‘No monotony’ in CrossFit workouts at A.M.P. Fitness Box

05/16/2012 10:57 PM

05/16/2012 10:57 PM

If you’ve seen the CrossFit Games on TV or the Reebok commercials for CrossFit One shoes, then the gym at A.M.P. Fitness Box should look familiar.

There’s the rope to be climbed, the tractor tires to be flipped over and the weights that bounce when you drop them. It’s hot and there are no mirrors – appropriate because “box” is CrossFit slang for gym.

“We’re gonna put you through a killer workout,” said Chris Owen, one of four owners of the facility. “Never the same. No monotony.”

Indeed, photographs on the A.M.P. Fitness website show clients running through the parking lot of the nearby Burger King with dumbbells on their shoulders, jumping on what looks like a 4-foot-high box and sprawled against the wall in utter exhaustion.

CrossFit is probably the hottest thing in exercise right now.

It’s a California-based company with about 3,400 affiliated gyms around the world. It features a style of high-intensity workouts that are designed to push the body by constantly changing. Daily workouts are posted on its website.

A.M.P. Fitness, which opened three weeks ago, isn’t affiliated with CrossFit, but Owen and his partners hope it soon will be. That would make it the second in Wichita after CrossFit Wichita, located at 535 S. St. Francis.

Official or not, the A.M.P. Fitness partners make no secret that their facility and group workout sessions are modeled after CrossFit.

One partner, Mike Grijalva, is a CrossFit certified trainer. Owen, Grijalva and the other two partners – Noah Morford and Ivan Talavera – are CrossFit adherents, as a glance at their bodies would suggest.

Owen and Talavera are U.S. Army recruiters (with combat badges) and Grijalva is retired from the Army. Morford is a former K-State football player and strength coach at Bethel College.

Owen said the idea for the gym “started in our basement and kind of worked our way up.”

A.M.P. Fitness is in the former east-side YMCA near Douglas and Rock Road. Two other fitness businesses are located under the same roof – Pure-Formance, owned by Tim Simoneau, brother of former NFL player Mark Simoneau; and Next Level, a basketball camp headed by former Wichita State standout Jason Perez.

“I think it brings all the fitness and sports aspects together,” Morford said. “We’re trying to make it a one-stop shop.”

Although personal training is offered, the real focus of A.M.P. Fitness is group sessions. Morford said that keeps the cost down per person and also feeds the competitive spirit that is key to CrossFit routines.

Classes include a one-hour, thrice-weekly core, strength and conditioning program; an Olympic lifting course; kids fitness sessions; boot-camp-style workouts; and “Ready to POP” routines for expectant mothers.

This Friday’s workout plan for one class includes an 800-meter run, 28 kettlebell swings, 56 pull-ups, 28 kettlebell clean and jerks, and another 800-meter run.

“We don’t change the workout for anybody,” Morford said, adding, however, that the workouts are scaled up or down according to participants’ abilities.

Owens said clients range from martial arts fighters and former college athletes to executives, high school kids and housewives. Nationwide, women are some of CrossFit’s most dedicated fans.

“The new – I guess you could say sexiness – is CrossFit,” Morford said. “It’s not aerobics. They’re in here throwing barbells over their head and looking better than ever before.”

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