GREENFIELD — With some serious rock music shredding over the speakers and flooding half the space at Greenfield’s GetFit 24/7 Fitness Gym, nine true believers grimace, groan and gut it out through 15 minutes of non-stop movement, pushing steel, pulling up and pouring sweat when most of the rest of town is either finishing dinner or sitting down to a nice round of “Wheel of Fortune” on the tube.
The true believers are part of Hancock County’s newest CrossFit affiliated gym sharing space at 24/7 under the guidance of Reece Green – still close to All-American linebacking shape from his days at Marian University – as he eyes his charges like they were running backs, encouraging them and always checking for form.
CrossFit Greenfield started the application process to become a CrossFit affiliated gym last August, and the facility came on line at the end of last year at its 1556 N. State St. location.
In little time at all, the gym took off and now offers classes six days a week for over 30 members with two more instructors in the pipeline for certification, Green said.
CrossFit Greenfield becomes only the second such affiliated gym in Hancock County.
Family Fun and Fitness near Gem Road on U.S. 40 incorporated a CrossFit affiliate about a year ago, and employees there say the center has added classes as the training regimen continues to gain popularity.
“It’s a completely different intensity level,” Green said as his Tuesday night class grimaced halfway through the workout.
Started in 2000 by Greg Glassman, the first CrossFit gym sprouted in Seattle. Since that time, the company has licensed over 5,000 affiliates in America and more than 7,000 worldwide, according to the company’s web site.
Formally, the corporate hacks define CrossFit as “a regimen of constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity in a communal environment that leads to health and fitness.”
Translation: You and few like-minded folks get after it and bond like Marines in basic training, rarely doing the same thing twice and seeing results in no time.
Jessica Fisk has been working in the gym for years, but she says CrossFit is something entirely different.
“I’ve seen a really big change in my body since I’ve started this,” Fisk said.
Everyone else in the class agrees, once they catch their breath.
Constantly changing up the workout, Green puts the class through three rounds of exercises that include a variety of movements from leaping to lifting, each round diminishing in repetitions.
The entire workout is timed, and that’s one of the benchmarks. As one gets stronger, the weight goes up and the time goes down.
The workout differs from other forms of gym activity where one might push a hard, heavy set and then wander around a bit to catch the breath.
In CrossFit, there are no breaks once the music starts.
“A lot of them have never pushed themselves like this before,” Green said.
Given the intensity, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do things, and Green is constantly prowling, spotting form here and there, giving pointers and generally making sure no one is in the danger zone.
A mix of cardio, strength, and endurance training all rolled into one high-energy 15 minute frenzy, the entire workout last about 40 minutes including warming up and cooling down.
“You’re not spinning your wheels here,” he said. “You’re getting after it.”
Not everyone is a veteran gym rat. There are some relative novices in the group, and Green said that works. Everyone starts where they are and progresses where and how they can. And while most of the class is well south of middle-age, not everyone is a twenty-something.
Janice Conley is 50, and she doesn’t mind telling anyone.
Conley has been a 24/7 member for five years, working out on her own to stay in shape. But the CrossFit craze has taken her to a new level.
“I like the challenge and the push,” Conly said. “I like the helping that we do for each other,’’ referring to the teamlike atmosphere in the class as each member exhorts the other.
“It’s like a community and a family,” she said.
Coming from a background of powerlifting and nationally ranked football, Green knows about selling out and committing to a goal.
But CrossFit is a bit different.
“It’s addictive,” he said.