CrossFit Beat, 4800 Baseline Rd Suite C11, Boulder, 720-458-0073, crossfitbeat.com
Instructor: Adam Knickelbein started taking CrossFit classes back in 2009 and has never looked back. In 2012, he received his CrossFit Level 1 Trainer certification. In 2014 he opened CrossFit Beat and has since earned his CrossFit Level 2 Trainer certification.
What is the workout? A CrossFit class that focuses on core and leg strength to get you ready to shred some fresh powder.
"We are really designing the class to be geared to helping people get ready for the ski season. We are doing lots of interval workouts, lots of 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off, minute intervals and two minute intervals, things that mimic what you are going to be doing out in the back country or in the resorts," said Knickelbein.
We started off with general warm up moves followed by a fun game of keep away. After the warm up, we picked a weighted ball and completed 50 excruciating wall ball exercises.
The last half of class was a partner exercise with six lateral box jump-overs, meant to mimic moguls, and six kettle bell swings. One person completed the workout while their partner rested, then switched places. We did as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes.
Every class is different, but the moves are meant to increase your strength and endurance for skiing and snowboarding.
What's different? While the format of the class is like any other CrossFit program, there is an extra emphasis on movements that benefit you on the slope. The lateral box jumps got into that sideways movement of the legs you see in downhill skiing. Additionally, all of the movements required a tight, stabilized core, another essential component to any winter sport.
Knickelbein went through all the moves, often starting without weights and getting students used to doing the movements safely. He corrected students' form and gave helpful encouragement, making sure nothing was rushed. "I love bringing people in who didn't think they could do something or didn't know they were capable of something and helping them do it," said Knickelbein.
Cost: The monthly unlimited membership runs $175 and drop-ins are $20.
Level: This is an all-levels class. The exercises are easily scaled to any ability. Students picked the weights that worked best for their skill level. Anyone looking to ease into CrossFit could do most of these exercises without weights. More advanced students can grab heavier weights or taller boxes for the box jumps.
"Most of the people I have here are beginners or recent beginners. We love getting new people in," said Knickelbein. "We put a big emphasis on instruction and making sure that people are progressing correctly."
Like almost all CrossFit classes, people with severe injuries or balance issues shouldn't start here if they are looking for a new exercise routine.
When: All of their classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays are a part of the ski program. The hour-long classes are at 6:30 a.m., noon and 5:30 p.m.
What to prepare: Regular gym clothes, athletic shoes and water are all you need.
Muscles worked: Wall balls always decimate my arms. I'm sure for some people they'd feel this in their legs as well. I routinely do so many squats that it takes more to get my legs sore. The lateral jumps and kettle bell swings worked my abs and arms, they felt like noodles by the end of class.
What I loved: The gym wasn't in any way intimidating, which is nice for a CrossFit gym. It feels like your neighborhood gym, where everyone knows your name. It's not a cookie cutter fitness center that is part of a franchise. Knickelbein is very warm and approachable. I didn't once feel lost or concerned about injuring myself.
What I didn't like: Most of the CrossFit classes I've taken don't leave any in-class time for stretching or cooling down. You can stay and stretch if you want, but it's pretty much up to you. I'd like to see the classes go a little longer and incorporate more stretching to keep students from getting overly tight or sore after class.
How I felt after the class: The partner exercise pushed me much further then I would have on my own. It made me feel like I could kick some serious butt.
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