Virtual Healing: The CrossFit Shapesmiths Masters Program
Four months ago when the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic came down upon communities across the globe, the spotlight was shone on health and personal safety in a way that few had experienced during their lifetime. Individuals and families were forced into their homes for lockdown and most of society came to a grinding halt, leaving a myriad of question marks surrounding the full scope of the effects for those most at risk from the coronavirus — the infirm and elderly.
London-based Shapesmiths Gym took matters into their own hands, and when most of the fitness world was figuring out a shift towards a primarily online and digital format, the U.K. affiliate found a way to cater to a masters demographic that was left woefully isolated during the pandemic, but desperately needed the health benefits associated with regular exercise.
The Shapesmiths Masters Project is an online exercise program conducted via Zoom for masters athletes across the world that includes a specified lesson plan for athletes of all fitness levels and allows the demographic most at-risk from the coronavirus to improve their health and fitness.
- Currently, there are 38 60+-year-old athletes that call in from locations around the world including England, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, Germany, France, and the United States.
- Athletes of all levels are welcome and the current cohort includes athletes currently in cardiac rehabilitation and athletes battling back against the onset and effects of Parkinson’s disease.
- As a nice bonus, the program was offered completely for free for anyone up through the end of June, and even though they are now accepting contributions they “will work with everyone on an individual basis to make sure they have the access to the masters program that they need.”
For anyone interested, the onboarding process is straightforward and simple and is intended to be accessible for everyone given that most of their masters athletes were first exposed to CrossFit through their children.
- You can email Shapesmiths directly in order to schedule an introductory trial session.
- The trial session can be the regular 12 PM GMT+1 class or every Wednesday at 6 PM GMT+1 they have a “Parents Evening Class,” where anyone can bring their parents to an online Zoom session, this provides some opportunities to help those who need it with any tech-related obstacles.
- Head Coach Karima Adi walks everyone through the session, and afterward, athletes are encouraged to stay and chat. There is an additional Whatsapp group for members which allows for feedback and to answer questions in real-time.
The pandemic has affected everyone and the nature of the virus has placed a higher premium on health. If there was ever a time to explore ways to exercise and improve the fitness and general physical preparedness of everyone we hold dear it is now. It’s easy for the focus of exercise to shift to the younger populations that eagerly jump at the opportunity, but providing for those that need it most during a time of unprecedented adversity should be a responsibility that prioritize with fervor.