A second set for CrossFitRVA

Jake Rowell is bringing his kettle bells and medicine balls to Colonial Heights.

Rowell, who owns the CrossFitRVA, plans to open a second CrossFit gym on Continental Boulevard in May.

Rowell said the new gym, dubbed Colonial CrossFit, will cater to Fort Lee soldiers.

“We have a steady stream of people coming from Fort Lee, so we figured we’d open one there to be a little closer to them,” Rowell said.

Jeremy Harrington, a fellow CrossFitRVA trainer and co-owner of the new gym, said it would also save some customers from driving all the way to Richmond from Petersburg.

“Judging by the amount of people we get [from that area], if we can get 15 to 36 people willing to drive an hour each way here then we can get at least three times that to come to the Colonial gym,” Harrington said.

Rowell has trained customers with old-school workouts such as pull-ups, pushups, barbells and kettle bells since 2007. Often the workouts end with an intense 10-minute segment.

Last year, he expanded to a 10,000-square-foot facility on Leigh Street.

CrossFit isn’t a franchise, like Gold’s Gym. Instead, CrossFit gyms pay a licensing fee to use the name. There is no limit to the number of CrossFit gyms that could pop up in a given area.

Harrington, 28, and Rowell, 26, started fleshing out a plan for a second location in November. (Harrington is pictured left in the photo)

“It’s something we’ve been thinking about for a couple years,” Rowell said.

The business partners leased the 4,000-square-foot space in Colonial Heights in January and are investing about $20,000 into the new gym.

CrossFitRVA had about 250 members in January, more than double from two years ago, Rowell said. The two hope to have 100 members at the Colonial Heights location by the end of the year.

Memberships cost $110 to $195 per month.

The CrossFit method of working out has drawn a cult-like following the past few years, with four gyms springing up in Richmond and 68 in Virginia.

Rowell said the personalized training sessions and small group workouts at CrossFit have ignited the trend.

And CrossFitRVA isn’t the only local gym beefing up. Jen Grabham, co-owner of the West End CrossFit on Cox Road, said she doubled the size of her space in February.

“We had to cap classes off at 15, and even then it was tight,” she said. “It was more for safety issues. People would go in waves. Half our members would go at one time and then others would go.”

West End CrossFit opened in May and has more than 100 members.

The growing popularity leaves the door open for bigger gyms such as American Family Fitness or Gold’s Gym to try and grab some of the mojo.

“Nothing’s stopping them. Major gym chains could open a CrossFit,” Rowell said. “But it’s hard to see them [chain gyms] offering a better deal with better service and making money on it.”

Read more: Gym proves good fit for Hopper Apparel 

 

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Peter Helweg
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Peter Helweg

The West End CrossFit is excellent!!! Jen & Keith do a great job with their classes and with personalized training. Would highly recommend them!!!!!

Amy Miller
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Amy Miller

The link to West End Crossfit is http://www.westendcrossfit.com

I have to say from personal experience West End Crossfit is an incredible gym! The attention the trainers give to each member is as close to personal training as you are going to get – but in a group setting.
West End Crossfit is very convenient to anyone on the West End of Richmond. I can’t say enough great things about the gym!

Bill Widhelm
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Bill Widhelm

Some of my coworkers have been going to the West End Crossfit next to Big Al’s for the past six or seven months and they love it. It sounds awesome. Hope to try it out soon and see why they are all talking about West End Crossfit.

Jess
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Jess

West End CF is an amazing gym. Tim and Jen Grabham have really put their heart and soul into that place and have made it feel like a second home to most of us. They consistently push you outside of your comfort zone and are your biggest cheerleaders. I HIGHLY recommend that you check them out if you ever get the chance.
Congrats to Jake and Jeremy on the success of CrossfitRVA and best wishes for the success of the new gym!

Marcy
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Marcy

I joined West End CF in December, not certain of what all the hype was about. Now I know, and I am addicted. Jen and Tim really work with each level of athlete and push us to improve. I lift my “cheerio” weights next to the bulk athlete knowing that I am getting stronger too!

