Review: Entreno Cruzado CrossFit. Mallorca, Spain.

There wasn’t much hope of Entreno Cruzado being a decent CrossFit box.  Not only was it in Spain – where people tend to choose beer, tapas and sunbathing over exercise – it’s also on the paradisical island of Mallorca.  Mallorca might be Ibiza’s beautiful and more subdued neighbour, but the nightlife is still a huge attraction; sun-roasted, permanently-drunk 18-year-old English boys dominate the streets during summer; and locals tend to have an “island mentality”.  The Entreno Cruzado box was small, had started out as an unaffiliated gym and, on top of all this, day-time temperatures were reaching 30 degrees, plus humidity.  My expectations were low.

Post-WOD sweatiness with some Entreno Cruzado athletes

Post-WOD sweatiness with some Entreno Cruzado athletes

On the short bus ride to the box from Palma, Mallorca’s capital, I consoled myself that any work out would be better than none, and at least I’d be forced away from tapas for a while.

Forget about the deep-fried food, I was soon eating humble pie.

It wasn’t just the careful attention to technique that quickly had me respecting the Entreno Cruzado coaches; nor was it only their dedicated encouragement throughout WODs that had me paying attention.  It was the whole approach of the Entreno Cruzado team that had me returning to the box four times in 10 days, forgoing sunbathing sessions on sparkling beaches just to learn a little more from these awesome coaches.

My coach arrived on “island time” for my first session, giving me a chance to chat with some of the Reebok-clad members.  .  In the box, my coach and I had a chat about my CrossFit experience and injuries, and I filled out a waiver form.  As I’ve noted previously, surprisingly few CrossFit gyms use waiver and history forms, as opposed to most “normal” gyms.  I still haven’t worked out why CrossFit gyms don’t do this.

Formalities over, my coach introduced me to the rest of the small class and we started gearing up for the WOD.  I found the warm ups at Entreno Cruzado to be a little on the short side, although time was always invested in going over technique for the daily WOD.  I quickly realised how much importance the coaches put on technique.  Work out #1 was Hope – a WOD I’d heard of but had never actually done.

*********************

The WOD

“Hope” – Each exercise for one min.  For reps, x3.
Burpees
Power Snatch
Box jumps
Thrusters
Pull ups
Rest 1 min.

*********************

3-2-1-Go and…the box was quiet.  All I could hear was bodies falling to the floor doing burpees, sharp in-takes of breath, then the clang of a barbell hitting the floor and the rattling of weights.  Feeling braver on my second session at Entreno Cruzado I asking my burning question:

“What’s with the no music?!”

“Music?! You want music?!”

Ummmmm yes!  I HATE working out without it!

Lo siento señorita but at Entreno Cruzado music is the sound of barbells, of heavy breathing, of feet landing on a box.  They don’t want you distracted by actual music, preferring that you concentrate fully on what you’re doing.  At this explanation I rolled my eyes, supposing that it was a good one, but still wanting that distraction from my pain!

*********************

(Another) WOD

Overhead Squat
Working up to 3x 80% of 1RM
Front Squat
Working up to 3x 80% of 1RM

“Helen” modified
3RFT:
400m run
Kettlebell swings x26
Pull ups x26

*********************

Normally I’m good with long, hard WODs – you push through, just wanting to get it done, and feeling proud of yourself when it’s over.  But this one had me hating life.  Pull ups are my #1 weakness and they’d programmed 26 of them.  3 times over.  Together with the kettlebell swings and pull ups, my hands were killing me and I couldn’t stick another band on the pull up rack.  “C’mon Josie!”, the coaches encouraged me.  I withered inside.  “Move Josie!  Everyone’s been too soft on you in the past!”.  I hated it.  I wanted to scream.  But resolved to finish the damn work out and master those damn pull ups in the future.  I finished.  Stumbled outside for air and thanked the guys for pushing me through – I was just a drop-in but the still invested their time in energy to getting me through a tough work out.

The shirt wall

The shirt wall

Session 3 was a long weightlifting session and I got tired, dropping reps on my push press to avoid injury.  But I had time on my hands and the guys knew it.  All the other athletes left but the coaches got me to stay behind and do a 9 minute WOD.  Sure I was tired, but why not do a little extra?  Why not push yourself just that bit harder on the odd occassion?  For the first time since starting CrossFit I worked out by myself, without music and with two amazing coaches kneeling in front of me while I worked as hard as I could.  They didn’t have to be there, but their interested in helping “just a drop-in” is testament to their total passion for their sport and helping other people.  I walked away that day feeling proud of myself for putting all I had into a really tough session, and grateful for having met some incredible people.

