The new owners of an existing Fort Dodge gym are planning to bring some serious science into their members' workouts.
Dr. Josh Mason and Matt Moritz recently purchased Anytime Fitness, 1521 Second Ave. N., where they are introducing CrossFit, a core strength and conditioning program.
Mason, a chiropractor who also owns Active Health Chiropractic, and Moritz, a physician's assistant, said their medical backgrounds helped make the science behind CrossFit attractive to them.
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
New Anytime Fitness co-owners Matt Moritz, left, and Dr. Josh Mason perform overhead dumbbell lifts — part of the CrossFit regimen they teach at the gym.
"It's literally backed with tons of science that supports the need to apply functional movements to any lifestyle," Moritz said. "I think the thing that really attracted both of us to CrossFit ... that CrossFit is something that not only everybody can do, but something everybody should do."
Age, activity and fitness level don't matter, Moritz said, because the program is scalable.
"We can scale every exercise to anyone's fitness level," said Mason.
Initially, Mason said, he and Moritz had been talking about opening a strictly CrossFit gym, but when Anytime Fitness became available, "we looked at that as an opportunity to take an existing gym that was functioning very well and serving the community well, and adding a benefit to it."
The premise of CrossFit, he said, is based on three main components: constant variation, functional movement and intensity.
"Every day, we do something different," Mason said. "We change exercises every day" to satisfy the variation aspect.
Functional movements, he said, are the movements that people do every day, and they are movements that will help people move and function as they age.
"These are the movements people need to continue to live on their own, to be able to play with their children, to squat down," Mason said.
Functional movements include gymnastics, which he defined as "anything moving your own body through space. So, things like push-ups, pullups, activities with gymnastics rings. Different variations of all of those are scalable to every population."
Fulfilling the final component, "we want you to exercise, and we want you to do it with an intensity that is really going to increase your power. We can easily increase power output by doing it more quickly," Mason said.
He cited a scientific equation: Power equals weight times the distance you move it, divided by time.
For example, if two people move 100 pounds of weights a distance of 10 feet, but if one person did it twice as quickly, that person's power output would be higher and he or she would burn more calories, he said.
CrossFit is always a group class, Mason said, which will be instructed either by him or Moritz.
"There is a certification that we both had to attain to use the CrossFit name, the affiliation and to instruct," Moritz said. "We had to do training in Park City, Utah, to actually be able to use the name and to program our athletes, and we call them athletes."
That might make some people wonder if the gym is just catering to athletes, he said, "but the sport is life."
"Matt and I will be the coaches/trainers of the courses," Mason said. "So, we program the classes for everyone, and we teach everyone the movements. We scale the movements for the individuals to make sure that they can perform. Our goal is to create that same stimulus for everyone even though the intensity levels may be different. That's our job as the trainer and coach."
"For some people, their activity is training for a marathon," Moritz said. "For some people, it's training to get off the couch effectively. But it's applicable to all of those lifestyles."
In addition to the fitness aspect of CrossFit, another component will involve diet recommendations and presentations on how and what to eat, Mason said.
"Whether you're talking about metabolic conditioning, gymnastics, weightlifting - nutrition is at the base of that pyramid," Moritz said. "The nutritional component is one of the hurdles where I don't think people have really made a lot of gains. And, a lot of it is because they don't know what to do. One day, an egg is good; the next day, an egg is bad."
Mason and Moritz offer a three-tier membership option: members can hold Anytime Fitness-only memberships to the 24-hour fitness center, they can hold CrossFit-only memberships, or they can have access to both.
Anytime Fitness Manager Gena Becker will continue to oversee the gym.