UNC alumnus, Matt Conte, working on form for power clean, a common lifting technique.
Photo Credit: www.crossfitcarrboro.com
Confession: I am the queen of looking for an easy fitness fix. I have attempted diet plans, weight-loss pills and exercise gimmicks, all in an attempt to both lead a healthier lifestyle and lose some college weight caused by overindulging in Chapel Hill nightlife. So when one of my friends told me I HAD to try CrossFit, I was skeptical.
It’s hard to describe what I felt when I walked into the CrossFit room for the first time at Kinetix Gym in Carrboro … but I think I can sum it up in two words: NO WAY. I saw someone swinging weights, another doing pull ups on what looked like a fancy jungle gym, people jumping over boxes and music blaring.
I thought, “Over my dead body was I going to be able to do any of these things.”
(No, really, I didn’t think I was going to live through the next hour). Not only have I not been able to do a pull up since 5th grade when I weighed 80 pounds, I didn’t know the first thing about this type of workout.
Skip ahead two weeks. Having completed four beginner CrossFit classes, I’m sold. CrossFit is unlike anything I have ever done before. While I still wake up the morning after a workout with soreness in places I didn’t even know existed, I am motivated and actually find myself looking forward to working out. This isn’t an easy fitness fix; it’s a way of life. The most important thing I have learned from joining CrossFit is that exercise can be rewarding and … fun.
As an athlete growing up and club athlete at Carolina, I love that there are CrossFit coaches. CrossFit coaches not only instruct, but they provide motivation, encouragement, and at times, tough love. I spoke with Chris “Smitty” Smith, the head coach at CrossFit Carrboro, to learn more about the program.
Ellie: What is CrossFit and how does it work?
Smitty: CrossFit is a group fitness program focused on making people as fit as possible using constantly varied, functional movements executed at a high intensity. Our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive.
Ellie: Who does CrossFit? What makes it so appealing to so many people?
Smitty: At CrossFit Carrboro we have individuals 16-60 years old working out together. CrossFit is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect training program for any committed individual regardless of experience. The appeal for each person may be different but the main themes we hear are fun and excitement of each workout being different, community aspect of working out together, accountability to goals from a coach who truly cares and a challenging environment that breeds success each and every day.
Ellie: Can you talk a little about how Cross Fit is a good program for former athletes? Do you have to be an athlete to join CrossFit?
Smitty: While former athletes make up a good percentage of our population, we consider anyone in our program to be an athlete, even if they have never played a day of organized sport before. We believe that with such a large number of movements utilized in our repertoire it takes time, purpose and dedication to master many of the skills. This is why we call what we do training rather than exercise.
Smitty: Along those same lines, at CrossFit Carrboro we value performance over appearance. Many athletes love the idea of training for specific performance goals and at CrossFit Carrboro we score each workout. From time to time we will repeat a workout to see how our athletes have improved since the last time they performed the workout (WOD). This provides instant feedback to our athletes on how they are coming along.
Ellie: Is CrossFit a good program for college students?
Smitty: Time is a valuable commodity while in college. All of our coaches at CrossFit Carrboro are college educated and understand the demands placed on students. Our classes are scheduled for an hour long and include a dynamic warm-up, skill coaching, workout of the day (WOD) and a cool-down/ mobility work. You’re in and out within an hour. We take the guess work out of what to do when you get to the gym.
Ellie: How does one go about getting started?
Smitty: The best way to get started would be to contact your local CrossFit affiliate. By starting off with a certified coach who has experience you will have access to a wealth of knowledge. A quality CrossFit coach demand that your progression within CrossFit will stick to one of the original CrossFit charters; mechanics, consistency and then intensity. In that order, and that order only. This is to ensure the safety of each athlete and set you up for future success!
CrossFit Carrboro offers a wide range of class times and a free week trial to anyone who would like to give it a try. For more information go to CrossFitCarrboro.com or Follow them on Facebook & Twitter.
Ellie Jesse is a senior from Chapel Hill, studying public relations in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. In addition to writing for Her Campus, Ellie is the UNC campus ambassador for InternQueen.com, a website dedicated to providing students with resources and advice on internships. This fall, Ellie is a marketing intern at 2tor Inc. where she works with UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, which offers one of the best online MBA programs and part time MBA. Previously, Ellie interned for Peppercom Strategic Communications and The Forte Foundation. In her free time, Ellie plays club soccer at UNC and is a member of PRSSA. You can find her blogging for sites such as InternQueen.com, Experience.com, myPRconnection and PRiScope. Follow her on Twitter: @EllieH_Jesse