“CrossFit is defined as constantly varied functional movements at high intensity,” Archie Brown, of CrossFit IV, tells me when asked what CrossFit is. “Constantly varied meaning that the exercises change every day. Functional movements are movements that we can do here, or out in the real world. For example, sitting down then standing up is a squat. Or bending over to pick something up off the floor is a deadlift. That’s how I teach you. The high intensity comes from me and from everyone around you.”
Archie knows CrossFit, and he brings his knowledge to the community of CrossFitters in Powder Springs, Georgia on a daily basis. As a level one CrossFit Trainer for nearly a year, Archie honed his knowledge and planned his logistics for the December 8, 2012 CrossFit IV Grand Opening.
Along with being a CrossFit level one trainer, Archie is also a NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) Certified Personal Trainer. “I was a Personal Trainer at Adrenaline Fitness in Chamblee, and that is where I got introduced to CrossFit. I was always looking at it, seeing exactly what it is. My first, initial thought was, ‘aw there’s no machines,’ just like everybody else.” The only machines you will see in Archie’s CrossFit are rowing machines, a significant staple for many a sweat inducing CrossFit workout.
What you will see when you enter the Box (a common term for a CrossFit gym) is a large conglomeration of steel bars and support beams known as the Rogue Monster Series Rack. Pullups and toes-to-bar are just some of the exercises performed on this impressive looking structure. Archie and I joked that it looks more like a playground for big kids, and it really does, depending on your attitude towards the brand of elite fitness CrossFit provides.
Just past the Monster Rack are Gymnast Rings attached by straps to the solid steel structure of the building. CrossFit teaches basic gymnastic moves on the rings as part of its constantly varied, functional movements definition. If you have the strength required to do dips or muscle-ups on the rings, getting up and over a wall, or climbing a tree, for example, is relatively easy.
Beyond the rings is a row of thick climbing ropes, assorted kettlebells, thick leather medicine balls, smash balls, dumbbells, Glute Ham Developers, several stacks of Olympic plates (neatly stacked by weight), a well organized rack of Olympic lifting bars, and of course, the semi-notorious rowing machines.
When you structure your workouts around any assortment of these items, you get a lot of options for the WOD (CrossFit term for workout of the day, and pronounced, Wod) which Archie himself programs for every class. These workouts can be tough, as I was fortunate enough to experience firsthand, but even Archie, who is clearly very physically fit, admits on recalling his first exposure to CrossFit some two years prior, “I played sports all my life, so I thought it would be easy, but it kicked my butt.”
Despite rumors to the contrary, the intention of CrossFit is not just to kick your butt. It will, and it can, no matter your level of physical conditioning, but the goal is to improve your overall physical fitness. “Our classes go up to 15 people, which means that you can still get the maximum attention from me.” Archie is extremely diligent with his coaching of each individual in his classes. Proper form is taught and reinforced as he walks around, watching intently every member’s form through the entire range of movement of each exercise element of the WOD.
An example WOD, and the one I was subjected to on the day of my visit was:
- 20 KB Swings
- Work on Kipping
for 8 minutes, string together as many weighted pullups as you can (20% of BW)
5 RFT (Rounds for Time) in under 40 minutes
- 5 Power Cleans (90% of max)
- 10 Turkish Get Ups, 5 each arm (55,35)
- 15 HRPU (Hand raise pushups)
- 200m Sprint
Even though I had a basic exposure to CrossFit through following the WOD on CrossFit.com (free to everyone) and investigating proper technique through countless YouTube videos, I wasn’t quite ready to “blast” through this workout with my pride intact. Yes, I finished in the allotted time, and because of Archie’s keen eye to form and explanation of technique, the entire class finished without injury. If you tried this workout in a globo-gym (CrossFit term for the numerous chain gyms that offer little to no supervision of form or technique) you might not be so lucky to escape injury-free. In fact, after I caught my breath, I felt great! The sensation wasn’t unique to me, I gauged, based on the wide, genuine smiles of every single person in the class, after the workout. Call it relief, call it sense of accomplishment, but everyone looked and felt great at the end of the forty minutes.
If you live in or near Powder Springs and are serious about improving your fitness and quality of health, you should give CrossFit IV a call for a free introductory session. Chanel Garner, CrossFit IV Administrative Manager, or Archie Brown, CrossFit IV Owner/Coach will be happy to assist you in the first step of achieving your fitness and health goals safely and effectively. Check out CrossFit IV for more information and services.