Belvoir fitness enthusiasts qualify for CrossFit program
March 7, 2014
Fort Belvoir, Va. (March 6, 2014) - Fort Belvoir servicemembers and civilians took the Kawamura Human Performance Center's mandatory CrossFit Introductory Class Thursday to become qualified to use the new facility.
Nine fitness enthusiasts learned about facility programs and equipment to include: specific workout programs and weekly schedules, safety awareness and precautions, and the established methodologies regarding CrossFit in general, during the preliminary briefing session, hosted by Joseph Castro, KHPC strength and conditioning coordinator.
The class began with participants taking the functional movement screen, which included an array of flexibility and strength measurements, and concluded with a full-on workout with the center's new equipment.
According to Castro, the KHPF is geared to a specific type of athlete, one looking for a highly specialized type of workout that goes a step beyond what is available at the installation's more traditional gyms, such as Graves Fitness Center and the Body Shop.
"This program emphasizes joint flexibility, stability and focused strength and endurance conditioning, following the number-one rule: mobility before stability before movement" he said, referring to the linear progression individuals will take during the course of training. "It begins with the functional movement screen during which participants are scored on a four-point scale on a range of movements; 0 equals pain, 1 equals dysfunction, 2 equals acceptable and 3 equals optimal, in terms of what each person experiences during the tests."
This initial test battery gives trainers an idea of where each participant is physically and what areas need to be worked on more than others, Castro added.
During the briefing Castro emphasized that the KHPF and the demanding CrossFit program requires a serious, focused mindset to be successful and to avoid injuries during the high intensity workouts.
"I don't want to see people zoning out in here with their headphones on while they're exercising; I want to see people teaming up and working together. I want everybody in here to be successful," he said. "This is a specialized gym; if you want to get into a more (leisurely) approach to fitness, go to another facility to exercise. You can use this place as a laboratory to increase strength and flexibility, and monitor your improvement. It's about improving strength, endurance and power."
A primary aspect of the course discussion was the rigid workout schedule participants are expected to follow to the letter as they utilize the center. Mondays will be dedicated to Olympic lifts, Tuesdays will focus on hip and knee-dominant exercises such as the hip hinge, Wednesdays will include horizontal and vertical push presses, and on Thursdays, patrons will work on squats to further develop hip and knee strength and flexibility.
So far the consensus among the class participants has been positive, with each hoping to improve on a particular aspect of their existing workout programs under the guidance of a dedicated trainer unwilling to cut any corners.
"I've been working out before this, but this is the first time I've done CrossFit," said Matthew Edwards. "For me it was easy getting into shape with football, because you always have the coach yelling at you. I tend to be lazy and that's why I wanted to give this a try."
"I've been doing functional fitness training and I wanted to do this to increase my strength and endurance and just my general level of physical fitness, especially now that I'm over 40," added Kelly Williams, a paralegal with the U.S. Army Legal Services Agency. "Plus my workouts here will be very convenient since I work right across the street."
For others the CrossFit method will serve as an effective supplement to an existing weight training and aerobics conditioning program.
"Basically I run and lift weights at Graves Fitness Center and the Body Shop, and what I've done before is incorporate some of the elements of CrossFit but I haven't done CrossFit itself," said Col. Garrett Heath, Center for Army Analysis, division chief. "This is a good program for me; it's a different kind of training to round out what I normally do. With weight lifting I'll do maybe five sets and then take a rest; it's not continuous movement like this is. This will give me higher intensity, with different equipment that's not available at the other gyms. It's almost like the difference between different types of running; you could be great at marathons but terrible as a sprinter. This facility and program gives you increased performance in all areas of total fitness."
The center will be open Monday -- Friday through March 14, 5:30 a.m. -- 1 p.m. The facility will be closed to self-directed use during the Introductory Class cycle.
Regular operating hours will be 5:30 a.m. -- 8 p.m., Monday -- Friday, beginning March 17. The center will be closed Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
For more information regarding the KHPC call Sheila Edwards at (703) 806-4647.