Tuesday, February 28, 2012

CrossFit Boston

CrossFit Boston.  Boston's oldest affiliate is alive and well just across the street from Harvard Business School.  (about 20min from Logan International Airport) Having moved from their original site, on the othe rside of town, six months ago to their new location caused them to lose almost 60% of their membership.  Now back up to a following of over 200 athlete's. They did this by having tapped into the type A dominate student body of Harvard. According to Coach Matt, the heavy course load of the students at Harvard lead to large wod sessions Friday through Sunday.  I can attest to this having dropped in on a Saturday morning.  A competitors session of a dozen athletes was in full swing as I arrived.  My session included nearly 24 athletes and the session after probably another dozen plus.  On Sunday they reportedly have one large class over 25 members. Today's fun was "Tabata This" Row, Squats, Pull Ups, Sit Ups, and Push Ups.  Solid coaching kept everyone on task and proper form was emphasized.

Plenty of open floor space for Met Cons, a dedicated area for Oly lifting, and showers make for a nice gym. Their website has a sweet feature allowing you to take a 360 video tour.    Check it out.  The only drawback is the ceilings.  With standard height ceilings, wall balls are out and they've had to get very creative with their rings.  This is something they hope to remedy in the near future with some modifications. That being said I saw more than one person knocking out muscle ups.  A perk of the location is they are right down the street from Harvard's athletic stadium which has a track and a ton of stairs for those warm weather wods. 
Drop in fees are $20 and a shirt was $20 as well. I didn't schedule the session but a call or email in advance is advised due to their large class sizes.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Reebok CrossFit Back Bay

Reebok CrossFit Back Bay is the first independent Reebok branded affiliate in the US.  The owners, Josh and Michael, have taken a slightly different approach to location than most.  Often due to affordability a lot of affiliates can be found in industrial areas not always that readily viewable by someone not seeking it out.  Back Bay doesn't have that problem.  Located approximately 20 minutes from Logan International Airport on the ground floor of an upscale office building in Back Bay neighborhood of Boston.

Their concept is to tap into the "young professional" demographic.  At a monthly rate of $289. for unlimited membership, their clients are clearly successful outside of the gym!   Only open for 6 weeks and they already have an impressive membership of just over 200.  Their 3500 sq. ft. store front box is comprised of a large area for working out, a small mobility room to get your get your fill of foam rollers and lax balls, and locker rooms with showers.  The current space has already become too small for this rapidly growing gym and plans are under way to expand to 7500 sq. ft.

Wanting to focus on quality over quantity they only allow 10 students per class.  Each class has one coach and an intern to lead the session.  Drop in fee is $30 and t-shirts run $30 as well.  Thursday’s wod was first a skill session of the hang snatch with nothing but pvc.  Most of Back Bay's clients are CF noobs and Olympic movements are an entirely new concept.  Following the skill session was 5 rounds of two minute amrap (as many rounds as possible) of 5 deadlift @ 225 and 8 wall ball, one minute rest between rounds.  A lower back party! WooHoo.  Coaching throughout the session was great, very thorough and plenty of encouragement. 

When asked what their biggest issue has been so far Josh answered simply with "scheduling".  In order to keep their classes to a limited number of participants they require members to log in and schedule their sessions.  As often happens with professionals, schedules change and people don't always remember to log in and cancel their sessions. 

If you’re in Boston and want a CF experience in a unique environment, give Back Bay a try.  Just make sure you schedule it first...

Friday, February 24, 2012

Reebok CrossFit ONE

I'll start by saying THANK YOU.  Thank you to Dan of CrossFit Bellevue for getting me the invite to RCF1.  Thank you to the staff at Reebok, especially the CrossFit trainers.  The staff and trainers went out of their way to make me feel welcome and comfortable.  I believe strongly in the adage "It's all about whom you know" and this is a prime example.  I am very fortunate to have been given this opportunity and to now be able to call some of the staff at RCF friends. 

Reebok CrossFit ONE is located on Reebok's headquarters campus in Canton, MA about 25 minutes outside Boston.  Reebok has approximately 1400 employees and RCF1 boasts a 470 person membership to include the CEO, CFO, and CMO.

The box itself is a crossfitters dream.  At 17000 sq.ft. it is capable of handling dozens of athletes per session.  As you can imagine, there is no shortage of equipment. Staffed by world class coaches, Austin Malleolo, Spencer Hendel, and Caleb Diebolt. A special shout out to Caleb who was saddled with coordinating my visit as well as being my tour guide.  Also on staff are Lindsey Johnson and Denise Thomas, which I did not have the pleasure of meeting. 
One of the requirements for wodding at RCF1 is you must wear "home colors" i.e. Reebok gear.  To meet this requirement, I was forced to visit the employee store and get the appropriate attire. I know rough, right!?  Up until now I was an Inov8 guy but now it's Nano's without a doubt.  Bottom line is they feel more stable.
Now down to business.  The WOD.  Thursday's skill was Snatch Balance.  Not something I was super familiar with.  With great coaching from Kevin Foley and Spencer I PR'd with a respectable 235lb.  The finisher or as they call it the "After Bash" was a double Tabata of Wall Balls (30lb) and V-Ups. 

