CrossFit is all about the movement, not the machines

1 Apr

Possibly the most ironic term in footwear is the “cross trainer.” A lot of people wear them, but nobody I know uses them to cross train. Well, if you’ve got a pair, here’s your chance to wear them — at CrossFit, Hood River.

CrossFit draws on gymnastics, weight training, interval aerobic activity to create a program designed to improve overall conditioning and strength. It emerged as a training regiment for special police and military forces. It’s been adapted to the general public. People of varying fitness levels work out together, but the load and intensity are adjusted up or down, depending on their abilities.

Just after the New Year, Jeri McMaster opened her training studio near the National Guard Armory. Now she’s moved a few blocks west down Belmont, behind Tim Foley Physical Therapy, at 1816 Belmont.

Compared to the other physical emporia in town — the Sports Club, Big Gym and Snap Fitness — this place looks absolutely spartan. It may be short on chrone, but it’s long on activity. A clear difference, then.

Beyond the visual absence of whiz-bang machines to work your quads, your hams, your glutes we have a high-ceilinged room with rubber mats on the floor, barbells, dumbells and some gymnastic equipment. Sometimes you move external weight, sometimes you move your body, sometimes you move a combination of both.

McMaster, who also does graphic design work for Nike Basketball, started with CrossFit four years ago in Portland, had a garage gym, worked as a trainer. Before she had her own space here, she taught CrossFit at the Children’s Park.

A typical workout involves 15 to 20 minutes of warmups, an equal time on skill and strength work, the workout of the day — 8 to 10 minutes of work designed to build power and cardio health — followed by a wind-down period of stretching and flexibility exercises.

Exercise occurs in groups. McMaster says anyone interested can drop in, watch, or take part in one of the group classes.

To get started, newbies go through the beginner class, which has three sessions a week for three weeks. Costs range from $99 a month for twice-weekly sessions, on up to $129 for unlimited participation.

Learn more by calling McMaster at 541-490-0939. Meanwhile, check out a bit of what it’s about …

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