While some do chin-ups on the pull-up bars others lift barbells and swing kettlebells overhead, while still others flip enormous tractor tires from end-to-end. It’s all part of the daily routine at CrossFit Queen Creek, where trainers change up the exercises each day to stave off boredom. The small group sizes in each class also ensures personal attention, while the functional full-body motions of the workouts ensures total body fitness.
Tires, medicine balls, and kettlebells don’t even scratch the surface of the tools that trainers use to get athletes in shape at Ocotillo CrossFit. They divide the gym into two schools—one for men, and one for women—though athletes share a common area. Each day, trainers design a new Workout of the Day (WOD) based on principles of weightlifting, gymnastics, and metabolic conditioning. Designed to adhere to CrossFit’s dogma of varied, functional fitness, exercises may include flipping tires, running, squatting, or performing body-weight exercises.
When an injury sidelined Jake from participating in his regular martial arts training, his restlessness took him to the Internet in search of another form of exercise. He discovered CrossFit, spent the next three months reading about it, and finally began training. His enthusiasm for the exercise was infectious. His friends wanted in.
So Jake headed to a local park with a few martial arts buddies, ready to show them the ropes. But Jake's little tribe grew too large, and park officials kicked them out. They tried practicing at a friend's garage, but once again, their ranks swelled and a concerned neighbor phoned the city. They retreated to a hidden warehouse, little more than a box, and there at last they found some room to flourish. When the tribe finally over-spilled that storage space, Jake traded up, getting a building at the corner of Kyrene and Chandler that tripled their former square-footage.
Today, Jake employs six trainers who run CrossFit's signature daily workouts six days a week. They even host a special women-only class on Sundays. They stick to the three pillars of CrossFit—Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics, and metabolic conditioning—but they change which specific exercises they do every day, jumbling together familiar lifts with new challenges in a way that makes people consistently sweat different colors.
Derek Price, owner of CrossFit Preferred, has a unique understanding of the human body's physical limits. He played professional football for the Detroit Lions and has a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life University. At CrossFit Preferred, he and his fellow CrossFit Level 1–certified coaches introduce clients to their own limits during daily CrossFit workouts. The workouts, which are designed for everyone from kids to seasoned athletes, consist of quickly performed squats, pull-ups, push-ups, and other functional exercises.
The word "insidious" implies something sneaky—a change that creeps up on you so gradually that it might go unnoticed. It's a bit of a misnomer for a strength-and-conditioning facility that specializes in CrossFit, an intense workout program that achieves fast, noticeable results with exercises that vary constantly. At CrossFit Insidious, students of all fitness levels push, pull, squat, and lift their way through workouts that leave them with empty gas tanks and rippling abdomens. What's remarkable is that they do this without any of the conventional equipment you might expect to find at a big-box gym. To facilitate functional movements that target various muscle groups at once, CrossFit coaches encourage their students to run away from treadmills and toward free weights such as kettlebells, barbells, and Liberty Bells.
Whereas your typical CrossFit gym might promote three workouts in a row, followed by one day off, the trainers at Made in CrossFit view fitness a bit differently. They suggest powering through an intense CrossFit workout only three times a week in total. That way, the body has ample time to rest between exercise sessions. And on the journey to better health, recovery is just as important as custom workouts and proper nutrition.
CrossFit Full Strength's certified coaches put their charges through a mixed bag of exercises that changes each day. They do everything from clean and jerks to pull-ups and tractor-tire flipping. By changing routines, they work all muscle groups and stave off boredom. All exercises have one thing in common, though—they each combine everyday motions, such as pushing and pulling. Those movements, performed at a high intensity, result in a preparedness for any physical activity.