ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) - Fitness trends have a tendency to come and go but some say this one is here to stay. CrossFit has caught on all over the world including a handful of gyms in the Rochester area. Since their introduction in 2000, the number of CrossFit gyms has reached more than 10,000 gyms worldwide, half of which are here in the United States.
CrossFit is a branded type of group fitness that uses many varied activities.
"They mix it up and they set the program for you every day. You can come in here, it's a different workout, you can come as many times as you want and it just works all different muscle groups. I think that's the reason it worked really well for me because I've worked a lot of muscles I've never worked before and it's really helped a lot," said Mary Kuffel. She joined CrossFit Credence in Rochester less than a year ago. he fitness regiment credits part of it's success to the community feel and it's accessibility to all fitness levels.
CrossFit trainer Josh Rose said because the program is available to all levels, many people of different ages and fitness backgrounds can share a similar workout. "CrossFit is for everyone. A lot of girls come in here, they're usually scared of touching a barbell, they're scared of lifting weights because they think they're going to get huge. A few months into it most girls actually love lifting weights, especially our Olympic weight lifting program, and then they just can't get enough of it, especially because the results it contributes to your body are amazing, because the lifts are so dynamic. You know it's really for anyone - it isn't gender or age specific, CrossFit isn't geared towards anyone... anyone can do it," said Rose. "There's a way for anyone to jump into our program and feel like whether they're an Olympic athlete or a couch potato there's a way for them to on-ramp into the CrossFit program and progress from where they're at to where they desire to go."
Another jump in enrollment could be expected with the cold weather on its way. "A lot of people kind of get stuck inside in the winter in Minnesota. Some people are outside, maybe snowshoeing, being active outside, but I think the community and the variety of the workouts kind of keeps people interested throughout the winter. You're not putting on that spare tire, or it's a lot harder to do at the CrossFit gym. It keeps people coming back, the community pushing each other. We're constantly getting results and breaking down fitness barriers and anyone can do it. You just got to jump in the gym and I think that's the hardest part for most people," said Rose
Kuffel said the program is great for winter exercise. "I've been at CrossFit since this last winter, a good friend of mine joined and conned me into it and tried it out and I love it. It's very addictive, very fun, the groups are very encouraging and it's a real sense of community here. It also helps you on all fitness levels which I can attest to because I've never done weight lifting before so I'm on the learning curve. A lot of my friends have been doing it for a couple years now and they're just doing amazing things. It's so inspiring."
A 2010 US Army study of participants doing CrossFit exercises over the course of six weeks showed an average of 20% power increase per participant. However, some have argued that the risk for injury in these varied exercises outweighs their benefits.
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