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.
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.
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.
The inspiring trainers at each MetaBody location lead troops of workouteers in results-oriented workouts several times weekly. Sweat sessions utilize a variety of exercises and disciplines to produce full-body results in a supportive environment, ideal for beginners and hard-core core-hardeners alike. During any class, motivational instructors will use the instinctual distrust of routine to their advantage. Begin a day of litigating with a refreshing early-morning boot-camp session, or wind down by burning evidence and pounds with a late-evening yoga class. Muscles are kept guessing with new and challenging moves during each session, so participants never fall into a boring, ineffective routine, such as regular teeth brushing. In addition to the fitness classes, students receive a success guide to help prepare for imminent pound loss, a nutrition guide, and a $100 gift certificate for individual coaching. Because the pass sets a 5 or 10-class cap at any given location, roving fitness mavens can further shake up their workout regimens by vetting a series of classes or instructors that work best for them.
Athlete Ego Crossfit's team of instructors could mount a convincing mission to colonize a hostile planet. The staff comes from backgrounds that include the military, organized sports, martial arts, exercise science, nutrition, and firefighting. Together, they blend their varied experience into a hard-hitting Marine Corps–style boot camp and freestyle cross-training program designed to kick-start the performance of amateur, high-school, or professional athletes. Lessons take place in a no nonsense 14,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor facility stocked with Olympic weights, kettlebells, climbing ropes, sandbags, rings, and weight sleds. To fine-tune athletes, the crew supplements sports performance training with nutritional advice.