former digital editor for Peake Media.