Video: CrossFit CULTure fans take their workouts to the extreme

Justus Norgord

Owner and head coach of CrossFit Inland Valley, Justus Norgord, lifting the barbell during his WOD try-out for the CrossFit Games 2011.

Many people sign up for a gym membership, tell themselves they’re going to take full advantage of everything the gym has to offer, and then slowly lose motivation.

But supporters of a different type of exercise routine called CrossFit say their method provides the motivation that gym-goers need and want. It is a community of support and camaraderie.

Justus Norgord, owner and head coach of CrossFit Inland Valley says most large franchise gyms, or “globo gyms,” won’t follow up with members who lose interest. But CrossFit will.

“They don’t do that. Here, we have that accountability,” he said.

Norgord said CrossFitters are accountable to the relationships they are going to build at the CrossFit gym and to him as the owner. He said the program only works for those who show up.

Fit in 20 minutes

The average CrossFitter goes to the gym about three times per week. Those with more time in schedules go five days per week. A standard CrossFit WOD only lasts about 20 minutes, and works out the entire body.

“If I don’t see you,” said Norgord, “I’m going to call you and say get your butt in here.”

CrossFit started online as a blog, where the founder, Coach Greg Glassman, posted the workout of the day, or WOD, on a blog, allowing people to do the workout at home in their garage. The first CrossFit gym opened in 1995 in Santa Cruz, Calif. After special forces, the military, police, and firefighters, picked up on it, CrossFit exploded.

“Once they started doing it, athletic teams, like football teams, they started it,” said Norgord. “So what’s happened is it started there, and now it’s branched out all over the world. The general person in the office is going, hey I want something that’s going to make me fit like that soldier or like that athlete. We’ve got not just elite athletes doing it now, we’ve got soccer moms that are doing it.”

There are many CrossFit gyms located throughout the city of San Diego, including CrossFit San Diego located in downtown. Beginners are required to take a one-time one-on-one foundations class to understand and learn how to properly execute the exercises. The foundations class pricing varies from gym to gym. Unlimited monthly gym membership ranges from $75 to $150, depending on the gym.

CrossFit is now a worldwide phenomenon. Followers even have their own annual Olympic-style competition. The CrossFit Games were fairly small when they began in 2007. They were initially held in a field on private property in Aromas, Calif. The games became more and more popular that in 2010, they were held at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

Danielle Waltz, a coach at CrossFit Inland Valley, tried out for the CrossFit Games last year, but was glad she didn’t make it all the way through.

“It was crazy!” said Waltz, “And the WODs just keep getting crazier and crazier. The first two years, I was like, ‘I could’ve done that.’ And then last year, I was like, ‘Phew…glad I wasn’t there’.”

Waltz is currently trying out for the 2011 Games being held July 29 at the Home Depot Center.


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