A 2007 graduate of Lincoln County High School, Fayetteville’s Eric Berngruber has come home to Lincoln County, opening Elk Valley CrossFit with the help of his fiancé, Chelsea Johnson, who also hails from here.
“CrossFit is constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity,” said Eric last week. “It’s a different workout every day, workouts that can be tailored to anyone.”
A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, where he earned a degree in exercise science, Eric was first introduced to CrossFit by Chelsea, who at the time was a student at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where she was an undergraduate student and then a graduate student earning her master’s in plant sciences with a concentration in biotechnical plant molecular genetics. Chelsea is also a 2010 graduate of Lincoln County High School.
“With his degree and his interests, it was a perfect fit,” she said, noting that he had tried CrossFit while visiting her and some of her friends in Knoxville. “It just really caught his interest, and he was a natural at it.
“That was five years ago, and he’s been coaching CrossFit now for four years,” she said.
“At the end of the day, it’s all about fitness,” said Eric. “We have people in our classes now who really range in their skill and fitness level, from college athletes to 71-year-old grandparents – stepping through the door is probably the hardest part.”
Located at 4 Highland Rim Road, just off the Highway 231-431 south of Park City, Elk Valley CrossFit is focused on combining those functional movements in a way that helps participants build their fitness level. That’s the primary objective, explains Eric.
“Currently, we offer five classes a day,” he said. “Each day’s workout is basically the same, but then tomorrow, the workout will be different … The movements built into the workouts change from the classes one day to those of the next day.”
By employing a constantly varied approach to training, functional movements and intensity lead to dramatic gains in fitness.
While Chelsea plans to use her degree professionally, she’s enjoying helping Eric get the business off the ground. Elk Valley CrossFit opened just two weeks ago, but already, it has 14 committed trainees participating in its class offerings.
“We’re excited,” said Eric. “This is something new for Lincoln County, but its following is huge – we welcome participants from across the community, as well as from our neighboring communities such as Hazel Green.”