Resources December 9, 2016

Why SugarWOD Doesn’t Do It All


We’ve all heard Greg Glassman say that “nature punishes the specialist” and so, as CrossFit athletes, we strive for well-rounded physical preparedness. However, just as with a thruster, where the success of the movement is limited by the weakest muscle (usually the upper body) software is only as strong as its weakest parts.
That’s why we focus on creating a product that is strong in one specific area—the workout.
Our goal is to help CrossFit athletes, coaches, and gym owners have the best workout experience possible, every day. SugarWOD doesn’t do member billing, point-of-sale, accounting, or scheduling. We don’t try to serve Yoga studios, big box fitness centers, or martial arts gyms. In the software world, it’s impossible to be everything to everyone (and do it really well).
As one of our customers, Emily Cabral at ChalkLine CrossFit put it when asked why she wouldn’t go with an all-in-one platform again, “It’s difficult to do everything well. The WOD tracking was way more functional than the member management side and the company had a hard time making updates and changes that truly improved the system over all.”
Don’t get me wrong, we understand that the pitch of the all-in-one is compelling. It can seem more convenient. But, in our experience, there are actually more benefits to using best-of-breed systems.


We’ve found that gyms consider or choose to change some area of their software every 12 to 18 months. However, if they are using an all-in-one, they are less likely to switch. When using an all-in-one, a change to software means a disruption to all of the software services. This can be pretty painful for a gym and its members. So, instead of switching, gyms stick with painful software that leaves them on the phone for hours with customer service or creating complicated workarounds to get the system to do what they need.
In a situation where a gym is using a collection of best-of-breed software products, they have the flexibility to change software more easily, without causing a huge disruption. And, in most cases, when making a switch to a new, better software, it’s easy to explain to members and coaches, because there’s going to be a noticeable improvement.


Your business and your market are growing quickly. Think about how much CrossFit has changed just over the last few years. There are always new pressures and new competitors. To accommodate the evolution, it’s useful to have a partner there to support you. When you’re buying software, you’re not just buying what they have today, you’re trusting that they will continue to improve and innovate to support your business.
All-in-one products are commonly doing so many things, it’s difficult for them to innovate in a bunch of different areas. In order to truly innovate, you need focus. Innovation requires an investment of time and unique expertise in order to be made manifest. Is it really the same people that innovate your accounting software that will innovate the workout tracking experience? Probably not. By seeking out the systems that specialize, you’re going to get better products in each of the functional areas.


Your workout tracking software should be CrossFit-specific. The workout experience is CrossFit’s special sauce. You can find someone else to handle the gym management, but when it comes to workout programming and tracking, choose the people who know and have a passion for the sport.
If you’ve read the SugarWOD story, you know that we believe in and advocate for the power of CrossFit. As a result, SugarWOD is solely focused on creating software that accommodates the unique elements of the sport. Our software provides built-in workouts—the girls, the hero WODs, and the benchmark workouts. We also make it easy for owners and coaches to program the workout structures that show up in the WOD—EMOTM, AMRAPs, Tabata workouts, lifting complexes, etc.
Additionally, and maybe more importantly, we work to create software that supports and strengthens the community. An athlete’s CrossFit community is one of the most important elements of their experience. And, for an owner, a strong community improves athlete retention. We know how important connection and community are. That’s why SugarWOD is built to create a blend of competition and camaraderie through the whiteboard and the friend feed.

Yes, but…

We understand that there are a few cons to not using an all-in-one. You’ll have one more vendor to work with and one more login to remember. It might seem like a lot of work to roll out another system to your coaches and athletes. We get it and we’ve worked hard to minimize these concerns with an easy-to-use product and (soon) software integrations. But, our belief is that the best is better and worth working for.
“Creating the best customer experience every day for my members is what drives me. Having the best software to support the service I provide my members is an important part of that.” – Victor Galvan of Driller CrossFit.
That’s what we’re here to do—create the best workout experience for your coaches and your athletes.