I hadn’t expected much from CrossFit Birkenhead given it’s location in the southern North Shore suburb of Birkenhead. But I should have known better than to pre-judge. A sexy web page, a good name or a prime location certainly don’t guarantee good coaching or cool people. CrossFit Birkenhead was a pleasant surprise.
I found CrossFit Birkenhead to be a friendly, homely gym, mostly free of attitudes and egos. The athletes were keen for a chat, to help with equipment and gave support during the work outs. I loved the diversity of the athletes there – young, older, fit and not-so-fit, and even one lady who was tall, slim, very fit, and who could whip out consecutive pull ups while boasting silver hair and the face of someone who was well over 55. She was an inspiration and must be a great asset to the CrossFit Birkenhead community. This is a box where anyone could walk in the door and fit in. In fact, I liked the vibe there so much that I managed to get back to the gym a few times. Read the rest of this entry
CrossFit New Market is one of those cruisy, fun places, where they don’t seem to care about some of the details that would be very important to others, but they have a good time.
I’d been warmly invited to go and “throw down” a WOD at CrossFit New Market with a friend of a friend and found almost everyone else to be as friendly as her. People said hi, came over for a chat, to comment on the work out that we were about to sweat through and owner Jason shook my hand when I walked in, although he didn’t stick around for the session. I loved all the photos and drawings from his kids that he had stuck on his walls. This added a friendly, family feel to the place.
Ben, the young coach that was on for our session, was very enthusiastic, fun and knowledgeable. He came across well and gave some great tips before the strength and WOD portions of the session. Read the rest of this entry
CrossFit Quattro is a box of surprises. Surprise #1: owner Dave was the youngest box owner I’d seen so far. I put him in his late 20’s, although CrossFit and working in a gym (as opposed to a stuffy office) might be doing his skin some favours! He says he’s been working in the fitness industry for 12 years and is honest about being a FFB (Former Fat Boy). A good way to keep himself real and approachable. He pulls his age off, coming across as knowledgeable, organised and friendly. He even welcomed me to the box when the message about me dropping in appeared to have not gotten through.
Surprise #2: Read the rest of this entry
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. Read the rest of this entry
The best thing CrossFit Infinite has going for it is its great location on Barry’s Point Rd in Takapuna, Auckland. With easy access to the motorways and in the heart of the North Shore, this spot is hard to beat. But a box location does not make.
Have you ever heard that the tidiness of your bedroom reflects how organised you are as a person? I’m sure the same goes for the state of a box – messy, dusty, things lying around the place, few personal touches? This certainly doesn’t reflect the space of an organised person, let alone one that has been cared for with pride. This is how I saw CrossFit Infinite. But I also hate leaving the dishes on the bench until the next day. Each to their own. Read the rest of this entry
I spent more than three hours at CrossFit Manukau working out, hanging out, lifting, running, sweating, chilling. The vibe at this box in South Auckland was so cruisy and welcoming, the only reason I haven’t made it back yet is it’s so far away from where I live (well, I’m in Poland right now, it really is “rather” far away).
I struggled to find CrossFit Manukau, set in an industrial area past Rainbow’s End, but knew I was close when I saw a bunch of big guys running (trudging? dying?) down the street. Turned out the boys were from the rugby team of a local high school doing pre-season training. I stuck my head in the door of the large box and was immediately greeted by Coach Sam.
I finished my session at CrossFit Waikato feeling very happy and positive, largely due to the strong “whanau” atmosphere at the box that had made me feel so comfortable and welcome. This is a box where everyone knows each other, they all seem to get along, crack jokes throughout the session, and even have an “aunty” who they constantly defer to.
Owner Johnny Gillett replied to my drop-in request immediately, greeted me warmly when I turned up after a long drive from Wellington and made time to chat with me while the previous class was finishing. He asked about my background, fitness and injuries, although there was no filling out of forms. This is a guy with a history in the sports industry, and it shows, through his ability to relate professionally but comfortably with everyone in his box.
0630hs on a weekday morning. The second and final morning class of the day and CrossFit Central Wellington is totally packed out. Just like the 0530hs class. Why? How is it that a box that seems to lack some of the core CrossFit principles can attract so many people? From what I can see, the central Wellington location on Taranaki Street is enviable – easy to get to before and after work, with some good after-hours parking. Second, owner Mike, is proactive – he was very prompt in responding to my request for a session, and followed up afterwards with further invitations to join the box. The box is also involved in quite a few New Zealand-wide CrossFit competitions.
If you read a few of my posts you´ll soon pick up on what I consider to be the pros and cons of a box. Friends, post-WOD activities, competitions and general culture are things that you experience with time at a box and I appreciate that I can´t pick up on all the nuances of a box in just one session. But one visit is certainly time enough to form something of an opinion.
In an adventure haven like Queenstown you could almost be forgiven for not finding time to visit the local CrossFit box. In New Zealand´s adrenalin capital you can spend your days hiking, mountain biking, rafting, bungee jumping, kayaking…but for a CrossFit fanatic there´s always time to check out a new box. I managed to get to CrossFit Queenstown twice in ten days.
CrossFit Queenstown was still in its early stages when I passed through in January 2013. Owners Steve and Graham (who was due to move on shortly) had set up in one of the side rooms of the local Events Center, with plans to move locations when there were able, which they have now done. With the spirit of good ol´ Kiwi ingenuity (not that either of them are Kiwis) they were making things work as best they could.
Mairangi Bay, Auckland, New Zealand
Opened in 2008, CrossFit Auckland was one of New Zealand´s first CrossFit boxes. The box is professionally run by friendly staff. My initial email was replied to quickly and upon arrival I was asked to fill out a form with all my details, including injuries, which we then discussed. Surprisingly, a number of boxes will let you just walk in the door with no questions about your physical state. My information was filed away and subsequently found when I went back for another session a few months later, which I was impressed by.
The class size was quite big, but in the large space and with a good coach this didn´t appear to be a problem. I was introduced to the other members as a drop-in and a received a warm welcome, and subsequent encouragement during the workout, which I appreciated. Read the rest of this entry