It was Fran that convinced Thad Caron to take CrossFit seriously.

Caron, a personal trainer, was watching a CrossFit competition on ESPN a few years ago when he figured he’d give the famously intense fitness regimen a try. He picked Fran, a CrossFit workout that involves doing 21 squat thrusts with a 95-pound barbell followed by 21 pull-ups, then 15 of each, then nine of each. It is commonly used to measure progress, and

Caron couldn’t do it.

“I had to give up,” Caron said. “At that point I said, I’ve got to try, I’ve got to do this CrossFit stuff. I’ve got to see what it’s all about because obviously if I can’t do this I’m in not good enough shape.”

So, Caron started training himself with CrossFit and got into what he calls the best shape of his life. Then he started training some of his clients with CrossFit, and they got in the best shape of their lives.

In June, he got certified as a CrossFit instructor and last week he brought CrossFit to Farmington with CrossFit Calypso, the gym he opened with business partner Max Dennis.

Caron has been fit most of his life. He grew up playing football, baseball and hockey. He played Junior hockey and his teammates often came to him for workout advice. But an injury in 2007 ended his hockey career and he turned to personal training. Owning his own gym has been a longtime dream.

CrossFit Calypso doesn’t look like a typical gym. There are no treadmills or weight machines. It looks for the most part like a modified warehouse space, which is kind of what it is. Wooden gymnastics-style rings hang along one wall, and weighted medicine balls sit in the corner. There’s a big garage door at the back that will roll open in warmer months when it’s time to do some outdoor running.

The idea, Caron said, is to work with functional movements that translate to real life.

“Sitting in a chair, doing a biceps curl, the only thing that’s good for is the bar on a Friday night,” Caron said. “Everything else, picking stuff up off the ground, putting it over your head, you do that every day.”

The location in Farmington’s industrial park is also good, Caron said, because he plans to make some noise.

“It just fits kind of the vibe of CrossFit, too,” he said.

Just one week into the life of CrossFit Calypso things seem to be going well. Caron offers a series of weekly group classes, each of which starts with an introduction to the terminology and methodology of CrossFit. He also offers individual coaching and personal training.

The workouts are tough, Caron said, but they can be scaled down for someone who is just starting to get into shape.

Caron plans to do some training work with the Apple Valley Fire Department in January, and he’s talked with the Farmington Fire Department about doing some things with them. He’d also like to work with Farmington sports programs.

Caron plans to hold a grand opening Jan. 4. As part of that event he will hold a fundraiser for Farmington’s veterans memorial. He plans to make community involvement a key part of his gym, working with groups like Feed My Starving Children and the Farmington Food Shelf.

For more information on CrossFit Calypso, visit or find the gym on Facebook.