THE BARBELL BARISTA – you have to start somewhere

Digital First

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Any trainer will tell you that finding a fitness routine that works for you can be difficult. They will also tell you it’s even harder to stick with that routine.

It’s hard to believe, but the new year is nearly upon us (less than 80 days away) so I thought rather than being overwhelmed with my usual fitness New Year’s resolution on January 1 – why not start early?

CrossFit is my fitness of choice. CrossFit combines metabolic-aerobic movements with gymnastics and weight lifting. The best part for me – it’s crammed into one hour. And I know many people see the word gymnastics and think to themselves, ‘that’s too complicated, I’m not a gymnast.’ Here’s the thing, you should see me in a CrossFit class. I’m probably the most uncoordinated person in there.

Justin Burchell is a coach at CrossFit Catch in Agawam. He said while everyone in a class is working on the same muscle groups and technique, not everyone is doing the exact same thing.

“Everyone starts together. Everyone finishes together and they get the proper stimulus,” Burchell said. “So one person might be doing a ring row while the other person might be doing a bar muscle up.”


Getting back into the swing of things is tough. With my move to New England six months ago, CrossFit took a backseat. Turns out I’m not alone. We all fall off the wagon from time to time. Coach Burchell said no matter what fitness program you are participating in, getting started is always the hardest part.

If you can get through the door, you’re already on the right track.

Justin Burchell, Coach at CrossFit Catch in Agawam


Working out with someone or in a group setting is another way to keep yourself motivated. Group fitness also has a tendency to push you harder.

“That’s what’s going to hold you accountable,” Burchell said. “That’s what’s going to help you maintain your fitness in the long run.”


Everyone has their reasons for incorporating fitness into their lives. Some people may want to lose weight, others may have had a health scare or perhaps they just want to feel better. So it’s important to have a goal. For me, I want to feel stronger and have more energy throughout the day.

To help me accomplish this, I’ve forced myself outside my comfort zone. I signed up for a fitness competition. Next month, I’ll participate in the Spartan Race at Boston’s Fenway Park. My goal is to not make a fool out of myself.


The most important part of any fitness routine is to have fun. If it’s not fun, you won’t do it. For me, CrossFit is fun because of the people who are pushing themselves right alongside me.

“What [a competition] really does is allow CrossFit, as a community, to get together. Try to throw down, show some fitness and it’s really for anybody,” Burchell said. “We have soccer moms competing, elite athletes competing.”

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