Ready for the CrossFit challenge?

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – At its core, CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program. It’s one of many, but there’s a reason there is a “CrossFit Craze” sweeping across the country.

It works.

“It’s tough. But you will see the results,” said Rachel Goodman, owner and coach of OV CrossFit at the Ohio Valley Mall. “A CrossFit body speaks for itself.

Goodman and her husband Jay opened their CrossFit gym officially on Monday inside the Ohio Valley Mall. OV CrossFit is located right outside the interior mall entrance to Crafts 2000.

Their fitness regiment is broad, general and scalable for all ages and athletic abilities, from the elite athlete to those with limited mobility.

“Our program emphasizes short, constantly-varied, high intensity workouts,” Rachel Goodman said. “We focus on functional movements like pushing, pulling, squatting and lifting and combine it with strength training, cardio and basic gymnastics.”

The aim is to train the entire body and do it fast, keeping the intensity level high along with the interest level.

The workouts differ from day to day, including a Workout of the Day (WOD), a unique twist designed by OV CrossFit trainers themselves.

The variety and fast-paced nature of the training is what helps eliminate the monotonous training regiments used in the past.

“That’s part of the reason CrossFit is so popular, why people love it,” Goodman said. “It changes every day. You don’t have to worry about programming. You’re getting instruction. It’s almost like personal training in a small group of eight or so people.

“We’re able to help direct and tweak. It’s hard to learn any real lifting without a coach.”

Those wishing to join are required to take a free assessment conducted by OV CrossFit staff as well as complete a six-session basic training course.

The reasoning is twofold. First, the assessment is free. The first month’s membership fee is half of the normal rate.

It gives potential members a chance to test the waters and see if CrossFit is for them. It also gives the staff a chance to evaluate fitness levels, abilities and tailor the CrossFit system to the individual results.

Once that is completed, there are varying levels of membership from an all-inclusive monthly rate to a class-by-class, pay as you go basis.

“The basic training instructs you how to stay safe as well as gives us the change to make modifications for your ability,” Goodman said. “The key is to get past that barrier of entry and the intro month is a great way to come in, try it out and see what it’s all about. You’ll fall in love with it.”

Goodman certainly has.

She loves the diversity of the workouts and their effectiveness. She loves the sense of community that people participating in CrossFit have, both in and out of the gym.

And most of all, the loves the sense of accomplishment.

“What clicked with me is the sense of empowerment that it gives me,” Goodman. “You’re (initially) scared to do it. But you face it and in doing so, it gives you a great feeling that you have challenged yourself so immensely and still succeeded.”

OV CrossFit also offers yoga classes for its members and a specialized limited mobility training regiment for older adults and others with mobility issues.

Goodman said she is also certified in CrossFit Kids training classes and may look to offering those in the future, depending on interest.

The are four, hour-long classes offered five days per week currently. Two early in the morning at 6 and 7 a.m; two in the evening at 6 and 7 p.m.

Assessments are given each Saturday at 10 a.m. or are available by appointment for those who’d rather be assessed on an individual basis. All you have to do is call (630) 715-5730, stop by to make an appointment or visit The gym also has a Facebook page which is constantly updated.

Goodman invites everyone to stop down and check it out for themselves.

“Don’t wait until you’re fit to join,” Goodman said. “Everyone can come in because this workout is hard for everyone. That’s part of the reason it works.

“We work together to get through the workout, together. It helps build a bond and camaraderie.”

Hughes may be reached at