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Get in the box with CrossFit

People all over the Central Valley are finding a healthier lifestyle with a fitness program called CrossFit. This type of training is offered at several affiliated gyms (called “boxes” in CrossFit lingo) across the 209. The benefits of CrossFit, according to affiliated gym owners and the people they train, can be seen across multiple aspects of fitness.

“We use high intensity functional movements. We're training people for real life situations, not isolating specific muscles or doing only cardio,” said Renee Sedgwick, owner of Crossfit ParaBellum in Turlock.

CrossFit routines include a WOD (work out of the day) which can include moves ranging from rope climbing to weight lifting, bodyweight and cardio routines. The key to CrossFit, according to the program's official website, is to vary exercises in order to forge a broad, general and inclusive fitness.

“We train for the unknown,” said Sedgwick.

Sedgwick used the example of the real-life situation of moving a heavy couch. The movements and strength required to pick up and move a heavy object like a couch are best developed by a routine which includes both heavy lifting and developing general strength and flexibility.

“CrossFit is for every fitness level, and for people of every shape and size,” said Segwick.

That general strength training has caught the attention of law enforcement, military and other public safety employees. Sedgwick's husband Scott, co-owner of Crossfit ParaBellum, is a full-time firefighter. Several other members of Turlock's CrossFit community are police officers.

Turlock Police officer Mayra Lewis first learned about CrossFit at a Women Leaders in Law Enforcement seminar in Anaheim. One guest speaker at the seminar stressed the importance of physical fitness for members of law enforcement.

“Cardio and upper-body strength are both important for women in law enforcement. The presenter mentioned CrossFit as a way to improve both,” Lewis said.

Lewis has been a runner since elementary school, but she said that her nearly two years of CrossFit experience have improved both her time and her recovery after races. She said that it has also helped her share a healthy lifestyle with her children, who also participate through CrossFit kids.

Many CrossFit gyms offer CrossFit Kids classes, children's programming, or areas for children to hang out while their parents work out. CrossFit ParaBellum has both a children's area and a CrossFit Kids program.

“People have to bring their kids. We understand that,” said Sedgwick.

Local mom Cori Maroudas said that she appreciates having an environment where she can bring her 2-year-old daughter Elizabeth to her workouts.

“I couldn't do it if I couldn't bring her.” Maroudas said.

Normally Elizabeth sits and watches her mom work out, but she isn't the only cheering section in the CrossFit box.

“There is so much encouragement here. Not just from the trainers but from the other members as well,” Maroudas said.

At CrossFit Parabellum, health and fitness is a family affair. Sedgwick estimated that about 60 percent of the athletes at her gym are couples. She said that once one half of a couple starts seeing significant results their significant other wants to get involved too.

“It's couples therapy,” joked Amanda Little, a Turlock CrossFit athlete.

Locations in the 209:Modesto:

CrossFit Modesto
628 Glass Lane
Modesto, CA, 95356
(209) 522-5296

CrossFit Quake
4813 Enterprise Way, Unit I
Modesto, CA, 95356
(209) 227-6722

CrossFit Rapid Fire
3267 Ladd Rd.
Modesto, CA, 95356


CrossFit Excel
1433 Moffat Blvd, Ste. 1
Manteca, CA, 95336
(209) 249-9929


CrossFit Oakdale
1872 Ackley Circle, #10
Oakdale, CA, 95361
(209) 345-4380


435 N Maple Ave
Ripon, CA, 95366
(209) 597-9337

CrossFit AOF
984 Dexter Way
Ripon, CA, 95366
(209) 275-5232


CrossFit ParaBellum
1400 Venture Lane
Turlock, CA, 95380
(209) 634-6094

CrossFit Turlock
351 N Walnut
Turlock, CA 95380
(209) 485-0544