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Keep Workouts Fresh At CrossFit 617

By Jake Levin

Holding true to the "constantly varied, functional movement" mantra, you won't work out the same way today as you did yesterday at CrossFit 617.

Joclyn Belanger, one of the coaches at the gym in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, said that the aim of CrossFit is to change the stimulus to the body to enforce optimal functional movement.

"At CrossFit 617, we include components of strength, conditioning, and flexibility in every class to improve an individual's ability to perform both inside and outside the gym," she said of the gym, aptly named for the '617' area code Boston uses.

No matter the class, a warm-up will always take place to get the heart rate going, which will lead to any number of exercises. Dynamic stretching, strength segments and metabolic conditioning can all be parts of a higher-pace segment of training.

All are welcome at CrossFit 617, from high school students to older adults. Members merge under one class setting, Belanger said, from novices to experts.

"We can individualize each workout according to ability level and make necessary adaptations to maintain safety," Belanger said. "We recognize not everyone can perform every movement, and have plenty of alternatives up our sleeves for every fitness level to improve how individuals move in day-to-day life."

Belanger said the best part of the job for her is seeing improvements in individuals after perhaps initial frustration at the outset. Improvements are made daily, Belanger said, improvements which are recognized by the students.

"We aim to help them set achievable goals," she said. "Once they get into a routine and keep coming back, it's amazing to see how quickly their mindset changes."

It's all one big, happy family at CrossFit 617, one which is pieced together of individuals striving for the same goal of fitness, but one that may not have met under any other circumstance.

"We make an effort to hold community building events with and without fitness components," Belanger said.

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