What's the Secret to CrossFit Nashville's Success?


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • With a HYROX athlete at the top of the Open leaderboard on the women’s side, CEOs from HYROX and Centr talk about their new partnership

  • How “successful” was the CrossFit Open?

  • What is the secret to CrossFit Nashville’s longevity?


“I’m just a gym guy. I don’t see myself as a fancy entrepreneur…We’re just doing CrossFit. That’s why I signed up for this.” - Preston Soechting, owner of Crossfit Nashville, a 13-year affiliate


Credit: Centr

Elevating the Competition: HYROX, Centr CEOs Talk Latest Partnership Launch

Competitors at the HYROX competition in Fort Lauderdale, FL just a few weeks back may have noticed shiny new equipment during their event, thanks to the newest collaboration between the popular fitness race series HYROX and Centr, a health and wellness company founded by Chris Hemsworth. 

Centr is now the official equipment provider for HYROX as of 2024. The custom equipment ranges from battle ropes to power sleds to bumper weight plates and more. Andrew Sugerman, CEO of Centr and Christian Toetzke, founder and CEO of HYROX discussed with the Morning Chalk Up the origin of their partnership and plans for the future. 

Remind me: HYROX is a fitness race format that originated in Germany and only recently gained popularity in the U.S. Especially in the CrossFit space where notable athletes have participated individually and on teams. The race consists of the same format across all events, which includes machine work, running, and cross-training movements, such as wall balls, farmers carry, burpee broad jumps, and sled pulls. 

The equipment Centr has launched is going to supply all HYROX events going forward. The idea came about after Centr CEO Sugerman attended his first HYROX race last year. 

  • “The minute I walked in, I was like, ‘What is happening here? Where am I? What am I feeling?’ Because there was this energy and  this sort of vibration, a buzz in the air that was just this very supportive community of 2,000 people that were engaged in functional fitness and training.,” Sugerman tells the Morning Chalk Up in an interview. 

  • “And so I felt like okay, I haven't heard of this before, but this is incredibly powerful what I'm seeing. I saw all the events and I could imagine ways that we could help elevate pieces of the competition through the equipment,” adds Sugerman. 

“It was a very collaborative, creative endeavor that got us to the finish line. I think from the start to launch, the last week [February 24], I think the whole thing happened in nine months. So it's pretty fast.”


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🎉 Crossfit’s New CMO Introduces Herself: Crossfit’s new Chief Marketing Officer, Jenna Hauca, took to her Instagram yesterday to announce that it was her official first day with the company:

  • From the post: “I’m excited to share that today is my first day as Chief Marketing Officer at CrossFit.”

  • “I’ll be joining an incredibly talented and devoted team to expand CrossFit’s global reach by supporting our 12,000 affiliate gyms in 140+ countries while generating demand for new gyms and supporting the CrossFit Games.”

  • “It’s an absolute honor to serve a brand that has been in the business of saving, improving, and transforming lives for more than 20 years and I’m eager to join in the efforts of amplifying this mission.”

🥇 Kristi Eramo O’Connell won her first women’s pro HYROX event in Houston last weekend. It’s worth noting that it was also the first pro HYROX event she’s entered.

👑 The Crown L1 for Participants: All the teen participants in The Crown, the teen CrossFit competition hosted by The Progrm in Mallorca, Spain, will receive free access to the Crossfit Level 1 certificate.

  • From the post: “It is our responsibility to educate future generations and ensure that the sport continues to have a lasting health for many more reigns. The throne is waiting, stay tuned 👑”

🙌 🙌 Victory Grips x Teen CrossFit Games: In a press release yesterday, the team at the Pit Teen Throwdown, host of the 2024 Teenage CrossFit Games, announced that Victory Grips would be the Official Grips Sponsor of the Teenage CrossFit Games.

  • Reminder, the teen divisions have been separated out into their own season-ending championship. For the 2024 season, the Teenage CrossFit Games will be hosted by the Pit Teen Throwdown, on August 29-September 1 in Southwest Michigan.

🚨🚨 New Rogue Athlete: Rogue Fitness announced Tyson Bagent, a quarterback for the Chicago Bears, as the newest Rogue Athlete.

🎟️ 🎟️ Tickets for the 2024 West Coast Classic, the North America West Semifinal, are available now!

ICYMI: Down 100 pounds each, off blood pressure meds, and no longer in danger of Type 2 Diabetes, Jennifer and Mike Pendleton opened 51 Bridges CrossFit.


Credit: @crossfitunionsquare / Instagram

Did the 2024 CrossFit Open Achieve Its Goal?

Now that all three of the workouts for the 2024 CrossFit Open have come and gone, we decided to take a moment and to briefly review and take stock of the effectiveness of this year’s test. 

To determine success, of course, it has to be defined. In this case, with the new season structure firming up, the success of the Open lies simply in its ability to move the top 25% fittest into the Quarterfinals. 

  • While there can be many other ways to measure success: Did a large number of people participate? Was it profitable? Did it help the community build comradery through hard work? Etc. For our purposes here, success means was the test set up to move the fittest on to the next stage?  

Below we will be looking at the movements and overall programming of the Open in general and relate it to the outcomes that were likely intended to be achieved.


Credit: @crossfitnashville / Instagram

“We Just Do CrossFit”: The Secret to CrossFit Nashville’s Longevity

To be successful as a gym owner today, we’re led to believe we need complex marketing plans, online advertising, and fancy software solutions with automated lead nurturing. 

We need to go through sales training and we most definitely need to hire a business mentor. 

Oh, and group classes aren’t enough. We need a minimum of four revenue streams, including personal training, individual design, and nutrition coaching.

Or do we?

Preston Soechting hasn’t done any of the above, and today, he is the owner of two successful gyms in Nashville, TN, CrossFit Nashville, which he opened 13 years ago, and CrossFit Nashville West.

After nearly a decade and a half as an affiliate owner, Soechting says the secret to his success has been to keep it simple. 

CrossFit Nashville’s Story

After serving with the US military in Iraq, where he discovered CrossFit, Soechting returned home, opened the first affiliate in Nashville in his garage in June 2011, and by the end of the summer he moved into a commercial space.

It was a simple time, Soechting explained. Gyms weren’t using sophisticated software that nurtures leads for them, nor were they hiring the latest and greatest marketing firm that promises 50 leads a month, or paying for carefully crafted online ads. Instead, old-school word of mouth and referrals were the backbone to attracting and keeping clients. 

Further, nobody cared who the fittest person in the room was. It was just about showing up, working hard, feeling good, and having fun, he told the Morning Chalk Up.

Thirteen years later, this is all still the case for Soechting because, as the saying goes, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”


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