Following the wod, Austin Malleolo (ridiculously humble and nice), took the time out of his day to have a conversation with me about CrossFit, Reebok, WOD 12.1. By the way, he crushed it with an effort of 134.  Bad ass!  He thinks the best total will be 150 or pretty close to it.  The coolest thing he did was continue the extreme level of hospitality and invite me back to the RCF 1 Open Launch party the next night.  I'll admit I was totally intimidated but there was not a chance I would miss the opportunity. 
I showed up at the box and found over 150 people from Reebok and area affiliates getting ready to get down.  Music blaring, an impromptu Games gear shop set up, a full on Paleo buffet, and some serious focus on the task ahead.   I got to see some great efforts by all level of athletes, from a guy who has lost 65lbs since starting CF a few months ago to watching Spencer throwdown a 124.  By the time the night was over I ultimately fell a few reps short of my wod 1 goal. But it didn't matter this will not be an experience I will soon forget. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Castro replaced by Carrot Top

In breaking news, CrossFit HQ has replaced the face of CrossFit's training department with Las Vegas celebrity, Carrot Top!  Reebok to sponsor new Vegas show in 2013. 

Didn't fit his style?!  What style was he going for... Freak Show?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Big Apple. Hard to the core.

  Last Fall, I had the opportunity to spend a few days in New York City.  A fair amount of free time allowed me to visit a few boxes in and around Manhattan as well as the surrounding boroughs.  NYC- The Black Box, CrossFit Hell’s Kitchen, CrossFit Virtuosity- The Brooklyn Barbell Club, and CrossFit South Brooklyn. 

Affiliates on the East coast see the wisdom in being open on Sunday’s, this allowed me to squeeze in an extra wod.  In general, I see Sunday as a make up day for the rest of the week as opposed to a rest day. When put in the context of CrossFit, I love having an opportunity to hit the gym and make up for a missed wod or work on killing a “goat”.  (GOAT- defined as a skill that you need focused attention to master or improve upon.  Used in a sentence, “Muscle-ups are my goat, I hate them.” Mine are Double Unders.)  #FDU!
The Black Box

First, I wanted to hit New York's most well known box NYC - The Black Box.  Located in the heart of Manhattan. What makes this particular facility unique is that it's on the third floor of a building.  You're only allowed to drop bars in half of the box due to neighbors on the floor below.  Coaching was good, I seem to remember a fair amount of classic NY language from the coach "inspiring" us to stop resting and get the work done.  Athletes in the class were friendly and most importantly they had cool t-shirts. 

The second gym, I visited was the infamous Brooklyn Barbell Club, otherwise known as CrossFit Virtuosity.  I'll start out by saying, straight up, this is one of the most memorable boxes I've ever been to.  Great atmosphere, awesome coaching, bad ass athletes,and an excellent website.  Check out their House Rules, it sums up their attitude pretty well. I dropped in on a
Saturday and there was a great crowd of at least 24 athletes waiting for class to kick off. I dig Saturday WODs they seem to have a different energy than M-F WOD’s. 
 As I walked in, I was immediately greeted and signed the standard waiver, using my finger on an iPad.  A second iPad was on the wall  for members to sign in and coaches to control the music. Very cool and incredibly efficient!  The technology was in stark contrast to the graffiti splattered, old brick walls of the gym.  To me, it looked like an old auto repair shop that long ago had been repurposed.  Plenty of floor space (5000') and a pull up rig big enough to handle all the athletes at one time. The coach, Juan, did a great job of teaching to a wide range of skill sets. More importantly, he kept a large class on    task during the warm up and throughout the wod.

Virtuosity is a bit of a hump from downtown NYC but well worth the trip.
CF Virtuosity

Part two of my trip to NYC coming soon...

Couldn't be said any better!

I found this to be one of the most spot on and articulate descriptions of why we do CrossFit.  Very well written Erin!

(An excerpt from an article on the CrossFit Journal by an awesome athlete, Erin Okonek.)

Overall, CrossFit is not a workout program; it is a lifestyle.
I would personally go even further to state that it is my
religion and therapy. Granted, for some of us CrossFit addicts,
it’s about “chasing the rabbit,” competing and becoming
a Firebreather. But most importantly, CrossFit, unlike other
workout programs, makes us better overall people by
creating strong, confident and dedicated individuals.

By suffering through the physical and mental pain of a
CrossFit workout of the day and overcoming the deep seated
desire to quit and avoid the pain, each CrossFitter
discovers within an individual ready to embrace life’s
biggest challenges. Every CrossFitter experiences the
moment when quitting a workout seems like the best
option, when lying down sounds more appealing than...

For the rest of the article http://journal.crossfit.com/

Friday, February 3, 2012

Celebrity CrossFit Challenge @ the Super Bowl

Check it out! Celebrity CrossFit Challenge. Fronning (celebs TBA) and some others will knock out a couple wods in one of the end zones, during the Celebrity Beach Bash. Chanel 239 on DirectTV @ 1000 Saturday.  http://crossfitindynorth.com/