Our Story

By Mike Warkentin

CrossFit 204 started in 2008 when a trainer at a gym said, “Try this workout.” I ignored him and laughed but soon heard about the workout 300—named for the movie. I tried it thinking it was easy. It was not, but I was very interested in the program that had put me on my back.

From that workout came others, many in a garage in St. James with friends who had already discovered CrossFit and welcomed me to their space. At the same time, I was growing increasingly dissatisfied with a job in radio advertising, so I started studying strength and conditioning with a goal of becoming a fitness writer. As part of my education, I took a CrossFit Level 1 Seminar in 2009 in San Diego, and from there I got sucked into CrossFit Inc. as managing editor of the CrossFit Journal.

I felt like I should coach people to share what I’d discovered and make me a better writer, and I started acquiring a collection of equipment because few places would or could accommodate the style of training I was interested in. Soon the basement was full of iron and I had a set of rings hanging from a beam. Old loader tires were piling up on the porch, and eventually we were hanging clothes on a barbell sitting in a power cage in our living room.

At the time, I was handing out towels at a local gym for minimum wage, and the manager was kind enough to let me run a bootcamp. That started in April 2009, and about a year later I was having a phone conversation with CrossFit Founder Greg Glassman, my boss.

“Why don’t you affiliate?” Glassman asked.

It was an obvious move, and CrossFit 204 was born in 2010. The bootcamp, now with a name, was starting to overflow, as was my equipment pile. Tired of hearing kettlebells threaten the walls of my trunk as I drove the loops in the parkade at the gym, and with only two CrossFit affiliates in the city, I decided it was time to open another.

We took the plunge, and CrossFit 204 moved to 483 Berry St. in June 2011. Of course we threw up a Jolly Roger immediately to make it home.

We managed to take about 10 “founding members” with us, and some of them are still with us today. It’s something I’m very proud of. Six or seven years is an eternity in the fickle fitness industry, and we’ve been very lucky to get to work with these clients and watch them improve for so long.

In 2015, we came to a realization: Fitness doesn’t exist without good food. We dedicated ourselves to learning about the other half of equation, and we started 204 Lifestyle so we can advise clients on nutrition and help them reach their goals faster. Now, we combine diet and exercise to produce not just fitness but health.

Overall, the gym exists to provide the opportunity for clients to get fit and have fun while enjoying a training style we love in a positive space. Fitness and fun aren’t always a pair. You can definitely get fit without having fun. But we’ve always been interested in fun and friends and happy people trading high fives while getting fit, so we created a space where fitness and fun are inseparable. Drop by sometime and see for yourself.

Over the years, our gym has changed and grown, but we’ve always worked to stay true to our roots. We are authentic, friendly, caring and fun. These were the attributes that we focused on in 2009, and they are the attributes that still characterize our facility.

As we continue to grow, we will always stay true to our Day 1 vision.

Mike Warkentin
CrossFit 204 Founder

To tell us your story and find out how we can help you accomplish your goals, click here and book a free No-Sweat Intro.

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