Crossfit gym to open in Bemberg Center

Published 9:24 am Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Star Photo/Rebekah Price Crossfit Kolóna Owner Josh Hicks and wife Rachel are excited to open the first Crossfit gym in Elizabethton.

Star Photo/Rebekah Price Crossfit Kolóna Owner Josh Hicks and wife Rachel are excited to open the first Crossfit gym in Elizabethton.

Crossfit Kolóna, the first Crossfit gym in Carter County, will hold a grand opening 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, at 681 Tony Fuller Drive, Suite 1, in the Bemberg Center.
Attendees will have the opportunity to tour the facility, which owner Josh Hicks, 31, re-purposed while retaining its unique character, 32-foot high, 85-year old brick walls and bay doors. Guests will meet the four coaches and see the new equipment, purchased primarily from Rogue fitness. Hicks and other staff will demonstrate some Olympic lifts and lead short workouts with warm-ups for all interested in experiencing, perhaps for the first time, the high-intensity blend of cardio and weight lifting.
“It’s different than anything else you’d see in the area,” Hicks said.
The gym is complete with six gymnastic stations, 26 pull-up stations, 10 squat racks, yolks, barbells, weights, wall balls, rowers and other equipment.
Classes will be offered throughout the day at 6 a.m., 9 a.m., 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and an express class at noon. Classes usually last 45 minutes to an hour with time before and after to consult the coach. When classes are not in session, the gym is open for personal routines. Hicks said they would like to have a children’s class from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. followed by an adult class, eliminating the need to drive to multiple locations to gather the kids. Hicks installed a large children’s area with cable and Internet, so that parents with limited time can come by with their kids and get in a workout.
A class may include members with a variety of ages and abilities because the routines accommodate all fitness levels, Hicks said.
“It looks from outside-in that there is no universal form, but our programming is very meticulous,” he said. “It’s varied, so we get results on a basis of intensity levels.” Two people can do the same workout lifting different amounts of weight or doing varied repetitions, he said. The intensity is relative, meaning each person experiences the same level of challenge even if they lift different weights.
“Crossfit is known for increasing capacity across the board by performing constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movements,” said Hicks. People begin at whatever fitness level they have the capacity to perform, and improve technique while increasing capacity and endurance. Coaches ensure that everyone is making movements properly before increasing weight or speed.
The whole family can exercise in the same class, he said. His oldest member was 85, and his four children aged 10 and under all participate.
“We modify workouts to accommodate everyone,” said Hicks. “Literally anybody can do them: wheelchair-bound, amputees, any age, whatever your disability — it’s not a disability here.”
The most common thing people tell him when they express interest in Crossfit is that they need to get into better shape before they can do it. He said this is missing the point completely.
“I was in terrible shape when I started Crossfit,” Hicks said. “When I was 21, I couldn’t have done half the things I can do now.”
He has been doing it for five years and is now a Crossfit Level II Coach.
“This environment here becomes your family,” Hicks said. “This community aspect is something that you don’t get at regular gyms, there’s no macho criticism here. We want everybody in here to be better.”
Crossfit classes bring people together like teams which, he said, fosters a sense of accountability.
Crossfit competitions are quite common and Hicks said they will probably host a few. In describing the sense of community and the spirit of competition, he said the loudest cheers heard at competitions are often at the end of a heat, encouraging the last people to finish. Anyone can compete in Crossfit, as long as they have a local gym with which to train.
At Saturday’s grand opening, some members of Johnson City Crossfit gyms will come to welcome those who may be interested.
His coaches are certified to teach specific weight training including Olympic weight lifting, and he believes they can train Olympic weight lifters, especially given the athletic talent of Carter County.
Discounted memberships are available for EMS, Fire Department, Police Department, Military Personnel and teachers, as well as corporate discounts.
Along with classes, members enjoy diet coaching and accountability, along with consistent promotion of lifestyle of health.
The name Kolóna is greek for “pillar” because, Hicks said, “We want to base our motto after the four pillars of strength: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. To be a truly strong person, you have to be strong in all those areas.”

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