The program, called CrossFit, is the same name as the gym that opened its doors at 40 Sintsink Dr. East in October.
Owners—and spouses—Kevin and Shannon Healy say business at CrossFit, which used to be a vacant building, has been brisk. People like the results they are seeing with the program, no matter what their age, Shannon said. CrossFit’s website describes it as a “core strength and conditioning program” with, on the more intense end of the spectrum of exercises, distance rowing and rope climbing.
There is even a CrossFit program for kids.
What the Healys do is pay CrossFit Inc. a licensing fee to use the name and exercise program. CrossFit, begun in 1974 on the west coast, only started taking off in recent years in the east. The Port Washington CrossFit has 35 to 40 full-time members, Shannon said.
The Healys decided to open a CrossFit gym because they are die hard fans of the program and wanted to be in business together. They chose Port Washington because they both had lived here and the community “has great energy,” Shannon said.
The beauty of CrossFit is that it is “universally scalable,” Shannon said. “It meets the needs and fitness levels of individuals.” This means the same workout may be going on, but at different degrees of intensity and with different sized weights.
CrossFit is “able to meet the needs and fitness experience of different individuals,” Shannon said. “When you walk into one of my classes you will see various fitness levels, ages and CrossFit experiences among our members. I can have someone with two weeks CrossFit experience in the same class as someone who has been doing it for two years, and they are both doing the same workout.”
Shannon began doing CrossFit in September 2012 and says she immediately fell in love. She had been an exercise enthusiast for years, doing everything from running to spin, boot camps and pilates.
She had completed three marathons and several half marathons, but wanted something to take her to the next level.
“I felt that I was thin, but I never felt strong,” she said.
Shannon heard about CrossFit through a family friend and was very interested, albeit a little nervous. “I was intimidated,” she said. “I had never lifted weights, never done a pull-up. I hadn’t jumped rope or done a handstand since I was a kid.”
Shannon walked into her first CrossFit class in September 2012 and says her life completely changed. “After I finished my first workout, I looked at my coach and said, ‘I thought I was in shape,’” Shannon said.
She encouraged husband Kevin to give it a try, and he too became addicted. Kevin was skeptical at first because of a shoulder injury he sustained playing lacrosse at the University of Maryland.
“I have always had limitations in the gym due to my shoulder and I didn’t want to re-injure it, so I stayed away from CrossFit in the beginning,” Kevin said. “I quickly realized that as long as I stay within my limitations, CrossFit only made my shoulder stronger.”
The most important part of any exercise program is the results. Shannon said if someone is dedicated and comes to class at least four times a week, they can expect to see results in a few short months. The support and community feel that happens at a CrossFit gym is also what sets it apart from a traditional gym, Shannon said. “I know all my members on a first-name basis, and they all know each other. I want to see each of them succeed. My staff and I find out their goals and encourage each member to achieve them—no matter how big or small.”
In addition to exercise, healthy, clean eating is encouraged. The gym even provides food-delivery service. “The food is delivered to the gym twice a week,” said Shannon. “We strive to set our members up for success.”
Citing a popular CrossFit maxim, Shannon said, “CrossFit is the only place where the loudest cheers are for the person who finishes last.” In other words, there is a feeling of camaraderie, she said.
CrossFit Port Washington is open seven days a week, with a free class for beginners on Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. Call 516-439-4490 or visit www.crossfit-portwashington.com for more information.