Our Story

In 2008, owner Carla Skelton, found herself with 2 small children, 30+ pounds overweight and ready to make a lifestyle change. She had never been athletic or played any team sports, but she decided to give CrossFit a try, thinking she would use it for a few months to lose weight. After one CrossFit class, Carla was hooked. She was amazed at what she could do during that first class, and left feeling like she could accomplish anything. Carla became CrossFit Level 1 Certified and started coaching CrossFit in 2011. She fell in love with helping others and encouraging them in their health and fitness journey. Carla was so passionate about the positive effect CrossFit had in her life as an athlete and coach, that she decided to open CrossFit RTR. She realized that her background as a medical professional and RN would allow her to apply her passion for health and caring for others as a CrossFit coach and gym owner.

Carla opened CrossFit RTR inside the local YMCA in August 2013. They quickly outgrew the 1400sq foot room, with membership exceeding 100 individuals. It was important for CrossFit RTR to remain centrally located in downtown Tuscaloosa, near the UA campus, to continue to serve the existing community, as well as continuing to grow the RTR family. They moved to the current location in January 2015, and more than doubled the membership within the year. CrossFit RTR has continually grown and adapted to provide the BEST service to their members, as well as establish a strong community that loves and supports one another. Carla’s primary goal remains the same as the day she opened CrossFit RTR: to make a positive impact on each and every member’s life, family and personal health. Carla and the staff at CrossFit RTR are constantly working to ensure they offer the best, and they are proud to offer a variety of programs to involve the entire family.


= Click for Bio

Carla Skelton

Owner & Coach

Chris Majors

Manager and Head CrossFit Coach

Drew Shamblin

Head CrossFit Coach and Programming

Jimmy Dickson


Clay Jones


David Grammer


Matt Griffitt

Metabolic Conditioning

Crossfit RTR

CrossFit is not the “same old workout routine”—every day is a new, challenging combination of functional movements in a 60 minute class. CrossFit utilizes barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, body weight/gymnastic, and cardio components that are guaranteed to push your fitness to the next level! CrossFit is for EVERYONE…..regardless of your age or fitness level, you can do CrossFit. CrossFit RTR’s primary focus is safety and technique in all exercises, and our coaches help each individual modify workouts to fit their ability and needs. If you want to become stronger, faster, and leaner…CrossFit is for you! Email us at info@elementfitnessal.com to get signed up for your first FREE class!


X4 is the perfect fitness formula that utilizes high-intensity interval training to go through four blocks. In X4, we use TrueForm treadmills, Concept 2 rowers, SkiErgs and Bike Ergs for the cardio portions of the workout. For strength exercises, we use Torpedoes, TRX straps, bodyweight movements and more. You’ll be led by experienced, enthusiastic and motivating fitness coaches who are dedicated to your success.


Our Community

Our highly-qualified coaches are committed to helping you achieve—and exceed—your fitness goals, no matter if you are an athlete or if you have never stepped foot inside a gym. Our staff is experienced in adapting workouts to any fitness level. We have the best and most eclectic group of members, spanning all ages and walks of life. Our community is a strong support system for one another inside, as well as in life outside of the gym.

Our members include students, athletes, doctors, lawyers, nurses, firefighters, military personnel, stay-at-home moms, office workers and retirees… all working out beside one another. One of the primary goals of our coaching staff is to provide a welcoming environment to every person that walks through our doors. After just one visit, we believe you’ll see how you will fit in perfectly as part of the CrossFit RTR family.