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What is CrossFit, Anyway?

If you are here, you have probably heard the word “CrossFit” being talked about for some time now.  You may even have a decent idea of what ‘you think’ CrossFit is.  There is A LOT of talk out there about this concept and style of training (some good, some bad) so let me give you my categorical summary – particularly as it relates to CrossFit Ares.

CrossFit as a Fitness Concept – As the name would suggest, CrossFit is all about Cross-Training.  The body is a complex system capable of amazing things.  The chief aim of CrossFit is to challenge the body in a broad and inclusive manner, because life is broad and inclusive.  CrossFit is more generalist than specialist.  As such, the workouts are full of variety pulling from all sorts of fitness and athletic concepts from Olympic lifting to Gymnastics.   If you want to live a life full of variety and activity … and you want a body that will cooperate and allow for that … well, then CrossFit is definitely a concept to explore.

CrossFit as a Workout – DON’T BE AFRAID!  No matter what you have heard or where you are in your fitness journey, PLEASE do not be afraid of CrossFit.  The beauty of a well devised workout is that the exercises can be scaled by load, intensity, movement skill and other factors that will allow any person to effectively perform the workout at his or her own level.  The key is to choose a CrossFit like CrossFit Ares, with highly qualified trainers and coaches, to ensure you are executing at an appropriate level and are receiving constant feedback and coaching to help you improve every day.

Workouts are typically delivered in a group setting and are segmented into full body warm-ups; skill (or exercise) coaching and then the base ‘Workout Of the Day’ or WOD is performed.  Though the workouts are delivered in a group format, you are executing each element independent of others so you will always have the option to go at your speed and your comfort level without impacting anyone else in the class.

CrossFit in terms of Getting Results – What drives results in any training platform is consistency and effort.  This is certainly no different for CrossFit.  One of our favorite taglines at CrossFit Ares is: “For people who WANT IT!” The workouts are designed to be challenging, because that is what produces results.  The people who really ‘want it’ get amazing results … better than any other fitness concept available today.  The environment is unlike any you have trained in before.  It encourages you to work harder and be more accountable than any other concept I have known.  If you just plug yourself in and show up, the results are a foregone conclusion.  And anyone who truly ‘wants it’ will do just that.

CrossFit as a Community – There are many large fitness chains and concepts, but none come together like CrossFit.  From an annual games competition involving thousands of participants from CrossFit locations across the globe to the people within your primary training facility (often referred to as a “Box”) there has never been a more closely knit fitness community.  CrossFitters compete, encourage, gather and celebrate a life that places fitness and personal health in the place of prominence it deserves.  They support each other with unyielding loyalty such that once you join the CrossFit community you will never be alone on your fitness journey again.

Is CrossFit Right For Me?

Lots of people want to tell you that their training is right for you … in fact, they would have you believe that their program is right for EVERYONE.  They go straight for the boring center and their programs – as well as their results – are mediocre at best.

I am not going to lie to you by trying to place CrossFit in the “everyone” category.  CrossFit is most certainly NOT for everyone.  In fact, it is for far fewer people than just about any other training concept out there … and that is what makes it so special!  CrossFit is a “fringe” workout.  If you do it and stay with it, you will transform your body and your life in a way that other concepts only dream about.

So, back to the question, Is CrossFit Right For Me? – The truth is, only you can answer that question … but here are some strong indicators that might help you make that determination:

I am a good candidate for CrossFit if:

  • I am serious about getting results and willing to work hard to get them
  • I enjoy the camaraderie of a group and the feeling of being a part of a community of like-minded individuals
  • I enjoy variety in my training and like mixing things up regularly
  • I enjoy the spirit of competition and appreciate what competition brings out in me (watching the Olympics inspires you!)
  • I enjoy being active, using my body and, regardless of my current condition, I have a desire to be active and to engage with life.
  • The idea of transforming my body and my life gets me all juiced up!

I am a poor candidate for CrossFit if:

  • I work out because I know I should, but I don’t really care much about the results
  • I would rather train alone and do my own thing.  I don’t enjoy being part of a group.
  • I relate to the statement “Just let me do my 30 minutes of cardio and get me out of here.”
  • I shy away from anything competitive
  • I enjoy being a couch potato way more than the idea of getting out and being active
  • I am happy with where I am and I just don’t care all that much to change things

In the end, ANYBODY is able to do CrossFit … no matter what their current level of fitness.  The body will adapt and change and do what it needs in order to make it through.  So you just have to ask yourself: am I a person who wants to live life on the shelf or will I do what it takes to get in the game?

I believe everyone you ask will say they want to get in the game … yet so few are actually willing to do what it takes to really get … in … the … game. The real determining factor is just how bad you want it!  How badly do you want to change?  How badly do you want results?  Because if you want it … if you really, really want it … then there is no better program for you!

Never A Better Time To Give CrossFit A Try

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About CrossFit Ares & How We Are Different

ABOUT CROSSFIT ARES – CrossFit Ares is the current evolution of a long and dedicated fitness journey by owner Craig Galloway.  As a Division I wrestler for Cornell, a Division I Strength Coach for UMass Lowell, and owner for 7 years of CATZ Sports Performance Center in Wilmington, MA – Craig has been actively engaged in the fitness industry for over two decades.  Seeing the amazing growth of the CrossFit concept naturally piqued Craig’s interest to learn more about it.  What he found was a high degree of similarity to his own proven training programs … and, more importantly, he discovered a community that is truly unparalleled in the fitness space.

This strength of community is exactly what Craig has always wanted to create as well as be a part of.  The decision to affiliate was made and CrossFit Ares was born.

In selecting the name of our Box, we chose the God of War “Ares” (pronounced Aries) to be a very fitting symbol for our brand.  Fitness and good health are a war and a battle that never ends.  We need to remind ourselves of this and be ever vigilant in our defense against lethargy and degradation.

