CrossFit West Sacramento
Rick Larson, BS, NSCA-CPT, CrossFit Level 1, CrossFit Gymnastics
Mike Melton, USMC, CrossFit Level I – Owner of CrossFit Calaveras
The following introduction was written by Rick Larson:
The human body was made to move. I have understood this since before I was able to put it into words. In fact, I believe we all understand this at an early age. I was fortunately encouraged to embrace this understanding and put it to use through various sports and activities as a kid growing up in San Jose, California. Youth sports including Pop Warner Football, and Little League Baseball comprised my early first hand experiences with learning more about how the human body can achieve amazing things when appropriately challenged. This continued through high school; at this point, strength and conditioning programs transitioned out of the sole realm of the playing field and became heavily influenced by weight room sessions. It was also at this point that I found the immense amount of misinformation surrounding the field of strength and conditioning. As an impressionable novice to strength training, I soon found myself taking to whatever program the next coach decided to put me on. Some of these programs were effective, if only marginally, while some were downright negligent towards my personal safety and ultimate ability to succeed.
This story is not unique to my experience, and is likely shared by anyone who has worked out in a weight room or local gym. The main problem in both settings is the wide range of variability one encounters when it comes to the available fitness programming information. Often times a public school based sports team will be under funded and under staffed. Sport specific coaches are not necessarily the most knowledgeable strength and conditioning professionals. All too often, however, the role of the strength coach is wrapped into the cumulative responsibilities of the head and assistant coaches. Local gyms are no better. There is very little pertinent guidance offered to the average gym membership holder upon signing up to join the gym. A personal trainer may be available to help show new members how to adjust equipment as a one time service; afterwards personal training runs upwards of $70/hr for quality instruction. It is no wonder that I see gym members walking around multi-million dollar gym facilities with an aimless sense of disconnectedness – only to end up at the smoothie bar.
I eventually became so interested in understanding more about how and why the human body works the way it does that I decided to focus on answering these questions as a guiding beacon for my studies in college. Fast forward 5 years, with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Kinesiology, along with multiple personal training certifications under my belt, I was finally armed to dispel this knowledge to the general public. Having held gainful employment as everything from an aquatic rehabilitation specialist with a non-profit organization to a personal trainer in the corporate wellness setting and in private gyms, I quickly found the root problem still exists. People are confused, unmotivated and quickly frustrated when it comes to the cookie cutter model of fitness that is presented in the large private gyms. Sure, I have been able to provide excellent exercise instruction and motivation to those that chose to pay the personal training rates at the private gyms. I have also, however, seen first hand the level of confusion, frustration, de-motivation and ultimately, failure when people are left to fend for themselves in the highly impersonal, largely ineffective private gyms that are today’s norm.
So the frustrations of others led to my own frustration with the state of the fitness industry. I found it unreasonable to accept that the legitimacy of my chosen profession hangs in the balance of happenchance success in an approach to fitness that is ultimately destined for failure. Those that were able to succeed often were those that took the personal initiative to learn proper techniques and approaches to the maintenance and improvement of their own personal health and well being. The rest of the people, well the large private gyms are happier that they have stopped showing up anyway – so long as their membership dues keep rolling in via EFT, or some other monthly billing procedure.
Co-author Mike Melton has shared many of the same experiences and frustrations when it comes to his personal quest towards achieving better fitness. The following text denotes our shared solution to the above posed problems.
With the problems clearly defined, the next step was to find a way to deliver high quality instruction on a consistent basis with an emphasis on effective, efficient programming. Truth be told, we were fairly ignorant to the existence of CrossFit until very recently. We were so hell bent on reinventing the wheel that we didn’t stop to consider whether upgraded wheels were already on the market. In fact, many of the principals that we have come to behold as the key to successful fitness programming were already waiting for us in a highly polished, yet brilliantly adaptable package. This package of course is CrossFit.
Those who already know us expect our criticism of any single approach to fitness that claims superiority over others. We have utilized many different techniques from many different disciplines to create what we considered highly effective exercise programming. As we progressed in the development of our personal philosophies on the best ways to achieve life long fitness, we found that by constantly modifying our workout routines with an underlying theme of staying with highly functional movements, we were doing our best to prepare ourselves for whatever goes on outside of the gym. Anyone that knows CrossFit will point out that we were well on our way to being CrossFit disciples before we ever even knew the CrossFit methodology existed.
With the preceding paragraphs in place, it becomes very clear why we wish to affiliate with and deliver the CrossFit methodology. The top 5 reasons are listed below.
1. CrossFit builds a strong sense of community amongst those that participate in the daily workouts. This sense of community is developed through positive interactions with qualified instructors and inspired participants on a daily basis, and is very difficult to find in the current fitness industry. Community brings a built in mechanism of motivation as well as a sense of belonging.
2. CrossFit is extremely efficient and effective. The workouts are not wasteful of time, space, resources, etc. The nature of the programming will bring rapid improvements in technique, exercise consistency and ultimately, fitness.
3. CrossFit inspires the confidence to do more than people ever expected of themselves. CrossFit requires consistent evaluation and feedback from qualified, trained instructors. Attendees in a CrossFit class will be scrutinized for their technique and encouraged to strive for higher fitness every time they walk through the door. What other gym can claim that?
4. CrossFit does not rely on fluff or bells and whistles. CrossFit presents the facts, and then invites people to decide for themselves whether improving their fitness is really important to them. The promise of elite fitness awaits anyone and everyone who commits themselves to the CrossFit methodology.
5. CrossFit gives us a common language to speak with other exercise professionals, as well as with our clients. Once a person is acquainted with the CrossFit jargon and underpinnings of how the CrossFit model for exercise prescription operates, it is very easy to prescribe seemingly new exercise “routines” on a daily basis.
Although there are undoubtedly other reasons why we wish to affiliate with CrossFit and open a facility where people can experience the above stated advantages CrossFit offers over any other readily available fitness program firsthand, we will allow the preceding paragraphs to serve as an outline for how our personal philosophies on exercise instruction led to our strong affinity towards CrossFit. I know that by using the CrossFit model, we will be able to provide higher quality instruction to more people than any other vehicle of exercise instruction delivery in the fitness industry today. It is this high quality instruction and the inevitable sense of community that develops as a result of said instruction that will allow for prolonged success in running a fitness business in today’s highly competitive, yet grossly ineffective fitness industry.
It is our intention to open a turnkey facility in West Sacramento, CA marketing CrossFit to anyone in the local area that is frustrated with the current approach to fitness. We will also aggressively market our services to the local law enforcement agencies and fire fighters, as well as anyone else who uses his/her body as a primary means of getting his/her work accomplished on a daily basis. We expect our passion for excellence in everything we do to shine through and allow people to overcome their fears, frustrations and lack of confidence in the previously available approach to fitness from the large private gyms. We feel that our approach to CrossFit will be for all the right reasons, and for none of the wrong reasons. We expect to be successful in a CrossFit based turnkey business, but we do not expect this success to come from anything other than honest, high quality exercise instruction. Through the inspiration, motivation, accountability and guidance offered as a part of each and every workout, we expect to develop a fitness community amongst our members. It is this sense of community and belongingness, along with the indisputable results of better technique, better performance outside of the gym, and overall greater fitness that will drive the success of CrossFit West Sacramento and anyone who associates him/herself with us.