Review: CrossFit HPU
I was confused. CrossFit HPU was colocated in central Auckland with Les Mills, one of New Zealand’s largest commercial gym chains. Was Les Mills suddenly offering CrossFit? Would the classes be legitimate? And why was the CrossFit HPU website so different and separate to that of Les Mills?
I checked in and paid for my drop-in class at the Les Mills front desk, lining up behind people headed to body pump classes and lat pull down machines. I was then led through the rabbit warren of weights rooms and group classes before ending up in a large, grungy hanger that was the CrossFit HPU space. This was a bit more like it.
There were barbells, white boards, foam rollers and a girl learning pistols on a box. This was the world I knew.
6×2 squat cleans
30x clean and jerks
The class kicked off with mobility and rolling out. Surprisingly, very few boxes I’d visited so far had included rolling out as part of the session, although this could very well have just been my bad luck. Check out this article on BreakingMuscle.com about why mobility and looking after your body is so important, and then go to mobilityWOD to find specific exercises you should be doing.
Despite a relatively large class, the heavy squat cleans were taught well, with the coach moving around the class as we worked. I received some good pointers and encouragement. During “Grace” I got to see the skill and hard work of the other athletes in the class. They appeared to put in all that they could, while the coach walked around encouraging us along.
As it turns out, CrossFit HPU isn’t actually part of Les Mills, but owner Gareth has done a nice little deal where he can use some of Les Mills’ leftover space. Like CrossFit Queenstown and CrossFit Quattro, here is another young box owner being clever and making the most of an opportunity. And Gareth has scored even better with a massive space on some prime central Auckland real estate. The CrossFit classes aren’t heavily advertised on the Les Mills website, but are included in the gym’s timetable.
While I worked out at MaD CrossFit in Wellington I really didn’t know much about the CrossFit scene in Auckland, but spending just a couple of months in the City of Sails I had seen the CrossFit HPU name around a fair bit. CrossFit HPU is involved in organising a number of events, including the CrossFit HPU Games.
CrossFit HPU also offers a barbell club, ladies only classes, gymnastics, mobility training and a nutritionist.
I wasn’t hit by a massive community or friendly vibe at CrossFit HPU (although these can be hard to pick up on as a drop-in) and I have to say that seeing a CrossFit coach using a body pump-esque microfone was really weird, but the coaches were awesome and really friendly. Overall, CrossFit HPU seems to be a dynamic, proactive, solid box.
Drop-in date: 26/04/13
More info: crossfithpu.com