New CrossFit Gym Opens in Hilo

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A new gym entered the east Hawaii fitness market last week with the opening of CrossFit Hilo Iron Gym.

Located at 76 Po‘okela St., Suite D, behind Chika’s gas station, the gym offers fitness classes six days a week.

Genevieve Girdner and her boyfriend, Tauren Ibarra, launched the gym May 6 with a soft opening.

Girdner said a grand opening event is in the planning stages.

CrossFit is an exercise regimen designed to optimize fitness through constantly varying movements performed at relatively high intensity.

The training is not geared to a particular sport, rather the varied movements in a communal setting enable people to achieve overall general fitness.


Both originally from Hawai‘i Island – Girdner is from Hilo and Ibarra is from Ka`u – the couple met in Washington state where they were involved in coaching at a large CrossFit training facility.

Ibarra, who has a degree in business administration, became a certified CrossFit Level 1 trainer in 2009 after losing 85 pounds following the CrossFit program.

Girdner, who earned a degree in sports medicine, is also a certified CrossFit Level 1 trainer and certified athletic trainer.

Involved in the CrossFit program for more than five years, she has competed in several CrossFit competitions on the mainland.

The couple moved back to Hawai‘i last August when Girdner accepted a position as an athletic trainer at Hilo High School.


Upon moving back to her hometown, she said noticed there wasn’t a lot of selection with the gym community.

With Ibarra’s business background and her experience as an athletic trainer, she says the couple decided to branch out and open their own gym.

“I wanted to cater more to a group that was doing more strength-based training.”

Girdner balances her job at the high school with the gym, crediting Ibarra with doing most of the business-related preparation prior to their opening.

“Once we decided to open a gym, he did all the work,” said Girdner.


“He developed the business plan and met with the banks while I was working my job.”

Both Ibarra and Girdner teach classes, which are offered in the morning and afternoon.

Girdner noted that more classes are planned in the coming months.

“We want to be available to anyone’s scheduling time.”

Girdner explained that the classes go through a workout of the day, a program of movements and exercises that can range from gymnastics to Olympic lifting.

After a brief warm-up and an explanation of the workout of the day, the coach leads attendees through the workout program, which is followed by a cool-down session.

Participants work out at a pace that matches their fitness level.

“You’re working with an experienced coach the entire time you’re doing your workout,” Girdner said.

“The coach pushes you and holds you accountable for your own fitness at your individual fitness level.”

For those new to CrossFit, the gym offers an intro class of nine one-hour sessions over a three-week period. After taking the intro class, participants can decide if they want to join the gym.

People already experienced in the CrossFit program, or affiliated with other CrossFit gyms, can sign up for membership after consulting with the coaches.

The gym offers a discounted rate for military members, law enforcement personnel, firefighters and students.

CrossFit Hilo Iron gym opens at 7 a.m. Monday through Friday and offers classes at 8 a.m., 9 a.m., noon, 4 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday classes are at 9 a.m.

For more information call (808) 987-7265 or go to

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