Damn what a night! Chris and Maribel LaLanne have situated themselves comfortably in the heart of San Francisco and have sure made their mark! Their space is not all that big at all (just wait until their new 6,000 square foot facility opens…) but they have generated such a large and loyal following it is impossible to disregard what they have done for the CrossFit community.
Walking in there you instantaneously get the feeling that hard work has been taking place there all day. This gets the juices flowing and all you want to do from the moment you step through the door is workout, hard. I walked into the end of a beginner’s class and it was impressive and motivating to me to see how committed all these people were to their workout. The coaches moved around the class feeding motivation and checking on form and it was very clear that each of these athletes were in good hands.
I was welcomed in typical CrossFit fashion, a few people I have met before were in (I visited a few weeks back when my buddy big Dan was in town) and I felt at home within a minute or two. It was nice to feel like I belonged in a place I have only been to once before; I think that says a lot, not just for the community that has been formed here, but also for finding a gym that meshes well with me. I am very big on taking the time, especially with so many affiliates out there, to search around for one that really fits your personality. I have noticed more and more with all my visits that each affiliate has such a distinct difference and certain people will fit better at some than others. LaLanne is a place I could see myself training at on a regular basis. They are serious competitors, but pretty chill, laid back and humble at the same time. I didn’t feel like I was looked down on as the new guy, I felt supported. But at the same time, I knew they were all itching to compete with me and give me a run for my money. I like that; healthy competition is a damn good thing that CrossFit promotes so well, and the coaches and athletes here get that and practice it very well.
So the throwdown was:
3 rounds for time of:
400 meter run
21 KB swings 1.5 pood
12 pull ups
Sweet, big fan of this workout and also a big fan of getting to work out with a HUGE group of people who like to work out as much as me! This was a great combination all around. We had enough people for three heats, and they also had a decent collection of people there just to cheer everyone on. Along with Max Muscle being there to offer pre and post workout drinks, this had the feel of a hugely successful in-house competition. I was in the third and final heat and when my time came to toe the starting line with the other athletes, I was more than ready. Running around during the first two heats, video taping and pushing people on got me pumped up, and having so many people around cheering just added to the energy. I blasted off on a pretty good pace for the out and back run and was feeling light and smooth. The same can be said for the swings, light and smooth. The pull ups on the other hand were a good deal tougher than I hoped. This was day three of pull ups for me and thanks to the 126 or so from yesterday, I had a pretty good sized tear in my right hand. This forced me to tape it up which just made the pull ups uncomfortable. I blasted through them unbroken though and moved on to the next round. It was much the same on this one, all unbroken and raring to finish off strong. When I came in for the final rounds of swings, I heard someone yell I was at 6:40, definitely enough time to hit a huge PR. But then the last 12 pull ups came and I just crashed. I got 6 before slipping off the bar. I then got 4 and 2 to finish off with a time of 7:56, a 2 second PR. I totally gave that workout my all and just came up short thanks to those pull ups. I would have liked to get my sub-7:30, but I guess I have something to work towards now!
After the workout was the perfect example of what I hope to generate myself when I have my gym up and running smoothly. People helped put away equipment, then it was catch up time. Now I know there are mixed feeling about hanging out in the gym for extended periods of time, and I see both sides of the argument. But, I honestly have seen best of friends being made in the gym. Hell, a good deal of my friends have been from the gym. And, for those of us who have decided to make fitness a central focus of life, being in the gym is a GREAT place to spend your time if you have the ability to. Being the last class of the day, people lingered around a little longer than usual to go over workouts, tell stories and just socialize in general. I was able to chat a handful of people up and again, felt totally at home. What can not be missed here is that while socializing within the gym is a great thing, the second it deters the athlete from working his or her ass off and making all the gains they should be able to, then it is a total waste of time. I say: give your workout 100% every single time you walk in, then bask in the wonderful afterglow of a sweet workout with your friends and workout partners. Nothing better!
To add to the great energy, I was able to see the award for student athlete of the year, a great idea to propmte your gyms community. AND, I was given a pretty damn cool shirt, always a great thing!
So, if you want to be surrounded by hard workers, if you want intensity and complete dedication to reaching full athletic potential, if you want all that while also being a part of a friendly, welcoming and supportive family, LaLanne is the place for you. Humble hardcore, that’s a good way to describe it
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