The gym’s atmosphere is electric, energetic and in a state of constant movement as participants race from exercise to exercise against the clock. This is CrossFit and it has people moving, motivating and pushing the limits of their physical abilities in Bismarck-Mandan and across the globe.
“CrossFit is constantly varied, functional exercise performed at high-intensity and scaled to skill and ability,” says Brian Reinke who, along with his wife Kim, owns CrossFit Bismarck. “We scale workouts and make them absolutely as safe as we can, because technique is our focus. We coach our participants through every workout.”
Participants enter the gym where their daily workout is written on a large whiteboard. The workouts are provided by the main CrossFit website, www.crossfit.com, and are modified according to the gym’s resources and equipment, notes Reinke. The daily workouts are an endless combination of exercises ranging from pushups and sit ups to dead lifts and rope climbs. After an initial warm-up and practice of the day’s skills, the clock starts ticking and the workout begins.
“You do the workout at your own pace, but you are with a group and that keeps you going,” says Reinke, adding the key to CrossFit is that every workout is different. “Your body never knows what it is going to be doing.”
“We take everyone above and beyond what they think they can do. Participants set goals and smash them,” he continues. “We are working to develop an incredibly fit community.”
In 2007, Reinke was working as a personal trainer when a client showed him the CrossFit website and workout videos. “I was fascinated,” he says. “What I saw totally blew me away. I tried a workout the next day and was devastated at how poorly I did.”
He started studying the workout’s techniques and showing a few clients what he was learning. “It was so fun and so hard. We were learning there really was no limit to what we could accomplish.”
As interest in CrossFit grew among his clients, so did the need for a space to teach the classes. “I decided I had to bring this to other people and I opened a small shop. In early September, we opened up our new shop with triple the floor space and more equipment.”
CrossFit Bismarck is open six days a week, often offering seven classes a day during weekdays as well as class opportunities one day each weekend. “We also have open gym over the noon hour and modify our workouts to accommodate the lunch hour group,” says Reinke.
Along with running CrossFit Bismarck, Reinke is also a firefighter. “On days when I am not at the fire station, I am usually at CrossFit from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.,” he says. “I wouldn’t have it any other way. CrossFit is unique, it’s hard, it’s incredibly rewarding and it is a lot of fun.”
Cathy Fuller began participating in CrossFit in October 2011 and says it has changed her idea of fitness. “I turned 40 last year and I needed a change in my workout routine. I stepped into CrossFit and the rest is history,” she says.
Fuller has lost 30 pounds and says she has experienced many other benefits. “It’s given me a lot of confidence to try things I would have never tried and to be pushed out of my comfort zone and know everything will okay. It has just changed my frame of mind.”
The group setting of the workouts is a component Fuller says is important to her CrossFit success. “The camaraderie is incredible and I’ve met the most amazing people here. If you are competitive, you will try to beat people with your workout time; but yet, you are cheering each other on during your workout.”
Another appeal of CrossFit includes the fast pace of both its workouts and results, says Kayla Haugen, an avid athlete at CrossFit Bismarck who also helps coach classes. “Many people these days want things fast,” she notes. “Right here you can get fast results. Within the first week, you will see changes in your body.”
Because CrossFit workouts race the clock, they are designed to be shorter than conventional workouts, says Haugen, adding most participants are finished in less than 30 minutes.
“Each workout actually builds on the other workouts,” says Callie Bjork, a certified coach at CrossFit Bismarck. “They are all working together to increase your movement and strength. Workouts are geared at functional movement, strengthening the muscles you use every day.”
Both trainers say the variety in the workouts helps to keep participants excited about CrossFit. “Sometimes you get in a rut at the gym, but that doesn’t happen here,” says Haugen.
“We never have anyone walk in and leave bored,” adds Bjork. “It’s fun to experience that increase in your strength, conditioning and confidence, and it’s fun to have great people to work out with.”
CrossFit is open to all abilities, and Fuller encourages everyone to try it regardless of their fitness level. “That first day you come in is the hardest day,” she says. “You may feel intimidated, but everyone has been through it and they are so supportive.”
CrossFit is much more than just an intense workout, adds Reinke. “What we build in CrossFit is a community. There is incredibly bonding amongst blood, sweat and tears, and it is happening all over the world.”
First-time participants receive a free first lesson and baseline workout. New clients then start with Foundations, a series of four foundational movements classes led by a certified CrossFit coach. This is a one-time cost of $150.
After completing Foundations, clients receive a free week of workouts and then pick a membership option: three workouts a week for $99 per month, an unlimited visits membership for $119 per month, or a frequent visitor punch card at $50 for five visits.
Discounts are available for married couples, multiple family members, military, firefighters, law enforcement officers and students.
CrossFit Bismarck is located at 1422 Industrial Drive, Suite B. For additional information visit www.crossfitbismarck.com or call 751-3210.
Kylie Blanchard is a local writer who loved her CrossFit workout experience and definitely felt it the next day!