CrossFit trainers launch gym program for kids

Endo Kids Fit offers CrossFit-like training for young children. Photos courtesy of Endo Kids Fit.

Endo Kids Fit offers CrossFit-like training for young children. Photos courtesy of Endo Kids Fit.

A new mantra for Denver parents: Do your homework, clean your room, and do 10 burpees?

A husband-and-wife duo is bringing CrossFit-like training for kids to Stapleton.

Denise and Neil Allman, both 31, are the minds and muscles behind a new program called Endo Kids Fit that aims to get kids as young as 6 doing pull-ups, push-ups and squats. They’re kicking things off with an open house at gym chain Endorphin’s Northfield location on Sunday at 10:30 to generate interest in the program before they launch on Monday.

“This is kind of on the fringe of children’s sports fitness because it’s not specializing in any particular sport,” Denise Allman said. “This isn’t a sport, but it still keeps kids active and teaches them to set goals for themselves. And kids who get regular exercise have better attention spans and do better in school.”

Allman is offering three different training programs for kids: a general fitness class for kids between the ages of 6 and 16 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, a coaching-intensive fitness class on Wednesdays and a weightlifting class for kids over 11 on Mondays.

The fitness classes cost $180 for a three-week course, and weightlifting classes are $250 for two months, Allman said. Every class is one hour and 15 minutes long.

Denise and Allman

Denise and Neil Allman

Allman said she estimates that equipment for the program cost between $500 and $1,000, including equipment like dumbbells and pull-up bars designed specifically for kids. Insurance wasn’t an issue – Endorphin covers anyone who works out under its roof, Allman said.

The Allmans came up with the idea to train kids in 2013 while they ran their own CrossFit gym, CrossFit Park Hill. The pair owned and operated the gym from 2009 through 2014.

“We got certified to train children because we wanted to train our own kids,” Allman said. “We talked to some parents who said we should do it at (Park Hill Elementary). We had two classes of 15 kids each and both were full the next day.”

The Allmans decided to run their program through Endorphin, Allman said, because her husband had previously worked at the gym chain and was friends with its founder, Chris Lindley.

Allman espouses fitness training for kids but acknowledges that lifting weights can be dangerous for children.

“The biggest threat is that a child might damage their growth plates,” she said. “But by age 11, they’ve usually developed core strength and coordination to learn how to lift weight safely.”

Allman said she and her husband hope to expand the program into other Denver-area gyms and schools.

“This is a test program and hopefully it will expand,” she said. “We’re starting (at Endorphin) because of the structure of the building and the equipment that it has, but we can modify it to do more locations. We’d like to do it at schools because it makes it easier for parents.”

Endo Kids Fit offers CrossFit-like training for young children. Photos courtesy of Endo Kids Fit.

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Teddi Bryant
5 years ago

I’m totally in support of children’s fitness, but am concerned about the weight lifting piece because of growth plate damage. And I think that 11 years old is still very young to lift weight. There is a lot to be said about body weight work and agility. Also concerned about all the box jumps and repetitive jumping that Crossfit is known for. My hope is that the stress will be more on movement in general – less weight lifting, and more stretching, and focus on form and how to really engage the core properly. Good Luck!!