Watch out Colonial Heights…you are in for a treat!

Jon
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Jon

Over the past year, I continuously have been hearing about West End Crossfit. Several of the folks I ride with in the cycling community have incorporated crossfit workouts in their training program and insist that it has made them better bike racers. Also, my wife has been going to West End Crossfit religiously over the past year and loves it. Prior to crossfit, she never worked out at all but now she loves it and is signing up for competitions, running races, etc. She has become more fit than I’d ever seen her before. I have to give props to… Read more »

Sam Patterson
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Sam Patterson

Interesting article. . . I work in Innsbrook and live on the West End of Richmond so the one next to Big Al’s would be a great location – thanks for mentioning them! I’ve not played sports since college (8 years ago). Do I need to get in shape prior to looking into West End Crossfit? Thank you.

Jennifer
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Jennifer

Crossfit Westend has changed me! As a busy mom of 3 busy kids, I feel I get something out of each workout. Jen and Tim challenge you, they make a difference. Their west end location is super convenient to short pump. I am hooked! Thanks for sharing the good news about Crossfit Westend.

Megan
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Megan

While I’m definitely sad to see Jeremy leaving CFRVA, I know he will bring the same trusted and quality training to Colonial Heights. Excited to see CFRVA continue to grow. Good luck down there and I’ll have to make the trip to visit soon!

Chris Mooney
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Chris Mooney

CrossfitRVA is the real deal. It is the largest Crossfit gym in metro Richmond and offers a wide array of specialized fitness opportunities beyond crossfit including strength training, yoga, and endurance training. These days you will also find a well-stocked frig with tasty meat and vegetables for sale and there’s even on-site massage available! I’ve been a member for almost two years and it has really transformed my life. When I started in June 2010 I was weak, unhealthy, and had a poor track record of staying disciplined with any fitness regimen. But the trainers are well-equipped to support newbies… Read more »

Julie
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Julie

CrossFitRVA has been my home for two years and I cant imagine a day without it. Jake has developed an environment that appeals to individuals of all athletic abilities. The trainers are knowledgable and friendly and challenge the individual on a daily basis. I look forward to spending my days with the community of people at CrossFitRVA and Colonial CrossFit.

Kathryn
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Kathryn

I’ve been with RVA for a few years and it’s been awesome watching the gym outgrow spaces, host competitions and inspire so many people to get fit/active. Even as the gym has grown to over 200 members, it still feels like the tightly knit community that it was when it started…which is pretty incredible. Props to all the trainers at RVA for always pushing me and helping me accomplish my fittest goals. Congratulations Jake and Jeremy! I can’t wait to see Colonial – I know it’s going to be great!

Haluk Ural
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Haluk Ural

We’ve been at CrossFit RVA for almost 2 years now. Anybody who has done CrossFit knows that it’s life changing on many levels. I can’t imagine working out any other way or anywhere else. It really gives true meaning to performance fitness. We’ve seen the growth from Jake Rowell and Crossfit RVA in the expansion from the Foushee space to Leigh street and the addition of yoga, endurance and performance nutrition support and now Colonial. Can’t wait to see what’s next. Congrats guys. We’ll see Jeremy at Colonial – at least once a week….

Jen
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Jen

Sam, no need to get into shape before starting CrossFit. CrossFit can easily be scaled and modified to fit any fitness level. All new members are required to attend an On-Ramp course. During On-Ramp you will learn all of the key movements that are used during the group class format. Next On-Ramp series begins Monday April 9th.

Best of luck to Jake and Jeremy on their new endeavor!

Nicole Goshorn
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Nicole Goshorn

Great News!! I have been going to Crossfit RVA for almost 3 years now, and it has truly changed my life in the way of fitness and nutrition. I owe alot to these guys. Jeremy and Jake are both good friends of mine and I know that they put their heart and soul into the business. We will definately miss you, Jeremy, but like Megan said it is awesome to see CFRVA grow.

