Please post your experiences/recommendations training at gyms in this region. Please post with the gym name, city and state as your post title. For example:
"CrossFit South Brooklyn, NY, NY"
In Maine, I've had great experiences at Crossfit Beacon (Portland) and CrossFit KGB (Kennebunk). I've also heard good things about CrossFit Casco Bay and believe some CFSBK folks have been there and liked it. At Beacon, one of the coaches in Annie Michal, who was silver medalist in the CrossFit Games in 2012 in the Masters Women category, I think age 54-59 bracket.
Crossfit Beacon, Portland Maine.Crossfit KGB, Kennebunk, Maine.
See previous post. Doing this as a I blew it with starting with the titles.
In Maine, I've had great experiences at Crossfit Beacon (Portland) and CrossFit KGB (Kennebunk). I've also heard good things about CrossFit Casco Bay and believe some CFSBK folks have been there and liked it. At Beacon, one of the coaches in Annie Michal, who was silver medalist in the CrossFit Games in 2012 in the Masters Women category, I think age 54-59 bracket
CrossFit New Haven, New Haven CT
Very nice and personable owners (Carla and Brian). Lifting portion of workouts move quickly (little to no warm up).
Crossfit Full Potential, Newburyport, MA
This is the gym that Dan R and I frequent when we are visiting my folks. The owner is Danny Vee and he has always been accommodating for us (including coach Melissa Bonsor Gagnon who we typically contact when we are in town to lift with!). We have never taken a group class as we mainly drop in to do our own thing, but they tend to do a lot of endurance related WODs (ie: I hope you like long chippers).
Crossfit Live Fast, Avon By the Sea, NJ
This box has a very strange vibe, its kind of intense. The space is nice enough, but the people and the coaches are very Jersey Shore (Sorry Jersey Shore folks, I don't know how else to describe it). The coaches will yell at you if you don't get something right on the first try, and don't care much about correcting poor movement. THey seemingly just want you to go as hard as possible at all costs. But if you just want to get a WOD in while you are at the beach, this box will do, although I think there are better boxes in the area if you are willing to drive a few extra miles.
Reebok Crossfit Back Bay, Boston MA
This box is very small, but they have a full locker room with showers and everything! They also cap their classes at 8 or so, so it doesn't matter that the space is small and has a strange layout. They structure their classes very differently than SBK--they basically do a warm up and then 2-3 different WODs. As far as I can tell, no lifting. THey also incorporate a lot of movements we don't typically see in warm ups, like ring dips and ring push ups, even for people who can't do a real push up, like me. They were nice enough but I am not sure I would go back here if I could go to a different box in Boston.
Pioneer Valley CrossFit, Northampton & Hadley, MA
I'm a former CFSBK athlete, relocated to Hadley, MA in 2013, and this is where I work out now. PVCF is an excellent gym. The coaching staff is very knowledgable and they have incredibly high standards for movement quality. Even if you're just dropping in, you'll probably learn something new! The workouts vary, so I would recommend checking their blog for the WOD.
They have 2 locations, Northampton and Hadley. Both locations have showers. Be sure to bring your own water bottle, there are water coolers, but you'll need your own bottle. The Northampton location is new in 2013 and fully outfitted with Rogue racks, bars, plates, etc. There is even a separate olympic lifting room if you can't get enough barbell.
Next time you find yourself in the Pioneer Valley/5-college area/Western MA, you should definitely drop in!
CrossFit Speakeasy, Belmar, NJ
I'm also a former CFSBK athlete and I've started working out here now that I live at the Jersey Shore. It's the best CrossFit place I've found down the Jersey Shore (I totally agree with JJ's assessment of LiveFast). The coaches care about quality over quantity. I'm not sure I love how they spot squats (just from behind, and they have people bail the bar behind them), but so far that's my only issue. Classes are structured with a very short warm-up and then some sort of strength and a shorter WOD or just a longer WOD. They use their small space well, but make sure to e-mail the owner before you drop in so there is space for you. AND ... they have a 5:30 a.m. class!!!
