What’s in a name?: Starting an Independent Gym Part 2

16/03/2020

After being a CrossFitter on the Gold Coast for 4 years I made a huge decision to open my own gym which I named “Electric Fitness” located in Burleigh Heads on the beautiful Gold Coast (which opened July 1st 2019). This series will chronicle my experience in opening the gym and everything I’ve learned along the way. This article is part 2. Read part 1.

So, I wanted to open a gym (or CrossFit box) but what should it be called? Naming a gym isn’t as easy as you might think.

For some time I didn’t even know where this gym would be located which can be a consideration when naming the gym especially in the CrossFit world. 

In this research phase I decided I needed an abstract name or concept that wasn’t tied to where the gym might exist. I wanted a name that was scalable to multiple locations if I wanted more than one location. Like Snap Fitness, Fitness First or NCFit

I wanted my gym to be a CrossFit style box with CrossFit training but considered not to have CrossFit in the name much like Jason Khalipa’s NCFit (originally NorCal CrossFit). He dropped CrossFit out of his name at some point. There is a story behind why he did that but basically “my” thinking is why should my gym be tied to a training methodology? What happens if CrossFit HQ goes into a direction I don’t agree with? What if I want to offer more than just CrossFit classes in the facility?

Also CrossFit, to the general public, comes across as training for elite athletes only. Their tagline is still “Forging Elite Fitness”.

Worlds Fittest Man “Mat Fraser” – Admirable but not the real world of the average gym person who just wants to get a little fitter.

I don’t want to train elite athletes. I want to train every day people in the local community so they can become healthier and fitter through functional exercise. 

In saying that I was always going to use CrossFit programming to do this (get everyday people fitter). At this time CrossFit HQ (around late 2018 or early 2019) came out and changed their direction. This new direction was a major shift away from the CrossFit Games (the sport of CrossFit) and back to their roots, a training program to get everyday people fitter (CrossFit Health was born). 

However I still think the word “CrossFit” conjures up images of super ripped guys and gals snatching tonnes of weight over their head. Not really relatable to a busy manager who just wants to lose some body fat and gain a little muscle.

Another issue I faced was finding a name that did not already exist in the CrossFit HQ affiliate map. So anything I came up with had to be cross-referenced on their affiliate map to make sure someone in the world didn’t already have it or close to it. 

My strategy was to “ideally” come up with a one word name and add “fitness” on the end plus make that brand name have CrossFit on the end for the affiliation. 

So something like “XYZ Fitness” as the main brand and have CrossFit accept that name or a close version like “XYZ CrossFit” (to be affiliated).

This proved to be extremely hard.

Generally most names in CrossFit fall into these categories:

Location Based – For example CrossFit Burleigh, CrossFit Sydney or CrossFit (postcode)

Evocative – Names that speak to a term referring to strength, heart, toughness or another trait associated with intense training. 

Try to think of a cool gym name yourself and then Google it. Does it exist? For months I was thinking and getting flashes of inspiration. Something would come to mind and I would Google it only to find it was taken.

Here are some of the names I thunk up “and” were available (i’m glad I chose none of these!):

CrossFit Yeew
Crossfit Rippin
Morts Fitness
Mortos House of Pain
Payoff Fitness
Never Give Up Fitness
Never Quit Fitness
Never Quit Training NQT
Never Give Up Training
Undefeated
Forever
Infinite
outdo fitness
UMPH Fitness
Way of life WOL Fitness
FIND A WAY FAW Fitness FAW Training
Waystrong Fitness
Futur Fitness
Sun Fitness
3.3 Fitness
Gro Fitness
Everything Fitness EF
GIE Give It Everything
Three Fitness
Athletic Fitness

The funniest one was “Morto’s House of Pain” which my friend Warwick jokingly suggested. 

Having tried lots of names it forced me to think deeper. I wanted the name to be neutral, non-location specific and hopefully iconic.

I started to think about brands in CrossFit where people know what is by one word, like, NCFit, Raw Iron or Invictus. I also thought about non-CrossFit business like Nike, Google or Apple. Those names reference ideas, spelled so they are unique and not confused with anything else.

At this stage I still haven’t decided if CrossFit was to be in the title or leave it out all together. That was until I came across Raph and Lachlan’s podcast “The Mind Muscle Project”. 

They had an old episode I somehow found called “How being a CrossFit affiliate can destroy your brand”.

They have 3 gyms in Sydney called Creature Fitness. They were once known as CrossFit Creature. They made a decision to remove CrossFit from the gym names as it did not align with their mission or values anymore. Much of what they said resonated with me. I didn’t want to “compete” with all the other CrossFit boxes in Burleigh or the Gold Coast. I wanted to create something unique so I had no competition.

From that point forth I decided to find a name that was “Something Fitness” and affiliate CrossFit with that brand. 

I can’t remember how “Electric” popped into my head. But it sounded nice. Workouts can be electric or make you feel electric. You will hear sports commentators say the “atmosphere is electric tonight!”

It’s a good feeling “buzz” type of word. Easily brand-able and no big fitness or CrossFit businesses have that word in it or at least in Australia.

I was able to get the domain, the pty ltd plus a few other bits and pieces. 

So there you have it. I registered the domain on 28/11/2018. 7 months before opening the doors to Electric Fitness.

We do 1 on 1 sessions with new clients before they enter group classes. We feel it’s unsafe to throw you into new movements without screening you first.

BTW – our CrossFit affiliate name is EFBH CrossFit. Basically to honour CrossFit HQ for using their training methodology and allowing CrossFitters or people interested in CrossFit to also find us. 

Part 3 will cover finding a location (nothing happens without this).

Now Open
35 Lemana Lane, Burleigh Heads 4220, Gold Coast

Burleigh Heads

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