Bisao CrossFit’s coaches bring an intense, constantly changing workout program, which was originally formulated for police forces and martial artists, to the masses, tweaking its combination of cardio and strength training for individual fitness levels. They adhere to a fitness philosophy that emphasizes broad, inclusive exercises and sheds the constraints of athletic specialties, such as focusing on one muscle group or only punching bags that punch you first. The trainers motivate patrons to heave medicine balls and speed through burpees or leap over hurdles and haul loaded sacks during dynamic workouts, which they post online each day. Beyond its day-to-day assistance during CrossFit classes, the staff offers seminars, trainer certification, and consultation services for athletic teams.
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.
Coach Jorge believes in a back-to-basics approach to fitness—a philosophy touted in the name of B2B Barbell Club. Shedding the modern trappings of treadmills, ellipticals, and multiuse weight machines, he returns to humanity’s workout roots: functional exercises born of necessity. The CrossFit sessions capture this spirit, combining box jumps with chin-ups and squats, laying an emphasis on the importance of proper technique and safety, which allows him to tailor workouts for all skill levels. Coach Jorge also takes this philosophy outside of the gym and to the table, holding not only a CrossFit Level 1 certification, but also experience as a chef specialized in healthy, paleo-focused meals.
In a newly renovated space featuring black walls with a bright band of red, yellow, and green circling around, students sharpen their bodies with simple exercise equipment—barbells, chin-up bars, rings, and their own weight. Workouts vary according to the recommended Workout of the Day (WOD), which offers guidance so that confused exercisers don’t start playing games of Jenga with dumbbells.
Most gyms strive to tone their customers. The Training Pit goes one step further. Its instructors try to build entire communities of healthy flexers that extend beyond the gym and into the streets. How they do it is easy?even if the exercise regiment isn't. CrossFit-certified coaches motivate all who enter, from athletes seeking bigger biceps to newbies with no-ceps, in an open, bare-bones atmosphere devoid of fancy machines but well-suited for bonding. During scalable CrossFit-training sessions, students endure running, weightlifting, and gymnastic drills typically designated for Olympic athletes and firemen, creating the chummy feeling that The Training Pit is sharing a secret with them. Adding to that community-building ethos, students share exercise goals together, rather than fight over a pile of meat, to help motivate each other toward success.
Former US Marine Clive Phillips co-owns Iron Beast CrossFit with his wife, Eillen. Clive knows toughness when he sees it?being in the military will do that?so it's no surprise that he gravitated toward CrossFit and its intense, functional exercises.
As is the case at most CrossFit gyms, Iron Beast designs daily WODs (short for "workout of the day") that challenge various muscle groups. Adjustable to many different fitness levels, these WODs may include everything from weightlifting to sprinting. The idea is to strengthen the muscles we use every day to climb the stairs, chase the bus, or save the city from giant robots.
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.