There are so many fun ways to get in shape these days. If you’re unimpressed by traditional gyms, you might want to explore CrossFit. You’ve probably heard about it before — CrossFit enthusiasts tend to be a passionate group. But what is it all about? CrossFit is a branded fitness regime that was created by Greg Glassman in 2000. It is a physical exercise philosophy built on functional strength training with a strong community dynamic. The idea is to constantly challenge yourself and never get used to a routine by completing WODs
(Workouts of the Day). CrossFit has grown in popularity in a relatively short period of time, with CrossFit gyms popping up all over North America. CrossFit Metric (756 Mount Pleasant Road) is owned and operated by Julian Hankey. We spoke with Julian about his fitness facility and he got us pumped about CrossFit.
So Julian, what is CrossFit, and why have you dedicated your gym to this type of fitness training?
CrossFit is about motivating people to improve themselves — both emotionally and physically — using a community dynamic to accomplish that goal.
We found that people will accomplish a lot more when they are working together, as opposed to training on their own. Se we really liked the methodology and also, it’s a great business model, so we kind of get to kill two birds with one stone.
Can you tell us what age range you generally attract at your facility?
It ranges widely, but I’d say the largest cohort would be between the ages of 20 to 35. And then we have some younger people — as young as 9 years of age! We also have high school students that work out here as well. And then on the other end of the age spectrum we have people as old as 72…those are the outliers.
Sounds like a great cross section! We noticed your gym features two class types. Please explain the difference between your Fitness and Performance Classes?
The Fitness Class is where people should get started if they have no prior experience doing CrossFit. If the idea of doing CrossFit seems intimidating to you and you have no prior experience with barbell movement or advanced bodyweight movement, or you’re just starting your fitness journey, you want to start with the Fitness Class. All the functional movements are coached from the ground up. The coach’s expectation is that you’re there to learn. You have no prior experience with those movements. In essence, it’s still a great workout. You’re still going to be pushed to your limit, which is the path to fitness, but you’re going to be coached, you’re going to learn a lot in a safe way.
The Performance Class is geared toward people who have some prior experience with the barbell movement, as well as maybe even prior experience with CrossFit. Therefore, it’s more advanced. It’s true to what most people think of when they think of CrossFit — the movements they’ve seen, that’s what you will typically see in our Performance Class.
It’s great that you cater to both groups! How is Crossfit Metric different from other Crossfit gyms in the city?
I think the quality of our coaching is among the highest in the city, if not the country. Even on a world-wide, international basis, I think our coaches are among the best. They are professionals, in the sense that this is where their passion lies. This is their career. They’re not in the midst of trying to figure out what to do next. This is what they do for a living and it’s what they plan to do for a living for the foreseeable future. And they make a good living here. So what that breeds is better instruction — people who really care about results. Stability within the coaching staff helps build a stronger community. And then, I would say the second thing is that we’re really focused on achieving excellence. In terms of both people’s attitudes towards themselves and towards fitness and trying to improve themselves on an ongoing basis. That is just a part of the culture here.
Sounds like an incredible community dynamic! Very different from a traditional gym where you go and work out on your own in isolation. Do the coaches have a specific certification?
Yes. The basic standard that you need to have if you call yourself a CrossFit coach — all the coaches that teach classes that are named CrossFit, need to have their Level 1. And that is stipulated with the agreement that we have signed with the headquarters of CrossFit. So, all the coaches have CrossFit Level 1 Certification. And then beyond that, most of the coaches, if not all of the coaches, have additional industry certification. Sometimes people have Kinesiology degrees or, at least, they’ve spent a lot of time on the various industry-related courses that cover things like anatomy, program design, mobility and strength training.
Thanks for speaking with us, Justin! Your gym sounds like a great local fitness option.
If you’re ready to try something new and push yourself to constantly improve your fitness, CrossFit may be just what you are looking for. With CrossFit Metric’s Fitness classes for absolute beginners, getting started is simple — but don’t expect it to be easy! The community dynamic can help keep you disciplined and motivated.
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