Given that Oslo, Norway’s capital, had surprised me with its small size, green suburbs and quiet atmosphere, I hadn’t expected much from a CrossFit box 500km to its north in a random town called, Trondheim, especially given that the only reason I was there was to visit an amazing friend.
I better straighten out my misconceptions quickly. For starters, Trondheim is beautiful. It has bars, restaurants and quirky streets hugging the long arm of one of Norway’s 1,190 fjords. Secondly, this is no sleepy hollow; but a city bursting with students and many tourists. And thirdly, the CrossFit box up that way is totally legit.
When the owner of a gym looks around himself with pride, and says that he’s standing there as a result of a hobby that got out of control, you can be sure of a few things – he’s going to be a passionate coach, the gym will have a good vibe, and he’ll do all he can for his athletes.
Jan, the energetic but “mature” owner of CrossFit Twente, still holds down his normal day job and started out as a rowing coach. When he discovered and began to dabble in CrossFit, his strength and fitness gains spoke for themselves. He noticed that this new sport helped to reduce injuries and improve weaknesses, and so decided to use the training method as part of his rowers’ training programme. Read the rest of this entry
Yes, being a CrossFitter has its carryover benefits for many an employee, but at times a CrossFitter’s habits can be a distraction at work. Any of these sound familiar?
1. All CrossFitters talk about is CrossFit.
Water cooler conversations are likely to be drawn out as a CrossFitter tries to impart the benefits of the sport on a colleague, or shares WOD stories with a fellow athlete.
2. CrossFitters are restless. Read the rest of this entry
The reality of trying to combine travel and CrossFit was starting to hit home. Getting to the gym frequently was a piece of paleo-approved cake when I was swanning around Madrid for a week and cruising Alicante for over a month. But hitting the road with a friend in tow proved to be a whole different kettle of deep-fried fish. Spontaneous travel, stays of only one night in cities and the desire to actually see the places I was visiting required some reprioritisation on my part. Was mine a CrossFit journey? No. Mine was a personal journey, which combined both CrossFit and travel. I had to push CrossFit sessions aside (shocking, I know) and went six days without seeing the inside of a box. And then I started to go crazy. It was time to find me a box.
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.
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. Read the rest of this entry
During the month I trained at CrossFit ALC in Alicante, Spain, I was constantly asked “Por que??!”. Why Alicante? This is a city known for attracting hoards of German tourists during summer who flock to the beach, even though the city itself isn’t particularly pretty. Why would a travelling CrossFitter choose to base herself here? Bright lights and shining stars – Carl Paoli, Mr GWOD himself is part-owner of this impressive box, located on Spain’s stunning Costa Blanca.
Seeking training experience in a European box, I was sure that a box owned by someone like Paoli would guarantee good coaching, programming and experience. Oh, and Annie Thorisdottir was due for a visit with Paoli sometime in the summer. My short time at CrossFit ALC certainly taught me a lot, including the fact that, although this is a solid box, a name is only part of a puzzle. Read the rest of this entry
You’d struggle to find a CrossFit gym cheaper than Cameron CrossFit. At $26.50 per week, including access to 75 general fitness classes and training sessions like boxing, stretching and “Sunday Super Circuits”, this seems to be a pretty good deal. And with professional boxer Shane Cameron as an owner and a very visible presence around the place, you might very well wonder why it’s so cheap. So what do you really get?
Attending Cameron CrossFit was an interesting experience for me as I managed to get there once a week for over a month, making it one of the only boxes other than MaD CrossFit that I have attended regularly. My first session happened to be the day before registrations for the CrossFit Games Open competition were to close. I was welcomed to the box with a lot of enthusiasm, was introduced to the class, encouraged by name throughout the work out and was soon being convinced to enter the Open. I felt all warm and fuzzy inside.
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.
Are you a pro-CrossFitter? A pro-athlete? No. Me neither. But do you work out hard, watch your nutrition and feel proud when you tell people you´re a CrossFitter? Yep. Me too.
We´ve all got our own reasons for doing CrossFit – to get stronger, faster, lose weight, hit PBs and master complex movements we´d never have considered doing before walking into a box that first time.
But it can be easy to get caught up in numbers, percentages, moves and WODs and forget the broader benefits that increased fitness gives us. We can also forget the more general reasons why we dedicate so much time and energy to working out. Read the rest of this entry
Central Wellington, New Zealand
Toa CrossFit´s slogan “We Will Break You” says a lot about this box. They like to programme long work outs, especially with Saturday “Beast WODs”, some topping an hour, which will have you slogging up hills with burpees, push ups, lunges, more running, more burpees…But then, one of their goals is to turn you into a “lean, mean, fighting machine”. The few times I visited I happened to land more standard WODs, and managed to walk out of there with my body still in one piece.
Owner Ryan is friendly and passionate about his box, even joining us on the warm up jog around the block. He was very welcoming and invited me to return at any time. Ryan has a long history in the personal training world, having worked in many standard gyms and as a weightlifting coach. Having seen the benefits of CrossFit, he´s switched his focus, drawing on his previous skills. Read the rest of this entry