By Mike

Can you help me accomplish my health and fitness goals?

Yes! Click here to book an appointment to tell us about your goals. We’ll tell you exactly how we can help you accomplish them. Or, if you prefer, email us at info@crossfit204.com.

Do I have to be in shape to come?

No! Just like you don’t learn to dance before you take dance lessons, you do not need to be fit to come to our gym. We are here to get you in shape, and you do not need to be fit to start. We can work with people of any fitness level, and our eight-session on-ramp is designed to slowly introduce you to our program and help you adjust to training. You’ll learn everything you need to know, and our qualified trainers will tailor the program to your level. You will get exactly what you need to become fit. We have introduced people from 16 to 76 to our program, and we have helped many, many people with no previous fitness experience. Unlike a traditional gym in which you receive no instruction, we work with you one-on-one to tailor our program to your needs and goals, so CrossFit is the perfect program if you’re intimidated by the gym or don’t know what to do when you get there. If you are currently sedentary, deconditioned or overweight, you absolutely can—and should—work out with us. We can help you. Click here to contact us for a free consultation in which we’ll tell you exactly what you need to do to improve your health and fitness.

My doctor told me I need to be more active and lose weight. Can you help?

Yes! Medical doctors diagnose and treat conditions, and they often tell people their health would improve if they lost some weight and became more active. Doctors don’t have the time to put together a plan to do that, but we do! We offer fitness training in one-on-one or group settings, and we offer customized diet plans that will help you lose weight, gain muscle and lose body fat. We have nutritionists who offer effective general nutrition advice, and we have a registered dietitian on staff to address medical conditions. In a recent one-month nutrition challenge for our members, 27 people lost a total of 120 lb. We’ve had members lose 40 lb. in less than a year. And our members log all their workouts so they know that their fitness is improving every day. For more information about nutrition, click here.

Do you offer nutrition services?

Yes—and they are a perfect complement to fitness training! Proper nutrition will amplify everything you do in the gym. We have credentialed nutritionists and a registered dietitian who can help you eat healthy to maximize the results of fitness training. For more info, check out 204 Lifestyle.

Are your services covered by insurance?

Our fitness services are not covered by insurance, but nutrition services through our registered dietitians and therapy services through Rise Up Physiotherapy are covered by many benefits plans. Take a look at yours. If you have coverage for nutrition counseling with an RD or physiotherapy, we can help you.

Is CrossFit too hard for me?

No. Our programs are designed to allow each participant to work at his or her own level. We can modify our program to suit any individual, and all levels of fitness are welcome. We have people from 16 to 76 in our gym, and each one trains at his or her own level. Our goal is to push you slightly further than you have gone before, but never so far that you feel injured, sick and extremely uncomfortable. Intense physical exercise requires effort, so you may experience tired muscles, minor muscle soreness or other signs of safe, healthy exertion. These are safe and normal signs of effort, and our trainers ensure that you are working within your limits at all times. 

If you need to hear more, read this article.

I’ve seen CrossFit on TV and it looks too hard for me. Is it?

No! The CrossFit events you see on TV are the “Olympics of fitness.” Many people play hockey or run, but few people play in the NHL or do Ironman triathlons. It’s the same thing with CrossFit. At the CrossFit Games, the fittest athletes on Earth perform very challenging workouts, and  some elite athletes and professionals use CrossFit to improve their fitness. But CrossFit can and should be used by the average person—even someone who has never worked out before. Our workouts are challenging, but they are designed to challenge you at your own level. Anyone can create a hard workout; that doesn’t mean it’s a good workout. For a person who can do 10 push-ups, 12 push-ups will be challenging. A good workout for someone who can’t yet do a push-up will look much different, and it will be designed to help that person get stronger. We will challenge you at your level whether you are a retiree, a parent, a professional athlete or someone who has never worked out before.

What is CrossFit?

