CrossFit gyms square off in Washington

Published 12:47 pm Thursday, February 5, 2015

Washington’s newest athletic tradition kicks off on Saturday with the first ever “Battle of the Boxes,” a fitness competition that pits BOCO CrossFit of Washington against CrossFit Oak Ridge of Greensboro at Fitness Unlimited.

The inaugural event will put 40 athletes to the test over five events — the 3,000-meter row, 5-kilometer run, 1-rep maximum clean and jerk, 40-inch box jumps and heavy deadlifts. To qualify, each athlete must be skilled in each.

“Saturday will be five events, testing speed, endurance, power, all sorts of attributes,” said Manny Vidal, director of BOCO CrossFit. “It’s more of a speed event, so everyone will be competing at something they’re really good at. It’s going to be fast, not a lot of struggling with the weights or the high-intensity stuff.”

Vidal, a former Greensboro resident, used to train at Oak Ridge and when he moved back to Washington, the rivalry between the two gyms began. Eventually, the trash talk, more playfully competitive in nature than insulting, culminated into an event, as the winning gym will take home the trophy — a custom belt similar to those awarded in professional boxing and wrestling.

CrossFit, a fitness company, was initially created to turn exercise routines into a competitive fitness sport, thus increasing each individual’s motivation to keep pushing.

“People will just go into the gym and don’t really have a structured program, other than what they see online,” Vidal said. “What’s good about Cross-Fit is that every day you have a certified coach showing you how to do the movements properly and teaching you the right way to move your body.”

BOCO CrossFit can also help those with nagging injuries treat them using specialized exercises, Vidal said.

“Even if you have a limitation, it’s still going to be the same type of movement, just at your own pace and intensity,” Vidal said. “There’s a strength and conditioning program for everybody, not just athletes. We have plenty of people who can run, but can’t do push-ups or pull-ups.”

Spectators are welcome and the event, which is scheduled to run from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., is free to watch, although a celebratory meal afterwards to celebrate the athletes and community will cost $10.