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Crossfit Builds Community and Strength

12 December 2013 No Comment

NOVA student Brian Hall practices double unders, a fundamental Crossfit move at the Ashburn Impavidus Gym. Photo by: TRACI J. BROOKS STUDIOS

By Presley Gibson and Traci J. Medlock

Thousands of people wake up every morning, looking forward to the inevitable. Whether before they head off for their daily commute or save the workout for after they punch out, they know a grueling workout awaits them at their local Crossfit gym.

Crossfit athletes undergo challenging workouts on the daily that leaves them nauseated, sore and yet completely proud all at the same time. Those who have never done Crossfit before may consider them crazy, but the workout regimen has not only shown tremendous results in the lives of those who do it but also touched the lives of people all over the county.

Crossfit is not only based of strength and agility but also of family, and that sense of community is one reason Crossfit athletes love the sport. No matter whether you’re doing pushups, pull-ups or heavy weight lifting, your fellow Crossfitters will offer support and suggestions to improve each other’s form and cheer each other on no matter what. Crossfit is one of the only sports where people cheer the loudest for the last ones to finish. Laura Pilchuk, one of the owners of Noble Crossfit in Sterling, agreed that the workout program is so successful because it creates a community. “It’s always positive,” she said, adding that the friendly competition between fellow athletes can be another source of motivation.

For those who experienced the workout, Crossfit consists of high intensity movements, which combine strength and cardio. Though they are many different gyms across the Northern Virginia area, they all share the same goal – to make you the best athlete you can be, as well as promoting a healthy lifestyle.

“It’s so important to watch what you eat,” Pilchuk said. “A lot of people go with the Paleo diet, but I say, ‘eat to perform.’ Stick with high protein, fats as well as carbs.” She suggested going on a diet of mostly organic, low carb and high fat diet to improve gym performance, adding that athletes can “really see the results” after just three to four weeks of changing a diet.

Another local Crossfit gym is the Ashburn Crossfit Impavidus Gym. The Ashburn location boasts a large facility that hosts athletes of all ages, from elementary school-age to adult.

Bryce Wince, currently a senior in high school, said he thinks Crossfit is a healthy way of life. “Crossfit captures all aspects of fitness, from Olympic lifting to gymnastics and cardio,” he said. “The Crossfit community is welcoming, and group workouts are the best way to reach full fitness potential.”

Not only does Crossfit provide an excellent workout, it also gives its participants a great variety in their workout. With the workout of the day (or WOD, as Crossfit athletes call them) preplanned, it’s hard to get bored at a Crossfit Gym.

Brian Hall, who currently attends NOVA, said he appreciates that the WODs don’t just target one area. “People who go to the gym and just lift weights will only workout a portion of their body,” he explained. “In Crossfit, you experience a full-body workout.”

With new gyms opening every month, it’s clear Crossfit is a fitness movement that will continue to grow. Crossfit isn’t a program that’s meant to be easy, but it is meant to build and shape ordinary people into stronger versions of themselves.

Anyone can do Crossfit, Pilchuk said. “We’re not expecting anyone to perform at a high level.” The first day is meant to gauge the individual’s fitness level and teach them the fundamental moves. “For some people it’s a shock to see where they are, but helps motivate them to be better.”

Pairing diet and determination, Crossfit is a program that not only helps individuals improve their own fitness but also gives them a support system to do it. With thousands of enthusiastic clients willing to preach about the merits of Crossfit to anyone that will listen, the fitness program is here to stay.

By: Traci J. Brooks

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