Crossing Up Training

Kai Lawrence, Lenette Vierra and James Rocha
Owners, Crossfit Hi Impact gym

Please tell us about your business. Rocha: At Crossfit High Impact (HI), located in Puhi, we latch on to a variety of workouts and use a little bit of every kind of fitness. For example, we do a lot of endurance and weight training, we do a lot of kettle bells and we also do gymnastics training like rings and bars. We change the workout every day. So, one day you could be doing running and sit-ups, and tomorrow you could be doing squats. We focus fully on functional movement. We don’t have machines, and everything you do is something you replicate in real life. We also try to use a group class setting with coaches here to create a higher-intensity workout. When someone comes here, they can expect a new workout every day. They are trained by professional coaches and learn how to properly do things like push-ups in higher-intensity workouts. In addition, even though everybody is doing the same workout, we’re going to tailor it to you. So, one person may be able to lift 10 pounds while another lifts 50 pounds.

What is the history of Crossfit? Rocha: It started about 10 years ago in California in a man’s garage – he was a personal trainer. This man saw that athletes benefitted a lot from doing a little bit of everything and combining it into shorter, higher-intensity bouts rather than one long 40-minute workout. A 20-minute squat, push-up, run in three cycles of 12 minutes gave them all the strength benefits of working out in a gym, and also all the cardio benefits of the 40-minute-long workout. People caught on, and now it’s a huge business with more than 5,000 Crossfit gyms across in the world.

How have you benefitted personally from Crossfit? Vierra: I’ve always been just a runner – doing weights was hard for me at first. But I feel stronger now, and it’s made me a faster runner. Now I run less, yet I’m faster. I really enjoy having the variety and challenge. You constantly have new things pop up in Crossfit.

How long are the work-outs? Vierra: After a warmup and stretches, the workout can take seven minutes to anywhere as long as 20 to 30 minutes. It just depends on what you’re asked of that day. It could be high intensity, all output in a short duration, or something that you push yourself longer for endurance.

How often should a person do Crossfit to see results? Rocha: We recommend a minimum of three days a week, but everybody has different training goals. So, it depends on the person’s goal.

How much does it cost? Rocha: It’s a $100 a month membership for unlimited classes, or a 10-pass punch card for $75 with an expiration date of two months. Drop-in classes cost $20.

What do you recommend for beginners? Lawrence: Some people are kind of intimidated by Crossfit, so for new people, we have a beginner program Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 10 a.m. We usually recommend people to do that first for at least a few weeks so that they can learn how to do exercises like kettle bell swings or how to do safe squats.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of this business? Rocha: I enjoy being here and seeing how much everyone loves it. I see progress and improvement from someone who comes their first day and can’t do a pull-up, and then maybe two months down the road they’re doing 20. Lawrence: Meeting new people is the most rewarding aspect for me. The Crossfit community is growing every day. It’s been a great way to make friends and find people with similar interests.

What’s the most challenging aspect of your business? Lawrence: Dealing with all of our schedules. We also have full-time jobs – like my wife, Nikki Ige, who is also part-owner but couldn’t be here today because of work. We all care about the business and want it to succeed, but we have other obligations. Being a team helps us with that.

What sets your business apart? Rocha: We are community-oriented and even get together with our members outside of Crossfit. It’s that gathering that people love and it keeps our members coming back. Lawrence: You could work out at home if you wanted to, but you’re not going to get as intense of a workout, because you’re not with other people pushing each other and you don’t have coaches there pushing you. And then you don’t have the community aspect of it.

4411 Kikowaena St., Puhi
Visit for schedule.