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CrossFit Alinea Creates Athletes By Pushing Their Limits

By Pamela Sosnowski

During the past decade, the CrossFit fitness craze has really taken off. In 2005 there were only 13 CrossFit-affiliated gyms in the U.S.; by 2014 there were an estimated 10,000 facilities across the country. One of these is located in San Franciso's Mission District neighborhood: CrossFit Alinea, cofounded by Jennifer Hamdani a few years ago.

"We were three friends who thought it would be fun to open a gym together," she says. "We enjoyed working out and training together and thought we could provide a fun environment for others to develop themselves as athletes and enjoy getting fit."

While Hamdani describes her former self as a non-athlete, she credits CrossFit for being the catalyst to make that change in her life, and says she's never felt stronger or healthier.

Developed by Greg Glassman, CrossFit often has the reputation for being a punishing, boot camp-like workout; participants sweat their way through an hour-long workout that usually combines weightlifting with cardiovascular exercise and conditioning. It's also highly addictive and versatile, which is what keeps its fans returning for more. In many ways stepping into a CrossFit studio is like stepping back into the high school gym.

"CrossFit is weightlifting," explains Hamdani. "But it's also running, jumping, gymnastics, and different every time you walk into the gym. CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program. Not reinventing the wheel, just attacking all types of sport while trying to be a well-rounded athlete. The class atmosphere provides something that a typical gym routine doesn't offer which is a coach to watch you move and the aspect of sport which is a fun external motivator for pushing yourself to the limits."

CrossFit Alinea's staff is comprised of Hamdani and several other coaches with extensive fitness training and experience to lead participants through classes with a minimal risk of injury. Classes are taught Monday through Saturday, with Sunday set aside as an open gym day. A free introductory class is taught every Saturday morning to help new clients discover if CrossFit is right for them.

Most CrossFit newbies start with the gym's "Foundations" classes to learn all of the fundamentals of the fitness regimen. "Foundations is six hours of instruction with a coach," says Hamdani. "We get to show you the right technique and form for most of the movements found in class. Meant to get an individual acclimated to the lingo and the equipment in the gym while giving us the ability to watch individuals move and get an assessment if they are ready to move into a higher speed in class."

Because new friendships and a community often forms from taking regular fitness classes, CrossFit Alinea recently held its first 7th Stronger, Faster, Leaner challenge where athletes come in to work out during a 6 week challenge. The competition is based on lean muscle mass gained and fat mass lost in pounds.

Several membership levels are available, and experienced CrossFit athletes are welcome to drop into the gym at any time and take a class for $25. To learn more about CrossFit Alinea and the classes offered, visit the website at www.crossfitalinea.com.

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About The Author

Pamela Sosnowski is a freelance writer, social media manager, contributor for REBEAT...

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