FAQ

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 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. 

Jump!

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.

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

Coaches

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.

Credentials:

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
CPR C/AED
Emergency First Aid

Email: Mike@CrossFit204.com

 

 

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.

Credentials:

CrossFit Level 1
USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach
CPR/AED

Email: Crystal@CrossFit204.com

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.

Credentials:

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.

Credentials:

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.

Credentials:

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.

Credentials:

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.
 
Credentials:
 
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.
 
Credentials:
 
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.

About

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 info@crossfit.com 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 info@crossfit204.com 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 info@crossfit204.com.

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!

Let us know if you have a story you’d like to tell!

Kathleen’s Story

A female performs an assisted pull-up during a conditioning workout at CrossFit 204.

Last night was my first time on a squash court in about thirty years. I joined a women’s squash league. It’s something I have wanted to get back into for a long time. But my brain for the last 10 years has said: “You’re too old. You’re not strong enough. Remember how out of breath you were? Squash takes a lot of energy.” You know all the negative self-talk our brains can have.

But after doing Legends to ease back into regular CrossFit, I shut that voice up and joined.

And holy shit! I didn’t break a sweat. I was not out of breath. The strength of my hits was—dare I say?—three times more powerful than it was at 20. I won five matches against another player,and held my own against a seasoned player—both almost half my age.

Best of all, my brain was curiously wondering why I wasn’t panting during the games. After they were over, I was ready to play another match. Like a kid on the playground!

Debbie’s Story

When I started CrossFit204, I was really scared. I wasn’t sure that I could do it—maybe I am too old for this. I came to the New You classes, and with encouragement from Cody, I never missed a class and I actually did it. Cody made the classes upbeat and often included some of his funny sayings like “ass to the grass” and “you can always do one more burpee,” and it gave me something to remember when I found the work hard. Cody was always willing to listen and help find a scale that each and every one of us in class could do.  

Then I joined the regular classes: I was ready. Everyone was supportive. The coaches never seemed to get tired of me asking how to do the exercise, and then somehow I was starting to think differently about myself and going to Crossfit—I really wanted to go to the WOD. I was always so impressed by how hard the people worked and I often just watched them setting up and testing their strength. 

Crystal and Cody are always watching and help you get the work done. I never did any kind of handstand in my life, and when Crystal helped me wall walk I was beyond words. I even showed my husband what I could do. 

Something changed and I didn’t know exactly what it was. On a regular basis I started telling my family and friends about what I did at the gym.  

So, when I read “Why Everyone Should Lift Weights,” I thought about what James Clear described, and I think that is what changed. Not only did I get more confidence—I know that I can do it. There is no failure. There is always another way to get the work done. You just have to show up.

It is amazing for me to see what I can accomplish, and there is something new and different all the time. Just the other week when we did the sprinting workout, I was so happy that I did it. I felt so good afterwards and for days to come.  

My journey with CrossFit has been so many things: increased physical strength, weight loss and changes in my physical size. What I did not expect was how positive I am to myself, how I tell myself that I can do it. 

I once heard Crystal mention “positive self talk,” and at the time I had never really realized how helpful positive self-talk is. We all know how to talk ourselves out of something; however, to believe you can and will try something that you know is hard is a different mindset. 

I have seen this same change in my sister-in-law, too (belongs to CrossFit Winnipeg). I saw how both she and her husband changed physically and mentally, which is what initially lead me to CrossFit 204. So, whenever we get together or when I did a great job at the workout, we connect and share. I love they way I feel.  

So as I contemplate my journey so far, and my goals for 2018. I look forward to going to CrossFit 204.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year! May 2018 be a year full of great health, happiness and prosperity.

 

crossfit-204-march-17-2017-row-jbJason’s Story

I started CrossFit in 2011 as a mostly sedentary person eating a vegetarian diet that was a bit low in vegetables and high in dill pickle chips. Had I done nothing, my body would have continued a slow decline for the rest of my life. It was a turning point in my life. The change was bigger than simply going from sedentary to active. The community, sharing of knowledge, support, and accountability are what kept me coming back. I was addicted in no time. The results came along with a huge improvement in my quality of life. In addition to CrossFit, I was cycling more and I had started playing hockey again.

