What is CrossFit?
CrossFit is many things. Primarily, it’s a fitness regimen developed by Coach Greg Glassman over several decades. He was the first person in history to define fitness in a meaningful, measurable way (increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains). CrossFit itself is defined as that which optimizes fitness (constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity). CrossFit is also the community that spontaneously arises when people do these workouts together. In fact, the communal aspect of CrossFit is a key component of why it’s so effective.
CrossFit delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist.
Am I even able to do CrossFit? Because it looks intimidating.
YES! One of the beauties of CrossFit is we can tailor any movement to meet your current level of fitness. Regardless of your ability and age you can succeed at CrossFit. You will never be asked to do anything outside your ability nor left to fend for yourself. Every new member will talk to Coach Chappie about your health history, sport history, and your short and long term goals so that he may help you reach them. Don't just take our word for it, come on in and talk with current members about their CrossFit travels thus far. They would be happy to detail their personal experiences.
Why are you better than my commercial gym?
The business model for most commercial/gobal gyms is they want to sign up as many members as possible and hope most will never come in nor cancel their cheap membership. You may get a tour of the gym. You may get a quick overview of the equipment with an employee or if you're lucky a trainer. But, you’re on your own after that. They aren’t there to coach you in any way shape or form unless you decide to sign up for personal training at a significant cost.
At ARC, we believe in earning your loyalty day after day. Every class is led by a certified CrossFit coach who will teach you each movement, scale the movements to your personal ability, ensure your movements are safe, and be a constant motivator. In turn you will greatly decrease your risk for injury and increase your overall performance.
With just a couple exercise exceptions, CrossFit is based on "functional" movements for every day life. CrossFit was developed to make you good at every exercise and aspect of sport instead of great at just one.
On a side note...Mike Douglas is Owner/Trainer at Alpine Fitness here in our community and an exception to the global gym. He is an excellent trainer and runs a stong business. He does not offer CrossFit, but does offer excellent personal training, especially sport specific body building and fitness modeling. He also has an amazing health food kitchen.
Why don't I just get a personal trainer?
CrossFit is meant to improve YOUR personal fitness goals. If you're training to be a triathlete to a fitness model or anything in between, CrossFit alone is not going to make you a champion. You will need personal training with a sport specific trainer. However, the average person going to a commercial gym will pay a substantial amount more for a personal trainer than joining CrossFit. Lets play it safe and say you can find a personal trainer for $25 a session (Most cost $40 or more). $25 x 3 days per week x 4 weeks=$300 per month! Also, you most-likely will not get the camaraderie, competitive push, and/or the support that you’ll feel working with others in a group setting. At ARC, if you finish the WOD first, you’re still expected to support everyone else that is still working. So, when you’re done, you’re not really done!
If you do not feel comfortable in a group setting ARC does provide one on one training. Do you have a specific friend or family member you want to train with? ARC can make time to help coach both of you during personal sessions. Email or call Coach Chappie to discuss your options and prices.
What can I expect on my first day, week, month?
23 years ago, as a recruit with the San Diego Police Department, day one phase one with my Field Training Officer was the scariest day of my life. I had to go through six phases totaling eighteen weeks. You think I didn't fall down a few times? It was the mental aspect to tell myself to get back up, learn from my trainer and push to be the best I can be. Same goes for CrossFit. You will be in phase training for many weeks regardless of your current fitness level. Some of the advanced techniques are humbling and can take months to master. The hardest part for most is to be patient. One week in CrossFit isn't going to instantly make you an eliteist. This is why we are here every day to help guide you to acheive your goals while also keeping you humble.
Day #1 and each day thereafter you can expect to see members at all levels of fitness. Some stonger and faster than you and some not. Expect to start with introductory classes called Foundations. These are small group or private classes that teach you the basics of CrossFit in a low-intensity environment (See Foundations Course for details). Once you join the regulary scheduled classes you will receive a warm welcoming from everyone, a defined warm up, a walk through of the individual exercises in the WOD (Workout of the Day), a scaling of the WOD for those who need it, and all your questions answered before go time. Then, when the WOD begins and throughout the course of the WOD, a coach will be there to give you constructive cues. When finished, everyone will help clean up the equipment used and congratulate each other on a job well done. You will then perform prescribed mobility and stretching.
Expect to never see the same WOD for a very long time if ever again. Your WOD's will be ever changing and you will not know what the WOD is before you come. You will quickly love to hate this aspect of CrossFit. Most CrossFit gyms post their WOD's on their website first thing in the morning. Here at ARC we do not. Why? Because I remember being a new CrossFitter and checking the websites before my afternoon session and mentally intimidating myself to not come in based soley on the WOD. Getting off the couch and showing up is priority #1.
Depending on your fitness level and intensity your muscles may be quite sore the next day. You're going to be using muscles you never knew you had while learning "proper & functional" ways to do excercises you thought you were doing proper & functional your whole life. Do not let this be a discouraging factor. Be proud of what you have accomplished and come back for more. Only after a continuous regimine will you begin to see results, which will make you strive for that muscle soreness. As an example, my wife could not do one push up or one pull up before starting CrossFit. Her entire body was fairly sore her entire first month. However, within eight months, she was doing '28' push ups and '5' strict pull ups.
