By Bailey Buckingham
Summer comes with a lot of pressure to get in shape. But for those who aren’t fans of treadmills and packed weight rooms, alternative fitness options can help residents sweat it out.
Dani Hightower and her sister, Ashley Taylor, who both hail from Bastrop, own Maximum 3 Crossfit, one of the biggest crossfit gyms in Hays County.
“The people that come here make this place different than any other regular or crossfit gym,” Hightower said. “I have such a problem with gyms that are ‘clique-ish’ and we just don’t do that here.”
During a session at Max 3, patrons can expect loud, blood pumping music, wide-open spaces for handstand push-ups or box jumps and a lot of sweat.
A lot of people get intimidated with crossfit, but there are modifiers provided to help beginners and the atmosphere here encourages everyone, Hightower said. Max 3 offers a free, open to the community workout every Saturday for anyone who wants to try crossfit.
“I mean, I’m pregnant and I can still do it. I remember when it was my first time, I sat in my car telling myself I could do it,” Hightower said. “It’s nerve-wracking, but it blows me away how welcoming my regulars are to new people coming in. No one ever has to feel anything but encouraged and supported.”
Hightower said Max 3 is for everyone and the attendees range in age and are both male and female.
Also offering a crossfit type experience for women who aren’t comfortable working out around men, or simply prefer an all-female camaraderie experience, is Flying Goat Crossfit in Kyle.
“This is a safe space for women to come together and just work out and be healthy,” Flying Goat owner Wendy Wray said. “There is no ego, there is no competition, and it’s just a community of women.”
Wray turned her garage into a crossfit gym five years ago and has had veterans and new customers throughout the years. The classes are limited to eight women to ensure comfortability.
During the sessions, there are modifiers and tools to make sure it is a safe and effective workout for every individual, no matter what fitness level, Wray said.
With hundreds of locations throughout Texas, Camp Gladiator tries to eliminate the “location excuse,” Tara Hanson, Camp Gladiator trainer, said.
“We have so many locations that you can go to unlimited places with your membership,” Hanson said. “And every town has a wide variety of times throughout the day to accommodate anyone’s schedules.”
Hanson said CG, which is open to all fitness levels, is a community environment. Throughout each month, all CG locations host socials outside of the workouts in order to familiarize everyone involved with their trainers and the people they’ll be hustling next to.
While some of the sessions can reach up to 50 or more campers, Hanson said CG puts a priority on personalization to help anyone with special health needs or modifiers if needed.
Local yogi helps relieve tension
Gudjon Bergmann has been practicing yoga since 1997 and has been teaching since 1998.
With several thousand hours of teaching experience, he offers his knowledge and skills to the Kyle community for those who want a unique type of workout, or a relaxing experience.
Bergmann said when he first began practicing yoga, what made it unique was the mindful approach to moving and the non-competitive nature of the exercise regime. He also cited the deep tissue stretching, core strengthening, breathing techniques, and most importantly, the relaxation.
“Back then, most people came to yoga in order to relieve tension,” Bergmann said.
Bergmann said it’s crucial to approach the practice mindfully, so as not to incur injuries. He said new practitioners should start with beginner classes if at all possible, so they’re able to learn fundamental yoga movements.
Bergmann teaches private lessons currently. He said some vigorous yoga styles do not lend themselves to all ages, however. With a seasoned teacher, yoga can be taught to all ages and skill levels.