Woodrow Harris, owner of CrossFit Conyers, stands in front of a set of dumbbells, above which hang photos of people who are members of his gym, located at 1410 Klondike Road, Suite J, in Conyers. Below, Harris demonstrates use of a rowing machine. (Staff Photos: Karen Rohr)
The CrossFit physical fitness regimen offers a unique approach to getting into shape and CrossFit Conyers owner Woodrow Harris said it’s unlike any workout you’ve ever tried before.
“It’s functional movement that is constantly varied and done at high intensity,” said Harris.
For example, the standing up and sitting down motion is modeled through squats; reaching above the head to put something on a shelf is expressed through a push press; and lifting a box off the ground is recreated through dead lifts.
“Basically, the movements that will make you stronger in every day life, we mimic those movements,” Harris said. “We don’t (use) any machines. Our concept is you are the machine.”
A company established in 2000, CrossFit has thousands of affiliation businesses throughout the world. Harris, who is a certified CrossFit trainer, opened the first one in Conyers, located at 1410 Klondike Road, Suite J, a year ago.
A former college athlete, Harris said CrossFit not only emphasizes repetition in the exercises, which makes it high intensity, but it also mixes up the workouts each day.
“We keep your body off-guard so it never gets used to the workout,” he said.
In executing the Crossfit WOD (Workout of the Day), participants also use some equipment such as weights, resistance bands, gymnastics-type bars, and rowing machines, to name a few.
The workouts are also done as a class.
“It’s in a group and it creates an internal competition. You just want to do your best,” he said.
Harris describes CrossFit as a mixture of weight training, gymnastics and cardio conditioning.
“In a typical gym, you will train for strength and power and then stop and go home, but with CrossFit, we train for 10 different areas,” said Harris.
Those areas include fitness, agility, balance, coordination, flexibility, strength, power, speed, stamina and cardiovascular endurance.
“We train in all those areas so you can be well-rounded athlete,” said Harris.
Harris said while CrossFit may seem intimidating to some, he welcomes participants of all ages and, in fact, has people who attend his “box” (the name for a CrossFit gym) ranging from those in their 20s to those near 70. The workouts can be adjusted for people of all levels and abilities.
He said that “CrossFit is personalized group training” and that, though people might be modifying their workout to fit their abilities, they work at a pace that is challenging to them.
“We’re still creating that camaraderie. We’re all in the trenches together,” he said.
Harris said that he consults with prospective participants to explain the CrossFit program, determine how CrossFit can best suit them, set fitness goals and put them through a baseline workout so he can assess their current physical condition.
“I call it ‘truth’ paste,” he said.
CrossFit Conyers employs eight trainers and classes are offered at 7 a.m., noon, 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. The cost for CrossFit Conyers ranges from $115 to $165 monthly, depending on how many classes are taken.
Harris said CrossFit workouts deliver visible results, and he has plenty of success stories to share.
“So many ex-athletes say, ‘Where was this when I was in school?’ because CrossFit will make you better at everything,” he said.
To learn more, visit www.crossfitconyers.com or call 770-679-9524.