However, after more than two years of addiction, I found that I had burned myself out. My progress had slowed. I loved lifting but felt I wasn’t doing enough of it. A lot of the people I “grew up” with at that box had moved on themselves. I wasn’t giving other areas of my life the attention they required. I took a break when a work project came along that was going to demand extra hours for a few weeks. When life returned to normal, I started working out on my own in my garage with a collection of used strength training equipment I had accumulated. I made great progress for more than a year, making many PRs on my squat, bench, and deadlift. That eventually started to plateau as well, and without the community and accountability I found it difficult to put in the work necessary to keep progressing. On top of that, lifting exclusively had its own cost – I was strong, but I was also the heaviest I had been in my life. I was slow and poorly conditioned, and it showed when I played hockey. This was not sustainable.

No fitness story is complete without a discussion of food. As I previously mentioned, I started as a vegetarian eating a significant amount of junk. I quickly added meat into my diet and got rid of some of the junk but was far away from properly fuelling my body. As I became obsessed with lifting and gainz, I focused on getting more protein and total calories at any cost. This included some poor ideas, like eating 4 Egg McMuffins a day or getting peanut butter milkshakes from BDI multiple times a week. While I did make gains, my blood work probably wouldn’t have made a doctor happy.

For a while, I experimented with ketosis and intermittent fasting, and this helped me lose some of the excess weight I’d gained from primarily lifting and not controlling my calories or food quality. It was great for moderate activity like cycling but not higher intensity activity like hockey.

The one constant in my relationship with food has been change. At various points I’ve thought I couldn’t change all sorts of things. I’ve thought I’d never eat meat again. I could never see how I could cut out carbs. I thought I’d die if I went 12 hours without eating. I was able to get myself to change all of those things.

Another thing I thought I would never do is measure my portion sizes. Working with the 204 Lifestyle program, measuring portion size is one of the things that Crystal needed me to do. Soon enough I was using a kitchen scale all the time and seeing my body composition change accordingly. On top of that, increasing food quality is a never-ending journey. It’s not just learning what to buy and how to cook what you’ve bought. It’s constant experimentation. I’m always on the lookout for the best frozen vegetables and the most convenient way to prepare them. I’m always trying to find new ways to prepare a week’s worth of protein. I’m always trying to find the highest quality meat for the best price. Does anyone want to split half a cow with me?

Circling back to my training… Along the way I’d met the love of my life. My training had dropped off and I was a bit restless. We were looking for something to do together. I wanted her to experience the same revelation that I had, so we started up. We started attending another box, but at the same time we were looking for a new home. We eventually ended up in Silver Heights. CrossFit 204 was a natural choice – not only was it close, but I’ve always held Crystal, Mike, and the entire 204 crew in high regard based on my encounters with them. My experience so far has exceeded my expectations – the coaching, programming, and community has been exceptional.

All my previous experiences with the CrossFit Open were mixed, but the Intramural Open made it fun again – a celebration of what we do as opposed to simply seeing where we sit on the leaderboard. This really reflects my main training goal at age 35: sustainability. I don’t get paid to be an athlete, so I don’t need to be the best at anything. But training increases my quality of life in innumerable ways. Not only do I want to be squatting heavy into my old age, but I also need the reminder that consistent work yields incremental improvements that add up over time. Life will continue to get busier as I age, especially if I’m lucky enough to start a family, so the goal will be to find the right balance that allows me to train while juggling everything else. I’m confident that CrossFit 204 will be part of that equation for years to come.

Kelly’s Story

crossfit-204-open-171-kh

It all started for me while watching the Crossfit Games in 2015. I was flipping through the the channels, and there was the Crossfit Games, so I thought I would tune in.

Being a former athlete of volleyball and soccer and now mother of two little people (age 4 and 2 at the time), I watched in awe of these amazing athletes doing these crazy workouts. Sitting there, I realized how much I missed being fit and being an athlete–and I continuously failed at gym-membership commitment. But the Games sparked a desire to be fit–not to be skinny and lose weight but to be fit.

I remembered that my sister-in-law had a friend who often posted about CrossFit, so I searched her name (knowing we were Facebook friends), and there was CrossFit 204.

