For one group on campus, working out is about more than just staying healthy. It’s about pushing yourself to your limits, the thrill of competition and simply getting more people to be physically active.
Informally known as SVSU Cross Fit, the group, which was started by freshman Patrick Frank during the fall of 2011, consists of like-minded individuals who want to physically better themselves through exercise that many would find crazy at first glance.
Frank practiced Crossfit, a strength-and-conditioning program and now worldwide competition, in the Ryder Center and caught the attention of senior Blake Kostka, who did similar workouts. From there, Kostka brought friend Chris Forehand to workout with the pair, and the idea quickly spread through word of mouth and social networking.
What started out as a personal workout regimen based upon the regimens created by Crossfit turned into a way to get other students to work out. During the fall and winter semesters of this school year Frank held classes four times a week, and had to add an additional class time each day to accommodate the large amount of people coming. The classes are run entirely by students, and are held at times that are accommodating to students’ busy schedules.
The organization itself is broken into two groups, those who attend the weekly classes and those who are a part of the competitive team, dubbed The Firebreathers. The competitive team trains for and competes in the Cross fit games, a worldwide competition that has since grown to more than 70,000 members since its beginnings at a barbeque in a pole barn in 2006.
The world is broken up into thirteen regions, where the top 60 men are chosen to compete for the three spots allotted to each regional. From there, the top three compete against each other in order to claim the title of the world’s fittest man or woman.
The SVSU team recently finished up five weeks of qualifying exercises, just falling short of making the cut. They plan on continuing training in order to compete in the Cross fit regional competition in Columbus, OH, next year.
While two groups of people work out at different times and with varying degrees of difficulty, one thing remains constant throughout both: Crossfit.
Crossfit is a method of working out which involved pushing oneself to their limits for the entire period of exercise. It involves doing a specific set of exercises continuously in the shortest time possible, while competing against others doing the same regimen.
The exercises themselves are not complex, and anyone can pick up the methods in a relatively short amount of time. People of all skill levels can come to the classes.
“You don’t need to have a set about of conditioning or strength to do this,” Frank said.
The workouts, which involve anything from simple exercises like sit ups or pull ups to dead lifts, are scaled to each class’s individual skill levels so that no one person is unable to do the assigned workouts.
“We include everybody,” Frank said.
Frank tries to make the classes as open and inviting as possible, and any student is able to attend for any period of time and for any amount of classes. He wants to be able to include as many people as possible in hopes that with even just one class, they will adopt a more physically fit lifestyle or workout regimen, no matter what it may be. Although the group practices a certain method, their main goal is a healthier student population.
“That’s what it’s all about, is health,” Frank said. “We want people to get into the gym.”
Although largely dormant at the moment, the group has big plans for the future. The classes have ended for the school year but plan to start up again in the fall. Those who wish to still do the work outs made by Frank can find them posted daily on the group’s Facebook page.
As for next year, they plan to add multiple classes to accommodate a larger volume of students, with senior competitive team members Forehand and Kostka tapped to teach. They plan to work more closely with Ryder Center staff in hopes that the classes can be added as official Cardinal Fitness class.
In addition to this, the group hopes to become an official Cross Fit affiliated gym within the next three years. By doing this, the group will gain more exposure within the Cross Fit organization, and will make it easier for students to qualify for the Cross Fit games.
Those who wish to find out more about Cross Fit at SVSU can find them by searching “SVSU Crossfit” on Facebook.