CrossFit Athletics: Growth and Community

CrossFit Athletics strives to create a strong community within the Pittsburgh fitness world. Photo: Chris Nolan, MetCon Photos

CrossFit Athletics strives to create a strong community within the Pittsburgh fitness world. Photo: Chris Nolan, MetCon Photos

Dr. Jenn Murzyn started CrossFit Athletics in 2010 with just a handful of members in a 2,100 sq. foot facility. Since then, she and Gabriel Trbovich have grown their community and business to occupy their current 20,000 sq ft facility on the South Side of Pittsburgh.

Not only has CrossFit Athletics experienced growth within their community and facility, but they have also been around to see the adaptation of CrossFit within the fitness community. Once the CrossFit training methodology started getting more mainstream attention, whether it was from the CrossFit Games showing on ESPN or celebrities showing up at their local boxes, the sport that should be seen as accessible to all, has gained that reputation.

Many facilities have established (usually through a bit of trial-and-error) how to best help members join and stick to the program. Jenn and Gabe host a Foundations program for anyone interested in starting at CrossFit Athletics as a fun and educational way to begin their CrossFit journey. This program, they have found, is the best way to get people engaged with other members in the gym, get to know their coaches, and build the groundwork for a strong community that defines CrossFit and CrossFit Athletics.

“I’ve met some of my best friends through CrossFit,” Trbovich says. He likely is not alone in that assessment.

Athletics not only tries to foster an atmosphere that encourages general fitness, but also an unrelenting sense of achievement and personal betterment. Whether it’s through daily classes, in-house competitions, or other activities outside the gym, CrossFit Athletics strives to help members feel a sense of belonging far beyond their weekly workouts.

As the scope of the CrossFit Games changes, bringing about more chances for various affiliates to be a part of online qualifiers in addition to the Open, Gabe believes it will continue to help members and gyms grow.

“Most people enjoy doing the online style qualifiers like the Open because it is in the familiar environment of their gym,” he notes. “We are looking forward to having team qualifiers for the MACC because this is typically how most of our athletes like to compete, even if their goal is general fitness, they feel more comfortable with a group.”

As the MACC online qualifiers draw to a close, and the start of the Open draws near, CrossFit Athletics and affiliates around the world will continue to use their daily impact to help members improve their overall health and wellness. This includes encouraging them to utilize events like the Open and MACC online qualifiers to test their fitness in additional ways.

The concept of togetherness within a gym or during online qualifiers continues to stress the importance of building confidence within athletes regardless of their athletic goals or abilities. Affiliates like CrossFit Athletics aren’t necessarily striving to build the strongest, most competitive athletes in the Mid-Atlantic; they simply want to help their members be the strongest, most competitive athletes with themselves. There may not be as qualitative of measurement for achieving this, but we’d argue that the longevity of a gym and the athletes within its walls are the best testaments one could have.