Recently, I hopped on a call with Lauren Derveloy at CrossFit Ruston in Louisiana. We covered a few topics—their goals for 2017, plans for The Open, and their experience with SugarWOD. We kicked off the call with a simple question, “What is CrossFit Ruston all about?”
The answer Lauren gave was simple, but powerful, “Our purpose is to optimize the human condition.”
Lauren and Evan Derveloy started their gym with the dream of teaching people how to move right and eat right. Coming out of the military as a combat medic, Evan’s natural path was toward the field of medicine. But, it didn’t feel right. Instead, he and Lauren felt that their impact could be bigger. A gym would give them the opportunity to have a more direct impact on more people in a meaningful way. “We decided to open up a gym so that we could teach people how to move right and eat right,” says Lauren.
The desire to help people move right and eat right is driven by their internal need to support and improve the foundations of health and, as Evan says, “help people save money on healthcare, learn to use their body and avoid injury, look better naked, and become hard to kill.” And that’s what they’ve done for hundreds of people over the past four years.
Lauren and Evan own two boxes with the support of 15 coaches to serve almost 500 members, The original gym, CrossFit Ruston is in Ruston, Louisiana the home of Louisiana Tech University where there are 11 coaches and over 300 members. Bossier City CrossFit is the second gym, right outside Shreveport, LA. Four coaches support the almost 150 athletes that work out at Bossier City CrossFit.
When I posed the question “What are your goals for 2017?” Lauren shared that she and Evan are focused on “Changing as many lives in their community as possible.” To achieve that goal, they are working on two things 1. Finding a way to increase the capacity of the gym and 2. Running a really excellent Open season.
Their approach to the 2017 Open is awesome. They plan to have their members put together and compete in teams. Lauren believes that a team structure will create the opportunity for all members to come together and compete no matter what level. Lauren is working with the coaches to organize the competition in Fantasy Football-style. She’s also planning out the weekly sponsors and themes to make sure that the experience is super fun for their members.
When we discussed SugarWOD and programming, Lauren described that their method and their programming, in both gyms, is focused on proper technique before intensity. When the team at Ruston felt like things were getting a little stale, they decided to do something about it. It didn’t seem like all of the athletes were tracking their workouts and were cherry-picking, so they went looking for a tool to help create a culture of accountability and performance tracking, which led them to SugarWOD.
Before SugarWOD, Evan put together all programming in Google Docs and then emailed it out to the coaches for review. Once the programming was final, they would post it to Facebook. It was a long process.
SugarWOD has completely changed programming. Evan used to take hours and hours, on Sundays to put together the programming. It took away from family time. SugarWOD allows us to put the responsibility on some of the coaches to do the programming.
It was really easy for Ruston to get hundreds of athletes using the tool, especially once they promoted it on Facebook, put the SugarWOD widget on their site, and displayed BoxTV in their lobby so that athletes could preview the workout and movement standards before the WOD.
The care and intention that the team at CrossFit Ruston approach their business with is impressive. And, their commitment and genuine desire to improve their community is inspiring. It seems like 2017 is going to be a big year for their gym and we hope they double the number of people they are able to serve!