Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Forbes magazine has called Crossfit "one of the America." One Midlands Crossfit gym is doing their best to spread their sport throughout Columbia.
At Carolina Crossfit, located in downtown Columbia, many residents have found the sport to be the perfect combination of of weight training and cardio. Paul Beckwith, owner of Carolina Crossfit, says he started the gym five years ago as after trying a workout to increase his own fitness.
"In August of 2007, I opened with my affliate and never looked back," Beckwith said. "What intrigued me the most is that it had Olympic lifting in it and I was hooked after that."
The sport has gained national coverage due in part to a sponsorship with Reekbok and cable coverage with ESPN. The "Crossfit Games" is a competition of the world's greatest athletes. The athletes chosen must compete and qualify in two competitions(the Open and the Regional Games) before making it to the final competition.
Fans and casual obsevers who've watched the Games may be apprehensive to start the sport due to watching the elite athletes on televsion. Beckwith reassures that Crossfit is a sport anyone can try.
"You have to get over the whole idea that you have to be in shape to come in. You can enter Crossfit at any stage of fitness," he added.
Crossfit trainers and athletes alike say the jumping the mental hurdles of the sport are more rewarding than the physical benefits. Brandi Newman, a crossfitter of a few years, believes the hours in the gym have been worth it.
"It makes my entire life better. It's a stress reliever," she said.
That's a common sentiment among those who've tried the sport. Crossfit gyms around the nation are filled with ex-athletes like Beckwith and Newman. But they're also filled with people who've never played a sport. The prevailing thought from Crossfitters is that you're able to become both physically and mentally stronger.
"We've had a saying here for a long time that said 'What seemed beyond me becomes me.' People say 'I don't care know if I can ever do that.' And we'll say 'Yes you can.'," added Brandon Keatly, trainer at Carolina Crossfit.
"It's really empowering for people."