The wildly popular fitness regimen known as CrossFit has found a home in Fondren.

Robert Lewis, owner of The Mill and Mike Fortenberry are playing silent partner to Austin Baney who opened CrossFit Fondren on Monday.

Lewis and Baney talked to Find It In Fondrenâ„¢ about their plans and why they feel Fondren is a fit for the gym.

What drove you to open CrossFit Fondren?

Lewis: I have had a vision for “The Mill In Fondren” where it is more than just a place for people to work. I want to draw people from many different walks of life and be a positive force in their lives. Personally, I have enjoyed CrossFit for nearly 5 years and I am convinced it is the best fitness system available. CrossFit is a completely open source platform whereas they share openly everything with the public so we chose to affiliate with them.

Baney: Owning a CrossFit affiliate has always been a dream of mine. I was still teaching (Social Studies in the Jackson Public School District) when Robert first reached out to me about the possibility of opening up a gym of our own. I chose to teach in Jackson so I could serve the people who live here. That desire to serve still remains, only now my “classroom” looks a little different. CrossFit is a methodology and mindset that can transform one’s quality of life, something I have experienced personally. My desire is that others can discover and share these same benefits that come with CrossFit. I want CrossFit Fondren to be a place that allows our members to have a higher quality of life, walking out of our doors happier and healthier than when they walked in them.

How does your gym compare to others in the metro area?

Baney: First, when you walk into a CrossFit gym it looks like no other gym you have every been in before. There are no machines with weights, no treadmills, and no mirrors on the walls. We use a minimal amount of equipment such as barbells, gymnastics rings, medicine balls and pull up rigs.

Second, we are unique in that we only offer coach-led classes. This means that when a member comes to workout they will be performing the warmup, skillset and Workout of the Day (WOD). There is no guesswork in what the member will be doing. Historically, this has been a challenge for most gym goers.

Third and probably most importantly, is that I and the other coaches are going to take a personal interest in each and every member’s success. This means taking the time to learn about the member’s fitness and personal goals. We will then use that in our coaching in and out of class.

What are your goals for CrossFit Fondren members?

Baney: Our goal at CrossFit Fondren is to help our members achieve the goals they set for themselves. This transcends the obvious health and fitness goals as we believe that active participation in a CrossFit community helps the whole person and gives them the tools and confidence to be successful at whatever it is they set out to do.

Are you becoming a CrossFit devotee yourself?

Lewis: Yes. I have found that CrossFit is the one exercise system that I actually want to continue doing. I attribute this to the nature of CrossFit where the workouts always offer something new that challenges me.

Interested in learning more about CrossFit Fondren? Visit and click on “Let’s Get Started” link and fill out the form to schedule a free consultation and intro class. And, find CrossFit Fondren on Facebook.