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CrossFit Westport Lifts Open Its Doors

CrossFit General Manager Tim Deenihan demonstrates a lift at the gym Tuesday. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky
CrossFit Westport Owner Amy Mandelbaum and General Manager Tim Deenihan pose for a picture at their recently opened gym Tuesday. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky
CrossFit Westport members enjoy a class Tuesday. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky

NORWALK/WESTPORT, Conn. — Tim Deenihan could barley run a mile a few years ago.

“I was green by the time I got to the first stop sign,” Deenihan, a Fairfield resident, told The Daily Voice on Tuesday.

But once he made the decision to get in shape, there was no turning back. Now athletic, Deenihan is the general manager and coach for CrossFit Westport, which recently opened at the Norwalk-Westport line at 507 Westport Ave. in Norwalk.

The gym is a 5,500-square-foot sports performance training facility. Its classes focus on functional movements done at high intensity with the goal of improving overall health and fitness.

Each class features a strength and skill portion as well as a conditioning exercise. The coaches constantly switch up the workouts. "You’re never doing the same workout twice,” Deenihan said. “There’s no boredom."

But you don't have to be in elite athlete shape to participate in CrossFit classes, Deenihan said. Varsity high school soccer players exercise alongside a 50-year-old mother who runs the occasional 5K, he said. Each, though, receives instruction tailored to their physical abilities.

Deenihan, who teaches the 6 a.m. class, said he listens to public radio every morning and has heard a story about the prevalence of back pain in American society. He blames our sedimentary society.

“We’re not meant to sit in cars, cubicles or a comfy sofa,” he said.

Deenihan believes everyone has the ability to have good posture and lifting techniques. But he said those innate skills are lost when we go to school and are forced to sit in chairs for long periods of time.

Through CrossFit, Deenihan hopes to release his customers’ “inner child,” bringing out their innate ability.

The exercises at CrossFit could help parents lift their children — or even a bag of mulch — in safer, less painful ways, he said.

CrossFit offers classes, private sessions and an open gym for members. It also has a babysitting facility.

Owner Amy Mandelbaum said the gym currently has 85 members and is quickly growing.  “We’re more recognizable than I thought we would be,” she said. “We walk into stores and people know we’re with CrossFit.”

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