Our Story

Vanguard Gym was founded in June of 2007 by Coach Douglas Esposito as a 2,500 sq/ft mixed martial arts gym. Coach Doug had been using the CrossFit workouts and methodology to train his fighters and Marines going back as far as 2002, so it was natural to have a small strength and conditioning area to be used by the fighters and other members of the gym. At just eight weeks old, Higgins (the puppy) joined the team as the official team mascot in December of 2007.
It quickly became apparent, that with the increase in membership and addition of new programs, more space was needed for not only the martial arts classes but the “functional fitness” areas as well. By June of 2008 an additional 2,500 sq/ft were annexed and built out for an expanded strength and conditioning area and more mat space. Since the gym was utilizing the CrossFit methodologies and workouts, it made sense to become a CrossFit affiliate; so by the end of 2008 Coach Doug became a CrossFit Level One Trainer and CrossFit Manassas became an official affiliate. Higgins grew into a full sized mascot and an inseparable part of the team.
By November of 2010 it became necessary to expand, thanks to more amazing members. So, we put another hole in the wall and built out an additional 2,500 sq/ft, bringing us to 7,500 sq/ft of gym! The dedicated CrossFit area was nice, but due to the layout, any more than 12 members working out at a time was tough. We also hired some full-time trainers and added a lot more classes to our schedule to keep up with the demand for the CrossFit classes. Higgins found the duties of gym mascot to be exhausting and took to napping on the job…
During the summer of 2012, the bakery next door moved out and our landlord offered us “first dibs” on the additional 2,500 sq/ft space. It was a scary step, but our members were having a great time, seeing results like they’d never seen before and kept telling their friends, so we needed room for our growing community. On August 1st we took on the space and had it built out with classes running by August 15th. We kept our old CrossFit area as a weightroom/strength and conditioning area and now had room for 20 athletes in a class quite comfortably. We also added classes as early as 5:30 am, which became, and has continued to be a big hit! We also decided to add another full-time coach as well as a second mascot (TC) to help Higgins with the onerous and multiple duties of a mascot.
In January of 2014 we found it necessary to tear down the wall between the weight-room and CrossFit gym in order to combine them into one big 5,000 sq/ft training area. This currently supports all of our members and community very well, allowing them to do group classes, as well as easy weight room access and additional programming for our more advanced athletes. To our dismay we only got twice as much napping out of our mascots, instead of twice as much work…
Over the years, we’ve built up our outside training areas to meet our athlete’s goals, experience levels, and to increase the challenge involved in CrossFit. We have installed a fully functional rig, strongman “stone garden”, and two obstacle walls. Good thing Higgins is around to supervise jobs like this…
Interested in helping continue to write the CrossFit Manassas story and making us part of your story? Schedule a tour or consultation with one of our coaches, meet Higgins and TC, and start an exciting, transforming chapter in your life!

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Always wanted to try CrossFit and experience its amazing fitness benefits, but too nervous to jump right in? We have a six-week fundamentals program that you can try with no obligations to see if it is a good fit for you and your goals!

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