One trip to a CrossFit gym in Alexandria is all it took for Tony Schultz to get hooked in 2016.
CrossFit is a fitness program that combines a wide variety of movements into a timed or scored workout.
Not only is he hooked on CrossFit, he actually submits scores online to compete in a world-wide competition known as the CrossFit Open.
CrossFit Open is scored by the number of repetitions completed in a workout.
In 2018, Schultz submitted scores to compete in his first CrossFit Open. In his second year of submitting this past March, his scores ranked in the top 6% in the world.
"Last year was the first year of actually submitting (scores to the CrossFit Open) and I was top 12%, so this year my goal was to be in the top 10%, which I did and ended up in the top 6%. I was pretty excited about that," Schultz said.
CrossFit has a focus on overall fitness, Schultz said.
"Something (workouts) are a little more cardio, sometimes it's heavier and a little bit shorter, and sometimes they even have you do a one-rep max for like a deadlift, it kind of varies. It's testing the overall fitness of everybody, so they incorporate heavy, they incorporate (workouts) that are more for endurance people," Schultz said.
The CrossFit Open is a five-week long program where participants do a workout and submit their scores online to compete against others from across the world. About 180,000 people participated in the event this year, Schultz said.
"We kind of modeled our (workout day) after football and we did Friday Night Lights every Friday. This year we probably had 15 people that submitted (their scores online), but we had probably 50 people that did the workouts just to do them," Schultz said of participants in Friday Night Lights at Empowered Living Company, which his wife Cate owns. "The atmosphere in here was just amazing."
The top 20 or so CrossFit Open participants advance to the CrossFit Games, Schultz said. The CrossFit Games is a televised event. Schultz said that competing in the CrossFit Games is the equivalent of competing professionally in any sport.
"The elite of the elite, the 1% of the 1%," Schultz said of those that compete at the games.
Schultz has no goal of competing in the CrossFit Games. He just wants to stay in tip-top shape.
"I'm probably in the best shape of my life other than being in sport-specific shape. I played hockey, high school and juniors, so my legs were probably in better condition for that type of skating," Schultz said.
Schultz is still on the ice as an assistant coach for the Morris Benson Area boys hockey team.
"Now I try to skate with the high school boys a little bit. I can't keep up in that regard, but overall fitness I am in the best shape of my life and I know a lot of people that (do CrossFit) are probably in the same boat," Schultz said.
He ranked 11,199 in the world, according to the CrossFit Open leaderboard. No matter his rank, he's sold on CrossFit.
"For me it's a stress-relieving type thing. The sense of community in this gym is great," Schultz said. "You never know what you're going to see on the (workout) board. It changes every day. I think that's why it appeals to me so much is that it's constantly varied."