Having been open for just over a year, CrossFit Populace owners Chris and Jamie Hughes have much cause to celebrate. The Hughes have been part of the Tyler CrossFit community for five years and, during that time, have developed a reputation of excellence — tripling the membership since June 2014. The reason for their success is clear — they keep things simple and personal. Walking into CrossFit Populace, at 3219 SSW Loop 323, members are greeted by the gym’s “head coach” Ollie, an affectionate boxer the Hughes jokingly claim is responsible for half of their memberships. The gym utilizes an open floor plan with a lounge area up front and an alley of pullup bars and rings running down the middle. “The location helps a lot. A lot of the CrossFit boxes are closer to one area,” Chris said. “We incorporate a little more comfort, we’re enclosed and have air conditioning and we’ve brought on a lot of very experienced coaches. We’ve created a friendlier, communal environment” CrossFit was once considered a fad, but the Hughes believe that it has since developed a reputation and fought those misconceptions as it broke into Olympic training and through training with researchers such as the Cooper Institute in Dallas. Chris is a Cooper Institute certified personal trainer. “The injuries come from taking a long time off, coming back and trying to pick up where they left off. Luckily, with our experienced coaches, we don’t let that happen,” Chris said. Chris specializes in mobility training, monitoring his members’ movements and ensuring they’re hitting all the right beats. This results in a more effective and safer workout. Crossfit Populace trainer Alyssa Christian demonstrates an advanced technique on the pullup bars on Saturday, June 6, 2015. (Cory McCoy/Staff) Like 137 6/23/2015 Tyler Morning Telegraph - CrossFit provides personal, simple approach to fitness http://www.tylerpaper.com/TP-Business/220568/crossfit-provides-personal-simple-approach-to-fitness 2/5 Lindale eatery becomes prototype for new chain 21 June 2015 [09:47 PM] Inmate indicted for brutal 2012 stabbing in Tyler 22 June 2015 [05:26 PM] Trending Stories “What I feel makes a difference is that Chris puts a lot of time and energy into developing programming that’s not overlapping and (uses) patterns of movement,” Jamie said. “And making sure everything fits in the perfect way to where you’re getting a really great benefit from it performancewise and aestheticwise.” Mrs. Hughes is a fitness bikini model, placing in 11 competitions since 2011. She said she wants to show potential members that CrossFit not only results in bulky gains, but lean, muscular physiques also are achievable. Part of the appeal of the gym is its fee structuring. They offer two packages, one that allows twice a week workouts and the other that is allinclusive. All classes are included in the packages, both offered on a monthtomonth basis. CrossFit Populace never requires a contract. “We’re trying to create an environment where people don’t feel so pressured or see someone saying, ‘Oh I’m so elite,’” she said. “We don’t like to give people the opportunity to feel like they’re missing out on something because they’re not paying extra.” The Hughes’ believe education is the key to growth, both in their business and in the lives of their clients. “We try to teach them as much as possible on why we do the movements,” Chris said. “Fitness is something that is measurable, observable and repeatable.” “We have an open gym; they can stay as long as they want. There’s always a level one coach here that can guide them through their workout,” Chris said. Amanda Herrick often brings her two children, Brooklyn, 4, and Jackson, 11/2, while she works out. Herrick said she’s tried other methods, but CrossFit allows her to see the greatest fitness gains. “With CrossFit I can come and progress at my own level while still feeling competitive,” Ms. Herrick said. “It’s a stress relief for me. I think there’s a lot of misconceptions about CrossFit … I would recommend it to anybody, beginner or advanced.” If their membership continues to grow at the same rate, CrossFit Populace will have to be expanded within two years. For now, the Hughes are happy to keep their small staff and friendly, personal environment.
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