Riverside Athletic Club announces a new addition to their facility – Merrill CrossFit.
One glance inside the gymnasium at the new Merrill CrossFit box at Riverside Athletic Club and you know you are in a different kind of gym. Most of the floor is open, gymnastics rings and a thick rope hang from the ceiling, artificial turf covers half of the gym and strength training equipment is everywhere.
In fact, the owners and coaches of Merrill CrossFit, Paul Kienitz, Bill Koepke, Jr. and Matt Dresser, don’t often call it a gym, it’s a “CrossFit box.”
CrossFit is a training method used frequently by every branch of the military and top elite athletes but can be adapted to any fitness level.
“The CrossFit method uses constantly varied, high intensity, functional movements,” says Coach Bill Koepke. “This means we do something different every day and use exercises that work your entire body in a way that mimics things you do in real life.” To which Coach Matt Dresser adds, “The intensity is key. Everyone from an absolute beginner to a professional athlete is challenged. And you are never bored.”
CrossFit training is done as a group training session where camaraderie and a sense of humor can go a long way. Athletes attend hour-long sessions two to five times a week during which every athlete is coached by a CrossFit trainer to complete the workout of the day, or “WOD.”
The goal of CrossFit training is to build physical skills in endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, balance, agility, and accuracy. These skills transfer into an ability to pick up – and do well at – nearly any sport or physical challenge that an athlete may encounter. At the end of each session, the athletes’ times are recorded on the whiteboard to gauge progress from week to week.
“The whiteboard definitely introduces an element of competition, too. Everyone wants to know how they compare to everyone else and sometimes there’s some friendly rivalry going on.” says Coach Bill.
Everyone who enters this program first goes through the OnRamp training program. This is the precursor to CrossFit and will train each individual in various techniques so they are ready for CrossFit Training. OnRamp Sessions run for one month at a time and start the first Monday of every month. For example, April’s OnRamp session will start on Monday, April 7 and run through April 30. OnRamp sessions are currently scheduled for Monday, Wednesday and Thursday nights at 5:30-6:15 or 6:30-7:15 with an additional Open Gym on Saturdays at 8 a.m.
Merrill CrossFit memberships have different options available to accommodate busy lifestyles. Individuals can choose month to month options or session based programs. “We understand everyone is at a different point in their fitness journey,” says Koepke. “We want a program where we can fit into everyone’s lifestyle and come a long side of them and help them travel this fitness journey of success.”
Merrill CrossFit is located at Riverside Athletic Club. For more information or to register for the April OnRamp session, please call Merrill CrossFit at 715-536-2481.