New technology gains popularity in CrossFit

Technology makes tracking our physical fitness much easier, whether via SmartPhone apps, favorite websites or simply keeping a spreadsheet of physical activity. In the CrossFit community, one product aims to help gyms retain and attract customers by taking its technology to the next level.

Ameet Shah is the founder of Wodify, located in Haddonfield, N.J. Shah says the program allows Box owners and clients full access to their programs.

“We allow Box owners back-office functionality,” says Shah. “For the athletes, they can sign up for classes through the system, register for a specific workout—even buy gear through the program.”

When an athlete arrives in the gym for a workout, he or she can look at the Wodify screen and see what the Workout of the Day (WOD) holds for them on that day. “For any athlete, tracking your performance is incredibly important,” says Shah. “But rather than writing down your progress on a piece of paper on some rusty cabinet. Now you’re doing so on big-screen monitors in the gym, you can access the information from home.”

According to Shah, the conversion rate of athletes recording their information is now in excess of 95 percent in gyms using Wodify. He attributes this to the simplicity of the technology, and the fact that, quite simply, this is enjoyable for the user.

“It used to be that you’d come in, perform your workout and the scores would go up on the white board,” says Shah. “Now eventually the white board gets erased—or worse yet, a lot of people would never bother to record their scores.”

‘Now, when you go to do perform an exercise, you can log in at that kiosk and see all your past performances. So if you take an early class—by the time you’re out of bed, you can log on via your SmartPhone and know the workout that’s waiting for you at the gym. You go in, you work out, document your results… and throughout the day, you can see how your results measure up.”

“Before you go to bed, you can log on one more time and reserve your time for tomorrow at the gym.”

Throughout the day, users can also track their caloric intake and follow up on the results of other Wodify users—adding a social media component in which the athlete can ‘like’ another user’s results.

“Lots of software can add value for the owners, but we help users as well,” says Shah. “People tell me all the time that Wodify itself pushes them to improve, because those workout results are public now.

For Box owners like Nicholas Tini, owner/operator of Verge Athletics which includes CrossFit Conshohocken and CrossFit Fort Washington, the tracking features are a highlight—throughout the day, they can track the number of people registered for each class. They also enjoy the ability to track payments, conversion rates and other business-related details.

“If someone’s gone from three sessions a week to one, you can reach out and make sure everything’s all right,” says Shah. “You can also track your conversion rate—how many people are signing up per month, etc.”

Tini says for his part, he doesn’t stress the user competition aspect of the program quite as much. If one user doesn’t necessarily want his results made public, conveniently, Wodify allows for private settings on an individual account.

“It’s a great feature, but in my coaching I don’t stress comparing one athlete to another,” he says.

For Nick Tini, one of the best features is the benchmark workouts—well-known, established workouts within the CrossFit community that can be tracked and compared via a leaderboard. These workouts are known by first names—“Fran” and “Cindy” are two examples—and are universally recognizable to CrossFit athletes.

Tini’s box was one of the first Wodify clients, and as such he’s worked extensively with Ameet Shah and the Wodify team in developing and suggesting new features. As it stands, he’s pretty happy with the results.

“We went back and forth with some ideas,” he recalls, “but now, I can go into this program and use this administratively to take the pulse of my membership base.”

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