Going Inside The World Of Crossfit (Transcript) | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

Transcripts

Going Inside The World Of 'Crossfit'

MS. REBECCA SHEIR

00:00:03
All right. So we're about halfway through the show about commitment and one thing that can be really hard to commit to is working out. And the workout we'll hear about next is in a word, a beast. It's called Crossfit and with dozens of Crossfit gyms popping up around the region, Emily Friedman decided to get the firsthand skinny on this fast and furious fitness program.

MS. EMILY FRIEDMAN

00:00:26
As a new recruit at Crossfit D.C., it's time to gear up for my first burpee.

MR. TOM BROES

00:00:32
Let's get you moving, let's go. Let's do it.

FRIEDMAN

00:00:34
All right, all right.

BROES

00:00:35
Reach your hands down to the floor, jump your legs back. Chest down, all right, come up. Jump your feet forward. Jump and clap overhead. There you go. All right, walk yourself into. The first one's hard all right. And down, good.

FRIEDMAN

00:00:48
Tom Broes (sp?) the Crossfit trainer is helping me count as we do as many burpees as we can in one minute.

BROES

00:00:54
All right, so pace yourself. That one didn't count, but it's okay.

FRIEDMAN

00:00:58
Why didn't it count?

BROES

00:01:00
You didn't do the pushup.

FRIEDMAN

00:01:02
My God.

BROES

00:01:02
It only takes three minutes to get a sense of what we're talking about now.

FRIEDMAN

00:01:06
Broes describes Crossfit as constantly varied high-intensity functional movement. The idea is that you're building strength by doing movements you might actually do in real life. Broes started teaching in DuPont Circle seven years ago and at that time, there were only 12 studios like his in the world. Now, there are 4,000.

BROES

00:01:27
Three, two, one. Rotate onto your jump ropes.

MR. DANIEL SAMEROFF

00:01:33
I have seen huge results.

FRIEDMAN

00:01:35
This is Daniel Sameroff (sp?) . He's been doing Crossfit workout for about six years and though he was always athletic, he says this is a whole new level of fitness.

SAMEROFF

00:01:45
I swam my whole life. I swam D-1 in college, but I am in much better shape than I was as a collegiate athlete.

BROES

00:01:52
Three, two, one, switch. You're back on the wall though.

FRIEDMAN

00:01:57
We rotate to the next exercise with just a moment of rest.

BROES

00:02:00
You know, it's not about like, I can feel the burn in my bicep. It's like I have to keep pushing through the mental barrier and keep working every bit of my body.

FRIEDMAN

00:02:09
No matter if it's your first class like me or your 500th, you're supposed to be feeling the same level of intensity. Dan, the swimmer, for example, might use 100 pound weight to the feel the burn while I might use a 10 pound weight. But the point is we both feel the burn. And in order to do this regularly, you're also going to burn through a lot of cash. Crossfit gym memberships cost between $150 and $200 a month, which is double, maybe triple, the cost of a traditional gym.

BROES

00:02:41
And spider lunge, 10 scorpions.

FRIEDMAN

00:02:42
But why? Why push yourself so hard and pay so much to do it? That's what I asked Leslie Nolen, who, as president of the Radial Group, studies trends in health and fitness.

MS. LESLIE NOLEN

00:02:56
If you consider the fact that demographically the population within the United States is aging, you've got more and more people that are in their late 30s and their 40s, even in their early 50s who are really interested in understanding have I have done everything I can do, have I pushed myself to the point where I've really maximized my own abilities and my own physical talents.

FRIEDMAN

00:03:18
That's why Crossfit, Nolen says, is so appealing. Ben Venaires (sp?) started Crossfit classes three years ago and came home raving to his fiancée, Mary-Katherine Starr. Starr is a yoga teacher and says Crossfit is yoga's perfect counterbalance.

MS. MARY-KATHERINE STARR

00:03:33
It gives me a strength aspect that I don't get in the same way from yoga.

FRIEDMAN

00:03:36
Unlike most gyms, Starr says, no one is casually pedaling a bike and reading the latest "US Weekly." Pushing this hard in a workout gets results, Ben says, and a strong following.

MR. BEN VENAIRES

00:03:47
I think it will stay because it works. It's like yoga has been enduring for thousands of years because it works.

STARR

00:03:55
Unless something crazier comes along, then I don't think it's going anywhere.

STARR

00:03:58
Tom, you're killing me.

FRIEDMAN

00:04:00
The group is finishing up the work and almost everyone has a look on their face like they just survived a near-death experience.

MS. KATIE CHASE

00:04:08
My shoulders are on fire.

FRIEDMAN

00:04:09
How are you feeling?

MS. ERIN CARDIN

00:04:11
A little bit nauseous, but fantastic because I finished it and it was hard, but I did it.

FRIEDMAN

00:04:17
This is Katie Chase and Erin Cardin. As we cool down, I ask Katie and Erin to explain why they come to Crossfit. They say it makes them stronger and leaner, but mostly it's the community. Tom Broes, the trainer, agrees and says Crossfit does breed a certain fierce dedication.

BROES

00:04:35
We don't have that many ambivalent Crossfitters. I don't think such a thing really exists.

FRIEDMAN

00:04:40
Crossfit the company has grown nearly 40 percent per year since 2005 and around the company certifies roughly 300 Crossfit trainers each weekend. It's a trend building with an intensity not unlike what would you see in any Crossfit gym.

BROES

00:04:58
Chest down.

FRIEDMAN

00:04:58
I'm Emily Friedman.

SHEIR

00:05:11
Do you have a particularly intense devotion to a workout routine? If so, we want to hear your story. Send an email to metro@wamu.org or go to our website, metroconnection.org and click the email link.

SHEIR

00:05:26
Up next, committing to a near forgotten island with a little help from some friends.

MR. DANIEL CONNER

00:05:31
With the thriving Bluegrass community here in D.C., we see it as a way to lure folks out to the Anacostia River and Kingman Island and show them what a gem it is.

SHEIR

00:05:41
It's coming your way on "Metro Connection," on WAMU 88.5.
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