If you’re looking to get in shape but have lost interest in your usual gym routine, can’t seem to get worthwhile fitness results, and simply don’t get excited for traditional gyms anymore, well, CrossFit just might be exactly what you need. And if you live in the Frederick (MD) area, or even close by, CrossFit Frederick is definitely worth a look. Let me back up a bit and explain what CrossFit is for you “newbies.” Can I now say that, since I proudly have one class under my belt? Well, CrossFit is an “elite fitness program” designed for everyone, and I can attest to that now.
CrossFit workouts are comprised of constantly varied functional movements (like pushing, pulling, squatting, lifting, running) executed at high intensity. You’re going to jump, lift some weights, run, twist, turn, and combine various mini-workouts in a way that you never considered. But here’s the thing: it’s fun, and you get super fit. And the workouts themselves are completely scalable, which means that a new participant (like me) and a CrossFit veteran can complete the same workout with simple changes in load and intensity.
I’d always been slightly intimidated by CrossFit before my visit to CFF, but husband and wife team (and CFF owners), Amanda and David May, greeted me with kindness—that is, after Rocky did, of course.
I arrived during a class, so I had a few moments to take note of the workout I was about to subject myself to (uh, I’ll be lifting what?). Fortunately, the documentation of what looked like routines, as well as indications (a.k.a. crayon scribbles) that there might be children in the house, was somewhat comforting—whew, it can’t be that bad.
Amanda and David were very thorough, making sure that I understood the exercises and proper form for the evening. They “scaled” the workout to fit my athletic ability and proficiency of movement.
At CFF, every workout is different, and since you will rarely do the same thing twice, you are less likely to lose interest or get bored—compared to doing the same circuits at the gym three days a week.
CFF workouts are rarely more than forty-five minutes long, and this time frame can fit into even the busiest of schedules. And rest assured, the results are inspiring. Amanda says, “We have clients in their sixties that are getting taller because their bones are getting stronger. Several members have reduced their body fat by ten percent in as little as twelve weeks—while doing our WODs (warm-ups and practicing a skill) four times a week, and cleaning up their eating.” Amanda also proudly points out that plenty of women in their forties are doing pull-ups and handstand push-ups—things they’ve never done before. “And our teenagers are getting more powerful and faster.”
The average age of CFF clientele is thirty-nine, and their top performers are between thirty-eight and forty-five years old. However, they do have fourteen-year-olds in their classes, alongside sixty-nine-year-olds.
Amanda and David believe that everyone has to start from the beginning, but also that everyone has an “inner” athlete. “Don’t look at CrossFit as a competition against others but rather a competition against yourself and the clock,” she emphasizes. “Don’t be too proud.” That being said, she adds, “And you are what you eat—your performance will tell us if you’ve been eating poorly.”
Eventually, you will start creating and overcoming “personal bests” at CFF. The workout is not only addictive, but becomes a part of your life. There’s even a CrossFit Olympics! The CrossFit community is definitely in love with pushing limits and alternative fitness—to the extent that it’s often worth a roadtrip. CFF clients come from all over the tri-state area, the furthest being Hedgesville (WV), which is approximately fifty-one minutes from the gym. Amanda adds, “Our clients travel to train with us because they know that we care and that we want them to become better athletes. We also take a personal interest in their lives. It’s important to know your clients, so that you know their stressors and how to help combat that stress. Physical strength gives us mental strength, and most of our challenges effect our minds before our bodies.”
Amanda and Dave are extremely knowledgeable, with over twenty-five years combined experience in fitness. Amanda demands diligence, and expects nothing more from her clients than she is not willing to give herself. Dave expects his clients to stop making excuses and give all they can with each WOD. Clinton Holley, a client who has been with CFF for three years, maintains, “Amanda is supportive and motivating. Jason is intense. Sean is encouraging. Craig is specific. Dave is knowledgeable, driven, and precise.” (Jason, Sean, and Craig are assistant coaches.)
“We believe in teaching our clients to feel the correct movement, instead of relying on looking in the mirror,” explains Amanda. “We also want them to realize self-worth and achieve increased self-confidence. We laugh and always talk about how the stronger you are, the harder it is for us to kill you.”
CrossFit Frederick offers one-hour classes where clients will do a warm-up, a WOD, and finally a post-WOD (which includes skill work) and stretching. They also keep spreadsheets for all clients, and use them to track attendance, monitor progress, and encourage excellence. “All of the classes are led by Dave or myself,” says Amanda, “and a couple times a week, one of our assistant coaches. We don’t workout with the class. We tell our clients how it is, and people either love us or hate us. We do not blow smoke and don’t believe in it. The great thing is that our clients can be honest with us, as well. The truth hurts sometimes, but without it, we would never grow.”
So I have to sum it up with a very real truth: CrossFit was F.U.N. And I’m so happy that CFF is now offering class cards, so I can add it to my routine. You can get a 20-session drop-in pass for classes, for $350—which breaks down to $17.50 a class, instead of $25 per class.
Want to try out a FREE class before you commit? Take your first class for free with an appointment. Call 240.436.6082 or email to schedule.
Pretty sweet, if you ask me.
— For more information (and to get a head start on your inevitable New Year’s resolutions), check out CrossFit Frederick, located in the center of Monocacy Business Park, off Route 85/Buckeystown Pike, in Frederick, MD. You can also find them on Facebook.
—Check out the entire CrossFit Frederick photoshoot on the YEP Flickr page.