I decided that night I needed to try it first because, to be honest, the whole idea of CrossFit scared me. It looked tough and there was no way I could do a muscle-up!

So I signed up for a free class one night. Deadlifts–that was the WOD. I honestly needed a lesson simply on what a barbell was. So this was new. Crystal was the coach that night and was the most welcoming and friendly person. Not once did I feel intimidated. I felt inspired and excited to push myself further. I went home and woke up sore, but I was excited to sign up for on-ramp. I knew the day I walked into CrossFit 204 that this was my new sport.

Eight sessions later after learning with Cole, I signed up for my first class. Crystal, Cole and all the coaches were so welcoming and encouraging, and I knew this was a good place for me to be.

Two years later I did my first CrossFit Games Open, scaled of course. I still can’t do a muscle-up, but I am stronger, fitter and more confident.

My kids have made comments to me like, “Good thing you do CrossFit, mom,” and my oldest daughter likes to tell people that I do CrossFit. I don’t look anywhere near the girls at the Games, but my pants fit better, I can lift a barbell and I can hold my head a little higher now with confidence. This is now my new sport and I love it.

It now becomes my refuge on my worst, most stressful days. The people at CrossFit 204 are positive and inspiring, and they know how to push you when you need it. They also know when you need to scale down, and as a nurse I appreciate that care and compassion for health.

I am grateful to have found CrossFit 204. Each day I get a little stronger, and that is what I want to show my kids.

crossfit-204-17-2-th-lunge

Tom’s Story

I will never forget the WOD roughly five years ago when Mike was coaching. During the warm-up, Mike said, “That’s what we’re building here … a loving community.” Awkward silence followed, as these kinds of words seemed out of place at the gym. No one else responded to Mike’s words, we simply went on with the WOD.

I had the good fortune of attending CrossFit 204’s very first class almost eight years ago. A friend encouraged me to come to the “boot camp” offered at Assiniboine Fitness. At that first class, on a cramped gym floor, I met Mike Warkentin, and my health and life have benefitted richly ever since. Over the ensuing years of attending CF 204 3-4 times per week, I came to know Mike as an intelligent man, brilliant writer, gifted coach, positive teacher, fitness expert, eager photographer and fine athlete. But the quality that stands out in my mind when I think of Mike, and a big reason why I remain committed to CF 204, is his compassion.

A fond memory I have of Mike is of the final CF Open WOD a few years ago.  Mike was judging me that day, aware that I had torn the cartilage in my right wrist a few weeks earlier.  Mike knew I wanted to successfully complete the WOD, and that I was afraid of further damaging my wrist. Mike seemed to know something else about me too: the emotional drivers of my need to perform well. At the end of my successfully completed WOD I felt relieved, happy, and a bit overwhelmed at being able to finish, and I looked up at Mike and saw his eyes welling with tears. He apologized quickly as he wiped his eyes, then looked up at me and said, as if to offer an excuse, “I’m just so proud of you.” I will never forget that moment, forever appreciative of his caring.

Mike Warkentin is earnest, and exudes a longing for a world where everyone supports one another toward the greater good of all. CF 204 seems to be a microcosm of the world that Mike surely envisions. Mike cares about people, he cares about their health and wellness, and he cares about making the world a better place if only in a small way, through one lone CF box. I am pleased for Mike because he has no doubt realized a big part, if not all, of his dream. I am pleased that Mike found Crystal for a life partner. Crystal is responsible for CF 204’s exceptional programming, and she excels in her coaching ability. CF 204 has a large following of good people committed to improving their fitness level, and a large cadre of excellent coaches to help you reach your fitness goals.

My current goal is one for the CF Open: to rank in the top half of men in my age class both in Canada West and worldwide, as this is my final year of lifting “big boy” weight in the Open.

CF 204 has changed the lives of its members in dramatic, positive ways. It has changed my life, thanks to the terrific people with whom I get to work out, and the great coaching team.

During the “Diet Challenge” a few years ago, I dropped 15 pounds in 6 weeks, from 183 pounds to 168 pounds.  Perhaps CF 204 has saved my life.

