CrossFit workouts offer another type of fitness program

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Orlen Grunewald, emaritus professor of agricultural economics, works out with the K-State CrossFit team at the Natatorium on Feb. 18, 2015. (George Walker | The Collegian)

CrossFit is the workout regimen with a goal to optimize fitness in a broad and inclusive way, designed for any age and agility level. According to its website, CrossFit’s “specialty is not specializing.”

K-State CrossFit follows the same principles as the national program. Christian Larson, kinesiology professor and CrossFit trainer, said all you have to do is walk into a K-State CrossFit program, housed in Natatorium 4, to see that what level you fit into, and you’ll be welcomed and included.

According to K-State CrossFit’s website, CrossFit combines skills such as cardio, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination and balance.

To Larson, an individual’s goals are the most important aspect of any physical training. Specifically, he said it depends on what you’re looking for to determine if CrossFit is right for you. Just as running isn’t the ideal training for someone looking to get stronger, if you’re looking to compete in powerlifting, CrossFit isn’t for you.

“If someone wants to become broadly adapted in strength, power and aerobic endurance, CrossFit might be a good fit,” Larson said.

As someone who believes physical activity improves lives, Larson said he’s for anything that helps people become more physically active.

Another benefit of the CrossFit program, especially at K-State, is the quality of coaches. According to Larson, the program’s trainers are skilled and knowledgeable, and hold doctorates and masters in kinesiology, as well as certifications in CrossFit, TRX military instruction and other training programs.

K-State CrossFit is very intertwined with K-State and its kinesiology program. The space is shared with the Functional Intensity Lab of Katie Heinrich, assistant professor of kinesiology. The lab recently received a grant to evaluate the current Army Physical training methodology with CrossFit training, according to Larson.

Jake Frye, senior in nutrition and kinesiology, is K-State’s CrossFit Club president. As someone who previously loved to lift weights and hated cardio, Frye found that CrossFit is one of the most fun and rewarding ways to exercise. He said that the constant variation keeps it from getting boring, and he’s gotten both stronger and better with endurance activities than before he participated in CrossFit.

Haley Pitko, junior in nutrition and kinesiology, said she’s never done a CrossFit program, but added that it seems like a good mix between endurance and strength.

“I have heard a lot of good things about and I definitely want to try it one day,” Pitko said.

One reason Frye enjoys CrossFit is that the workouts are typically done in a group setting. Frye said though that it doesn’t have to be done in a group, and it’s not like your typical Zumba group class; it really forms a community, and a group of friends is a totally different feeling than a group of strangers.

To Frye, the biggest problem he sees with CrossFit is people’s attitudes.

“People aren’t willing to find out what the mindset is behind the programming and it’s philosophy on fitness, due to negative connotations placed on CrossFit by other people in the community,” Frye said.

Those willing to push past those connotations, and pay up to $80 a month, can find that K-State CrossFit is open to the entire Manhattan community every Saturday at 10 a.m. in Natatorium 4.

“Take a friend with you,” Frye said. “Who knows, you may even have a little fun while you work out.”

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