CrossFit Limitless: A ‘Sport’ Of Fitness
Confession: It’s been 15 months since I parted ways with my gym membership and consequently, a regular fitness regimen.
Opting instead for scenic 4-mile hikes through the Greenbelt Trail in Cold Spring Harbor to stay active this summer — and a brief stint in a 21 and older kickball league — I lost touch with how it feels to truly “work out” your body; that bittersweet, burning sensory reminder that seems to linger for days following a really great full body work out.
Two days after our one-hour trial session at CrossFit Limitless in Huntington Village, that burning sensation, the one that makes you wonder whether hitting the gym was the best or worst decision you’ve ever made, has stayed with me. But here comes confession number two: I like it.
CrossFit Limitless owner Brian Diez describes CrossFit training as the sport of the fitness world. A sport, Diez explained, involves some form of competition, and with CrossFit that competition is between the client and himself. Fitness is “loosely defined” and can be gauged from assessing different metabolic pathways during a workout. According to Diez, CrossFit is a style of fitness all its own, and offered the “hopper method” comparison that distinguishes CrossFit workouts from most others.
“It’s your ability to adapt to whatever exercise is pulled out of the hopper. So what we try to do is have each workout change from day to day; it’s constantly varied,” Diez said.
Clients who sign up for training packages at CrossFit will receive a different challenge at each session, when trainers will test one day for balance and coordination while another session will instill speed and stamina, constantly building on different modalities to prime a client to become as physically well-rounded as possible.
“The objective is not to specialize in any one area, because then you have holes in your armor and your game is weak,” Diez said.
Shortly after stepping into the 1,700 square-foot Main Street studio at 11 a.m. Saturday morning, accompanied by my brave editor, Luann Dallojacono, came a round of pleasant introductions, each without incident; first, shaking hands with Diez, another trainer on-site, and then with Amy and Chris, two CrossFit curious local residents who also participated in the Dec. 7 trial session. Each handshake was more pleasant than the last—until the Long Islander News duo met CINDY.
CINDY is a “benchmark” CrossFit workout that charges clients to complete as many repetitions as they can of five pull-ups, 10 pushups and 15 squats in 20 minutes time.
The beauty of benchmark Crossfit workouts like CINDY, Diez said, is that everybody goes at their own pace. CrossFit incorporates a “sporting” component into exercise by fostering competition between the client and his or herself, as each exercise—pull-ups, pushups and squats — literally pits an individual against their own body weight, testing one’s ability to lift or manipulate your own physical mass.
And, according to Diez, members who attend class two or three times a week also engage in competition between other members in their class. In addition to providing medicine balls, exercise bands and dumbbells, CrossFit Limitless gives each client a small whiteboard where they can track how many repetitions they complete in a 10-or 20-minute exercise circuit.
I am proud to say I completed 3.5 repetitions during our timed circuit, although I’m convinced the trainers gave us some extra time after seeing how ill-prepared Luann and I were for the Saturday morning activity. However, I could not complete a pull-up without using an exercise band, which Diez tied to the top of the pull-up bar. Instructed to put one foot in the band while crossing my other leg over it, I was able to hang suspended from the bar and was able to lift myself up over the bar just past my chin. Diez made similar adjustments to typical pull-ups, push-ups and squats for each of us in the trial class, according to our abilities.
Relatively speaking, the first one or two “warm-up” circuits were easy, but that was before we began the timed repetitions. After gripping the bars for a third set I could feel my shoulders screaming in agony, and as I took to the floor for a set of pushups, I could feel the burn building up even more—it appeared I had reached my limit. Given my naturally “muscular” thighs I was less perturbed by the squats, but perhaps that was because my form was incorrect for the first several repetitions. Once I finally got the form down, I was convinced that I could do squats all day—that is, until, I went to bed that night and didn’t emerge until 2: 30 p.m. the following day.
Even two days later, Luann and I feel the burn, but we aren’t complaining about it. In fact, we see it is a challenge to get right back into it and show CINDY who’s boss.
Our trial session comrades Chris Butera, of Huntington, as well as Amy, each signed up for training packages at the Huntington studio. Butera said he heard about the fitness center through word of mouth, and wanted a change from his normal cardio routine.
“I wanted something more intense. It was tough but fun; the goal is that every time you get a little stronger,” Butera said of his decision to sign up.
Due to the high influx of clients, Diez said he is looking to expand his workout facility in the near future to a larger space in Huntington village.
“Everyone does their own work out here and tries to help each other out. It’s a good atmosphere,” Diez said.
Free trial sessions for newcomers are offered every Saturday morning at 11 a.m. Class schedules vary depending on your package of choice. Members can drop in one time ($25); sign up for two sessions per week ($149 per/month); workout three times a week ($169 per month); or enroll for unlimited classes ($189 per month). Different pricing packages are also available for children and teens. CrossFit Limitless offers discounts for first responders, military, full-time students, seniors, corporate and family packages.
Residents who bring an unwrapped toy to the studio this weekend will receive a free, one hour workout. All toy donations will be forwarded to charitable organizations and children in need this holiday season.
345 Main St., Huntington village