But onto the first visit of my second week, CrossFit SOMA, smack in middle of the great city of San Francisco. Things started off great because my parking spot gave a view about two/three blocks down the street of the baseball stadium. And for any of you who know me, I am slight fan of baseball. The neighborhood added so much to the feel of this gym, very hip and modern. The entire area is a completely done-up collection of warehouses and garages, turned into condos, nice shops and fancy restaurants. This gives the entire area that sort of rugged hint behind all of it's cleanliness. The gym was the same way. Just like any other CrossFit gym, all the same equipment and so on, but it had an organization about it that was a good bit different than most. I honestly could not tell if that feeling was because of the way the gym was set up, or because of the neighborhood, but it felt that way all the same. The main thing that left me standing there in awe for a few minutes was their pull up rig. I am a huge fan of cool pull ups rigs and this one took the cake. It was huge! It ran right thrugh the middle of the gym, and had an impressive dominance about it. The fact we got to use it on the workout got be so pumped!
Jenny and Olivia, the two owners for UB (United Barbell) were both extremely welcoming, warm-hearten and knowledgable. They're backgrounds are very impressive and they ring in a very rare personality to CrossFit gym: one that is run by two women. Perhaps this plays a roll in the way the space feels, but as they put it, they really think it plays a roll in the community it forms. Only having been around for 6 months, they are still very much in the growing process, but they have already formed a great following that is very dedicated to changing their lives. According to Jenny, they are a group of people who are very green to fitness, without very much history in serious athletics at all. This leads to a slightly tamer gym, where the fire-breathers and hardcore competitors are generally not found. Their community is one that has grown organically and has grown strong, something the owners don't necessarily actively promote (at least not yet), but are very happy with.
Only a couple people came in to the noon class I joined (the rent cold front in the city has been keeping a few people cooped up in their homes!) but they were both really nice athletes and I had a great time working out with them.
20 minute AMRAP of:
1600 meter run for remainder of time do:
5 ground to overhead anyhow 95#
10 pull ups
15 PVC sit ups
We took a good long time to warm up, work on some hollow rocks and get to know the movements we were about to perform and I really feel like we were all well-prepared. I can't say enough about a coach who makes sure each athlete is not only warmed up, but warmed up properly for the specific workout. Then to add to it, makes sure each and every athlete fully understand what they are about to do. Even a well-trained athlete needs good coaching and scheduling time pre-workout to work out hitches in form is something I feel a lot of people miss. But not here, we were all good and ready.
I was felt very good physically and was able to get in a good pace on the run, finishing in 6:35. I then got right into the exercises. All ground to overheads went unbrken, all pull ups the same; it was the PVC sit ups that got me. What this is is an ABMAT sit up where you hold a PVC pipe on your shoulders like a back squat. This takes any chance to use momentum out of the picture and all of a sudden the sit up is brutally hard. I could not string together more than 8, and it was exhausting, both physically AND mentally. When time ran out I had gotten 7 complete rounds. I felt like I pushed, but not as hard as I really could have, not totally sure why, but it as a great workout all the same!
Looking through UB's workouts I really liked their programming. They have backgrounds in Olympic lifting, and while they fully promote using those lifts, they do not seem over-do it on their athletes. Many times you'll see a coaches likes and dislikes strongly through their programming, and the athletes inevitably are molded in that direction. A good coach uses his/her experience merely as one source for designing a program, but the main one is the well-roundedness of their athlete (depending on the athletes specific goals of course). Jenny and Olivia have found a great route in terms of supplying all their members a truly divers program. With a tight-nit community, great programming, well-organized gym and great coaches, these two have a lot of potential as their gym continues to grow through their first year.
300 Brannan St, San Francisco
Today I am prepping for a double dip: San Francisco CrossFit and Mad Dawg Fitness!
Never Stop, GET FIT.