CrossFit Whistler has come a long way from the days when Jordan Glasser would provide fitness training at whatever venue was available.
But finding room is no longer an issue now that CrossFit Whistler's new studio in Function Junction is open, finally providing the adequate space needed for locals latching on to the growing fitness program.
The new gym officially opened Friday (Nov. 2) and is a vast improvement over the previous location at Creekside, which was much smaller and darker. The two-level facility has a huge window frontage with garage-bay doors, workout space occupying its entire main floor and a lofted mezzanine.
Glasser, owner and a Level II-certified CrossFit trainer, is excited to finally be in the space after a long process that included a successful rezoning application before opening.
"It's pretty exciting, for sure," Glasser said Monday (Nov. 5) after leading a workout session. "So far, it's been great.
"We're really looking forward to being part of the Function community."
Glasser said being able to let in natural light and fresh air has been a nice change, but the building's mezzanine area was probably the most welcomed addition.
"Now, we have space for people to walk in the gym, get changed, do some stretching, all while we have a class in progress," he said. "We can handle a flow of people and you don't feel like you're a sardine."
But a larger space will not mean much larger classes, said Glasser, who said the gym's trainers prefer working with smaller groups of 12 or less.
"We don't want to change the student-to-teacher ratio," he said. "I like the smaller feel and the intimacy of knowing all my clients."
CrossFit has exploded to become a popular fitness option in the 12 years since its creation. For the uninitiated, CrossFit is a program built around "functional exercises" that requires technique and coaching for maximum benefit, said Glasser.
"Our workouts are done at high intensity, so our clients are working hard," he said. "There's a really good community feel to it. Everyone here becomes part of the family."
Glasser spent 4 years in the Creekside space, running sessions for clients before that at places like Meadow Park Sports Centre and Spruce Grove Park.
"It's definitely come quite a long way," he said.
Ru Mehta has been training with Glasser since those early days and said he's thrilled with the new space.
"We're not driving the liquor store crazy, dropping weights and rattling their bottles anymore," laughed Mehta, thinking back on the old location. "CrossFit gyms are made to be in industrial parks - high ceilings, lots of space."
Some top-level athletes are using CrossFit as a way to keep in shape for their primary sport, such as pro freeskier Sonja Lercher. A competitor on the Swatch World Freeride Tour, Lercher said the activity is very relatable to what she experiences on skis.
"The intensity of the workout itself can relay itself to the intensity of any sport, because it's always a lot of pressure and high-speed movements that CrossFit provides," Lercher said after her workout.
The gym is also a training base for some athletes entering CrossFit competitions. On-staff trainers Jayde Quilty and Rob Wilkins, plus Stuart Ray will all be headed to the Taranis Winter Challenge in Victoria from Nov. 16 to 18, where two-dozen CrossFit clubs from across B.C. and Washington will meet in one of the region's largest competitions.
Visit www.crossfitwhistler.ca for more information.