Anyone Can Shape Up

Alana Folen
Wednesday - July 20, 2011
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Elyse Umeda. Photo courtesy of the 2010 CrossFit Games

It’s never too late to get into the best shape of your life, but it can be intimidating if you don’t know where to start. That’s where CrossFit 808 comes in. CrossFit has gained an extreme following nationwide, and is considered by many to be one of the best strength and conditioning programs out there today.

Elyse Umeda opened the doors to her own CrossFit affiliate, CrossFit 808, this past February at 220 Puuhale Road, and as owner and coach she says you don’t need to be athletic to do CrossFit, you just need to be motivated and coachable.

“We have people of all different backgrounds doing the same workout in the same class,” says Umeda, who also is a CrossFit competitor. “I like to tell everyone how my mom, who is in her 50s and has no prior athletic background, can work out with my brother, who is in his early 20s and is the most athletic guy I know. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

According to Umeda, CrossFit workouts consist of varied combinations of weightlifting, gymnastics and mono-structural metabolic conditioning (cardio) the workouts are adjusted to each fitness level.

“In CrossFit we like to use the phrase, ‘CrossFit is constantly varied, functional movements, executed at high intensity,’” she explains.

“Our athletes don’t know their workout of the day until they come into the gym. We only use functional movements in our workouts movements that you would see in your daily activity outside the gym,” Umeda adds. “Lastly, we add a time domain to the workout, which adds to the intensity we train the entire body, not specific parts.”

CrossFit 808 offers six hourlong classes Monday through Friday and two Saturday classes run by four certified coaches, including Umeda, who are all skilled CrossFitters. Participants can select from three different monthly plans to meet various needs, with monthly membership fees ranging from $85 to $155.

“I played basketball in high school and in college, so when I graduated from Princeton I went on a three month hiatus from any type of workout, besides surfing and running,” Umeda explains.

“Finally I had the guts to try a CrossFit class and after that I never looked back. I love working out again and I am fitter than I was in college I can lift more, run faster and jump higher.”

In fact, at the end of this month Umeda will put her skills to the test, as she competes for the title of “Fittest Female on Earth” at the 2011 CrossFit Games in Los Angeles.

“If you have a dream, never give up on it,” she says. “I know that sounds corny, but there were a lot of people who told me I would not be successful and did not think I could make it. I let those people fuel my drive and instead surrounded myself with those who believed in me and supported me.

“The athletes at our gym all have their own lifechanging story about how CrossFit has made them better.”

For more information on CrossFit 808, visit

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