CrossFit and The Phoenix Are Partnering to Open Community Fitness Centers

The strategic partnership aims to help people on their recovery from substance disorders.

CrossFit and nonprofit organization The Phoenix have teamed up to help people recover from substance disorders by offering them a community created by fitness. On May 13, 2021, CrossFit CEO Eric Roza took to his Instagram page to share the “dream come true” of the opening of the first nonprofit CrossFit Community Center on Boston’s Methadone Mile. According to CrossFit HQ:

“CrossFit and The Phoenix have entered into a strategic partnership to advance their shared vision of using the transformational power of fitness and community to help individuals on their recovery journey from substance disorder and other personal challenges. The CrossFit Community Centers will serve as physical hubs for The Phoenix and other non-profits to serve their constituents in the local community and provide resources and training for individuals to integrate fitness and community into their lives.”


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[Related: Here’s What Affiliate Owners Think of CrossFit’s New OnRamp Course]

Effectiveness of Community and Fitness

In November 2020, The Phoenix published internal data titled Theoretical Framework and Impact of The Phoenix Active Community Model. The data revealed the positive impacts social settings with a commitment to fitness could have for individuals seeking to maintain sobriety. Here is the “empirically-based conceptual framework of the recovery process” developed from 97 studies of personal recovery:

The Phoenix Logic Model

  • Inputs — equipment/facilities, peer professionals, partnerships
    • ➜ Activities — access to active events that create an emotionally safe community
      • ➜ Short-Term Outcomes — “Recovery Capital” consisting of connection, hope, identity, meaningful life, empowerment

Results based on a survey of those who participated in events organized by The Phoenix for at least three months found “greater attendance at Phoenix events increased members’ sense of emotional safety [which] increases hope, social connectedness, and empowerment. Consequently…individuals are able to sustain their remission from substance use, improve their health and lessen the burden of drug and alcohol-related healthcare cost in the U.S.”

The numbers don’t lie. Eighty-seven percent of the participants remained sober, including 81 percent of those who were new to recovery. Seventy percent of those new to recovery said they felt motivated to remain sober. Of those who did suffer a relapse, 74 percent got sober again with the help of The Phoenix.

Deputy Executive Director for The Phoenix Jacki Hillios, Ph.D., told Businesswire:

“Multiple studies have concluded that positive social connection, purpose, and active forms of coping are directly correlated with sustained recovery for individuals with substance use disorder. The Phoenix leverages the social benefits of group activities to introduce individuals to a supportive recovery community. With this approach, we create an environment where our members can explore a sober lifestyle and experience self-directed growth.”


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[Related: Companion Legislation For the Gym Mitigation And Survival Act Introduced In Senate]

CrossFit HQ and The Phoenix plan to open additional community centers in other regions moving forward. Still, they have not yet confirmed the specific timing or locations for future CrossFit Community Centers. However, we can expect “additional openings over the next several months.”

Feature image: @riserecoverlive on Instagram