Jim Beebe began taking CrossFit classes in 2011, and it changed his life physically. Not only was he now in great shape but was getting stronger.
He wanted to help others become healthier and stronger as well. So, in March 2013, he opened Unbreakable Athletics Academy (UAA) in Plainfield, Indiana. This month marks their seven-year anniversary, and they certainly have a lot to celebrate!
UAA began as a CrossFit gym but has become successful in other facets as well. Heavy Athletics (Powerlifting and Strongman) and Sports Performance (students) classes are part of this thriving community of athletes.
Unbreakable Athletics Academy hosts at least 12 CrossFit/Powerlifting/Strongman competitions each year, which is more than any other facility in Indiana. Athletes travel to Hendricks County from all over Indiana and even surrounding states to compete in these events.
There are still eight events scheduled for 2020. More details are listed below, but first here is some information about CrossFit and UAA.
What is CrossFit?
Coach Greg Glassman developed this fitness regimen over several decades. He came up with a formula that defines CrossFit as Constantly Varied (CV), Functional Movements (FM) performed at High Intensity (HI) + a communal environment leads to (=) health and fitness.
The goal is to build a strength training program that will best prepare trainees for any physical contingency (sports and physical tasks).
Workouts vary each day and incorporate movements that work several muscle groups. The CrossFit coach determines the amount of rounds for the workout of the day (WOD). The class I observed focused on the lower body, which consisted of weighted squats, lunges, core exercises (toe-to-bar), and single/double unders (jumping rope).
Other days focus on the upper body or upper/lower body combinations.
The WOD is posted with additional information, such as number of reps or amount of time for a certain exercise. It's important this information is tracked, so you can challenge yourself a bit more each time (i.e. add more weight for weighted squats).
Unbreakable Athletics Academy
Although I exercise regularly, I had limited knowledge regarding CrossFit and, honestly, found it intimidating.
After talking to Jim Beebe, owner and head coach of UAA, I learned there are common misconceptions about CrossFit that lead to intimidation or fear of attempting it.
Fear #1: CrossFit is for 20 somethings, and I'm too old for it.
The class I observed had an age range of 20-50. Some members are in their 60's.
Fear #2: I will be the least fit and out of shape compared to other CrossFitters.
Classes have a wide range of abilities from beginner to more advanced athletes. Prior to beginning classes, you will have several one-on-one training sessions with Jim or another coach.
This establishes an appropriate starting point for goals and how to gradually improve them. It is a competitive group environment but also very accepting of all body types and abilities.
Fear #3: I'm just a member number. No one will care about me and my progress after starting classes.
Jim knew the names, ages, jobs, etc., of every single athlete in the class. The athletes also knew each other on a personal level and offered support and encouragement during the class.
An important question is written on a wall in the gym, What is your Why? Basically, why are you a CrossFit athlete?
Everybody has their reason, i.e. losing weight and gaining muscle, keeping in shape for physically demanding jobs, enhancing performance in other sports or relieving symptoms of certain medical conditions/diseases. Training with a certain goal or purpose is a big predictor of long-term success. Coaches are aware of your Why and want to see your progress and success.
Jim's goal is, For Athletes to adopt a mindset that this is a lifestyle. There are no shortcuts. Hard work and strong habits can enable athletes to do 10X more than they think.
He loves seeing athletes change their lives both physically and mentally. CrossFit is about overcoming a fear and having the confidence to overcome any adversity either in or out of the gym, thus becoming unbreakable.
This same philosophy can be applied to powerlifting, strongman and sports performance athletes.
Unbreakable Athletics Academy's Amenities
UAA boasts a large, spacious gym that can accommodate the equipment needs for various classes.
Strongman, for instance, requires a number of large tires, atlas stones and kegs for training. Also in their possession is The Hoosier Stones (four natural stones from Indiana) with weights ranging from 241-324 lbs.
Successful attempts to lift them are rewarded with a signature in the registry and a shot of bourbon (per Scottish tradition).
Unbreakable Sports Performance is a program specifically for youth athletes. The top greater Indianapolis-area athletes come to UAA to become stronger, more explosive, run more efficiently and build up confidence.
All events are held at Unbreakable Athletics Academy, 2198 Reeves Road, Bldg 2A, Plainfield, which is conveniently located near the Indianapolis International Airport, several hotels, and restaurants.
The large, open gym and outside grounds provided by UAA offers ample space necessary for these events. Spectators are welcome regardless of whether you are cheering on an athlete or just want to watch these impressive competitions!
Here are the eight events scheduled for 2020. Further details and registration information for some of these will become available soon.
Indiana Muscle: Strongman Competition
There are several divisions for men and women from novice to masters and light to super heavy weight. A few events include tire flips and Hercules hold.
- When: 9 a.m., April 18
- Register here.
Memorial Day Murph: Military Fundraiser
Proceeds go to the LT Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation. Lt. Murphy was a U.S. Navy SEAL who is known for his heroic and selfless acts. He died June 2005 while fighting in Afghanistan. Participants in this fundraiser honor his sacrifice and memory.
The Murph Challenge involves running and other vigorous exercises, such as pull-ups, while wearing a 20 lb weight vest or body armor.
- When: May 23
Magnus Mayhem: Strongman and Highland Games Competition
Two events in one day! The Highland Games consist of several throwing competitions, such as the Caber Toss and Open Stone Put. Be sure to grab that kilt!
- When: 9 a.m., June 6
- Register here.
- Iron Warrior Powerlifting Meet - June 20-21
- Summer Bash: CrossFit Competition Thrive Qualifier - July 25
- Unbreakable Boobs: Breast Cancer Fundraiser - Oct. 3 - This CrossFit event benefits patients going through breast cancer. Beginner through advanced divisions are offered, so anyone can participate!
- Static Monsters: Strongman Competition - Oct. 31
- USPA State Championship USPA Powerlifting Meet - Dec. 5-6