"I consider sacred the bond of trust that develops over time with our athletes, forged by sound direction, collaboration, and real, lasting results," says Erik Preston, owner and head trainer at CrossFit San Elijo. The ex-Marine recruited a team of instructors who work to forge a sense of community among its members through rigorous shared effort of their group workouts. Instructors teach athletes foundational movements during an initial class before embarking on daily workouts where they’ll hoist kettlebells, master gymnast’s rings, and walk with 45-pound weights. Every exercise is rigorously monitored, as instructors insist on proper form while students execute core exercises of squat, press, and lift. Along with emphasizing sound mechanics, instructors help copilot participants toward healthier eating habits and recovery techniques.
Rich Sayen started his training career more than 10 years ago. In that time, he became a CrossFit Level 1 coach, an American Kettleball Club Coach, and he was certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine. By the time he founded Crossfit2.0, Rich was an expert trainer.
His gym looks more like a playground than a fitness space, except that the metal loops and brightly colored straps of the CrossFit equipment stand in place of slides or tetherball poles. Students grab hold of these to do the Workout of the Day (WOD), which might include climbing ropes to the ceiling, doing dips on suspended rings, or slinging kettlebells. Sometimes workouts even spill into the parking lot as athletes run laps around the building, push weighted sleds, or shot-put meteors back into space.
At Crossfit Diadem, CrossFit Level 1-certified coach Jen Bunnell and her staff push exercisers through ever-changing, high-intensity CrossFit workouts. The challenging routines typically center around a blend of cardiovascular exercises and functional body weight moves like push-ups, pull-ups, and squats, which can be scaled for all fitness levels. The classes, which are typically one-hour in length, might also incorporate kettlebells, dumbbells, rings, and even sandbags, and aim to help students reach their personal fitness goals while also improving their strength, stamina, agility, balance, and coordination. To help reduce injuries during workouts, the studio has also teamed with Doctor of Physical Therapy Deniz Armagan, who can give members complimentary evaluations and new names to go with their new bodies.
CrossFit Irons is more than just a gym. Instead, the studio—which was founded by two brothers—aims to create a supportive community of students driven by the principles of CrossFit. The CrossFit method uses ever-changing combinations of weightlifting, gymnastics, and cardio exercises to create high-intensity workouts intended to build strength and stamina through repetition of varied functional movements. Most importantly, every individual has the ability to scale the load and intensity of the exercises. This ensures that students of virtually any fitness level can visit CrossFit Irons and safely challenge themselves within an encouraging, community-oriented environment.
Equipment: Pendlay barbells, Rogue pull-up rig, Concept2 rowers
Students should bring: Water, workout gear, minimalist shoes recommended
Average class length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1–5 people
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: Every movement and workout can be scaled to any persons fitness level and ability.
Kaili Hunt has always been dedicated to fitness, and through his experience earning a degree in exercise physiology and snatching up any certifications he came across, he developed his own method of training. His classes take students through a five-stage development program. The program aims to take students of all fitness levels and not only match them up with the right intensity but also put them on a path to improving their fitness level.