A new year will be here before you know it and while many of us have the intentions of improving our health in 2018, we all know how truly difficult it can be to do that alone. Whatever your fitness level, from novice to expert, Stroud CrossFit will help elevate your health and fitness to the next level. We had the pleasure of talking with Bailey Garrett, co-owner of Stroud CrossFit, about what exactly CrossFit is and many of the misconceptions surrounding it.
Q: CrossFit – most have heard about it but many may not know exactly what it is. Could you explain?
A: CrossFit is, by textbook, constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. This means movements that mimic everyday life are often seen in a CrossFit WOD (workout of the day) and are done with a little more pep in your step than your typical walk on the treadmill or body building circuit done in a conventional gym. Every day, a different workout is written on the board, so you never have to think about what you are going to do that day or repeat the same workout over and over again.
Q: You and Bryan Meraviglia are the co-owners of Stroud CrossFit. How long have you been instructing CrossFit?
A: I have been instructing CrossFit for almost 3 years now and my co-owner Bryan has been instructing for 2 years. Every day we get to change lives!
Q: What is your background?
A: My background is pretty ridiculous! I was a high school athlete, albeit not the most enthusiastic about playing sports. I also practiced martial arts for many years as a high schooler and college student, so after graduating I stayed pretty active. I went to school for graphic design, so my background wasn’t naturally in athletics. After a few years of exhausting my creativity, I went back to working out in a gym and became very bored. I found CrossFit my senior year of college and knew I wanted nothing more than to become an eventual athlete in the sport and then own my own CrossFit gym. From there, I went to many seminars, certifications, and courses to hone my craft into what it is now!
Q: Do you need to be an athlete to participate in CrossFit?
A: Not at all! That is the beauty of the fitness program – it’s completely scalable for anyone! We have people from 13 years old to 70 years old working out at Stroud CrossFit. Most of our clientele are people who haven’t worked out a day in their lives or who haven’t been in a gym in decades! We thoroughly cover the fundamentals so that everyone is able to participate and work out at their own pace and ability level.
Q: In the media, CrossFit is often playfully referred to as a “cult.” Why do you think people refer to it in that way?
A: In a way they are right. But, like with anything you get involved in, (intramural sports leagues, the Elks Lodge, Boy Scouts, sororities, etc.) you are bringing yourself into a tight-knit community. You get to know people who you might never have run into in your daily life, and they start to become your friends and, in some cases, your eventual families. I have seen CrossFit gyms bring people together in ways you can’t imagine! The bond through a good workout and a little sweat can make the President become best friends with the plumber.
Q: What are some of the other common misconceptions about CrossFit?
A: I think two of the biggest ones I’m aware of are: 1. you need to be “in shape” to start CrossFit and 2. CrossFit causes injuries. First, you absolutely DO NOT need to be “in shape” to start CrossFit. CrossFit helps people get in shape as well as improve their lives, overall. It’s the program you want to do if getting in shape is your goal. I think there is nothing out there to better help you succeed. Secondly, injuries can happen with just about anything you do in life – picking up your kids, putting your pants on in the morning, stacking heavy dishes on the top shelf. CrossFit, when taught correctly, actually acts as a way of injury prevention in your day-to-day life.
Q: How would you suggest someone new to CrossFit get started?
A: We have people who are interested either give us a call or shoot us an email saying they would like to try it out or sign up. Our first class is free, so anyone who is curious can come in and try it. From there, we have a mandatory class called Foundations that we instruct one-on-one with the potential client. This ensures that they understand the movements and feel confident and capable of doing them in a class setting. After that 3-day intensive class is over, they are able to graduate into our daily CrossFit classes.
Q: What can newcomers expect to see in terms of their health and fitness after starting the program?
A: Tons of changes! These can range from rapid weight loss, increases in energy, sleeping better at night, fewer junk food cravings, increased serotonin and dopamine levels which result in happiness, and the list goes on!
Q: How frequently should a person expect to attend CrossFit in order to see the benefits?
A: We generally like to start newcomers out at 3 times per week. This way, they are able to recover more quickly and won’t put a huge demand on their bodies. From there, it’s really up to the person if he or she wants to increase involvement. We actually have people who come in 5-6 times a week!
Q: What separates Stroud CrossFit from the rest?
A: We were one of the first gyms in the Poconos and were the very first in East Stroudsburg before moving to our current location in Stroudsburg. Being a veteran affiliate has allowed us to experiment with what we think the community needs and what it doesn’t. That time and experience has also allowed us to fine-tune our program and methodology. We’re a gym based on delivering a great fitness regimen to the greater Monroe area. We are constantly striving to learn and grow with the sport and those involved in it. We also pride ourselves on having great relationships with our members and focusing on what each and every person needs individually. Bryan and I look at our members as family, not a number!