Coyote Crossfit in Madison, MS
This is where Allan and I work out when visiting my family in Mississippi. They were very accommodating when I wanted to just use their facility to do my strength work, but I have also enjoyed doing group classes there. Their programming is similar to ours: warm-up, a lift, then a shorter WOD. Quality coaching and the friendly vibe you'd expect from a gym in Mississippi. :)
Crossfit Cape Ann, Gloucester, MA
Visited this box a couple of times when visiting family and had great experiences. The programming seems to be more focused on conditioning with not as much time devoted to specific lifts as at CFSBK. Overall, very friendly coaches and membership and I highly recommend it if you're in the area.
CrossFit Lewes - Lewes, DE
I spent almost 2 weeks at CF Lewes when I was staying in Rehoboth Beach, DE. Although there is a closer box (CrossFit Rehoboth), they require a 1-week minimum during the summer months, which was a turn-off. I decided to check out CF Lewes and I'm glad I did.
Pretty minimal box. No ergs or benches and the moisture in the air seems to have done quick damage to the barbells, but I still really like this place. Everyone was very friendly. It was hit or miss with coaching - some days I got great tips and other days was left on my own, but the coaches who helped me all seemed knowledgable.
Also, they worked out a deal for me to be there for 2 weeks, so that was nice. Recommended if you're in the area.
Can someone please move my post for Coyote Crossfit to the South East? :)
Reebok CrossFit, Back Bay, Boston, MAClasses are held at the Back Bay II facility$20 for the day / $25 for the day and a t-shirt
The coach was very good and began with a warm up that was specific to the WOD.The layout is very odd (several alcoves attached to the smallish main floor), but it didn't take long getting used to.
That day's WOD:
Pre WOD:1 min AMRAP of: Push Ups
WOD L1: Goode Times!:For time:50 Double Unders or 35 Kick Outs40 Russian Kettlebell Swings (24/16)30 Hang Power Clean20 Box Jumps (24/20)10 Pull Ups or Ring Rows60 Burpees
WOD L2: BADe Times!:For time:100 Double Unders40 Russian Kettlebell Swings (32/24)30 Hang Power Clean (135/95)20 Over the Box Jump (24/20)10 Chest to Bar Pullups60 Over the Bar Burpees
Needless to say, I chose to do "Goode Times" and not "BADe Times" with the HPC at #115. The 60 burpees at the end was like doing a second WOD! I didn't shame myself (and/or CFSB), but they won't be singing songs about me anytime soon either.
There's no place like home.
CrossFit Shadyside, Pittsburgh, PA
This is, unfortunately, not a recommendation. Although the people at this box were super nice, I found the programming to be poorly thought out. This is a gym that seems to program very long metcons a lot, which may not be bad if you're dropping in only once or twice. But, my experience just didn't make any sense in a lot of ways.
The WOD wasn't well thought out at all. It was a partner WOD, the first part of which was an odd number of rounds with an odd number of movements per round. (Uh...how do two partners divide the work evenly?) The third part was an AMRAP...in which the first and last movements were the same! (So if you finished a round, you got to follow 30 cleans with...30 more cleans!) And the WOD as a whole required 2 weight changes even if you and your partner were lifting the same weight, which we most decidedly were not since the pairings weren't really assigned based on matching bar weights.
Furthermore, the coaches clearly hadn't planned for what happens when there's an odd number of people in the class and therefore one person doesn't have a partner. They solved that problem on the fly, but not in a way that made any sense. (You would think that, since statistically speaking, 50% of the time your class will have an odd number of students, someone would have thought of this ahead of time.)
WOD here at your own risk. I'm an experienced CrossFitter and I still found it hard to get in a good workout there. They do have open gym a couple of times a week, though, and it's not a bad place to do your own thing -- good sized box with plenty of equipment, including lots of tires if you feel like you're missing out flipping them at SBK!
