One, two, sometimes three or four at a time they walk in, each with purpose, all with drive. Across the floor, in the open air and warm sun offered by the retracted garage doors, I sit with James Hobson, Owner/Founder/Coach of CrossFit Addiction. “Five years ago I put up a huge banner on Wade Green, 70,000 cars daily. I didn’t get a single phone call. So after a couple months of that I took it down and put up a giant banner that said Boot Camp. We had twelve calls in a week. That just goes to show, five years ago, when I started, it didn’t matter if you had billboards all the way up and down I-75, people would look at it, see a word they’d never seen, and keep driving.”
Quite a bit has changed in those five years. Back then there were only nine CrossFit boxes around Atlanta, and CrossFit Addiction, the 10th, was located in a strip mall off of Wade Green Road. As James notes, most people had never heard of CrossFit, and no billboard was big enough to get the word out. Today, CrossFit Addiction is located off of Moon Station Road (3250 Heritage Drive), and the number of CrossFit affiliates in and around Atlanta is well into the hundreds, and growing steadily each month.
What is it about CrossFit that attracts and promotes such growth? “If you go to a regular gym, people are looking at you like, ‘What’s this guy doing?’ or ‘This guy’s form’s terrible.’ and they’re shooting you that laser beam look . . . but here, it’s the exact opposite. People embrace what you’re doing because they understand that was me six months ago,” James tells me. In a one word summary, acceptance. In another word, understanding. In a final word, effectiveness.
Some people might be ready to chalk up the recent expansion of CrossFit into our neighborhoods, imagination, and vernacular to the big-time Reebok sponsorship and the televisation of the CrossFit Games (imagine a March Madness/Super Bowl/Wrestling Battle Royal-esque Fitness event), but these are the results of an effective solution for fitness, not the causes.
The CrossFit Games, as awesome as any sporting event to watch, also has a potential downside: “I think there’s a lot of intimidation when it comes to CrossFit because they see the CrossFit Games on ESPN. All the dudes have their shirts off, all the chicks are ripped, and they immediately think, ‘Aw, I could never do that.’” But James, and his Coaching Staff at CrossFit Addiction, believes you are ready and can do CrossFit, and is willing to make the commitment to prove it to you.
Boot Camp Kennesaw is the answer for people who wonder if they are ready for CrossFit. “So we started our Bootcamp. Our Bootcamp has grown so fast, and it’s a feeder for CrossFit. A lot of people who did Bootcamp for six months or so go to CrossFit, and they’re ready for that. They go to the classes and it’s the same workout.”
The only difference between Boot Camp and CrossFit at Addiction is perception and time of day. Boot Camp Kennesaw meets each Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6am, and Saturday at 10:30am. “We have CrossFit people who come to it. During the summer, there are certain people, like teachers, who aren’t working, they’ll come at 6am so they have the rest of their day to go do whatever.” The CrossFit session offerings are Monday and Wednesday at 7am, M-F 4pm, 5:30pm, and 7pm, and Saturday at 10:30am. Yes, the Boot Camp and CrossFit class meets at the same time on Saturday, but since it’s the same workout, only the transition remains.
The definition of CrossFit is “Constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement.” James personally programs each of Addiction’s WODs (Workout of the Day) with this manifold definition in mind. According to the CrossFit Journal, “CrossFit has also become a social phenomenon with a tightly knit community. A CrossFit gym is unlike any other gym.” CrossFit Addiction is very much unlike any other gym in both form and function, and the tightness of this community, within Kennesaw, Georgia, is quickly apparent as soon as its members arrive, whether in ones, twos, threes or fours.
CrossFit is not the traditional way many of us learned to work out. The old bodybuilding methods of Chest/Back Monday, or Bis/Tris Tuesday, etc., no longer apply to general fitness. Yes, globo-gyms (CrossFit-speak for chain gyms) still encourage those old programs by their very layout, and many a Personal Trainer still pushes those methods, which will work after countless hours of effort and a goal of Competition Bodybuilding, but for everyday people and general fitness, not even close.
Gymnastics, Metabolic Conditioning, and Strength Training populate nearly every WOD to produce a cross section of people who are much more fit, have much more strength, and much more capable of dealing with everyday demands. Military, firefighters, police, construction workers, corporate executives, moms, dads, and even grandparents benefit both mentally and physically from the fitness programs offered by CrossFit. When I asked James about the wide variation of CrossFit members, he added, “We also have people who are pro-athletes, an ex-arena football player, we trained a professional hockey player from Czechoslovakia for a while.”
There is no temporary fix to fitness, and CrossFit recognizes this. CrossFit Addiction offers 3 month, six month, and one year contracts. “A lot of CrossFit gyms sell you on, ‘Just do one month,’ and I think what that does is puts a thought in your mind that this is a temporary thing. Whereas I do the opposite. I say, ‘Look, this is a commitment. I’m going to commit to you, I want you to commit to me.’” The price of CrossFit covers much more than just membership. Yes, you get to work out with cool weights, learn the proper technique for lifting without injury, heighten your mood, and increase your resistance to illness, which is what fitness is all about. As an extension of these, you get personalized coaching (which costs much more in your market variety globo-gym down the street), and a community that is encouraging, inspiring, and motivating.
Are you ready for CrossFit? James Hobson believes you are, if you’re willing to commit. Check out the CrossFit Addiction page for more information, schedule a free visit, or call with any questions you have. James is always happy to talk to you, and CrossFit Addiction just might be the commitment you need.