When you become a parent, it can be challenging to workout. There’s always time to consider and finding that right program that will gel with your lifestyle. Enter Downstate CrossFit, a facility in Briarcliff Manor that supports and welcomes athletes of all ages and abilities. This includes everything from a fun kids’ program to personal training to traditional crossfit classes! Read on to learn more about their programming, plus more information about our upcoming event with Downstate CrossFit where you and your kids will have the chance to see the facility, meet the instructors, and take a class!
1. How did the idea for Downstate CrossFit come about?
DSCF opened in 2014. It was a total team effort of friends and family. After working out together at another gym in the area the group decided to come together and open their own.
Over the last five years we’ve evolved and moved into a second location. Our ownership group today is made up of three families – my husband, Chris and I, Danielle and Chris Basso, and Tim and Kristen Murray.
2. What initially attracted you to CrossFit?
Everyone assumes what would make sense – that my husband got me hooked but my story is a little different. Chris had been doing it for years and despite his encouragement I was extremely uninterested. I – like a lot of women – thought it was for people really trying to gain muscle and focus on heavy weightlifting. I felt like as someone who was an athlete most of my life I had a good gym routine.
I was happy to help out at events and support my friends but I wasn’t sure I’d ever really go all in. It wasn’t until 6 months after DSCF opened – our close friends had just lost their son – as you can imagine the tragedy of that shook us all. CrossFit actually became an outlet for our friend Tom as he was going through this – one day his wife Dana said to my sister and I this really seems to be helping him I think I should try it – will you come with me? And that’s when I took my first class and never looked back. Now I can’t imagine my life without it – I did CrossFit throughout my pregnancy and I felt great – now with a 15-month-old daughter, I’m stronger than I have ever been and I know CrossFit – and the people I’ve met here – did that for me.
3. How would you describe the experience at Downstate CrossFit?
In one word – varied! I think that’s what keeps it fun and interesting but it’s also what makes it so welcoming and that’s what I really hope people learn about us – I often hear people say I want to try CrossFit, but I have to get in shape first – it’s not true! You can drop in to any of our classes and members are doing a wide-variety of the workout that was prescribed for the day to suite their skill level, comfort, or injuries.
There is truly something for everyone – from youth programming to senior members you’ll find someone you can relate to in the gym! The best moments happen when we surprise ourselves – like getting the pull up you though you’d never do – and having a community of people cheering you on because they are so genuinely happy to see you get it!
4. How are you different from what’s out there?
The fitness market has certainly exploded in the last few years and there are a lot of great options in the area. I think there are two things that set us apart – our programming and our community. We had one member tell us recently that we’ve mastered the fine line between social hour and working hard and I think that sums us up perfectly because ultimately if you are having fun you are more likely to stick with it and see the results you signed up for. It’s been incredible to see how our members rally around each other, support one another, and inevitably help each other reach their goals. You’ll find members holding another’s baby so that they can squeeze their workout in or cheering for each other down to the last rep to help you finish that workout – every day of the week.
Our programming is strong – whether you are a local sports team training with us in the off season, a new mom finding her new normal, or a competitive weightlifter our programming will push you outside your comfort level for sure – but it’s also going to make you incredibly proud of your body and what you can accomplish.
5. What’s the best class for a beginner to try?
Our elements program is a 1:1 introduction to crossfit series. So before you step into a class setting you’ll be familiar with the movements, the lingo and feel a little more confident in class. But in addition we also offer a FIT class – it’s our take on a cardio HIIT class – it doesn’t involve any heavy weights or crossfit specific movements and its definitely a great way to get comfortable in the gym!
6. Tell us about your kids’ programming?
We are super proud of our kids! The program is run by Coach Melissa Ponzio and she has two other coaches who round out her team. The program starts at age 4 and goes up to 13.
It’s a really fun and functional way to introduce fitness to your kids. We’ve heard such great feedback from from parents everything from the confidence their kids have gained to the experiences of making new friends from different communities.
It’s also great because we are thoughtful about scheduling so there is usually an adult class running alongside so you can bring your kids in and workout while they are in class. In addition to our crossfit kids program we have a youth barbell club coached by Steve Swistak – these kids are learning proper form and mechanics on all movements before adding any weight.
7. Anything else to add?
We are believers that you have to find whatever clicks for you – whatever it is that will keep you coming back and prioritizing your health and wellness we are all for it! For some of our members that’s crossfit five days a week – for others its a combination of crossfit and other things like yoga, spinning, running etc.
It’s OK to switch it up and our membership options give you that flexibility. We’ve heard from several runners how adding our strength training to their routine has helped them PR long runs, feel stronger and more confident.
Join us for Fitness and Fun with Downstate CrossFit on Sunday, November 10, 2019 at 10 AM – 12 PM. RSVP to this FREE event at [email protected]