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 trainers believe that no matter a person’s fitness level, they can always achieve a new level of intensity. Jeffrey Castalda and Phaidra Knight team up to help people do just that. Jeffrey honed his skills as a personal trainer while working with post-rehab clients, and Phaidra is a three-time World Cup rugby competitor named Player of the Decade by RugbyMag.com. Together, 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 trainers focus on form, then build upon that basis by upping intensity while maintaining safe movements. A series of four 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.
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.
At CrossFit Athletic Performance, the instructors are attempting to establish a new workout tradition. They eschew the silent weight lifting of big brand gyms in favor of unconventional exercises focusing on explosive power, and ensure raucous cheers of encouragement from instructors and other students accompany every workout. This camaraderie isn't by chance. CrossFit's staff fosters the positive atmosphere by celebrating even the smallest of victories in the gym with high fives and a cake made of celery. As dedicated as owners are to a positive atmosphere, they opened CrossFit Athletic Performance to get people healthy and strong, and judging by their students' dedication, they've been successful. The gym's workouts change every day in an effort to combat monotony and shock muscles; the only constant is the intensity of the sessions. In contrast, students can take a movement-focused approach to toning their bodies with mat Pilates and yoga classes hosted by the same instructors.
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.
Tired of gimmicky diets and ineffective workouts, owner and master coach Ray Carile turned to CrossFit. He has whipped himself into shape and kept excess pounds at bay with CrossFit’s no-nonsense approach—perform a varied workout three times a week and burn more calories than you consume. To help others stick to that simple and effective philosophy, he opened CrossFit Rally by Sweat. He and his team of trainers lead clients of all fitness levels in exercises that incorporate functional movements, such as pushing and pulling, and draw upon a wide array of equipment, including battle ropes, kettlebells, and rowing machines. Their focus on functional movements prepares participants for everything from everyday activities—such as climbing stairs and chasing cars—to sports and work tasks. In each session, they vary the daily workout to help motivate patrons to stick to the schedule. Because the method is adaptable, they offer classes for kids as young as 3 to instill healthy lifestyle habits in wee ones right out of the gate.
Whatever your shape or build, Connie Cramer wants to help you reach a new peak of fitness. The personal trainer focuses her efforts on empowering women of all ages and fitness levels, showing them how to break through their personal barriers in a variety of heart-pumping classes. Inside her colorful Yorktown studio, Connie successfully motivates her students to lift their kettlebells a little higher and jump up from the mat a little faster.