Timed Intensity

Simply put, “CrossFit will change your life,” says Breck Berry, owner and manager of CrossFit Jenks.

As a professional fitness instructor, Berry heard about CrossFit from a family member and decided to give it a try.

“I was humbled,” he says. “I thought I was in great shape.”

According to Emily Smith, co-owner of 918 CrossFit, it’s the high intensity aspect of the workout that sets CrossFit apart from other programs. The CrossFit philosophy is to do more in less time to get you fitter faster.

“CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program based on constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity,” says Smith. “The primary way we bring this intensity to any and all workouts is by adding a time element. In a CrossFit class you are always on the clock.”

For instance, Smith shares that if you ask a CrossFit athlete to do 100 squats, they know it will take approximately one minute and 45 seconds, and they will try to beat that time whenever they perform the task. CrossFit helps its students prepare for life’s demands from carrying in groceries, running after children and yard work to more specialized needs of law enforcement, fire protection and other first responder duties.

“CrossFit is unique in that it prepares people to perform well at any and every task. I believe people are beginning to understand the meaning of total fitness,” says Smith. “Specializing in one area can be limiting.”

Most importantly, Smith emphasizes that it’s addicting – a sentiment Berry shares.

Immediately hooked after experiencing CrossFit, Berry not only opened his own gym but he has also competed for several years in The CrossFit Games where he placed second at both the 2009 and 2010 CrossFit Games Southwest Regional Qualifiers and often places nationally in the top 20.

Feel intimidated? Don’t be. Both Berry and Smith stress that the CrossFit program can fit any fitness level – and the biggest decision is to try it.

“We have members of all ages, from 18 to 65, and all fitness levels,” says Smith. “Our goal is to assist them in achieving their highest potential as they grow to become confident individuals with a healthy lifestyle approach.”

But she would prefer that you don’t take her word for it – and instead hear from current CrossFitters.

Joe Bickford, a police officer and SWAT member, praises CrossFit for better preparing him for the physical demands of his job.

“Last year I reached two milestones in my physical fitness regime, I completed a marathon and bench pressed over 330 pounds,” says Bickford. “However, the last few months of training at 918 CrossFit made me realize that there’s a whole other world of physical fitness that my previous training left me unprepared for. Whether it’s a foot pursuit, fight, or a six hour SWAT activation, lugging around 50 pounds of gear and weapons, I know that my training now better reflects my real world physical demands.”

CrossFit Sample Workout

The following was a recent workout at CrossFit Jenks. Workouts at the gym vary daily.

1 Mile Run

100 Pull-ups

200 Push-ups

300 Squats

1 Mile Run

Partition the pull-ups, push-ups and squats as needed. Start and finish with a mile run. If you’ve got a 20-pound vest or body armor, wear it.