The house rules are CrossFit Momentum are simple: hustle, get after it, and be sure to clean up any chalk or sweat after each workout. Trainers preach a dynamic approach to fitness rooted in high-intensity, functional movements. Each 40-minute workout might include a mixed bag of plyometrics, handstands, dead lifts, clean and jerk, and a couple kettlebell swings for good measure.
At CrossFit Nyack, the coaches believe that no matter a person’s fitness level, they can always achieve a new level of intensity. Phaidra Knight, director and three-time World Cup rugby competitor named Player of the Decade by RugbyMag.com, teams up with the coaches to help people do just that. They challenge groups of 5–10 students to master functional movements, ditching traditional gym equipment in favor of kettlebells, medicine balls, and even tires.
The coaches focus on form, then build upon that basis by upping intensity while maintaining safe movements. A series of six Fundamentals sessions readies new students by helping them master CrossFit's movements—such as dead-lifting weights, dynamic stretching, and lobbing satellites into orbit—so they can safely dive into regular sessions.
Much like the clients they now teach, Crossfit201's four co-owners each bring a different history to their CrossFit training. Alon Soundry sought a new type of workout to boost his performance in the martial arts and motorcross. Keith Ferrara had tired of his extra pounds and found relief in a CrossFit regimen. Artie Kreutzer and Wilson De Dios enjoyed staying active even before discovering the regime. No matter their clients' background, the trainers seek ways to make the CrossFit regimen work for them.
Cesar Bravo—a gymnast who holds certifications from CrossFit, the International Sports Sciences Association, and the USA Gymnastics National Safety association—opened Bravo CrossFit in 2009 with a few sandbags and a single rusty barbell. His gym has evolved leaps and bounds since then; it recently moved to a new, 3,000-square-foot facility, in which Cesar still teaches every class. He helps clients from all walks of life get in shape, including students, business executives, athletes, and stay-at-home parents. He leads these clients through functional exercises that eschew the muscle-isolating machines and movements of traditional gyms. The daily-changing routines harness kettlebells and calisthenics as well as training skills from Olympic weightlifting and gymnastics. He further helps his clients overhaul unhealthy lifestyle habits with nutritional training, and posts healthy, flavorful recipes online for dishes such as slow-cooked coconut-ginger pork and bacon-wrapped chicken to ensure that taste buds don’t get bored and wander into a pint of ice cream.
The trainers at Surge Training Center believe that each body is a machine, and should be versatile enough to tackle the challenges of everyday life. They focus on a multi-directional, compound approach to fitness, and offer eight different programs to help clients achieve their desired results. Programs range from CrossFit and mixed martial arts combat training to yoga and creative movement sessions that inspire kids to be passionate about fitness and wellness through the use of dance.
Strongman competitor William Harris opened his gym to help exercisers achieve ultimate physical conditioning with an innovative approach to fitness that eschews the mirrored walls, isolated machine workouts, and pie-eating competitions of standard gyms. His cadre of personal trainers—most of whom are certified Level 1 CrossFit coaches—draws on real world athleticism: trainer Phaidra Knight was named the women's' rugby player of the decade 2000–2009, and Rob Gutierrez works as a physical trainer for the NYPD. For CrossFit sessions, certified trainers design intense, ever-changing workouts that safely push members while providing motivation and support. Classes rotate through various challenges such as calisthenics, weight lifting, kettlebells, and sprinting, relying on both intensity and variety of motion to improve comprehensive fitness. To bolster long-term health, coaches dispense nutrition tips that keep bodies fueled and give clients the tools to spur fat loss and muscle gain. The results build bodies that function in real-world tasks, such as running to catch a bus, lifting a sack of dog food, or throwing a discus and riding it to work.