WORKING HARD – Ryan Staal demonstrates a move with a kettlebell that strengthens muscles and works on a person’s flexibility in the Crossfit Lacombe gym.

CrossFit – a unique way to get a workout

In recent years there has been a rise in a particular kind of trending workout known as CrossFit

In recent years there has been a rise in a particular kind of trending workout known as CrossFit, which uses a variety of techniques with the aim of overall body fitness.

The owners of CrossFit Lacombe, Ryan Staal and Brenden Aspenes, want people to know that even though it is often known as an intense workout for serious training, CrossFit can be altered for all fitness levels and body types.

“Our simple definition is just that CrossFit is like training for everyday life. People see the CrossFit games on ESPN and they think that’s what CrossFit is, but that’s not really what it is,” said Aspenes.

“It’s made for everyday people so that you can move stuff around and pick things up safely. It’s about having the conditioning to get through daily life a little bit easier.”

The men have opened up their own gym in the City and are eager to share their knowledge and skills with the community.

“The difference between a normal gym and us is that we don’t focus on weight that you lose or how you look. That stuff all comes as a bonus. We focus on your performance in the gym – getting stronger, better conditioning, better endurance and better flexibility. We judge progress that way rather than by your body,” Aspenes said.

“Lots of people don’t know how to move properly, it’s just not something they learned. For the most part, it probably is fine but doing that same motor pattern over and over can cause something to hurt,” Staal said.

“You don’t know what life is going to throw at you, and that’s the idea behind CrossFit. It’s constantly varied, and we focus on functional movement. Basically, we take the training in our gym and apply it to helping people move better through day-to-day tasks,” he added.

Both Aspenes and Staal used to use weights and traditional workout settings to get their health on track. They each said that once they had tried it a couple of times, they felt a large improvement in their mobility and conditioning.

“The quality of movement and broad spectrum of movement is what makes CrossFit special. For all the movements you do in CrossFit, there is no isolation or machines – it’s all about using your body and moving it in space and being able to perform skills and manipulate objects,” Staal said.

He continued, “Most people think that you have to be really in shape to do CrossFit. All of the movements that we do are universally scalable. You can break down every single one of those movements so that if you have one arm or an injury or are in wheelchairs – there is a program for you.”

A coach named Greg Glassman developed the fitness regimen. It has evolved from a small group of trainers to a worldwide community.

The workout has become a sport with the competition aspect of the CrossFit Games, which is a series of difficult workout tasks and elements that are meant to determine the ‘Fittest Man and Woman on Earth’.

Both Staal and Aspenes have taken accredited training seminars to learn how to properly teach the techniques of CrossFit and are able to safely train groups of people at their gym.

They said that in their gym, they are hoping to promote a community feel where people are comfortable training together and are constantly testing themselves in a safe place.

“We could make it so that an Olympic athlete and a grandmother could work out together, do a similar workout and still both be challenged at their level,” said Aspenes.

“We want a solid community of people who can come in, get to know each other, hang out and work out. We want it to be fun so it’s not, ‘Aw, man I have to go to the gym.” We want people saying, ‘I get to go to the gym today, it’s always a good time’.”

Classes are offered at an hour long at a time, and registration can be completed at www.crossfitlacombe.com. A free 30-minute consultation is done prior to a person’s first class.

kmendonsa@lacombeexpress.com