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Are Gyms in Trouble? State Of The Industry Report Dives Into Fitness World

Morning Chalk Up

January 5   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Looking at the state of the fitness industry and where gyms can grow and improve
  • Swedish CrossFit athlete Mikaela Norman talks setting HYROX record
  • Breaking down the executives that left CrossFit HQ in 2022
  • TYR Wodapalooza’s Dylan Malitsky on community building: “I think the biggest thing is our mantra with Wodapalooza: celebrating fitness, community and life.
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“Happiness is good health and a bad memory.” - Ingrid Bergman

  Are Gyms Failing or Thriving? Five Takeaways from “State of the Industry” Fitness Report  

Are Gyms Failing or Thriving? Five Takeaways from “State of the Industry” Fitness Report

Since its inception, CrossFit has evolved to try and meet the needs of athletes and keep up with the ever-changing fitness trends. However, as most know, it takes a lot to keep a gym afloat and many factors come into play when it comes to overall success. Which is where Two-Brains Business “State of the Industry” report comes in.

Two-Brains Business is a mentorship company that works to increase the success of gyms, including CrossFit affiliates. It also puts out reports periodically on how the industry is fairing by using their own data with the addition of other sources like Wodify, TeamUp, and PushPress. In this third edition of the “State of the Industry” the company collected qualitative data from Aug. 16 to Sept. 1, 2022 from 10,657 gyms worldwide.

As with any industry it’s always a good idea to take stock of where things stand and especially for CrossFit affiliates it can be helpful to see the latest trends both positive and negative in the fitness industry.

Here are five key takeaways from the report:

  1. Marketing Plans Show Profitability: Out of the gyms surveyed 81% of them run ads, according to the report. The most successful gyms had a marketing plan often with paid ads and other funnels. The majority of these gyms have found that they have to do something other than “waiting and hoping” to obtain and maintain members.

“This is a massive improvement from five years ago, when “marketing” was often ignored and sometimes criticized,” said Chris Cooper, the owner of Two-Brains Business, in the report.

Which also found on average CrossFit gyms acquired 22 leads per month. And regardless of how the gyms generated leads they all are “getting better at attracting potential clients to their website.”

  1. Offering Nutrition Coaching: While many gyms offer personal training, there’s been a much bigger interest, as of late, in nutrition coaching. So, it’s no surprise that CrossFit gyms topped all gyms, with 73% offering the service.
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From a Sewing Machine in a Spare Room to Wodapalooza

From a Sewing Machine in a Spare Room to Wodapalooza

What started in a spare bedroom with a sewing machine turned into a well-known headband company. In 2011, JUNK’s founder started wearing her handmade headbands to the gym.

In 2014, JUNK Headbands sealed the deal of on-field headbands for the Reebok CrossFit Games.

Now a household name, JUNK Brands has branched out to other sports, developed new styles, and released thousands of collections… including their Limited Edition WZA-themed headband.

Not going to Miami to visit their booth at Wodapalooza? No problem, sign up to get notified for the January 10th WZA-themed headband release here!


Miami bound: TYR Wodapalooza is almost here as the Florida competition gets set for Jan. 12-15. We will be publishing newsletters right through the weekend so you can stay up to date, and keep an eye on our landing page for all the news, highlights, videos and leaderboards. 🏝

Buttery Games: Thor vs the Fittest Man in the World Justin Medeiros go head to head with a number of other CrossFit athletes in what looks to be a super cool offering from the bros.

Local love: Great local television news piece about CrossFit CDI in York County in South Carolina.

To drink or not to drink: Australia’s Khan Porter talks to Insider about how drinking allows him to have a healthy CrossFit career.

  CrossFit vs HYROX: Swede Mikaela Norman Talks Setting World Record and Differences Between Sports  


CrossFit vs HYROX: Swede Mikaela Norman Talks Setting World Record and Differences Between Sports

Swedish CrossFitter Mikaela Norman set the world record at the HYROX race in Hamburg on November 26. She finished the race in one hour and 45 seconds.

