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.