Words to live by-
"The reason why most people give up is because they tend to look at how far they still have to go
instead of how far they have come!"
Why Alpine Ranch CrossFit as opposed to other CrossFit gyms?
I truly believe CrossFit is a community. Each individual needs to find their own happiness within this community. I believe ARC is an exemplary balance of fitness and family to make you happy and healthy day after day. Our coaches have gone above and beyond in our own training to present you with safe, effective and highly skilled training. After receiving my CFL1 I conducted training with a core group of individuals for two years. During this time, every member had excellent gains in fitness and strength.
Coach Chappie, Coach Arlene & Coach Lisa will continue to better themselves as athletes and as coaches. They will always pass on all the best learned skills to you.Take the time to read the testimonials and I encourage you to come to a class and ask questions of any of our athletes.
Also, where else can you go and be inspired by a coach and fellow athletes who have overcome tragic life changing events? To show you anything is possible if you just get up, dust yourself off and put forth your best effort. ARC works directly with Challenged Athlete's Foundation to provide classes and clinics for adaptive athletes in San Diego County. I encourage you to attend and support these classes.
Finally, you will always find us supporting our local community and community members. Whether an occasional booth at an event inviting people to be healthier or fundraising in support of a community member in need.
Can I come in and see what Alpine Ranch CrossFit is all about without signing up or paying a fee?
Absolutely! We encourage you to come in and just watch and speak with our coaches and athletes. Just call or email Coach Chappie and let him know you'll be coming in.
There are tons of commercial gyms and fitness franchises, but CrossFit is the only one I consistently hear being described as a cult. Why?
CrossFit gyms are more of a communal fitness experience. Regularly interacting with members and coaches is implicit in the format, which naturally lends itself to forging meaningful relationships with those who share an interest in training. Because of its fast growing popularity around the globe, endless potential for progression, popularity of high-level CrossFit competitive athletes, and the butt kicking WOD’s completely outside the norm you’ve ever experianced, people can get really into CrossFit. I would say some CrossFitters are cultish in the same way a Star Trek “Trekkie” might be considered part of a cult. CrossFit is NOT a cult…it’s a lifestyle. You will quickly love to hate it.
One of the major criticisms is that CrossFit is too aggressive. People say it’s too easy to do the moves incorrectly, get hurt, or worse, get this scary disease called Rhabdomyolysis. Thoughts?
How your CrossFit program is run will determine how safe it is for you. A good coach won’t let you move faster than you can organize or let you lift more than you can handle, so it’s important to shop around and find someone you trust. Because of the inclusion of higher-skill movements relative to traditional fitness programs, it’s important to start slow, build up your mechanics, and gradually begin to increase your intensity. Starting slow and listening to your body is most important. Regardless of how competent a coach is at teaching a movement or sport, the reality is movement practices have injury profiles associated with them. No matter what physical activity you select, even something as seemingly benign as jogging or yoga, there’s always a risk.
Rhabdomyolysis is a serious syndrome due to a direct or indirect muscle injury and is relative across every physical sport. It is NOT a CrossFit specific injury/condition. It results from the death of muscle fibers and release of their contents into the bloodstream. This can lead to complications such as kidney failure. This occurs when the kidneys cannot remove waste and concentrated urine. In rare cases, rhabdomyolysis can even cause death. However, prompt treatment often brings a good outcome.
Signs and symptoms include-
Muscle pain, especially in the shoulders, thighs or lower back
Muscle weakness or trouble moving arms or legs
Nausea or vomiting
Fever, rapid heart rate
Confusion, dehydration, fever, or lack of consciousness
Dark red or brown urine; reduced or no urine output
People most at risk would be individuals who jump into a high-volume, poorly programmed workout at 100% intensity trying to show off or keep up with experienced athletes. Dehydration, heat, and alcohol in the system also contribute to Rhabdo. It’s bad news and nobody wants it, especially us here at ARC. Luckily, while it is very serious, it’s not very common and easy to avoid if you listen to your body and communicate to our ARC coaches what you're feeling.
Why do I hear about people thowing up after a CrossFit WOD?
A likely cause of vomiting during intense exercise is lack of preparation. If you have an improper warm-up and don’t gradually build up to the exercise, your body will have a violent response. At certain points of training you may feel nauseated, but this doesn't mean you have to continue to push through and throw up. Most importantly try to manage what you have in your system before a WOD. Most people vomit because they drink a massive Starbucks coffee or eat a breakfast burrito before doing an intensified training class.
For myself I am careful to never push myself beyond the red line. I try to be very aware of where that line is and when I can’t do any more work. For some, competition takes over and their desire to beat others forces them to go beyond their limits. It is imperative for you to learn to listen to your body and not be afraid or embarrassed to just stop. Trust me, during the WOD's there will be times you need to relax, take a few deep breaths, get a drink of water and then scale your workout. No one at ARC, coaches or athletes, will every make you feel embarrassed or uncomfortable for taking a break. However, they will encourage you to get back into the game as soon as you feel recovered enough to do so.