Running a successful CrossFit/ Functional Fitness box is fundamentally a pretty simple formula when it comes down to it. At the heart of it, successful boxes have happy members who are enjoying their training, smashing their goals and feeling like a real part of the community. 

So, how do we make that happen for our members?

Running a box is an incredible job, but it does still come with stresses and it’s not always easy to feel like you’re staying on top of everything. When your member numbers start to grow and you add more classes to your timetable (all great problems to have of course!) sometimes it can feel like you’re slipping on making sure you’re giving each individual the time you’d like to.

We’re in the privileged position of working with over 120 box owners around the world and we’ve been able to pick up on some amazing coaching tips when we’ve been out and about on the road.

So, we’ve put together 3 simple tips that we’ve picked up for making sure you’re running a happy, successful gym. 

1. Make everyone welcome 

This one sounds so obvious, but we’ve seen this being done REALLY well, and… not so much. 

It is absolutely essential that everyone that walks into your gym feels welcome straight away. It doesn’t matter if your next class starts in a few minutes and you were really hoping to grab a quick coffee – if you see a new face at the door go and say hello. If you don’t have the time for a proper introduction right at that moment, grab a current member of your gym who’s just finished the last class or a coach and ask them to show the newbie around while you get organised for the next class. 

This doesn’t just go for the newbies either. It’s so important that all the members of your gym feel appreciated, valued and like they are part of the community. Every gym naturally has its huge personalities or those who are excelling in classes and hitting the big lifts and naturally get more attention. But, some members might be quiet and although they’d love to get involved struggle to find their way in as easily.

Making a conscious effort to talk to your more quiet members will go such a long way. Whether this is during the cool down at the end or mid-class just a quick chat really makes people feel valued. By putting aside half an hour or so at the end of the day, or on your lunch, to jump on BoxMate and send out some High 5s, comment back to score updates from the activity feed and fire out a few personal nudges, you can let your members know they are being noticed for their efforts in the gym. 

Nudges can really help you as the owner/ coach to create relationships with your members. You can send an individual nudge to welcome a new member on board with a nice message, send a nudge to a member with a goal expiring soon with a personalised motivational message and those nudges are only seen by the individual. 

The more your members feel like part of your gym and feel included in the community the more they will become a part of it all and the happier they will be.

Happy members mean a good atmosphere, and ultimately, good retention for you! You can send them out right from your mobile too through the Coaches Corner. 


2. Involve your members in the decisions about THEIR box 


When you’re the box owner often it can feel like you’ve got a lot of pressure on your shoulders to keep on making improvements. Whether this is tweaking the programming to make sure everyone is being properly challenged or buying in new equipment as your budget grows – there are a lot of choices to make and it can be difficult to know which is the right way to go. 

Don’t feel like you always have to make these choices alone. After all, the box is for your members, so why not involve them in the decisions about what they actually want? 

By sending a question to your members on BoxMate you can instantly receive answers to what you need to know. 

With questions, you can send a notification to all members with a simple multiple choice question. It will take them one second to tap on their choice and you instantly have the answers at your fingertips in a simple visual report.

Again, you can do this right from your mobile phone too & see all answers collated for you! Click here to see how to use your Coaches Corner!


3. Be a student in your own group classes 

We know that lots of coaches or owners do their own programming in open gym or outside of class times, but occasionally, try and make it in to the scheduled session too! 

Remember that you are a role model for so many of your members, particularly very new recruits or younger aspiring athletes. By letting your members see you getting stuck in with partner WODs, challenging yourself to hit new PRs and jumping on BoxMate to post your own progress, you’re leading by example. A successful box is one where everyone feels pumped up to work hard and keep smashing targets, and one of the best ways to get everyone doing that is for them to see the people they admire (you the owner or coach) doing it too!

Try to vary who you partner with – don’t just go for the most competitive members of the box – train with a quieter or newer member of the group and involve them in the workout too. 

By being around in open gym times and getting stuck in with the classes, your members can approach you to ask you questions about their technique or learn by watching how you scale or approach different WODs.


We love catching up with our BoxMate gym owners and we are always in awe of the way you make your members feel so valued and help them to improve! 

Keep on smashing it guys! We see you 👀 🎉


Love and High 5s

Team BoxMate