GODFREY — The owners of Iron House Crossfit had two goals for their second annual open house Saturday: strengthen the business’ ties to the community and give the public an opportunity to experience the uniqueness of the “box,” as Crossfit gyms are called.
If level of activity equals success, then Iron House Crossfit achieved its goals.
“This is the biggest ‘bring a friend’ class we’ve ever had. There are about 40 people here,” said Corey Waltz, keeping a watchful eye as athletes in teams of two completed rounds of push-ups, pull-ups and squats. “Not everyone came as a guest of a member. Some just came in on their own.”
Waltz and Kellie Greer are co-owners of the gym and Level 2 coaches.
“Our amazing community of members is one of the reasons for an extremely successful first year and this open house is another way we extend our ‘thank you’s’ for their support,” Greer said.
Nikki Pope, 33, has been a member for a couple of years. She and her dad, Greg Pope, were partners for the workout of the day.
“It was amazing to work out with my dad and fun to be healthy together,” she said.
He wasn’t as sure.
“It was hard,” Pope said. “I have a gym in my basement and work out occasionally, but this was different — different because of the intensity and the time element.”
John Schwaninger, 28, drove down from Jerseyville to check out the free class. He had a different opinion of the workout and planned to join the following week.
“I loved it,” Schwaninger said. “It’s a lot different than a gym setting. Sometimes I go to the gym and I feel out of shape and intimidated. I love this group feeling.”
The gym partnered with like-minded local businesses to promote health and wellness. Members and guests could attend a yoga class, watch a demonstration by Piasa Martial Arts students, get a chair massage, and try herbal teas from Zen and Teas.
Mary Campbell, 47, got “tanked” in the mobile hydrostatic body fat testing clinic parked on the lot. Body weight recorded underwater is compared to dry weight. The difference is a person’s body fat percentage.
“I was pleasantly surprised (with the result),” Campbell said. “The report gave me an accurate and realistic goal and told me what to eat and how many calories to get.”
Laura Dobelman is an owner of Body Fat Test, servicing Missouri and Illinois. She said Crossfit workouts are beneficial for developing lean muscle mass.
“There’s a camaraderie among Crossfit members, who support each other in better eating habits,” Dobelman said. “We need to get processed foods out of our diets, especially sugar, which is the most addictive. It’s as bad as cocaine.”
Winona Gossett owns Healing Touch Wellness Center in East Alton. She and Jane Rowden gave 10-minute chair massages almost non-stop for three hours.
“We like it. It’s been keeping us busy,” Gossett said.
Member Manny Gutierrez got a massage from Rowden.
“It felt good,” Gutierrez said. “She gave me an assessment and told me I need to work on shoulder mobility. She also said I should strengthen my back to improve my posture.”
Mark Slaughter, owner of Fitness4Life Physical Therapy in Edwardsville, presented Injury Prevention/Movement & Mobility. The physical therapist said he parts with colleagues who think deep squats are bad for the knees.
“I’ll add this qualifier, though,” Slaughter said. “It’s more about technique. People get hurt because they haven’t trained their muscles to go lower.”
He said people typically squat with just a small dip, then get hurt when they’re involved in another activity.
For information on becoming a member, visit www.ironhousecrossfit.com or call (618) 374-6081.