CrossFit energizes fitness lovers with new intense workout
By Kris HowellPublished August 1, 2011
“We don’t use machines, we use bricks,” Mitch Potterf explains as he leads me around the raw cinderblock-and-steel warehouse full of various objects that most people would avoid ever picking up in their day-to-day lives. Picking up heavy things is one of the fundamental principles of CrossFit, the philosophical underpinning of Potterf’s clandestine downtown gym, Fit Club. At its root, CrossFit is a set of daily changing exercises that simply utilize normal movements at a more intense level. Contrary to standard gyms, there’s no gimmick or magical machine that helps you become more fit without much effort.
Even more contrary to your average workout, the CrossFit routine looks really hard. In an average class, you might go from jumping rope to pulling a sled full of bricks down the sidewalk. And as absurd as pulling a sled full of bricks might look, it seems far more practical and effective than an elaborate set of expensive equipment. It’s a brief, focused, and highly effective method that works, and has always worked.
After attending a class, it comes as no surprise that CrossFit is the standard among high intensity training programs for police and military. The Fit Club class looks like a room of fresh recruits, all focused and intent on achieving clearly stated goals. The goals are clear because it would be sadistic to undertake such an intense workout without a definitive reward on the horizon.
The instructor kicks off the class with a swift and intense jump rope session, with participants pushing themselves at their own levels of comfort. After Fit Clubbers finish, they file down the stairway into a high-ceilinged former storage area full of barbells and chinup bars.
You won’t understand why Potterf repeatedly explains “the most efficient way” to lift a weight above your head until halfway into the next work out.
In the WOD, or workout of the day, participants throw a barbell above their heads, drop it to the ground, jump down for a push up, stand up, clap above their heads, then jump to the other side of the weight and repeat 25 times. There’s no room for wasted effort when you’re pushing yourself that hard toward a goal that exhausting.
The workout concluded as quickly as it started, everyone drunk with dopamine and noting if they accomplished the goal faster or with less effort.
What really sets CrossFit apart is is its similarities to team sports rather than individual exercise. It’s a collaboration of people competing against themselves. Everyone in the room is everyone else’s personal trainer, so every time you show up to the gym you give it 100 percent or you don’t bother going at all.
Columbus CrossFit Locations
15 W Cherry St.
1080 Steelwood Rd.
845 Claycraft Rd., Suite E, Gahanna
**Ohio Krav Maga and Fitness
1000 Morrison Road, Gahanna