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Fitness options increase in downtown Port Orchard

Crossfit member Erica Martinson gets on-the-ropes instruction from Mick Davis - Charlie Bermant
Crossfit member Erica Martinson gets on-the-ropes instruction from Mick Davis
— image credit: Charlie Bermant

As the holidays morph into the time when many folks decide it is time to get serious about staying in shape, downtown Port Orchard has added two options to help compensate for weeks of caloric indulgence.

These new opportunities look at staying in shape from two different angles.

Westsound Crossfit Training, which puts customers through an intense, supervised workout requires commitment, focus and a great deal of effort. Meanwhile, the GetPilatesPerfect studio offers a quieter path toward losing weight or toning muscles.

If Pilates is less strenuous, it requires an equal effort, since participants must manage their fitness regimen on their own.

Mick Lewis opened his Crossfit facility in May in a temporary location, but moved downtown into a wide-open space that formerly housed half of About Floors in November.

It is stark and cluttered, with few trappings and distractions. Even after the facility is finished and organized, it will still have a more spartan look than the average health club.

There is no bank of treadmills or TVs to keep exercisers occupied.

“The purpose of Crossfit is total fitness,” Lewis said. “With a combination of exercises and steps, this training prepares you for the unknown and prepares you for anything you need to do. These are functional workouts that prepare you for everyday life.”

Lewis, 41, is a paramedic for the South Kitsap Fire District and keeps the facility open around his shifts.

He is also in the process of hiring people to manage the facility during his absence.

At $100 a month, Crossfit’s startup cost is a bit more than a health club, but maybe not in the long run.

Health clubs assess a membership fee, then charge a per-hour cost for individual classes.

Crossfit works on a personal trainer model, with Lewis working with each individual at his or her own pace.

Since many of the clients are in the Navy or work for the fire department, there is a military feel to the regimen.

Still, it is hardly a boot camp. The exercises are challenging, but people can work for as long or as short as they want.

And Lewis is always complimenting and encouraging his trainees, which the typical drill sergeant does not.

In order to get a benefit out of Crossfit people need to come in four to five days a week and take a class, which consists of Lewis running several students through their simultaneous paces.

There is always an exercise of the day (EOD), which carries the name of an individual.

If the exercise has a male name, it is usually in honor of a fallen soldier or policeman.

A female-named exercise is christened in honor of a particularly dedicated participant.

“This is addicting,” said Erin Dumas, a teacher who is married to a firefighter. “You can see the results very quickly. I am getting stronger. My clothes fit better. I feel that I am a better mom and I have more mental clarity.”

Dumas also likes how the facility “has developed a sense of community in a really short time.”

Nanette Charron is running her Pilates business out of the New Hope and Healing Center on Bay Street, conducting classes every Saturday from 11:30 to 12:45.

Each class costs $8 if paid for in advance on a card of four sessions, or $10 on the spot.

“There are several levels of exercises I teach,” Charron said. “They can be easy or more difficult depending on what the person wants. It builds stamina, and it is really surprising what it can do for you.”

Charron said Pilates, which has been around for about 80 years, is often used in conjunction with yoga and other exercises. She said that most of her clients are women, but men can also use the techniques to stay fit.

“I like to help people,” she said. “I feel great when I see them progress and meet their exercise needs. It can benefit their lives.”

While exercise routines begin to lose weight or extend your life, enjoyment is the bottom line.

“It may not look like it but these exercises are a lot of fun,” Lewis said of the Crossfit routine. “Some of it hurts, but you feel great afterwards.”

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