Late Thursday afternoon Lindsey and I jumped in the car andzipped down to visit one of the longest running affiliates: CrossFit SanJose. I was already a bit bummed outbecause waking up in the morning I was more sore than I can remember. It felt like I had pitched 15 innings withboth arms with a weighted baseball and there was no way in a million years Iwould be able to get a workout in. Itwas all for the better anyway because the workout was insane volume on theshoulders! I apologies to CrossFit SanJose as this was the only visit in all my visits that I did not workout;but, it lead to me being able to get some pretty great footage of all the greatathletes!
I was welcomed with smiles not only from the couple coacheswho were there at the time, but by the TONS of athletes who were there aswell. Let me try to put this inperspective for everyone: The gym isactually pretty small in comparison to most CrossFit boxes. I would instantly place it in the “classic”category if I had walked in there during a down time. But they pack in the athletes in expertfashion. I counted a good 15 or sopeople in the class when I walked in, and there were a solid 12+ in the classwhile I was there, and another massive group prepping for class after that, impressive!
The place jumps out at you right off the bat with theirincredible pull up rig just inside the roll-up doorway. The thing is an absolute tank and has allthese different heights, even high enough to get a couple sets of rings hangingwith plenty of headroom! They have somuch equipment stuffed in there its incredible that they have so much openspace. There is a home-made med ballstand hidden behind the pull up rig, stacks of plates, bars, squat racks andmore along the right wall. Then thereare tumbling mats, rowers along the back wall. Man, the more I think about it the more I am amazed at how well theyutilized the space. And they really hadeverything and more! They also hadropes, climbing ladders, KB’s, DB’s, yeah, shoot, they had it all!
The class was run very efficiently. They did a handful of agility ladderexercises which I really liked, then went through some progressions for boththe clean and the jerk, working slowly up to some decently weighted attempts. Then they all got themselves ready for theworkout.
Ground to overhead anyhow for time
This basically meant you have to pick a weight and get itover your head enough to equal that total number, pretty cool! I am not even about to attempt to write outwhat the weights and reps would be here, but if you have a calculator, you canfigure it out. But I am not going tolie, it looked tough as all hell! Theyhad a 17 minute cap on this one just to make sure the next class could getstarted on time, and a lot of the athletes were not able to make it under thattime. But it was an all out effort ofhoisting heavy weight for an extended amount of time. I am so going to have to try that one at somepoint!
After the athletes caught their breath I was able to talk toa few of them, as well as a couple of the coaches. It was pretty clear from all of them thatCrossFit San Jose was a pretty tight community. They are the self-prescribed “Bad News Bears” of the San Jose areaCrossFit’s. What that means for all younon-film-watchers out there is that they are a group of people you would notnecessarily expect to be super dedicated fitness buffs, but they certainlyare. And that really shone true as Iwatched them all in there. There weredefinitely a handful of beasts, or “fiebreathers”, but for the most part, itwas just a bunch of average Joe’s working their asses off. I have to admit, it is really motivatingwatching a group of people who are NOT muscle-bound beasts workout like crazy!
Another interesting thing about CrossFit San Jose is theownership. It is co-owned by 5 differentpeople, all who have jobs outside of the gym as well. Crazy. Personally, I cannot imagine how that works out, but it seems to begoing pretty damn well. All in all, thisparticular affiliate clearly has a following that has been growing for a longwhile up to this point; and they clearly have no intention of slowingdown. It was incredible to hear how somany people had an intense loyalty to their program and that is something thatI find is a going theme with CrossFit. It breeds connectivity amongst athletes, coaches and friends andfamily. It makes working out fun!
Again, I really wish I could have joined the group for aworkout, I guess I’ll have to head back there in the near future to see whatthat is like! All the same, it was ablast to hang out with everyone, and inspiring to see the hard work and thehuge-family-like feel of the place!
CrossFit San Jose
1190 Dell Ave., Unit C
Campbell, CA 95008
Two more posts to come soon for my visits! After a few more visits in the Sacramentoarea, I’ll be back to my regular posts. Be sure to check out the updates to the Courage Games 2011!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
My drive down to San Jose and CrossFit Moxie was nothing short of annoying as hell. Traffic was brutal, no matter which roads I attempted to take. Ultimately I got there with plenty of time to be able to hang and watch head coach Chris take one of his athletes through some push presses and jerks, and it was great to be able to watch him coach. Chris Michelmore is very articulate and clear with his coaching methods, and it seemed as though everything he was relaying to his athlete was being understood and taken to heart. I have talked before in posts a while back) about being believable as a trainer and coach, meaning, when you tell someone to do something in the gym, they look at you and have no problem doing it because they trust you. This is something I pay very close attention to no matter where I go, and CrossFit in general is one of those things that creeds very believable coaches. Chris is one of those hands down. He is a serious competitor himself (along with his other coaches), AND, he (and the other coaches) are all coaches of sports teams too. This is something that he feels boosts the community he has grown quite a bit. Members of CrossFit Moxie are joining a team, one that is dedicated to getting in great shape while having blast as well.
Located in the heart of San Jose, Moxie is a pretty easy find, tucked back amongst a string of warehouses. It's not huge, but I would say about average for CrossFit gyms, and has the usual collection of necessary equipment. I like the pull up rig a lot here, it's long, has multiple heights and widths, and even has a really high bar with rings. It had your classic grungy CrossFit feel to it and I liked how easy it was to just get pumped for a workout. With the feel of the space, the cool view into the sun down a long street out the front roll up door, and the motivation of a great coach, it seemed almost inevitable that when you walk in there, you get after it!
I ended up working out with Chris himself, and he led me through a warm up consisting of three rounds of 30 seconds of a few kettlebell moves along with a couple other big body movements (they are all RKG Certified there, something that should NOT go un-noticed as kettlebells can get pretty damn technical). Then he got after some Split jerks and snatches while I worked on muscle ups and handstand walking. His insightful coaching came out again when I expressed I had a very tough time with handstand push ups. He recommended I spend more time away from the wall as it would assist my proprioception (my ability to feel comfortable upside-down). The more time I spend against the wall he said, the more I rely on the wall. Great advice!
After he got a 3 rep max on his slpit jerk, then got some snatch work in, and I worked on my palms-out muscle ups and handstand walking, we hit our workout:
20 overhead squats 95#
35 pull ups
50 box jumps 24”
800 meter run
50 box jumps 24”
35 pull ups
20 overhead squats 95#
My sore legs were giving me a little hesitation, but I felt pretty warm, and having a legit competitor next to me was also pushing me to go all out. I slipped up around rep 9 o the overhead squats and lost about 5 seconds or so there just getting it back up. But I was able to fly through the pull ups unbroken, then the box jumps in two pretty comfortable sets (took a breath around 40). The run was a 400 meter out and back twice, and I felt that old feeling return to me again. That old feeling is that running is a breeze! I think that the quick POSE lesson from yesterday helped me out a little and I just flew through the second lap. The second set of box jumps was a little tougher. My ankles were tightening up on me like crazy and I had to break it down about 4 times. The pull ups were the same, got 15, then 10, then 5 and 5. But I was able to get the last set of overhead squats unbroken and finished the workout in 10:26. I was very happy with that time, and am sure this is a sub-10 workout at some point soon!
Chris finished up right at my heels and we took about 10 minutes to catch out breath before chatting a bit more as his next class started to shuffle in.
Had a great time with this visit, and I learned a good deal from Chris. I have a feeling things are going to go nowhere but up for him and his crew and I’m sure plenty of people are going to change their lives at Moxie. And I expect to stay in touch with him for a good while; great coach, great athlete, great dude!
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