Author: Mike Warkentin

CrossFit can prepare you for the unknown challenges of your job. (Creative Commons – AMagill)

The CrossFit program is ideally suited for members of the fire, law-enforcement and military communities. While the program can work for people at any level of fitness, it is especially effective for people whose lives and livelihoods depend on a high level of fitness that allows them to deal with the unknown challenges they’ll face on the job.

Firefighters, law-enforcement officers and military personnel face unknown challenges every day, whether it’s carrying a person from a burning building, chasing a criminal, or navigating a battlefield with a weapon and heavy pack. The nature, duration and elements of these on-the-job challenges are unknown, and personnel are forced to adapt on the fly in order to save lives and property.

To train for unknown challenges, a fitness program needs to feature functional movements performed at intensity levels typical of on-the-job conditions. The program also needs to be constantly varied to account for the unpredictable nature of fire, law or military service. CrossFit fulfills those requirements and unequivocally produces fitter soldiers, firefighters and law-enforcement officers (see documentation below).

CrossFit is used around the world by fire, law and military personnel, and in some areas of North America, the program is used exclusively for training in fire departments, police departments and branches of the military. Below, you’ll find a host of articles detailing how and why the program works for the people who serve their communities and countries.

CrossFit 204’s members include many firefighters, paramedics, military personnel, police officers and Mounties. Coach Lindsey Ingram is one of North America’s top competitors in the Fire Combat Challenge (U.S.) and the FireFit Championships (Canada), and trainer Brett Smith is also a member of the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service. In November 2011, March 2012, March 2013, September 2013 and March 2014, CrossFit 204 was honored to train Winnipeg Police Service recruit classes as part of their physical fitness program.

At CrossFit 204, we are proud to use this program to train the people who protect us every day.

If you’re a firefighter, paramedic, soldier or law-enforcement office and interested in finding out how you can be better at your job, check out the resources below or email


Canadian Forces: A New Approach to Physical Training: How Do You Build a Warrior?

Canadian Forces: Army Fitness Program: “The Combat Fitness Program derived its origins from the CrossFit training method, which has been adapted to meet the special needs of the Canadian Army by incorporating many of the widely accepted general principles of fitness training taught in the CF. Understanding CF fitness fundamentals, as well as the background of the CrossFit program, will help to better appreciate the CFP’s blended design.”

Fitness for the Force by Vincent Cascella and Nathan Barlow of the Indianapolis Police Academy, published in the CrossFit Journal Feb. 10, 2010.

U.S. Army CrossFit Study: May 2010 published in the CrossFit Journal Sept. 2, 2011.

Firefighter Combat Challenge and the Definitions of Fitness by Mike Warkentin, published in the CrossFit Journal Sept. 1, 2009.

APFT A-OK by Sgt. 1st Class Rafael C. Lopez, published in the CrossFit Journal Aug. 18. 2010.

CrossFit and F.M. 21-20 by Capt. Matt McKee, published in the CrossFit Journal June 7, 2010.

Elite Soliders, Elite Fitness by Staff Sgt. Matt Kostielney, published in the CrossFit Journal Oct. 15, 2009.

CrossFit for Combat Fitness by Brian Chontosh, first aired in the CrossFit Journal on Aug. 5, 2009.

SWAT Shapes Up by Louis P. Hayes, published in the CrossFit Journal March 8, 2009.

Alexandria Fire Department (Virginia)

Implementing CrossFit at East Fork Fire by Jon Gilson, published in the CrossFit Journal May 2007.

CrossFit Phoenix Fire

Orange County Fire Authority

City of Marietta (Georgia)


By Mike Warkentin
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Required Reading

CrossFit Journal

CrossFit Games

Mike’s Gym

Westside Barbell

Elite FTS

Takano Athletics

Kelly Starrett’s MobilityWOD

Winnipeg Resources – An inspiring project by the wonderful Sarah!

Source Yoga – Dillon is a supple leopard.

Peg City Yoga – Noah can help you squat better.

Massage Athletica – Winnipeg’s best runner, Mike Booth, can fix your body.

