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SATS created Prformance (this image and below) to appeal to a wider market


The Environment


• Noise pollution: Make sure the floors can deal with weights being


For operators wanting to create a CrossFit-style club-in- club, considerations include:


• Location: Consider zoning, as SATS has done, so the areas are part of the


dropped, but also site CrossFit areas away from offices or places where relaxing activities take place.


club – creating a buzz and introducing


CrossFit operator Rachel Young, who runs independent studio mi-gym in Chelmsford, UK, is not sure health club chains could properly deliver this concept which, she says, works better on a smaller, more personal scale. Tom Haynes, head of commercial and


sports performance at Indigo 23 and owner of The Training Shed, agrees:


“CrossFit is a specialist area and I don’t think the average health club would be able to run an authentic class safely: the knowledge and expertise of their instructors tends to be quite limited, and clubs wouldn’t have adequate space or the required equipment either. “In addition, the underground and edgy


feel of CrossFit is part of its identity and I’m not sure this would work


May 2014 © Cybertrek 2014


• Make it accessible: “Colourful products are an excellent way


people to the concept – but with some degree of separation so participants don’t feel self-conscious.


to engage people,” says Escape’s Matthew Januszek. “Not everyone wants to flip a tractor tyre, but offer different sized tyres and different colours and suddenly flipping tyres becomes more accessible.”


successfully in a mainstream health club. The CrossFit clubs tend to charge more, and in return there’s a small, personal feel, with excellent coaches who know every member by name.” However Tony Buchanan, MD and


founder of Absolute Performance, argues that CrossFit training methods are already in the mass market: strength and conditioning, shuttle running, Olympic lifting and functional fitness rigs are now commonplace. “It’s just about going back to basics,” he says. “Any health club looking to start offering CrossFit simply needs excellent coaches and a decent amount of space.” Indeed, for clubs that have already


invested in functional training areas, many experts agree that only a few


tweaks are needed to offer CrossFit, or at least a CrossFit-style workout. However, to take it mass market, the


concept does need to be toned down somewhat, as the hardcore image is never going to pull in the deconditioned, older or nervous member – even though these groups could very much benefit from the style of training. “For CrossFit to appeal to a broader


marker, it has to be diluted,” says John Halls, sales and marketing director at Physical Company. “This isn’t a bad thing, as short, sharp, effective workouts can still take place – but in a safer environment. Members will always be attracted by workouts that offer maximum results in minimum time, so clubs need to get that message across.”


Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital 41


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