IT’S one of the fastest-growing forms of fitness training in the world.
And now the popular CrossFit has come to Blackpool.
It started in the United States and has spread across the UK too.
CrossFit is a core strength and conditioning programme made up of constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity.
It aims to work on a whole range of skills and aspects of fitness, including cardio-respiratory endurance, strength, power, stamina, agility and flexibility.
Workouts at Blackpool change daily to provide variety and members can visit the website to see what today’s Workout of the Day will be.
Some of the exercises used include the clean, kettlebell swing, squats, push-ups, pull-ups, deadlifts, running and rowing.
It might sound like it’s not for the faint-hearted and conjure up ideas of being for elite athletes or the preserve of strong, super-fit men.
But that’s far from the reality.
The classes, which take place every morning and evening Monday to Friday and Saturday morning at CrossFit Blackpool, on Barrow Close, Whitehills Business Park, attract all ages, all fitness abilities and just as many women as men attend.
Katie Dugan, 32, who lives near Stanley Park, was intrigued after seeing CrossFit mentioned on Facebook and wanted to improve her all-round fitness.
She goes three times a week: “I came down to try it and the buzz I got afterwards was brilliant. You feel you’ve had a great workout.
“I like the fact there’s always someone here to check technique and make sure you’re doing everything effectively and safely.
“It’s helping me to learn about nutrition – if it didn’t come out the ground and didn’t run or swim around, then you shouldn’t eat it.
“I’ve gone from a size 16 to size 12 and am getting a six-pack.
“I really enjoy it, it’s like a nice family unit, everybody looks after each other.
“If you can’t do something, there’s always an alternative or option so everybody can join in.”
Amy Forrest, 21, from Poulton, started coming to sessions with her boyfriend, who is training for the Navy, but didn’t imagine it would be something she would enjoy.
“My boyfriend was really pleased when CrossFit opened in Blackpool and I came along, but didn’t even wear my gym clothes as I was just planning on spectating.
“Of course, I ended up doing it too. It was such a good feeling afterwards.
“It’s really friendly and there’s always someone to help you. It’s definitely made a difference to my fitness and my physique.
“I would encourage other girls to come along – it’s as much for girls as guys and there’s nothing you won’t be able to do.”
Instructor Kristy Nelson said activities like CrossFit were becoming more popular and she felt the London 2012 Olympics might have had some influence.
“I think more girls now want that toned look, the more athletic physique since the Olympics and have realised how good it is to be strong.
“Strong is the new skinny, after all.
“We get as many girls coming as guys and it’s great because everybody can work at their own level.
“We get people of all ages, including one lady in her late 50s.
“Exercises can be adapted if there’s something people can’t do and there’s always chance for everybody to progress.
“There’s a big sense of community and we have social events too.”
For information, click www.crossfitblackpool.com or call 07904 957162 or 07771 887199.