Two men create Crossfit gym in garage

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Creating a gym in your own home can be convenient, but it also allows you to customize the gym to fit your specific wants and needs. David Cowardin created a Crossfit gym in his garage just after graduating from college in the spring of 2011. Since then, he has been Crossfit training every weekday.

Cowardin talks about the stress of graduating and trying to find a job, “I needed something to keep me going” he said. He started out doing Crossfit exercises at the outdoor track at UMD and decided to make more of it.

Cowardin headed down to Atlas Performance Crossfit Gym in Chicago to become a certified trainer. “The training was much more intense than I had been prepared for, but I made it through,” he said.

Coming back to Duluth he was now a certified level one trainer in the Crossfit program. He began to do some coaching at Crossfit Duluth. After a short time training and coaching others, he had realized that he wanted his training to be for personal benefits. Leaving the coaching life he began to focus on himself and his own needs. He started to build what is his gym today, out in his garage.

“Crossfit for me gives me energy, it’s my thing I have to do everyday. Some people have their coffee or their energy drinks but I don’t need all that,” said Cowardin. “I am a strong believer in a healthy body, healthy mind lifestyle.”

Every weekday at 7 a.m. Cowardin and friend, Ty Fischer, get together and train in their makeshift gym. Cowardin talks of people walking by and often asking what they are training for. He responds with, “training for life.”

As Cowardin trains to live a healthy lifestyle, Fischer trains Crossfit as a sport. Fischer grew up playing sports, which lead him to UMD to play football. This past summer Fischer had been doing multiple workouts for football training when he had come across Crossfit.

As much at Crossfit is a healthy way to stay in shape, it is also a competitive sport. Each year there are competitions where Crossfit members compete against each other in a weekend event. During the competitions members complete a set of workouts and are judged on the amount of weight and the speed of the workout. The competitors are then ranked based on those criteria. Fischer competed in the Granite Games, in St. Cloud, Minn. The Granite Games were his first competition and he placed 36 out of 92 members in his division.

“I have a lot of work to do. A lot of the guys have been doing this for a long time and I just started. A goal of mine would be to make regional’s during the Crossfit open, the first week of March,” said Fischer.

Training each day for them includes weight lifting, metabolic conditioning, and a lot of gymnastics in an informal atmosphere. They use many tools that they have access to including, a sled that they carry up and down the street and a 70 lbs canoe that they use in different ways.

Lately in the news there have been a lot of reporting on the dangers of Crossfit training. Fischer explains that with any workout and training there are dangers that you should take precautions for. He recommends knowing your body and making sure not to do too much too soon. It is a competition but you should know your body and know your limits. In order to stay safe be sure that your trainer is educated in the workouts and that they have your best interests in mind.

This article is apart of a larger project; Fitness of Duluth. A new article about a local fitness class will be posted each week. Where should Brittney go next? Comment below or tweet her @Brittney_Bloch


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