Dr. Chris Notley – Why see a therapist, chiropractor and strength coach when you could see someone who does it all?

Local Friends

CrossFit Winnipeg

Prairie CrossFit

CrossFit Sublime

Equipment Suppliers

Rogue Canada

Again Faster

Power Firm Weightlifting Shoes (Winnipeg)


Fitness Town

Trans-Canada Friends

CrossFit Regina – Regina, Sask.

CrossFit Saskatoon – Saskatoon, Sask.

CrossFit Calgary – Calgary, Alta.

CrossFit Ramsay – Calgary. Alta.

CrossFit 403 – Airdrie, Alta.

CrossFit Lethbridge – Lethbridge, Alta.

Spark Sport Conditioning – Edmonton, Alta.

CrossFit Edmonton – Edmonton, Alta.

CrossFit Vancouver – Vancouver, B.C.

CrossFit Squamish – Squamish, B.C.

CrossFit Whistler – Whistler, B.C.

CrossFit Taranis – Victoria, B.C.

CrossFit Subzero – Thunder Bay, Ont.

Catalyst Fitness – Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

Element CrossFit – Oakville/Mississauga, Ont.

CrossFit Toronto – Toronto, Ont.


By Mike Warkentin

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

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 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 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

Qualified instructors will teach you each movement and ensure you use proper technique.


By Mike Warkentin


CrossFit 204-Coach MikeMike Warkentin

Mike Warkentin is the founder of CrossFit 204. He has been involved in sports for his entire life, including hockey, basketball, track and field, and volleyball. As a player, Mike spent three years with the University of Winnipeg Wesmen, winning a national championship in 1998. As a coach, Mike has worked with athletes from 10 years old to adulthood in summer camps, clinics, and team and individual settings.

After getting hooked on weightlifting and fitness in university, Mike dedicated himself to learning more about training. After eight years in the media industry, he made his hobby into a career by starting work with CrossFit HQ in 2009. He is currently the managing editor of the CrossFit Journal, the Internet’s best fitness resource. In this role, Mike has had the opportunity to learn from elite coaches including CrossFit founder Greg Glassman, Mike Burgener, Louie Simmons and more. Mike is one of only a handful of Level 2 CrossFit trainers in Canada.

Mike is passionate about fitness, learning and coaching and looks forward to helping you achieve your goals at CrossFit 204.


CrossFit Level 2 Trainer
CrossFit Basic Barbell
CrossFit Olympic Lifting
CrossFit Powerlifting
CrossFit Gymnastics
Manitoba Fitness Council Resistance Training Leader
Canfitpro Personal Training Specialist
Agatsu Level 1 Kettlebell Instructor
Emergency First Aid




CrossFit 204-Coach CrystalCrystal Kirby-Peloquin

Crystal is the CrossFit 204 general manager, a top competition CrossFitter and a Level 1 CrossFit trainer.

A lifelong athlete, Crystal was a standout in track and field in high school, and she played basketball for the University of Winnipeg Wesmen. After her basketball career, Crystal got involved in triathlons and duathlons and specialized in sprint distances. She competed in Fame and MABBA fitness and figure competitions before jumping into CrossFit full-time in 2010.

After less than eight months of training, Crystal finished 18th at the CrossFit Games Central Canada Sectionals before taking third in the CrossFit Regina Spring Fling. Crystal dedicated herself to the program and really hit her stride in 2011. She finished third in the FrostFit Games in January 2010 and won the Intergalactic Throwdown hosted by CrossFit 204 in February. Crystal had a consistent performance over the Reebok CrossFit Games Open and finished 18th in Western Canada, earning a trip to regionals.

At the Canada West Regional in Vancouver, Crystal finished ninth and was the only Manitoba or Saskatchewan female to finish in the top 10.

In 2012, she finished 54th in Canada West and qualified for the regional competition, where she was 18th overall on the strength of four top-15 finishes. In 2013, she finished 17th in the Open and competed with the CrossFit 204 team at Regionals, finishing fifth. In 2013, she qualified for Regionals for the fourth consecutive year and finished 25th.