At CrossFit Ares, we are here to lead you through this battle … to train you and support you and to fight with you so that you can enjoy the spoils of victory … both in how you feel when you look in the mirror and in how your new physical capacity allows you to embrace life in a whole new way.

HOW IS CROSSFIT ARES DIFFERENT? – Gyms and Fitness facilities tend to fall to extremes: either they hound you and try to brow-beat you into signing up for a membership the day you come in OR you walk in and no one seems to care that you are there, you never get followed up and you are clearly not that important to them.  Neither of those scenarios will ever happen at CrossFit Ares.  Our community is everything to us … and that relationship starts the second we first connect.

If after reading this you decide to reach out, you will be handled with professionalism and genuine personal care from that moment on.  No pressure, no back room sales and never any hard feelings.  CrossFit workouts are different.  They are not for everyone.  The CrossFit community is different.  We don’t want to trick you into joining us.  In fact, we don’t want you to join us if you don’t embrace what our community is all about.  So, we take our time with you at the beginning to ensure you have all the information you need to make the decision that is best for you.

And that is just the first part of the journey.  Once you’ve made the decision to join us, what follows is where the best differences lie.  With CrossFit, you don’t have to look too far online to find the naysayers and haters out there bashing the CrossFit brand, calling it unsafe amongst other things.  The truth is, the same can be said about ANY workout.  Injuries occur when people are active and pushing themselves.  But much more alarming things occur to people who do nothing, so that isn’t really a choice.  Instead, we have to focus on what makes a workout safe and how can we maximize our results while minimizing the risk of injury … and that comes down to preparation and coaching.

This is where CrossFit Ares excels!  Our foundation in coaching and developing youth through elite level athletes has given us a better understanding of how to SAFELY and STEADILY progress any individual.  Our training is governed by what we call our Three Pillars of Client Responsibility:  First, we program responsibly; Second, we coach responsibly; Third we communicate responsibly.

Let me break that down for you.

Program responsibly – We spend a lot of time making sure our workouts are put together in a meaningful and logical manner.  We don’t just go online and look at what is cool on YouTube or try to grab the craziest exercise combination we can find, nor do we make up a workout at the spur of the moment.  Instead, we meet as a full staff and spend a Saturday together each month to create the programs we deliver to our members.  We are constantly learning and challenging each other, which leads to constant improvements in what we put out there.  We look at the big picture so that our workouts from day to day and week to week make sense.  Collectively we have dozens of years of experience training and have developed thousands of athletes and adults.

With CrossFit, everyone is all consumed by the WOD (Workout Of the Day.)  Yet, when we design our workouts, the actual ‘WOD’ is rather simple.  It’s everything that precedes the WOD where most of the magic happens.  This includes all the work that we put into the warm-ups, dynamic stretching, foundational movement skill development, muscle activation and putting you into a situation where you can succeed with the WOD.  If someone has you do a quick 5 minutes jog and stretch and then asks you to go full-out in a high rep, heavy load WOD; they are setting you up for injury and you should run for the hills.  That will never happen at CrossFit Ares.

Coach responsibly – We aren’t cheerleaders or drill sergeants … we are coaches.  As such, we coach.  We teach.  We test.  We measure.  We encourage. We demand.  Coaching is not a passive or mindless activity.  Good coaches find the ways to make you better.  We don’t just demonstrate a workout or exercise and let you go.  We teach it to you.  We work hard to build the foundational skills that will allow you to execute the workouts safely and proficiently.  That is why we place such emphasis on all the activities leading up to the WOD.  Until you have this foundation in place, the WOD may be beyond your reach.  When that happens, we know how to scale and regress our workouts to match your current ability level; always making sure you are properly challenged, but within your capacity to execute safely.

We are organized and systematic about your development.  We are not some willy-nilly program where you just jump in and sink or swim.  We charge more than a $10 gym for a reason.   We offer a methodical and stepwise program that includes baseline and intermittent testing coupled with rigorous adherence to standards of development.   We are able to do this because … WE COACH.

Communicate Responsibly – We view it as our obligation to be 100% transparent and honest with you about your abilities as well as to provide you with benchmarks and measures at regular intervals so you can see exactly what your progress is.

Everyone wants to progress and to achieve.  That drive is at the core of our workouts and what we do.  Yet, in order to do that safely, we can’t just attack things with reckless abandon.  As coaches and communicators, we are ever mindful of the risks associated with fatigue, capacity limits and poor form. So we work very hard to let you know what we see.

Adhering to these 3 Pillars allows us to advance you safely and steadily, ultimately producing a well-rounded and highly capable CrossFit Athlete … one who will maintain consistent progress over time without any lost time due to injuries that could have been prevented.  This formula of consistent stepwise improvements always produces the best long term results.  Follow it and you will see Personal Records redefined at regular intervals to go along with a strength, vitality and quality of life that you will never want to leave behind.

If you want a partner, a coach and a mentor in your fitness journey, CrossFit Ares is a great choice.

If you value doing things right over just doing them, CrossFit Ares is a great choice.

If you understand the function of a foundation and its ultimate importance to long term stability, CrossFit Ares is a great choice.

But, if you are a lone gun, concerned more about style than substance and your ego is more important to you than your safety – then there are lots of places out there who would love to have you join their ranks.

Personally, I hope you choose us.  Regardless, I encourage you to get started with something.  Don’t procrastinate.  Don’t convince yourself that you need to wait until you’ve done a bunch of research or for some better time to come. There is never a better time than right now, today!

If we sound good, then give us a call (978)528-4308, send us an email (craig@crossfitares.com) or fill out our Contact Us form here.

If we aren’t a good fit for you, contact us anyway and let us help you figure out what is.

Just get started!