Athlete brings Crossfit workouts to special needs students

A group of special needs students are trying a new kind of workout: Crossfit.

You might think of it as an extreme workout, but Crossfit athlete Doug Ledger and his coach Danny are looking to change that perception.

Once a month, the two head to Cortney's Place, a day program for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities, to help them get active with Crossfit.

Ledger wants to help them improve their fitness, and prove that you don't have to have a six-pack - or even want one - to benefit from Crossfit-style exercises. One student has lost 20 pounds, while others have built up the strength they need to do things like use the stairs for the first time.

The students at Cortney's Place have no shortage of activities to enjoy, from pet therapy to music therapy and more, but Executive Director Chasidy Gray says fitness with Ledger tops the list of favorites.

"When Doug and Danny walk in, we all know they're here," she told Fox 10 Phoenix. "I don't have to look at cameras or hear a door chime. Everyone is super excited and wants to participate in their class. No one stops, the whole hour."

Ledger still likes to get a workout at his usual gym in the mornings, but he says that Cortney's Place is where he goes to workout his soul.