gym growth

Six Attributes to Copy from Highly Successful CrossFit Gyms

Even though each affiliate is unique, there are similarities among those that are crushing it! Here are six traits of successful CrossFit gyms to consider.

Monica Hilton
September 12, 2023
Six Attributes to Copy from Highly Successful CrossFit Gyms
Even though each affiliate is unique, there are similarities among those that are crushing it! Here are six traits of successful CrossFit gyms to consider.

From equipment to culture, each CrossFit gym is unique. It’s part of the allure of owning an affiliate. You get to design and run your gym in whichever ways feel right to you. However, there are some traits shared among successful CrossFit gyms that you should consider adopting.

From a high-level view, the key is to operate with consistency, professionalism and an unparalleled focus on client value. If your goal is to rise to the top, it will take more than just keeping the gym clean and providing great coaching.

Highly successful CrossFit gyms
Successful CrossFit gyms share similar attributes that you can use in your own gym.

The good news is, successful CrossFit gyms are already doing it. So you can use the blueprints they’ve created, and make them your own.

Follow the Lead of Successful CrossFit Gyms.

1. Stick to Your Mission Statement.

Your mission statement is the lifeblood of your gym. It’s the reason you exist and the goal you’re working to accomplish. Further, it’s likely that the beliefs of the demographic or niche you serve align with your mission. So if you can’t stick to your mission statement, there’s likely a fundamental flaw somewhere.

Here are some ways successful CrossFit gyms recommend you stick to your core values:

  • Teach Your Staff. Your staff should know the core values of your CrossFit gym from front to back. It’s a critical part of how you operate your business on a daily basis. And it matters greatly, so that they know how to treat your members.
  • Read Them Consistently. When you open your gym, you’re focused on operations. Your attention is pulled in a million different ways and core values probably aren’t at the forefront. So start your day by reciting your core values and what they mean to your business. This way, they remain a priority.
  • Lead by Example. If one of your gym’s core values is kindness, be kind. If another is inclusivity, make sure everyone feels welcome. Practice what you preach so that your actions support your words.

2. Adhere to Systems and Best Practices.

The most successful CrossFit gyms have systems and processes for every part of their business. The best way to start is by creating SOP (standard operating procedures) or a gym operations manual.

Think of it this way: If your mission statement is the guiding light for your business, then your operations manual is the success playbook. It’s the outline for all processes and procedures, designed to help you and your staff solve any problem. With it, you’ll establish the standards by which success will be measured.

Not only will this help you be proactive about operations, but it will also serve as a reference guide if things go sideways. Experienced gym owners will tell you that it’s much more difficult to solve a problem in the midst of chaos, than to outline the proper steps ahead of time, in case the situation arises.

3. Create an Amazing Customer Experience.

The experience members have at your gym is among the most important differentiators you can provide. The goal is to create the ultimate member experience, and something your clients can’t get anywhere else.

Creating incredible member experience
Creating an amazing member experience to increase gym retention. Photo credit: Hammer CrossFit East.

This is how successful CrossFit gyms create brand ambassadors and l ong-term, loyal members. Here are a few ideas to start building this experience:

  • Create a USP. Your gym’s unique selling proposition is simply what makes your services or products unique. It’s the x-factor that your members can’t get if they go to your competition. Your USP should be memorable and demonstrate value. It should also help sell the benefits of what you offer and your core values, rather than just features.
  • Provide Value. Every gym will claim that they’re the best. And often times, the only difference a lead can see is price. Therefore, it’s up to you to clearly explain the membership value, highlighting what you offer and why you’re different. Then, back it up with actually providing the value you promised. This can be anything from community to convenience.
  • Accountability is King. Every time a new person walks through your doors or inquires about info, they have one thing in common. Your leads and members all want your help. It might be fitness help, nutrition help or otherwise, but they need your guidance. And accountability is a huge component of how you can best serve them. From goal-setting sessions to consistent check-ins, holding them accountable will get them the desired results, faster.
Pro Tip: Use the power of automation to save time while keeping your gym members accountable! Book a demo with the PushPress Grow team today to find out how!

4. Find the Balance Between Acquisition and Retention.

Successful CrossFit gyms know that there are two sides to the revenue story. On one hand, it’s member acquisition (getting new leads to convert to members). And on the other hand, it’s gym member retention (getting them to stay for the long term).

Lead generation can come in many forms, and doesn’t always have to include paid advertising. So one important thing for gym owners to focus on is the difference between the various forms of marketing: earned, owned and paid.

  • Earned media is what you earn through successfully running your gym. Some examples of earned media are Google reviews, social media selfies that members post, and influencer articles.
  • Owned media is any form of content (and distribution) that is owned and maintained by your gym. These are things like your website, social media, blogs, email marketing or newsletter.
  • Paid marketing is exchanging dollars for marketing material distribution. Examples include social media ads, billboards, print/mail materials or commercials.

5. Manage Finances Like an Experienced Accountant.

Staying on top of finances is one of the most important aspects to running a successful gym. And while most gym owners opened their doors to help change lives, oftentimes analyzing data isn’t high on their list of exciting tasks.

As gym owners ourselves, the PushPress team knows this. Which is why we’re constantly working to make your gym financial reports quick and easy to manage.

By having easily-accessible key gym metrics, you can see what’s working, and where you can improve. This will help you make the necessary adjustments to achieve consistent growth.

6. Be a Strong Leader for Your Team.

Similar to your gym community, acquisition and retention apply to your staff as well. Successful CrossFit gyms know the important of building a strong team, and then keeping them happy for the long term.

Strong leadership for your CrossFit coaches
Build a strong team and then focus on strategies for long-term retention.

When hiring CrossFit coaches, it’s important to lay a strong foundation. The key to longevity starts on day one of your search. Start inside the walls of your gym or check out resources like Once you’ve found qualified candidates, make sure they fit the culture of the gym and outline everything in writing. Successful CrossFit gym owners with long-term, happy coaches say it’s possible to grow your team successfully with the right process.

On the other hand, retaining coaches is equally as important. Just like with membership, it’s much easier to keep a coach for the long run than it is to be consistently recruiting and hiring. Be realistic with expectations, and clearly outline roles and responsibilities. Check in along the way, and provide plenty of challenges and financial opportunities for your team. If your coaches are motivated and fulfilled in their role, they’ll stick around for years to come.

In Summary: Follow the Blueprint and Make it Your Own.

Even though your gym will be completely unique, following the blueprint of successful CrossFit gyms can help you achieve goals faster.

Start with - and stick to - your mission statement. Adhere to the systems you create and industry best practices. Create the ultimate member experience for your community. Find the balance between member acquisition and retention. Finally, manage your finances like a professional and lead your team to success.

These tips from the pros will help to guide you through years of successful gym ownership.

Monica Hilton

Monica is our Content Manager extraordinaire for PushPress. She also owns her gym in Indianapolis, Together We Rise CrossFit, which she opened in 2014 and previously worked in IndyCar racing.

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