Waist Watchers: Crossfit - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Waist Watchers: Crossfit

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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

Some call one intense workout, so addictive they do it seven days a week. Many say it has transformed their bodies. In tonight's Waist Watchers, Liz Reyes has more on Crossfit, and whether the high-impact workout could work for you.

In the dark you'll find them working out long before sunrise, dozens of dedicated locals pushing their bodies to the maximum at this high-intensity Supra Fitness workout class on Magazine Street.

The facility is not cramped with a lot of workout equipment - just the basics clients need to train. Under the guidance of instructors, classes are aimed at working every muscle of your body at different intensities. They do this by combining strength and cardio training.

"Some days you feel like you are lifting more weight, some days it's cardio," said client Melissa  Keller. "Such a variety, I don't know, I'm addicted. I come back every day."

Trainers say the key thing about Crossfit is that it incorporates "functional movements" to help you do things on a daily basis.

Brittany Fried said it feels good to no longer have to always ask for help when she needs to lift something heavy.

"You can just lift it up and say, ‘oh I got this,'" said Fried.

The creator of the program is New Orleans certified personal trainer Jonas Deffes. He said his program promotes a community atmosphere. Deffes' gym has a high-tech board where clients can keep track of their progress. He said the program has attracted people from all walks of life.

"We also see more women do Crossfit recently because they realize it's beneficial in everyday life," Deffes said. "We have women in their 60s and others still in highs school."

Crossfit got a lot of attention after Saints coach Sean Payton talked about how the workouts helped get him into the best shape of his life during his NFL suspension. Payton also incorporated some of the program's techniques into the Saints workout . For example, emphasizing lifting and building size to deal with the different look on defense.

"If you high-intensity train, you make the muscles want to use the fat more," said LSU Health Sciences Center Dr. Melissa Sothern.

Sothern said Crossfit-style training is also an excellent option to help prevent diabetes and heart disease. She said the first sign of disease is fat build up in places like your liver, but with this type of training, you can quickly shed that fat.

"Individuals who train hard with high intensity get rid of fat in the liver quickly, whereas you can't do that with light intensity training and can't do it with diet changes," Sothern said.

As for who may not be suitable for Crossfit-style classes, people who don't exercise regularly are at the top of her list. Sothern's advice is to check with a doctor first and start off slowly with low-intensity exercises like walking or biking.

Before you kick it in to high gear, health experts say you have to be committed for the long haul.

Nikia Smoot knows firsthand what happens when you don't stay committed. She lost 30 pounds last year, but then she stopped working out. Now she's back and  determined to lose the extra pounds.

"When you lose the weight, you get so excited you think you can stop, but you can't," Smoot said. "You have to keep doing something.

Clients say the payoff is worth it provided you  persevere, adjust your eating habits and are willing to put in the time to transform your body. Sothern stresses that if you don't eat healthy when you high-intensity train, you won't see the full benefits.

Also important – double check that your trainer has the appropriate certified credentials before you sign up for any high-intensity training.

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