CrossFit is a fitness trend that has grown exponentially in recent years, from 13 affiliates in 2005 to roughly 13,000 today.
The idea behind CrossFit is to combine multiple types of sports and exercises into one. The high-intensity fitness program helps create a well-rounded athlete while reaching fitness goals.
CrossFit affiliates are not set up like a typical gym, with machines and weights set out and available to use however a member pleases, at any time. There are several “classes” each day, where all members perform the Workout of the Day, or WOD, scaled and modified to suit their skill levels.
With six CrossFit gyms, also called “boxes,” in the Quad City Area, citizens of Bettendorf are no strangers to this trend.
According to members at these gyms, one of the best parts of CrossFit is the community formed within a box.
“The best part of CrossFit is the feeling after the workout and the friendships I’ve made at the gym,” said Dave Doyle, who has been attending CrossFit for two years.
This camaraderie is not only important to members, but also to the coaches.
“My favorite part of the gym is seeing the members interact with each other. When they come in the gym they’re excited to be here and they’re ready to go,” said Jake Ledvina, owner and head coach at CrossFit 563.
“In the past I’ve only gone to our school’s off-season lifting program and right away CrossFit was very different. At CrossFit, we jumped right in after some stretching and even though it took me almost half an hour shorter to do CrossFit than off-season, I felt it a lot more. CrossFit was also very welcoming environment with people of all ages,” said Ashley Berkenbosch, a Bettendorf student athlete.
However, critics of CrossFit focus on the idea that CrossFit causes many injuries.
This belief is that WODs are random exercises thrown together and that there is no order to the WOD.
However, WODs are actually designed to work certain muscle groups in a way to improve the body’s function and, at least in the case of CrossFit 563, the coaches take time to go through the workouts for the coming weeks and months to make sure members are not overworked in certain areas while others are neglected.
For those thinking of starting their own CrossFit gym, the failure rate of boxes is 2 percent but owners must pay a $3,000 annual fee to be labeled a “CrossFit affiliate.” There is no revenue share from local boxes to corporate CrossFit, but there is also no regulation of territories from corporate, meaning that somebody else is able to open a CrossFit gym right next to a preexisting gym so long as they pay the fee.