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Cross Fit comes to south Trinidad

By SUE ANN WAYOW sue-ann.wayow@trinidadexpress.com

TYRE flipping, tyre dragging and sledgehammer striking. These are just some of the exercises in Fitness Junkie International's
Crossfit programme.

The programme is the first outdoor programme to be introduced to south Trinidad says it facilitator Vijay Mahabir. Other activities include parallel bar climbing, rope climbing (with or without knots), rope waves, plyometric box jumping, sandbag training, tyre swinging, as well as pull ups, push ups, squats and press.

Plyometric sessions can include but are not limited to short sprints, crawling, bear walking, dragon walking.

Mahabir, a teacher at St.Joseph's Convent, San Fernando said as a varsity soccer athlete while at university, he experienced the Crossfit training and its benefits. Mahabir, 35 went on to get certified as a personal trainer by the International Sports Conditioning Association (ISCA).

His inspiration to start the programme was because many were unwilling to have fitness exercises in a gym or other form of training centre. The sessions are held at Westwood Street, near to Skinner Park, San Fernando. Mahabir lives at Gopaul Lands, Marabella.
Mahabir said: " Crossfit training has great health benefits and is an excellent cardiovascular workout. It is used by many elite athletes in various sporting disciplines to give them a competitive
edge. My ultimate goal is to encourage people of any age and fitness level to adopt a healthy lifestyle."

He said: "I lead by example. I do not drink alcohol and I have never smoked a cigarette in my life and because of the interactive nature of the classes, people find it to be a fun and interesting way to work out. They look forward to coming to class and I keep it that way by changing the routines slightly and tailoring it to meet the needs of my clients."

The programme that has been existing for almost one year now has its challenges. Mahabir said more persons were interested in the programme than actually participating in it.

He said: "Many people are interested in the class but get scared when they hear about Crossfit and the fact that it involves using tyres and ropes and so on. They are afraid of being unable to do the exercises or being the slow one.My biggest challenge is getting those interested persons to actually come and try the class."

Sessions usually last about 75 minutes, including a warm up. The actual workout consists of three or four circuits tailored to suit the fitness levels of those present.
"The tasks are never so difficult that they cannot be performed and they are never so easy that they can be completed without breaking a sweat," Mahabir said.

He said while such a programme was still relatively new to Trinidad and Tobago, it will become popular eventually.
He said: "The advantage it enjoys over more popular forms of "cardio" in Trinidad like Aerobics and Zumba is that it also involves resistance. As such, people who are trying to lose weight and get fit will not only drop fat but they will also achieve toned muscle. This cannot be achieved in cardiovascular exercise that does not involve resistance."

Classes are on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 5 p.m. Interested persons can check out Mahabir's Facebook page Fitness Junkie International.
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