She’s currently working to eliminate any weaknesses and qualify for the CrossFit Games.


CrossFit Level 1
USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach


CrossFit 204-Coach SherriSherri Clark

After developing a love of sports and a desire to push herself to the limits while playing hockey for the Winnipeg Polar Ice and the Twins, Sherri decided to pursue a career as a fitness professional. She completed a BA in kinesiology at the University of Winnipeg in 2012, and she’s been a coach and trainer since 2010. Once she was introduced to CrossFit, she earned her Level 1 Certificate and worked as a coach at Prairie CrossFit.

Sherri’s comfortable working with individuals or groups, and she has extensive experience training sports teams and young athletes. She’s coached the Shaftesbury High School prep team and assisted with Hockey Manitoba camps, and she’s created dry-land training programs for hockey teams. In addition to leading group classes at CrossFit 204, Sherri will be working with sports teams and individual athletes to help them develop the strength, speed, power and endurance they need to accomplish their goals.

As a CrossFit athlete, Sherri qualified for the Canada West Regional in 2014 by finishing 31st in the Open, and she finished 32nd in the regional competition in Vancouver. She’s stood on top of the podium at local competitions and continues to train hard for the 2015 competition season.


Bachelor of Arts (Kinesiology)
CrossFit Level 1
Canfitpro Personal Training Specialist


CrossFit 204-Coach Brett 3Brett Smith

Brett is one of the strongest athletes in the gym, but his real strength is his methodical, intelligent approach to CrossFit training. Brett is always the first one to reduce the weight, work on form and address his weaknesses, and over the last year he’s been rewarded with outstanding improvements in every aspect of his training. In his first competition, the 2011 FrostFit Games, he finished fifth. Brett’s done well in every competition he’s entered and was a member of the CrossFit 204 team that finished fifth at the 2013 Canada West Regional.

Brett has been a City of Winnipeg firefighter since March 2007 and can often be found leading his colleagues through challenging fire-hall CrossFit workouts. If you’re trapped in a burning building, this is the guy you want coming for you.

Brett’s an outstanding role model for our athletes, and his easygoing and humble nature make him a great coach.


CrossFit Level 1
USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach
Provincially licensed primary care paramedic
Level 1 and Level 2 Firefighter


CrossFit 204-Coach JrGrant Dilling Jr.

At only 20, “Junior” is a veteran of a host of CrossFit competitions, including the 2010 Ontario Sectional, the 2011 Intergalactic Challenge, and the 2010 and 2011 FrostFit Games. In 2012, he placed 108th in Canada West in the CrossFit Games Open and posted the top score on the CrossFit 204 team in four of five events. He was CrossFit 204’s top male Open athlete in 2012, and in 2013 he was a member of the 204 team that finished fifth at the Canada West Regional.

Junior’s enthusiasm for CrossFit is infectious, and he’s one of the friendliest people you’ll meet. He’s usually the first one to finish a workout and the first to start encouraging everyone else who’s still going. His character and passion for the sport make him a great coach who’s able to motivate athletes to smile through the work and grind out a few more reps. He’s also pretty good with a hammer and a drill.


CrossFit Level 1

CrossFit 204-Coach GeoffGeoff Thompson

Geoff was not your typical athlete when he started participating in sports. He struggled to hit a baseball with a bat, found out that he had two left feet when trying to kick a soccer ball and couldn’t stop on skates. All that changed when he discovered the sport of Olympic wrestling and quickly found that he did indeed have an aptitude for physical activity. Starting very young, he quickly learned what it took to become an elite wrestler and won several provincial championships. When his competing years were done, he moved on to coaching and ran a successful youth program for six years.

Geoff decided to take his coaching to the next level and pursued a degree in kinesiology from the University of Manitoba, with a specialty in exercise and sport science. Six years into his personal-training career, he discovered CrossFit and found the training philosophy he always wanted to preach but could not put into words. It was also the closest thing he had experienced to the feeling he got during a wrestling match—the feeling of intensity that only comes from pushing yourself to another level. He is now committed to becoming the best CrossFit athlete he can be and helping others transition into the CrossFit style of training.

