CrossFit Sanitas: Hardcore with a soft side

Just had a gulp of the CrossFit Kool-Aid.
Despite some chaotic expectations, I learned a few things:

You hear a lot about CrossFit. Mainly that it’s a hardcore workout with devout followers who are bent on building muscles – big ones. So I arrived with butterflies (apparently not uncommon).

Within minutes of my hour-long group session, I was able to relax into the very challenging – but manageable – workout. My charismatic instructor, Beau, was warm and welcoming. He was also relentless. He stayed super focused on form. It was like working one-on-one with a trainer, but in the midst of others who collectively brought an excellent vibe. The workout incorporated strength and aerobic aspects driven by my limits, which Beau was happy to push.

CrossFit Sanitas offers an 8-session Base Camp class to help you wade into all aspects of CrossFit – the moves, the equipment, the sundry options. Nutrition is a key aspect.

“Base Camp taught me good form and upped my fitness level,” said Ahne Simonsen, a 30ish veterinarian who has been working out here since January. “I came away knowing other beginners – people I really like – and we track our progress and support each other.”

I’m 40ish with two kids and a big job (don’t laugh).  While I have absolutely nothing against gigantic body builders swinging kettle bells around a warehouse, I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable exercising in that environment.

CrossFit Sanitas takes a different approach based on balance and inclusivity. The brand new 10,000 square foot facility is slick but not at all posh. It offers all the intensity of a warehouse space without the grime. The barbells, boxes, rowing machines, weights, etc. are first rate, clean and plentiful. Yes, they have gigantic tires and ropes on hand. They also have a high tech cold plunge pool.

The women’s locker rooms and showers are pleasantly sparse and very clean. (No one goes to CrossFit for a lavish locker room, but for me clean is essential.)

Aspects like these make CrossFit Sanitas a fit for everyone – from the aforementioned grunty body builders, to moms, professional triathletes, college students, business people and women in their 70’s – two of whom are CrossFit Sanitas regulars.

I can run forever and have strong legs, but zero upper body strength and less than zero flexibility. In other words, I’m out of balance.

“Our workout series is designed to help people build full-body strength and conditioning, while getting stronger, faster, and more flexible. Every workout challenges different muscle groups,” explains Melissa Roza, who owns CrossFit Sanitas with her husband Eric. “People don’t have to think about it. They just have to show up.”

Beyond the nuts-and-bolts workout series, CrossFit Sanitas offers specialty focus groups, like an Endurance group that runs up Mount Sanitas among other pursuits. There’s an Olympic Weight Lifting Clinic (college students, super muscular tattooed guys, and 60-year-old businessmen by the looks of the class I saw). Gymnastics are a specialty on the horizon.

“Even if you’ve been doing this a long time you can scale it differently and always be challenged,” Melissa said.

Note: This is the second in a series on CrossFit Sanitas, RE/MAX of Boulder’s Featured Friend for May.  Read the first article here.
Next up:  CrossFit Sanitas builds community inside and outside the gym, with member events, 30-day challenges, competitions and fundraisers for area schools and others.