Things are changing in the world of CrossFit gyms. CrossFit has owned its title and reputation for quite some time, and for good measure, but that title and reputation have come at a cost. It’s that cost, and today’s economy, that have left many CrossFit gyms not only changing their membership prices, but branching out and offering more than just CrossFit classes to bring people through their doors. Whether it be Boot Camp classes, endurance classes, ultimate athlete classes, or HIIT classes, each gym has begun expanding their horizons to incorporate more of what the general population may want or need in a workout facility. As they say, different strokes for different folks, and if you want the folks you have to have the strokes!
At CrossFit Eternal we are in the process of building what we truly believe will take fitness training to a whole new level. We have one giant – and when I say giant I mean literally and figuratively – but one giant difference in our Boot Camp class, and that is the trainer.
Joshua Murray has taken on many different roles on his road as a professional athlete, but he started out just like many of us. Overweight and struggling to find his way to fitness and a healthier life, he had a dream as well as raw talent to play professional football but was told he would need to drop close to 80lbs from his current weight of approximately 320lbs in order to be considered. But when Josh sets his mind to something, there is nothing that can get in his way. In just a few short months, he dropped the weight and set off to his career signing on as a free agent to the Ravens then being traded to the Miami dolphins. His career was cut short when he fractured his spine L1-L5 and was told he would never play again. But, Josh being Josh, he refused to believe this and spent many months rehabbing. It was at that time he decided to pursue a different path as a professional athlete, something that would help him continue with strength and agility but without the severe damage one can experience in football. He became a professional kickboxer with a 12-0 title. He also qualified for the Olympics in boxing which was cut short due to another severe injury to his rotator cuff.
Regardless of the limitations in his path, be they psychological or physical, and regardless of what any one person has ever told him about his career, when Josh Murray sets his mind to something he knows he can accomplish, its simple….he does it. And that very thing is just one of the gifts, albeit one of the most important, he has brought to our members of our boot camp class.
Josh has a passion for teaching other people how to overcome their own limitations, be they mental or physical. “The body achieves what the mind believes” is one of his favorite sayings, generally at the most difficult times in class! Josh does not run his class like the typical CrossFit class or Boot Camp class. Not only do members not know what workout they will be performing that day, but while in the middle of that grueling workout, they have no idea how long that specific exercise will continue. Again, this is about being mentally tough as well physically. When faced with one of the hardest physical challenges you have had, you are out of breath, sweating hard, your heart feels like it’s going to beat out of your chest, you just want to know how much longer you have to endure it, and then the instructor says…..KEEP GOING!
See, most human beings love to push harder when they know they are almost done with a workout. They hear that last 2 minutes and they grind it out, saying, “yeah, two minutes left let me go hard”. But it’s that select few that hear keep going, without knowing how long that “going” will last, that continue to push hard, sweat hard, breath hard until they finally hear that blessed “Water Break!”
Mental toughness isn’t one of the only qualities Josh instills in his students. His Boot Camp is incredibly different. So different, in fact, that there is no way for any of our trainers to possibly cover his classes and look at his programing if he happens to have a day off. And this is because Josh’s Boot Camp is literally the definition of “group personal training”.
In this Boot Camp there is no “fall in line and do what everyone else is doing”. After the first class, which is a physical assessment of the members strengths and weaknesses, each member is put into a group with people at the same level of fitness and given exercises that literally meet them where they are and grow their body based on their level of fitness and their bodies ability to adapt and progress.
And let me tell you, this is where Josh really sets himself apart. No person in his class, EVER, will be doing an exercise without the proper form. If you are in a group doing lunges and you are unable to have the strength to PROPERLY do a lunge, Josh will instantly switch you to an exercise meant to build up muscles that will allow you to then be able to do doing those lunges correctly. If you are doing push-ups but can’t do them correctly….oh no….think again, there are no “girly” push-ups in Josh’s class, you will be doing unique versions of push-ups that enable you to activate your core, that vital thing so many of us are lacking in, that allows you to build up the necessary strength to do those pushups correctly.
Form is a MUST, a “non-negotiable” in every class Josh teaches.
The other thing that we believe sets our Boot Camp class apart is that there are different “phases” or levels to class. Every single member starts out in Phase 1, where you work on being able to have perfect form in the 10 functional movements, squatting, deadlifting, hip hinges, lunges, vertical and horizontal pushes, vertical and horizontal pulls, fluid movements in the sagittal, frontal and transverse plains (which takes Josh to actually explain to you) and 25 burpee tuck jumps in under 100 seconds (oh yeah, and those burpee tuck jumps just happen to be the warm up to every class!)
It’s not about the amount of weight you can lift in these movements, it’s about being able to have the correct FORM in the movement for a certain amount of repetitions. 95% of injures in gyms come from people performing a movement without the proper form, and this issue becomes obsolete in Boot Camp. Again, form is a non-negotiable. Once you can pass phase 1, phases 2 and 3 are an option to aspire to.
Josh has set himself apart in the fitness world with his ability to focus on the individual and give them a detailed plan specifically meant for them every single class they take. He takes every member of his class very seriously and goes as far as recording movements of members during class to take home and come up with ways he can better work on their weaknesses and make them even stronger.
Josh Murray has held himself accountable to function at a level of greatness that he hopes to inspire in each and every one of his class members and personal training clients so that they can all stand proud and be able to say…..yes…..I did that.