SNEWS Qs: CrossFit about community, competition

The folks from Rage Fitness talk CrossFit and specialty fitness retail.

Functional, CrossFit-type workouts are creeping into the training programs for athletes from everyday folks to mountain athletes.


That's because functional fitness not only helps people get fit, but also helps avoid injuries during everyday activities by creating a more agile body versus working on isolated movements alone, said Todd Halderman, business development director for Rage Fitness.

Plus it's just fun, he said.

Recently SNEWS chatted with Halderman and Jessica Wurtzel, director of marketing for Rage Fitness, a Denver, Colo.-based CrossFit-specific equipment and apparel manufacturer, about the trend, its products and CrossFit in specialty fitness retail locations.

What makes CrossFit such a desirable activity these days? 
Wurtzel: There's an element of community in that we all have to go be face-to-face and work out with others. Also you’re competing and the competition and community components keep people going back and getting excited about it. You're not just isolated in your own gym. For the most part, people by nature are competitive so that works in the favor of CrossFit.

Have you seen CrossFit spill into other industries like being used as cross training for mountain athletes, etc.? 
Halderman: Functional fitness is not just locked to CrossFit. You’re seeing everything from boot camp-style workouts to incorporating more functional movements. You can actually see it in machines that are going into commercial spaces like 24 Hour Fitness. There's a trend in machines that have multipurpose functions.

What are some new products Rage Fitness has coming out that you're most excited about?
Our Pink Edition Line, which is a pink version of our line that benefits breast cancer research also has a component of empowering women. Another product that we just released is our Highlands Medicine Ball, which is our version of an Atlas Dome [soft medicine balls between 50 and 150 pounds].

What are your tips to specialty fitness retailers on how to benefit from the popularity of CrossFit? 
We are in stores like Fitness Gallery. Our brand, Rage Fitness, speaks to the enthusiast and the athlete and that's really where specialty retailers' niche lies. We have high-quality products at the right price point. If anybody is interested they can  touch base with somebody in our organization.

Was this your first year at the Health and Fitness Business Expo? 
This was our first year and it was an amazing experience because of the fact people were loving our brand. Our brand truly told the story behind the explosive force of high-intensity workouts and people were really gravitating toward our product. It was definitely a great experience. I absolutely believe we will be back next year.


Fitness Equipment

SNEWS Qs: Lifecore's Roger Bates talks new cardio for CrossFit

Usually Roger Bates and his fitness equipment company Lifecore are staples at the upcoming Health and Fitness Business Expo, but this year they will be absent. Mostly, he said, it is because he gets a bigger return on his investment at shows like IHRSA and Athletic Business more


SNEWS Qs: The North Face's Kevin Joyce talks yoga

While The North Face is focusing on getting its “trail cred” back — according to this story in Bloomberg, anyway — it’s also been branching out to activities like yoga. With yoga continuing to gain popularity, we’re seeing more yoga products from traditional outdoor companies, more


SNEWS Qs: BILT by Agassi & Reyes' Steve Miller talks history, future

Andre Agassi was remarkable young tennis player, and he staged an even more remarkable comeback in the late 1990s. Now the fitness industry is privy to a key factor in his success — the equipment longtime coach Gil Reyes built with Agassi to help him train with high intensity more


SNEWS Qs: For Tal Dehtiar, making shoes is about building community

It's a challenge for business school graduates to find ways to do good for their communities — Tal Dehtiar, founder and CEO of Oliberté, saw that shortly after he got his MBA. “There was no real route for MBA grads to do good work for their communities, just for corporations,” more


SNEWS Qs: TomTom makes smart technology accessible in new fitness watches

TomTom is well known for its GPS navigation, but few know that the company has been powering the popular Nike+ Sportwatch for years. Considering the product's success, its no surprise that TomTom is officially getting into the fitness watch business, debuting its first product more

SNEWS Qs: Chris Clawson's talks Life Fitness and awards

At the last few IHRSA and Club Industry trade shows, the Life Fitness booth has been buzzing with people, with staff busily answering questions about the LFopen platform and Synergy360 functional training gym. President Chris Clawson has been a major force in driving the more


SNEWS Qs: Barry McGeough talks water, Zumba and lessons for the fitness industry

Barry McGeough has spent the majority of his career in the outdoor industry, first working for The North Face, then Teva and Deckers Outdoor Corporation. Now, with the partnership between Speedo and Aqua Zumba, the vice president of hard goods at Speedo USA is making a splash in more


SNEWS Qs: Zoot’s missing the party, but is still bringing treats

Outdoor Retailer is like the big party everybody wants to go to, but not everyone can make it. This time around, a lot of companies are missing out on the fun, like Isis and Zoot Sports, but they have some cool, notable products (and some great insight to industry trends). We more


SNEWS Qs: There are enough yoga pants; it’s time to focus on shirts

Women consumers often like to support female-led companies like YogaGlyphs, a new yoga apparel company co-founded by Tiffany Breckenridge. SNEWS recently chatted with Breckenridge about her new line of shirts, which she will launch at the outdoor industry’s upcoming Outdoor more