Downtown church converted to sanctuary for CrossFit

Above: Jason Silva Health & fitness | 25 Jun, 2014 |

Imagine a place where health, fitness and community are the core foundational elements. A place that motivates, inspires and supports. A place where nothing is too far reaching, nothing is impossible.

Jason Silva

Jason Silva

In a renovated church, built in 1928 on McKinley and 9th streets, CoreCrossFit advocates and maintains these ideals with exercise programs, cooking classes and a focus on supporting wellness.

Once an unknown and obscure fitness program, CrossFit has grown over the past decade into a worldwide phenomenon. It is a lifestyle, dedicated to community, being fit and eating well.

Exercising alone is difficult; most people don’t know what to do and often stop in the middle of what would constitute a “full” workout.

“(At a CrossFit gym,) your programming is done for you. You have a built-in coach, you have friends and a community who truly cares about how you’re doing on any given day and motivating you to get through the workout,” said Kim Flores, owner of CoreCrossFit.


The church before renovations.//Jason Silva, Silva Studios

The church before renovations.//Jason Silva, Silva Studios

The church after renovations//Jason Silva

The church after renovations//Jason Silva

Core offers more than just the traditional CrossFit class. Its extensive programs are focused on health and wellness, nutrition, strength, flexibility. The gym offers many classes, including an Olympic lifting program, a masters program for CrossFitters over the age of 40, a ladies class and a weight-loss program.

The sanctuary once filled with long wood pews was transformed into an open space for the CrossFit classes. Muted gold light filters through the yellow stained glass windows throughout the high ceilinged room.

Downstairs, where classrooms and offices used to be, is a room now filled with weights. Known as the Olympic Lifting room, the space is for strength and conditioning. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, the area is used for a nonprofit Kids@Core program.

Almost three years ago, CoreCrossFit, started the nonprofit program to serve children in the Garfield neighborhood. Three days a week, kids from the area do a CrossFit class designed specifically for their age group. Along with the exercise portion, Core teaches the kids about nutrition and provides healthy snacks.

The Core campus is made up of the church and a two-story adjacent building called The HUB. The first floor is a studio and kitchen, and the second floor is a five-room wellness center. Flores said Core rents out the rooms to wellness professionals, such as physical therapists and life coaches.

Jason Silva//Silva Studios

Jason Silva//Silva Studios

Core offers a number of lifestyle programs to get prospective members started and give some real life experience of how those programs and services could change their life, Flores said.

Eating healthy is as important as working out when it comes to changing physical appearance. People work hard, yet they still engage in poor nutrition habits, Flores said.

“You can’t out exercise poor nutrition, you can’t out exercise a bad diet,” Flores said.

CoreCrossFit works to educate members on the benefits of eating lean meats, healthy carbs and vegetables through healthy its cooking classes and lifestyle programs.

Unlike other exercise facilities, CrossFit gyms do not have mirrors.

“We don’t want people hung up visually on what they look like, we want them to embrace fitness and embrace nutrition. So naturally as they become more fit and they improve their nutrition, their body is going to change,” said Flores.

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