By Emily Moses
Cross Fit Liberate officially opened its doors on Oct. 16, 2017, on East Dougherty Street to all who are interested in dedicating their time to high intensity workouts.
“I thought opening up a gym in the downtown area would help diversify the city a little bit more than it already is,” co-owner Jack Green said.
Downtown Athens constantly constructs new restaurants, new hotels and new luxurious student housing, however there has not been one gym – until now.
“My friends and I were all talking about how downtown needed a gym,” junior at the University of Georgia, Aakash Malhotra said. “We were excited to know that there is finally a gym other than the Ramsey Student Center to go to.”
Cross Fit Liberate has been open for less than two weeks and has already created a community of over 30 Athens residents and is expecting to grow to over 200 within the next two years.
Because the downtown area was in such need of a gym, Cross Fit Liberate has a newfound success because of its natural way of building strength and its different approach to how one should exercise.
“I didn’t feel like cross fit was well represented in Athens,” Green said. “Cross fit is what I’d like to call functional fitness.”
Cross Fit is not just a fierce work out with an assortment of unconventional exercises, but is a way for the athletes to utilize and build newfound fitness in versatile ways.
“I played basketball throughout my entire life,” junior at UGA Chase Hutchins said. “Once I started cross fit my sophomore year, I was able to run faster, jump higher and ultimately reach my goal of dunking by my senior year.”
Cross Fit is not only beneficial to athletes, but it is also a good way for beginners to develop proper form and learn a variety of ways to reduce injuries.
Cross Fit Liberate offers a hands on process of how to work out without having to go to a standard gym. The demand for a gym outside the university has now become a necessity simply for the prevention and ultimately the reduction of the growing issue of obesity.
Several universities across the U.S. have been completely cutting physical education for their graduation requirements. The reduction of gym class has caused an increase of obesity among college campuses across the nation.
Without easy access to a gym, one is more susceptible to developing illnesses because of lack of exercise.
“Fitness in general is the first defense against chronic diseases,” Green said. “Our motto is ‘cross fit for everyone,’ meaning people of all ages are able to do whatever they set their minds to.”
With the growing issue of obesity at hand, “Many who are not living around an active community believe they don’t have the ability to do such a strenuous exercise” says head coach and director of Cross Fit Liberate, Nat Walker. However, many coaches within the cross fit community believe otherwise.
“Our goal is to never have a preconceived notion of what the person is capable of,” Walker said. “We have set up this gym to advocate a crawl, walk, run method.”
People of all ages have the full capability of getting healthy and fit no matter their circumstance.
“The individual may believe weight and age can hinder their capability, however their mindset is what they must overcome,” Walker said. “I see people as young as 14, as old as 68 and everywhere in between.”
Building a gym in downtown Athens has created a positive influence on the surrounding community and will contribute to the well being of the residents of Athens.