CrossFit is the fastest way to improve your health and fitness. It is a lifestyle program that links coach-led workouts to nutrition to create dramatic improvements in a supportive community of friendly people. 

More specifically, CrossFit is the combination of a host of physical training methods into one program designed to increase your exposure to full-body movements and various types of training. By mixing these types of training, we avoid boredom and plateaus associated with traditional routines. CrossFit movements are selected for the ability to affect the body, and most of these movements are characterized by the use of large muscle groups. Some of the movements you will do include: squats, presses, pull-ups, push-ups, rowing, jumping, running, snatches, cleans and jerks. The load, repetition scheme, speed of movement, combination of movements and the movements themselves are adjusted so each person is challenged at his or her own level, and coaches lead every training session. Unlike many fitness programs, we complement our training with nutrition. We’ll constantly talk about nutrition and provide you with tips to help you improve. If you want to take things further and accelerate your progress, our nutritionist and dietitian will work with you to dial in your diet.

We promise fun, safe and intense workouts and nutrition strategies that will give you results.

Can I work out if I am injured or rehabbing an injury?

Ask your doctor or therapist. Our trainers do not diagnose or treat injuries, though many of the movements we do can be very useful for rehab and strengthening, particularly in the core region of the body. You care provider will be able to tell you what you can and cannot do. We are more than happy to work with your health-care provider to help you repair your body. Rise Up Physiotherapy operates out of CrossFit 204, allowing us to work very closely with owner Natalie Marion, who is one of our members. If you would like treatment from someone who knows CrossFit well, we highly recommend Rise Up Physiotherapy. Similarly, if an injury is preventing you from starting a fitness program, please see Natalie so she can help you get moving again.

Do you yell at people?

Never. We do not believe yelling at people gets results. We treat every participant with respect and tailor our coaching to his or her needs. Some participants enjoy loud encouragement, while others require a softer approach. We recognize this and pride ourselves on learning who needs what. You will never be criticized or treated with disrespect. We will be positive and encouraging as we motivate you to improve your health and fitness.

Is CrossFit like a conditioning camp, bootcamp or high-intensity circuit?

No. CrossFit is a strength AND conditioning program. Most bootcamps do not include strength work, which is a very important part of health and critical to weight loss and overall fitness. We train to improve a host of athletic attributes, not just the cardiovascular and muscular endurance emphasized by bootcamps and circuits. Our goal is not to burn calories or achieve a certain physique, even if improved body composition is one benefit of our program. Please realize that a good workout is more than just breathing hard for 20 minutes. For the archives of the workouts we do every day, click here. Click here to talk to us about why these workouts can help you accomplish your goals.

Is CrossFit dangerous?

No. Even though every physical activity comes with some inherent risk, those risks can be eliminated or minimized through competent instruction and close supervision. You will get that at CrossFit 204, and our primary concern is your health and well-being. We will make every effort to ensure your safety at all times. And while accidents are unavoidable, studies have shown that weight training has less injuries than many other sports. You can read a summary of one such study here: Brian P. Hamill. “Relative Safety of Weightlifting and Weight Training.” Journal of Strength Training and Conditioning 8(1): 53-57, 1995. We firmly believe the small risks of activity are grossly outweighed by the risks of inactivity—heart disease, obesity, etc.

No pain, no gain?

This is inaccurate. You will never be asked to work through pain. Pain is bad, and we require you to tell us if you are in pain so we can help you. You will, however, be asked to work, and work is less comfortable than sitting on your couch. Physical work and careful training challenge your body and produce the physical adaptations that we call “increased fitness.” To lose weight or gain weight, or to increase your strength, speed, endurance, stamina, power and agility, you must push your body, raise your heart rate and test your muscles. This might feel uncomfortable, but we will help you do it safely, and we guarantee you will feel better afterward. Replace “No pain, no gain” with “No work, no reward.”

Why does your on-ramp consist of personal training?

