The coaches at CrossFit Virtue believe in the CrossFit system because its virtues are applicable in the real world. Since the system incorporates full-body exercises that use functional everyday movements, it readies its charges for anything from picking something up from the floor or getting out of a chair to playing a sport or running a marathon. It also makes activity safer by increasing durability through the strength and flexibility earned from those exercises. At CrossFit Virtue, instructors ease newcomers into the system with fundamentals classes, and they also offer one-on-one training.
You won’t find any treadmills or ellipticals at Bear Flag CrossFit, just 4,000 square feet of iron bars, weights, rowing machines, gymnastics rings, and kettlebells. Beneath an American flag and a California flag, CrossFit-certified trainers Eric Schubring and Will Hurst lead squads of athletes through each Workout of the Day (WOD). WODs never repeat and incorporate exercises such as Olympic weightlifting, body-weight exercises, heaving kettlebells, and rowing—all of which are based on CrossFit’s dogma of varied, functional fitness.
At CrossFit Structured, it doesn’t matter where you finish as long as you finish with integrity. Trainers adopt this philosophy during each class, which covers a new workout of the day, or WOD, every day. WODs involve constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensities to help burn calories and fat and boost the body’s metabolism. Though exercises often vary, it’s not uncommon to see CrossFit Structured’s warriors performing weight lifts, running, or testing their body’s limits with exercises such as squats, pushups, pull-ups, and sit-ups.
As a movement, CrossFit rejects the idea that one needs the fancy equipment of a big gym to get in shape. Instead, its creators argued that all someone really needs to get fit is a little motivation, a knowledgeable trainer, and a big, empty room. The trainers at CrossFit 5150 embrace that idea, dubbing their gym “the box.” They like to keep it virtually empty, with minimal fitness accoutrements and a maximum amount of sweat dripping to the floor.
The staff create new routines for their charges to perform daily, but these trainers put in double the mental effort. They produce two Workouts of the Day, the first penned on a dry-erase board, letting the gym’s members know how they should break their sweat on any given date. The other is online and requires no equipment whatsoever, which helps prevent travelers, office workers, and people trapped in WiFi-equipped underground bunkers since Y2K from missing a single day of training.
At Anaheim CrossFit West, co-owners Stephanie and Al Amato and their team of experienced coaches lead small groups through the ever-changing and intense workout of the day in their recently expanded studio. The workouts—which are designed for all fitness levels, including Little Mario, Bigger Mario, and Fire Mario—require exercisers to complete a daily sequence of functional exercises such as squatting, deadlifting, rowing, and jumping with purpose. To help replenish exercisers' bodies following the grueling sessions, Stephanie, whose nickname is Primal Mama and whose background includes nutrition counseling, posts protein-packed recipes on her blog.
Next Level Training's spacious, naturally lit facility meets a wide spectrum of fitness needs, from improving strength and agility to losing weight. The gym boasts a roster of workout stations that includes free weights, machines, and TRX equipment. In a separate area, a 1,000-square foot space hosts boot camps led by Next Level Training's motivational instructors.