This evening’s visit brought me to Coach Aaron Ryan’s sweet gym: Amity CrossFit. Located just south of Palo Alto, and directly on the busy El Camino Real, this place just pops out at you when you drive by. Easy to get to, huge space, cool coach, fun and hard-working athletes, yeah, good times all around.
It’s a pretty new gym and the minimal equipment shows that. But what it lacks in equipment it makes up ten-fold in its sweet location, how it’s put together, and overall size. The main room is a tad smaller than your classic CrossFit gym, but then there’s a little hallway that leads to another room just as big. And what blows my mind is that Aaron runs this place alone, impressive. I walked in a few minutes late but everyone was quick to welcome me to the workout. We all walked though a good active warm up and then everyone grabbed bars to set up for deadlifts.
Another aspect that makes this gym distinct is the fact that it has a proclaimed bias. Aaron’s background in barbell training has led him to focus his programming on strength and power. And what I instantly respected upon looking over the website and meeting Aaron is that he does not pretend to be something he is not. I have never seen anyone put on their website that if his spot does not fit well, go check out the other options in the area. He understands what he does, he believes in what he does, and he just does it. This is something I have found to be a commonality between the most successful CrossFit gyms. The ones who know what they excel at, and then focus on that aspect to grow their business see huge growth. As cheesy as it sounds, it’s just the same concept of following your passion. It’s motivating to me to meet guys like this because it reminds me to stay the course when things are a little up I the air. I guess I can thank Aaron not only for a great workout with his great athletes, but for motivating me outside the gym as well.
On to the workout! I took it easy while the rest of the crew worked on their final phase of Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program (yeah, heavy deadlifts yesterday…). I worked a little on form for a few light sets, but mostly just talked with Aaron, got some cool shots of people hoisting up heavy weights, and met the athletes. We then split up into two heats for the metcon.
3 round of:
10 deadlifts 125% body weight
10 KB swings 2 pood (32kg or 70#)
I set up with 255# for the deads and got after it focusing on keeping form throughout. I was feeling pretty fatigued through my posterior chain and it hit me on the third round hard. The KB swings really got me the most, it just felt...heavy. But I was able to get everything unbroken and finished in 4:14. I am sure a sub-4 time is possible; it would be a matter of taking less time transitioning between exercises.
What made this workout such a blast (besides the short sweetness with heavy weights!) were the motivating cheers of the rest of the group. These people had each others backs and there is nothing like that, especially being a new face and knowing that rather than being judged, you are being fully supported. I am a huge fan of a place that does not pretend to be something it is not (pretty much all of CrossFit), has awesome programming (surprisingly not too many CrossFits), has a supportive, helpful and hard-working member base (most CrossFits) and appeals to divers demographic (again, most CrossFits). While Amity does have a distinct bias, I still had an overwhelming feeling of that Classic CrossFit box I have been realizing I like so much. Kudos to Aaron for creating a generalized, overall athletic feel to a gym that has a particular focus.
3516 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA 94303
I have two visits tomorrow, then a few groups to train. Yup, got 10 visits in the next 10 days!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Get Discounts Below!