KV CrossFit opens in downtown Waterville

At 5:30 a.m., most citizens of Waterville are just waking up—and most students on the Hill, for that matter, are still fast asleep. But the morning class at Kennebec Valley (KV) CrossFit is just finishing its warm-up: two rounds of a 500-meter row, 15 air squats, ten PVC pipe pass-throughs, five inchworm pushups, and five pull-ups.

While that may sound a bit intense to anyone who’s not used to being up before the sun just to exercise, this workout-before-the-actual-workout is like a morning cup of coffee for the devoted members of Waterville’s first CrossFit affiliate gym.

KV CrossFit opened on Sept. 9 and is breaking new ground in the Waterville fitness scene. Founded by co-owners Seth Page and Drew Crandall, the gym occupies part of an old warehouse building just off Main Street. There is no sign outside, only an inconspicuous gray door with a stencil of two crossed hatchets, the affiliate’s logo.

The new facility welcomes both CrossFit veterans and novices, but no one should enter a CrossFit gym without knowing what to expect. More than anything, CrossFit is a brand. The owners of each affiliate gym are free to develop their own training plans, charge their own rates, and run their gyms—or “boxes,” as CrossFitters call them—as they please.

However, the programming generally revolves around the following definition of fitness listed on the main CrossFit website: “that which optimizes fitness: constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity. CrossFit is also the community that spontaneously arises when people do these workouts together.” Exercise and community are the two pillars of this training program, and they are already working together at Waterville’s newest temple of fitness.

The establishment of a CrossFit facility in Waterville has been in the works for some time. Page and Crandall, who already co-owned CrossFit MisFit in Portland, conspired with Nick Brown, owner of Stone Coast CrossFit in Rockport, to meet in the middle geographically and combine their talents.

“We already had some friends who were CrossFit coaches in Waterville,” said Page. “They had the certifications and experience with CrossFit, and we gave them the space to use their skills.” The gym’s setup is straightforward but complete with rowing machines, gymnastic rings, a pull-up rig, barbells and weights.

So far, the community has responded positively to the addition of the new gym. When Page and his partners first considered opening the facility, they knew that “there were different groups in Waterville who were looking for a high intensity workout style, and all of them knew what CrossFit was.” This preexistent base for the Waterville CrossFit community has generated substantial enthusiasm about KV CrossFit.

“We announced our opening on Facebook, and we’ve gotten about 500 ‘likes’ on our page. We pre-sold about 30 memberships. Many people thanked us for opening a CrossFit gym,” Page said.

Right now, KV CrossFit has a limited schedule, offering two morning and two afternoon classes: one for beginners and one for experienced athletes. There are discounted membership rates for students, and an extra discount for each of the first 50 members. Anyone interested in joining should take a look at the gym’s website, kvcrossfit.com, and contact Seth Page at info@kvcrossfit.com.

Page expects the new gym to “grow on its own,” and he plans to offer more classes as membership rises. All in all, KV CrossFit promises a welcoming community and a great workout to anyone in Waterville who’s willing to get more than a little sweaty.