Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. Gym owners are looking ahead and developing their re-opening strategies, see how a few of them are thinking outside the box. And, gym equipment manufacturers have presumably benefited from the quarantine as CrossFitters stuck at home fill their garages and basements with gear, but that might not be the whole story, Brittney Kleyn has more. Today:
Breaking overnight: CrossFit cancels the teens and masters division competitions.
Gym owners seek creative solutions as they envision re-opening.
Equipment manufacturers see a huge increase in residential sales, but the commercial market is currently closed.
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Gym Owners Seek Creative Solutions as They Plan Re-Opening
Nobody is 100 percent sure what it will look like when CrossFit affiliates around the world are able to re-open in earnest.
Some CrossFit affiliates in the state of Georgia began the process last week but quickly learned that the landscape could shift quickly as the governor announced a prohibition on group classes. Gyms in other states, such as Oklahoma and Utah, will be allowed to experiment with their new way of conducting business as of May 1.
Meanwhile, other gym owners are expecting to have to wait until at least mid-May and are anticipating having to follow strict restrictions. In Colorado, for example, gyms are allowed to open in May if they function as a personal training studio and limit the number of the people in the gym to just four.
On goes the thinking cap: This has led to some serious brainstorming, as affiliate owners try to figure out exactly how to run their gyms safely, meet government demands and still offer a viable service to their members.
The most common interpretations of what this might entail include:
Limiting class sizes depending on government regulation.
Allocating designated specific space for each member to satisfy social distancing rules.
Restricting class sizes.
Offering more personal training, or semi-private training.
Scheduling classes to give people a chance to leave the building before others arrive for the next class.
Ensuring people with symptoms stay home.
Mandatory hand washing upon arrival.
Limiting how many times people can come to the gym each week to ensure everyone has a chance to train at the gym.
Continuing to run online Zoom classes during the transition phase.
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BREAKING: Teens, Masters Season Canceled
CrossFit HQ just announced that the teen and masters divisions’ season will abruptly end with the conclusion of the Age Group Online Qualifier (AGOQ) review, which just wrapped up Wednesday evening.
“This year, there will not be an in-person competition to crown the fittest in the CrossFit Games Age Groups. Prize money will not be issued. The age group competition will resume when the season resets in 2021.”
The announcement comes after weeks of complaints from teen and masters athletes concerned they would be left out of the plans for an in-person competition in Aromas, CA.
One big thing: CrossFit HQ made it clear that regardless of an athlete’s placement in the AGOQ, the results of the online competition did not crown the fittest in that age group, marking the first time since 2010 that a masters champion will not be crowned. In doing so, CrossFit also continues to draw a clear distinction between online and in-person competitions.
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Sales Sky-Rocket For Equipment Manufacturers But Revenue Down During COVID-19
Times are tough out there, but as the demand for at-home gym equipment sky-rocketed due to COVID-19, the early numbers are in and manufacturers have seen a boost in sales by 3,000 percent, according to AlphaFit’s Jamie Montesalvo.
It’s hard to imagine how but when fitness equipment manufacturers balance the books, it appears the shift in demand has actually hurt their bottom line.
What the brands are saying: Jamie Montesalvo owns and operates Alphafit, an Australian manufacturer of strength and conditioning equipment, everything from dumbbells, rigs, kettlebells and plyo boxes.
“We have more of a predominantly commercial-based business but now with what’s happened it’s a lot more retail, meaning a lot more bumpers, kettlebells, home gym gear. Not something that we would generally do a lot of but it’s absolutely exploded,” he told the Morning Chalk Up.
Picture this: Before COVID-19, Alphafit’s warehouse rarely saw more than one or two people walking in for gear.“Now we’re getting 20 to 30 people a day inquiring about equipment,” Jamie said.
“Since the COVID-19 has happened, we’ve seen a massive increase in the residential, your home consumer, but that’s not the core business. We’d probably see realistically a 50 percent reduction in our general revenue now that we’re no longer doing commercials,” he added.
The bottom line: It’s simply mathematics for manufacturers like Alphafit, Rogue and Again Faster, comparing the price of a few kettlebells to an entire gym kit. “So commercial coming back on board for us is something we want to happen sooner rather than later,” Jamie said.
Download the Back to Business Guide by the HAM Plan
The team behind the HAM Plan, Austin Malleolo, Spencer Hendel and James Hobart have created a “Back to Business Guide” that outlines a four-phase process to help affiliate owners and gym managers navigate social distancing and eventually transition to a new normal. Check it out and let’s get back to it!
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CrossFit YouTube Gems Chosen by Top Pundits in the Sport
If you’re like us, the quarantine fitness routine leaves you hungry for competition and classic YouTube videos can help get that fix. The South China Morning Post asked CrossFit media leaders including the Morning Chalk Up’s own Justin LoFranco and Tommy Marquez for their favorite go-to videos.
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We’ve been overwhelmed with tips and emails about fundraisers and athletes doing good work around the CrossFit community. Today we are going to highlight some more of them:
1,948 Burpees for the NHS: A couple of weeks ago we highlighted CrossFitter Matt Fleming‘s plan to do 1,948 burpees to raise funds for the National Health Service in the UK, which was established on July 5, 1948. On April 25, he completed the task and raised over 6,000 pounds for NHS workers on the COVID-19 front lines.
Bear Canyon CrossFit: The Albuquerque, NM affiliate, Bear Canyon CrossFit organized a fundraiser to provide school supplies for local schools and fed more than 40 families in the local community while simultaneously raising money. The box owners, Mark Travis, Amy Patton and Rebekah Fitzpatrick, were able to match all the donations raised by the gym members.
Push Press Grant Program: The gym operating system, Push Press, has created a grant program for gyms hard hit by COVID-19, and it’s now live. Gym owners can register for the non-repayable grants, the guidelines and formal applications are available, the first round of grants will be distributed on May 11. Any boutique fitness studio or gym is eligible, it does not have to be a push
press client, as long as it is not a corporate-backed endeavor.
New Hampshire CrossFit Affiliates: 24 CrossFit affiliates have come together, led by Matt Michaud, owner of the CrossFit EverProven in Dover, NH and Chris Martin, owner of CrossFit Bona Fide in Greenland, NH, to create a t-shirt fundraiser with a twist. When you purchase a “Stronger Together” shirt, 100% of the profits go to your home gym, but you also get a free drop-in at every one of the 24 affiliates (once they re-open).
Behemoth CrossFit: The Katy, TX affiliate, Behemoth CrossFit has partnered with Forever Fierce to create t-shirts, tanks, and sweatshirts with the slogan “This too shall pass” as a reminder to be strong and positive in these uncertain times. The profits of apparel sales will support the Brookwood Community.