The cheers echo in the gym studio at Reebok CrossFit Sentinel Downtown in the bustling downtown of Seoul.
As one member finishes 500 meters of rowing, another takes over to complete the 1,000-meter goal. Then, the first partner picks up the weights and starts a set of 25 dumbbell thrusters, an exercise that combines a front squat and a push press. The second partner, on the rowing machine should catch up with her and finish the rest of the 25 dumbbell thrusters.
As the workout nears the end, athletes in the Bootcamp class pull out all their strength to complete the Workout of the Day, prescribed workout routines that change each day.
|Members of Reebok CrossFit Sentinel Uptown in Gangnam, Seoul, complete workouts in a Bootcamp class. (Reebok CrossFit Sentinel)|
The screams, shouts and cheers are commonly seen in Bootcamp and CrossFit classes at Reebok CrossFit Sentinel gyms in Seoul, the largest provider of the globally popular CrossFit program in Korea and its unique Bootcamp program.
CrossFit, started in the early 2000s, has grown to include tens of thousands of gyms across the world providing highly intensive workout programs. Bootcamp, unique in Korea, consists of somewhat less intensive workouts than CrossFit, with easy-to-follow routines of gymnastics, body-weighted movements and some weightlifting.
Practiced at high intensity, the Bootcamp and CrossFit workouts are total-body exercises that attempt to improve strength, endurance, cardiovascular fitness, speed and flexibility. Each workout session starts with a 10-15 minute warm-up to get the body prepared for the daily workout, followed by explanations and demonstrations for the day’s WOD by a coach and a 20-minute actual workout, which is topped off with a cool-down and stretching.
Here, the 20- to 30-minute conditioning workout proves to be more effective than a normal routine workout on fitness equipment for the same duration. Moreover, it constantly creates motivation in what could otherwise be a boring fitness routine and encourages athletes to test and go beyond their limit with partner-based workout programs.
Athletes begin to see changes in their body with most losing weight and increasing strength at the same time.
“CrossFit aims to bring people to a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle. By taking aspects of weightlifting, gymnastics and endurance training, CrossFit does this and makes it fun,” said Eric Carmody, CrossFit coach at Reebok CrossFit Sentinel One in Hannam-dong, Seoul, who designs the WOD for all Reebok CrossFit Sentinel gyms.
|Members of Reebok CrossFit Sentinel Uptown in Gangnam, Seoul, perform weightlifting in a CrossFit class. (Reebok CrossFit Sentinel)|
For some, Bootcamp is a step to building strength and skills before deciding to commit to a more intensive CrossFit regimen.
“We have a mandatory introductory class for CrossFit. It is three weeks long and goes over every aspect of CrossFit. But even if someone were to come in to work out today, our coaches would be able to adjust and scale the workout to anyone, beginner or veteran,” added Carmody.
Although CrossFit can appear to be brutal to beginners and older people, they can be adjusted to anyone according to their conditions, said Carmody.
“I have coached several athletes in their 70s,” he said.
Bootcamp and CrossFit athletes have a chance to test their improved physical ability in an outdoor obstacle race called the Spartan Race, which features challenging obstacles that require strength and skills learned from indoor classes. Such obstacles include a fire jump, barbed wire crawl and wall climbs.
This year’s Spartan Race is scheduled to be held from Oct. 31 to Nov. 1.
By Lee Woo-young (email@example.com)