CrossFit Low Oxygen athletes greeted each other with smiles and brief conversation as they wandered through the open garage door of the Frisco Training Center Monday evening.
The class of 14 was getting together for the workout of the day, a fitness regime mapped out by CrossFit Low Oxygen owner and trainer David Tittle and his brother, Brent Tittle. They opened the facility in January, with the focus on core strength and conditioning.
"Everyone has different limits and capacities, but we scale it to your ability," Tittle said before class began. Indeed, the class was roughly half men and half women, ranging from high school athletes to young desk jockeys to middle-aged individuals. Tittle said he has members from 17 to 70. He's even had military groups come through his facility for high-altitude training.
"It's about continuing to move properly and doing things you're uncomfortable doing," he said. "It's not heavy and fast all the time."
The gym sits in a formerly vacant property on Tenmile Drive, tucked behind Meadow Creek Tires. Tittle recently expanded the facility to include a second bay, because membership grew to 90-some individuals and the initial space wasn't enough. He's still remodeling the new space, which was acquired about six weeks ago and will include a classroom as well as additional workout space.
The workouts make use of Olympic weightlifting platforms, gymnastics rings, climbing ropes, pull-up bars, sandbags, medicine balls and more to improve endurance as well as sprints, gymnastics and muscle building, and weight training.
"The focus is there is no focus," Tittle said. "Be good at everything."
He emphasized that CrossFit puts the body under pressure for about 22 minutes out of each one-hour class. Data show a 90-minute session at the recreation center typically results in about 5 to 10 minutes under pressure, he said.
He added that CrossFit provides workout variety, and challenges individuals to do into exercises they're not used to.
"People get bored with their daily grind. Nobody's excited. Nobody's challenged," he said, adding that he has individuals join CrossFit who could bike or run for hours, but find themselves challenged with the gymnastics rings or pull-up bars. Taking on those new activities creates a more well-rounded athlete, he said.
"This sets you up for success. You will be challenged, but we are not here to beat you up," Tittle said.
Member Claudia Schaefer said she's back at the gym with CrossFit after two back surgeries. She's been in classes just two weeks following a required acclimation course. She refuses to go to the recreation center on her own and says it's comforting to know a professional trainer is in the room to monitor the group.
"I'm already seeing changes," she said, speaking of her strength. She added, "My clothes fit better around the waist."
She added that the group is supportive - that her classmates of all abilities want to see each other do things they never thought they could do.
Tittle requires all new members to take a six-class acclimation course to learn everything from the exercises that appear in the workouts to the importance and keys of nutrition, sleep and stress.
Memberships vary in price depending on the desired amount of weekly gym access. Twice weekly starts at $90 per month and unlimited access each week costs $175 per month. Tittle currently offers 36 classes per week, starting at 6:30 a.m. with the last class at 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. On Saturdays, the gym is open for personal coaching and training tips.