By staff writer Colton Swalley.
CrossFit is a style of exercise based on High-Intensity Interval Training — a form of fast-paced training while doing multiple workouts with minimal rest time. The training has gained momentum in recent years after originating in Santa Cruz, Calif. from Greg Glassman in 1996.
Today, there are currently over 13,000 CrossFit gyms in the United States.
“I chose CrossFit because I enjoy fitness and being involved in a healthy lifestyle, said Kinesiology major and sophomore Ryder Poverud., “I was quickly bored at the student recreation center, so I joined CrossFit.”
Students are seeing the benefits of CrossFit, especially when it comes to helping them maintain a more active and healthy lifestyle.
“Growing up, I had always lived a very active lifestyle and played sports throughout high school. I stopped playing sports when I went to college and it was hard to adjust,” said CrossFit athlete and senior marketing major Jane Voss. “My roommate signed up for CrossFit, which ultimately got my attention. After a free trial, I signed up immediately and have been hooked ever since. I even work at the gym now.”
Voss has been a part of CrossFit for two years now. She explained CrossFit has helped her become a healthier and happier person overall, filling a gap in her life that she missed after she stopped playing sports.
Voss’ sentiment towards the training is a common theme for many former athletes who are looking to take their workout to the next level and become involved in group training.
“I chose CrossFit to get back to workouts I previously had as a student-athlete,” said junior business administration major Blake Bibby. “Working out alone or in a small group never gave me the same results as I had working with a larger community who had similar goals.”
Being surrounded by people who have common interests builds friendships, teammates and long-term mentors.
“The benefits I see immediately are improvements in my mood and stamina; I haven’t seen [them]since playing collegiate football. Long term, I feel as if CrossFit gives you the resources to live healthier and continue down a structured path.” Bibby said.
The student life at CrossFit is not as big as other patrons suggest it should be. Many of the gym’s college athletes say CrossFit has several benefits for young adults in particular by helping them maintain structure both inside and outside of the gym.
“When I first joined Arbor, there weren’t many athletes who were around my age. Over those two years, we have got an increasing amount of students and I believe that has created a more fun atmosphere at Arbor,” Voss said. “As a college student we are usually stressed about school every day, and Arbor is a place where students can forget about school for an hour and just enjoy the community while getting a workout in as well.”
Despite CrossFit’s physical and mental health benefits, Arbor is still struggling to maintain college student involvement. Even though the gym offers a student discount, the price is still high for membership.
“The student atmosphere is quite small because CrossFit is on the more expensive end of gym memberships,” said sophomore kinesiology major Ryder Poverud.
These memberships tend to start at a higher price because of the intricate, hands-on training that athletes receive from personal trainers. Trainers lead warm-ups, stretches for injury avoidance and go through motion-to-motion instruction on how to properly execute each workout or Olympic lift. Trainers also discuss proper nutrition at a members’ request.
“Doing a different workout every day challenges you not only physically but mentally. While working out in a regular gym most of the time you get in a routine of workouts, and sooner or later the workouts will eventually not challenge you,” Voss said. “By doing CrossFit you are challenged every day and are surrounded by people who support you.”