If the boxing ring and punching bags don't give away GymOne's focus, the staff will. The gym's trainers include boxer and mixed-martial-arts fighter Timothy Parker, martial artist Paul Booe, and boxer Jared Robinson, a talented light welterweight who was ranked number two in his division by USA Boxing in 2008. Together, they manage an array of fitness programs for fighters and athletes alike, including boxing, boot camps, personal training, and grueling OneFit cross-training classes that are designed to improve athletic abilities such as strength and speed.
Gymnastics rings, a tattered American flag, and a floor-to-ceiling climbing rope make the gym at CrossFit 704 look more like an Olympic training facility. Within its walls, CrossFit-certified trainers lead new workouts every day that they design to incorporate functional movements from everyday life—from lifting and throwing to carrying and running. Though the workouts (known as Workouts of the Day, or WODs) change every day, they could often incorporate exercises such as running, weight lifting, dips and pull-ups on gymnastics rings, or other dynamic exercises such as heaving kettlebells.
Inside the 6,500-square-foot interior of CrossFit Allegiance, chiseled athletes and first-time students work and play using modern fitness methods and equipment. Each Workout of the Day (WOD) may include a bout of Olympic lifts, a turn on the gymnast’s rings, or a springy set of box jumps. The key is to keep workouts intense and muscles confused, and beginners may be surprised when they find themselves bounding up thick climbing ropes or pulling weight sleds across the swath of AstroTurf. All workouts can be scaled to meet the fitness needs of each student, allowing experienced athletes to train alongside senior citizens.
True to the gym's motto—"We pick stuff up and put it down"—CrossFit Strength builds powerful, sinewy bodies with simple, yet intense workouts. Certified, award-winning trainers Stephanie and Tony DiLiegro take new and experienced students under their wings, guiding them through a series of rotating daily workouts based on strength- and resistance-training techniques. Eschewing the weight machines and treadmills of globo gyms, CrossFit Strength hones and tones muscles through functional movements such as squats, pull-ups, dead lifts, and teleports.
As illustrated throughout the photo albums on their Facebook page, the trainers at CrossFit SouthEnd are all about a diverse workout. They push students through myriad exercises, from world-class lifts and pull-ups to classic sprints and kettlebell lifts. Each session incorporates a wide array of training modalities that utilize full-body, functional movements to craft a high-intensity workout program that is different every day. To prevent injury during the intense, one-hour workouts, trainers make sure to teach students proper form, such as keeping the lower back tight during dead lifts or keeping the pinkies up during British sit-ups.
South Charlotte Crossfit is more than just a gym. Instead of leaving visitors to work out on their own, the team of instructors—including former athletes and two competitive-weightlifting coaches—fosters a supportive community spirit by embracing CrossFit’s group fitness regimen. The highly varied sessions provide full-body workouts by combining a variety of functional exercises, which can incorporate everything from medicine balls and chin-ups to free weights and sprints. To ensure that attendees safely push themselves while still getting suitably challenging workouts, the instructors allow each member of the class to either modify or intensify the exercises to complement their capabilities and fitness levels.
When he became a full-fledged CrossFit student, Nathan Stewart realized that it wasn't just the results that kept him returning to the squat rack. Sure, he was a fan of the program and its scalable workouts—weight-lifts, gymnastics techniques, and drills that adjust to suit anyone's fitness level—but they weren't the secret, addictive ingredient. That was community, or, as his bio puts it, "the joys of suffering with others rather than solo."
Today, Nathan teaches at his own CrossFit gym, CrossFit Indian Trail. His staff includes a police officer, a martial artist, and a former wrestling state champion, as well as a certified coach for CrossFit Kids. They all lead classes that emphasize sound form and the challenge of varied exercises. However, that feeling of community that drew Nathan to the program remains top priority. With their welcoming, supportive attitudes, his staff ensures that every student feels like part of the gym's family, whether they're tackling their first burpee or their thousand-and-first pinkie-only pull-up.