CrossFit WOD at Centripetal CrossFit, 3000 Airport Drive, Hangar 301, Erie, 720-577-2833 or centripetalcrossfit.com.
Instructor: Jeff Stoffel has been doing CrossFit for 12 years and has been teaching for nine years. He opened Centripetal CrossFit four years ago. Stoffel has a CrossFit level 2 certification
What is the workout? "Our goal in a class is to challenge everybody where they are at," said Stoffel.
The structure of the class follows the traditional CrossFit workout of the day, or WOD. Every day is a new workout, usually with a warm up, followed by the central workout that often includes skill building and ending with stretching and mobility.
"The goal of every class is to have enough stress on the body that it's been worth coming to the gym," said Stoffel, "but not so much that you are too sore to come back or you're injured."
Stoffel strives to maintain a well-balanced workout that isn't all about lifting. In this class, the main workout was handstand push-ups and deadlifts, performed in a circuit. Half the class could do the full handstand push-ups. The other half, including myself, did an easier variation using large wooden boxes to support our weight while still performing the basic push-up.
What's different? There's a wide range of people who seek out CrossFit workouts — some are looking to compete, but most people just want to get into shape. This studio caters more to the later individual looking for a practical fitness experience that allows them to take on everyday activities without their personal fitness being a barrier.
"Over the long haul, we want to be as well-rounded and physically capable in everything," said Stoffel.
Stoffel didn't push students to take on more weight, leaving it up to each person to find an appropriate weight for the deadlift. He also broke down the lifting portion. First, we practiced the move using the barbell with no extra weights. Stoffel went to each person in the class and corrected their form before adding weights to the barbell. He did the same for the handstand push-ups.
It may seem trivial, but the music differed from other CrossFit gyms. Instead of being loud and high intensity, usually heavy-metal or rap, it was upbeat and fun. It's incredible how the choice in music can play a large role in a person's psyche. With the music blaring and the intensity turned up, students are more likely to push themselves further while doing an exercise that could lead to injury if their form breaks down.
Finding a balance is key to avoiding injury, while still pushing to make gains.
Cost: A free personal introductory session is offered for those who want to try out the gym. Membership options range from $30 to $50 a week, based on each person's needs. The drop-in price is $15.
Level: The gym offers options for beginners all the way up to professional athletes. For more individualized attention, they offer personal training. If weight lifting is a new concept — or you're worried about performing the moves at your current level of fitness — personal training is a good place to start.
When: The hourlong classes are at 5 a.m., 6 a.m., 8 a.m., 9:15 a.m., 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. There is a 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. class on Saturdays.
What to prepare: Athletic shoes, workout clothes and water.
Muscles worked: Exercises vary day-to-day, but here, students are looking at working those larger muscle groups in the legs, arms and core.
What I loved: Stoffel broken down all the moves, and safe form was a top priority. Everyone was expected to practice the move correctly before adding weight. It's a practice that ensures no one gets lazy or too full of themselves that they forgo safety.
What I didn't like: It's difficult to find the place. I drove all around the hangars looking for the gym. It's on the backside of the two rows of hangars. Give yourself enough time to locate the gym and park.
How I felt after the class: I was tired but not to the point of exhaustion. I knew I would be sore the next day, but not so sore I couldn't take the stairs.