HYROX is a fitness race that is the same at every event, so athletes and performances can be compared the world over. It started in 2017 and has grown exponentially in popularity in recent months.

Participants run 1km, then do an exercise and repeat the pattern eight times. Between the 1 km runs, they have to do 1000m ski erg, a sled push, a sled pull, burpees, 1000m row, farmer carries, sandbag lunges and 100 wall balls.

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  CrossFit vs HYROX: Swede Mikaela Norman Talks Setting World Record and Differences Between Sports  

Another Leadership Change at CrossFit HQ: Is this a Trend or Something Else?

Just days before the Christmas holiday, CrossFit CEO, Don Faul sent an e-mail to affiliates owners announcing that Gary Gaines, General Manager of Affiliates, is no longer with CrossFit HQ, making him the sixth CrossFit executive to change in 2022.

Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil sits down with Make WODs Great Again creator and affiliate owner, John Wooley, and Senior Editor, Joe Genetin-Pilawa to discuss the changes in leadership, if this is normal for big companies, and what the future could hold under CEO Don Faul.

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  Making Community the Priority at 2023 TYR Wodapalooza with Dylan Malitsky  

Making Community the Priority at 2023 TYR Wodapalooza with Dylan Malitsky

Hosting a competition of any size is no simple task, and someone who knows that better than most is Vice President of Loud and Live Sports, Dylan Malitsky. Spearheading events such as Granite Games, the Madrid Championship and TYR Wodapalooza, which is approaching quickly next week, takes an incredible amount of organization and teamwork.

With over 10 years experience working on the annual fitness festival in Miami specifically, Malitsky is continuing to reiterate and improve year over year. In 2023, the priority has shifted slightly and been made crystal clear from the top down.

“The biggest thing, our takeaway from Wodapalooza 2022, heading into 2023…we had a lot of change. Obviously, Matt O’Keefe, dear friend of mine and mentor, who was really leading the ship, him leaving and then also having some change over in terms of how we’re executing the production. So (we’re) making sure that we stayed true to our identity of Wodapalooza, which Matt and some of our partners had brought,” Malitsky said. “I think the biggest thing is our mantra with Wodapalooza: celebrating fitness, community and life. And I feel like over the last five years or so, I don’t want to say that we’ve lost sight of, but I think has become less of a priority, is community.”

Malitsky continued, stating that while it may require taking a step back to take multiple steps forward for future success, his team has been “resetting our sights on making sure that community is at the forefront of every one of our decisions, (and) that extends to everything.”

Last year, there were over 3,000+ athletes across 50 divisions and 40,000 CrossFit enthusiasts that showed up to cheer loud and proud. This year, with a redefined priority, we’re expecting an even more elevated experience for fans, competitors and volunteers alike.

It’s noteworthy that securing a title sponsor who’s making waves in the industry, TYR, is a huge catalyst to the expansion of TYR Wodapalooza this time around; with first-time initiatives such as replica athlete jerseys. And as Malitsky points out, “they’ve helped us a ton in accomplishing our goal of making sure the community is at the forefront.”

Another improvement to look forward to this year is greater seating availability in the stands.

“That’s a really big one, right? There were times over the last couple of years, and we’re not proud of it, that there were lines literally to get into Bayside (park). That may sound cool in theory, but these are paying customers and they’re not able to get a seat to watch. So when I say community, I don’t just mean community athletes — I mean volunteers, athletes and spectators. How do we enhance the experience for them? And that has been for our entire team; the message that I’ve been echoing is community, community, community. How do we improve that?,” Malitsky said. “ All those other priorities are still important, but they should never be bigger than that ‘C’ word.”

Such a strong emphasis on one aspect of the event can certainly impact the others, however it’s a risk Malitsky is willing to take.

