“Hurting together” is what appeals to people about CrossFit, according to new gym owner Glen Sturgess.
He and business partner Bea Day opened the doors to their new gym Crossfit 564 in Waterfront Rd on Monday, with a target of building a friendly, strong community through fitness.
CrossFit is an American brand which encompasses a variety of set workouts, combining Olympic-style weightlifting and gymnastics, with more regular endurance work like running and rowing machines.
“In terms of what people get from it, they get a really well-rounded fitness. You’re not great at one thing – you’re just average at everything – so it builds really well-rounded fitness levels,” Mr Sturgess said.
He has been a personal trainer for 11 years, and took an interest in CrossFit about four years ago. He moved to Oamaru from London, with a desire to live somewhere smaller and closer to family, and with the intention of opening a CrossFit gym.
“Bea was thinking about opening her own space as well. So it just made sense – we were both working at Snap [Fitness] – to do it together.
“For me, it’s the constantly varied workouts that you can do. No day’s exactly the same, but also you still get your specific strength pieces. I enjoy being in the hurt locker,” he said.
Mrs Day has lived in Oamaru since she was a child. She trained in Wellington before moving back, and has been personal training for six years. She began at Fitness 24, before moving to Snap Fitness more than three years ago.
Mr Sturgess said the foundation of a CrossFit workout was “moving well”.
“Not necessarily always just lifting the heaviest and doing things the fastest, but just moving well.
“Part of Crossfit is that you build a really friendly, strong community through hurting together during classes and stuff. So that’s what we really want to bring to, especially Oamaru, is [to] build a really strong community through fitness.”
Each class is “scaleable” to the individual. If pull-ups were in the workout, anyone who could do pull-ups did them, but those who couldn’t would be offered a modification.
“So at the end of the day, you only compete against yourself in the sense that next time pull-ups come again, you want to try do one, or you want to try and move up to the next level,” he said.
The pair had been hoping to get their gym up and running early last year, until their plans were scuppered by Covid.
“It really held us up,” Mrs Day said. “We had the building all lined up and everything, and then it happened.”
Once they got the green light to go ahead this year, it had been two busy months of renovations and getting the leased building fit for purpose.
They described the whole process as a learning curve.
“We’ve learned lots of stuff, not only from just opening a gym, but building things and, yeah … and patience,” Mr Sturgess said.
They tried to make use of local tradespeople as much as possible.
The CrossFit classes last one hour, including a warm-up and cool down. There was a half-hour MetCon lunchtime class, for those wanting to squeeze their fitness into work hours.
Mrs Day and Mr Sturgess said they hoped their business would help to build on the fun vibe that was being generated in the Oamaru Harbour area.
“You know; coffee carts, food, people go running down here all the time. We just want to see that grow.”
Mr Sturgess is also strength and conditioning coach for the North Otago rugby team and is coaching Valley’s premier team, and also offered strength and conditioning classes at the gym “for people that want to get a lot stronger and improve their physical preparedness for sport”.
“Anyone can do it.
“The whole idea is to get together a whole bunch of people who want to get better at their sport together, and try and push their results. Everyone seems to train harder when they’ve got that support.”
People interested in joining CrossFit 564 needed to make an appointment, and then could book classes via an online booking system.