A couple weeks back my good buddy Blair Morrison convinced me to extend my CrossFit visits out to his neck of the woods in Sacramento. My original goal was to hit up 4 affiliates, but when reality hit, I resorted to just getting to two (a combo of scheduling and REALLY wanting to stick to a set program after being so crazy all January). So, I took off after my Powerlifting class and took the scenic drive to Sac-town.
Given the craziness of the weekend, and the fact that I was only able to spend a little more than a day with my girl (her travel schedule sent her away all last week, and she’s gone all this week again!), I have decided to post up both visits into one post. Each will get a video and I will have them both up tomorrow.
CrossFit East Sacramento:
I arrived to CrossFit East Sacramento with a bit of time to goof off before classes started to roll in. Blair and coaches Justin, Brooke and Travis were all there and we got to mess around on a couple things befog I went after 5x5 sumo deadlifts. The best part of the messing around was this hanging rope ladder they had; tough to describe but really tough! Basically this place looks exactly how I want my place to look. It’s a freestanding warehouse style box, tons of open space, TONS of all your typical equipment and a handful of extra that really stood out to me. Besides the rings and ropes and that cool rope ladder, the pull up rig was a DIY ordeal and had all different heights and even that “flying bar” option (where you can jump from one bar to another). All in all, this one of those gyms that I could see myself just hanging out at for way too long because of how great it felt.
As a couple classes started to shuffle in, I jumped on a bar and got a quick 5x5 sumo deadlifts, working up to 405# unbroken and feeling pretty strong with it. I then hung out for a while talking with Justin and watching their two classes get underway. The energy in that gym with these people getting warm was incredible, and it was so clear that from the top down, this place was the real deal.
What made this place stand apart even more though, was the level of professionalism they all had towards the program. It was eye opening to see how much time and effort was put into getting the gym to run the way it did and I can’t respect the group enough for putting their vision to action so well. And to top it all off, the seriousness that they had towards programming and how the gym was run did not stop them from being able to have a crap load of fun. I was watching two different classes being run at the same time and it was great to see how seamlessly things rolled along and everyone seemed to be having so much fun.
I would definitely go out of my way to get back here at least one more time in the next few months, not only to t a great workout in, but to hang out with the coaches and athletes and just feed of their awesome energy!
CrossFit West Sacramento:
After logging a couple hours there, Blair and I drove across town to CrossFit West Sacramento where we joined their evening class for a brutally fun workout. Now this place was a bit more of your “classic” CrossFit box. The thing that really stood out about it though, was the insanely high ceiling. It literally was a box of a gym, just a huge square; a good pull up rig along the back wall and two rows of rings hanging from the ceiling on both sides of the gym. A good-sized group shuffled in and we all got warmed up and then went through the Burgener Warm Up before working on our squat snatch form a little. We then split up into two heats and attacked the workout.
21-15-9 squat snatch 135#
9-15-21 ring knees to elbows
We went in the second heat and blasted out of the gates. The strategy here was to just chip away at the snatches one at a time, and then get the rings all unbroken. Once I got into the teens with the snatches I was able to feel a little more comfortable with it and tried to settle into to rhythm. For me, this was all right at the line of being to heavy to go fast, I never quite got out of breath, and I never quite felt like I wouldn’t be able to get a rep. I ended up only missing three reps on account of not using my legs enough, but all in all it was one hell of a work out. But the best part was the fact I got to work out with such a large group of people! It never fails really, get a good group of hard workers together (it does not matter fitness level at all, as long as they all are willing to work their butts off), and your workouts will be exponentially better.
I could tell from the coach’s attitudes and energy that this place had an incredible following. Yeah, not going to lie, any place that has a handful of coaches in the gym on a Friday night after 6pm, teaching a class of around 20 (with a good handful of people just hanging around cheering everyone on!) is a damn sweet gym to spend your time. Over the years I have found it more and more frustrating that I can’t find a good group of people willing to forgo Happy Hour or their typical Friday night shenanigans to head to the gym or out to the trails for a hardcore workout. And this place packed them in! Sweet!
I must say, the overall welcome I received from both these boxes was humbling. I can’t say enough for how cool and down to earth the Northern California CrossFit community is (at least the close to 30 affiliates I visited), and I know this must be the over-all trend around the world. The desire to just be in the gym, or out on the trails, or running around the water all day in the Sacramento area with Blair and his fitness buddies was overwhelming and I will not pass up any opportunity I have in the future to head back out there. It is the most incredible feeling to know that if you ever want to go do anything active, you will have an insane number of people ready and willing at a moments notice to join you. That right there was the feeling I got from being around Blair and visiting these two affiliates. Their excitement towards fitness in general matches mine; hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if it surpassed mine a good deal of the time. I love that.
I was saddened by the tough decision to cancel my visit out to Sac Valley CrossFit in Elk Grove. Scheduling and the desire to get back home to the girl led to keeping my visit to 2 gyms. I also had the opportunity to visit CrossFit Stompin’ Ground, and just couldn’t swing it. Well, I guess I’ll really have to head back out there soon!
I was able to et some great time hanging with my buddy Blair, checked out the spot where his new gym will be opening in about a month (insane how awesome it is!), and had tons of great conversation. Ideas are running wild!
Over the course of this week you can expect a couple things: LOTS of updates on the Courage Games 2011, a whole slew of posts on my programming as we get closer and closer to the CrossFit Games Open Sectionals, and, tomorrow, along with the videos from this past weekend, I’ll be posting up the big news in my life that I have been struggling with and talking about posting now for the past month.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Well, it's been a full month of complete unknown and unknowable and I have been beyond eager to get back on a regular program. Here is what I'll be doing this month:
Monday: Olympic lifting, supplemental/support exercises, short speed metcon
Tuesday: Pool work, skill work, speed work
Wednesday: Olympic lifting, supplemental/support exercises, short speed metcon
Friday: Skill work, support exercises, short heavy metcon
Saturday: Endurance (run, swim), alternating weight/heavy metcon and speed metcon
This program will give me 1-2 two-a-days per week, and plenty of focus on my weaknesses: Oly lifting and skills. I am really looking forward to some huge gains this month and to help, I'll be dialing in my nutrition as well. Cutting added sugar out entirely (easily my biggest weakness), upping my veggie intake two-fold and mixing in more fish (at least 3 times per week). At this point I have no clue as to what to expect in terms of these Open Sectionals for the CrossFit Games, so all I can do is work my butt off. I am prepared to focus on my weaknesses, work as hard as I possibly can and the rest, well, we'll just have to see. As long as I can still be smiling before and after each workout, then I know I am on the right track.
Tomorrow I am headed up to Sacramento to hang with my good buddy Blair Morrison and visit three affiliates out there. Super excited to hang with a bunch of beasts and get some great workouts in!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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