I hit the road for the short drive down the 101 to Palo Alto earlier this afternoon. Tim and his classic affiliate got me remembering why I love being the part of the fitness world. At this point I am pushing a total of 40 boxes visited and I have been able to get a feel for every end of the spectrum in terms of gym styles. But what I have found is that the majority of the affiliates out there have a very basic, general feel about them, and these ones tend to be the examples I use when I describe what CrossFit is truly about. They are simple, have all the necessary equipment, they lay low, letting their training and coaching speak for themselves, and they organically grow their community through promoting positive, healthy and fit lifestyles. CrossFit Palo Alto is exactly that.
You walk into a classic warehouse box, pull up bars lining one wall, plates, bars, KB’s and such lining another. The rest of the typical equipment such as tires, rowers, boxes and more have their place, but what stands out is that open gym floor where people can get good and physical. So out of all these classic boxes, what are the differences? Well, besides the area the gym is located (which brings a somewhat specific demographic usually) it’s the coaching and programming that make them distinct. Tim takes pride in the organization of his business and focuses all of his attention on making his programming the best it can be. Each athlete sees the best gains with this approach. His confidence in the natural growth of his gym is inspiring, and it reminded me of a great quote my dad told me a while ago:
“The main thing is to keep the man thing the main thing.”
What I get from Tim and his sweet spot is that he understands all you need to do to be successful is: supply what you believe to be the best coaching you can. And when you do this, people will come, and people will stay.
I instantly gained a ton of respect for the guy. He grew from a garage gym to a little bigger garage, to a warehouse. He runs the place mostly on his own and he appears to have his wits about him on how he wants to grow and how he wants to be perceived. A down to earth guy who just gets the job done!
Light max effort back squats
225x3, 275x3, 315x1, 335x1, 355x1
Again Faster “Beat The Team” WOD
8 minute AMRAP of an ascending ladder of:
KB swing 2 pood
Tough workout all around here. We chatted while we squatted, it was chill and nice to just be able to talk shop with a guy I felt really comfortable to be around. As for the weights, 355# is generally pretty light for me, but I had a rough time with it; which was annoying. I have some serious plans for the month of February and my training! The metcon was really cool. It’s performed by doing 1 KB swing, then 1 thruster, then 2 swings and 2 thrusters, 3 and 3 and so on until 8 minutes is up. Seems easy enough but man this caught us to you quick! At round 6 I felt like I was moving in quicksand, my back was tightening up like bad and the weights seemed to get heavier and heavier with each rep! I was able to squeeze out 10 full rounds plus 9 KB swings and that looks like it’s in the general region of what the Again Faster sponsored athletes were getting. Makes me feel good to know I am not all that far behind the known studs. Now I just need to get over that ledge and GET BETTER!
I was able to hang and have some great conversation with Tim. We talked about affiliate ownership, HQ, programming, perspectives, workouts; it was all around a great visit. From what I can tell, if you take your fitness seriously, and want an un-intimidating, but highly intense atmosphere, CrossFit Palo Alto is the perfect spot. I foresee this style of gym in the CrossFit world becoming the most popular. They’re only agenda is getting people in shape the best way they know how, and people clearly respond well to that. And to top it off, when you invest in your health by joining an awesome CrossFit gym, you inevitably become part of a wildly supportive and motivating community, and CrossFit Palo Alto clearly has that going for it as well! Yeah, cool place man. I have no doubts I’ll be hanging with Tim in the very near future!
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