News: ‘Where torture and adventure meet’
Story by Lance Cpl. Lisa Tourtelot
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. -- A palpable tension fills the air as Ahkim Jones, part-owner of CrossFit SoCal in Mira Mesa, Calif., starts the giant digital timer. Four CrossFitters have only 20 minutes to complete as many push-ups, pull-ups and squats as possible.
When the timer starts, the participants explode into motion, pausing only to record their repetitions for comparison later.
The four CrossFitters aren’t the only participants racing to see who can execute the most repetitions in the given time: these exciting and challenging workouts are now aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.
CrossFit affiliates have spread to every state and around the world, including the United Kingdom, Japan, Southeast Asia, South Africa, China, Korea and even Afghanistan.
“I’ve seen the health benefits [of CrossFit] in my own home and in Marines,” said Master Sgt. George Jones, an Installation and Logistics operations chief with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron.
Currently, Jones is recruiting staff noncommissioned officers to test for CrossFit’s Level 1 trainer certification. Jones teamed with Glassman to get free training opportunities for Marines aboard MCAS Miramar.
Jones is working to get approximately eight SNCO’s certified as Level 1 trainers before offering small group sessions with H&HS Marines. He intends to track the participants’ progress over three months before expanding the training to other squadrons.
MCAS Miramar is home to its own CrossFit group, CrossFit Miramar, managed by Maj. Curtis Walker, an aviation safety officer with Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 121.
“I’m hoping we can continue growing the CrossFit community at Miramar,” said Walker, a Level 1 certified trainer.
The Marine Corps has seen the fitness benefits of CrossFit and used CrossFit principles, with the guidance of founder Greg Glassman, to establish functional fitness. Like CrossFit, functional fitness emphasizes variety in workouts, scalability of workouts to prevent injury, and short duration, high intensity exercise.
“I’ve been doing CrossFit for a year and it’s helped me achieve a perfect combat fitness test score and perfect physical fitness test score. I’m also using it to prepare for [Marine Special Operations School] next month,” said Lance Cpl. Kyle Kells, a corrections officer at the Naval Consolidated Brig.
Glassman posted the first CrossFit “Workout of the Day” online in 2001. The workout plans he established shunned weight machines and extended cardiovascular exercise while incorporating gymnastics, nutrition, and short spurts of high-intensity calisthenics and plyometrics.
A few CrossFit workout necessities include barbells, iron plates, kettle bells and places to run sprints. However, CrossFit trainers incorporate variety with truck tires, rope climbs and gymnastics rings.
CrossFitters can perform their workouts anywhere, although CrossFit-specific gyms are becoming increasingly popular.
Each day CrossFit trainers post a new “Workout of the Day” to CrossFit.com as a guide for other trainers and devotees. Access to the workouts is free, and trainers design the workouts to ensure all practitioners avoid boredom and maintain variety in their daily workouts.
“You don’t have to spend hours at a gym to see results. Less is more,” said Krista Jones, part-owner of CrossFit SoCal. “The results are proof that it works.”