Secrets of the Super Fit: The CrossFit Pro

”I never thought about exercise to be fit or healthy.”

Name: Brittany Smith, Co-owner, Calibrated CrossFit, East End
Age: 27
Training: A weekend-long training on fundamentals through CrossFit; competitive gymnast for 18 years, including four years of NCAA Division I gymnastics at Kent State
Teaches: 1–2 classes per week

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Photograph by Aaron M. Conway / Hair & Make-up by Phillip Nathaniel Saunders

What drew you to CrossFit? When I finished my gymnastics career, I had a hard time motivating myself to do physical activity. I never thought about exercise to be fit or healthy. A friend badgered me that I had lost all my muscle tone and encouraged me to try CrossFit. It’s goal oriented and wiped me out completely. I was hooked after the first class.

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Photograph by Aaron M. Conway / Hair & Make-up by Phillip Nathaniel Saunders

A lot of the lifts look…intimidating. Power lifts like squats and bench presses are main components, as are dynamic lifts like the snatch and the jerk. But so are pull-ups, handstands, cardio, running, rowing, and biking. The basic principle is to combine different aspects of fitness so you’re well-rounded and able to adapt to any fitness challenge.

Do you have a favorite maneuver? I like muscle-ups on the rings. It’s a straight vertical lift from a hang on the rings, which are used in men’s gymnastics events.

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Photograph by Aaron M. Conway / Hair & Make-up by Phillip Nathaniel Saunders

What about something more entry level? The rowing machine is an overlooked, but excellent, piece of equipment. It’s a massive leg and cardio workout, different than biking, and better on the joints than running. We do a two-week course to introduce all the basic movements and give people a safe progression.

What’s your soundtrack? Maroon 5, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry. I’m also a huge fan of [American Idol singer] Phillip Phillips.

“When I’m not working out…” I’m a neuroscience PhD candidate at the University of Cincinnati.

On Brittany
Seafolly Face It High Neck Beach Tank, $129, ASOS; Nike Flyknit Lunar 3 sneakers, $150, Bob Roncker’s; shorts her own

Photograph by Aaron M. Conway / Hair & Make-up by Phillip Nathaniel Saunders

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