Girls Gone WOD: The Original Women-Hosted Lifestyle Podcast

I am relatively athletic, but I am entirely and consumingly lazy. That combination is the reason I stopped anything resembling physical activity after high school. But, when I moved to a new city and was desperate to make friends, my roommate convinced me to join a gym with her as a way to hang out. Now I can see it was just cheap entertainment since she got to watch me die three times a week, but I guess it’s been kind of fun or healthy or something. My ambivalence toward fitness is part of why I was excited to talk to Joy and Claire, creators of the Girls Gone WOD (workout of the day) podcast. See, people who love things that in no way appeal to me fascinate me, and Joy and Claire were no exception.

After Joy, a huge fan of CrossFit and general fitness realized that the vast majority of podcasts in the fitness sphere were hosted by men, she reached out to her gym friend Claire to see if they could remedy the situation. “She was also writing blogs at the time so I knew she had an interest in an outlet of creativity,” Joy explained. “It happened so fast… we started and just never stopped.” The time between the idea of a women-hosted show to a podcast with five years of experience flew by the duo, but the content always stays fresh.

While the show began at the intersection of women and CrossFit and still discusses general fitness topics, Joy explained that “we really talk a lot about mental health and raising families and relationships and just kind of being authentic and building a pretty honest community.” The show now covers “everything females face day-to-day” and has “a personal-journal style.” Though the shift in content happened very naturally, informing people about it and building an audience around the new focus of the show has been much more intentional and focused.

Joy explained that the pair is working on a “rebranding” strategy that will draw more listeners in who may not immediately connect with the CrossFit reference in the title. The show has heard again and again that listeners who aren’t into CrossFit love the show and Joy said: “when you hear that over and over you know you need to follow it.” Building an audience certainly has a practical purpose as download numbers can open doors for podcasters, but Claire pointed to another reason for focusing on inviting people in. “We get just as much support from our community as they get from us…” she explained, telling me that their listeners let her and Joy know that they’re “not the only ones dealing with this.”

That community is a major focus for Joy and Claire, though there is always pressure to look elsewhere. Claire explained that the duo constantly feels pulled to question the business side of the show as they watch more and more creators look to podcasting as a source of income. “Our biggest struggle is not overthinking it and not getting wrapped up in that feeling of… ‘we really should have a business plan for this,’” Claire said, telling me that building a business was never the focus. The pair is looking to keep their community, not their revenue, at the center of their work and are excited to see that community grow and change.

So, if you love fitness or if you don’t, listen to Girls Gone WOD and be sure to leave a rating and review to let Joy and Claire know what you think!

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