Crossfit: Potential Preventative Health Benefits for Memphians

Posted on March 1, 2014


Screen_Shot_2014-03-01_at_12_13_52_AMBy Zach Pope

After years of fitness training, I began wondering how I could blend my aspirations of becoming a physician with my passion for helping others achieve fitness goals. When Dr. Jeremy Draper, a native Memphian and graduate of UT Medical School, came to Rhodes to speak about his holistic family practice including a CrossFit gym, I saw an opportunity to satiate this curiosity. I was initially skeptical of his implementation of CrossFit, for I was under the impression that CrossFit was too dangerous and advanced for most people to benefit from. After spending the summer interning and CrossFit training with Dr. Draper at his family practice in Jackson, TN, I was inspired to implement CrossFit into my workout regimen, complete the CrossFit Level 1 Trainer course, become involved in the on-campus CrossFit club “LynxFit” at Rhodes College, and preach the substantial health and wellness benefits that CrossFit promotes.

As any CFL1 Trainer would explain, CrossFit focuses on developing well-rounded fitness and health by bolstering the strength and speed with which clients can complete functional, compound exercises. These compound exercises that CrossFit focuses on improve movements that translate directly into our everyday life. Instead of focusing on a bicep curl, which is an isolated movement that we do not replicate frequently outside of the gym, CrossFit focuses on squats and dead lifts, which mimic the actions of sitting down, standing up, and picking up things off the ground. While these movements may seem elementary, strengthening these movements is empirically suggested to increase longevity and quality of life. CrossFit is a phenomenal supplement to traditional medicine because it focuses on preventing future sickness by attacking the causes of sickness instead of waiting for sickness to arise and treating the symptoms with pharmaceutical intervention, which often invite a host of side effects.

Dr. Draper is currently in the process of moving his practice WellFit Family Medicine and Nutrition to downtown Memphis, which will be attached to his new CrossFit gym, Metabolic CrossFit. CrossFit gyms such as Dr. Draper’s have the potential to play a huge role in improving the healthfulness of downtown Memphis by providing a less expensive, more efficient training alternative to traditional gym memberships. Because lacking capital and free time are frequent causes for the neglect of exercise, CrossFit gyms may catalyze the movement towards a more healthy Memphis by implementing its minimalist, functional ideology.

Zach Pope is earning his undergraduate degree in Neuroscience and hoping to pursue a career in medicine after graduating from Rhodes College in 2015. You can contact Zach at

Trojan Crossfit website,

Posted in: Health