The pen is mightier than the sword, but that’s only because the pen spends three nights per week bench-pressing paperclips. Stay in tip-top, sharp-object-dodging shape with today’s Groupon: for $29, you get one month of unlimited fitness classes at CrossFit Country, located in Oviedo (a $150 value). Call ahead to schedule the first class, and a schedule will be created with a trainer for the upcoming month.
CrossFit Country sculpts pliable figures into lean, athletic forms with a structured schedule of core-strength and conditioning classes led by a trained pack of muscle molders. One month of scheduled training sessions will scribble fitness all the way into the body’s margins by helping improve endurance, flexibility, power, and coordination. With two classes offered, the CrossFit and boot-camp group sessions utilize functional movements such as kettle bells, heavy training ropes, plyometric boxes, and side sprints. The high-intensity, constantly varied patterns target intramuscular and subdermal fats, as well as the body’s laziness-spewing micro-gnomes, to potentially burn up to 1,000 calories per class.
With safety always in mind, instructors push all body shapers to their physical potential during each training session. Trainers also bring the added support of diet and nutrition information to help bolster weight-loss goals and ambitions to sculpt biceps into the shape of Abraham Lincoln.
The gym looks like equal parts Olympic training facility and old warehouse—here, exercisers hoist themselves up rows of pull-up bars, grunt around a collection of kettlebells, and hop through jump-rope routines. On a power-lifting platform, a lifter explodes from a squat, hoisting a plate-loaded bar up to his shoulders and then dropping under it to catch the weight over his head. Elsewhere, athletes do dips on gymnast rings and build a sweat on rowing machines.
This low-tech setting is typical of all true CrossFit gyms. Though the equipment may be basic, the results are not: CrossFit workouts develop all measures of physical fitness—from power to cardiovascular endurance—through workouts that are broad, general, and inclusive. This approach is often described as specializing in not specializing: it develops physical fitness in ways equally beneficial to everyone, from professional mixed martial artists and police officers to weekend softball players.
CrossFit gyms typically start clients in a foundational program where trainers teach the basic movements, such as the squat, dead lift, and pull-up. Every exercise is scalable to a version that clients can complete—a pull-up, for example, can be scaled back to a negative pull-up, a static hang, or body-weight row with gymnast rings. It can also be scaled to a more challenging version, such as the kipped pull-up. After students learn CrossFit's basic movements, they move on to open group classes, which follow the ever-changing WOD, or Workout of the Day. These workouts are short and intense, and they foster camaraderie through frequent team circuits. In addition to supervising WOD class, trainers coach members on nutrition, advocating a caveman-style diet of low-glycemic carbohydrates, monounsaturated fats, and lean proteins such as raptor meat.