To continue our case study series after a great conversation with Bill and Staci Russell of CrossFit Cleveland last month, we hopped over to the East Coast, Freehold New Jersey to be exact, where co-owner and strength coach Joe Cosenza operates a top CrossFit box.
Joe has competed in the CrossFit Games, so he’s no newcomer when it comes to achievement in the world of CrossFit. We wanted to learn about how Joe got into CrossFit in the first place, and how he runs his gym, CrossFit Dark Athletics
“I started doing CrossFit in 2009 after I graduated college and it was something different.”
Joe shares that his brother, a personal trainer at the time, got him into CrossFit.
Joe’s love for CrossFit blossomed quickly, and it grew so strong that he decided to get together with a group of friends and open his own CrossFit gym in the 2010’s.
Joe soon found that starting and running a CrossFit gym wasn’t all that easy:
“Marketing is really tough—getting people through the door,” he shares. By moving from Brooklyn to New Jersey and opening a gym there, he was able to start building a solid member base.
Joe says there is no secret formula for creating a great community within a CrossFit gym. The answer is quite simple:
“Our community is strong because we work out and we work together. Me being here and leading the team, staying on top of our athletes’ workouts and achievements, it creates a nice tight group that gels together. Everybody floats around and is very friendly. It happened organically. We’re like a big family.”
“I like to make our challenges my own. I take ideas from previous ones we’ve run and make it different to fit our community and their goals. For example, we did one where every week each participant would have to do something athletic and fitness-related outside of the gym. This gets people active and thinking about CrossFit during their daily routine outside of the gym.”
“The strength challenge is an online just-for-fun thing. It’s fun to get competitors involved doing the exercises I come up with, and it’s really satisfying to see people from other states and countries participating and loving it.”
Challenges like these only help CrossFit Dark Athletics’ name get out there as an industry leader.
Joe shares that right off the bat, using WODHOPPER for challenges was a great success:
“The first [Challenge] we did with WODHOPPER helped us. They created a great landing page that made the event way easier to market and got people to the door. We always go to WODHOPPER first to set these up.”
“We found WODHOPPER through a previous gym I was working with in Brooklyn and we loved the style and the format. It just works really great. Whenever we have a question, Michael is always there with an answer. Having WODHOPPER there has been a great base with great support, and it also supports our future growth.”
It didn’t take Joe much time to come up with a favorite:
“The best feature, in my opinion, is the programming and scheduling. It is pretty great how everything is laid out. Scheduling coaches works really well too, adding workouts, programs, class times and removing them is so functional and makes my life so much easier. I can email my team and let them know whats going on for the week and I can schedule new events and fundraisers easily.”
As we continued our conversation, Joe kept coming back to the concept of service and support:
“The best part of WODHOPPER is the service you get from Michael and anyone who is on the support team. They always have an answer and if they don’t, they look into it right away and get back to you. They are always on top of everything and always updating the product to make it easy to use. They help us grow by continuing to improve their product. We are growing together.”
We like the sound of that. As developers of easy-to-use CrossFit gym management software, we want our gyms using WODHOPPER to thrive.
One of our primary tenets has always been to listen to gym owners. What are they struggling with? What are their challenges? By listening to our gym owners, we are able to build solutions that fix the most common problems in the CrossFit gym management software marketplace.
This way, we can continue to grow as our gyms grow and thrive.
We would like to extend a huge thank you to Joe Cosenza at CrossFit Dark Athletics for his time and his excellent insights.
Request a quick demo of WODHOPPER today to learn how making the switch will impact your gym.