Photos Andy Calvert
“Transforming lives through fitness, that’s what we do here at CrossFit Rome!” exclaims Jeff Holloway, owner of the facility located at 314 East First Avenue, Rome, Georgia.
Holloway describes what makes CrossFit Rome more than just another gym: “The combined approach of training, nutrition, and community can push you to move the needle toward your fitness goals. Whether you are training for an upcoming event or simply want to be able to pick up your grandchildren, bottom line, there is something for everyone regardless of age and fitness level here at CrossFit Rome.”
This is a program designed to help everyone lead strong, agile lives.
What is CrossFit?
Technically speaking, CrossFit is three components: constantly varied functional movement that’s executed at relatively high intensity. The goal of CrossFit is to increase work capacity over broad time and through modal domain. What does this mean in layman’s terms? CrossFit is essentially constantly changing various movements that you are going to use in everyday life performed at moderate intensity.
Holloway explains, “The programming is individualized for the clientele in a group setting, all the while keeping in mind the needs of all athletes stay the same — what changes is the degree of intensity. For example, my 68-year-old mother needs to be able to pick something off the floor just as an Olympic athlete needs to pick something off the floor. The only difference is that the Olympian needs to be able to pick up 500 pounds, whereas my mom needs to be able to pick up the groceries.”
So how does this work? “When approaching movement intensity there is someone’s comfort zone, where they say, ‘I can do that.’ Right outside of that zone is the stretch zone where, by increasing to relative intensity, they will start pushing their boundaries and experience growth. This is where we want everyone to be.
Outside of that is what we call the panic zone, or the maximum intensity zone. We aim for relative intensity for a sustainable program. What people see on TV at the CrossFit Games, those are professional athletes pushing themselves to their absolute limits. This is often what creates the misconception people have that CrossFit is a maximum intensity workout. In truth, this is a fitness program that is available to all people, ages, and fitness levels for the long term,” Holloway says.
How is CrossFit Rome different?
“I really enjoy coaching, but it is the relationships at the gym that gets me up in the morning,” Holloway explains as his face lights up. “I really like the ability to be engaged in people’s lives and to see their progress. That is hands-down my favorite part.” People come to CFR to find results, and what they discover along the way is a unique community of solidarity. It is a place that is family-oriented and focused on unity and inclusion for all members.
Holloway goes further to say, “You can walk into any CrossFit gym in town, Calhoun, or Cartersville —anywhere you go — the culture will be different in every single one of them. In some gyms, performance is king. The culture we build here is one of family; it’s a culture of inclusion where everyone has a place as they strive to be the very best physical version of themselves.”
CFR has a dedicated masters program for members fifty-five years and older directed by Lindsey Bellcase, DPT, CFL1. The facility also has various CFR kids programs for children ages three to twelve years old led by Coach Amber Pewit, RN, PN1. At CrossFit Rome, community support is king. Nowhere is this more evident than the dedicated awareness Workout of the Day (WOD) or a benefit WOD to honor a member of the community that is sick or has passed. The WOD brings members together with a greater purpose than merely burning calories.
Also check out Lindsey’s Physical Therapy business: Shift Mobile Therapy and Wellness
A perfect example of this greater purpose is the nationally recognized Hero WODs. A Hero WOD is a tribute to a fallen first responder or member of the military who dies in the line of duty. At CFR, these tributes begin with a biography of these heroes to personalize who these men and women were and to honor the full scope of the sacrifices they made for their country.
“Once again, you see how we instill the ideas of community and unity when we come together to memorialize a person that made the ultimate sacrifice in service of others,” Holloway says. “What I find particularly special about the Hero WODs is that it can be a reminder that we all do hard things in this life. We get through it, and then to go on to do other hard stuff. People talk about CrossFit as being painful, but if we are honest, CrossFit is uncomfortable.
There are things in life that are painful, like losing a spouse or a child; facing disease and loss. These things are painful; doing burpees — when you don’t really want to — that is uncomfortable. I firmly believe doing things that are uncomfortable makes it easier to mentally and physically overcome things that are painful. Here at CFR, we work to become comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
Amber Pewitt, RN, PN1, is the certified nutrition coach for CrossFit Rome. She works tirelessly to educate and support clients through the five basic principles of a successful nutritional program. She describes the five principles:
- Eat real food (mostly vegetables) with appropriate portion sizes “It begins with educating our members using a range of tools for them to be independent and successful in their journey.”
- Sustainability “We avoid stifling diets that count calories or carbs because many of them are not sustainable long term. People may find that they can strictly cut these things out of their diet and over the course of six weeks they aren’t very happy, they may lose the weight but studies show that many of these diet programs will result in people gaining the weight if not more back within a year. We take the 80:20 approach: 80% of the time I eat the good stuff, real food, mostly vegetables, not too much; and 20% of the time I enjoy something that I really love.
- Metrics “Two components make up this principle: quantitative is a body composition scan; we look at weight, BMI, body fat percentage, and muscle mass percentage; qualitative is the explorations of the mindset we have with food. What is our awareness of hungry cues, emotional eating impulses, and how do you feel throughout your day.”
- Consistency “Similarly to our approach to workouts, there is a balance within exercising every day at relative intensity; a healthy nutrition program follows the same methodology. It is more important to make small tweaks that can be sustained, making dietary choices that become habits for two weeks, a month, six months, etc.”
- Accountability “This is the component where our coaches really play a big part in someone’s program. They will come in with specific goals in mind. The other coaches and myself help get people from where they are to where they want to go. Our job is to remind them of those goals. Weekly check-ins and monthly body composition scans help us support clients on their journeys.”
Ultimately, CrossFit Rome wants to help people achieve their fitness goals and teach them good, healthy habits that will serve them well for a lifetime. The nutrition program can be done separately or in conjunction with a gym membership. There is a three-month program to help individuals reach short-term goals and a one-year program that is a more habits-focused program with sustainability in mind.
To learn more about CrossFit Rome, visit CrossFitrome.com or call 770-906-0176.