The fight for the title of the fittest man and fittest woman on earth is afoot, and everybody can be a part of it.
CrossFit was designed to test strengths in all areas, generally high intensity and fast paced, to include everything from weightlifting to gymnastics movements to rowing marathons.
As quoted from Crossfit.com, “We have sought to build a program that will best prepare trainees for any physical contingency — not only for the unknown, but for the unknowable.”
The games start with the open, and it’s all about community on a world-wide scale. There are five workouts over the course of five weeks, one workout a week. Considering anybody can participate, regions are set up for competitors to be ranked in.
“It got to be so big that they couldn’t hold these events at just one location in one weekend, so they decided to do an online competition,” said Kyle Boyer, owner of CrossFit Dixie and a competitor in the open and regional competitions for the games the last four years. “It’s an opportunity for everybody that wants to do it (to) be a part of essentially the largest fitness competition in the world. It’s pretty cool.”
At the end of the five weeks of workouts, the first of which was announced Feb. 27, the top 48 men, 48 women and 30 teams from each region move onto the regional. The top three from each region move on to the games in the summer, which crown the fittest on earth.
Even though the games are everywhere, CrossFit Dixie is keeping it local on Friday nights after each open workout gets announced. The same local events were held last year during the open and they had a positive response, as do other small competitions that get more of the CrossFit gyms in the area involved.
“We started this thing with some of the local gyms,” Boyer said. “It’s called the neighborhood throw down. We try to do one a month. It’s been a lot of fun. It’s a time to get out and meet other people that are like-minded.”
CrossFit goers in St. George include former college athletes and doctors as well as current Dixie State University students and teachers.
Matt Medina, a senior psychology major from Tooele, frequently attends the local “throw downs” and is participating in the open workouts.
“I’ve only done two throw downs, but they’re fun,” Medina said. “[My mentality] is pretty much the same for every workout. Every workout you’re kind of competing against the people around you, whether or not you’re in a competition, so I feel like it’s the same.”
CrossFit workouts can be just as much a mental exercise as well as a physical one.
“I think our bodies crave hard work,” Boyer said. “I think it’s something that they were designed to do. When people get away from that, and then they come in and they do this, they get excited about it.”
Adjunct communication instructor Daniel Zapata has been consistently training for the open and likes the sense of community that CrossFit gives to everyone involved.
“It’s mostly just for fun,” Zapata said. “I’m just going to go into it with hopefully a decent mindset and just try to get through it. [The open] is a really good thing because if you want to test your fitness, anybody and everybody should be allowed to jump in and do it.”
CrossFit has become a sport over the years, but those who have yet to try it out should not let the high intensity of the physical aspects of it hinder their spirits.
“The CrossFit community is strong,” Boyer said. “It’s not going anywhere. It just keeps growing.”
Despite encouragement from people like Boyer, who only want to help people with their fitness and strengthen the community, there are still those who think it’s not for them.
“If you really are skeptical about what it’s about, go in there and try it,” Zapata said. “If you think it’s easy, go in and try it. If you think it’s stupid, come in and see how the people are — the results that people get. I think that will change anybody’s mind.”