It’s not an aerobics class and it’s not weight lifting — it’s CrossFit, a mixture of resistance training and cardio, which has made its way to the Strip.
Many businesses line Illinois Avenue, but CrossFit So Ill stands out with the large windows and open doors expose
passersby to a world of crashing weights and up-tempo music.
“It may seem kind of weird here at first because you’re on the Strip, where a lot of people walk and drive by,” said Jennifer Vaught, a CrossFit member of Carbondale. “The commotion that you hear with the loud music, the grunting and the weights being thrown around makes people look. I was a little standoffish when I started, but you start loving it after a while.”
Co-owners and trainers Emma Moburg-Jones and Kristin King have been in business since August, and in a relatively short amount of time they have helped build a fitness community in Carbondale dedicated to a healthy medium between strength and endurance.
Holly Mason, one of the eight trainers at CrossFit So Ill, has worked at the gym since its opening. Mason said CrossFit appeals to those who wish to specialize in not specializing.
“CrossFit is good for people who don’t want to be good at just one particular exercise,” Mason said. “It’s an all-inclusive approach towards fitness.”
There is a diverse range of men and women who work out at CrossFit So Ill. Despite who they are outside the gym, all work toward a common goal once the music begins and trainers start the class.
King said morning and evening classes held every day of the week have a lot of different people coming through the door, and the appearance and reappearance of new and old faces are quite common. However, what King stressed the most was camaraderie.
“We motivate each other to perform at our ultimate best,” King said. “CrossFit is a family.”
King said that CrossFit workouts aren’t meant to bulk up any one particular muscle, and since CrossFit exercises involve the entire body, the workouts are relatively short and the results are much more balanced.
“You’re not going to find bench presses and a lot of free weights,” said Jason Pigg, a CrossFit member of Herrin. “Big muscles aren’t the worry of most people who do these sorts of exercises; it’s just a different kind of exercise that anyone can do.”