Local News


Dozens of Clark County schools offering CrossFit programs

But is it safe?
Posted at 10:24 PM, Sep 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-09 00:34:31-04
The Clark County School District said by the end of 2017, 50 schools in the district will have CrossFit classes. 
It was made possible by a 2014 grant from the Southern Nevada Health District.
"I was really intimidated by the big heavy weights and stuff and I didn't think I'd be good at it," said Ally Ching, a junior who has been doing CrossFit at school for two years.
Ching is also one of the members of the West Career and Technical Academy CrossFit club.
"It's kind of hard to ask any person to sit still for six hours a day," said Grayson Gearin, who teaches Physical Education, Health and Functional Fitness CrossFit at West Tech. "I think giving them an outlet to come in here, an hour, move, get tired, and then go in, and sit down, and focus on your math or your science."
The students who spoke with 13 Action News agreed.
"High school is the most stressful place you can go to, so it's a great stress reliever," said Dustyn Van Vooren, who has been doing CrossFit for three years at school. "Plus, a healthy body is a healthy mind."
The instructors in the CrossFit class are also P.E. teachers at West Tech, and they say they have more injuries in the P.E. class than in CrossFit. 
However, they admit they are inherent risks with any physical activity, and they take special care with the kids in the CrossFit classes to make sure they're doing things safely.
"It requires a ton of body awareness," said Gearin, who has two requirements for the students before they can touch the weights. "They have to demonstrate to me that they can move correctly and that they can move safely. If they can do those two things, then we can handle a little bit more weight."
While we watched their class, the three coaches gave tips and corrections to make sure everyone used good form.
"You're not very good at the start, but the coaches really work with you constantly and you get better and better," said Van Vooren.
Gearin said they focus on form and strength before diving into the high reps CrossFit is more known for.
The after-school CrossFit club at West Tech is so popular that the instructors opened it up to teachers, too.