F.A.Q.

 Do I need to be fit to Crossfit?

You absolutely do not need to be “in shape” to join Champlain Valley CrossFit. Regardless of your physical capabilities, you will not only be okay but you will succeed in reaching your personal goals.

How do I start?

Unless you’re coming to train at Champlain Valley CrossFit from another CrossFit affiliate or have relatively extensive experience with Olympic Lifting, Power Lifting, Plyometrics, Calistehics, and the general CrossFit movements, you need to sign-up for one of our On-Ramp programs. All of our new athletes go through this program so that they can get a basic understanding for what we do at Champlain Valley CrossFit. On-Ramp provides time for our coaches to get to know you. You can read more about On-Ramp and sign-up by clicking HERE

How is Champlain Valley Crossfit different from other gyms?

CrossFit gyms are drastically different from normal gyms and Champlain Valley CrossFit is no exception. Champlain Valley CrossFit is a facility littered with weights, medicine balls, kettlebells, plyometrics boxes, and other tools to advance your fitness. At Champlain Valley CrossFit you aren’t just another member, you are an athlete first and foremost, and one that we care about. Disappear for a couple of weeks, you’ll get an e-mail or phone call to see what’s going on and to make sure that everything is okay. Champlain Valley CrossFit is in the business of making healthier, stronger, happier people, not in selling gym memberships that don’t ever get used.

Champlain Valley CrossFit was the first CrossFit facility in Chittenden County. As time has gone by other CrossFit affiliates have started to open up in the area. Are we different? Certainly. Are we the same? Yes. All CrossFits function under the basic underlying principles of what makes CrossFit, CrossFit. That’s where the similarities end. We do different workouts, have different ideals, different business policies, a different community, and we strongly believe that we offer the best CrossFit service in the area. So while there may be multiple CrossFit affiliates in the area that do CrossFit, we have our own unique style of nurturing and training the athlete.

How often should I come?

That depends on what you’re looking to achieve. We generally don’t recommend more than 5 days/week, while there are folks who come more, we’ve found that our athletes who train 5 days a week and rest 2 are the most successful with their training and aren’t as liable to over train as those that might come 6 or 7 days a week. With that said, we recommend an absolute bare minimum of 2 days/week. CrossFit as a fitness program and a sport embodies a wide variety of disciplines that are performed in constant variation. If you only come 1 day a week you might only see a certain movement every couple of months. The bulk of the athletes who come to Champlain Valley Crossfit come between 3 and 5 days a week. At 3 days a week, you will get a foundation for CrossFit and your body will begin to adapt. Coupled with a sound dietary plan, you will see some amazing changes in your body. Coming 5 days/week will only expedite that process.

Is Crossfit right for me?

Give CrossFit a try! Ultimately you’ll have to decide for yourself. If you want to feel stronger, healthier and happier, this is likely the perfect place for you. The community of CrossFitters will carry you along and before you know it, you will feel fit!

What can Champlain Valley Crossfit do for me?

If you’re willing to dive in, Champlain Valley CrossFit will help make you the fittest, healthiest, happiest individual you’ve ever been and will surround you with a group of amazing people who embody everything you’ll come to embody as your lifestyle.

What does a class look like?

Classes at Champlain Valley CrossFit are a full 1-hour block of time. Every class is led by at least 1 coach, sometimes 3. A typical class structure:

  • 10 minutes warm-up
  • 5-10 minutes reviewing movements
  • 20-25 minutes working through some sort of Strength Movement (Olympic lifting or Power Lifting typically)
  • 10-20 minutes on a conditioning workout (called a Met-con in CrossFit, for metabolic conditioning)

Each segment of the class is processed as a group; some parts informally, others formally. The full hour of class is tightly woven to ensure the maximum workout. Although you are working individually, you will also be working with partners and as a team with encouragement by not only your coaches but by your fellow teammates.

What if I don’t want to be an athlete (I just want to get in shape)?

