KIRKWOOD, Mo. - Step inside BARx CrossFit in Kirkwood and you’ll likely find Amy Ferkel in the middle of a workout.
Ferkel said she’s at the gym nearly every day since she started CrossFit a little more than year ago.
"I'm a huge, huge fan," Ferkel said.
When she's not working up a sweat, you can find her on the sidelines watching her four kids trying to jump ahead of mom.
"They like to beat each other's times and then we get in a little competition. It's fun," Ferkel said.
CrossFit is described as high intensity training combining weights, running, rowing and gymnastics.
Some CrossFit gyms in the St. Louis area offer a youth program.
At BARx, your child can start mastering the burpee as young as five.
"We are introducing fitness at a young age. This age it is all about fun. If it's not fun they are not going to show up," said BARx co-owner Ed Lampitt.
According to Lampitt, about 70 kids and teens workout at BARx on a weekly basis. He said the big difference between kid and adult classes is the amount of weight used and intensity of workouts.
If CrossFit seems a little advanced for children and you worry about injuries, Lampitt said they don't have issues with kids getting hurt.
"It's a fair question because you see the intensity of what they do on TV. But we actually believe the complete opposite. We are teaching kids how to move in a controlled environment. Learning how to move properly here will give them a better chance of not getting injured when they are doing other sports and other activities, " Lampitt said.
Dr. Rick Lehman, an orthopedic surgeon with U.S. Center for Sports Medicine in Kirkwood, told Five on Your Side, children can participate in some forms of strength training as long as heavy weight is not being used. He said children thirteen and younger are not advised to lift heavy weight. He said if youth CrossFit exercises are done properly, it can be beneficial.
Another benefit Ferkel and Lampitt are noticing is the confidence kids are gaining doing CrossFit.
"They get these little successes every single day and it absolutely translates (outside the gym), " Lampitt Said.
"Just from getting in here and doing things they never thought they could do...then they go to school and it's like 'I did this in CrossFit so I'm going to ace this test.' It just gives them self-confidence in whatever they are doing," Ferkel said.
For more information about BARx CrossFit click here.
To find a youth program near you click here.