What started out in 2006-07 as a small gym training high school and college-aged athletes out of a storage unit at AAA Mini Storage on North Park Lane has now developed into a massive CrossFit gym with a front row seat near downtown Altus on Main Street.
Fresh out of college with a degree in behavioral science, Aaron Brink became certified as a personal trainer in 2007. He was hired by Western Oklahoma State College as a certified personal trainer at the wellness center. Brink had heard about CrossFit at the time but had never tried it.
“One of my workout buddies and high school friends brought it up and said we needed to try this CrossFit thing out, so we did,” Brink said. “Honestly, after the first time I told him it was the worst thing I had ever done, but after a few more workouts I started to notice I was a lot more sore and I was seeing results more quickly compared to the normal workout routine.”
That summer, Brink drove to Dallas and became certified as a CrossFit Level 1 coach.
He started applying it to his personal training classes at the college and soon after was hired by mens’ basketball Head Coach Rolando De La Barrera as the strength and conditioning coach of the team. He also spent time with the mens’ baseball team and a bit of time with the rodeo program as well. Encouraged to train outside of the college obligations due to liability issues with training anybody under the age of 16, Brink started his own gym and the rest is history.
CrossFit 1017 owner’s Aaron and Tiffany Brink have created a family atmosphere at their gym. Along with their staff, they are a cohesive unit that constantly is pushing every day to be better. It is a very positive atmosphere and it always has been.
“One of the things we stress here is that we don’t allow negativity in the gym,” Brink said. “Because that’s the biggest killer for most people at the gym. Either they’re down on themselves or someone else is down on them for trying to change their life. We don’t allow that here and never have.”
It is a model that has served them well.
Along with Aaron and Tiffany, there are four other members of their staff: Assistant Coach Eric Gibson, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer; Assistant Coach Abby Schulz, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer; Assistant Coach and Mobility Coach Carrie Gann, Crossfit Level 1 Trainer and certification in CrossFit Movement and Mobility; and Certified Personal Trainer Darci Abernathy, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and AFAA Certified Personal Trainer. Tiffany Brink served 11 years in the Air Force and earned a degree in sports related nutrition as well as being a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer. Each member of the staff makes it his or her personal goal to help others reach theirs.
So how does one get started?
“CrossFit is for anybody. Everyone can come and do it. It’s just that first initial step of making it in the gym door. The great thing about CrossFit is you don’t have to do it by yourself. There is going to be 10 other people suffering right along with you.” Aaron joked. “Your first session is free. You can come in and try out a class with us and see what your thoughts are and go from there. The beauty of CrossFit is it is scalable to anyone’s fitness level. We have people from five years old all the way to 80 years old.”
The classes are structured and scheduled. Clients go through a warm-up with the coach and then the coach instructs the members on the Workout of the Day — or WOD in CrossFit lingo. They are called the WOD because the workouts change every single day. Clients will constantly be learning and constantly be challenged. Once the coach teaches the movements, they are scaled down to each person’s fitness level. The workouts last anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes and are followed by a cool down. Each workout is timed and then timed again a month later to check individual progress.
Classes are run everyday but Sunday, and each day has different times. On Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon is what they call “open gym.” There is no scheduled class but all the coaches are there and it gives their clients a chance for one-on-one time with a coach to work on improving anything they are struggling with.
For the more competitive and advanced members, there are even CrossFit competitions that the gym takes part in. They have been to competitions in Amarillo, Texas; Dallas, Clinton and Oklahoma City. They have hosted a few in Altus too, though most of the competitions here were fundraisers for clients or members of the community. The CrossFit games are the Olympics of CrossFit and while nobody from this gym has made it quite that far, a few have made it to regionals, a qualifier for the games.
There is per-session pricing, unlimited pricing, couple pricing and family pricing. Military, law enforcement, and firefighters receive discounted pricing. They also offer personal training and National Physique Committee and International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness training. In fact, Tiffany Brink participated and earned top five placings in many NPC and IFBB competitions and held a national ranking.
“We’re never going to be the prettiest, most shiny gym you’re going to go to with all the bells and whistles,” Aaron said about the gym’s appearance. “You come here to do work and leave. You’re here for results, not mirrors and tanning beds and all the special stuff most of the 24-fitness centers offer. We’re here to get results.”
For more information contact Aaron Brink at 580-305-0538 or Tiffany Brink at 757-771-5266 or visit their website at crossfit1017altus.com.
Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.