Zoom 101 for CrossFit Affiliates & Coaches

Pat Barber Covid-19

Most gyms and affiliates around the world are working harder than they’ve ever worked, adapting to a changing world and completely pivoting their entire business model in the span of hours or days. Part of this transition is learning new platforms like Zoom (for virtual at-home workouts) while experimenting with different ways to keep community engagement high in a digital space.

In the past few weeks, people have shared some amazing ideas in our private Facebook group for members.

We’d like to share a few of those with you so you keep your community strong throughout this crisis.

Zoom 101

Most affiliates are conducting online classes (at-home workouts) via Zoom, so here’s some stuff to know about the platform:

Zoom → Facebook Live

Some affiliates have integrated Zoom with Facebook so the Zoom calls are automatically published to Facebook Live. What they’re finding is that some people don’t want to show up for a Zoom call but when a video is pushed to Facebook Live and they can watch it on their phone, they see how much fun everyone is having, and they’re more likely to get involved. It lowers the barrier to entry. Here’s how to do it: Streaming a Zoom Meeting on Facebook Live

Community Engagement and Zoom

A lot of affiliates have said, “When I’ve reached out to some members, they just want to talk. They need to talk with somebody.” People need people. This is one of your superpowers right now — you offer community. Led by leaders who actually care about people. Don’t get so caught up in offering fitness that you forget that a lot of people just want to see the faces of their friends, share stories, and laugh with each other. Give attention to this question: How can I bring people together during a time of social distancing and shelter-in-place?

Happy Hour
Several affiliates are hosting a weekly happy hour where they schedule a Zoom call or Facebook live, pour themself a drink, and chat. They’ve noticed that people talking over each other, and the screen jumping back and forth, hasn’t really been an issue, especially if they use Gallery View and teach people how to Mute/Unmute.

Some affiliates are hosting Trivia Nights in Zoom by using the Breakout Rooms feature, which allows you to split people into teams:

Use Icebreakers to get everyone smiling and talking. Make space for social interaction more than you normally would in class, as that’s what people really need right now. Here’s A List of 143 Icebreakers we wrote years ago. We also have a small collection of Would You Rather… Questions.


In talking with a lot of people in the past few days, it seems like some gym members haven’t been showing up for virtual classes because they’ve had the mindset of, “Hey, it’s a week off, just like a vacation.” Thing is: This is not a one or two-week situation. We have no idea how long this is going to last. So, we need to shift people from “meh, it’s just a week” to get them to understand that they need to build better, more sustainable habits into their lifestyle. Reach out to members who’ve been MIA and check on them. They might have some serious stuff going on in their life, they might not understand how you’re doing the at-home workouts (or be intimidated by the process), or they might need a little encouragement to get off the couch and get moving again (it doesn’t help that new movies & T.V. shows keep getting released on streaming services).

Managing a Virtual Team

Simon Sinek has led a remote team for over 10 years. In the following video, a team leader explains a weekly ritual they use called the “Huddle” to connect, build trust and get to know each other as people. It’s 75 minutes each week, just to build relationships and show appreciation, not talk business or strategy.

And with that, we’ll just say: Take care of yourself, your loved ones, and your community. We’re all in this together.

Additional Resources

How We’re Adjusting Our Session Plans During Covid-19

A Preview of an At-Home Workout Session Plan

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About the Author

Pat Barber

You might know me from the CrossFit Games, where I’ve competed since 2008, but I have also been the Head of Coaches Development for one of the largest CrossFits in the world. I have the honor of being one of the few L4 coaches, and I still love teaching L1s and L2s for CFHQ (I’ve put about 15,000 coaches through their L1’s). I'm husband to the most wonderful woman in the world, and a father who loves surfing, Magic: The Gathering, knife making and good coffee.

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