My wife and I moved to Birmingham in October, 2007. We joined the nicest health club on Hwy. 280 right after we moved here. It was our first membership in a health club. We paid $125 per month for five years, and the only thing we ever did there was take our kids to the pool on weekends. It was a lot of money wasted, but I’ve always been too self-conscious and intimidated by the gym to work out. I had never lifted weights, and I had no idea what the machines were supposed to do.
For years I had avoided all talk of Crossfit. I had a lot of friends who were involved in Crossfit, and I believed there was no way I could ever do it. I wasn’t leading an active lifestyle at all, and my weight ballooned to 190 pounds.
In August, 2012, a friend invited me to visit Crossfit Rebellion. I will never forget that first WOD. It was tough, but I felt such a sense of accomplishment after it was over that I knew I had to do it again. So, September 4, 2012, I joined Crossfit Rebellion and did my first official WOD. My wife told me to “go big or go home,” so I signed up for a six month contract. I was going to give it a shot.
Over the last six months I’ve experienced a total transformation. I’ve lost 40 pounds, I’m stronger, and for the first time in my life I have real muscles. I never thought I could look like this, and I love coming into the gym! I’ve had to buy new clothes, and I can do anything I want with my kids now. Not only did I survive that first WOD, but I had fun doing it. Hanging out with the folks at Crossfit Rebellion is a lot of fun. I look forward to my WODs. There is a real sense of community here that pushes me to be a better person, to work harder, and to dig deeper.
Jay Turner, member since September 2012
My fiance and I own an affiliate in Indianapolis and have visited numerous Crossfits. That being said, we can comfortably say this is our home gym away from home. Kyle and Alima are so welcoming, they give great instruction and do not waste your time either. The community is friendly, fun and provides healthy competition. This gym is easy to do business with and always provides a great workout. The facility is clean, spacious and well equipped. Class sizes are always perfectly proportioned with enough trainers on hand and the programming is spot on and always a challenge. For novice to experienced Crossfitters, this is the best box in Birmingham. We love Crossfit Rebellion and cannot wait to continue to come back!
Shannon Denney, CrossFit Naptown
I just wanted to reach out to you and thank you for your hospitality this weekend while I was staying in Birmingham. I drop into about 50-60 boxes each year due to my extensive travel requirements with my employer. I just wanted to tell you that your box is hands down one of the best I have been to. Shane is a great coach and really made me feel at home. So thanks again!
Visiting CrossFitter – Knoxville, TN
I began CrossFitting in February of 2011 when my best friend and I decided to join Rebellion on a whim. I grew up practicing classical dance (ballet, tap and jazz), and “sports” were not my thing. When I got to college I took up long distance running after realizing that my dancer’s body was not going to maintain itself with no dance. I stayed the size I wanted to be with running, but I was racing half marathons and still had cellulite and a major lack of muscle tone. After becoming bored (and quite frankly, injury-prone) with my running stint, I needed a new routine to get me excited about my fitness. Very soon after I began CrossFitting I started seeing results I never expected. I always had a thin figure, so focusing on my body image was not really one of my concerns when I started CrossFit –I just wanted to be healthy and fit. But within months I was getting compliments I had never gotten before. My friends were complementing me on my muscle tone, and my coworkers were telling me that I had “great arms.” If you had seen my lanky arms before I started CrossFit, you would know that “great” would never be a good word to describe those twigs. I was never insecure about my body in the first place, but the results I saw gave me confidence I had never felt before. Most importantly, I was having fun –even doing something “sporty.”
My results increased exponentially when I chose to participate in the Paleo Challenge at CFR. I had been practicing vegetarianism for two years, and the lack of protein in my diet was leaving me sore for long periods of time after workouts. With Kyle and Alima’s help, I was able to find eating habits that nourished my body in the proper way without sacrificing the ethical standards of my food. Eating paleo had me feeling energized and focused during workouts and allowed me a faster recovery afterwards. Overall, my energy level improved, and I was no longer eating myself into the food-comas that come with sugary, starchy foods. Again, I experienced better muscle tone and my diet was only magnifying the results I was seeing from the gym. My skin literally sat differently on my body. These were results that I could actually see.
