CrossFit: the fitness fad hits DeWitt

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By Connor Clark
Bath-DeWitt Connection staff reporter

CrossFit Lake State is located in Clark Corners in DeWitt Township.

Lake State CrossFit is located in Clark Corners in DeWitt Township.

With the rise of obesity in the United States, new workout trends and diets are emerging to help the public get back and stay in shape.

In 1995, former gymnast Greg Glassman created a workout trend that has taken off across the country and DeWitt Township has caught on.

CrossFit is a combination of many different physically demanding activities such as running, power lifting, and gymnastics. The program is designed to give new creative ways of looking at fitness, rather than basic weight training and endurance running.

This high intensity form of exercise can scare many people, but Lake State CrossFit owner Brad Hillard believes that it is much easier than it looks.

“CrossFit is scalable for anyone… from a 20-year-old college athlete to their grandmother, the workouts can be scaled down so that they work for anyone,” Hillard said.

Lake State CrossFit challenges its participants with an array of different exercises.

Lake State CrossFit challenges its members with an array of different exercises.

Growing concern over difficulty and injury have given CrossFit a damaged reputation. Local residents Danny Bird and Hutson Dyer, believe that CrossFit is not meant for people just starting to get in shape.

“With how intense it is I could easily see a couch potato trying too hard on day one and getting themselves hurt because of poor form,” Bird said.

“I have tried it a few times and I really enjoy it, but I think that people would get hurt because they are being too competitive,” Dyer said.

The concern over ankle injuries and rhabdomyolysis, the breaking down of muscle fibers into the bloodstream which could lead to kidney failure, have been major controversies of the industry, according to

Michigan State University wrestling athletic trainer Vince Del Valle deals with CrossFit on a regular basis.

“CrossFit itself doesn’t get you hurt, it is the use of poor form and technique that cause injuries to people who try it,” Del Valle said.

CrossFit Lake State teaches foundation classes the first Monday of every month.

Lake State CrossFit teaches foundation classes the first Monday of every month.

CrossFit really gained popularity within the military. The workout craze is so important that they even have workouts named after soldiers.

One workout example is “Murph.” Lt. Michael Murphy originally called the workout, body armor, but in June 2005, he was killed in action. After his death, the workout was named “Murph” in his honor, per

The workout starts with a one-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 sit-ups, and then finished with another one mile run. During the whole workout, participants are also supposed to wear a 20 pound vest, or body armor, according to

“You can get hurt doing anything,” Hillard said. “We [Lake State CrossFit] make every one of our members go through a two week foundations class where we focus on technique.”


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