Learn More About CrossFit with Michael Gardner, Crossfit 550 Head Trainer

CrossFit 550 in Ocean View, New Jersey, is For All Genders and Ages

Normally when someone thinks of CrossFit, they picture the extreme heavy lifters that are competing on ESPN and immediately think that they could never do that workout. Or the women see the big muscular men and say they do not want to gain too much muscle and look “manly.”

However, all of these generalizations are wrong. Anyone at any age or gender can do CrossFit. The ages in this class ranged from 15 to 58 years old.

“It’s awesome. It pushes us and is a quick workout but you see results fast,” Reid Cowan, 15 years old said

“I started this in July and I am 58 years old,” Eileen Whittington said. “I love that I never know what you are walking into and you just to do it, and do it to the best of your ability and everyone is very supportive. So everyday is a good day when you finish your wod (workout of the day.) I have been running for years and just wanted to try something different that would give me the strength that I wanted and it’s working.”

According to Michael Gardner, Crossfit 550 Head Trainer, Crossfit is very functional and the workouts vary so that they are never doing the same workout.

“We combine Olympic lifting, power lifting and body weight movements, gymnastics, and endurance sports and try to just focus on getting a good stimulus from the high intensity that is created from the workout,” Gardner explained.

Like any workout individuals should slowly ease into it. They also should take a demo class before they take an actual CrossFit class. The demo class allows the individual to learn how to perform all the lifts properly to help prevent injury.

CrossFit 550 offers a free demo class at 10:30am on Saturdays, so you do not need to worry about spending money on your first class. The trainers will also make sure that you start lifting at the correct weight so that you do not hurt yourself trying to lift to much weight your first time. As you get stronger you will increase your weight.

Most of the classes are timed and you try to complete against the clock while working out efficiently but quickly to beat your best time. Sometimes the classes can be done in groups and then the Crossfitters compete in groups against each other to compete for the best time.

However, not everyone competes against the clock. They just workout at their own pace and try to get it done effectively without getting injured. Either way everyone is very supportive in the class, and no one ever looks down or makes fun of you if you are not the first person to complete the workout.

This workout has gained popularity from people seeing it on TV, reading about it in magazines, and by word of mouth. There are still some individuals that are nervous to try it, but Gardner assures them there is nothing to worry about.

“Don’t be intimidated by it, everyone is always saying how intimidated they are because it looks ridiculously hard on TV but that doesn’t mean that your going to be doing those same workouts. It’s going to be scaled down to your ability as long as you have the right mindset,” Gardner said.

 

Advertisements

ElliptiGO: It’s a Hybrid Between an Elliptical and a Bike and it Will Make People Stop and Stare as You Ride By

Need a break from running, but tired of the indoor bike or the elliptical at the gym. Well the ElliptiGO is the perfect solution.

I heard about an ElliptiGO from a friend who saw it and I did some research to find out where I could try it. The Harbor Bike Shop in Stone Harbor rents them for one hour for $25.00 plus tax. The only rules are that you cannot ride it on the sidewalk and do not ride the ElliptiGO on the beach. After that you are good to go!

One of the Harbor Bike Shop employees agreed that it is good exercise.

“It’s definitely a workout and it is very easy once you get it started. I rode it once and its pretty similar to the elliptical at the gym, however, you’re using it outside and not in the gym, Donna Olfert, 24, Harbor Bike shop employee said. You get to workout on the elliptical outside with the fresh air and sunshine.”

Make sure to wear comfortable sneakers, workout clothes, and bring a water bottle. Other than that enjoy the ride and have fun!

After my hour test ride I have to say that it is quite the workout. I enjoy working out on the elliptical at the gym; however, I find myself getting bored because I want to be moving and going somewhere or just want to be outside. I tore my ACL and meniscus about four years ago. I am an avid runner, but need to take a few days off for the knee every once in a while, that is when I incorporate the elliptical into my workout routine.

The ElliptiGO is the perfect solution for my elliptical boredom. I love being outdoors, running, biking, surfing, etc. Being able to ride the ELLIPTIGO outdoors was great.  So many people would stop and stare as I rode by. I even had a car slow down and drive along side me and ask me about it. They were curious and asked me about the ElliptiGO as I rode it. What’s it like? Is it easy to ride? Where can I rent one?

Similarities to an elliptical/bike:

  • The pedaling motion is almost identical to an elliptical machine and the upright standing position that you pedal.
  • The front of the ElliptiGO is exactly like a mountain bike with hand breaks and gears for you to use and change as you ride.
  • On an elliptical you can increase the resistance and on the ElliptiGO you have three different gear changes you can use one being the easiest gear and three being the hardest gear. (I started on gear one and quickly changed it to gear three to increase the intensity of my ride.)

Differences to an elliptical/bike:

  • With an ElliptiGO you need to use a lot more balance because you are moving on two wheels, it is almost impossible to remove your hands while using the ElliptiGO without falling. Unlike an elliptical where you can take you arms off and pedal forwards and backwards with ease you cannot on the ElliptiGO.
  • You are also battling the wind, sun glare and traffic.  On an elliptical you are indoors in a controlled environment.
  • The only difficult part was stopping and starting.

For example, to cross traffic if I had to stop my momentum it was a little difficult to start up the momentum again to get across the street quickly. So I had to make sure that when I had to cross traffic that I waited until there was no traffic coming so that I knew I had plenty of time to cross the street without causing traffic problems. Or I tried to make sure to just coast and not stop completely which would help prevent me from having a difficult time crossing the road.

The only downside to the ElliptiGO is if you really enjoyed riding it and wanted to buy one for yourself you can, however, it will cost you about $1,800. So with that I would highly recommend renting them and trying it a few times before you make the investment or find one used if you can, but it is a great workout so have fun!

ElliptiGO a nice change from the everyday elliptical! Photo Credit: Alison Mastrangelo

ElliptiGO a nice change from the everyday elliptical! Photo Credit: Alison Mastrangelo