ISHPEMING - Those looking to get in shape in the west end now have another option. CrossFit, a national strength and conditioning program, now has an affiliate in Ishpeming - CrossFit 906.
Opened by Jill and Shay Korpi in November, the gym centers on the CrossFit program of varied, high-intensity functional movement - movements that people use every day such as squats, lifts, running, pressing and pulling.
"It's constantly varied. You're never doing the same things," said Jill Korpi. Both Korpi and her husband are certified Level 1 CrossFit trainers.
CrossFit 906 owners Jill and Shay Korpi started the new Ishpeming gym to help friends and family members get in shape, but have since outgrown their former building and are still increasing their memberships. Here, the Korpis work through one of their daily workouts. (Journal photo by Johanna Boyle)
CrossFit 906 owner and instructor Jill Korpi, right, watches as gym member Beth Lawson of Ishpeming does squats as part of the workout of the day. (Journal photo by Johanna Boyle)
After discovering CrossFit online two years ago, the Korpis became certified in 2010 and opened their new gym a few months later next door to Bell Forest Products along Hematite Drive in Ishpeming.
Now the gym has grown in membership enough to require a new building, located at 144 Greenwood St. in Ishpeming.
A grand opening to celebrate the new location is scheduled for 4-7 p.m. Monday.
Intended to be a small side job instructing friends and family, the Korpis, who both have full-time jobs, found the gym growing fast now with 120 members and a total of six trainers.
The CrossFit program begins with a special 22-session training program to help those using the program to get used to the techniques. After completing the training - called an "on ramp" program - gym members have access to the gym 24 hours a day.
"It works them up to be able to do the workout of the day," Jill Korpi said.
The WOD is sent out by the national CrossFit organization, and focuses on different exercises, done for about 20 minutes.
"The workouts are really short," Korpi said. "We focus on doing something more intense for a short amount of time."
The WOD is posted in the gym each day so that members can work out on their own or participate in classes.
The workouts can also be tailored to each participant, using supports to make exercises easier. Elastic bands, for example, can help participants be able to do a pull up where they might not be able to do one unassisted until they build up their strength.
"CrossFit is for everyone," Korpi said.
The new facility now offers more classes on both weekdays and weekends, access to the Iron Ore Heritage Trail for the running portion of the workouts, a kids' corner for children to play in while their parents exercise, changing rooms and more equipment.
"This had started with the plan of training family and friends, and grew from there, much more than we ever expected," Korpi said. "But we are thrilled with how much interest it's gotten. The future for CrossFit 906 is to continue to share our love of CrossFit to the community, and we hope to make fitness an enjoyable lifestyle change instead of a chore."
For more information, visit the Ishpeming facility's website at crossfit906.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CrossFit906. For more information on the nation-wide CrossFit program, visit www.crossfit.com.
Johanna Boyle can be reached at 906-486-4401.