When the topic of gym – excuse me, fitness center – membership comes up, most people think of a high-tech operation with gleaming strength training equipment designed to help whittle the weight off the waist, while making patrons look fabulous in the process. Add luxurious locker rooms, towel service and nutrition consultants to complete the picture.
This image is so pervasive that many people compare gyms based on amenities, instead of what really matters; namely, the effectiveness of the workouts and the experience level of the fitness coaches. A focus on these essentials is what earns CrossFit a passionately loyal following.
Walk into one of CrossFit’s gyms and the first thing you might notice is an absence of high-tech machines, bright lights, and frigid air-conditioning. Instead, the no-nonsense gym focuses on what most people spend their hard-earned money on – getting a good workout. It’s the kind of gym that you can imagine Rocky Balboa working out in.
While some gyms offer what they call a “boot-camp experience,” they pale compared to a workout at CrossFit.
“Our specialty is not specializing,” says the company website. “Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist.” Scale and intensity change depending on individual capabilities, experience and physical limitations. But the program is the same for people at every level.
Owned by Santa Clara University graduate Jason Khalipa, CrossFit started in Santa Clara. Khalipa now operates two gyms: CrossFit Mountain View (CFMV) at 1280 La Avenida Drive in Mountain View, CrossFit Santa Clara (CFSC) at 1731 North 1st Street, in San Jose. Khalipa plans to move back to Santa Clara.
Both locations are converted office buildings. That makes for some imaginative adaptation. But Cross Fit members obviously don’t mind.
At CFSC, workouts spill into the parking lot as current members go through their routines. New members move from the upstairs to the parking lot as they go through a four-workout process to learn the movements used in the classes. In Mountain View, members finish workouts in the parking lot and run backwards into the gym to begin it all over again.
It’s not just the training regimen and the spare surroundings that set CrossFit apart. The sense of community, where members support and encourage each other, is central to CrossFit’s appeal. People push themselves and encourage each other to run faster, lift more and exceed their own expectations. Judging from CrossFit’s dedicated following, it appears to be a winning formula.
For more information visit kiathletics.com, or call CFSC at (408) 691-0430 and CFMV (408) 656-3135.