So far in my featured gym series, I've stayed pretty close to home proximity wise and only ventured out of my comfort zone once or twice. For May, I decided to mix it up, both getting out of town and my comfort zone for a visit to NO Limit Fitness in Mahomet, Illinois. I knew when I started this series, I would eventually expand my reach of featured gyms to include surrounding communities of Champaign-Urbana so when I saw a couple Facebook posts regarding NO Limit Fitness, I thought it would be the perfect addition.

Visiting a new gym is nervewracking and often intimidating, especially when you don't know anyone and don't have a clue what to expect. When it comes to CrossFit, all I knew prior to showing up is that it would be hard, test my limits and strength all while I tried not to quit on myself 286 times throughout the week.  I hope as you read on you'll understand why I put myself through the challenge, why a place like NO Limit Fitness is worth visiting/trying out, and why getting out of your comfort zone provides some of the most humbling and rewarding experiences you'll ever have.

Started by owner and head trainer Adam Kessler, NO Limit Fitness has been a go-to gym in Mahomet for over eight years. Just as the name suggests, when you walk into a place like NO Limit come prepared to be pushed. There are no limits when it comes to working out. There will always be something new to learn. There will always be a different challenge to overcome. There will always be room to grow. The good thing is you don't have to do any of that alone. Both Adam and co-trainer Eldon Ort are always there to make sure that their members are getting the most out of every workout assisting with questions and form while providing motivation and encouragement every step of the way.

When I showed up bright, or rather still dark, and early at 5am for my first class of the week, Eldon immediately welcomed me into the gym, showed me around the space and after a brief introduction, I dove right into my first workout. Over the course of the week, I tried three of the 5:15am classes and finished the week with the daily fitness WOD. With variety in each workout, you definitely do not have to worry about boredom or doing the same old thing. Each day brings a new challenge which makes the workouts that much more exciting!

Monday's class was a calorie scorcher with five rounds of work beginning with an 800m run coupled with 50 air squats subsquently adding a new exercise within each round while decreasing the reps within a given round. As you can see from the photo, the second round was 2 rounds 400m run, 20 air squats and 20 ball on and so forth through all five rounds. I took all I had to give once I got to round five but I left the gym that day feeling ecstatic and empowered for the work I'd just completed. That's the power of a great workout!

Monday 5:15a class workout.

With a smaller group on Tuesday, we were able to focus the workout more on push-up technique and pull-up strength while also getting in endurance/cardio via the ski and row machine couple with shoulder presses. I found a new love with the ski machine and am already trying to figure out how I can get one at home!

Tuesday's 5:15a workout.
Tuesday's workout continued.

Wednesday's workout was part team and part individual work. We worked through three rounds of eight minutes in which one of us was doing one exercise while the other two in the group held a different static exercise. After the group work, we moved into individual exercises with three round of five minutes using slam balls, kettlebells and body weight exercises. It was all intense, but afterwards I felt awesome and it was actually super fun despite being incredibly challenging.

Wednesday's 5:15a workout.

Throughout each early morning class, Eldon was there to assist with my form, walk me through any moves that I was unfamiliar with and answer all of my rookie questions. The others in class were also helpful if I ran into any roadblocks or had trouble navigating the workout or equipment. Everyone was so encouraging and motivating which makes the environment a lot of fun!

Friday I took on the Fitness WOD challenge. It was a tough nine round workout broken down into three sections. Each round included running, rowing and goblet squats increasing weight while decreasing reps. I finished the entire workout in about 40 minutes.

Friday's WOD. Fitness option for me.

So here's the thing...

CrossFit workouts are tough. For someone that regularly works out five to six days a week, I was sore, a good sore, in all kinds of new places after this week. I had arm and leg muscles firing that felt like they'd never been used before. There were times during the workouts that I had to dig deep, like really deep, within to keep pushing myself toward the finish. When I finished though, I felt amazing. Really amazing. It's a huge accomplishment, and relief, when you get to the end of a really challenging CrossFit workout and walk out the door knowing you put it all on the line.

CrossFit workouts are humbling. Tuesday's workout included push-ups which I thought "okay, no problem, I can do push-ups" until I really tried to do a push-up. I couldn't do more than five assisted with a band at a time. The other ladies alongside me talked about their first CrossFit experiences and how they've been working months to get the the point of doing the push-ups unassisted. It's encouragement from others around that really helped to keep me motivated and working toward my best.

But most importantly....

CrossFit workouts are rewarding. I showed up, tried new things, was willing to learn, and became stronger as a result of my experience. I stepped outside my comfort zone each time I stepped into NO Limit Fitness but with that discomfort came great reward. I was all kinds of sore following the workouts but it was the kind of soreness in which you know what you did worked. Each day I showed up, I was willing to push myself a little further. Without a doubt, I feel stronger physically and mentally after my week at NO Limit Fitness.

As for what you can expect...

NO Limit Fitness offers an instructed CrossFit class for adults at 5:15am Monday through Friday. If you're new to CrossFit like me, the classes help provide a little extra direction and assistance while working in a close group environment. Even if you're a veteran and want to mix up your routine, the classes are a great option to add into your week.

In addition to the morning class offered, there is always a daily workout of the day (WOD) that members can complete on their own during open gym hours. Most days the WOD has varying options based on skill level. You'll find an option for the most veteran of CrossFit goers scaled down to an option for beginners that are just getting started.

The gym also offers CrossFit classes for kids which is fantastic to get the littles involved learning the importance of exercise at a young age. There are three types of kids classes including daily advanced classes for older kids over ten, regular classes three times a week for kids ages seven-ten and twice weekly classes for smaller kids seven and under.

One thing is for certain...every day is different so you can show up each and every day and are guaranteed to have a new challenge awaiting you. And, if you need a little something to counter the intensity of CrossFit, members can also attend a weekly PiYo class held on Thursday mornings at 10am.

Memberships at NO Limit Fitness are available for $120 per month. Separate packages are available for those that just want to take advantage of the early morning classes and vary based on how often you plan to attend. And, if you aren't ready to commit to monthly or you just want to hop in every now and again, there is a daily drop-in rate of $15/day.

If you have any additional questions or would like to hear more about my experience, don't hesitate to reach out. You can also send any inquiries about the facility, classes, and membership options to the team at NO Limit Fitness through their Facebook page.

Thank you again to Adam, Eldon and all the wonderful people I met over the course of my visit. I was honored to workout in the gym and be included as a part of the team. Sitting here post-visit writing this blog entry, I'm mentally and physically stronger after my experience. I encourage anyone in Champaign-Urbana and/or Mahomet area to pay NO Limit Fitness a visit. If you've been on the fence of trying CrossFit, the team will help introduce you to the workouts, make you feel right at home and have you hooked in no time! Definitely a place worth checking out!

Deadly assault bikes.
My new favorite thing, skier machine.

In case you missed my previous month's featured gym posts, you can find them all below.

November - Stephen's Family YMCA
December - Pursuit Fitness & Performance Institute
January - Hatha Yoga & Fitness
February - Refinery Gym
March - Unyoked CrossFit
April - Fit4Mom Champaign Urbana

Stay tuned for June's feature, Infinite CU. I'll be back in Champaign for this one and am looking forward to seeing what Keybeck and team have to offer!