Combining powerlifting, weightlifting, cardio, rowing, and numerous other hi-intensity exercises based on timed sessions, CrossFit is a nation-wide phenomenon. CrossFit Alpharetta opened its gym (CrossFitters call it, a “box”) in 2009, and eventually relocated to a 6,500 square-foot facility on North Point Parkway under new ownership during the first month of 2014. With participants ranging from recent college graduates, to stay-at-home mothers, business executives, teachers, and professional athletes, CrossFit Alpharetta’s membership has steadily increased during its two-year tenure thanks to expert coaching, a state-of-the-art facility, and a shared mentality to excel.
Taking a break from clanging weights, whirring rowing machines, and spirited motivation shared by classmates during a noon workout of the day—popularly termed “WOD”—Owner and Head Coach Justin Tway, 38, discusses CrossFit Alpharetta’s inception, its growing family, and its formula for success.
AL: Tell us about your membership.
JT: Our membership has grown steadily over the year while still keeping that “family” feel. We have a solid base of longtime members, but that circle grows each year. The key to a successful CrossFit gym is growing the group of members who view us as a family; it’s truly unlike any other type of gym in that sense. We want to see our members weekly. Most other gyms hope that people won’t show, but will continue to pay. Our membership floats between 125 to 140 members each month. Alpharetta is an extremely transient area so we get a lot of people who relocate in or out. Our average class size varies based on the time of day and day of the week. It can be anywhere from five members to 18 on the high end. I would say it’s a 70/30 split of members who live near the gym and folks who work nearby. We have had members who would drive from Buckhead to continue training with us! I think that says a lot about the level of training we provide.
AL: Since there are competitions such as CrossFit Games now being televised nationally (ESPN) are your members collectively watching them?
JT: This is a great question! Our members love and respect the level of fitness that CrossFit Games athletes possess. While I do believe it is something to stand in awe of, we do not actively promote it. CrossFit the sport and CrossFit Alpharetta are two very different things. We want people to be competitive, but in a safe way. We encourage our athletes to push THEIR boundaries as much as possible. When you come into CrossFit Alpharetta, you do not see 20-year-olds with their shirts off hoisting crazy weights above their heads. You see normal folks working off the stresses of the day to improve who they are inside and out. Our members understand that while we do very similar movements to what you would see in the CrossFit Games, we are doing it in a way that allows our members to continue to progress in their fitness without doing anything dangerous. Risk versus reward has always been the number one consideration when I do the program for CrossFit Alpharetta.
CrossFit Alpharetta, 3055 North Point Pkwy #800, 678.613.7392. CrossFitAlpharetta.com.