Take Your Box from Average to Elite

5 min read


Why You Should Make Athlete Retention a Priority

Crossfit Community Building

Regardless of your square footage, location, or member base, there are numerous pieces of equipment that your box cannot operate without. I mean, can you imagine a day without your racks, a barbell, and bumper plates? Yeah, neither can we. Every box around the world feels the same way, which begs the question: How do you take your box to the next level and create an elite environment for your athletes?

We thought a lot about this question, polled our box owner friends, coaches, elite athletes, and your everyday athletes, and we came up with four categories that will take you to the next level:


Recovery is vital to our fitness and it also doesn’t get nearly enough focus from your athletes. On top of healthy eating and stretching, there are tons of things you can offer to your athletes to help them recover faster, avoid injuries, and improve their performance. On top of that, your members are willing to purchase beverages and supplements at your box purely for the convenience. Do your research to pick the best vendors that align with your beliefs and the needs of your athletes. It’s also a great way to add an extra revenue stream to your business.

Here are recovery and nutrition ideas we recommend:

• Post-workout – ALWAYS advise your athletes to cool down with some self-massage and stretching. In fact, carve out time for them to get this done and integrate it into the WOD.
• Lacrosse balls and TriggerPoint foam rollers – For before and after the workout.
• NormaTec Boots – They might cost a bit, but your athletes will LOVE them.


The more revenue streams you can create for your business, the better. You would be hard pressed to find an athlete without a BlenderBottle, so why not have something on hand that they can put in it? Convenience is powerful and if you aren’t offering protein, recovery snacks and even BlenderBottles with your box’s logo on them, then you’re simply missing out on revenue.

Here are some retail ideas we recommend:

• Branded BlenderBottles
• Beverages
• Proteins
• Paleo-friendly bars
• Clothing & apparel
• Workout accessories (wrist straps, rocktape, knee sleeves, etc.)

Innovative Equipment

Since this post is all about setting your box apart, this category is really important. Give your athletes new tools to use and integrate them into your WODs to create innovative workouts.

Innovative equipment we recommend:

• Vests – This allows your stronger athletes to keep intensity high on some of those bodyweight WOD’s.
• Weight belts – These can be a great safety tool, when used correctly. If a weight belt would help your athletes stay in a safer position, would you buy one? Then you should!
• Climbing ropes
• Assault bike – Minimal impact & maximal effect on your body. These machines are great for warm up, WODs, and cool down.
• Sleds
• Tires
• Sledge hammers
• Parallettes
• Gymnastics equipment
• Yoga blocks and mats

Next level – Want to really delight your athletes? Check out these ideas.

Next level ideas we recommend:

• Kids play area – Stop just being a “box” and start engaging with your members’ families while adding a ton of convenience for them.
• Weekend seminars (nutrition, mobility, etc.) – This is a simple and effective way to provide additional training for your athletes, and sometimes you can even turn it into a revenue generator. Either way, it shows your athletes that you care.
• Shower/locker room
• Coffee/smoothie bar

While we think every box will benefit from our suggestions, equipment alone won’t get you to the next level. You’ll need to find ways to create experiences for your members that separate you from not only other boxes, but other gyms too. Ultimately, your coaches and your community are what will take your box from average to elite.

Zen Planner has prepared the most detailed financial performance information available for box owners. Get your copy of our Affiliate Gym Benchmark Report today!
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