OSKALOOSA—Since the coronavirus outbreak started, community CrossFit gyms have decided to be proactive with the fitness sessions they offer their members.
CrossFit, which has been around since 2000, has an estimated 13,000 gyms in more than 120 countries. More than 100 countries were represented at the 2019 CrossFit Games. The community aspect of CrossFit gyms is their greatest asset.
Oskaloosa’s local gym, Crossfit OFC, is co-owned and managed by Lewis Opheim and now participates in regular virtual class offerings.
In addition to local CrossFit gyms like CrossFit OFC, gyms across the world have been forced to close due to government recommendations.
After closing down, the gyms had to avoid all in-person interaction with their members and then immediately switch to offering at-home programming for members, instructional videos and virtual classes.
Chase Ingraham, a 37-year-old father of two and the owner and operator of CrossFit Big D in Dallas, Texas, has been a lead spokesman for the sport since 2008.
He qualified for the CrossFit Games in 2010 and has since become recognizable for his televised commentary and participation at the CrossFit Games.
“This has nothing to do with fear or panic, but proper education and personal responsibility to those around us,” Ingraham told members in a note he recently shared online.
Local CrossFit gyms, including Osky’s CrossFit OFC, had worked out a plan before they closed up completely, which included specific times for members to come by individually to pick up workout equipment to take home. The equipment included dumbbells, kettlebells, medballs and jump ropes.
CrossFit OFC also got prepared to offer daily workouts that would be posted for members to do in their homes, including body weight programs, Instagram Live videos and outdoor training sessions with social distancing in mind.
This was difficult because CrossFit gyms are built around in-person communities and interacting members on a daily basis. But, one of CrossFit OFC’s members, Lindsay Wilcox, says the virtual options are helping her group continue to interact.
“Our group stays well connected through our Facebook group and by using the Zoom app to work out online,” said Wilcox. “We usually have an online workout available every other day.”
The overall plan is to help people stay in shape during this trying time, but also emphasize the number one precaution during the pandemic: social distancing. It’s the single most important thing we can do for ourselves and the community at this moment.
Most CrossFit members don’t feel it’s as much about getting sick, as they feel they are predominantly a young, fit and healthy group of people. They don’t see themselves as a big risk to be badly affected personally by the virus other than cold or flu like symptoms. But people can still carry it, and that is the part members say they are trying to avoid.
CrossFit is hosting a fundraising competition to support gyms during the coronavirus lockdown. To help support local gyms, starting on April 3, CrossFit is releasing a weekly workout. It includes a scaled option so athletes of all abilities can take part, and it’s suitable to complete at home. Participants can upload their scores and then be placed on a leaderboard.
The competition is free to enter, but it includes an optional donation of between $20 and $1,000 which will be distributed to gyms depending on the participant’s preferences. Participants can learn more about the fundraising efforts at the CrossFit Games official website: https://games.crossfit.com/