They'll kick your butt in a good way
Get Sean Flaherty and Mike Griffith talking about CrossFit and be prepared to listen for a while. The two men willfully admit they get pretty excited about the exercise program.
"For us it's become a lifestyle," said Griffith.
The two have gotten so excited about it that they decided to partner to open a facility in Rosemount to get others into it as well. CrossFit NorthStar, 15213 Canada Ave., will have its grand opening from noon to 8 p.m. Dec. 5.
Located next to the Crown Rental Store the facility doesn't look like much but Griffith said they hope to change lives in the former garage space.
"We really believe we can help the community become healthier," said Griffith.
CrossFit, according to the company's web site, is a strength and conditioning program. It is not your typical gym. There are no machines, no mirrors and no egos.
Instead there are kettle bells, pull up bars, medicine balls and determination. The workouts are different every day and can involve any number of exercises including running, squats, pull ups, push ups, dead lifts and more.
"It's pretty hardcore stuff," said Griffith.
While difficult, the goal of the program, Flaherty said, is to help people be physically ready for whatever life throws at them, whether that's huffing through the mountains of Afghanistan or playing with the kids. Flaherty said CrossFit prepares people for just about everything.
"It's functional fitness," said Flaherty.
Griffith said the U.S. Marines use CrossFit as their exercise program, as do several military special operations teams. Additionally, Olympic athletes use it to improve their physical conditioning.
"It's the sport of fitness," said Griffith.
CrossFit also encourages good nutrition. Flaherty said nutrition is a vital component of the program because the body runs better when it's well fueled.
Griffith and Flaherty were introduced to CrossFit separately. In fact, the two men didn't actually meet until this past May.
Flaherty, a graduate of Rosemount High School, has 20 years military experience. He spent eight years on active duty with the U.S. Army and served in Operation Enduring Freedom.
For the past four years, Flaherty worked in Iraq and Afghanistan providing security for various US agencies. Two years ago he was introduced to CrossFit in Kabul, Afghanistan.
A year and a half ago Flaherty was doing his regular routine when he saw a man doing "crazy" exercises. The guy, Flaherty said, worked himself to exhaustion. Curious, Flaherty asked the gentleman what he was doing.
The man explained that he was doing CrossFit and then invited Flaherty to work out with him the following day.
"The next day we met at the gym and he put me through a routine. By the end, my hands were bloody from pull ups and I was near dead. It was awesome and I've been hooked ever since," said Flaherty.
Flaherty said CrossFit better prepared him for the physical demands of his job.
Griffith, an admitted adrenaline junky, has a similar story. It just happened a little closer to home.
Four years ago, he was in the Eagan YMCA doing his "boring workout routine" when he saw a guy doing a CrossFit workout. Griffith asked the guy what he was doing and the man explained the CrossFit concept.
That night Griffith went to CrossFit.com and spent hours reading about it. The next day, he started doing the CrossFit workout of the day.
Griffith and Flaherty met through mutual friend Todd Fossand. Fossand knew both had become hooked on CrossFit and thought they should meet.
In May, Griffith and Flaherty started working out together at the Rosemount Community Center. Griffith said after a while word got out that two guys were doing a strange workout routine and a few others became interested in joining them.
After a few more people started coming Griffith and Flaherty decided they should open their own CrossFit affiliate in Rosemount. The space next door to Crown Rental suited their needs so the rented it out and became business partners. They hold workouts twice daily at the space and hope to add on.
While they'll admit CrossFit is pretty hardcore, Griffith said the workouts can be tailored to meet individual needs and fitness levels.
"We can scale it for each person," he added.
Griffith said the people who have started doing CrossFit with them have become a little family. He said while they are all there to get a workout the camaraderie makes the experience.
"We've really become our own little community," said Griffith.
The two hope to expand the community and want more people to join in. Currently CrossFit NorthStar holds classes at 5:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and Friday and Saturday twice a day. Flaherty said Thursdays and Sundays are meant for rest.
"CrossFit is strong medicine and you have to get it in good doses," said Flaherty.
So far the classes have attracted a variety of folks. As more people join on, Griffith said they hope to offer more workout times.
For more information on CrossFit visit www.crossfitnorthstar.com or try it for yourself during the open house from noon to 8 p.m. Dec. 5. Workouts are planned for 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.