Geoff was a member of CrossFit 204’s team for the 2013 and 2014 CrossFit Games Open.


Bachelor of Kinesiology (U of M)
CSEP – Certified Personal Trainer
Agatsu Level 1 Kettlebell Instructor
NCCP Level 3 Wrestling Coach


CrossFit 204-Coach CodyCody Bernard

A long-time member, Cody completed our apprenticeship program early in 2015 and joined our coaching staff. Cody’s fitness has improved dramatically since he started training, and along the way he showed us the technical precision, attention to detail and character that make him a perfect fit for our staff. Cody coaches our general CrossFit classes and also does individual and small-group on-ramps. New as of November 2015, Cody is the head coach of the 204 Conditioning program. Cody is also a talented artist and animal lover.
CrossFit Level 1
USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach

David Boyd

Dave first came to us as part of a corporate fitness program we ran shortly after opening in 2011. We immediately knew he was a talented athlete, but over the next years we learned he was one of the most humble, hardworking and genuine people in the gym. Dave completed our apprenticeship program and joined our staff in 2015. Dave leads general CrossFit classes and is a gifted Olympic lifter and aspiring “tall gymnast.” In his spare time, Dave puts his fitness to use on the ice playing hockey.
CrossFit Level 1
USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach

CrossFit 204-Coach NatalieNatalie Marion – Rise Up Physiotherapy

Physiotherapist Natalie Marion has been a member of CrossFit 204 since December 2013. She provides rehabilitation of medical conditions including but not limited to ligament sprains, muscle strains, nerve injuries, whiplash-associated disorders, overuse injuries, etc; assessment and treatment of sports injuries and work-related injuries; “prehab” and preventative maintenance; acupuncture; pre-operative and post-operative rehabilitation; and more services.

Please visit the Rise Up Physiotherapy page for more info.

J0anna Gies – 204 Lifestyle

Joanna Gies is a Registered Dietitian with 20 years of experience, and she has worked with the Manitoba Home Nutrition Program for 17 years. She has special experience in pediatric nutrition and a keen interest in nutrition for sports nutrition and nutrition for performance.

Joanna has been a fitness trainer since 2008, and she joined CrossFit in 2014 to work on strength goals.

She enjoys spending time with her husband, two children and her Bernese mountain dog Bruno.


By Mike Warkentin
A few great people who’d love to work out with you.

Located at 483 Berry St. in Winnipeg, CrossFit 204 is 6,000 square feet of warehouse space dedicated solely to CrossFit. We are minutes away from both Polo Park and the James Armstrong Richardson International Airport.

Our Mission Statement

The mission of CrossFit 204 and 204 Strength and Conditioning Ltd. is to build a healthy community by providing the safest, most effective and fastest route to health and fitness.

We have been a CrossFit affiliate since 2010, and we have been training using CrossFit methods since 2008. We employ the CrossFit method of using constantly varied whole-body movements to create challenging workouts that are scaled to allow each participant to work at the correct level of intensity. Our instructors always ensure you are moving correctly and safely. We have people of all levels of fitness, and we can work with anyone from beginner to advanced. Our members range in age from late teens to 70.

Our facility is equipped with change rooms, and we have a large parking lot behind the building. Parking is also available on the surrounding streets. Our training area features a 10-person pull-up rig, 10 barbell stations, a reverse hyper, tires, plyo boxes, a fleet of Concept2 rowing machines, and all the barbells, rings, kettlebells and bumper plates you’ll need for an amazing CrossFit workout.

CrossFit 204
CrossFit 204.

CrossFit 204 runs on a membership basis, and training and facility tours are by appointment only. For more info, visit our Start Here page.

What Is CrossFit?

CrossFit is a training system developed in the mid-’80s by Greg Glassman. He opened the first CrossFit gym in Santa Cruz, Calif., in 2001. Since that time, more than 10,000 gyms worldwide have adopted the program and affiliated with CrossFit HQ.

