For CrossFit Instructor Jamie Hagiya, Variety is the Spice of Life

Change it up.

Snatch. Box. Murphys. Pistols. Deadlifts. Metcon. WOD. All terms used when participating in one of the world’s biggest fitness trends: CrossFit. It has soared in popularity—not just because of the personal results but also the community bond the sport creates.

With more than 4 million CrossFitters in at least 120 countries, the fitness regime consists of a variety of high-intensity functional movements including calisthenics, weightlifting, powerlifting, gymnastics, strongman-type events, plyometrics, body weight exercises, indoor rowing, aerobic exercise, running, paddling and swimming. Each discipline consists of a variety of functional movements that mimic motions we do in everyday life. This fact has encouraged a community of people of all ages to try it out.

For instance, a squat imitates the motion it takes to bend down and pick something up from the floor. As a result, CrossFit can be for everyday people as well as those who enjoy competing.

For those who are a little more serious, the community offers a WOD (workout of the day)—both unpredictable and full of force. The ability to track everyone’s results adds to this competitive energy. Many CrossFitters quit drinking, eat clean and go to the gym as early as 5 a.m. while their bodies radically transform.

“People love CrossFit because of the community, bettering our health and feeling strong about ourselves and our bodies,” says Jamie Hagiya, co-owner of the Torrance Training Lab—a gym in Torrance dedicated to CrossFit. “We rave about it because we’ve seen the positive impact it can have on one another.”

“It was always my dream to make it one time, so that moment meant everything.”

The Reebok CrossFit Games are the pinnacle of the sport. Hundreds of thousands of people try out for the Open division, but only 35 men and 35 women qualify. According to Forbes, the games are “one of the fastest growing sports in America.” From 2011 to 2017 the games were held locally in Carson, but due to the increasing numbers in the sport, hosting the games became too expensive and they moved to Madison, Wisconsin.

Many believe that no other sport accurately tests fitness. For example, decathlons test a wide range of abilities but not key components of physical fitness. The games aimed to fill this void. The winner of the Reebok CrossFit Games is deemed the “Fittest on Earth.”

“And your fifth athlete going to Carson, California … Jamie Hagiya!” Jamie still feels chills when she remembers the announcer calling out her name in 2016. “It’s still one of the best moments of my life. Everything I worked so hard for and poured my blood, sweat and tears into had finally been realized,” she shares. “It was always my dream to make it one time, so that moment meant everything.” For 2016, she was the 18th fittest woman on earth.

Prior to CrossFit, Jamie was an accomplished basketball player. She starred as a point guard at USC and later played professionally overseas. One day while coaching at a WNBA Sparks clinic, a parent told her that he thought she would love CrossFit. Shortly after, she opened her own CrossFit gym, and the rest is history. She combined her incredible athleticism and love of coaching and is now giving back to the community.

Jamie works out five to six times a week and commits to a full rest day or active rest day on her days off. Most of her training consists of weight lifting, gymnastics, bodyweight movements, cardio and skill work. She also enjoys sports like basketball, tennis, golf, volleyball and swimming, and she surfs El Porto most mornings.

When I met Jamie at her gym in Torrance, Arielle, a former collegiate softball player, and Indigo, a former professional snowboarder were there working out. The camaraderie was remarkable as Jamie and Arielle, CrossFitters since 2013, helped newcomer Indigo, CrossFitter for six months, accomplish her very first “nose to bar” workout. As they stood together they cheered, watched and filmed the newcomer’s success and accomplishment.

“A good CrossFit gym has qualified coaches to help newbies learn the movements with good form and appropriate load,” explains physical therapist Ariel Shore. “Not everyone needs to flip tires or lift heavy. It depends on your goals.”

And although Jamie spends many hours of her day training indoors, she admits she’s really a beach girl at heart and can’t wait for her outdoor time. “I grew up right here in Redondo Beach and feel the most at peace while at the beach in the sun or enjoying a beautiful sunset,” she says. “I feel like I work out so hard in the gym so I can enjoy my life outside with family, friends and good food!”

When I met Jamie at her gym in Torrance, Arielle, a former collegiate softball player, and Indigo, a former professional snowboarder were there working out. The camaraderie was remarkable as Jamie and Arielle, CrossFitters since 2013, helped newcomer Indigo, CrossFitter for six months, accomplish her very first “nose to bar” workout. As they stood together they cheered, watched and filmed the newcomer’s success and accomplishment.

“A good CrossFit gym has qualified coaches to help newbies learn the movements with good form and appropriate load,” explains physical therapist Ariel Shore. “Not everyone needs to flip tires or lift heavy. It depends on your goals.”

And although Jamie spends many hours of her day training indoors, she admits she’s really a beach girl at heart and can’t wait for her outdoor time. “I grew up right here in Redondo Beach and feel the most at peace while at the beach in the sun or enjoying a beautiful sunset,” she says. “I feel like I work out so hard in the gym so I can enjoy my life outside with family, friends and good food!”

JAMIE’S YEAR IN HEALTH


DAILY NUTRITION:

I try to eat a protein, a carb, greens/veggies and healthy fat with most meals.


GUILTY PLEASURES:

Desserts. Anything from cookies, donuts, cakes, cupcakes and ice cream. I also love Philz Coffee. Their Soul Train hazelnut coffee sweet and creamy is always a treat for me.


FITNESS CRAZE YOU WANT TO TRY:

I’ve always wanted to try some type of martial arts, maybe Muy Thai or jiujitsu. As a kid I quit judo because I was so embarrassed that I weighed more than all the popular boys in my class. So I think it would be nice to go back and give martial arts another shot. Also the self-defense aspect of it is really cool and useful.


FITNESS GOAL:

I’ve spent the past 20 years of my life dedicated to high-level sports and competition, which means endless hours in the gym working on weaknesses and pushing my body to its limits. So I look forward to having fun in the gym again and enjoying my workouts.

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