LIFE club promotes active lifestyle with CrossFit competition

For those who feel bored by their usual workouts and want to try a new activity, LIFE club will introduce an exercise routine that is intense, dynamic and fun. On May 7 the club will host, together with Running Club and Scotford Fitness Center, Whitworth’s first CrossFit competition.  LIFE club asked senior Drew Belton to plan the competition activities. Belton is a certified CrossFit instructor and an intern at CrossFit Spokane on Augusta Avenue.

“We define CrossFit as constantly varied, functional movements at high intensity. Everything you’re doing is multi-jointed and there’s no muscle isolation,” Belton said.

Todd Sandberg, Kinesiology and Athletics assistant professor, first tried the CrossFit program three years ago when some of his students became excited by the new exercise option.

“Overall, you’re taking somewhat traditional and non-traditional exercises and grouping them together which has a result on increasing the intensity,” Sandberg said. “As well, a lot of them are timed and you are competing against others.”

In the CrossFit Spokane gym, participants keep track of their timed scores on a board for a running state of competition.

“It’s either you have a required task and you have to do that as fast as possible or there’s a time limit and you have to do as many rounds or repetitions as you can in that time,” Belton said.

LIFE club began last fall and hosted activities such as a wellness competition, healthy cooking nights and a yoga class. The club leadership decided to focus on a single event for this spring. They had originally hoped to end the year with a triathlon but realized a CrossFit competition would be more feasible to host while still fun and community-oriented.

The club president, senior Courtney Hutchins, sees CrossFit as a fun workout for people who are competitive or enjoy playing sports.

“It’s not just running or swimming. It’s competing against the clock and competing with a group,” Hutchins said.

CrossFit may not be well known at Whitworth, but police officers and fire fighters have caught onto it because of its functionality and high intensity, Sandberg said.

“I think there’s a place in CrossFit for everybody,” Sandberg said. “It’s fun. It can be intense but the individual is in control. So if you don’t want to go hard, if you want to stop and take a breather, that’s okay.”

For senior Tessa Hanson, club treasurer, CrossFit is an ideal way to break the routine of exercise.

“It’s a lot more exciting that running on a treadmill and seeing the time go by,” Hanson said. “A lot of people get their workouts in a box and they get bored with what there is to offer. Nobody wants to run every single day on the exact same route.”

LIFE club will accept sign ups for both individuals and teams in the competition at Springfest on April 30.

Story by Emily Roth

Photo by Lauren Rush

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