Cookeville, TN

Case Study: CrossFit Mayhem

Every CrossFit gym needs to move air. Big Ass Fans perform well, and they look good doing it. Those things go hand-in-hand. Rich Froning, Owner and CrossFit Games Champion

The Gist


CrossFit Mayhem struggled to move enough air in its 18,000-sq-ft building to keep guests cool. Old fluorescent fixtures left the space in the dark.


Mayhem outfitted its building with a mobile fan, a massive 24-foot overhead fan, and Big Ass Light High Bay Lights.


The fans provide a holistic evaporative cooling system, boosting workout performance and member satisfaction. Big Ass Lights provide a brighter, crisper light that also saves more energy than fluorescents.

Featured Products

High Bay Light/High Powered Fixture

Big Ass Fans Boost Workouts and Lower Bills at CrossFit Mayhem

“What’s Rich doing?” is a common question in the CrossFit world these days. Its subject? Rich Froning Jr., a CrossFit Games competitor and the owner of CrossFit Mayhem.

Rich is the winner of four consecutive individual titles and two team titles at the CrossFit Games. Aptly labeled “Fittest Man on Earth,” Rich’s daily routine – from his dietary habits and workout schedule to his sleeping patterns and equipment preferences – is scrutinized by admirers and competitors alike in hopes of gaining an edge.

So when the answer to “What’s Rich doing?” is “using Big Ass Fans and Lights,” people take notice, and they want to know why. The answer? Cooling, comfort and big-ass energy savings.

Stagnant Air Hampers Workouts

CrossFit is an immensely popular fitness regimen that was founded by Greg Glassman in 2000. Part exercise routine, part life philosophy and part competitive sport, CrossFit marries traditional weightlifting with body-weight exercises, cardiovascular endurance, gymnastics and interval training. The result is a full-body, full-force workout that causes its practitioners to rapidly work up a sweat.

CrossFit Mayhem, a Cookeville, Tennessee, CrossFit gym (or box, as they are often called) struggled to supply enough airflow to its members. Mayhem had been using two inexpensive box fans, but found them not up to snuff, especially once the gym relocated to a new 18,000-sq-ft facility.

Some in the CrossFit world insist that ceiling fans reduce how much a person sweats, lowering a workout’s intensity. Froning sees it another way. “You’re still going to sweat,” says Froning, “and the fan just helps evaporate that sweat.” In essence, the fan keeps you cool, allowing you to push yourself harder than ever.

And fans have other benefits besides cooling: “I need the fan to dry my sweat. I get so sweaty that I can’t hold onto equipment. When it’s inhibiting my training, that’s when I’ve got to have a fan.”

  • Graphic explaining how Big Ass Fans helped Crossfit Maximus

Blowing Away the Competition

Froning first became aware of Big Ass Fans in 2011. While working out in another CrossFit gym, Froning noted their Big Ass Fan and immediately felt its impact.
CrossFit Mayhem has been using a Yellow Jacket mobile directional fan for several years now. The mini-but-mighty 30-inch-diameter fan provides a powerful cooling solution. The fan is moved as each class and workout demands.

When localized airflow isn’t enough, a 24-ft Powerfoil®X3.0 overhead fan supplies a cooling breeze throughout Mayhem’s 18,000 square feet. The most durable, long-lasting and energy-efficient industrial fan Big Ass manufactures, the PFX 3.0 cools so effectively that CrossFit Mayhem chose to forgo central cooling. Froning said, “We looked at putting in A/C, but that was outrageously expensive. The Big Ass Fan is great for keeping everyone cool without breaking our budget.”

Turn On the Bright Lights

Traditional fluorescent tube fixtures weren’t cutting it for CrossFit Mayhem. Dim and ineffective, the lights left members in the dark. The fixtures also wasted energy every month when compared to the latest LED technology.
When the time came to swap out the fluorescents for a more functional fixture, Froning turned to Big Ass Light, whose signature High Bay Lights shine brighter and longer than fluorescents, halides or other LEDs. “The energy savings were huge,” said Froning, “but the real benefit is how much brighter it is. The Big Ass Lights have helped a ton.”

Between the high-efficiency LED fixtures, Yellow Jacket’s directed cooling and the colossal airflow of the Powerfoil X3.0, CrossFit Mayhem is now cooler, brighter and more energy-efficient than ever before. Big Ass products help members – and the Fittest Man on Earth – push themselves to, and beyond, the limit.

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