CrossFit is more of a community than a workout program, its
participants say. It happens "in a box," and a CrossFit center recently opened
in a site on West Union Street in Athens.
CrossFit SEO, an
affiliate of CrossFit Inc., is an
alternative gym set in a warehouse, and after opening in November 2011, it
moved earlier this month to 762 W. Union St.
A trio of Athens residents were so inspired by the technique and
community that comes with CrossFit training that they decided to open a
CrossFit gym in Athens. CrossFit is a training program that focuses on
camaraderie and overall wellbeing, and instead of mirrors, they say, "we have trainers."
Kevin Smith, the interim assistant
director of leadership in the Campus Involvement Center at Ohio University,
started CrossFit SEO with Jolene Grant, a community fitness organizer, and
graduate student Sam Venable. Grant and Venable both also work as trainers at
the local facility, which is not connected with the university.
Smith said CrossFit gyms are called
boxes because they're usually located in warehouse-type spaces devoid of
exercise machines and mirrors.
"It's part of the nomenclature. We're
the only CrossFit box in the area," Smith said. "What we do is one-hour
classes. It's a small community ranging between 12 to 15 people and no more,
and we keep it small because we want people to experience the community in
that. And it's very important because everyone supports one another through
this in different ways."
With less focus on equipment and more on camaraderie, members of
CrossFit SEO swear by its approach.
OU senior Rebecca Koch said she found a CrossFit gym in Columbus
over the summer and was happy to find the new CrossFit gym opening in Athens.
different because it's really simple. CrossFit gyms are like big barns or big
warehouse rooms with mats on the floor, weights, barbells and ropes. There's no
machines, just you and the equipment," she said. "They have really terrific
circuit training and a lot of different styles… You'll run, lift a certain
amount of weight, do a bunch of Olympic lifts, and sometimes it's maximum
strength for a short period of time or minimum for a long period of time."
Fellow OU senior Steve Kiesel said he has been a CrossFit SEO
member since January after being dissatisfied with the environment at the
university's Ping Recreational Center.
"I'd rather pay good money to get a workout in than pay for free
and not be able to get on anything," he said. "I like the randomness of it,
being pushed to work out instead of having to self-motivate."
The first CrossFit affiliate started in Seattle, Smith said, and
over 3,000 gyms have started in the past 10 years.
Josh Buchanan said he has been a member for about a month, and
comes back for "the camaraderie, everybody working together and pushing you."
For information about CrossFit SEO, check out the website, call
740-401-9348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.