The sun was barely peeking over the horizon as I drove to my second session at Yeti Cave CrossFit. I blasted a throwback Katy Perry station to wake me up and get ready to work out at 7am.
Nate, the owner, was already running around his gym to prepare for the day when I walked in. With sincerity, he asked how I felt today. After hearing about my sore muscles from the previous workout, he walked me through a set of stretches. While I loosened up, he explained even more about the world of CrossFit and his gym philosophy.
Drawing on the class whiteboard, Nate wrote the equation for power: Power = (Force x Distance) / Time
He explained that CrossFit is all about increasing your power output by providing variance in your force, distance and time of workouts. Some workouts use heavy weights for several intervals over a short amount of time. Others use body weight to train during very long circuits. When we switch up our weights, or our force, our distances and our times — our bodies inevitably become more powerful overall.
Most workout routines or ideologies do not test your body in all three variables in the same way that CrossFit can because weight training, gymnastics and cardio combine in a unique way for a total body experience. CrossFit is infinitely customizable, unlike running or swimming. Yes, you can run faster (time) or go farther (distance), but only to an extent. CrossFit allows you to work on cardio with light weight for a long time one day, and then the next day you can lift really heavy to get in and out quickly.
The ability for infinite customization reflects clearly in the gym. The other morning warriors coming into the Cave are all grabbing their own weight sets, finishing what stretches they need and planning their workout. The class structure helps organize and focus your day, but ultimately Yeti Cave allows every member to tailor their workout to their own goals and needs.
It is the best of both worlds — community plus personalization. All the equipment in the gym is meant to provide infinite customization.
Before I can get to customizing my own workouts, I need to learn the nine fundamentals of CrossFit. Yeti Cave offers a free fundamentals training course to help you orient yourself to the gym and to the workouts. Although I consider myself skilled and knowledgeable in fitness, I learned so much more about form, technique and body movement through these classes. Because I have a tendency to rock back onto my heels too much, I didn’t realize how much more effective my front squats are when I adjust my feet to a true shoulder width and focus on pushing out with my knees. It is the focused and helpful guidance from Nate and Jonathon that made me feel like Yeti Cave is the place to be for anyone seeking fitness.
I challenge you to sign up for a free fundamentals course and ask Nate about the Power Function of CrossFit. While you are there, ask Jonathan about his weight loss book. Although I just started it, his story reminds me of my own weight loss struggles and how I overcame them.
Collegian writer Hayley Blackburn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @hayley_blckbrn. If you have a specific question or topic, let her know. Leave a comment!