Wednesday, November 14, 2012

CrossFit Amplify, Lisle, IL

"AM • PLI • FY
To make greater or more powerful; increase.
To add to or expand, in volume or significance; make complete."

CrossFit Amplify

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to visit my first CrossFit box, CrossFit Amplify. In a new facility for a few weeks, I wasn’t sure what to expect -- located in an industrial/business park, the brick-clad exterior gives no hint for what lies within.

Half the space is given over to a turfed area for cardio, while the balance includes rings, weightlifting racks, ropes, medicine balls, and the like. Well-lit and airy, it was a welcoming space even devoid of people. I could well imagine how loud it must get during class times, though.
“CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide.

Our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist.

The CrossFit program is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience. We’ve used our same routines for elderly individuals with heart disease and cage fighters one month out from televised bouts. We scale load and intensity; we don’t change programs.

The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree not kind. Our terrorist hunters, skiers, mountain bike riders and housewives have found their best fitness from the same regimen.” (From

CrossFit Amplify

I met with Mike, one of the partners, who explained to me the general way things worked, their introduction process, and the variety of memberships available. He also talked about their business plan, which I didn’t expect, but it was a good sign that he included that, professionally speaking. He did not come across as the typical used-car salesman you might find in a globo-gym, which was refreshing – his candor that CrossFit is not for everyone made sense, as not every activity is embraced by all (how boring would that be?).

Pretty much my entire life I’ve been reasonably fit in terms of endurance and cardio, but overall strength has always been a weakness. Typical gym workouts, such as weight machine circuits, bench presses, or the like always left me cold, and I usually quit before seeing any results, which might have compelled me to stay the course. One of the things about CrossFit that appeals to me from the side is that it looks like fun – I’d much rather swing a weight than just try to lift it from a static position for endless reps. Climbing ladders, trying out the gymnastics rings, these are active strengthening exercises, not like boring lat pull-down machines.

Still and all, it was sort of strange to stand in an empty warehouse, gear surrounding me notwithstanding. I’m looking forward to returning for an initial class, where they’ll take a look at me and I’ll take a look at them. Could happen as soon as this Saturday, depending on whether or not we can get our schedules to gibe (with 4 kids, that’s not always easy!). I'm not kidding myself that it will be a cakewalk, but I owe it to my overall fitness to give it a try.

More information can be found on the CrossFit Amplify website, by liking on Facebook, subscribing on YouTube, and by following on Twitter.

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  1. Very interesting. I have been considering this program for a long time. Looking forward to hearing your results.

  2. Fun! I have done it a couple of times at the beach. I did just buy a groupon for a month of cross fit. A couple of weeks post marathon, I am there and can't wait!

  3. ok - you've convincined me - I'm going to try it. but I really need a coach as you did to help you.
    you will be hearing from me on this!

  4. i didn't do CF for awhile b/c of the price tag. but now that i've drank the kool-aid... lol. i tell myself it's like having a personal trainer. (i'd have better visual results if i'd get my eating back on track, but my running has improved - i can tell because i can run a decent pace even though whenever i run all i run is 9-10 minute miles). anyway hope you get to make it out soon (if you haven't already) and enjoy it :)

    1. PS: "playing" on the equipment is definitely fun. i'm always hanging on the rings (though i have no ring skills). you won't see me in the men's olympics anytime soon, lol.


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