Frisco Fitness Trials: CrossFit

After two solid months of trying new fitness studios in Frisco in an effort to reboot my fitness routine, I aimed to finish the Frisco Fitness Trials series strong. When I think of power, stamina, endurance, weightlifting, and finding your edge… CrossFit comes to mind.

It’s a real ‘hear me roar’ kind of workout! Celebrities like Jessica Biel and Jessica Alba, along with yogi and body-pos activist, Jessamyn Stanley, are ‘CrossFit-ting’.

The CrossFit Craze: Should You Try It?

CrossFit is a challenging and intense fitness regimen that offers varied functional movements such as weight lifting, running, rowing, biking, gymnastics, and more. The casual observer of a CrossFit program might think it’s a strongman competition!

With roots in both powerlifting and gymnastics, CrossFit’s training methodology focuses on improving individual fitness levels for a broad range of people. The exercises were designed to be measurable, observable, and provide consistent and repeatable results.

Who doesn’t want observable fitness results?

Some say that CrossFit is appropriate for everyone, but it may or may not be the best fit for you. If you’re okay with a no-frills environment, enjoy a little friendly competition and don’t mind working out REALLY hard, then CrossFit could be for you. But if you’re recovering from injuries, or just reuniting with the fitness world after a very long absence, there are other fitness programs which may be a better fit.

During a class, you’ll focus on utilizing using your core to do the work. And, there’s a reason you see many women now endorsing the CrossFit culture. Lifting weights and strength training is essential for women because it helps build bone density, which aids in preventing brittle bones caused by osteoporosis. If you’re pre or post-menopausal declining estrogen will diminish bone and muscle mass.

Think of the CrossFit regimen as a sort of self-care for the bones.

Furthermore, heavy weight training improves the metabolism and will help keep off those nasty pounds typically gained during pre and post-menopause.

You’ll discover that CrossFit has its own lingo. Studios/locations are referred to as a “box” and your class is a ‘WOD’ (workout of the day). The WODs are posted on a whiteboard and change each day.

My Experience at CrossFit Lowe in The Rail District

One Saturday morning I ventured to The Rail District in downtown Frisco where I entered through the ‘red door of torture’. Ha! If you’re familiar with the location off Main Street near Summer Moon and Countdown2Escape, you may recall that it used to be a boutique with a blue door (now it’s red).

When you cross through the red door, you enter into the world of ‘CrossFit Löwe,’ a family-friendly box owned by Derek and Cari Baer. The Baer’s are toddler-toting trainers and welcome client’s children and infants on-site. They have even provided a few bean bags for the kiddos to chill on while their parent’s workout.

The Warmup and WOD

Cari started me out with a warmup of running outside followed by 50 jumping jacks, and a series of pushups. With my heart pumping, it was time for the WOD – a Partner Workout, for time: 50-40-30-20-10 repetitions. We started first on the Assault Bike, followed by Hand Release Push-ups, then Barbell Walking Lunges (135/85lbs), and Jumping Alternating Lunges.

Assault bike was an appropriate term but I referred to it as the ‘evil-dreaded bike’! This particular bike is designed with a combination of arm rowers and cycling all in one – a great cardio workout but extremely hard for a rookie.

Cari Baer, Co-owner of CrossFit Lowe

It’s one of those machines you buckle down and grin and bear it but love the results afterward). After the first series, I felt completely exhausted only to be told to hit the Assault bike again and then repeat the workout series a few more times. What??! No big deal, right?

I had the privilege that day of being partnered with 16 year old Lauren Michaels who is a swimmer for the Ford Aquatics Swim team at Wakeland High School. Let’s just say she put me to shame and the Assault Bike was no big deal for her to ride. When I asked her why she utilizes CrossFit Löwe, Lauren said,

I like going to Löwe because everyone is nice and supportive during the workouts. I’ve been going for a year now and it has definitely improved my strength and pain tolerance while swimming. Derek focuses on what I need to make me stronger and designs workouts for me to accomplish my goals.

One of the things Derek mentioned that stuck with me was the fact that when people are in grade school, high school, or college they tend to be in great, possibly the best shape of their life. However, we tend to lose that stamina over time partly because the typical American takes on a sedentary job after college. Derek says,’lifelong athlete’ is Lowe’s motto and they encourage their clients to get their strength back by rebuilding and challenging their bodies.

My overall assessment is that I experienced a challenging, intense workout there, but if you’re not physically in shape to some degree going in, it may be too much. Be sure to have an honest conversation with Cari or Derek and be sure they understand what you’re ready for, and what you may not be ready for.

My CrossFit Experience at Fitness and Conditioning of Frisco

I opted to try the CrossFit program another time to understand how the boxes may differ across locations. This led me to Fitness and Conditioning of Frisco (FCF) owned by Cory Lignell. Their website grabs your attention right away with the inspiring words,

“A year from now you’ll wish you had started today. Let’s do this.”

Established in 2009, their current space is a giant warehouse and freight styled box located at 10401 Clarence Drive in Frisco, not far from Toyota Stadium. In true CrossFit fashion, you won’t see any ellipticals or weight machines there. Rather participants use their body and real weights to create natural movement. The staff strives to motivate and support participants as they transform themselves mentally and physically.

FCF Owner Cory Lignell and Trainer Alex Tacey

One of their trainers, Alex Tacey, comes highly recommended in the community. I was told his class is a must-try! He took the time to break down movements and teach me the proper bar and dumbbell weightlifting form. This was invaluable and really enhanced my experience and my mental attitude toward the program.

If you’re a newbie, ‘FCF’ is a really great place to begin. They offer a superb on-boarding program that will allow an individual to safely learn the exercises.

Whether you want to feel bold and strong or like your younger self again, consider trying the CrossFit craze. You’ll leave all logic behind as you power up and gain strength!

Workout Tip: Ladies, try ‘invisi bobble’ the traceless hair ring… You’ll be able to sweat through a CrossFit session with your hair still pulled back! Located at Beauty Brands.