Live in the Yakima Valley - Recreation: CrossFit

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Joe Schmitt writes a weekly blog called The Good Life, featuring information about the region’s history, culture, climate and economy.  The blog also showcases new residents, clubs and organizations, outdoor recreational opportunities and local events.

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Recreation:  CrossFit

Recreation: CrossFit

January 26, 2015

CrossFit has been gaining in popularity across the nation and the valley is no stranger to the phenomenon that has folks working up a sweat.  Just about every city up and down the valley has a CrossFit gym or program so if you are looking for one to join, you shouldn’t have to look too far. 

“It’s a way to go to the gym and actually get results,” said Andrew Baranowski, owner and coach at CrossFit Lower Valley gym.

This core strength and conditioning program was designed to work numerous physical aspects in a high intensity team-sport like setting with emphasis placed on the following ten areas:

  • Cardiovascular and respiratory endurance
  • Stamina
  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Power
  • Speed
  • Coordination
  • Agility
  • Balance
  • Accuracy

Achievement in these areas is found though a series of activities including, cardio conditioning, gymnastics, and weightlifting. 

Baranowski, who graduated from Central Washington University with a degree in exercise science and was a personal trainer before opening his own gym in 2013, said, “People often go to the gym and they don’t know what to do.  They don’t know how to use the equipment or what the best way to target specific areas.  With CrossFit, you have a group personal training aspect with peers holding you accountable and pushing you through your workout.”

A typical workout might include 10-15 minutes of warm up and stretching, followed by a strength challenge, then a WOD (which is short for a ‘workout of the day’) and consists of cardio with weights. 

It’s hard to guess why CrossFit has become a national favorite, but I would reckon it has to do a bit with the comradery and supportive team environment that seems to be the norm across the board at these types of gyms.  It could also very well have something to do with the competitive aspect of the sport that has individuals competing against each other in various physical fitness activities, allowing those competing an opportunity to show off their hard work. 

If you’re looking to shake up your routine, most CrossFit gyms offer a free class, and Baranowski said CrossFit is a great way to condition for other sports.  I’ve rounded up a list of local gyms:  CrossFit Lower Valley, CrossFit Reformation, Selah Crossfit, and Yakima CrossFit.

Other links you might like:

Yoga | Roller Derby | Day Trip:  White Pass | Outdoor Recreation




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"No matter in what direction you go there's always something to do: hiking, fishing, hunting, it's just a beautiful place to be!" - Mark Sieber, Site Leader, GE Aviation