CrossFit Free: “Live Free and Die Fit”- Justin Homsey

| November 5, 2013 | 1 Comment

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Crossfit is the new fitness phenomenon sweeping the country lately. Like MMA, crossfit is a combination of many different styles of working out. In speaking with former #1 featherweight in New England, Justin Homsey, now Co-Owner of “Crossfit Free” out of Salem NH. Justin states “Crossfit basically takes everything that “works” and implements it into our programs. Crossfit is a hybrid of conventional training that works for all ages, shapes and sizes and can be both mentally and physically healthy for everyone. The Crossfit nation has been growing at an alarming pace over the past few years and has now been implemented into many different MMA gyms across the nation. Crossfits introduction and steadfast growth sounds eerily familiar to that of MMA and its growth as the fastest growing sport in the world. I spent a solid hour with my former training partner, now Crossfit instructor discussing what his newest obsession was all about. I want to thank Justin and his partner and good friend Brandon Petersen for the introduction to Crossfit. Read my Q and A with Homsey below and for further information on his Crossfit gym you can find more links and information below.

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Do you miss the taste of pepsi? Do you remember how good it is once it hits your lips? How about candy? You’re a candy fanatic.


I was never a big soda guy, ill still eat candy if I want just not as much as before.  Everything in moderation


What have you replaced coffee with in the morning?

I never was a coffee guy but I drink it now.  I drink it to help with the long days at the gym now and its slowly growing on me.



How long have you been crossfitting for? Am I using the terminology right?


Yeah you’re using the right terminology. I’ve been doing CrossFit for 4 years now and was actually was introduced to it by my business partner Brandon Petersen during preparation for one of my fights. We started going to the gym together and also putting in some extra work after MMA classes. It started off as a typical gym routine and eventually we started to mix in more and more crossfit style workouts in our routine. After a while I decided to spend some money and buy some equipment for my house rather than pay a gym membership. I brought the gym to my house for convenience mostly.  I had all the equipment that I needed that the regular gym didn’t have and had it at my disposal. I started expanding when some kids that I was doing wrestling lessons with and some friends had inquired about some strength training also. The rest is history


Is cross fit a sport?


Yes it is.


Do you have to be licensed to teach cross fit?


I hold the following certifications: CrossFit level 1, CrossFit Kids, CrossFit Mobility, CrossFit Endurance, USA Weightlifting Level 1 Coach


Is it true that cross fit centers are called boxes and not gyms? Why?


Its called a box because most places you see are found in industrial parks and are large wide open spaces.  Basically a large wide open “box” inside.  


Why is the cross fit phenomenon so huge right now?


It’s really grown because of the results that it gets.  They come in part due to a few different factors.  The community definitely plays a large role in it.  People enjoy coming in and working out along side a bunch of other like minded people and they all hold each other accountable.  On top of that there are many gyms out there that offer very solid programming for their members to follow. This eliminates people picking and choosing what they want to do while avoiding what they don’t want to do.  Lastly I would say that its so enjoyable because there are so many aspects and skills to master.  Everything from weightlifting to gymnastics to running and rowing are a part of our daily routines.  


Why is crossfit different or better than getting a gym membership at a local gym and having a one on one trainer?


One of the biggest differences is the community.  Wether youre chasing the person in front of you in the workout, or trying to stay ahead of the person behind you, the community motivates people. If you were to look at it from a monetary standpoint, theres a lot more bang for your buck as well. Lets take a basic gym private say a $40 an hour training session that you take twice a week, that is $320 a month…. my gym is $150 per month for an unlimited membership.  



Can Crossfit make you mentally strong?


Yes, my biggest deal when I came in from training MMA the transision was different mentality.  One of the most difficult things to adjust to is the fact that there are no breaks or easy spots.  What I mean by that is that a barbell never gets tired.  I can be in a fight or jiu jitsu match and can feel my opponent wearing down and getting weaker.  A barbell never gets lighter, it never breaks.  Learning to fight through that will absolutely make you mentally tougher.  Its all in your mind and telling yourself that youre able to push through the pain.



Does Cross fit hurt your body, joints, muscles etc?


It’s the same as anything else. You need to listen to your body, your body will always let you know when its had enough.  You need to be smart about training and also be under the eye of someone who knows what they are doing.  Just like MMA there are plenty of CrossFit gyms popping up that don’t have a clue of how things should be done and unfortunately they make the rest of us look bad.


Can Cross fit be used as a therapy?


It depends on what kind of therapy the person is looking for.  Physically there are a lot of people that use CrossFit to regain strength or rehab injuries.Mentally it can be great as well. For some people beating their PR (personal record), having a good workout, or just working out along side a few friendly familiar faces  can really change their day and make them feel good about themselves.


Is cross fit something young children can or should get involved in?


Absolutely!  Kids are too sedentary these days and need to be out moving and playing sports.  We have a kids class that is for 7-12 year olds and focuses on having fun while learning all the basic skills you would find in any strength and conditioning program.  They learn how to move their bodies properly through games and things like that.  Our teens classes which are for 13-17 year olds focuses a little more on strength building for sport with a strong emphasis on technique being first.


Is Cross fit wrongly accused as an endurance exercise for other sports preparation and rather, not a sport in its self?


CrossFit is a sport in itself for those that choose it.  Some people will use it as supplemental work to make them better/stronger/faster for their sport.  Others who haven’t grown up playing sports find that they can compete in the sport of CrossFit and enjoy it just the same. 


Did cross fit pull you away from MMA?


No it didn’t.  Being a business owner has gotten in the way a little bit.  My days are long and just doesn’t leave enough time in the day to put in the required effort to compete at the level that I want.  It was tough enough doing it before when I was working full time and coaching wrestling. 


Can you become a cross fit champion?


You can become a CrossFit champion.  Every year there is an open competition called ironically enough “The CrossFit Open”.  It makes it so that anyone in the world can enter and compete against everyone locally to globally.  The top finishers in the open in each region will advance to Regionals.  Top finishers at Regionals get to go to The CrossFit Games which are held every year in California. 


I guess the easiest way to relate it would be to compare it to a NAGA tournament.  You could be NAGA new England champion, NAGA east coast champion, or even go as far as being a NAGA world champ


What is the most beneficial thing that cross fit has done for you?


Right now I’m in the best shape of my life.  I’m stronger and faster than I’ve ever been with the best endurance I can remember.   To add to that that I gained a ton of great friends and families that I get to see on a daily basis at the gym!  Cant ask for more than that!


How does cross fit help MMA Athletes?


CrossFit can help MMA athletes in all of the ways we already talked about.  The two biggest obviously being making fighters physically and mentally stronger.  To add to that we can make them more mobile (flexible) and I offer nutritional and individual programs that will be athlete specific.  Basically it can help fighters in any area of weakness.


How is it that a cross fit athlete is that much stronger than “normal” athletes?


I wont say that CrossFit athletes are that much stronger than “normal” athletes.  I think a lot of CrossFit athletes are very dedicated toward their program.  Consistency is the key, just like with anything else. Following a program the whole way through. Not to be taken lightly also are the factors of eating right, sleeping right, and recovering properly.


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5-7 Delaware Dr Unit 3
Delaware Dr, Salem, NH 03079




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Category: 3Col, Interview, School Spotlight

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  1. Thanks for the interview Dan!! Appreciate the spotlight! If anyone has any questions feel free to post here or email me

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