BE residents flock to Fairmont CrossFit
Since its inception in 2007, the CrossFit Games has developed a world wide following. With a field of over 500,000 competitors vying for a shot to participate in the CrossFit Games each year, some folks from Blue Earth have joined in on the action.
CrossFit enthusiasts and Blue Earth residents such as David and Susie Olsen, Hadley Mensing and Gina Zierke make regular visits to the Fairmont CrossFit training facility to compete in the five-week CrossFit Open tournament.
Starting on Feb. 22, scores are tabulated from Thursday through Monday of each week at the gym as competing athletes are tested in a variety of different movements.
Only 20 of the top men and women from each region will earn the right to advance to regional competition. Qualifying athletes from central U.S. regions such as Minnesota will move on to compete at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee, from May 25-27.
Once the field of competitors has been narrowed down even further, the top five men and women from each regional competition will be selected to perform at the 2018 Reebok CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin.
As part of week two of the CrossFit Open, competitors engaged in a timed workout circuit involving dumbbell squats and burpees. Each athlete was required to complete one repetition of each movement, and continue the two-exercise circuit in an ascending ladder until they completed ten repetitions of each.
While men were required to use 50-pound dumbells for their squats, 35-pound dumbells were required for women. After a total of 55 burpees and 55 dumbbell squats were completed by the crossfitters, they were required to perform a power clean for one repetition, and establish their maximum amount of weight for the exercise.
The athletes were required to complete the grueling workout in under 12 minutes. Developed by CrossFit Open director and former U.S. Navy SEAL Dave Castro, the five-week routine provides a new set of stimulating challenges for workout enthusi-
asts each week. As fitness in-
structor and Fairmont CrossFit owner Andy Sodersten explains, the competition keeps his gym members consistently motivated.
“We train all year long to get ready for this competition,” Sodersten says. “Dave’s system has different movements each week, so people won’t get bored with the routine. There are new workouts every week, so we don’t even know what he is going to throw at us next. We are all basically at his mercy.”
Sodersten, who owns and operates the facility with his wife Josie, says 61 of the gym’s 120 members are participating in the CrossFit Open. One of Fairmont CrossFit’s top athletes happens to be Blue Earth Area senior Hadley Mensing.
Last year, Mensing finished among the world’s top 200 performers in the 16-17 year-old girl’s age bracket. Sodersten says Mensing’s commitment and focus allows her to stand out among her peers.
“For somebody who is in high school, she puts in a tremendous amount of work in CrossFit,” Sodersten explains. “She is always looking to get better, and she is a great listener and very coachable.”
In addition to creating a competitive atmosphere, Sodersten reveals the comradery between CrossFit competitors helps build a unique bond between gym members.
“Even if people are complete strangers to one another when they start our program, once they’re here, they become part of the family,” Sodersten adds. “Not only are we helping people get in shape, but this community will do anything for one another. Even if they aren’t coming in to work out, they come to cheer and support the people that are competing.”