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2014-09-04

Über CrossFit's high intensity workout fits all levels

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

Although it's only been open since June, Über CrossFit of Bandera is nearing its goal of having enough clients "to keep the lights on," said owner and head coach Silvia Tuma. Along with husband and coach Michael and part-time coach Colt Himrod, Silvia has worked hard getting the space at 4050 Highway 16 south ready for clients.
"It took a lot of hard work and help from friends," she said, to get the box, as a CrossFit gym is called, painted, organized and filled with the necessary equipment.
CrossFit is a fitness program established by founder Greg Glassman. He said, "CrossFit is not a specialized fitness program, but a deliberate attempt to optimize physical competence in each of 10 recognized fitness domains." Those domains include cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy.
Silvia Tuma was diagnosed with high blood pressure and high cholesterol in her early 30s. "I knew I had to make some changes in my lifestyle. I started working out with CrossFit and got addicted."
Tuma said one of the things that attracted her to the fitness regimen and kept her working at it was that she saw "changes in my body very quickly. And I began to feel so much better, with more energy."
Michael, who works as a policeman in San Antonio, said the couple began doing CrossFit on their own. "Then we went to a gym and saw a big difference." They began to progress more quickly and felt they were doing the workouts more safely.
Going to the Internet and looking at CrossFit clients might give you the impression that the workout is just for serious fitness freaks who want to look like world class weight lifters. But that is a misconception, said Silvia. CrossFit transforms bodies, but it also changes the way people think of themselves. Workouts are scaled according to ability, and effort counts as much as results.
"Our workouts are geared to all levels of fitness," said Silvia. "All of the exercises we do are scaleable to fit your level of fitness." The coaches have clients who are heavy, are over 50, and who have knee, shoulder and wrist issues.
"We can tailor the workouts to whatever level you are," said Michael, demonstrating variations on the pull up that ranged from using rings and bands to a full body pull up on the bars.
It's important to the Tumas that their clients be safe. "You have to take a newbie class if you've never done CrossFit before. We want people to know the basic forms and movements before they participate in a regular class," said Michael.
"We also have a mandatory warm up and cool down," added Silvia.
CrossFit coaches must be certified. The franchise has four levels of certification and Silvia has completed two of those levels. Michael and Colt each have the first level completed. Silvia has also taken seven other courses to allow her to help her clients reach their goals. She's studied gymnastics, Olympic lifting, powerlifting, mobility and more.
"Next year, I hope to be able to start a CrossFit for kids," she said. The Tumas have an elementary age son, Jacob, who can lift his weight and row the equivalent of a distance across Medina Lake and back!
A digital clock on the wall starts the countdown and athletes of all ages and experience erupt into movement. The WOD (Workout of the Day) includes several movements grouped together and repeated for the duration of the time. The WODs may emphasize weightlifting one day, cardio another, flexibility another.
"Our philosophy is to keep you safe while working you hard," said Silvia. Expect to breath heavily and sweat during the workout. Also expect lots of encouragement from the coaches and fellow excercisers.
"Building a community of support is a key part of CrossFit," said Silvia.
By utilizing functional movements in a high intensity setting, Crossfit will train your body to move itself and external objects safely and efficiently, she explained.
Classes start as early as 5:30 am and run as late as 6:30 pm. Unlike other traditional big corporate gyms, no yearly or even six month contracts are required. The drop-in rate is $15 per day. Monthly memberships include three times a week WODs and unlimited WODs. There are also discount memberships for public servants and couples. Personal training classes may be scheduled by appointment.
"Come on by and try it out, you'll be hooked," said Silvia.
Über Crossfit is located at 4050 Hwy 16 South, in Bandera. For questions, call 210-896-1929 and one of the helpful trainers will be happy to speak with you, or check out the website at www.ubercf.com.