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Gym entrepreneur finds good fit in contests

Lena Price February 25, 2013 1

Two local CrossFit enthusiasts are bulking up their business model.

CrossFit RVA owner Jake Rowell and manager Jamie Sulc last week bought a stake in SuperFit, a high-intensity contest that puts CrossFit devotees to the test. Athletes pay $75 to $100 to compete as individuals or in teams.

Rowell said the goal of their investment is to make the SuperFit model easier to replicate and eventually expand beyond the Mid-Atlantic region, where it already has a sizable following.

“[A CrossFit gym] has a limit on how much it can grow,” Rowell said. “SuperFit doesn’t. It’s exponential.”

Rowell said they’d like to see one event a month across the Southeast for the first year and make a big push to gyms as far as the West Coast after that. Rowell wouldn’t say how much they spent to buy into SuperFit.

Sulc and Rowell now co-own the business with Kyle Redinger, who founded SuperFit in Charlottesville about three years ago.

Athletes compete in a number of events such as weightlifting, bodyweight exercises and running.

“It’s about who can do the most work in the shortest amount of time,” Rowell said.

Rowell owns the 10,000-square-foot CrossFitRVA facility on West Leigh Street and Colonial CrossFit on Continental Boulevard.

Since the inaugural SuperFit event in Charlottesville, gyms in Virginia Beach and Washington have hosted contests. SuperFit host gyms provide equipment – barbells, medicine balls and more – and manpower to run the event.

Sulc and Rowell have hosted three SuperFit competitions at the Leigh Street location. About 240 people competed in the most recent event.

Sulc said that members spent the fall preparing for the January competition and that athletes drive up to five hours to compete.

“Lots of gyms host small, local events that seem to be pretty successful,” Sulc said. “CrossFitters like to compete. They like to have something to train for.”

There are 10 CrossFit gyms across the Richmond region, and several other local businesses, including food and apparel companies have spawned as offshoots of the CrossFit craze.

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One Comment »

  1. sonny haynes February 25, 2013 at 8:36 am - Reply

    Dear sir; I have a 6914 square foot gymnasium for sale or lease in the mechanicsville area across from Lee Davis high school. If you are interested in expanding to that area, please give me a call @ 804-357-3921. Sincerely, sonny haynes

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