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Doster to open CrossFit gym in Creston

Published: Friday, April 4, 2014 10:31 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, April 7, 2014 12:25 p.m. CDT

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A large part of Chris Doster’s life is health, and the Mount Ayr local will expand his love for health and fitness to Creston.

Doster, 40, plans to open CrossFit TYL, which stands for transcend your limits, in Creston by June 1.

“I love doing this. I love helping people with their health. It’s a passion. I feel alive when I’m doing it. It’s my mission in life. I’ve found my deal,” Doster said. “I love it. Therefore, I care about it a lot. Therefore, I’m going to make it as safe as possible for everyone so it can be accessible to everyone.”

CrossFit is an exercise company founded in 2000. It focuses on varied high-intensity training such as weightlifting, cardio and gymnastics.


The idea for CrossFit TYL began in Doster’s garage.

Doster found CrossFit videos online and started working out with them. He asked friends to join his workouts, and eventually he was hosting CrossFit classes in his garage. These classes expanded to workouts in his yard as the weather warmed.

“I just saw the amazing impact that it had on the people in Mount Ayr,” Doster said. “The thing is the community CrossFit boxes (gyms) create. That’s probably the single most important part of a CrossFit box. What we have in Mount Ayr is we have this amazing culture of fitness going that was not in Mount Ayr before.”

However, the space Doster plans to build the gym in is still being hunted. Doster is currently looking for a space in Creston to accommodate the gym’s needs. He plans to have a space by May 1, but if not, Doster has options.

“I haven’t found the spot that was, like, ‘Okay, this is the one for sure,’” Doster said. “The reason I say June 1 for sure is because there’s so many people that are excited about starting CrossFit here that if I don’t have a space, ... I’ll teach CrossFit at the park if I need to, just to get it started, and get people started on it.”

Despite not having a space currently, schedules and prices are already set.

Prices for CrossFit sessions start at $45 a month for two sessions a week with a six-month membership. Cost is $50 a month for two sessions a week for a month-to-month membership. Education and student discounts start at $55 a month for three sessions. All prices increase for more sessions throughout the week.

“A lot of times, people are, like, ‘Oh, that’s way more expensive than going to a gym.’ But, you get way more than when you go to a gym,” Doster said. “And, the main thing is, CrossFit gives you results. Not that working out on your own can’t. This just gives you accountability, and you get your own, basically, personal trainer.”


Doster, a 2006 graduate of Iowa State University in Ames with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology (study of human movement and exercise), is certified in CrossFit level 1. As a trainer, Doster serves as a sort of personal trainer to help with workouts, nutrition, create accountability and set up a group environment.

CrossFit TYL equipment will consist of kettle bells, full pull up rack, dumbbell and barbell weights, jump ropes and medicine balls, but also use the body.

“A lot of the time I use the motto, ‘Our body is the only gym we need.’ There’s so many things we can do with body weight movements: pushups, situps, burpees, squats,” Doster said.

As well as classes, open gym time will be available.

Classes consist of a group warm up, mobility and stretching exercises, strength and technique training and the workout of the day (WOD). After the main timed workout, there will be a finishing core workout and stretching and mobility exercises.

“Safety is my number one priority,” Doster said. “Beginners have to prove to me that they can do the movements with no weight. ... If a person can’t demonstrate the right form — safe, effective form — then that’s a sign that I need to scale the weight down.”

Doster also has workshops available for beginners to practice proper form.

“Using too much weight in the beginning, your form gets bad,” Doster said. “And then, it’s very hard to go back and correct form, and the form is very important for everything.”


While earning his bachelor’s degree, Doster worked at the exercise health and human performance lab in Ames.

“I’ve just always been fascinated with the human body, and what it’s capable of and pushing it to its limits,” Doster said.

Currently, he lives in Mount Ayr and works at Ringgold County Public Health Office, where he works on the community transformation grant, which focuses on promoting policy and environmental changes in the area of physical health and nutrition.

“Then, I take off my office clothes and put my crossfit cape on,” Doster said.

Doster participates in marathons and triathlons, as well as training with CrossFit.

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