Collar City Crossfit, Troy, NY
I happened to drop in ($15, she had "never heard of doing a tshirt instead of the fee" which I found very weird since I'm a new-ish crossfitter and I'd heard of it a bunch of times.) on a Friday which was a partner WOD day with no strength component first.
It was a big gym and the owner was really welcoming. Can't comment on the other gym members because I went to a midday class so it was literally one other visiting girl and me.
When I looked through their programming it felt closer to CFSBK than other gyms in the area. They seemed to program a basic warmup, skill/strength move, some kind of WOD/cash out each day. I liked that every day they didn't program a KILLER workout. Seems like a solid gym- I'd go back next time I visit the area.
CrossFit Rising Fire, Bensalem, PA
I have no idea why anyone would want to visit Bensalem, PA unless you have family there. But if you happen to be in the Armpit of Bucks County (hey, I can say it because I grew up there), this is a very solid new box (4 months old) that I'm glad is around and will be my home away from home when I'm visiting my family.
As with SBK, the programming is divided to include a strength component and a conditioning component, which is great. The coaching is not as systematic as we get at SBK but the owner (I don't know whether he's the only coach, he might be) is definitely paying attention to each athlete and giving pointers. He also noted that a) the strength/conditioning split is intentional, because otherwise CF for beginners is just expensive cardio, and b) he doesn't teach people to do snazzy CF moves until they know the basics (eg, strict pullups before kipping pullups). Sounds a lot like some SBK coaches I know and I appreciated that very much.
I hope this box does well, because after trying it out, I will not be happy if it closes and I have to go back to makeshift WODs at LA Fitness when I see my family!
Crossfit Southie, Boston, MA
Great space in an industrial part of town. Parking out front. If I remember correctly the drop-in fee was $20 and a shirt was separately $25. They had some really cool designs if you're an Irishmen like myself but unfortunately they were sold out of the shirt with the big Shamrock on the front.
There was a short warm up with a partner so I was glad that I arrived early for some DROMs and foam rolling. The class was set up much like CFSBK with a strength focus and then a WOD on the back end. The class size was kind of large but there was plenty of space and the coaching was excellent. The members all seemed cool and were very welcoming. Would definitely go back and highly recommend it to anyone visiting Boston.
CrossFit Optimize, Attleboro, Rhode Island
Emailed the night before but never got a response so I just showed up. I was the only person who showed up to the Saturday 10am class and while the coach working was nice, it was completely hands off. He told me what the WOD was (Isabel) told me to warm-up and let him know when I was ready. I'm having a hard time evaluating it since I can't say for sure they're that hands off because I was the only one there and a gym owner or that's how they run classes. Anyway, did my own thing and then took off.
I don't recommend this facility unless you're already pretty familiar with how to move. I saw some corrections from the previous class which were off the mark, so, while friendly, I wouldn't necessarily recommend them.
CrossFit Providence, Providence Rhode Island
Took their 9am Sunday class. It was well enough ran although the teacher seemed a little disengaged. I only got one comment and she never really took the time to engage me.
The workout was:
Warm-up30 Partner Wall Ball Shots10 Partner Tire Flips30 PArtner Sit-ups250 m Row
Deadlift 3RMDeadlift 10RM
No real discussion about how heavy each of these should be relative to each other or how to approach the programming other than generally how much time we'd have to do it. I worked up to my 3RM and then did one attempt at the 10RM. People were moving okay, some much better than others. Lots of dropping sloppy set up positions but if you know what you're doing you should be fine.
AMRAP 5 Minutes:5 Deadlifts 185/13510 Wall Ball Shots
Short and sweet, liked the non-crazy WOD but thought there was a lot of pulling in the class.
They had open gym from 10-11 which was nice since I got to do some DIY gymnastics and then rack jerks.
