Unattended Access Helps Tarheel CrossFit Qualify 38 Athletes to Quarterfinals

When the 2024 CrossFit Open wrapped up last month, Tarheel CrossFit athletes from Spring Lake, North Carolina discovered that 38 of them had qualified to the next round of competition: Quarterfinals.

This year, twenty five percent of Open participants qualified for Quarterfinals, compared to 10 percent in past years. But in Tarheel CrossFit’s case, 33 percent of their 114 participants have made it through.

Long-time gym owner Justin Mazzullo credits HybridAF with having made it much easier for his athletes to both prepare for and compete in the Open.

“And if athletes wanted to retest a workout after our scheduled Friday Night Lights, they were able to do so, as well, with a judge during off hours,” Mazullo said. 

Further, his gym offers a competitive fitness programming track, which syncs with the daily class programming, but also provides more competitive athletes with additional programming. Having unattended access via the HybridAF app makes it easy for them to complete this additional programming before or after class, or at another time.

“Athletes will continue to use HybridAF to get their additional programming in (leading up to Quarterfinals),” he said.

Unattended access will also help prevent Quarterfinals getting in the way of, or causing Mazullo to cancel any of his regular group classes.

“Athletes wishing to participate in quarters will need to schedule hybrid hours with a registered judge to do and film the workouts outside of class hours. We encouraged everyone who wishes to advance to take the judges course so they can help each other out,” he said.

Mazullo’s Advice: HybridAF is a No Brainer

Tarheel CrossFit has been with HybridAF since the beginning, and it has made his life easier as a gym owner, not only during competition seasons, but at all times of the year.

His entire client-base has access to unattended access, and he said more than half of them take advantage of it, some to workout and others to come in for a sauna, a cold water plunge or a Normatec session in the recovery room.

For any gym owner considering unattended access, but who might be apprehensive or fearful about things like equipment getting damaged or members choosing not to come to classes anymore, Mazullo is adamant this won’t be the case.

“The CrossFit community is special and isn’t like other gyms,” he said. “Our members truly care (about the gym) and the equipment in the gym, and most of the time they just want to go in and work on some skills or maybe hit some additional strength or metcon” he said.

He added: “My goal as a coach is to educate and empower my athletes to be able to not need me through providing outstanding value inside of our hour together through world class coaching, (so) they still come to class even with unaccompanied access.”

“I love that my members would rather go to the gym on a Saturday night after it’s closed than go to the bar. There are far worse things than doing an extra workout,” he added.