Take a tour of CrossFit Charlotte with owner and former Miami Dolphin Andy Hendel. The gym is equipped with a full kitchen complete with portioned food consistent with both the Paleo and Zone diets. The gym partners with catering company Active Edge Nutrition for members to order meals, and Rob Garrison of Active Edge says the food sells itself to the CrossFit community.
“This is the lone group of athletes that is as adamant about what they eat as how they work out," Garrison says. "Once they know what we’re doing and how we’re doing it, they're kind of sold on it because that’s the same way they prepare their food: as clean and as healthy as you can make it.”
Hendel also shows off his vast collection of equipment. CrossFit Charlotte has been open for about three-and-a-half years, but after its initial investment in mats, rowers and GHD machines, most of the other equipment has come in second-hand and through donations.
“Things have just been accumulated over the years,” he says.
The secret of Hendel’s success is in the community he builds.
“It’s about a lot of retention—keeping a good program together for the clients you have right now, and again your clients tell other people. They tell other people, and I think that word of mouth is the best way to go.”
Additional reading: Interview: Andy Hendel NC/SC Sectional Director.