If you're interested in going here, I recommend knowing what you're doing movement wise. The workouts seem reasonable and the class is mostly organized well.
Cooperstown CrossFit, Cooperstown, NY
Can't believe I forgot this one from last summer!
If you're visiting the Baseball Hall of Fame or the Glimmerglass Opera Festival, this box is definitely worth stopping by. It's TINY (I think they have only one erg!) but still more than enough space to get the job done, given the rather sparse local population. In fact, when I went, more than half of the class were visiting from NYC (it was July 4th weekend).
The programming was solid -- both strength and conditioning components included -- although you may find yourself wanting to scale up the Rx weight on WODs. I found the Rx weight on the WOD I did to be considerably lighter than SBK would have programmed the same workout -- I think this is a reflection of the smaller population upstate, so there aren't as many fire-breathers to set the Rx really heavy. The coach was super nice and I bet if you wanted to scale up, he'd be amenable.
Also, they were incredibly accommodating and allowed my husband to do his own thing (Starting Strength programming) while the class was going on. Not every gym I've visited will allow this, even some that would have had PLENTY of space for him to have a squat rack.
Crossfit Misfit in Portland Maine
These guys are lumberjack beasts. They also love folks at every skill level and age. One day in and we were invited to the bar with them that night. Tons and tons of room and very flexible if you call ahead and let them know your training needs.
Crossfit Southie in Boston
Instead of offering a "fitness" or "performance" track in a mixed class, they offer leveled classes. I attended a L1/L2 'scaled' class, which focused more on technique and basics.
It was a $20 drop-in rate, everyone was super welcoming and friendly.
The warm-up which consisted of a 250 m. row, wall-ball technique, and some barbell practice of 'shoulder to overhead' movements (press, push press, push jerk)
We then did levers with a partner for the day's skill focus.
WOD: 1350m. row, 3 rounds: 20 shoulder to overhead, 20 wall balls, 1350m. row. They did not offer much guidance regarding weight or pacing. Also, there was no time limit... so I was forced to finish the workout. (Which I liked, but hated)
On the critical side: I didn't like that they didn't prioritize organization; for the WOD and barbell practice everyone faced a different direction, we didn't have clear lines and ergs were all over the place. I also didn't like how the workout was kind of disjointed--wall balls to barbell to levers back to barbells to the WOD. It just didn't flow the way I feel our programming does. I love the clear warm-up, strength portion, WOD, and neat lines we have that are so consistent and predictable.
Anyway, this was my first experience at another gym. Overall, I think I'd recommend it.
Addendum: CrossFit Rising Fire, Bensalem, PA
Unfortunately my second visit to this gym wasn't nearly as good as the first. It matters who is coaching your class, it seems.
The major caveat I would say is that this box doesn't quite seem to know how to scale for women (and I found this to be true even with the better coach on my first visit). They don't own women's bars at all, which is kind of a pain in the ass when you're trying to Oly lift (and also presents a problem when beginner females are trying to do things like strict overhead press). And in a couple of WODs where no Rx weight was given, the coach had only a bare suggestion of what weight to use. For Pendlay rows, a movement I had never done before, he just asked me whether I had strict pullups. I said yes and he told me to start at 65 and move up to 75 "if that feels easy." OH HELL NO it wasn't easy, and I might have liked to drop a little weight for the rep scheme he had in mind, actually. Which...I don't know what I would have done if I were a less strong female, because they don't have bars lighter than 45# or 5# tech plates, so the lightest weight you could do with bumper plates was 65#!
Plus, there were only two people in my class and the coach really didn't give us much personal attention during the WODs -- he would answer questions before and after, but while the clock was running he just let us go. Nothing like the SBK experience of having your form corrected or getting a shout of encouragement when you're tired.
Anyway, this is probably irrelevant since none of you should be going to Bensalem anyway. ;) But I just needed to say it because it annoyed me!
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