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TUFFCAMP becomes CrossFit gym

  • SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS TUFFCAMP, a total-body fitness program based in Lehighton, is now a certified CrossFit gym. CrossFit certified coaches include, from left, Marcy Vincent, Mary Kaye Snyder, Chrissy Mayernik (owner and head coach) and Peter…
    SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS TUFFCAMP, a total-body fitness program based in Lehighton, is now a certified CrossFit gym. CrossFit certified coaches include, from left, Marcy Vincent, Mary Kaye Snyder, Chrissy Mayernik (owner and head coach) and Peter Shanton.
Published November 26. 2012 05:05PM

If you're looking to get in shape before the holidays or add a challenging new workout to your week, you have a new option.

TUFFCAMP, a total-body fitness program based in Lehighton, is now a certified CrossFit gym and the first and only CrossFit gym in Carbon County. With the new certification comes a new name: CrossFit TC Unplugged.

CrossFit is an internationally-known program designed to challenge people of all fitness levels to reach their highest physical potential. Its workout style (and results) has been featured in international competitions, including the CrossFit Games on EPSN.

The "TC" in the new names comes from their TUFFCAMP beginnings. But why CrossFit "unplugged"?

"It's 'unplugged' because we don't use machines, we build them," said Chrissy Mayernik, the owner and head coach of CrossFit TC Unplugged. "We do metabolic conditioning, weight lifting, and gymnastics. None of that involves getting on a treadmill or a stationary bike or anything with a digital readout. We're using our body weight and a few other tools to get a workout instead of being on a machine. You can get really fit with these kinds of methods."

Mayernik made the switch after realizing that CrossFit's workouts meshed well with the latest workout science and would offer an intense, effective workout for men and women of all fitness levels. She worked for more than six months to qualify as a CrossFit affiliate, adding more Olympic weights, pull up bars and rings, and getting coaches trained and registered for CrossFit certification classes.

"Why do I love CrossFit? It's the science," said Mayernik. "During our training, we learned all of the science behind workouts, and how to get the best results. These are highly varied, high intensity workouts that maximize your results, and keep it fun, too. These style workouts generate a neuroendocrine response which gives you great results. Working out slowly or doing the same thing over and over doesn't give you this same response.

"This is the kind of workout that I do and I wanted to bring it to the community," said Mayernik, who has transformed her life, regained her health and lost 40 pounds with workouts similar to CrossFit.

"It works all 10 elements of fitness, not just cardio or strength training and leaves you ready for anything," she said, noting that CrossFit athletes are reading to run a 5K, half marathon, or Tough Mudder. "We don't have to train for these events, we just show up," she said. CrossFit workouts are also good for people who want to become stronger and more fit.

"This style of workout works for all of these things," she said. "These are all functional moves that you would do in normal life. These moves will prepare you for everyday life."

Perhaps the best part of a CrossFit workout, says Mayernik, is that it will work for both beginner and advanced fitness levels.

"We're taught, in our CrossFit certification, to scale these workouts to work for everyone," she said. "We have grandmothers working right next to triathletes. Maybe the triathletes are using different weights, but we can scale everything for your fitness level. As long as they're doing the functional move and pushing themselves to their own limits, they will see results. And of course as you get better, you can start accomplishing more and using harder tools in your workouts."

Another unique point that Mayernik plans to bring from TUFFCAMP to CrossFit is her weekly challenges. She enjoys giving members a new challenge or task that adds a level of friendly competition. Past competitions have included improving the number of jump ropes or burpees members could do in one minute. Instead of competing against each other, members were urged to go home and try to break their own personal records and improve their fitness levels.

"It keeps you motivated," she said. "Folks get bored and in the same old ruts. We'll keep things fresh, whether it's new workouts or new skills to learn, or a challenge. We keep mixing things up and challenging you to do new things."

The next CrossFit TC Unplugged challenge will begin Monday, Nov. 26, immediately after the Thanksgiving holiday. Mayernik hopes to inspire members with a six-week set of nutritional challenges that will keep members conscious of their food intake throughout the holidays and into the New Year.

"The next six weeks will be about healthy nutritional habits," she said. "Each week I will roll out a new healthy habit. That first week, we're rolling out three planned cheats a week. You don't just cheat on a whim. You think about it, and control what you're cheating on. If you eat a cupcake at every business meeting, that's not a controlled cheat and you will gain weight."

New members are encouraged to sign up during any weekday or weekend class or go to for more information. Membership is available for one, two, three, or four days per week. Classes meet Mondays at 6 p.m., Wednesdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 6:30 p.m., and Saturdays at 8 a.m. at the Lehighton Rec Center, located at 243 South 8th St. in Lehighton.

"If you're looking for results, a support network and coaches that will not quit on you, this would be an awesome program for you," said Mayernik.

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