CrossFit fitting student budgets


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People crowd around the workout-of-the-day board.

Co-owner Will Ornelas stands in front, explaining what each workout is, how to do it and what muscles it will work.

Welcome to the noon lunch class for CrossFit PowerTrain.

Ornelas walks around and follows people as they sprint through the workout to make sure their form is correct.

“When you come in every day you have a trainer, because we want to make sure that you do things right,” Ornelas said. “We don’t want you to come in and hurt yourself.”


Located at 1653 W. Grant Road, the gym first came to be an idea from Ornelas after watching the CrossFit Games on ESPN.

“I saw the women’s version when they were competing,” he said. “They were pushing this weight not one time but 20 to 30 times, and then doing pull-ups after that, then burpees, and I thought ‘OK, this is crazy.’ ”

After writing out the workouts and doing them at LA Fitness, he realized this sort of exercise worked for him because it works out legs on each workout, as he hated focusing on legs during leg day.

“I was never one for doing legs,” Ornelas said. “Leg day for me was going back and forth from the car, which was a big detriment to me.”

The start of the gym came about after Ornelas’ brother failed to start another gym with some friends because of conflicting philosophies. So, he introduced his brother to CrossFit. The two met with family members and pooled $40,000 to open their own.

With that, they started buying everything they needed for a gym, including mats, a rig with bars for pull-ups and stretching and weights. When building the gym, they realized that the biggest cost besides rent would be the mats, which totaled about $12,000.

“Of course, there are companies that sell to gyms, but that alone was $12,000,” he said. “But after that, we hardly had anything for equipment. You learn to talk to other gyms, and it makes you communicate.”

After talking with another owner of a gym, he found out that a feed store was selling the mats he needed, and their total cost was $3,000.

“It’s funny how something so mundane can be such a hinderance,” Ornelas said.

After four months of setting up, the gym was finally ready to open to the public.

CrossFit Cost

As most CrossFit gyms will run you $200 a month and above, this gym has a great cost for all. If you’re a regular citizen in Tucson, expect to pay $135 per month, or a 12-month package for $120 a month.

However, its lowest membership cost is what catches the eye of many. For full-time students, first responders and military, the cost is $100 a month.

These rates enable members to attend the gym as many times as they want throughout the month. And these all can be started with three free days to see if the gym is for you or not.

At first glance

When you hear the word “CrossFit,” you might think of the intense videos that show people doing outrageous lifts using super-heavy weights. But the gym isn’t like that, unless you want it to be.

If you are new to fitness or an active lifestyle in general, the coaches will guide your through the workouts to make sure you have the correct technique and fundamentals before you add weight.

“Working out is not always a  fun thing; it’s tough,” co-owner Dennis Wheatley said. “One thing to help you get to the gym is knowing you’ll be there with your friends.”

The gym also boasts a family environment, where you can get a good workout but at the same time have a fun and laid-back experience.

“We train people hard, but in a sense there’s also a laid backness to it,” Ornelas said. “We don’t push people, we nudge them.”

This “nudge” comes from everybody, including coaches and other members working out with you. The grunts of success and the cheers help make everybody feel more involved and more connected, Ornelas said. After all, they already know what the person is going through because they went through it themselves: They bond through the pain.

With the laid-back attitude, the gym also has a side to it that people can see if they ask. If CrossFit becomes a passion, the coaches are happy to create a workout guide that will help you get to where you want to be.

“Its made me entally tougher, physically im doing things with weights I never knew I could,” Jordan Valdiva said.

If you don’t come from an athletic background, not to worry: You can start from the ground up, because they scale everything to what you can do. For example, pull-ups are substituted with a rubber band pull-up.

“You can scale anything and still get a good workout,” Ornelas said. “Even if you scale everything, it’s the constant motion that gets you.”

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