In October we published our first Affiliate R&D article covering a month-long guest experiment. While writing that article, it got us thinking about On-ramp programs. At my affiliate, until about 2 years ago, we had a free one-on-one class followed by a mandatory 4 week On-Ramp program. This was based primarily on an idea floating around the CrossFit community at the time that a gym wasn’t “good” if it didn’t have at least a 4 week On-Ramp program. We have since switched to a model where we allow new members directly into our regular classes. Still, we continue to wonder about which model is the best for an Affiliate.
As part of our ongoing Affiliate research efforts, we decided to send out a survey to the Affiliates on our site in search of concrete answers. A very special thank you goes out to the 82 gyms that took the time to respond to us. The survey included the following questions:
- How long has your gym been open?
- How many members do you have at your gym?
- Do you have a mandatory on-ramp/beginner/fundamentals program?
- How many members do you gain, on average, each month?
- How many members do you lose, on average, each month?
We received responses from a very broad sampling of gyms. Of the responding gyms, 41% have been open 2 years or less, while 59% have been open 3 or more years. In terms of membership size, 59% of the gyms have 100 or less members, while 41% have over 100 members. The most common gym age was over 4 years (26%) and the most common gym size was 51-100 members. We also found that there was a statistically significant positive correlation between gym age and gym size. In general, older gyms are more likely to have more members than newer gyms.
Length of On-Ramp Program vs. Gym Age and Size (members)
The first thing we noticed when we looked at the On-ramp numbers was that there wasn’t a clear preference for certain lengths of On-ramp programs. The responses were fairly balanced across all of the options. We were surprised to see, however, that only 55% required an On-ramp longer than a single day. We analyzed the data, controlling for gym size and gym age, and found no statistically significant relationships between gym size or gym age and On-ramp preference. This indicates that larger or older gyms are not systematically choosing programs of certain durations. The takeaway from this is that there are plenty of gyms of all sizes and ages employing each of these options.