This November 4th, CrossFit Lorton in Virginia is hosting the Fall Brawl-the largest competition for beginner and intermediate-level CrossFit athletes in the Mid Atlantic.
It’s a team event-4-person teams made up of all men, all women or mixed-designed to be inclusive and open to anyone looking to try their hand at competing in fitness.
Organizer Steve Reggio explained that he saw a hole that needed filling in the competition market. He said he observed that Rx events are usually too hard for beginner athletes, while scaled events are often too easy for the athletes in the middle, so his event is designed to cater to those two groups: The total beginners and the athletes who find themselves stuck in the middle.
Reggio is obviously onto something because, in an arguably saturated market, the Fall Brawl sold out in less than four weeks, Reggio explained. He launched the registration in August and by September 8th, he had 80 teams of 4 athletes registered to compete.
“It’s crazy. It just took off and went fast,” he said.
So if you’re an affiliate owner thinking about starting a competition at your gym, consider beginners and middling athletes, he suggested.
“For the affiliate owner, it also helps with retention, (because) an athlete training for an event, whether a beginner event or regionals, will work harder,” said Reggio, adding that this makes these athletes more likely to stick around for a while, hopefully a long while.
“I would recommend owners to encourage their beginners to do events like this,” he added.
Reggio is particularly excited about watching the two groups of athletes throwdown at his event.
“A lot of these athletes were at one time athletes as a kid and get that feeling back of being a competitor, and for those that never played sports they get to now be athletes as adults. How freaking cool is that?”
His main focus, though, is less about the competition and more about making sure his event is a ton of fun.
“We run a fun event… The athlete briefings sometimes feel like an open mic night and I will joke around with everyone while answering questions and have a good time with it,” he said.
The fun theme extends to his programming vision, as well.
“I like to use odd objects so this year we are using brute balls-a sandbag-style atlas stone. They don’t rip you up like an atlas stone and the sand makes it a real challenge. Then we will do a pig flip. It’s like a tire flip but with designated weights and much safer and cleaner for the athletes,” he said.