What is Crossfit Training?
For those of you uninitiated, Crossfit training is type of fitness regimen created by Greg Glassman in 2000. It is a branded fitness program that is practiced worldwide with over 13,000 affiliated gyms, about half of which happen to be in the United States.
This strength and conditioning program consists mainly of exercises such as aerobic exercise, calisthenics (body weight exercises), olympic weightlifting, gymnastics, and other exercises. It is designed to optimize physical competence in the 10 main fitness domains: cardiovascular endurance, respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy.
Crossfit training has a reputation of being intense and intimidating, while producing incredible results. I was able to speak with Joel Te, owner of Crossfit 805 in Simi Valley, about the details of his business and what differentiates Crossfit from it from its competitors.
Crossfit gyms use a variety of equipment such as barbells, dumbbells, gymnastics rings, pull-up bars, jump ropes, kettlebells, medicine balls, pylo boxes, resistance bands, rowing machines, and various mats. The program is focused on constantly randomized, high-intensity, functional movement. Movements used in the Crossfit gyms are movements you use everyday, such as the deadlift, says Joel, "you are constantly picking things up everyday."
Joel was a fitness enthusiast for many years before he joined Crossfit. He was a personal trainer for the locals in Simi Valley during his 20's when he learned about the intense regime of Crossfit from a flyer being dropped on his car. Eager to take things to the next level, he joined Crossfit 805 and quickly became a trainer.
Joel took over Crossfit 805 in 2015, when it was sold by a previous owner. "It was a stroke of good luck", says Joel, the owner left for personal reasons and wanted to leave it with someone he could trust. Joel was eager to get into business and his dreams of being an owner became a reality.
"What makes Crossfit special is that it creates a family and community environment," says Joel. Typically at a regular gym, everyone has their headphones on interaction is seldom. At Crossfit, everyone is interested in each other's success and people hold each other accountable. Participants push each other daily and engagement with one other is the norm. He also goes on to tell us that "everything is quantifiable." He states that people in other gyms generally aren't keeping track of what they are doing, and that this program promotes growth by actively tracking progress in the categories of weight, reps, and time.
He says that "workouts are never the same", and the Crossfit gives it's participants "general physical preparedness." Its randomized workout routines gives individuals the ability to take action at any given moment. "You should be able to do whatever, whenever, at any time," says Joel.
One of the owner's biggest struggles is finding a balance between his passion of fitness and the stresses of running a business. Before, he considered Crossfit being a time of fun, but once he took over he had to change his mindset. For the first few months, he didn't work out at all in order to learn the ins and out of running his own business. Now he is forced to do both, and he has been able to find a natural balance.
Marketing has proven to be another obstacle, because people are scared of the type of fitness program it is. "The barbells and dumbbells are scary for people," says Joel. It takes another trusted person to tell you "it's not that bad" in order for someone to give Crossfit a try. Word of mouth is typically the only marketing that works for this type of program.
Right now, Crossfit has thousands of gyms around the country and many more outside of the U.S. It's popularity is growing rapidly, yet still remains a mystery and intimating for the general public. It appears to me that from the physique of the participants, the satisfaction in their expressions and their communication with one another, Crossfit is something that is approachable and can be done with the proper guidance. If you're a local looking for an intense workout or a Crossfit enthusiast just passing through town, give Crossfit 805 a try, you're guaranteed to get your butt kicked.
4685 Industrial St. Unit #3i & 3s
Simi Valley, CA 93063