By Kristen Carmona
Power. Strength. Endurance. Agility.
These are just a few words people use to describe CrossFit, a fitness regimen growing in popularity in Central Texas and across the country.
CrossFit classes optimize fitness with constant variations of functional movements at a high intensity. The classes are community-based and participating athletes support and motivate each other. The structure of the program helps people get to their full fitness potential at an extremely fast pace, thanks to the relationships that develop within the class.
“You get in shape so fast because your buddies won’t let you quit,” said Ben Eseroma, owner of CrossFit Beyond Limits in Killeen.
Erin Carter is a CrossFit success story. The 38-year-old military wife started CrossFit in 2004 and recently competed in her third CrossFit games, the South Central Regional in San Antonio. She trained three times a day for eight months to prepare for the games.
“I wanted to see what my body could do and I did what it took to make it happen,” Carter said.
Eseroma is passionate about getting people into a healthy lifestyle and loves to see the friendships that develop in his gym every day. He trains athletes from ages 9 to 62.
As a retired veteran, Eseroma said training other veterans, including disabled veterans, hits close to home for him. He also focuses on using CrossFit to serve the community whenever possible.
Josh Brown, the owner of CrossFit Cataclysm at Field House Gym in Harker Heights, was formerly a coach for several different types of group exercises such as P90X and Insanity. When he discovered CrossFit he was amazed at how it improved his own fitness level.
“CrossFit gives you the ability to push yourself past limits you may be stuck at,” Brown said. “It gives you the ability to be healthier and it has everything to do with the camaraderie that is developed among the athletes in the class.”
Eseroma and Brown said there is a science behind CrossFit programming, with each day structured to be the most beneficial to the workout. CrossFit in general uses a WOD — Workout of the Day — which is written on a white board in the gym and changes daily. The class starts with a warm-up, moves into a strength skill and then to the WOD to get the heart rate up. The workout ends with a cool-down to avoid injury.
People are surprised when they walk into a CrossFit gym and see the minimal equipment used, Brown said.
“Some days we use no equipment at all, but with the structure of the program and exercises you get a high-intensity workout using only your body weight.”
Brown is confident that CrossFit will continue to grow at the current rapid pace because of the results that come from it. Case in point: CrossFit Games Open, a five-week, online, worldwide qualifier for the CrossFit Games — a competition to find the “Fittest on Earth.”
“In 2007 there was only a handful of people in a field in California watching each other compete,” Brown said. “This year at the CrossFit Games Open there were over 190,000 people registered.”