Physical fitness is something many people seek to achieve, and by many different methods. Over recent years, the popularity of fitness has stirred up somewhat of a craze in much of the American public. Whether it comes down to a diet or the workout plan a celebrity is on, attention seems to be on feeling and looking better.
One form of exercise that has gained a cult following over the past three years is the CrossFit program. The strength and conditioning program has become a nationwide trend in fitness that has not left Albuquerque out of its loop.
"It came from the origins of Greg Glassman," said Seth Vigil, who co-owns and trains at Black Box Fitness in Albuquerque. "He basically put together a mechanism of broad-spectrum, all-inclusive fitness for the generalized person."
The grassroots, garage-gym movement has become more than just a training program, according to Vigil. "It's become competitive exercise." The CrossFit Games began in the summer of 2007 and have taken place every year since. Albuquerque hosted its inaugural CrossFit competition, Boxtoberfest, in 2011. This year, there was more demand for the competition, leading co-owner of Black Box Fitness, Matt Baron, to coordinate the event.
"Last year, I was an athlete, and my other business partner was the head of it," Baron said. "This year, I was nominated with Ben Abruzzo from CrossFit Albuquerque." Unlike the larger national competitions, Baron said they decided to go with a more stripped-down version of it. "We wanted it to be very classic CrossFit, which is very diverse. Very much lifting weight, swimming, running — very great workouts."
Boxtoberfest 2012 was hosted at The Albuquerque Academy and featured 62 teams from Albuquerque and surrounding areas. The teams of four CrossFitters competed in events that included jump rope, running, weightlifting and pull-ups.
Though competition has become an element of the CrossFit culture, it is not limited to elite athletes. Eddie Quintana, a CrossFitter at Black Box Fitness, said he started doing it to lose weight, but found other benefits as well. "It lets you be an all-around athlete," Quintana said. "It suits everybody at a different level."
CrossFit has also proven to be an outlet for athletes who wish to do more with their daily workouts. "Me and Matt started doing similar training after very boring high school and collegiate swimming programs," said Vigil of his mutual decision with Baron to start a CrossFit gym. "Basically, it was to avoid boredom."
The workouts of the day, or WODs, are certainly draw on a more diverse and intense regiment than specialized workouts for individual sports. Each WOD is a collective of what are seen as the best workouts from other sports. Three elements that are included in WODs are exercises using one's own body weight, distance running or rowing and weight exercises.
According to Black Box Fitness's website, CrossFit is a program that transcends age limitations. "CrossFit training can be utilized by kids, teens, adults and seniors because it is highly modifiable."
Aside from the purely aesthetic benefits, Vigil said the value of CrossFit is that, "it brings a culture of fitness to a realm where other people would just be spinning their wheels and making no progress as an athlete."