Fitness Firsts: I Tried CrossFit and Here’s How it Went
I never knew what strength truly meant until I tried CrossFit for the first time. Gainesville Health and Fitness (GHF) held a free CrossFit trial class, and it was totally badass.
I woke up the next day with my legs feeling like I had just walked out of a war zone. CrossFit gave a new meaning to the term sore, and with the endless amount of squats we did, my toosh felt stronger than ever.
Developed by Greg Glassman, CrossFit is a high-intensity driven fitness program that includes elements from different types of sports and exercise. The movements incorporate aspects of gymnastics, running and weightlifting just to name a few.
These workouts are designed to have you do more work in a shorter time creating a high-intensity reaction. The goal of this fitness program is to bring together general fitness with measurable, observable and repeatable results.
I’ve heard a mixture of opinions from friends about CrossFit. Some love it, while others say it’s not safe and is dangerous. Conflicted with what to believe, I decided to try out a free demo at GHF (located in Tioga Town Center).
Despite what others had said, I absolutely loved it. The workout felt challenging yet invigorating. I felt motivated to push myself further because of the camaraderie within the class. Classmates help encourage you to keep on working toward your goals.
Johnny Izaguirre was not always a supporter of CrossFit.
Izaguirre, who is from Miami, had a personal trainer (PT) tell him CrossFit was dumb because it increases your chance of getting injured. Izaguirre believed the PT and thought CrossFit was a complete waste of time.
Once he moved to Gainesville, he decided to try it out for himself, and now he is a certified CrossFit instructor at GHF.
“I love the community aspect CrossFit brings and how it builds bonds with people you never expect to meet,” Izaguirre said.
One of the advantages to doing CrossFit is the health benefits it provides. According to Izaguirre, the fitness program can help reduce diabetes, chronic heart disease, stress and can improve social behavior.
Personally, he said he loves CrossFit because it’s always something different, and you’ll never experience the same workout twice.
“CrossFit is for everyone,” he said. “We have people at our gym of all ages, and the workouts can be designed for any athlete at any skill level.”
However, the most challenging part is for people to overcome their doubts and stick through it despite the pain, he said. The common problem associated with CrossFit is that many people deem it unsafe or dangerous. Izaguirre noted that it can be considered unsafe or dangerous if your form is incorrect.
“People are more worried about time than form, which can cause them to workout incorrectly, leading to injury,” he said.
Izaguirre reminded us all during the workout that it’s important to go at your own pace. Often times, injury arises when people are more focused on completing all of the exercises within the given time frame. Focusing on having the right form is more important than beating the clock.
“CrossFit is for everyone. We have people at our gym of all ages, and the workouts can be designed for any athlete at any skill level.”
If your form is incorrect, you could wake up the next day with aches and pains, so it’s key to understand how to do it correctly. As long as you listen to your instructor’s directions, ask for help with form when unsure and do the exercises with a weight amount you can handle, then you can avoid injury.
Monday’s trial class at GHF was Matthew Bostwick’s third time doing CrossFit. Conflicted with having recent injuries from playing sports, he said he needed to find new activities to help keep him occupied.
Bostwick said that he thought the Crossfit trial class was great, and he would definitely recommend it.
“It’s a hard workout that leaves you sweating and fatigued, but that’s what I’m looking for,” he said. “I know I’m getting stronger.”
He said CrossFit is hard, leaves you feeling very hot and sweaty, and he ensures that you’ll definitely feel it the next day.
“You need all these elements to improve your body,” he said.
The instructors are wonderful because they educate, motivate and watch out for their students, he explained. Since his injuries sometimes get in the way, the instructors will offer him a way to modify his workouts, so he can still keep up with the rest of the group.
“The goals of the instructors are to advance you through the levels while creating a community of friends to workout with,” he said.
He said he would rather work with an instructor who looks out for him while in a group encouragement type of environment. Bostwick already signed up for a couple CrossFit classes and intends on continuing with the fitness program.
Are you interested in learning more about CrossFit? GHF CrossFit offers two trial classes a month, free of charge and for any age and any fitness level, typically held at the end of each month.
The additional places listed below also offer CrossFit in Gainesville:
CrossFit Lead, B3 GYM The Ark School of Fitness, LIV Athletic and Visionary CrossFit.