One year after opening an all women's Crossfit Gym in Ahwatukee Foothills, Rebecca Parent has six-times the amount of members she started with. Her secret is in her niche.
"I think people really like the community we have in here, and the atmosphere," Parent said. "It's different from the other gyms. We're different because you've got women helping each other out. If the workout of the day is incredibly tough, the girls next to each other will cheer each other on. Where else do you get that at?"
Parent started Ahwatukee Crossfit one year ago with 10 clients. Today she has at least 65, and about 20 visitors each month.
Parent owned a crossfit gym, called Tribal Crossfit, in Chandler with her husband. After success there, she decided to try something new and offer the same workouts in a women-only setting.
"I have girls that come from Gilbert and Mesa, one from Goodyear and three coming from Phoenix," Parent said. "They come here because we're women only. They want to do crossfit, but they want to do it in a women's only facility. I think a lot of them came thinking they'd see what crossfit was like before moving to men and women gyms, but they haven't left yet."
One thing Parent is really proud of is the camaraderie of the women in her gym. Daily, she posts scores or photos on the gym's Facebook page. Even on social media the women can be seen cheering each other on.
That's a side effect of the way crossfit works, Parent said. Each class begins with a warm up and then a lesson on either a new weight-lifting exercise and the correct form for it, or a reminder of the correct form for a lift the group has already learned. Then the class splits up into small groups and the women coach each other.
"The coaches are still walking up and down and they'll break in if you miss something, but you have double the coaching because that girl is also going to be coaching you," Parent said. "I feel if you can coach someone then you know the movement, too."
Parent hopes to get 100 members by next year, and possibly open up more classes with more trainers. In the meantime she's not planning on going anywhere.
"I think we do something really good here that no other crossfit gyms do," Parent said. "It's my niche. I really thought a lot of other people would follow me, but after a year I'm still the only women's only crossfit in all of crossfit. I know what my niche is and I'm not going to let it go."
• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or firstname.lastname@example.org