The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Danville News

January 2, 2014

CrossFit catches on: Exercise program growing in Danville, Lewisburg

DANVILLE — A new CrossFit program at the Danville Area Community Center is booming in popularity after only five months of operation.

“The big thing about CrossFit is functional fitness,” said instructor David Rowe. All the exercises improve actions that can be applied to everyday activities, such as lifting a bag of groceries. “We want to do these common things uncommonly well,” said CrossFit instructor Drew Hagerman.

Typical CrossFit exercises include jumping rope, running, dead lifting and power lifting. Exercises can be substituted out for ones that work similar muscle groups if the original is too difficult for an exerciser. “People are intimidated by CrossFit, but if they try it they realize its something that really is for anyone,” Rowe said.

The program appeals to a wide range of people across multiple age groups. “Our youngest client is 5, in our CrossFit Kids program, and our oldest is 69,” Rowe said.

One of the goals of the children’s program is to ensure that the young exercisers “won’t join the growing ranks of adults with lower back pain,” Rowe said.

Attendees range from housewives to college athletes and everyone in between.

The class regularly attracts 30 to 40 clients a month. “I think the biggest draw for CrossFit is the community aspect,” Rowe said. It can be difficult to be motivated when somebody goes to the gym alone, but doing it with others is more appealing. “It starts to become a social event you look forward to rather than something you dread,” he said.

Stuti Fernandes, of Danville, started taking part in CrossFit in February, when she lived in Ithaca, N.Y. When she moved to Danville this summer, the local CrossFit program let her continue her exercise while also meeting new people. The community is the best part of CrossFit for her, and she likes making silly bets with one of her friends in the class, Jason Hoch. “He lost one and couldn’t eat chocolate for a week,” she said.

Billie Ingraham, programming director for the DACC, also participates in CrossFit. “Here, you’re getting people to beyond general sweating,” she said. A lot of exercise programs are isolating in that they focus on doing activities such as bicep curls for its own sake, but there are practical applications for all of the CrossFit exercises. “It’s competing against yourself. … It’s making yourself improve,” she said.

Danville’s program, CrossFit Iron and Steel, began after the success of the CrossFit Lewisburg program. Both locations have been growing rapidly and are looking for new locations to accommodate their increased number of clients.

The cost of the CrossFit Iron and Steel program is $90 a month, which breaks down to less than $6 an hour, Rowe said. Discounts are also available for military, first responders, college students, high school students and children. The classes are held Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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