CrossFit Breckenridge fit for everyone, new owner says
The workouts can range in difficulty from the nationally televised insanity of the CrossFit Games, often leaving some of the world’s best athletes doubled over and unable to finish, all the way down to exercises appropriate for senior citizens.
“It’s designed to be challenging,” said Dan Messinger, the 40-year-old owner of CrossFit Breckenridge. “I don’t like to say it’s hard, but let’s put it this way, I’ve been doing CrossFit for almost a decade … and I still feel like it’s just as hard now as it was when I started.”
With CrossFit, there is no ceiling, and even Messinger has a “laundry list” of things he wants to improve on himself. “It can always be better,” he said, but really, that’s the goal.
Messinger said he has always been fit and athletic himself, but he didn’t start training — or coaching — others until he got into CrossFit, a decision that Messinger credits with revolutionizing his life.
“It wasn’t in the sense that I wasn’t fit and got fit,” he explained. “I realized that I wanted to be on the other side of the coaching fence.”
Messinger had worked in Summit County many years ago, and he got into CrossFit in about 2009. Moving on to training others, he opened a gym in Staten Island, New York, in February 2012, an arrangement that lasted until December 2016, he said.
At that point, Messinger saw a chance to return to Summit County, and he purchased the gym at 1805 Airport Road last spring.
With new ownership also comes a new style.
The gym was run a certain way for many years, Messinger said, and he wants to get word out that he’s changed some things around, and it’s not the same gym some people might remember.
Messinger starts his classes with stretching, focusing on mobility and getting a good warmup in. He aims to cover a lot of ground in an hour, and the most intense part of a workout comes at the end, generally lasting about 20 minutes.
The gym has three coaches, including Messinger. They are there for motivation and guidance, he said.
Additionally, nutrition can be a big part of the CrossFit program — and it needs to be, Messinger said. “I love to talk about nutrition. It’s the only thing besides exercise that I’m really passionate about.”
The classes are $20 each, but there’s also an unlimited membership for a $165 monthly charge that includes an unlimited number of classes and access to an open gym. A limited membership covers up to three classes a week for $125.
For the most part, Messinger can predict how many students will show up for any given class.
Some come in like clockwork, but other locals’ atypical schedules, coupled with random tourists stopping in, can raise or dip the numbers here and there.
What Messinger wants from one student might be completely different from another. For some, he might prod them to push the weight. Others, he might see a way to improve their form.
“It depends,” he said. “I look at every single athlete individually. It’s nice to have a group class of 10 people where they all get individual attention. It’s a total oxymoron, but I like to say it’s group-personal training.”
Sometimes it just takes the right cue to make things click, he said. When it does, the coach has found the success he seeks.
“When you saw me teaching (the woman in my 11 o’clock class), she had three breakthroughs,” Messinger said after one of his classes. “I don’t know if you noticed them, but she had three major breakthroughs in her movement there, and you could see the elation in her face as she left because of those tiny benchmark improvements.”
Breckenridge resident Reed Owens has been involved in CrossFit for about five years now. He stops by the gym about two to three days a week, he said, and enjoys the people there and the sense of community it gives him. Still, the best part has to be the feeling he gets after a good workout.
“Definitely,” he said short of breath with a big smile. “There’s not a single day you’re not completely wiped out at the end.”
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