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When you hear “CrossFit,” the first people to cross your mind probably aren’t senior citizens. But at Trident CrossFit, there’s a class dedicated to the older demographic and they are pretty happy it exists.

Constantly varied high intensity functional movements are what define CrossFit. The great thing about that definition is that it can work for anyone. While CrossFit has some benchmark workouts and is known for heavy power lifting, it can’t be put into any box, which makes it the perfect workout for everyone.

Every Tuesday and Friday at Trident, a group of older athletes gathers for a 45-minute class that caters to their particular fitness needs.

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Pat Welch is one of those participants and he’s going nine months strong. He values the positive atmosphere and encouragement he receives each time he comes in. Sounds pretty similar to what many younger athletes would say about their own CrossFit experiences.

“It’s made me stronger and it’s just fun coming in,” said Welch. “There’s four of us in the class and so you feel some kind of commitment to the other guys to show up.”

Welch is aware of some of the negative rumors that are spread about CrossFit, like that people are prone to injury and some have called it a “cult.” He denies those things are true at Trident because the coaches are very cautious and “don’t push you beyond what you can do.”

One of Welch’s favorite exercises is the slam ball and he was actually the first member of the class to start coming. Then, he got another friend to join, who encouraged another friend and so on.

“Even if you are 70 — no matter how old you are — this can work for you,” he said.

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Fellow classmate Roger Digilio is actually 72 and has been coming to the class for over six months. He says a friend invited him and he took him up on it because he has trouble working out on his own in the winter due to the cold.

“I don’t really like gyms very much, because it’s solitary,” he said. “You know, I’m not like everyone else in the gym because I’m considerably older…so I gave this a try and it was fun and there was some great camaraderie.”

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Diglio has been a rower all his life, so he enjoys spending time on the Erg rowing machine, a staple item found in a typical CrossFit box.

“I discovered that unless I kept myself at a rather high level of fitness, I was having all sorts of physical problems,” he said. “I thought I had to change my behavior so this was a great opportunity.”

Diglio pointed out that CrossFit is a great workout because it’s a total body workout if you stay consistent.

“Put it all together for a period of some months and you’re in a lot better shape, and your muscles are much more tone all around,” he said.

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Trident owner Andrea Smith taught the class I attended and spent time working one on one with each of the students. Anyone who goes to Trident knows Andrea is a force of positivity and encouragement everyone she goes — and solid coaches with great attitudes make all the difference.

CrossFit’s expanding outreach to children through CrossFit Kids, teens and senior citizens continues to make them an appealing brand of fitness.

You’ll also find disabled athletes participating in classes, often members of the military who have lost limbs since CrossFit is so intertwined with the military. One of the most inspiring members of the CrossFit community today is Kevin Ogar, who was paralyzed two years ago in a freak accident with a barbell. He continues to participate regularly and his latest Instgram video proves that:

Hopefully more and more people will find their personal fitness by participating in CrossFit in a way that works for them!

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Check out out other Trident CrossFit athlete spotlights:

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