[This discussion has been edited for length and clarity.]
Wodify’s Box of the Month for May, 2018 is CrossFit Simplicity, located in Burlington, NC. We spoke with owner and Head Coach Daniel Blackwell to learn why “Simplicity” isn’t just a name, but a total philosophy to get members of all ability levels fit, confident, and able to reach their goals.
DB: I started doing CrossFit back in 2005 as a means of strength and conditioning to supplement my high school wrestling. After high school, the wrestling stopped but my competitive nature did not. During college and especially afterwards, I turned to CrossFit as an outlet to find out what I was really capable of as an athlete, and dove in head-first!
Fast-forward a few years and the opportunity came along for me and a business partner to purchase the gym I belonged to. Two years after that, I sold my share and began planning my own venture, CrossFit Simplicity, which opened on February 15, 2017. Without the help of friends, family, and my first coach Felicia, we never would’ve gotten off the ground. Since then we have continued to thrive and grow as a community!
DB: The decision to become an owner came about all at once! After college, I was working in a field I enjoyed but was not passionate about, while my love of CrossFit continued to grow. My father was a business owner/entrepreneur, and the best example of a leader and an employer! So when the owner of the gym I was training at decided to pursue another career, I jumped at the opportunity to become an business/affiliate owner myself!
I love what I do and I have never looked back! Every day is more rewarding than the day before and the opportunity to work with people and build relationships has been invaluable! It’s a huge blessing to get to witness people achieving their goals daily.
DB: There’s so much meaning behind the name CrossFit Simplicity! As many of us in the community know, CrossFit can get quite a bad rap in the outside world. Many things you hear as a gym owner are about how dangerous or unnecessarily complex CrossFit can be. The reality is, this is not the case at all. However, I did notice that at my previous facility some people were falling through the cracks and we could’ve done better a better job making CrossFit more accessible to everyone. So my dream and vision behind CrossFit Simplicity is to create an environment that is comfortable and inviting to people with no previous experience.
I’ve seen so many people over the years wander aimlessly around Globo-gyms, unsure of what to do on their own. I knew there was a market for the average person to realize their health goals. We really wanted to use the name to send a message to our community that CrossFit in our facility would be easily learned and accessible to anyone, no matter what their ability or fitness level. I truly believe that CrossFit can be made very simple and extremely effective, and I think our name implies just that!
DB: We have seen so many success stories since we’ve been open for over a year now. For example, one member, Whitney, signed up before we were even open as part of our “First 40” promotion, and would come to the noon class completely by herself. She had a few mobility issues, which can make progress slow and frustrating, but she stuck with it and has become one of our most consistent members! She’s lost over 30 pounds and has reached goal after goal! Most recently, she got her first ever pull-up, which was a goal of hers since she first joined! I can’t wait to see where she’s at one year from now.
DB: The decision to use Wodify was really a no-brainer for us. I began using Wodify years before with at first affiliate, and it was quickly evident just how useful and almost necessary it is to run a business. Back in the day we did use a whiteboard that had to be totally erased every three or four days. So when I first heard about Wodify and all of its features, it was an easy decision to make the switch and I haven’t looked back once!
DB: Our athletes took to Wodify instantly! Technology is so widely adopted nowadays that we really didn’t experience any troubles from our athletes getting used to the system. The whiteboard is extremely popular as is the results tracking - especially the gold stars after getting a PR on a workout. Our members, and also our potential members, always love the fact that there is a Wodify app and they love that they can check the workout the night before!
DB: This is a really tough question because the answer could be really long! Overall, Wodify just takes care of so many smaller systems and operating procedures that I would otherwise have to come up with and create myself.
One of the best features we used when we started out was the online sales portal. We actually signed up over 40 members online before our doors ever opened! On a day-to-day basis, I love the communication tools that are available to me. I can blast out an email, an SMS text message, or announcement on the app with just a click of a button. The reporting features are also really nice from a business standpoint. Finally...the support! It’s amazing! I LOVE that I can schedule calls so that I’m not waiting around on hold and everyone is always so nice and helpful! I truthfully can’t imagine running the affiliate without Wodify!
DB: We absolutely love having Wodify! It’s certainly changed the way we run our affiliate for the better! We recently launched a new program called CFS GEMs (Girls Empowered by Movement), which is a CrossFit class designed specifically for teen girls. The idea is to have them in a community together where they are building strength, self-confidence, and a positive body image! Wodify has played a huge role in this! We sold/sell memberships online, the girls have their own program to sign into at the gym, and their workouts are posted ahead of time. Wodify has really become the glue that holds all our administrative elements together and is a big part of our community. We are thrilled and honored to be chosen as Box of the Month!
To learn more about what we do, visit crossfitsimplicity.com.