“Now, it’s interesting because you focus on community and then there will be ten other things that we’ve got to improve for the following year that aren’t based on community because we focused so heavily on that, but ultimately (we’re) making sure to continue to refine the experience,” he said. “And then the other thing too, is Wodapalooza can still be an amazing event without having to continue to grow and make the number of athletes bigger and the number of spectators bigger — it can still be an amazing showcase. So not basing it all every year on increasing the prize purse by $100,000, or spending another ‘X’ on production; we can still find ways to stay economical and make it a viable business, which ultimately we’re in the business of fitness, and (we can) still create a great showcase and a great community competition.”

In this same conversation, Malitsky chats about how they work backwards year-round to organize big events, what he’s learned during his time on the competition-front, and why he still gets involved at local throwdowns. You can watch/listen to the full interview here (exclusive to Rx subscribers). Not Rx? Join today for just $1 and enjoy this conversation and a new topic-focused chat with an industry expert every week.



Our 2023 New Year Nutrition Guide

Ready to focus on your 2023 goals and dial in your nutrition post-holiday? So are we! That’s why we’ve put together a Guide with some of the best health and nutrition products, services, apps, and more! We are making it easy for you to start the new year off right with this guide.




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Three Tips If You’re Joining a Gym This Year

If you are looking to join a gym this year, whether it’s for the first time or just a swap, follow these three tips if you want to make sure you get the best results possible.



Your New Nano X2’s for a Bargain

Need new gym shoes? Of course you do! The Nano X2 is marked way down to only $69.97 for a limited time. What's better than new shoes? New shoes and a bargain!



How Deep REM Sleep Can Help You

If you have big goals this year, then you should learn why getting a deep, glorious, good night’s sleep is the key to getting you there.


Share Your CrossFit Story


Celebrating a PR, hosting a fundraiser, this, that, or otherwise. Send us a tip.

  • 😵‍💫 Alexander Anasagasti Roman from CrossFit Zarautz in Spain does 20 bar-facing burpees in 30 seconds.
  • Strongman Rob Kearney started off the new year with a 600 pound/273kg back squat.
  • Games athlete Agustin Richelme from Argentina puts up a split jerk double at 353 pounds/160kg.
  • 😱 11-year-old Emily Ibanez from Quebec clean and push jerks 203 pounds/92kg.
  • 🌴 The Smith Bros are getting in their WZA team prep before heading to South Florida next week.
9/22 - 9/24: Beach Brawl (Pensacola Beach, FL)
9/23 - 9/24: Madrid Fitness Challenge (San Lorenzo del Escorial, Madrid, Spain)
9/23: Ladies of Power: Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA)
9/23: Warrior Games 2023 (Suffield, CT)
9/23: Thrive Throwdown (Lynchburg, VA)
9/23: Warrior Games 2023 (Suffield, CT)
9/23: The Gulf Coast Games (Pinellas Park, FL)
10/6 - 10/8: Marbella Championship (Marbella, Spain)
10/7: Battle of Branded One at Redstone CrossFit (Littleton, CO)
10/13 - 10/15: Midwest Championship (Rochester, MN)
10/13 - 10/15: Midwest Championship (Rochester, MN)
10/14 - 10/15: 059 Classic (Modena, Italy)
10/14 - 10/15: The Vanguard (Lakeland, FL)
10/14: Strength and Speed (Feasterville, PA)
10/20 - 10/21: AAYMCA CrossFit Throwdown (Anderson, SC)
10/20 - 10/21: AAYMCA CrossFit Throwdown (Anderson, SC)
10/21: Festivus Games – Pairs (Savannah, GA)
10/27 - 10/29: Oslo Throwdown (Oslo, Norway)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – NASH (Nashville, TN)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – BHAM (Birmingham, AL)
11/4 - 11/5: Costa Barcelona Fitness Challenge (Vilanova i la Geltrú, Barcelona, Spain)
11/4 - 11/5: Hold Fast Competition Individual (Gerenzano, Italy)
11/11: War of the Masters (Elkton, MD)

See all upcoming events

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