CrossFit Buffalo, located in Cheektowaga, N.Y., brought the sport to the area when it opened its doors in 2007. David Rice was then tasked with spreading awareness about CrossFit and building his box’s members. Today, seven years later at just under 200 athletes, CrossFit Buffalo continues to help its athletes perfect Oly lifts, gymnastics movements, and cardiovascular endurance while having fun and building a family of athletes.
CrossFit Buffalo takes its mission seriously, and is dedicated to creating a motivating, encouraging environment for every person that walks through its doors. That’s one of the many reasons we decided to make CrossFit Buffalo our May Box of the Month. We wanted to hear more about it, so we posed a few questions to Dave about his box, his business, and how Wodify has helped both. Take a look at what he had to say.
- Can you please share a little background on yourself and CrossFit Buffalo? I found CrossFit for myself in 2005. I loved it, and as a seasoned trainer, I decided to open the first CrossFit box in the Buffalo area in 2007. In 2010 I brought on Doctor Jason Gemmer as co-owner. Over the years, Crossfit Buffalo has grown from a handful of members to just under 200 athletes and a handful of coaches. We occupy about 5,000 square feet of space currently. Construction is about to begin for a second expansion to include additional restrooms, showers, and office space — in turn, freeing up more WOD space than we have in our current design.
- Were you using any other management system, software or pen and paper, before beginning to use Wodify? Before using Wodify, we were using other software and some archaic methods, including pen and paper, for certain things. Wodify has allowed us to streamline everything and continues to do so with frequent improvements, such as the electronic waiver.
- What made you decide to implement Wodify? We felt that the system we were using previously was lacking in CrossFit-specific functions. One of our coaches stumbled onto Wodify and after a bit of research, felt that it fit our needs and our business model.
- What was the onboarding and installation process like? The guys were like children on Christmas morning. They couldn’t wait to get the goods installed after they were purchased. If you can use a screwdriver of sorts, you can mount the TVs and other hardware needed for the Wodify system. Once all of this was finished, many of our main players on staff got together for the instructional call. This was super helpful to know some of the finer details on the admin side, but overall the system is very user-friendly and our clients didn’t have any trouble once they received the welcome email.
- How was Wodify received in your box by your athletes/coaches? I think that some of the coaches/staff were a bit reserved at first that the novelty of the new shiny TVs and computer system would wear off after a few months … Needless to say, this was not the case at all. This system has been well-received by our clients. Many of the clients have commented on the ease of tracking milestones, and who doesn’t love a gold star when they hit a PR?
- How did you drive adoption and encourage users to log their results? We integrated the use of the new system with the use of our whiteboards. WODs are posted the night before on Wodify and we mandated registering for classes once the system was up and running. We still use our traditional whiteboards to post the WODs for class instruction throughout the day. We reminded clients to log their results in Wodify after classes once the system was up and running and often you will still hear coaches reminding classes today.
- Did you notice changes in how your athletes performed after beginning to see their results in Wodify? The amount of people that tracked their progress definitely skyrocketed, therefore allowing our clients to see how their performance was improving. Prior to Wodify, it was a lot of “I think it is an improvement but I can’t remember.” Now it’s a simple look at the computer and it’s right there for them to see.
- What would you say to people who think technology does not belong in a box? We would challenge them to give up their Internet, website, social media, and credit card technology and continue to run a successful establishment. We were apprehensive, as mentioned, about bringing this amount of technology into the daily WOD, but we have established a balance between using the system for tracking progress and using the traditional whiteboards for class instruction. As lowtech of a training method as CrossFit is, the people that participate in it live in a high tech world. It makes things more familiar. New members pick up on progress, the sense of community, and how the day-to-day operations run more smoothly.
- How has Wodify changed your box? I think Wodify encourages our athletes to track their results without the need of carrying a notebook around all the time. Both clients and coaches have mentioned that having a profile picture for each athlete is nice as it allows members to get to know one another better.
- How has Wodify changed your personal day-to-day? We do a lot of percentage-based strength work as we have a strong focus on weightlifting. Wodify has made tracking PR lifts and benchmark performances for future reference much easier on coaches. It has streamlined our membership, billing, retail, and reporting.
- Do you have a favorite feature? If so what? With the strength work that we do, the estimated max and strength-based percentages are our favorite features. Among the numerous capabilities within Wodify, these make our classes run noticeably smoother.
- Any additional comments you would like to share? Wodify as a company is very easy to work with. Their customer service is amazing. Any issues we have had that can be rectified immediately are, and those that can’t be immediate are taken care of as soon as they are capable or are seriously considered for future enhancements of the system.
Thanks so much to David Rice and CrossFit Buffalo for being our May Box of the Month!