John
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John

Thrilled to see another Crossfit going in our area! I have been working out at Crossfit RVA for 4 years now, and I couldn’t be happier with it. Ft. Lee soldiers and families are in for a great experience with Jeremy and Jake. Good luck!

Jimmy Killian
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In August of 2011 I was back up to a mind numbing 299lbs from the 216 I had lost down to in 2005. I was depressed over my weight problem continuing and finally decided to do something about it. I started initially at Crossfit Midlo and loved it, but due to an unexpected move I relocated to West End Crossfit and am having the time of my life! Since August of 11 I have dropped 82lbs, 3 shirt sizes and 8 sizes in my waist! I am stronger, fitter and feel better than ever. People talk about gyms and other… Read more »

Beckie
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Beckie

So proud of what Jen and Time have created. CrossFit gave them the platform, but it’s their willingness to get to know their clients, truly care about them and their progress that sets West End CrossFit apart from the “globo gym” mentality. I’m a 51 year old almost grandmother who no longer is pre-diabetic nor bothered by arthritic knees. I, too, am a CrossFit athlete!

Megan C.
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Megan C.

I’m so excited to see Crossfit grow to the Tri-cities area. Congrats to Jake and Jeremy. Also, a big congrats to Jen and Tim in their expansion. WECF is an amazing gym that offers a unique gym experience for the West-enders. I love that Crossfit offers a varied, functional workout that is different each time. Thanks to Jen and Tim, I actually enjoy going to the gym and I appreciate the individual attention they give to each member.

Mandy
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Mandy

I agree with Beckie – Jen and Tim make WECF what it is – and what it is, is awesome! We all come for different reasons (lose weight, gain weight, get ripped, etc.) yet we unite in our commitment to giving 100% for ourselves and our trainers. It’s the best addiction I have ever had!

Mando
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Mando

I have been going to west end crossfit for almost a year and have been impressed by the focus and dedication Tim and Jen have on all the members abilities. From novice to pro they always are observant on our techniques and make it a point to help us when we need it and commend us on our achievements. I can’t say enough great things about the gym!

Chris
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Chris

I’ve seen fitness centers of all shapes and sizes over the years and Jake puts it together as well as (or better than) any of them. Congratulations to CFRVA on all of their success. It is well earned. With Jake and Jeremy behind it, I have no doubt that Colonial CrossFit will produce tremendous results.

Bill
Guest
Bill

What a refreshing change of pace west end cross fit has been for the past 4 months. When I started I “thought” I was already in shape and was just looking to do something different. The dedication, professionalism, and positive motivation that Tim and Jen provide every day has helped me take it to an entirely new level. Keep it up!!!

Meghan M
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Meghan M

West End Cross Fit has changed my body, my view of fitness and my perception of myself. Jen and Tim at West End Cross Fit have established a supportive and positive community of athletes. I’ve been a “fitness nut” for many years: I ran marathons, taught Spin classes and spent hours each week in the gym. I ate “healthy” food. I counted calories, punished myself for eating the “wrong” things, and obsessed about how I looked. Through Jen, Tim and the athletes at West End Cross Fit, I have learned a different definition of fitness. It’s not about spending hours… Read more »

Paul
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Paul

Congrats to Jake and the RVA folks. It’s very exciting to see another CrossFit open in the area. I’ve been a member of West End CrossFit for just under 10 months. It’s changed my life and given me something to look forward to when it comes to fitness! Jen and Tim do a great job just like the folks over at RVA! It’s so great to see gyms that are expanding and growing especially in these tough times! Excellent trainers like Jen and Tim, give personal attention and help on any subject, from diet, to exercise to even your mental… Read more »

Wayne Lynch
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Wayne Lynch

West End Cross Fit is producing amazing results! My next door neighbor and one of my business associates are training there and love it. More impressive are the physical transformations they have undergone. One coworker has gone from normal attractive to fitness model hot!