Through our own experience and consultation with some of the top CrossFit gyms in the world, we have discovered that personal-training sessions before group training will help you get the most out of our program. Other gyms run different programs and have different on-ramp procedures, but we have seen a marked increase in the success of our new athletes after moving to a personalized and comprehensive on-ramp program. We are invested in your success, and we will tailor our program to your exact needs to make sure you achieve your goals. Our program is designed for people who are going to invest in their health and fitness and want results. 


Do I have to go through the On-Ramp?

In almost all cases, yes. The On-Ramp is designed to teach you everything you’ll need for success in group classes in our facility, and most athletes will greatly benefit from the personal instruction and graduated intensity. It is the perfect program for someone who has never worked out before or someone who is changing fitness programs to get better results. We’ve also found that experienced CrossFitters and CrossFitters who have taken an on-ramp elsewhere can benefit from our personal sessions where bad habits will be fixed. In the on-ramp, you’ll learn the language our coaches use for instruction and all about CrossFit 204’s principles, which are different than those of other gyms. Finally, our on-ramps are tailored to the individual, so if you are new to fitness, you’ll take small steps before big ones. If you’re experienced, you might find yourself perfecting the kipping muscle-up and full squat snatch. We’re well aware that other gyms offer cheaper entry programs or do not require entry programs. We’re looking for people who invest long term, believe in quality and understand the value of building a firm foundation for a lifetime of health and fitness.

I’ve done an on-ramp at another CrossFit facility. Do I have to do the CrossFit 204 on-ramp?

In most cases, yes. CrossFit gyms are not related, and each one teaches things differently. We want you on the same page as everyone in our facility, and we are invested in your success, so we will not promise results unless you have the proper foundation we believe is necessary to the CrossFit program. The on-ramp is not a penalty but an investment in your own success. If you learn how to move correctly, your learning curve will be much easier than if you enter our classes unprepared and unsure of yourself. Most CrossFitters could use on-ramps involving 10 or more personal sessions, so doing two on-ramps is in no way a bad thing. More introductory sessions will give you a better understanding of your body and its movements. Finally, if you have completed an on-ramp previously and have good skills, your on-ramp coach will teach you advanced techniques and movements not covered in most introductory courses. For example, if your mechanics on squats, deadlifts and presses are perfect, your coach will teach you the clean and jerk. You will learn something in our on-ramp, and you will exit the sessions a better athlete.

Can I drop into your facility for a workout?

Not without making an appointment. We’re passionate about bringing CrossFit to new people, but our first commitment is to provide outstanding personal attention to our existing members. Please contact us well ahead of time if you would like to try a workout. We would hate for you to show up unannounced to a full class. To book an introductory session, email info@crossfit204.com well in advance of the Sunday you would like to attend. Please include your athletic history/fitness experience/recent fitness training and injuries/medical conditions you have. We highly recommend people sit down with us for a free 15-minute No Sweat Intro in which we find out about your goals and tell you how we can help you accomplish them. Click here to book!

Why is your gym more expensive than other gyms?

In a traditional fitness facility, you are not given individual instruction and constant supervision and motivation. You are given a locker and a towel. We believe that our coaching is worth more because we are more invested in your health and fitness than the desk attendant at a different facility. We hope that you will see the difference in your first session with us. We will help you accomplish your goals and improve your health and fitness faster than you would at a traditional gym.

There other CrossFit gyms in Winnipeg—are they part of the same company?

No. There are many CrossFit gyms in Winnipeg, but they are not part of the same company. Each gym licenses the CrossFit name but is run completely independently. Membership at one gym does not transfer to another. Each gym has its own character, standards, strengths, rates and amenities, and its trainers have their own styles, personalities and skills. Different facilities will appeal to different people for different reasons. Joining a gym is an important decision, and we recommend you research all local facilities and make your decision based on quality. You should leave a gym feeling impressed. If you do not, keep looking. You’ll know which gym is right for you.

Is CrossFit just another fitness trend?

