Reflecting on the 2019 CrossFit Games

5 min read


Zen Planner and SugarWOD recently hosted a top-tier affiliate experience at the 2019 CrossFit Games. In partnership with Assault Fitness, Zen Planner and SugarWOD allowed athletes and gym owners to experience an exceptional affiliate gym setup firsthand. As part of this experience, athletes were able to test the new Zen Planner x SugarWOD integration before it’s live! Powered by Zen Planner and SugarWOD, the Assault Fitness Spectator Workout Area operated like a top-tier affiliate gym. Each class was led by an experienced coach, and the workouts came from SugarWOD’s world-class programming partners: ROMWODMayhem AthleteCompTrain and Invictus.

Zen Planner has been serving affiliate gym owners for over 10 years, and we are dedicated to nurturing this relationship even more in 2019. Zen Planner has a product team 100% focused on CrossFit, and they know what it takes to master your business, grow your community and delight your athletes. From new features to additional services, Zen Planner continuously strives to deliver everything you need to spend less time behind a desk and more time changing lives.

A Strategic Relationship Manager who attended the 2019 CrossFit Games, Jonathan Busch, wrote this passionate recap of his experience in Madison.

Written By: Jonathan Busch, Strategic Relationship Manager at Zen Planner

The Arrival

Flying into Madison, Wisconsin, you can already feel the excitement stepping off the plane. There are signs welcoming athletes stationed along every corridor in the terminal. The buzz is unreal around baggage claim as athletes, coaches and fans alike search for their luggage. As we drive through town, you can see more signs decorating windows and doorways advertising special discounts on meals and “watch the Games here!” Even checking into the hotel turns into an 8-person discussion about who looks most promising to take home the title of “Fittest on Earth” between myself, my coworkers, hotel staff and other guests waiting to check-in.

The Beginning

Finally, the doors open at the 2019 CrossFit Games, welcoming our first participants to the Assault Fitness Spectator Workout Area. Walking up to the registration area, guests are greeted by the Zen Planner x SugarWOD team. Lined by cocktail tables and centered around a lounge-style coffee table and matching couch, our participants have a chance to discuss the upcoming workout, get a small tutorial on the software that they soon will be using, or simply watch and cheer on the participants in the current class session.

The Workout

As athletes approach the workout area, they are greeted by event volunteers ready to help them sign up for the next session. A few quick questions, a tap of a button later, and in they went. After taking a moment to admire their new Zen Planner x SugarWOD round counter, water bottle and towel (trust me, they’ll need it in a few minutes), our soon-to-be sweaty guests have the opportunity to see the previous session near its end.

The coach calls the next class time and says, “let’s go!” After a brief warm-up, the coach lays out the next 25-minute physical challenge our participants have ahead of them.

And by “brief warm-up,” I mean 10 minutes of questioning your decision to sign-up for this workout.

Here is what lies ahead for these athletes: Assault Bike, Assault Runner, Assault Rower, goblet squats, kipping pull-ups, thrusters, deadlifts, overhead carries, sandbag tosses, farmer walks, cleans, push-ups, dumbbell snatches and the beloved (read: dreaded) burpee.

Forty minutes from clicking the Check-In button on the Kiosk App, our participants are spent, sweaty and exhausted. This is the type of “exhausted” that leaves a smile on your face, knowing you put everything you had into that workout, and knowing that exerting that much effort was another step towards being a better version of yourself than you were the day before.

After a few minutes to stretch out their limbs and aching muscles on the ROMWOD mats, a few sips from the provided recovery drinks, class participants now take the time to relax and log their workout results in SugarWOD. There are plenty of personal bests and fistbumps from today’s workout.

The Experience

I will never forget my experience at the 2019 CrossFit Games.

It’s all about community. It’s knowing others are there to cheer for you, whether you feel like cheering for yourself or not. It’s the drive to be better than you were yesterday.

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