This past January, the results of my CT scan of the heart showed “Fairly extensive three-vessel coronary artery calcification” with a MESA score of 1656, placing me at the 99th percentile with respect to other white males of my age. My score was off the charts, and I was started on a statin (Lipitor) right away. After a couple days of feeling down, and concerned, I am now hopeful that the healthy lifestyle that I have lived thus far will help me to avoid a stroke or heart attack.

I am so deeply grateful to Mike and Crystal for investing so heavily into improving the health and wellness of others. It is possible that, without CF 204, my current health condition might be worse. I have never felt healthier, and the occasional heart pain and arrhythmia I’ve previously experienced during workouts at CF 204 have not occurred in the past two years, and my weight is the lowest it has been in 20 years, at 162 pounds. I have Dale Qually–one of the original CF 204 members–to thank for his nutritional wisdom.

I have never believed the line “If you build it, they will come.” People don’t come to a structure unless there’s a leader to draw them to it. But I do believe that “One man with courage makes a majority.” Mike Warkentin is that man. I revere him, as do many in his CF 204 community of followers …. his loving community.

crossfit-204-rc-squat-2017

Radean’s Story

A number of years ago I had a bad fall, doing some serious damage to my left hip. The pain and neuropathy caused a lot of restriction in the activities I could do, and the inactivity was affecting my mental health. Even skating, a non-impact sport, was difficult. I talked to one of my skating buddies about the struggle I was having, and she told me about her experience doing CrossFit in another part of the city. It sounded like something I should give a chance even though I was a bit skeptical—I had never gone to a gym with barbells and weights and climbing ropes before.

When I first started at CrossFit 204 I was afraid of everything. Afraid to be in the way, afraid every time I heard a barbell drop on the floor, afraid to try anything that might hurt. What kept me coming back was the coaching. I felt encouraged and supported right from my on-ramp and through to starting regular classes. My classmates are all pretty amazing too—friendly, supportive and, very important for me with all my restrictions, there is no feeling of competition or judgement from anybody. The coaches know about my physical restrictions and are quick to help me scale or focus on what I can do to make the most of a movement or workout. I really like that everyone focuses on doing their own workout, their own personal best, and nobody is worried about what anybody else is doing, other than rooting them on.

From a progression point of view, my bright spot has been getting deeper and deeper squats. Just recently I was able to do a snatch lift of 45 pounds with a good, deep squat. Nine months ago I couldn’t lift a barbell over my head let alone squat down at the same time. At the risk of sounding maudlin, every time I go to CrossFit 204 is a bright spot because that hour workout is the most relaxing, mentally decompressing part of my day.

My focus is to continue getting the movements and techniques correct for the various lifts—and maybe to be able to remember what each lift looks like without a demo from the coach every time. However, I am also really motivated to be able to do a strict pull-up. Coach Crystal gave me instruction on how to do negative banded pull-ups to help me with progressing to that goal, so I’m pretty excited to practice those. Beyond those specific goals, I’m working on keeping a regular schedule of CrossFit classes to help maintain the mental health, weight loss and toning I’ve achieved in the past nine months.

I often share this story with others because it just seems to epitomize the CrossFit 204 experience. A few months after I started, in early summer, the program was outdoor sprinting and sled pushing in the open park across the street. I was a little bummed because I thought I’d be inside by myself rowing for the full hour, since I can’t do any impact running. But no. Coach Cody helped me bring the rowing machine out to the park so that I could do sprint rowing, under the trees, while everyone else was running. And I was also able to take part in the sled pushing outside. That was a fun, hard, workout.

crossfit-204-bc-deadlift

 Bob’s Story

On October 30th I ran my 22nd road race of 2016, a 10-km course that I finished in 41:07, my best time of the year for that distance. I won my age group in the season-long rankings by the Manitoba Runners Association, collected more MRA race points than any other runner in the province, and ran every race in the MRA series.

In 2013, I ran exactly zero road races.

What happened? CrossFit 204 happened. I joined in March 2014, mostly out of curiosity. It was completely unlike anything that I had ever done before, a crazy combination of constantly varied exercises that was a cross between my high school phys ed classes, my daughters’ gymnastics training and a muscle-head, heavy-lifting gym.

Quickly I became hooked, and started boring all my family and friends by talking constantly about CrossFit.

More slowly, it dawned on me that CrossFit was not just preparing me to do better in CrossFit classes; it was making me healthier and fitter for all sorts of activities outside the gym.

