The Community Spirit And High Motivation of CrossFit Goliath

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Every Wednesday, the Raleigh Agenda offers a glimpse of a new fitness outlet or avenue with “Workout Wednesday.” Today, Brenna Leath explores CrossFit Goliath, the new gym of the coach who got her interested (and fit) to begin with. 

My Take

Once upon a time in high school, I played basketball and lacrosse, albeit poorly. At the tender age of seventeen, though, I was turned loose on the world, with no one there to badger me into team sports or an exercise regimen. I fell headfirst into the classic cycle of college, jobs, and partying.

Some seven years later, I had picked up a drinking habit, a smoking habit, and a cool fifty pounds. I decided I needed something drastic. I was going to drink—no, chug—the fitness Kool-Aid. That’s right: I went to CrossFit.

Mitchell Rosser was my first CrossFit coach. If I said I couldn’t do a pull-up, he told me to stand on a box and hold the pull-up bar while I jumped to get my chin over it. If I said I couldn’t run and wanted to walk, he jogged alongside me and encouraged me to keep moving. When I made excuses about my diet, he sat down with me and helped me take baby steps to improve it. In the first eighteen months, I lost forty pounds and, thanks to Mitchell, learned to love fitness.

Courtesy of CrossFit Goliath

Courtesy of CrossFit Goliath

When Mitchell started his own gym, CrossFit Goliath, I was excited to check it out. One look at the list of rave reviews and the wealth of amazing success stories suggested Goliath was less a gym than an amalgamation of a personal training facility, a nutritionist, a support group, a babysitter, and a playground. I am finding that might be right. Plus, they offer a program for most everyone.


Name: CrossFit Goliath
Class: CrossFit Session
Location5621 Departure Dr #117, Raleigh 27616
Class scheduleSee schedule.
Class duration: 60 minutes
Drop-in rate: Free first class with a free trial week
Membership: Goliath is currently running a $35 Groupon for a five-day punch pass. In January, the gym starts a six-week fitness and nutrition challenge—just in time for New Year’s resolutions. Regular membership rates vary per selection. The gym offers punch cards and discounted rates for police, fire, EMS, students, teachers, and military, too.
Pros: They have free childcare five days per week both morning and night, so parents will never have to worry about babysitters when they need to exercise.
Cons: CrossFit memberships are generally more expensive than other gym memberships. But in my experience, small classes, personalized coaching, and nutrition training are worth their weight in gold.

How to Dress And What to Bring

Shorts or leggings and a T-shirt with good sneakers.

What to Expect in Class

All CrossFit workouts are based on functional movements that reflect the best aspects of gymnastics, weightlifting, running, rowing, and so on. The biggest pro of CrossFit is that it is never boring, because the workout of the day (WOD, as you’ll learn) is always different. During a recent class at Goliath, the WOD ran with four sets of eight back squats, followed by three rounds of muscle-ups (gymnastics), power snatches (weightlifting), and box jumps (cardio and gymnastics).


Courtesy of CrossFit Goliath

But what if you’ve never done a squat, muscle up, or snatch in your life? There’s a first time for everyone. In the first quarter-hour, the coach leads the class through a warmup, then explains and demonstrates each movement in detail.

While everyone is practicing the movements, the coach also suggests how to safely scale each one. For example, I can’t yet do a muscle up. By scaling, I still perform the coordination of the movement and build the skills I’ll need to one day complete the real thing.

One blessing of CrossFit is that most WODs are over relatively quickly; the goal is to push yourself through a high-intensity workout, so they rarely last more than twenty minutes. As a coach once put it, “It’s just twenty minutes. You can do anything for twenty minutes.”

Finally, the coach leads the class through stretches and yoga poses specific to the large muscle groups used in the workout.

Photo courtesy of CrossFit Goliath

Photo courtesy of CrossFit Goliath

Where You’ll Feel It the Next Day

Most CrossFit classes deliver a full-body workout, although some days are definitely more targeted than others. My biceps and triceps were sore from the scaled muscle-ups. My shoulders got a good workout from the snatches. And my legs burned from the squats and box jumps. That’s a pretty good session.

Locker Room Specifics

There are both men and women’s locker rooms, complete with showers. Start the day off right with an early-morning workout before your real work begins.


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