CrossFit is defined as “constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity.” This means the CrossFit program does not use machine-based isolation exercises seen in traditional facilities. CrossFit treats your body as a machine, and the program uses a constantly changing selection of full-body movements to elicit a physiological response. This physiological response is increased fitness, which CrossFit defines as the ability to do more work faster.

These specific descriptions are important but sometimes less than useful.

A good set-up usually leads to a good lift. Squeeze every muscle tight before pulling the bar.
Our classes always contain instruction so you know exactly how to move during workouts.

More simply: CrossFit is fun and challenging, and it works. If you give it a chance, you will discover this for yourself. Visit our Start Here page for all info on entering our program.

Class Description

Classes are one hour long and include a warm-up and cool-down/stretching/mobility period. Aside from that, each class is different. We want you to be fitter in every way, so we will challenge you with a constantly changing selection of activities that will improve your strength, speed, agility, endurance, power, coordination and flexibility.

We create workouts using a host of activities in various combinations. Some days you will squat. Other days you will press. Some days you will do both. Sometimes you will squat or press in a circuit. We run and row for various distances, usually in combination with other activities. We always include core strength in some way. We use barbells, dumbbells, medicine balls, kettlebells, gymnastic rings and a host of other tools. Some circuits are short, while others are longer. Sometimes the circuit includes two or three exercises, and sometimes many more.

Barb and a very large support crew.
All for one, one for all.

You will be shown how to do every movement properly, and we will make sure you are comfortable before you perform the movement as part of a circuit. If you have injuries or physical limitations that prevent you from doing some movements, we will find alternatives.

Each class is carefully designed to provide a fun workout that challenges participants at their own levels and improves fitness.

For examples of workouts we have done in the past, check the Workouts page.

A woman performs a chin-up as part of a strength program at CrossFit 204 in Winnipeg.

Start Here

By Mike Warkentin
A group of athletes jog as part of a warm-up before class at CrossFit 204.
Everyone here started somewhere. Come train with us!

We’re thrilled that you want to improve your life!

We recommend you book a free No-Sweat Intro to talk to a staff member about your health and fitness.

In 15 minutes, we’ll talk to you about your goals, challenges and current successes, and we’ll recommend a personalized plan to help you achieve optimal health and fitness. This plan will be perfectly tailored to your current fitness level and goals—you do not have to be fit at present to start training with us. All you have to do is show up, and we’ll tell you how we can help you with fitness, nutrition and lifestyle changes. It’s that easy.


If you’d like to book outside the times available, email or call Crystal at 204-880-1001.

If you’re interested in trying a class now, read on! The information below applies to our CrossFit program only. If you’d like us to lead you through the steps instead, we’ll meet with you for 15 minutes for free and draw up a prescription for you. Click here to follow that path.

Click here for the 204 Legends program—our special fitness program for people 50 and over.

We’re thrilled you want to try CrossFit! This step-by-step list was created over 10 years of introducing people to CrossFit, and we hope it will help you navigate the process. We know starting a new program can be intimidating, so we want to make it as clear and easy as possible. 

Before you start, you should know there are many CrossFit gyms in Winnipeg, and they are independent and related in name only. When choosing a fitness facility, many things are important. Make your choice based on quality, professionalism, atmosphere and any other factors that are important to you. Remember: you should feel impressed when visiting a new facility. If you don’t, visit another. You will know when you are in the right place.

1. You don’t have to be in shape to do CrossFit. No training is needed. You just have to make an appointment to try out a class, in which a trainer will tailor the workout to your current fitness level. People always tell us they “have to get in shape” before they come, but that’s incorrect: we exist to get you in shape. You also don’t need to be nervous: our goal is not to push you into misery during your visit, only to give you a taste of our program. Expect to work about 10 percent harder than you would on your own, and expect a coach to monitor you to make sure you’re always moving properly and having fun.

2. You’ll need to contact us to make an appointment to drop in. We offer free drop-ins by appointment to selected classes. We require an appointment so we can schedule a coach to greet you, talk about your training history, find out about any mobility issues or injuries and answer your questions. We want you to feel very comfortable.

