Owner and head coach at Universal CrossFit, Eric "Big EZ" Henry draws from his experience in freestyle wrestling, amateur boxing, parkour, and his time as a Marine to lead his students towards the fitness promised land. Along with a cache of coaches comprised of college athletes and members of the military, Eric teaches the tenets of CrossFit, pairing them with nutritional counseling to keep bodies from shriveling up into prune-like versions of themselves. Based on the CrossFit philosophy of varied movement at high-intensity intervals, instructors lead pupils through a huge range of moves that pull from weightlifting, gymnastics, and metabolic conditioning to help improve stamina, strength, and the rest of Universal CrossFit's 10 elements of fitness.
At CrossFit Graffiti, owner Shondria Williamson and her team of coaches lead groups through the no-nonsense CrossFit program, an approach to fitness that incorporates movements from across the fitness spectrum, including running, power lifting, and gymnastics. Inside the fully equipped facility, participants lift and jump, push and pull, grunt and growl through high-intensity classes that unfold around the ever-changing workout of the day, which can be anything from squats to dumbbell swings.
To prepare gym novices for the rigors of taking a CrossFit class or arm-wrestling a robocop, the facility offers a fundamentals program and high-intensity boot camps.
In Body Evolution's recently renovated gym, rows of traditional cardio machines whir alongside an updated aerobics room and an indoor basketball court. To inaugurate their new square footage, the trainers kicked off a variety of classes, which include Zumba, boot camps, various forms of yoga, and cardio salsa. When not leading personal-training sessions or doling out nutrition advice, the staff keeps the doors unlocked 24 hours a day for all-night access to the circuit- and strength-training equipment. Ramping up results, the staff plugs patrons into a machine-assisted metabolism test that helps make nutritional recommendations such as, "Stop trying to eat this machine." To get families fit together, the gym's Kidz Zone incorporates play and health into programs such as the Wii Fit workout.
Sometimes it seems that timeless movies and holiday meals are the only way to simultaneously entertain three generations at once, but CrossFit Caveman adds a third activity to the mix: going to the gym. There, certified coaches engage entire families in fun workouts, scaling movements to suit everyone from grandparents to 3-year-olds. Each CrossFit routine incorporates exercises modeled off of real-life actions: pushing, jumping, running, and changing a monster truck’s tire, for example. Students master these techniques during introductory sessions before reporting to mainstream classes that hone their form and tone muscles through weightlifting, gymnastics maneuvers, and calisthenics.
Owners Sharon and Ray welcome clients of all sizes to their "cave." They and their staff—which includes sports enthusiasts, a Navy drill instructor, and a CrossFit Havoc Strongman competitor—push their students to achieve milestones that once seemed incredible, such as completing a series of chin-ups or using a kettlebell for something other than a parking-space saver. In addition to their regular curriculum, they host classes for kids aged 3–12, as well as sport-specific regimens and women-only sessions.
The interior of Crossfit 290 resembles a cross between a warehouse and a gym. There's a towering ceiling, sunny windows, and a slew of plyometrics boxes, chin-up bar stations, and squat racks scattered across the sprawling floor. Essentially, the space is a perfect stage for CrossFit's daily workouts. CrossFit is a no-nonsense fitness discipline that relies on functional exercises such as chin-ups, squats, and dead lifts. Its exercises can be customized to suit all fitness levels, which was proven when CrossFit officials successfully trimmed a couch potato into a couch french fry.
Tell us about your business.
At CrossFit Propel, we strive for perfection in every aspect of our work, and stop at nothing to support the health and fitness needs of our members. We relentlessly provide our members with the tools necessary to develop into the best version of themselves through our safe, fun, and effective fitness program.
What makes your business stand out?
We have over 7,300 square feet of air-conditioned gym space with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. We offer over 11 classes a day Monday–Friday, and are open seven days a week. We are the only CrossFit gym in Texas that has the WODTime application, which allows users to interact with fellow members and view the gym's leaderboard throughout the day.
What inspired you to start or run this business?
CrossFit Propel came into existence through an organic relationship that grew between both owners, Minh and [me]. We met through CrossFit, and fell in love with the community and how it helped change people's lives. Through time, we saw the need for a well operated and managed gym that was dedicated to improving not only people's lives, but how the message of CrossFit was being delivered. Our focus is on instilling courage into our clients so that they will be inspired to be better than they were the day before. CrossFit Propel is, and always will be, in the business of encouraging people.
What is your most popular offering?
Our world-class Beginning Series helps break the misconception that CrossFit is strictly for hardcore exercise enthusiasts or athletes. The CrossFit Beginning Series introduces individuals to the foundational movements and exercises typically seen in CrossFit workouts. We ensure clients have everything they need to meet their fitness goals in a safe, effiicent, and effective manner. Whether those clients are looking to get back into shape or they have an extensive athletic background, we strive to include everyone.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
For us, its helping people! That's all we're about! We want to encourage, motivate, inspire, and transform people into the best version of themselves possible. CrossFit does more than change a person's physical appearance; it changes and improves an individual in every aspect of their life. People become better family members, better employees at their jobs, better emotionally, and better spiritually.