One location where CrossFit has been booming in Tokyo is at a gym in Daikanyama.
David Halton, CEO of CrossFit Daikanyama, explains that while it only opened its doors in November 2012, membership keeps increasing and its members have made tremendous progress, many in less than a year’s time. The secret behind its success? Halton assigns it to tailored workouts for a wide variety of member abilities, fitness levels, and personal goals, and a heavy emphasis on nutrition.
Just as bodies are all different, the workouts that can transform them into CrossFit power machines need to be varied too. “Whether our members are professional MMA fighters, rugby players, people undergoing rehab or just weekend warriors,” Halton explains that CrossFit Daikanyama creates workout plans to meet those different levels of fitness and ability.
Similarly, as not all members are looking to compete in the CrossFit Games, CrossFit Daikanyama offers two additional sets of classes to meet different needs: Combat Fitness and Active Yoga. And if you think that “different” equals “watered-down,” you’d definitely be wrong in the case of Combat Fitness, a high-intensity circuit training class that is led by MMA legend and PRIDE Champion, Kazuo Misaki. The Active Yoga class is designed to improve athletic performance, enhance recovery times and increase flexibility.
“It has been amazing to see the incredible transformations that some of the first members had made, physically and mentally, within 12 months.”
To achieve great results, bodies need the best fuel to help them charge up for, and recover from, tough workouts. Because CrossFit Daikanyama’s parent company makes sports supplements, they put more emphasis on the nutritional side of health and fitness than many gyms do. An extensive protein bar selection, and all of the exercise supplements you could ever need are on hand, and more importantly, so are knowledgeable staff members who can help you make sure your body is getting what it requires.
In addition to the specialty class instructors, CrossFit Daikanyama is staffed by an international and bilingual group of trainers who hail from Canada, the US, South Africa, Egypt, New Zealand and Japan. Halton wants to make sure that his trainers are fully credentialed, but he says that it is even more important for them to have a true passion for helping the club’s members make gains in their physical—and mental—strength.
The club hosts a membership that is about 50% expats and 50% Japanese. Halton explains that the CrossFit concept is still new to the Japanese market (except for the pro sports players, who “get it because it is similar to the way they have been training for many years”), but members dig in to being able to do something new each workout and truly appreciate the friendships and bonds that come along with being a part of the CrossFit community.
He is a fit guy himself, but Halton says he does understand that many of us might be looking to get the year started right, but there are often a lot of “toos” that can get in the way: feeling “too busy, too tired, and too out of shape.” To help people overcome these blocks, the approach at Daikanyama CrossFit is for the trainers to create the workout plans, letting the members focus on one thing: coming ready for 50 minutes of fun and sweat. And the results speak for themselves: at the club’s one-year anniversary party last November, Halton said it was “amazing to see the incredible transformations that some of the first members had made, physically and mentally, within 12 months.”