Writer / Kara Reibel
Photographer / Brian Brosmer
Garrett Clark ranks 11th out of 20,000 in the teen division of CrossFit worldwide. The CrossFit Games invited the top 10 this year to participate. Clark’s hope is to qualify for the CrossFit Games which are held in August.
“That’s the goal,” says Clark, 17 years old and a junior at Fishers High School.
While the CrossFit games may seem intimidating to most, the CrossFit workout is accommodating to any fitness level. With a focus on improving overall fitness conditioning, CrossFit workouts are matched to a participant’s current fitness level and adjusted regularly for a variety in a workout.
“We use a combination of mono structural (running, rowing, biking, jump rope), gymnastics (pull-ups, pushups, dips, air squats – body weight moves) and weight lifting,” shares Three Kings CrossFit owner Bryn Jafri. “We combine these fitness elements to create a strength and conditioning program.”
Jafri explains that a general class involves a dynamic warm up, review of the skills and lifts, and then the workout is performed in a class setting.
The age range of participants is vast. More and more teens and younger are finding their way into the gyms to gain strength and endurance. Clark was drawn to CrossFit for additional training while playing soccer when he was younger.
“I started working out at home doing CrossFit when I was 11 or 12 years old,” shares Clark. “It was about the time I started high school that I got serious about CrossFit and began competing.”
Garrett transitioned from soccer to competitions with CrossFit. At the time he started competing, there were age groups but not an actual teen division. Based on demand, CrossFit added the Teen Division in 2015.
Garrett was drawn to CrossFit because he found it more fun than regular gym workouts. “I saw people getting stronger than I had witnessed with other means of strength training,” says Garrett.
Garrett’s parents, Melissa and Brad, became CrossFit devotees six years ago, creating a gym in their basement. “We are both former athletes, and exercise has always been a part of our lives,” shares mom, Melissa, who was a soccer player and ran track. Brad Clark was a football player, and their daughter, Maryna, plays D1 soccer at IUPUI.
“It is definitely a family thing,” says Brad of his family’s CrossFit workouts.
Garrett started competing two summers ago. He excelled in the competitions and is sponsored by Born Primitive, a clothing company geared towards CrossFit athletes. Born Primitive’s founder is a Navy Seal.
Jafri, who has experience training U.S. Special Forces in Europe, says that he was drawn to CrossFit while training servicemen overseas. “I was asked about CrossFit and its application as one of the workouts for our Special Forces, so we experimented with it overseas,” says Jafri, who also notes that there are a lot of CrossFit boxes (their term for “gyms”) around the world on U.S. military bases.
Garrett, who wishes to study sports medicine in college, hopes to continue his CrossFit competitions and has followed the NCAA rules of eligibility. The nature of CrossFit cultivates rowers because that is a major cardio portion of the workout, so there are possibilities outside of the CrossFit world of competitions.
For more information on CrossFit, please visit CrossFit.com or ThreeKingsCrossFit.com. For Born Primitive, visit BornPrimitive.com for additional information on their sponsored athletes including Garrett Clark.
Force Barbell Olympic Weight Lifting Competition December 2013 – 1st in the 69kg Weight Class
Carmel CrossFit Teen Rumble 2014 – 2nd Place Overall
2014 CrossFit Open – 1st Place Overall Amongst all 15-Year-Olds
Clark’s Personal Best Records:
• Deadlift – 445 x 4
• Clean and Jerk – 295
• Clean – 310
• Snatch – 225
• Back Squat – 405
• Front Squat – 325
• Push Press – 245
• OHS – 305
• Bench Press – 255 x 2