For Jen and Andrew Charlesworth, the community and family feel of CrossFit is the best part.
That’s why the Grand Blanc residents chose Holly to open up CrossFit Tuebor in June—the community’s small-town feel and connectedness.
CrossFit, Inc. was founded in 2000 in California as both an exercise philosophy as well as a competitive sport. The approach to fitness is to combine high-intensity execution with constantly changing functional movements. Thousands of gyms have since opened up world-wide.
The outcome is intended to be greater overall fitness and strength, compared to specialized training, such as running or weight-lifting, which focuses on specific muscle-groups or systems at the expense of others.
Both Jen and Andrew have bachelors’ degrees in exercise science from Grand Valley State University and Lake Superior State University, respectively, where they were also collegiate varsity athletes. Both are not only CrossFit personal trainers, but also travel throughout the country and internationally training CrossFit trainers.
Andrew said their jobs were to overcome some of the misconceptions about CrossFit, specifically that it’s all hardcore, intense, and crazy.
“It’s not what a lot of people think,” he said. “We have people of all kinds come in because they want to be more fit. We’ve had people who have never done a push-up in their life.”
“A lot of people have this belief that what they see on the CrossFit games on TV is what CrossFit is like,” said Jen. “That’s like comparing the Super Bowl and rec-league football.”
Unlike training at traditional gyms or fitness centers, participants in CrossFit programs work out together and are expected to do the same exercise for the day. However, because the program is scalable, everyone can make progress based on their own capability and comfort level
“If you’re just starting out and you can’t do the workout’s number of reps, for example” Andrew said, “then you how many you’re able to do.”
Programs are also customized for kids/teens, adults, and women-only.
Stenciled on the wall of the gym, visible to everyone walking through the door, are simple “rules” for a CrossFit lifestyle—eat whole and healthy foods in appropriate portions, do exercises that work the whole body, work hard, be consistent, give it your all.
CrossFit Tuebor has nearly two-dozen members, with several more “on the fence.” While some CrossFit gyms have hundreds of members, the smaller gym makes for a better community feel.
“There’s still that feeling of connectedness and support in gyms with 300 members,” Jen said, “but being a small town and a small gym just increases that family feeling.”
Even so, Andrew and Jen hope to be the fitness focal point for the Holly community and attract as many members as they can, especially from younger populations. Both trainers are CrossFit Kids certified, and they hope to work with area schools and athletics teams and begin after-school programs.
“We want kids to get to like exercise,” Andrew said. “Your punishment—go run. Your punishment—give me pushups. Too many kids look at exercise as punishment, and there are a lot of teenagers who are looking for an exercise activity but just aren’t into sports.”
“I want to see kids get excited to do burpees!” Jen added, laughingly.
And as for the name, CrossFit corporate licensing has stringent rules regarding gym licensing. So why did Jen and Andrew pick “Tuebor” (pronounced too-AY-bore, meaning “I will defend,” the motto of the State of Michigan) for their facility?
“It’s right in the middle of the Michigan flag,” Jen said, “and we’re all Michigan.”
CrossFit Tuebor is located at 3045 Grange Hall Rd., Suite 1. 810-397-1340,www.crossfittuebor.com.