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.

CrossFit New Zealand

CrossFit New Zealand

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.

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The WOD

1x hang power clean
1x hang squat clean
1x squat clean

10min AMRAP
5x power clean
10x situps
15x KBS

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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

The CrossFit New Zealand space

The CrossFit New Zealand space

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About Josinta

I am passionate about travel, CrossFit and writing and have combined all three in my blog - boxjumping. A Level 1 certified CrossFit trainer, I am visiting as many CrossFit boxes as I can during my travels. This has opened many doors - I´ve been to random parts of cities, met awesome people and seen the myriad of ways a CrossFit box can be run. I also CouchSurf - another awesome way to meet locals and end up in areas you never expected. I like hidden corners, local flavours, sitting in a cosy café with my journal, lying on a hot beach with a book. I like flexibility. I like freedom. I like learning about myself, other people, about the world. Life is a journey, they say, but it is also short and full of the unexpected. I am making the most of mine.

Posted on 24/09/2013, in Boxes, New Zealand Boxes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hi Josinta,

    Thanks so much for the review of our gym!! It was great to have you along for a visit, and I’m glad you enjoyed yourself.

    You raise some interesting points about the structure of classes within CrossFit gyms – it’s something I am constantly thinking about and also mentoring other gym owners on.
    On the one hand a smaller class size means more attention to the student, but it also means strict class reservation systems, which can mean missing out on classes if too slow to book. As peak hours are when most members come through, this impacts on the ability to grow the membership to a profitable size and allow hiring and development of coaches, which means the owners do all the coaching instead, which means they eventually have a nervous breakdown and sell/close/burn down the business…… 🙂

    We have actually just taken over the building next door as well, and will be running extra peak hour classes very shortly. This solution will allow smaller class sizes, (room for extra specially classes and kids groups), which = more work for good coaches, and of course the chance to buy more fun toys to fill the extra space….. 🙂

    Thanks again, and we hope to see you back here again one day to check out the changes.

    Darren
    CrossFit NZ

    • Hi Darren,
      Indeed it must be delicate and difficult achieving that balance between class sizes that are optimal both for the members and the business. Taking over the building next door sounds like an excellent idea, especially if it means you get more toys! It will be interesting to see how that goes for you. I’ll be back in town in late November and will surely come check out your extra space, and hopefully also your new box. Good luck!

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