While you may think this is the case, you’re misguided. You most likely want to look like an athlete: lean and mean! It does take work. It won’t just happen. This is most commonly heard from women, but even some men. Let’s start off by sharing a point that Mark Rippetoe, a national-level American strength training coach, made in the CrossFit Journal…
“The fact is that aesthetics are best obtained from training for performance. In both architecture and human beauty, form follows function. Always and everywhere, the human body has a certain appearance when it performs at a high level, and depending on the nature of that high-level performance, this appearance is usually regarded as aesthetically pleasing, for reasons that are DNA-level deep. The training through which high-level performance is obtained is the only reliable way to obtain these aesthetics, and the only exceptions to this method of obtaining them are … people who look like they train when they were just born lucky. As a general rule, if you want to look like a lean athlete—the standard that most active people strive to emulate—you have to train like an athlete, and most people lack the “sand” for that.

Appearance can’t change unless performance does, and the performance changes are what we quantify and what we program. We pretty much know how to improve that, but the industry is based on the fiction that appropriate training proceeds from an assessment of aesthetics. Your appearance when fit is almost entirely a function of your genetics, which are expressed at their best only when your training is at its highest level, and this level is only obtainable from a program based on an improvement in your performance in the gym.”
You want to get lean? Work on reducing your “Helen” time. You want that defined v-shape in your back? Work on increasing your pull-ups. You want your thighs to looks better? Eat Paleo and increase your squat and deadlift weight. Remember what Mark Rippetoe (and 99% of legitimate exercise science) says:

  • Your muscles cannot get “longer” without some
    rather radical orthopedic surgery.
  • Muscles don’t get leaner—you do.
  • There is no such thing as “firming and toning.”
    There is only stronger and weaker.
  • The vast majority of women cannot get large, masculine muscles from barbell training. If it were that easy, they’d all have them.
  • Women who do look like men have taken some rather drastic steps in that direction that have little to do with their exercise program.
  • Women who claim to be afraid to train hard because they “always bulk up too much” are often already pretty bulky, or “skinny fat” (thin but weak and deconditioned) and have found another excuse to continue life sitting on their butts.
  • Only people willing to work to the point of discomfort on a regular basis using effective means to produce that discomfort will actually look like they have been other-than-comfortable most of the time.
  • You can thank the muscle magazines for these persistent misconceptions, along with the natural tendency of all normal humans to seek reasons to avoid hard physical exertion.

What is Crossfit?

By definition, CrossFit is a “core strength and conditioning program…designed to elicit as broad an adaptational response as possible.” Our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports and life reward this kind of fitness, and on average, punish the specialist.

The CrossFit program is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience. We’ve used our same routines for elderly individuals with heart disease and cage fighters one month out from televised bouts. We scale load and intensity; we don’t change programs. The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree not kind. Our terrorist hunters, skiers, mountain bike riders and housewives have found their best fitness from the same regimen.

At Champlain Valley CrossFit we see CrossFit as an athletic strength and conditioning program designed for every single individual. Designed to assist athletes to be better at everything they do. Instead of trying to build fitness by just running, riding a bike, swimming, rowing, or lifting: CrossFitters build fitness by incorporating a multitude of different activities into each workout.

While at times the Workout Of the Day (WOD) might be tailored to just one outcome, it is the proper blend of 2, 3 or 4 movements that make up the bread and butter of CrossFit and provides individuals with unprecedented strength and fitness with minimal time commitment. You might swing a kettlebell, throw a medicine ball, squat a barbell, do a pull-up, jump on a box, run, row, or jump rope, but the combination of the WOD is always different.

