Before he became the owner and head trainer at CrossFit Prestige, Arthur Santos played professional minor-league baseball for the Red Sox, Braves, Royals, and Mets. Arthur, who is also a tae kwon do black belt, saw his life change dramatically when he tried his first CrossFit workout. Fast-forward to the present, and now Arthur and his team of CrossFit-certified coaches introduce new athletes to the CrossFit community and help them achieve their fitness goals.
In their gym—which looks like an industrialized fitness warehouse—a pull-up rig occupies an entire wall as droves of students cling to it during the Workout of the Day. Gymnastics rings dangle from the rig’s suspended bars, and bumper plates stack up on the wall and entice students to perform moves such as overhead squats, cleans, and deadlifts. Because CrossFit stresses varied fitness, WODs rotate every day, just like the moon’s sleep playlist. Today students might be performing dips on gymnastics rings, and tomorrow they might face challenges such as push-ups, kettlebell exercises, rowing, or medicine-ball throws.
At The Playground Gym, where CrossFit's workout of the day is in high rotation, the acronym AMRAP gets thrown around a lot. It stands for "as many reps as possible" and sums up two of the more important tenets of the CrossFit philosophy: intensity and personalization. During a typical workout, participants are given a series of functional exercises to perform and are encouraged to complete them as quickly as possible. Because most of the exercises, such as pull-ups, rely on using body weight as resistance and not beached whales who need to be carried back to the sea, anyone can perform them. Helping make sure that each exercise is being done with good form is The Playground Gym's staff, who have earned CrossFit Level 1 and 2 certifications.
Just 900 square feet. That was all the space the original American Top Team Aventura (ATT) had to work with when the team began training in Boca Raton. But despite the cramped quarters, the Mixed Martial Arts fighters excelled at their craft. Eventually, ATT upgraded a bit—the current location covers a massive 20,000 square feet, widely considered the largest Mixed Martial Arts facility in the state. And its Brazilian jujitsu, or BJJ, training program, available for both kids and adults, has gained such widespread acclaim that the academy's specific techniques now show up at academies across the country and the world. Beyond BJJ, American Top Team's seasoned instructors also teach muay thai kickboxing, boxing, cross-training, submission grappling, wrestling, and a kids program.
At CrossFit North Miami Beach, there are no mirrors, overcomplicated machines, or juice bars. Instead, there are barbells, rowers, kettlebells, pull-up bars, medicine balls, and other back-to-basics gear. This setup keeps distraction at bay and fitness always in focus. Trainers help participants sculpt every muscle group using CrossFit, a system of constantly varied functional movements performed at a high intensity. They foster a welcoming environment where daily workouts can be tailored to any person's abilities.
CrossFit is “constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement” that uses fitness techniques such as squatting, lifting, and running in combination with kettlebells, medicine balls, and cardio to rapidly tone up muscles. The skilled CrossFit trainers encourage small-group classes to constantly push their limits in each high-intensity, 45-minute class.
At Animus CrossFit/Corporal CrossFit, students of every skill level, age, and body type can take control of their health with the help of encouraging coaches. The team of qualified trainers draw on intense training experiences in their own lives, such as strength coach and author Carlos Arias's service in the USMC special forces, his wife Jenny's background as a gymnast, or coach Dayron Castaneda's career in collegiate football. The team prides itself on providing one-on-one training and keeping classes small: staff lead premium CrossFit with 1:8 teacher/student ratios, avoiding the overcrowded classes, lack of equipment, and gym-clothes sharing seen in traditional programs. And indoor-outdoor bootcamp classes take advantage of sunny Miami days while avoiding wet ones by training indoors on grass turf or rubber flooring. The small, 16-person classes tailor exercise individually according to skill level and keep things interesting with a combination of gymnastics and running using balls and ropes.
Students shed pounds and tone muscles in programs that are built on proper nutrition and individual, scalable workout routines. Whether pupils are burning fat and building endurance with cardio routines and kettlebells, boosting strength with weightlifting, or refining their running techniques with pose running, coaches work closely with students to help them push past obstacles and reach health goals.