I was neither looking for nor expecting a revelation with I joined CFR, but it has truly changed me. I am stronger and faster than I have ever been. Not only am I in the best shape of my life, but I get to work out every day with people who have become my friends. I am afraid I am in for a lifelong addiction to CrossFit and my gym. I invite you to discover what CrossFit and the CFR family can do for you.
Brittany Burgess, CFR Member since February 2011
I grew up playing various sports and played competitive basketball through my freshman year of high school. However, ever since I can remember, my chronic knee problems held me back. By the age of fourteen, I had undergone surgery on both of my knees and I was struggling to regain normal usage and mobility. I remained active and learned to just deal with the knee pain and swelling. In college, I took advantage of my school’s large recreation center, frequenting the elliptical and occasionally experimenting with some of the weight machines. I even tried out the free spinning and zumba classes. I stayed in shape, but my knee pain was a constant issue. After college, when I got a big girl job, it became more difficult for me to find the time and energy to work out and eventually I hardly exercised at all. Then, I moved in with a friend who suggested that I try doing this thing with her called CrossFit. I had heard of CrossFit before from a guy friend, but I just shrugged it off thinking it was way too intense for my weak knees and that a little girl like me who swears by the elliptical and standard machines has no business in a gym comprised of free weights, pull-up bars and medicine balls.
I eventually decided to give it a try and I will never forget my first workout at Rebellion. I could hardly run 200 yards without choking for air, and then I had to attempt wall balls—who knew throwing a ten pound ball five feet in the air would be so difficult? Finally, I had to end with sit-ups. I thought, “Sit-ups! Now this is something I can do.” I quickly discovered that sit-ups are not so easy when they follow running and wall balls. It goes without saying that I survived the first day and after taking four long days to recover, I returned to the gym to do it all over again. I was hooked.
The next couple of months were really difficult for me as I learned to balance keeping my knee pain under control with my desire to challenge myself and continue to improve. I kept coming back because I was having so much fun and making so many friends that my knee pain worries started to fall to the back burner. The encouragement I received and still receive at CrossFit Rebellion remains unparalleled. It’s like having my own cheerleading squad with me every day pushing me to keep going and to do better. And much to my surprise, after about three months, I did get better. So much better that my knee pain had practically disappeared. I could run the longer distances, I could squat and not cringe with pain, and I could go home and not have to sit on the couch with an ice pack every night. The first week my knees didn’t hurt after a workout I thought it was a fluke, but after weeks and months with no knee pain I realized that Crossfit had done what physical therapists and surgeries did not do. Kyle and Alima taught me how to work muscles I had never used before and with their support, I built enough strength to relieve my knees of their lifelong strain.
It has been eight months since my first WOD at Rebellion and now I can power clean 70 pounds and I am improving every day. I no longer get to the gym and worry if my knees will be able to handle the workout. Crossfit has changed my quality of life in general and I am still amazed every day that my knees don’t hurt, that my little arms actually have definition and that I am actually having so much fun doing this. It was a big leap from the elliptical, but I am so glad I took it. I recommend CrossFit to anyone and everyone!
Kristin Campbell, CFR member since June 2011
How has Crossfit Rebellion changed our lives? Well I could write a couple of pages about that but will try to stick to the key points. My husband and I joined CFR in September of 2010. Neither one of us joined to lose weight and certainly weren’t looking for a major life transformation, I just wanted to get “ripped” and my husband was trying to stay a few steps ahead of Old Father Time. With that in mind it was definitely surprising to see how the decision to take on Crossfit has changed pretty much every aspect of our lives.