Such variety benefits participants not because it helps keep workouts interesting, but also because it:

  1. Prepares participants for a broad array of physical activities. With such a wide range of movements, weights and time domains, athletes often find themselves with the physical capabilities to do more than they ever thought.
  2. Efficiently Uses Time. CrossFit is bar none the most efficient way to elicit responses in the body that help create a fit individual in the shortest time.
  3. Reduces the Risk of Injury. CrossFit is a program designed to create athletes and thus attacks each and every part of the body strengthening the body as a whole. CrossFit can both proactively address mobility or strength deficiencies before they become an issue, and rectify them after they’ve become problematic.
  4. Creates Communities. CrossFit workouts are practiced in a small group setting, scaled to allow each participant the opportunity to perform comparable workouts, regardless of age, athletic background or experience. The experience of pushing yourself to your own personal limit becomes one that’s shared. Such journeys forge relationships amongst even the most unusual bedfellows, and create a community unlike that found in any other sports or recreational activity.

Some of this text courtesy CrossFit, Inc, CrossFit TT, Sacramento CrossFit

What is on-ramp?

On-Ramp is Champlain Valley CrossFit’s introductory program. On-Ramp goes through approximately 30 of the fundamental movements that we use in our training. It starts with the basic best practices of a Squat and a Push-up and advances athletes all the way up through the Olympic lifts, the Clean and Jerk, and Snatch. On-Ramp allows us to get a better understanding of who you are and where your abilities lie. Whether completely deconditioned or an avid fitness buff, it introduces CrossFit’s sequences and techniques and it ramps you up so you’re prepared for daily classes. Maybe most importantly, it allows you to meet people who are at the same starting point as you, brand new to CrossFit. Community is huge and this is a great way for you to meet a few new folks. You can read more about On-Ramp and sign-up by clicking HERE

Who is Crossfit for?

CrossFit is for everybody, but more importantly CrossFit is for the individual who wants his or her life changed. At Champlain Valley CrossFit our athletes range from age five (CrossFit Kids) to late sixties. We have introduced CrossFit to the super fit and to those who have been sedentary for years. All of these individuals do the same program and reap the same benefits. They get stronger, faster, healthier, and become a part of one of the most amazing communities grounded in camaraderie, competition, and leadership.

With that said, CrossFit truly isn’t for everyone. We have never had a person who has been unable to partake in training because of physical limitations, but not every person has the mindset for CrossFit or is comfortable in our environment. First and foremost, the CrossFit athlete needs to be willing to work hard. The music is loud, the space is lean, and the attire is shirts off and sports bras on! Our successes are built on sweat! No flat screen TV, towels to wipe your brow, or staff to wipe down your equipment. CrossFitters take responsibility for their own workout, their own PRs, their own CrossFit Gym.
Champlain Valley CrossFit is a place for people to work hard. Every individual who digs in is rewarded through physical changes, improved health, new friends, and engagement with the most amazing group of people around.

Why does Crossfit cost so much?

How important is your health and fitness? At Champlain Valley CrossFit the unlimited membership is $165/month! For those who come 5 days/week or 20 days/month, that’s $8.25 a visit. In return you’ll receive personalized coaching, nutritional advice, and an awesome community. We challenge you to find a service or investment that gives you greater returns on your health, fitness, and overall happiness. If you commit to CrossFit and train with us, this will be the best $165 you ever spend (there are other membership options as well), and we have countless people that will back that up.

Will I get “big” by going to Crossfit?

Weight loss/gain depends solely on diet, the quality of the diet, training, training history, recovery and genetics. If you don’t want to bulk up, you must consume only at or slightly below your maintenance level of calories.

Now on the other hand, if you train the WODs hard, and eat right and get lots of sleep, you will definitely gain lean mass, lose fat, and yes, you can build muscle mass with the CrossFit protocol.

On the other hand the bodybuilding model is designed around and requires steroids for significant hypertrophy.
The neuroendocrine response of bodybuilding protocols is so blunted that without “exogenous hormonal therapy” little happens. The CrossFit protocol is designed to elicit a substantial neuroendocrine whollop and hence packs an anabolic punch that puts on impressive amounts of muscle though that is not our concern. Strength is. Natural bodybuilders (the natural ones that are not on steroids) never approach the mass that our athletes do. They don’t come close.
Those athletes who train for function end up with better form than those who value form over function. This is one of the beautiful ironies of training.