No. “CrossFit” is another name for “functional training.” People have been doing functional training for decades because they get results. In the ’70s and ’80s, machines and bodybuilding changed the face of fitness, but many people kept doing functional training. Currently, the training system is becoming more popular because people realize it can be used to help them accomplish their goals. To give you some perspective, our gym looks like gyms used to look in the the 1960s. In fact, old-school strength coach Bill Starr said this of a photo of our facility: “What a neat gym. A throwback. … Not a machine in sight. My kind of weight room.”

Warming up!

I’m a CrossFitter from another town. Can I drop in?

We are happy to welcome experienced CrossFitters or CrossFitters visiting from other affiliates but reserve the right to evaluate form and technique on a case-by-case basis. To ensure safety, full participation in classes is not guaranteed if technique is lacking. If you have CrossFit experience and would like to make an appointment to visit us, please email info@crossfit204.com with your request at least 24 hours in advance. We cannot respond to drop-in requests with less than 24 hours notice as our first priority is ensuring class spots are available for our members. Please include the date and time of your intended visit, describe your CrossFit experience, and include the name of your home affiliate and head coach. Please note that if you drop in, you will do our scheduled workout rather than your home gym’s workout or programming of your own design.

What if I want to compete in CrossFit competitions?

We can help. Many of our athletes do CrossFit for general fitness and have no goals of competing. Others consider CrossFit their “sport” and compete regularly. We support both types of athlete equally. If you have goals of competing at CrossFit competitions, we will get you ready by identifying your weakness and eliminating them, and we will support you all along the way. It should be noted that our competitors train the same way as our other athletes and do the regularly scheduled group workouts. Our workouts are designed to develop great athletes–whether they compete or not. With oversight from a coach in our High Performance program, our competitors have the chance to do extra work in skill sessions to prepare for upcoming competitions, address weaknesses and so on.

Can I do my own thing?

No. Our fitness program is based around creating a community, and that means all our athletes participate in group classes, where they have the benefit of support, camaraderie and friendly competition. One athlete doing his own thing will never match the intensity of five who are pushing each other. Within the group, our coaches strive to tailor each workout to the individual by making adjustments to the prescription. For instance, an athlete who is a great runner but lacks strength might get less running and more lifting in a workout that includes both. Back squats can become overhead squats, push-ups can become pull-ups and so on. If you have specific goals or are training for a certain event or competition, we can fine-tune the group workouts accordingly, and there are opportunities for extra/additional work, especially on Sunday mornings at Dale’s Garage. Furthermore, athletes interested in competing in CrossFit competitions receive additional/remedial work to help prepare them. Our athletes and teams have had great success in local and regional CrossFit events, and they do the same workouts everyone else does. We’re passionate about creating a community, and we are 100 percent confident we can help you achieve optimal fitness in a group setting.

A few of our Legends athlete

With an unlimited membership, can I work out twice a day or seven days a week?

No. Rest days are critical to improved health and fitness. Our coaches evaluate athletes for overtraining every day, and if you are pushing your limits too far, they will speak to you to ensure you are training optimally. We recommend at least one to two rest days per week, and many athletes need more than that. At certain times, top competition athletes may work out twice a day, but we believe this is an unsustainable practice that’s useful only in preparation for specific CrossFit events requiring stamina in a competition lasting two days or more. Athletes working out twice a day may do so only with the head coach’s permission and are strictly monitored for overtraining. Most athletes will never need to train more than once a day. More is not better.

Are your trainers certified?

Yes. Our trainers are all credentialed through various nationally and internationally recognized organizations including the Manitoba Fitness Council and CrossFit Inc. You can view the qualifications of each coach on the Trainers page.

Do you offer individual or small group training?

Yes, but most of our training is done in the regularly scheduled classes. To make other arrangements, please e-mail info@CrossFit204.com.


Mike Warkentin is the owner of CrossFit 204.

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