I have never in my life been anything close to an athlete. I stayed “lean” by running a few miles a day, doing crunches and eating pretty healthy. Before CFR I had never touched any sort of weight bar, done a pull up and had no idea what a burpee was so as I am sure you can imagine the whole concept behind Crossfit was pretty intimidating (and still is more times than not). But everybody at the gym made me feel extremely welcome and, rather than judge me for my lack of strength and skills, reached out to help me improve on my technique and overcome obstacles. There are so many things to love about CFR, but one of my favorite’s is that the trainers and other members are always there to push you and support you in order to help you achieve things you had no idea were possible. When you feel like you can’t do anymore they are there to cheer you on and help you push through to the end. Oh and the compliments I receive on a regular basis from strangers about my toned arms, shoulders and legs are a nice CFR side effect, definitely another of my favorite things.
Now my husband, on the other hand, was playing football and baseball as soon as he could walk which has led him to be extremely competitive. Crossfit instantly brought out that competitiveness in him and he was hooked after our first WOD. One thing that amazed us was that we could both do the same WODs just scaled to each of our abilities. We quickly realized that pretty much anybody can do Crossfit and that the two of us can actually work out together without him getting even a little bit frustrated with me. The competitive side of Crossfit has pushed my husband to do more than he has in a really long time and he is now in the best shape of his life.
The most unexpected change in our lives has been our change in eating habits, thanks to CFR. As I mentioned earlier, I ate relatively healthy, always read the labels on items and stayed away from anything with the words hydrogenated and refined in the ingredients. But we quickly learned from Kyle and Alima that we were not fueling our bodies with what they needed. Our bodies were craving more protein and vegetables. I fought the Paleo lifestyle for a while. The thought of restricting myself from all grains and dairy seemed a bit too extreme. I did a ton of research online desperately searching for a reason not to try the Paleo lifestyle. Let me be the first to tell you that negative feedback on Paleo is very hard to come by (much to my disappointment). What I found was blog after blog from people who had high blood pressure, chronic sinus & acid reflux issues, etc. which went away once switching to Paleo. My husband suffered from all of those so that was motivation enough to give it a shot. Of course that presented another obstacle….. cooking, which is something I NEVER did nor had any interest in doing. But I was going to give it a shot, for my husband’s health and Alima went above and beyond to help me find my place in the kitchen. My husband and I have been living the Paleo lifestyle for about a year now and his blood pressure has dropped so much it shocked his doctor. I now cook dinner at least four nights a week (we are talking homemade stuff) and even enjoy doing it. None of that would have been possible without Alima’s support. While I know she has had some good laughs at my lack of kitchen knowledge, she has always been there to give me tips when I needed them.
I can without a doubt say that joining CFR was one of the best decisions we have made in a really long time. Thanks to CFR we are in the best shape of our lives and also feel like we are part of a great family. I highly recommend that you stop in and see how CFR can change your life!
Billy & Casey Schaffer, CFR Members since September 2010
I started coming to CrossFit Rebellion in October 2009 and it has changed my life. I was never an athlete and always struggled with my weight, even struggling with morbid obesity throughout my 20s. I lost that weight in my 30s, but after having my third child, I was again carrying an extra 30 pounds that I was feeling pretty hopeless about. Close to desperate, I talked to my brother about CrossFit – he is a certified trainer, but he has been fit all of his life, so I really didn’t expect to find any answers for someone like me. He got me started with some basics, and then a friend recommend this cool new gym that was opening up downtown, and one day I got up the nerve to try it and joined CFR. Through CrossFitting regularly and following a generally Paleo diet, I lost those 30 pounds. More importantly, though, I’ve gained an amazing amount of physical capability that I would never have dreamed of seeing – especially now that I’m in my 40s! I spontaneously did a cartwheel the other day on some pretty grass, and a friend commented that she wouldn’t dream of doing that. It’s true: CrossFit is for anyone at any fitness level.
Donna Brooks, CFR Member since October 2009