by Kerri-Leanne Taylor
Walking through the Batten Center, you may have peered into the CMAC and noticed people leaping, walking on their hands, or even bear-crawling across the gym floor. What are they doing? What kind of workout is that? Are these people crazy? No. Well, maybe yes. But these intense workouts are extremely popular, and produce amazing results. So maybe it’s a good thing to be a little crazy.
RecXFit is hitting campus, and it is hard, heavy and one heck of a workout. The college has newly employed two coaches, Tim Walsh and Casey Sullivan, who create and lead daily, functional-fitness-style workouts open to all members of the campus community.
Both Walsh and Sullivan combine to bring over 8 years of experience from personal training and CrossFit backgrounds. They specifically design workouts so that members of the VWC community can reap the greatest health, strength and skill benefits in the most efficient way during the allocated one-hour classes.
“RecXFit is a program designed and used to venture into every domain of fitness,” Walsh said. “It involves gymnastics, weightlifting, running, jumping, Olympic lifting and anything else to take someone out of their comfort zone. You have to attack weaknesses to be a well-rounded athlete.”
The workouts consist of exercises intended to increase participants’ strength, speed and skill. Both athletes and nonathletes are encouraged to attend. Classes are offered at multiple times on a daily basis to fit into students’ schedules.
“I feel the biggest benefit of joinig the RecXFit movement is having the ability to find out who you really are and what you’re made of. It’s sad that most people will go through life never knowing their true potential,” Sullivan said.
Athletes have already reaped the benefits of RecXFit. Both the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams frequently participate in the classes, and the results are showing on the field.
“I can already tell I’m getting stronger, and I’m also getting a lot better at pushing through tough lacrosse workouts, which definitely comes from doing the RecXFit classes,” senior women’s lacrosse defender Amari Agee said.
“I think CrossFit style workouts, like RecXFit, are the best off-season workouts for NCAA lacrosse players,” Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach J.P. Stewart said.
Non-athletes also enjoy taking the classes. Participants have noticed health benefits such as weight loss, lower cholesterol and increased well-being overall.
“I noticed that my good cholesterol levels increased and my bad cholesterol levels decreased significantly after attending the RecXFit classes. And I love the workouts,” Stewart said
“The classes have definitely elevated my mood, improved my flexibility, strength and endurance. And they have also helped me fall asleep faster and stay asleep,” senior Katie Smith said.
Some students may be reluctant to attempt the RecXFit workouts. Walsh himself had been put off by the stigma associated with that specific style of workout, but he now realizes the huge advantages that functional fitness training offers.
“I thought CrossFit style training was stupid for a long time, and that it was for a bunch of losers who couldn’t lift heavy weight. I was soon shown my thoughts were wrong and I fell in love with every aspect of CrossFit and what it stands for,” Walsh said. “RecXFit is truly beneficial to everyone who participates. It will get you into a physical fitness realm you’ve never ventured. It will make you mentally and physically stronger. Our bodies are a beautiful mixture of strength and grace. Most people don’t know how far their bodies can go, but we push people to their limits.”
Sullivan believes RecXFit translates not only in the athletic realm, but into all areas of daily life.
“Life is a series of obstacles, and if you don’t know yourself then these obstacles will crush you. RecXFit is designed to put you in unknowable, unforeseen circumstances and making you work through them effectively and efficiently with the hope that you are a stronger person on the other side,” said Sullivan. “We don’t just build strength. We don’t just enhance conditioning. We really want to build character. We want to build mental toughness. We want to develop you as a whole person.”