To book an appointment, please email and let us know two dates and times that would work for you. Please do so at least 24-48 hours in advance, as we spend most of our time training in the gym and wouldn’t want you to show up before we get a chance to respond. You can also contact Crystal, our manager, at 204-880-1001. We’ll confirm a time, send you some paperwork and eagerly await our chance to meet you.

3. Once we’ve set up an appointment, you just have to show up at the right time in workout clothes and bring clean shoes and a water bottle. We’ll meet you and make sure you’re comfortable, then we’ll explain how the class works. After that, we’ll introduce you to the coach.

A coach instructs an athlete on proper elbow position for the barbell press at a CrossFit gym.
Our coaches will always receive detailed instructions for every movement.

4. In the class, you’ll meet some new friends, and the coach will create a specific version of the day’s workout just for you. Your workout will be modified to reflect our interview with you before the class. Experienced athletes and athletes with no experience can have fun doing the same workout if the elements are adjusted properly by a coach. People often say CrossFit is “one-size-fits-all fitness,” which is incorrect. We post one workout on our site every day, and our experienced trainers adjust that workout for each person. You will work at your level. The class will include detailed instructions, a thorough warm-up and a workout. Some CrossFit movements are complicated if you’ve never done them before, but we keep the introductory sessions simple so we can get you moving quickly. Feel free to talk to a coach any time you have questions. Our friendly members will also help you feel more comfortable. Remember: each one of them started with no experience at all, and they know exactly how you feel.

5. After the class, we’ll check in with you and answer any questions. We do not try to sell the program to you, and there is no pressure to continue. If you’re interested in CrossFit 204, we’re happy to tell you more. If you aren’t, we wish you all the best in your training. We appreciate that you came out and joined us for a workout.


A smiling woman uses a band to perform assisted pull-ups as part of a workout at CrossFit 204.
All movements will be adjusted to your current abilities and your goals.

6. If you are interested in more CrossFit, the next step is to book an eight-session on-ramp with us. You will be given a welcome package including our mission statement and other important info, and you will be matched up with a trainer who can work with you one-on-one at your convenience to tailor an introductory program to your needs. We’ve found that doing so helps people acclimatize because a coach creates a personalized plan for that athlete, which leads to greater success in group sessions. The cost for eight sessions is $420 (GST included; two-person sessions $630–$315 per person).

We can tell you there are cheaper introductory programs elsewhere in the city, as well as group on-ramps and gyms that do not require on-ramps. We believe our individual on-ramp is an investment in your health, and we are confident it will help you learn all CrossFit movements much more quickly. Since we moved to a one-on-one on-ramp program with personalized instruction, we’ve found our clients get results much faster. If you’re the kind of person who invests long term, cares about high quality and wants to build a firm foundation for a lifetime of fitness and health, you’ll enjoy our on-ramp a great deal.  To book an on-ramp, email

7. After your on-ramp is concluded (it often takes between 10 days and three weeks to do so depending on your schedule), you can enter group classes unless skill levels require additional sessions to ensure safe training. This rarely happens, but it’s worth mentioning because we will not throw you into group classes until you are ready. This is so you can succeed in the group setting. But don’t worry: eight sessions are more than enough time to get you up to speed in almost all cases. Your on-ramp coach will also prepare a graduation report to let our other coaches know you’re ready to go and what assistance you might need in class. This report is circulated to all coaches so they know how to help you get fit fast. We have a variety of membership options, all listed here. Memberships generally range from about $120 to $160 per month and are dependent on the length of the membership and the number of classes you attend. Your on-ramp trainer is a fitness professional, not a sales rep, and does not receive commission. He or she will simply do a great job and let you decide if you want to take the next step.

8. Once you are set up with a membership, you can sign into classes and start coming regularly. But you are not on your own. We will check in with you regularly as you learn the movements and meet our other coaches and athletes. Your on-ramp coach will pay particular attention to you to make sure you’re progressing. We want to know how you’re doing, if you have any questions and what we can do to make your training better.

You’re part of the family!

A smiling athlete gives a thumbs up gesture as he runs during a workout.
We can’t wait to work out with you!