July 20, 2013
A Change of Perspective

After opening an affiliate with his brother Aryan in 2012, Aja Barto almost decided to forgo the 2013 CrossFit Games season.

“When I first came into it I was overwhelmed. I was potentially on the borderline of just, ya know, not competing this year because I wanted to give everything I had to my gym,” says the three-time Games qualifier.

After talking with those closest to him, Barto, 26, realized he could give his best effort to both Behemoth CrossFit and his competitive CrossFit career.

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Barto wakes up at 5 a.m. to coach three morning classes, then hits his first training session of the day. Then he coaches another class before heading home for his first meal of the day. He relaxes for about half an hour, then heads back to the gym for another training session and more classes to coach. Then it’s home to bed.

“It’s a job, for sure. It’s a job that I love and one that I never take for granted,” Barto says. “In order to run a gym, like, the way you want it and have the standards that you want and have the accountability and the culture that you want to breed there, it’s a lot of work.”

Barto finished 21st at the CrossFit Games in 2012 and will be looking to improve on that number when competition opens next week.

Video by Elliot Schrock.