Dalton Ard, owner and operator of CrossFit on the Plains, said CrossFit is a combination functional movements used in a variety of different ways at levels of high intensity while incorporating exercises such as weightlifting, power lifting, sprinting, gymnastics, medicine ball training and kettle bell training.
“A lot of the magic of CrossFit is in the compound movements we use,” Ard said. “We don’t train body parts. We train movements that carry over into daily activities, whether that be lifting a large bag of dog food, moving heavy boxes or getting up from a chair.”
Ard said a key factor to this exercise regiment is its intensity.
“By intensity, I mean how much work you do and how fast you do it,” Ard said. “This intensity factor is at the core of what makes CrossFit successful.”
Recent Auburn graduate in nutrition science and trainer at CrossFit on the Plains Phillip Cala said each workout lasts between 10 and 20 minutes.
“Since the workouts are shorter than what most people are used to, our clients are able to come in and complete a CrossFit regiment several times throughout the week,” Cala said. “So you’re getting a whole lot of work in a short amount of time rather than spending a couple hours doing the same exercise, like walking on a treadmill or lifting weights, at a recreational gym. It’s a lifestyle that’s easy and enjoyable to keep up.”
Ard said CrossFit is a way for those out of shape to get in shape and attain the optimal fitness level necessary to achieve and maintain their desired results.
“I think it’s a great way to mix up your workout routine,” said Anna Bryars, junior in pre-nursing. “Everyday is a different workout, and it consists of a wide variety of cardio and strength training.”
Ard said most people are intimidated by CrossFit’s extreme reptutation.
“People get intimidated when they hear ‘CrossFit’ because of what they see on television or YouTube, but what they don’t understand is that’s not the reality of what we do here,” Ard said. “We operate as a community, and people use the competitiveness in the group workouts to motivate them to do their best. Our goal is to take people from where they’re at and make their quality of life better through fitness while having fun and seeing results.”
The sense of community at CrossFit on the Plains is critical to its success.
“The average person comes in between four and six times per week,” Ard said, “Our members become friends and genuinely care about each other, which is hard to come by at a bigger franchise. They help each other out and encourage new members to see the program through, despite how difficult it is in the beginning.”
Cala said anyone who is curious about CrossFit should give it a chance.
“We scale our workouts to satisfy everyone’s ability,” Cala said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete or someone that’s never worked out before in your life. CrossFit is something everyone can do no matter how old they are or how much they weigh. We’ll help you do it to the best of your ability.”
Auburn offers CrossFit training classes to its students that are taught at Ard’s facility.
“I am the trainer for the University classes,” Ard said. “They’re offered each semester and usually fill up pretty quick.”
Bryars said she would love to take CrossFit for class credit.
“I’m definitely planning to do that before I graduate,” Bryars said. “My family and I started doing CrossFit together last summer while I was home. I’d love to keep it up while I’m in school.”
Ard opened CrossFit on the Plains as a licensed CrossFit affiliate in August 2010 after working as a personal trainer at Fitness Together in Vestavia Hills just outside of Birmingham.
“My boss at Fitness Together got involved with CrossFit on his own, and then passed it down to my co-workers and myself because he thought it was something we’d really enjoy,” Ard said. “After watching him do it for about a week, and after seeing the results, I was definitely interested because of its competitive nature and intense workout regiment.”
Ard said after trying it out for himself he knew he wanted to open his own gym and decided Auburn was the ideal location.
“I’ve always been a Auburn fan, and I’ve always felt drawn to this town,” Ard said. “With my wife’s support, deciding to open my business here wasn’t a tough decision.”
For more information about CrossFit on the Plains, visit crossfitontheplains.com or contact Ard at 334-821-8100.