Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Powered by passion

CrossFit devotees swear by bare-bones workouts

  • Print
default video player to use on WFP

After playing football at the elite level for most of his life, Brad Sarna was surprised at the gap it left when it was over.

The University of Manitoba Bisons football team's starting quarterback when he graduated, Sarna began a career as a financial planner and searched for a replacement for that football rush.

When he discovered CrossFit in 2008, he took to it like pigskin on a football.

"It filled a big void for me as a competitive athlete. I had trained my whole football career and a few years out, the relative inactivity was catching up to me," said Sarna, 35, who became a CrossFit coach. In January, he and partners Brendan Sonnichsen and Kyle Wilzer opened CrossFit Sublime across from Kildonan Park. "It changed my life and the lives of a lot of people."

CrossFit is not just a fast-growing fitness furor, it is a brand.

The CrossFit name is owned by Greg Glassman, who developed the training system and opened the first CrossFit gym, or box as the facilities are called, in California in 1999. There are about 4,000 locations worldwide that are official affliates. Winnipeg now has six.

CrossFit can best be described as a workout where a variety of exercises is done at a high intensity during a short period of time. The workouts can be done individually or in a class setting. Coaches must be certified CrossFit trainers.

What makes CrossFit addictive and attractive is its philosophy that anyone can do it.

No machines, no complicated exercises and no fancy equipment. Sometimes CrossFitters use whatever is nearby, like doing box jumps on a park bench.

"Everything is body-weight- or free-weight-based. We use a lot of barbells, dumbbells, kettle balls, medicine balls. Moving our bodies through space is one of the most important things," said Sarna. "We run, we jump, we lift things. CrossFit is very much training for life. Be in shape for whatever your life is, saving someone from a burning building or carrying a toddler and a heavy bag of groceries."

Everyone joining a CrossFit box must first undergo a physical assessment to ensure safe and beneficial workouts.

"I needed a drastic change and CrossFit just filled that void," said Miguel Gauthier, 34, who lost 130 pounds since discovering CrossFit and training with CrossFit Winnipeg's Pascal Breton. "There's a community in there, everyone is so positive, the energy is so amazing. After you've done your workout, you feel so badass and at peace after."

The 6-3 Gauthier tipped the scale at 380 pounds before CrossFit.

"Four years ago, my weight was very high, I had Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol and my doctor wanted to put me on pills." said Gauthier. "Now, Type 2 diabetes is gone and my blood sugar is perfect, thanks to CrossFit."

With its international appeal, people can find a facility when they travel or do the "workout of the day" (WOD) posted daily at www.crossfit.com.

What started as a way of working out has morphed into a fierce international competition called the CrossFit Games, which ESPN televises.

The first level is the CrossFit Open where people perform the same workout while supervised by an accredited judge and submit results. The Open grew from 75,000 participants last year to 140,000 this year across the globe. The more elite advance to regionals and the international finals.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPAshleyPrest

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 8, 2013 D16

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Weather for final Fringing weekend

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 060710 The full moon rises above the prairie south of Winnipeg Monday evening.
  • A nesting goose sits on the roof of GoodLife Fitness at 143 Nature Way near Kenaston as the morning sun comes up Wednesday morning- See Bryksa’s Goose a Day Photo- Day 07- Web crop-May 09, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What should the city do with the 102-year-old Arlington Street bridge?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google