WINDHAM – Two months after opening, CrossFit MF, a hardcore fitness center in North Windham, already has doubled its membership to 50, according to Matt Sherburne, a co-owner of the new business.

The gym, which is located in the former Fournier’s Karate Center space at 765 Roosevelt Trail, is an affiliate of Cross Fit – with the slogan, “Forging Elite Fitness” – that has popularized a strength conditioning program used by police academies and military special operations units across the world.

Sherburne of Windham owns the Windham CrossFit affiliate with Drew Crandall and Seth Page of Scarborough. Sherburne is the head coach at a CrossFit on Warren Avenue in Portland, as well.

The Windham CrossFit opened roughly six weeks after the Rohan Fitness Center, a family-oriented North Windham gym, abruptly closed as a result of poor business. According to Tom Bartell, the executive director of the Windham Economic Development Corp., CrossFit MF has the potential to meet the needs of a portion of Rohan’s former membership.

“It is a different niche,” Bartell said. “It’s more of a very active, aggressive kind of physical training.

“As the fitness industry changes, different businesses come and fill those niches and fill the needs for different types of activities,” Bartell added. “It’s great that they come in and are able to come to Windham. It fills a void. It doesn’t fill all of the void left from the fitness center going out, but it falls that one part of the industry need.”

On the website of CrossFit Inc., however, the company’s training regimen is characterized as accessible to all.

“The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree, not kind,” the site reads. “Our terrorist hunters, skiers, mountain bike riders and housewives have found their best fitness from the same regimen.”

According to Sherburne, two former Rohan members have joined CrossFit MF.

On Tuesday, Cross Fit coach Austin Spencer of North Yarmouth observed his student Dan Lenzi, prepare for their “met-con,” or metabolic conditioning, class. Lenzi, a Scarborough native who attends Saint Joseph’s College, raised a massive barbell to his tattooed chest, dropped it to the ground, jumped to the other side and did a pushup. The heavy-metal music blaring in the background was only temporarily disrupted by the clanging sound of the barbell hitting the floor.

“It’s been going great,” Spencer said. “It gets bigger and bigger every month. We have a bunch of locals that have started checking this place out and really liking it so far,” Spencer added.

Austin Spencer of North Yarmouth, a coach at the new CrossFit gym in North Windham, prepares to give a “met-con,” or metabolic conditioning class, at the 765 Roosevelt Trail business.  

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