The Next Level Of Fitness in Sault Ste. Marie

Abs Jimmy: Hey, man.  Whatchu trainin' today?
Marty: It's Monday. Chest and tris.
Jimmy: Me too.  Whatcha benchin'?
Marty: 215.  I'm just maintainin' right now.
Jimmy: Yeah, me too. My weight is down.  I was up to 210 a year ago, and I was benchin' about 300 then.
Marty: My weight is down too.  I hit about 310 last year.

There's gotta be something more.

In fitness, there are very few sunsets to ride off into.  There's the competitive bodybuilding aspect, of course; but that's reserved for a small niche market who don't mind forgoing joy, friends, and social life in pursuit of the aesthetic.

There's powerlifting (which I love,) and if you can find an event nearby, you're laughing.  We go into Kinross Prison twice a year.  But a lot of folks really appreciate the LOOK that follows fitness, and – well, that's hard to maintain while powerlifting.

Oly lifting There's Olympic Lifting (clean and jerk, snatch) – but no, there's not.  Banned in every gym but ours; hard to find local events.

There's running, of course, but everyone now knows it's not nearly enough. Sure, it's fun.  If you're into it.  Yes, you can race.  But not forever. And running doesn't give you much balance, does it?  Even Runner's World (cheerfully handing out the exact same advice since the 1970s) acknowledges the need for variety.

There's Strongman – well, only at our Gym.

Chris-stroud-at-2008-crossfit-games All that's left is "just maintainin'."  Until last year, when we brought CrossFit, the "Sport of Fitness" to Sault Ste. Marie.  And a sport it is:  take today's workout, "Cindy."  It's a circuit of 5 pullups, 10 pushups, and 15 squats, done as many times as possible in 20 minutes.  Simple, brutal, and competitive.  I was graced with the attendance of Simon and Sarah, two new CrossFitters, this morning, and did the workout with them.  Simon and I did the WOD as prescribed, Sarah modified it to include pushups from the knees and prone pullups from the floor.  20 minutes later, only 1 round separated us.  There was chalk and sweat all over the floor; we gasped for breath and shook hands.  In what other workout would you find that?

Eva_photo Our gym is built like an arena; our exercisers are treated like athletes, though their skills vary widely.  We're friends before and after, combatants and coaches and cheerleaders during.  We do CrossFit, partly, for the same reason half the guys in the Sault play rec hockey: it's fun.  It's our thing, our commonality.  We don't have to win all the time, but it feels good to score a couple of goals on Tuesday night.

It's a game anyone can play, and the real beauty: there's no ceiling.  You can never get too strong or too fast.  If you're already elite at something, start bringing up another physical quality.  Yes, it's humbling to be bad at so much at first, but eventually, when your deadlift crests 450 and you can still see your abs and you're no longer scared of 800m repeats and you can bang off 30 pullups and etc.,etc.,etc……. it's glorious.

Start here

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