The seeds for SugarWOD were planted in 2009, when founder Drew Larsen walked into CrossFit Laguna Beach. He’d spent a decade building a software company and the long hours, sloppy eating, and stress had taken their toll.
Even though he was out of shape, the coaches and owners of CrossFit Laguna Beach treated him like an athlete. Their confidence in him was contagious, and he was hooked. A few weeks later his wife, Shayna, joined him in the gym.
In 2012 Drew and Shayna moved to Colorado and found a new gym, CrossFit Roots. The years of humbling workouts, competitions, and certifications had changed Drew’s thinking on the role of nutrition and exercise in his life. He wanted to use his skills as a tech and business guy and Shayna’s talents as a designer to get more involved to support this movement.
Their mission to create something that made athletes feel more prepared and connected, so in 2012 he and Shayna created SugarWOD. Their motivation was to give back to the community of coaches and athletes that had forever improved their lives. The concept was a fun method of bringing everyone together, an easy way for gyms to publish programming, and a place to celebrate PRs and progress in a light-hearted way.
They built the SugarWOD mobile app as a place where CrossFitters could give and receive support from fellow members, all while tracking their own progress. They wanted to better prepare coaches to provide high-quality, personalized training to their clients while creating a way for affiliate owners to scale a sustainable, thriving business.
Drew thought that sometimes, just sometimes, we all can take ourselves too seriously in the pursuit of functional fitness nirvana. So instead of www.ExplosiveWODMania.com, he went with something a bit light-hearted. He wanted SugarWOD to be a “workout experience for the rest of us,” a way for everyone in the gym to participate using an app created with a sense of style and fun.
The concept took off. Soon the SugarWOD team was serving over 2,200 gyms in more than 50 countries, representing over 600,000 athletes. Along the way, the community has shared nearly 35,000,000 workouts and given more than 125,000,000 fist bumps to each other.
Then in 2019 SugarWOD was acquired by Daxko, the parent company of Zen Planner, to create the best end-to-end affiliate and boutique fitness solution on the market.
As the functional-fitness model spread beyond CrossFit, SugarWOD started serving many other types of gyms: YMCAs, corporate fitness centers, and high schools. The customer base diversified and became more complex. A combined team, product, and mission was the best way to serve the CrossFit and boutique gym markets. By connecting with a more established company, the SugarWOD crew gained the resources to move fast and build out the product, service, and marketplace.
In 2020 Drew retired from SugarWOD. After 62 million workouts and 225 million fist bumps, he decided to spend more time with his family and get back into the gym more regularly.
As part of the Daxko family, SugarWOD is thriving and will continue to grow and innovate with a healthy pipeline of new product features on the calendar. SugarWOD will continue to launch and help nurture exciting offerings in the partner Marketplace, ensuring the next chapters of SugarWOD’s story will be as exciting as the first.
The SugarWOD Team