Are you ready for some mixed-modal training?
By Fiona Patricia S. Escandor
Photos by Amper Campaña and Ruel Rosello
BURPEES, squats, WODs — there’s been a lot of buzz surrounding these terms over the last few months. Not to mention, the growing number of selfies with captions saying they just wrapped up doing either of those. To the uninitiated, these are trending workout regimen lingo used in mixed-modal training, more popularly known as CrossFit, its branded and patented equivalent.
This training methodology has been around for decades, a favorite among some athletes, law enforcement agencies and military organizations. It was only in 2000 when Gregg Glassman and Lauren Jenai created Crossfit that it gained a reputation as a physical exercise doable by anyone—regardless of age, gender or even fitness background. It was first popularized in California in the United States.
Today it has spawned several “boxes” (gyms that specialize in the program) around the world. In Cebu, there are three: CrossFit Pintados, StayFit, and Easy Fitness. CrossFit Pintados was founded by Jayson Santayana, and StayFit by Mark Jumuad—both of whom have coaching backgrounds in boxes abroad.
So what exactly is it all about? StayFit trainer Rizza Castillo describes mixed-modal training as a strength and conditioning program that combines several disciplines, including weightlifting, aerobic exercises and gymnastics.
Every day, the box has what it calls the WOD or workout of the day, roughly a 30 minute exercise routine that can include running, lifting, push-ups, squats, burpees and many others—in specific weights and repetitions. It is specially designed by the trainers of the box, and it varies from day to day. Rizza says no WODs are ever the same.
It incorporates diversity in movement to ward off mental boredom and to prevent the body from plateauing, and high intensity execution to achieve functional fitness. “It develops and enhances movements that humans are built for,” she says. “Having different workouts each day forces the body to adapt to unexpected stressors.”
She adds: “The goal is to build general physical preparedness and that means possessing a body capable of anything and everything at any given time.”
Squat racks, kettle balls, dead weights and pumped-up trainees doing their WODs—the sight of it can be overwhelming and intimidating. But Rizza reiterates that the program indeed makes it possible for anyone to try. “Whether you’ve been a tri-athlete for 10 years or if the closest to a sport you’ve tried is channel surfing, you can participate and perform. WODs can be scaled down by lowering the weight load, number of repetitions or range of movement to one that’s more suited for the individual.”
A plus factor is that WODs are typically performed as a class, creating a supportive community setup and providing the opportunity of meeting friends who are just as passionate to be fit. They encourage one another to move past limits and overcome boundaries—fully knowing that sometimes it means going through a bit of struggle in between. From what she’s noticed in the past year, Rizza says, “the loudest cheers are always for the last to finish.”
Learn the lingo
Here are some of the more popular terms used in the program:
* WOD – Workout of the day.
* Rx – As prescribed. When one does the WOD exactly as prescribed by the trainer.
* Scaling / Scale – To “scale” down the load of the prescribed WOD.
* PR – Personal record.
* AMRAP – Do “as many rounds as possible.”
* Box – A fitness hub that’s dedicated to mixed-modal training.
Why they love it
Mixed-modal training is a fitness activity that can be achieved by anyone regardless of age, gender or fitness background. Here’s what this family—who goes to the box together—has to stay on why the love sweating it out this way:
“At my age, I need to stay fit and healthy. Working out in (a box) is unlike going to the traditional gyms. Here, the coaches and members get involved and encourage one another to try harder. – Arturo Carballo, 60
“I’ve never enjoyed training this much. I feel accomplished with the encouragement I get from the whole team who makes me want to do more and push myself to the extreme.” – Camille Carballo, 23
“I like it because it’s fun and the people are kind. When I workout, they really cheer for me and push me to do better.” — Agustin Carballo, 12
Easy Fitness — Miñoza St., Talamban, P250
Crossfit Pintados — Juana Osmeña St., Capitol Site, P400
StayFit Cebu — Cor. Friendship and Charity Sts., Peace Valley, P150
*As of May 2014