*********************

(Yet another) WOD

“Badger”  3RFT
30x squat clean (25kg)
15x strict pull ups (2x bands)
800m run.
35′ time camp

*********************

After our WODs, the coaches would take us through careful stretching and mobility work, getting us to do stretches in ways I’d never seen before (and I reckon I’ve done a lot of stretching in my time!).  He was ready to explain why we were doing things as we were and the benefits of the movements.

I managed to revolve my Mallorca holiday around sessions at Entreno Cruzado.   It only made sense – after just one session I realised how much I was going to learn from these guys.  The coaches were fastidious about technique.  They demonstrated the moves clearly before the session and monitored our performance closely.  If they told us to use the hook grip, they made sure we used it.  No mixed-grip while doing deadlifts.  Strict pull ups before kipping.  Watch your heels.  Your knees.  If someone did a horrible clean they’d stop, teach and get you to repeat.  How else do you learn?  I never had a bad squat but they got me squatting lower, always watching my knees which like to cave in.  The coahces were clear and firm on what they expected from weightlifting technique.  Drawing on their previous experience as weightlifting coaches, they are capable of explaining their theories clearly, without simply regurgitating CrossFit Blog articles.

The friendly, positive attitude of the coaches certainly filtered down to the athletes.  I, in turn, also felt relaxed, comfortable and very welcome.  I met Kim, a northern European with a strong American accent, working and living in a hotel up the coast, who traversed Mallorca’s highways a few times a week on a scooter to stay on top of her CrossFit training.  Then there were Morgan and Malin – two seriously tough CrossFitters on holiday from Sweden.  Malin impressed me with her strength, determination and positive attitude – she took time to cheer on my clean and jerk achievements when she was lifting far more than me.  I especially loved the 21-15-9 tattoo on her arm.

I'm not a hat person but this is a pretty cool one.  And I'm sailing a pretty cool CrossFit-associated yacht.  Life doesn't get much better than this....

I’m not a hat person but this is a pretty cool one. And I’m sailing a pretty cool CrossFit-associated yacht. Life doesn’t get much better than this….

Staying fit while travelling is not just a desire, it’s a clear need for many people and I’d say even more so for CrossFitters who pay so much attention to their progress. Only the week prior to my session a competitor in the EU CrossFit regionals had done some excellent work outs at Entreno Cruzado.  Having such a constant stream of random people filing through a box would be an interesting challenge to manage – ensuring that you dedicate sufficient time to your regular members while making the drop-ins feel welcome, but the guys at Entreno Cruzado seem to be doing a good job.  They even do the classes in both English and Spanish if necessary and have excellent bus stop and travel instructions on the web.

I felt truely inspired by the genuine passion of these guys.  They go to that gym every day because they absolutely love it and love helping people to get better.  Improvements and PBs made by their athletes are what drives them.  They’re not interested in athletes’ half-assed efforts because they’re not going to give you half-assed coaching.  They draw on their background and wealth of knowledge to make their athletes better and expect 100% in return.  I learnt a lot in my four sessions there and left hoping to find similar quality in the next box I would call home.

Not only were the Entreno Cruzado coaches great hosts inside the gym, but they were very generous with their time and looked after me outside the gym too.  After my very first session, a few of us walked the 200m to the beach front for a coffee.  Later, there was a trip to the beach, then sailing and even diving.  The guys were so much fun, such great company and really made my trip that much more enjoyable.

My take-aways from this box are a no-brainer – looks aren’t everything but passion totally is.

Drop in dates: 8/07/13 to 18/07/13

More info: crossfitentrenocruzado.com

Advertisements

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 05/01/2014, in Boxes, Spanish Boxes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Really good insight. Could you provide further info about its prices?
    Keep up the good work!

    Cheers and happy new year 🙂

    • Thanks 🙂 Sorry for my slow reply – I’ve been away from my travel (and expenditure) diary the last few days. I’m pretty sure that my first drop-in at Entreno Cruzado was free, and we worked out a pretty good rate for my subsequent classes. Definately not as expensive as some other boxes I went to.

  1. Pingback: Review: Reebok CrossFit BCN. Barcelona, Spain. | Box Jumping

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: