The Wodify journey started a few years ago with Ameet, our Founder, a notebook, filing cabinet, and a local CrossFit Affiliate. The presence and ability to use that first CrossFit gym as testing ground, seeing how technology fits into fitness, is the key to what has made Wodify successful.
Over the last last 6 months, Wodify has grown and expanded to include 28 employees designing and developing new features and content in Lisbon, Portugal. When we opened an office in Lisbon, we knew we wanted to partner with a local affiliate to help inform our features and practices going forward, somewhere local to our team.
At the beginning of June, Wodify finalized a relationship with a very successful gym brand in Lisbon: CrossFit Alvalade and CrossFit Alvalade Oriente. Owned and operated by a team of incredibly fit and educated trainers, this gym has had constant growth since its inception and both locations are the first two gyms in Portugal to use Wodify to run their business.
Bruno Militão and Jorge Ortiz started their CrossFit journeys like many others - stumbling upon the fast-paced workouts and falling in love with the new movements, rush of endorphins, and of course, the results. Together, they collected a quick book of clients that wanted to take part in these constantly varied workouts and found themselves in a space that was simply four walls to achieve the common goal of fitness. A few years later, this group of 40 athletes grew into two CrossFit affiliates and over 400 members and coaches, pushing to become better inside the gym and out.
The two spaces are both different and incredibly unique. CrossFit Alvalade is located in Sporting Football Club stadium. Deep underneath the stands where players fight ruthlessly for a win and fans scream in support is a bustling gym, like a tiny alcove in the private areas of the stadium. The reception area opens up into two, long rooms with a rig down one end and wall ball targets down the other. The second location in the Oriente area of Lisbon is much more expansive. Exposed wood beams and multiple windows in the ceiling create a glow around the entire space. The walls are decked with the many awards of the trainers and competitors and the welcoming area opens into two fully-stocked locker rooms for athletes on the go.
Both locations have smaller areas that allow for 1:1 Personal Training and it’s not an unfamiliar sight to see Bruno, the fittest man in Portugal, or another coach pushing an athlete to the next level. Yes. If you didn’t already know, Bruno Militao is owner and head coach of CrossFit Alvalade and has scored the title ofd fittest man in Portugal in both the 2015 and 2016 Open Seasons.
The last few weeks have proven invaluable as the Wodify Lisbon team has had a local resource to help test and understand the “why” and the “how” behind our product. Bruno, Jorge, and their team have been instrumental in providing understanding and feedback (and for whipping our Lisbon office into shape...literally!).
Stay tuned for what’s to come - it’s nothing short of awesome. In the meantime, get to know our newest “home” gym with Jorge Ortiz from CrossFit Alvalade Oriente:
W: Tell me a little about the background of CrossFit Alvalade?
J: Most of our coaches and members began at Fitness Hut. They had CrossFit workouts of the day and we went without knowing what it was or what the terms meant - Bruno won them all. From that point on we decided to invest 500€, bought some cheap material, found a space, and suddenly we had 40/60 people. We charged next to nothing. We had to get out of the space due to infrastructure issues.
The members were really mad. They said they would pay, they wanted personal classes, sent us pictures and suggestions of places where we could go. That’s when a friend introduced us to the Alvalade Stadium.
It grew quickly and when we were ready to expand, we did our research on the Oriente location. We had to do a lot of construction, the building is over 100 years old. Now that we have our place in the market and have top performers in the sport at our gym, and are Reebok sponsored, we wanted Wodify because we wanted to be number 1 in results and athletes. We are happy to be the first Wodify box in Portugal.
W: What was the reaction of the athletes and coaches when they got the software? How was implementation?
J: The Coaches were really happy and understood the importance right away. We were not happy with our other apps. One thing I find really important with this partnership is the personal relationship. It becomes easier to reach you and develop a more productive and constant interaction.
W: Does it make sense to have technology in the box?
J: Some people said we were going to lose the traditional features of Crossfit but we need to understand that the human being cannot capture all the information. We need to save that information.
This is all related with personal training. When Bruno and I created this project we thought we needed to create something as close as possible to personalized training: the empathy and personal relationship, workout plan, constant evolution/development.
Wodify has that. Bruno is the head coach, his workouts are really good, and because of that we have a really well trained team, used to working in the fitness market, which does not happen in most Portugal boxes. Usually people come from military background or are simply enthusiastics that invest in crossfit training. It's not very usual/common to have personal trainers, coaches creating/developing a project like this one. There are still many boxes that do not have this essence.
W: Has Wodify changed your Community?
J: Absolutely. I love to know who goes to certain classes and the social part is also very important. When we opened the Oriente box, we had the gyms separated in our software. At our Christmas party, both came together and it was extremely positive - competing between boxes, creating a tighter community as a whole.
We started to create the same workouts for both boxes and developed shared challenges. Now, with Wodify, we are thinking of how we can go even further. This will help us bring both boxes together.
W: How did Wodify change your daily routine?
J: I can see who is coming to the workout and how I will train them. People can check the results of others and communicate with them, they use Wodify to see past results, the growth of others, and define goals. This helps us focus as trainers and athletes.
W: So...do your athletes like it?
J: They are loving it. It changed the way they workout and focus. The coaches here are also athletes and we know that if you don’t record results, you will not be able to measure progress. Wodify allows us to always understand what path we need to be on.
I make my athletes write down their results. Define their path. I have been working in the business for 10 years and I know that who does not define results / goals will eventually drop out. You need to know what you require to get motivated, you need to come up with a plan.
W: Do you have a favorite feature?
J: Knowing who is attending helps me plan the class. I can see who has booked and many times I can adapt the class to the personality and nature of the group. People who workout at 8:00 are very different from the ones that workout at lunch time, or at night. It also allows me to account for injuries and skill level.