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New gym owners hope to improve more than fitness

By Katie Demeria

STRASBURG -- Lisa Quinn wants to encourage local residents to get active. She wants them to eat locally grown produce, and she wants them to develop personal strength. And she plans to do all this through CrossFit.

CrossFit is a fitness program designed to increase strength, flexibility and endurance. It has gained popularity over recent years and developed a reputation for being too extreme for the average person.

But that is exactly the reputation Lisa wants to debunk.

Lisa and her husband Kerry Quinn purchased property in Strasburg in January 2013, and built a gym on the facility the following summer. Now, Adventure 4 Life CrossFit is fully operational, and the Quinns are encouraging new members to sign up.

"We want people to build their strengths, and they do that in here, in the workouts," Lisa said. "And then they go out into the world, and they recognize that strength out there."

The Quinns are both certified CrossFit trainers, and they co-teach many of the classes they offer.

During the Fundamentals class, for example, which is designed for new CrossFit participants, Kerry Quinn shows the group the moves they should replicate, and his wife walks around adjusting their positions.

"The more you learn, the less we'll have to tweak you," Lisa Quinn told the group of four, two men and two women, as she changed one woman's grip on a lightweight piece of pipe she was lifting. "Soon you'll be able to do it on your own."

According to Kerry Quinn, his wife is the motivation behind the couple's CrossFit endeavors. Though involved in fitness training since 1989, she became involved in CrossFit in 2007.

But Kerry Quinn found it easy to get into the fitness program as well. As a former marine, he said he particularly liked that the program could be designed to not only fit his workout style, but also the needs of some veterans they train through the Wounded Warriors program.

"We challenge people," Kerry Quinn said. "They're intimidated when they come in because of all the equipment, but we make sure they know that it takes a little bit of skill, and a lot of fun. Anyone can do it."

Lisa Quinn called CrossFit scaleable: it can be adjusted to meet any fitness level.

"I used to train an 84-year-old man who could not do squats when he first started," she said. "After I started working with him, not only could he do them, but he would almost come dancing in here for every workout."

She also refers to CrossFit as "functional fitness," suggesting its usefulness extends past the gym.

"The skills you develop by working out in here will help you in your everyday life," she said. "Everything you do in here will help you out there."

Jennifer Anderson, a fitness trainer herself, is a member of the Quinns' Fundamentals class. She started the program because she was interested in strength training.

"I've only been doing it for a little while, but I've already noticed the impact," she said. "And it's not just physical, it's mental as well. It makes you feel better."

That mental benefit is an example of the Quinns' belief that the exercise program will improve every aspect of members' lives.

"Be fit, have fun doing it, and that will translate back to life," Kerry Quinn said.

They said they hope to expand what Adventure 4 Life CrossFit offers to participants by creating a large community garden. Lisa Quinn plans to separate plots and allow members to grow their own fruits and vegetables.

The couple also owns a chicken coop and, they hope to set up a program in which members pay for chicken feed and take eggs in return.

"This is about encouraging people to be strong, fit, and healthy, and you do that through being active and eating good foods," Lisa Quinn said. "We want this to be the place where people can improve their lives -- that's why it's Adventure 4 Life."

David Wood, another member of the Fundamentals class, is a firefighter in Fauquier County. He received the membership as a gift from his wife.

"The best thing about it is that you get a good workout in a short amount of time," he said. "And I have a wife and kids at home, I don't want to spend all my time at the gym."

Wood is just one example of the diverse group of people making up the Fundamentals class, Kerry Quinn said. Other members include a construction worker and a working mother.

"Outside the door, we're all different," Lisa Quinn said. "But inside, we all move, we all sweat, we all get sore, and we're all in it together."

Gym membership, which includes consistent training from the Quinns, is $100. The Fundamentals class consists of six one-hour classes and a month of membership for $250.

More information is available at www.adventure4lifecrossfit.com.

Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kdemeria@nvdaily.com

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