Squad Goals: Build a Stronger Gym Community
A strong community is the foundation of a successful gym that you'll love being part of. Here are five fun ways you can help build a stronger community at your gym.
Think back to the first time you walked into a CrossFit gym. You may have felt a sense of excitement, but if you’re like most people, it was probably somewhat intimidating.
In that moment, imagine being greeted by an employee with the personality of Frankenstein. The room looks (and smells) like a dungeon and no one else interacts with you. You’re probably not coming back, right? You might not even stay for the workout.
Conversely, picture walking into a bright, inviting space. You’re immediately greeted by a smiling coach. He introduces you to the class by name. You smash the workout and finish sweaty and happy. You get high-fives from the other members in class. This is the power of a strong gym community and it can make or break your gym experience.
Chances are, you and your friends don’t go to the gym just for a workout. You go for motivation, accountability, inspiration and social connection. There’s pride in being part of a healthy, strong, happy community. You feel valued and accomplished when you’re working out with your squad, learning new movements, celebrating victories and overcoming challenges together. Whether you belong to a CrossFit affiliate or another type of gym, your community is the foundation.
Five Fun Ways You Can Help Build a Stronger Community at Your Gym
1. Tribe Wall
In a strong gym community, people know each other. A “tribe wall” is a dedicated, multifunctional focal point where everyone at the gym can interact. Coaches can introduce new faces, celebrate PRs, post challenges, and encourage members to share goals, inspiration, and more. Your tribe wall can be a physical structure in your gym or it can be done digitally. If you don’t have a tribe wall yet, ask your gym owner for options to create one. For a physical wall in the gym, try using a magnetic chalkboard or whiteboard. If you’re looking for a digital option, the PushPress Member App is a great way for you to engage with other members, share your workout results, and connect in and out of your gym.
2. Fun-Focused Group Classes
Nothing connects your gym community more than sweating it out together… except sweating together in costumes or on teams. Tough, yet fun and slightly-weird group events create a fantastic atmosphere, where all feel included. Start a brainstorming session on your tribe wall for fun team- or them-related events. Get the other members and coaches to vote on their favorites. Then suddenly, what started as a Thursday morning workout turns into Sunday brunch with the gym crew and new friendships. When you start making friends outside of class, it makes the everyday classes even more fun.
3. Competition and Charitable Events
If you want to make your workouts about something bigger than just the gym, rally the other members and create a charitable event. Members versus trainers, gym versus gym, everyone versus heart disease, etc. Get creative and design some fun challenges.
When you’re surrounded by people working together toward a common goal, you’re likely to work harder and be more engaged than when you train alone. You’ll also find that many PRs happen during a fun competition. This leads to success stories that inspire everyone to join the next event. Get local small businesses to donate prizes or plan a group meal/potluck afterward for some extra fun.
4. Expert Week
For one week, reverse the roles at your gym! You can volunteer to coach a class that week and nominate some other extroverted members to volunteer as well. Not only will the other members be entertained, but everyone will have a new level of respect for what your team of coaches does regularly.
Second, what are you passionate about? Gather anyone who would be interested in leading a free “I’m an expert in...” class. You can teach everyone what you know best! This allows you to share your knowledge about a specific topic while coaches and members get to learn something new. Your gym owner can show appreciation for the “experts” with special perks, prizes or giveaways. What hidden talents might be found in your gym community?
5. “Out of the Box” Community Events
Oftentimes, some of the best community events happen outside the walls of the gym. If your gym doesn’t already have a scheduled calendar of community events, organize one! This is a great way for members to meet and connect with others outside their normal class times.
Here are some of our favorite ideas:
- Host a barbecue after Saturday morning class.
- Plan a beach day, hike or kayak trip. Invite other members to bring their spouses and kids.
- Organize a book club.
- Go big and organize a weekend training camp. Include lots of active options like whitewater rafting or a lake swim.
- Find a local healthy cooking class and invite other members to join.
If you and the other members spend time together outside of the gym, you’re part of something bigger than just a gym community. You’re part of a gym family.
In Summary: Get Creative To Build Your Community
The ideas to build a stronger gym community are as limitless as your imagination. They don’t need to be expensive or time-consuming. Get the ball rolling by sharing your ideas, and involve other members and coaches. If everyone is engaged, you’ll have an awesome, thriving community where everyone feels welcome. It not only makes classes even more fun but gives you a loyal gym family for years to come.