The owners of CrossFit Local, Chad and Kelly Edwards are devoted to changing people’s perceptions of themselves. When I asked Chad, “How has owning a gym impacted you?” he replied, “Watching my wife and co-owner become more confident in herself and her fitness, because of CrossFit, has been incredible. It has a big impact on women at the gym and I’ve made it a goal to make sure that every woman at the gym can do a pull-up. I want to show people that they are capable of so much more than they ever thought.”
In 2007 Chad started getting into CrossFit. He was a personal trainer and began to incorporate the methodology into his and his client’s fitness. He was hooked. Meanwhile, Kelly was struggling to find a workout structure that worked for her. Chad suggested that she begin to do the CrossFit Kids workouts at home. She did. Soon she started to see results and got up the courage to attend a class at a CrossFit box. Soon enough, they were both CrossFit athletes.
The couple, who have built their gym in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, are high school sweethearts. They’ve been married for over eight years and have been running the gym for almost as long. They have a daughter named Evelyn and two dogs, Kaiah and Comet. Chad has a background in fitness and Kelly’s experience is as a nurse practitioner.
They started the gym in 2010 with a group of people and over time have become the primary owners, supported by 17 other coaches. Check out their Coaches page to see the community of trainers that support their box.
The CrossFit Local motto is—locally grown athletes.
This phrase manifests itself in their box through intentional structure and programming to ensure that athletes and coaches can begin and grow their CrossFit journey at CrossFit Local. “It’s important that our coaches come from our member-base. To become a coach, athletes must have been a member for at least four months, go through a four-month training program, run by CrossFit Local, and then attend the CrossFit HQ training.”
For members, the team at CrossFit Local supports the growth of their athletes in a few different ways. For starters, they don’t have a foundations program, but instead start new members out in the community right away. To accommodate differences in ability, programming is broken up into beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Athletes grow into the higher levels as they increase their fitness and form.
The team is also really invested in helping their members reach their goals. “We sit down every quarter with members and do goal-setting sessions. When members first come in, they sit down and document their goals, and then we check in. Each member should have at least one short-term and one long-term goal.” To reinforce progress, Chad set up a goal board, front, and center at the entrance of the gym where members record and check progress on their goals.
SugarWOD has helped to support the goal-setting and tracking for their members.
“We’ve seen a big increase in people knowing their numbers. When we sit down to do our goal-setting sessions with members, SugarWOD supports access to their numbers.”
Chad and Kelly have also worked to incorporate group discussions into their programming and their coaches training. Every Bootcamp class, referred to as Ignition, begins the session with a discussion on topics like meal prep, nutrition, and recovery. “We are interested in the learning and thinking part of fitness. The more you can equip people with the desire to learn; you eliminate room for complacency.”
With a focus and intention on personal and athletic growth, CrossFit Local has developed a strong community, bound together, by goal-oriented, conscious improvement. We applaud their attention to community and thoughtful approach to CrossFit.