Review: CrossFit New Zealand
Wowza. New Zealand’s first box to open back in 2008, CrossFit New Zealand is big, strong and still expanding. With a high caliber of coaches and athletes, as well as an awesome space, it’s no wonder the success of CrossFit New Zealand has been so large they’ve opened a sister box in West Auckland.
I had an easy introduction as a drop in to CrossFit New Zealand – a buddy who goes there organised my session, met me at the door and introduced me to his mates. I’m a big girl but it’s nice to have your hand held sometimes. But I had no reason to be nervous anyway – the athletes at CrossFit New Zealand are not only impressively ripped but they’re quite friendly too. I even got big smiles from Coach Joe, who recognised me from the CrossFit Level 1 course I’d attended there a few months back.
Even better, the membership at CrossFit New Zealand appears to be quite diverse – young people dominate, like at most gyms, but there were representatives from most age groups and a good mix of newbies and old-hands alike. I think this is a positive reflection of the philosophy and mangement of the box.
The CrossFit New Zealand space is massive – you can fit a tonne of people on that main floor, and they do. The general area is well cared for and has loads of personal touches, including P.B white boards and photos of new members. I love seeing the achievements of other people – whether they’re big or small, it’s great to be reminded of where we’ve come from and also what we can aim for. These projects also really boost the community spirit of a box.
My huge class was managed between two coaches although, to be honest, the size nearly warranted a third.
1x hang power clean
1x hang squat clean
1x squat clean
5x power clean
After dashing outside for a good warm up, including running and drills, we were paired up for the strength portion of the work out.
How an athlete manages themselves during a class is something of an indication of how they’ve been managed previously by their coach. My partner was proactive, determined and disciplined. She lifted more than I expected, was friendly and helpful. I believe this reflects the culture of CrossFit New Zealand and the coaches there. As we were working, the two coaches on the floor wandered around giving a few tips.
My only concern about a box this big would be getting lost in the midst of everything. If there was a member who was quiet and didn’t need too much help with technique, would it be easy for them to be forgotten about, especially when they’re surrounded by crop-top-clad, eight pack-bearing chicks whooping out pull ups? How difficult is it for boxes to achieve a balance between high class numbers and maintaining CrossFit community spirit and that close attention that is supposed to be paid to members? I’d want to be wary of my classes not turning into a mass body pump style class!
CrossFit New Zealand has a whole bunch of other events going on outside the standard CrossFit classes. An awesome spring clean challenge coming up sounds like a great way for the CrossFit New Zealand athletes to get a kick up the butt for summer, get to know each other better and have a whole lot of (CrossFit style) fun. The box also runs a bunch of specialty courses like Olympic lifting, strength training and endurance. I love their Facebook page which seems to be very fun and supportive of all members, demonstrating a close relationship between coaches and athletes.
CrossFit New Zealand appears to be a good solid box where you’re likely to get solid training from good coaches. Only people who go there regularly would be able to comment on how the large class sizes affect the coaching – it’s something that I’d bear in mind.
More info: crossfitnz.co.nz