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Data Snap: Understanding CrossFitters Outside of the Box

On August 3rd, 640 extraordinarily fit men and women will converge on the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin in hopes of distinguishing themselves as among “the Fittest on Earth”. To achieve this distinction, they will compete in the 11th annual CrossFit Games.

The Games are the cornerstone competitive event of CrossFit––the high-intensity, data-driven fitness regimen featuring grueling exercises and whiteboard scorecards filled with workout metrics. CrossFit has amassed a large and passionate following, and inspired curiosity among outsiders.

Like CrossFitters, Factualites rely on data for inspiration and direction. So we turned to location data to understand the CrossFit enthusiast: Who are they? What do they do outside of the gym? And do they really abstain from alcohol, sugar, and pizza––i.e., the delights that make life worth living? By analyzing their real-world behavior using Factual’s proprietary Global Places and Observation Graph data, we uncovered a number of surprising insights.

What does the real world behavior of CrossFitters tell us about who they are?

CrossFit enthusiasts’ shopping behavior reveals that they tend to be upper-middle-class urbanites. They enjoy luxury goods, and their purchases veer toward specialty and quality –– whether they’re buying shoes or cheese. They eschew the convenience of supermarkets in favor of farmers markets and specialty food retailers.

CrossFitters’ dining behavior confirms that they live relatively healthy (and fast-food-free) lives. Yet, they are unafraid to indulge on occasion. Wine bars, Korean restaurants, and even the occasional dessert shops are fair game (because if you’re going to break your diet, you’d better make sure it’s worth it.)

Though they are less likely to visit “gyms and fitness centers” or other branded fitness chains (like SoulCycle), they do crosstrain. CrossFitters are twice as likely as the average person to cycle, swim, and hike and they are 41% more likely to visit yoga studios.

While CrossFit enthusiasts have embraced western fitness, the data implies that they do not restrict themselves to western medicine. They are not much more likely to visit “sports medicine” offices, but they are almost twice as likely to visit holistic, alternative and naturopathic medicine locations and 54% more likely to visit acupuncture locations.

Finally, the data also suggests that, when they party, they go all out. CrossFitters are over two times as likely to visit costumes retailers.


The places people visit in the physical world are among the best indicators of who they are –– including their needs, interests, shopping preferences, and brand affinities.

Using Factual’s proprietary Global Places and Observation Graph data, we analyzed the real world behavior of mobile device users who visited CrossFit locations in the United States multiple times in a given month. More specifically, we built a custom audience of visitors to CrossFit locations –– rather than relying on data about “gyms” or “fitness centers.” In order to analyze niche audiences, like CrossFit enthusiasts, you need a granular and customized audience definition.

Factual’s Global Places data includes ~100 million businesses and points of interest worldwide––including niche categories like CrossFit boxes––and is updated in real-time to provide fresh and accurate coverage of the world’s brick-and-mortar businesses as well as local, regional, and national landmarks.

Learn about how Factual’s proprietary technology and data assets can help you understand your market and prospective customers, engage your mobile app users with data-driven personalization, and target consumers with precision.