You would have to be living under a rock if you haven’t heard the word Crossfit. This revolutionary fitness program has taken the world by storm. You can find it everywhere– from the Crossfit gyms popping up on every street corner to your friends’ workout pictures on your Facebook newsfeed. Although Crossfit has developed quite a cult following, it has also faced its fair share of criticism and misconceptions. Kiss My Crossfit owners, David Carr and Jeremy Clemons, are introducing a different approach to the Crossfit lifestyle in Mcallen and want to dispel the myths that keep people from trying it.
Although it’s everywhere, Crossfit has only been around for 14 years. Its founder, Greg Glassman, was a former teenage gymnast that trained clients from his garage in Santa Cruz, California in the 1970s. Greg realized that many of the athletes that he worked with were often experts in one or two abilities, but were unable to perform other kinds of fitness activities. He began training his clients with shorter sessions that focused on developing many different capabilities to achieve a more general fitness. The results were amazing – his clients were fitter, stronger, and more powerful than ever. Glassman’s fitness regime drew clients from all over the nation and became a worldwide success soon after he created the Crossfit franchise in 2000.
Greg Glassman’s “jack of all trades, master of none” philosophy is what makes Crossfit such an attractive program. In Crossfit, you don’t have to be born with innate talent or potential to excel at a sport; with commitment and practice you will eventually become good at everything. “In Crossfit you train not to be the best in one thing, but to be above average in everything,” says Jeremy Clemons, co-founder of Kiss my Crossfit. The goal is for athletes to develop 10 key physical activities –cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy – to reach a physical level where they can do anything. The entire program is based on functional fitness movements that are useful for everyday activities, such as lifting a heavy item or stretching to reach something.
The program’s variety is what originally attracted Kiss My Crossfit owners to the sport. “I was interested in Crossfit because I wanted to take my fitness to another level. I was getting tired and bored of my general workouts,” says David Carr, co-founder and owner of Kiss My Crossfit. ”I quickly began seeing better results. It’s the fittest that I have ever been since high school.” Carr met Clemons while they practiced Crossfit together, and they soon realized that this had become a passion and a way of life for both of them. The pair felt that there was still a great need for a Crossfit gym in Mcallen and decided to open one together.
Since it’s opening in July of 2014, Kiss my Crossfit has been an instant success. The box currently has over 60 active members and is still growing. Most of its members had never tried Crossfit prior to joining Kiss My Crossfit, but this has never been a problem. “A lot of people have the misconception that they have to be in shape before they start Crossfit. We want people to know that it can be scaled down for each person,” says Clemons. “We have something for everyone -from the guy that hasn’t worked out since high school or the kid that wants to go to regionals next year. We want to cater for everyone in a comfortable environment.” Both owners are so set on attracting new people to Crossfit that they offer a free beginners class every Saturday for people to try it out.
Fear of injuries is another common myth that keeps people away from Crossfit. Although the workouts are intense and can involve very heavy weights, injuries can be prevented by scaling the workouts to the particular capabilities of the person and by using proper form. Both Carr and Clemons have undergone the rigorous training and certification process that are required to become Crossfit certified coaches. “There is a lot of science behind creating the workout and customizing them for your customer,” says Clemons. “All the techniques that we teach and the way that we scale our workouts are very important because it is what keeps people from getting hurt.”
Safety and injury prevention is the utmost priority for Kiss My Crossfit. “We would rather pay more overhead and have a greater number of staff monitoring people to avoid injuries. For the size of our gym, we have a very big staff,” explains Carr. The gym goes above and beyond prevention and offers spinal assessments by local chiropractor, Dr. Pablo Tagle III and foam rolling classes by Arrosti clinics.
One of the most appealing aspects about Crossfit is the camaraderie and small group support that participants get from their fellow Crossfitters. Both Carr and Clemons strongly believe in the power of social motivation and provide plenty of opportunities for everyone to interact outside of the class. They foster an atmosphere of friendly competition through an app that tracks everybody’s results, a very active Facebook page where everyone can keep in touch, and group barbeques for members to socialize.
For David Carr and Jeremy Clemons, Crossfit is not only a sport or a fitness program –it has become a way of life. For them, Kiss My Crossfit is not about making money, but about helping people live more active and fulfilling lives. “We really want the public to know that we are pushing general fitness for everybody and want to promote a healthy lifestyle– for all sizes, for all ages, whether you want to lose fat, gain muscle, or get your cardiovascular system going,” says David Carr. “It’s not just heavy weight training, it’s an overall workout that will help you achieve a better fitness.”