From couch to CrossFit: Careful starting at high intensity - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

From couch to CrossFit: Careful starting at high intensity

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) - If you haven't heard of CrossFit, it's a program that uses weights and cardio together.

"Crossfitters" work in groups in timed intervals.

Armand McCormick runs CrossFit Kilo in Cedar Falls. He offers this advice if you're looking to go from couch potato to Crossfitter: "You don't have to be in shape to start, you don't have to be skinny to start, you don't have to be strong to start. That's what we build."

But if you're not used to high-intensity activity, Agape physical therapist Kristin Iehl says that "people need to really take heed and listen to what is your body telling you.

"Ask, 'What can I do? Is my body ready for this? Do I have the base of strength and speed and stamina I need to complete this exercise?'" she said. "If not, you need to back it down."

At McCormick's gym, those new to CrossFit start in a beginner class with others at a similar level.

But can a group mentality cause people to push themselves too far?

"It's easy to get carried away when you're in a gym with people who can do more than you can," Iehl says. "You might think, 'Oh I can do it too,' but really you need to scale it back."

McCormick says training in groups is exactly what makes CrossFit so successful. "Everything we do in life is competitive. Why not make it fitness? Why can't fitness be competitive too?"

Iehl says still, you need to take it slow.

"If you progress as your body tolerates, your body can do amazing things," she said.
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