There are no bumper plates, medicine balls are thrown against a concrete column, and box jumps are completed upon a wooden divider on which most others set their gym bags.
Not your typical CrossFit facility.
Panther CrossFit is a group of University of Pittsburgh students who came together over their fondness of CrossFit to form a club. It all started in 2008, when John Schneider hosted Fight Gone Bad 3 at his box, ThreeRivers CrossFit in Verona, Pa., just outside of Pittsburgh.
A Pitt student by the name of Zach Miller showed up and ended up scoring a “430-something” on the workout, Schneider says. Miller finished second in the country.
“And he said, ‘Hey I want to start this.’ And I was working at the university, so I was like, ‘OK, I’ll be the adviser for the club, and we’ll get it going,’” Schneider says. “All it is is a group of kids that come together, and they come to the local gyms which aren’t set up as (CrossFit gyms), but we find a way to make it work within the community we have here at the university.”
Most of the time, the group does WODs in the basement of the college’s Trees Hall, where the gym is shared with faculty and other community members.
“It’s a challenge,” Schneider says. “We have other people working out in the facility that aren’t accustomed to CrossFit ... . So whenever we’re making noise and the weights drop, people get scared or offended. And so we’ve had some conflicts with that. So we try to be polite and not upset anybody, but we still get our workouts in and improve our fitness.”
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8min 56 sec
Additional video: The Zach Miller Story, published Dec. 7, 2011.