So one night in the summer of 2014 I put on my running shoes, headed down Wellington Crescent to Assiniboine Park, and ran about 11 km in an hour. I hadn’t gone out for a run in more than a year. No one was more surprised than me at what I had just done.

A few weeks later, I entered the Fort Garry half marathon, and ran 21.1 km with virtually no specific training, other than CrossFit.

Full disclosure: at one time I was a serious distance runner. I finished 15th in the 1987 Manitoba Marathon in a time of 2 hours and 52 minutes. I came 25th at the national marathon championship in Ottawa in 1990.

Over the years I ran less and less. The last time I ran the full Manitoba Marathon was in 2006. By 2014 I had nagging right knee pain and I thought my running days were done.

CrossFit changed all that. It gave me strength – the knee pain disappeared, no doubt because of stronger muscles built up surrounding it. More importantly, CrossFit inspired the belief that I could be an athlete again, with perseverance and rock-solid confidence that yes, I am going to get through this workout, one way or another.

The races I ran this year were not all easy. I had an injured back for a month that made it hard to walk, let alone run. I strained a groin muscle and had to train on a bicycle much of the summer, running only in races. I had a serious cold for three weeks and ran two half marathons and a 10-km race fighting to breath properly. On a lot of race days, I did not want to get out of bed.

But I did it because CrossFit teaches you to keep going, to train through injuries and to scale your workouts to whatever you are capable of on any given day. It has made me a runner again.

CrossFit 204_LZ_jerk

Leandro’s Story

I joined CrossFit 204 about two years ago. Having grown tired of going to a conventional gym, I was looking for an activity that would incorporate a challenging workout and a social aspect. My girlfriend had been a CrossFit 204 member for a few years and suggested I try it, saying it was just what I was looking for.

After surviving my first class, and getting through on-ramp, I was hooked! The workouts were definitely challenging (and humbling to a newbie), and the members and staff were most welcoming and encouraging. This made for a smooth transition into CrossFit. The coaching staff at CrossFit 204 is top notch – welcoming new members, ensuring everyone has the best workout possible relative to their ability, and maintaining a fun and safe environment at all times while also fostering a sense of community and camaraderie.

As a Type 1 diabetic, the benefits of CrossFit are incredible. When I needed to tweak my diet to better manage my diabetes and improve performance at the gym, I received excellent guidance from Crystal through the 204 Lifestyle program. I look forward to seeing Mike and Crystal’s programming up on the website and seeing what they have in store for us that day.

The members and staff at CrossFit 204 have become like family, and coming to CrossFit 204 is definitely the best hour of my day.

yvonne

Yvonne’s Story

I was looking for a way to exercise that was fun for me. I’d been doing yoga for years but didn’t really enjoy it. When I read the article in the Free Press about the CrossFit 204 Legends program, I thought “that’s for me!” One of the Legends described in the article was a former co-worker, and I knew that if she could do it, so could I.

My first impression was that the instructors were friendly and knowledgeable, and willing to accommodate any injuries/limitations I had. Plus the people in the Legends group were welcoming and inclusive. Those things haven’t changed!

My first bright spot was being able to push the sled the full 50 metres and back without stopping to lower my heart rate and catch my breath! That meant that my strength and conditioning were a lot better, which is awesome. Can’t say I like the sled push any better though!

My goal over the past few months has been to lose weight, lose body fat, and increase muscle mass. My weight had crept up and I didn’t feel good about that. I knew I wasn’t eating well, but there are so many diets out there, I didn’t know which approach to use. I wanted to find a way of eating that was balanced and included foods I like so that I could sustain it. I found that in the CrossFit 204 nutrition program, which I’ve been following since June.

Changing my diet improved my life in a major way. I’ve lost 15 lb. and several inches of fat, and I feel much better about myself. I also have a lot more energy and recover more quickly from the workouts. My ability to do the workouts has also gotten better.

My favorite 204 memories are the fun and laughter we share during the workouts. Although the videos of Heavy and Zeppelin are also right up there!

Our Legends program runs every day at 10 a.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m. If you know someone who might like to get fit in this fantastic group, please put us in contact with him or her. Information on 204 Lifestyle nutrition services can be found here.