Thursday, September 8, 2011

CrossFit Oahu

Skye in CFO gear.  Apparently my dad thought it would be funny to dress the dog up in my clothes.

This is my first time home since starting CrossFit in January 2011.  One of the things I wanted to do while home was check out all the CrossFit gyms on Oahu.  My first stop was CrossFit Oahu in Honolulu.  This box has been around for a long time.  They were around the 50th CrossFit gym to affiliate.  I believe they are also currently the largest CrossFit gym on Oahu (by 500 sqft), and possibly in the state of Hawaii, too.  

I came in a little early to do my 20-rep back squat routine (thank you!) and then stuck around for the 2pm class last Thursday with Courtney Johnson, a CrossFit Level 2 Trainer and Dietitian.  It was a small class: 4 people, probably because it is the hottest time of day to workout on the island!  I heard evening and morning classes can have 20+ people, but the gym is big enough to handle that and they have a lot of equipment.

This is what we did:
  • Warm-up and skills practice: Some variation of the Burgener Warm-Up, except with less reps and some different moves.  Snatch and clean & jerk practice.  Whatever else you need to do to warm up.
  • Skin-the-Cat practice - on high rings.  Courtney showed us the progression and helped each of us personally.  She then showed us some variations like combining skin-the-cats with L-sits. This was a lot of fun!  Learned a couple tricks here.
  • WOD - 3 options: Grace, Isabel, or Randy.  I chose to do Randy since I've done the other two before.
    Randy - For time:
    • 75 Power Snatches 75#/55#
    Normally there is 1 WOD for everyone but that day they decided to give members an option.

Some things I really liked here:
  • Very large facility (~6500 sqft) with a variety of equipment including a Pummel Horse, parallettes, tires, ropes, walls, monkey bars, etc.  It is also very clean and organized.  Equipment is easy to find.
  • The gym is open pretty much all day, everyday.  People are allowed to come in earlier to work on movements, hangout, do skills practice, etc.
  • A variety of class times and at 3 locations!  CFO recently opened CrossFit Kailua and CrossFit Waipio.  On top of that, membership is for all three locations!  A lot of people work in town but live far from it.  Access to multiple gyms is always nice!
  • Lots of community events!  There are 5 events just for the month of September!!  Events include hiking, CrossFit classes at the park, BBQs, and clinics, focusing on specific movements.  By the way, the clinics are free!
  • Large, matted gymnastic corner area.  I wish we had this!!
  • Interesting and informative blog posts.  Instead of posting daily WODs, the CFO blog consist of stories, announcements, and posts on nutrition, mobility, strength, the mental challenge, goals, and the body.  It would be cool if they posted the daily WODs too though!
  • Member's Boards: The brag board, goals board, and the checklist board.  Got a good community feeling when I saw this.  Underneath these boards are notebooks for recording WODs, PRs, etc.  Everyone seemed to have a notebook.  They also had whiteboards for best benchmark times and PRs.
  • Super visitor friendly.  Literally just show up, sign a waiver, and you are good to go.  No need to call or email in advance.  Some other boxes on Oahu prefer you to schedule a day and/or time to come in, in advance.
  • Very, very nice, and personalized, 25# and 45# competition plates.   Apparently they are personalized for each location too!  They also have competition plates in kilos neatly organized at each platform. 
  • A good number of free parking in a prime location in Honolulu.  Pretty rare.
  • They have showers (plural) and changing rooms, and even a play area for kids.

Some things that could use improvement:
  • No water fountain.  It's going to cost you a couple bucks for water and even tape.  They also sell a different kind of tape, not the athletic tape.  :(
  • Invest in a wall clock.  Instructors use a regular timer to time WODs, which is fine, but a wall clock is always nice!
  • No bumper plates less than 25#.  10# plates are HITECH plates which make a terrible noise when you drop them, but last significantly longer.  I'm not a big fan of these.  It would be great to have a few 10# bumper plates in addition to the HITECH plates.
  • All of the barbells have the same diameter (28.5mm, I believe) and sharp knurling.  I thought it was strange when everyone was taping their hands up like crazy for the WOD (just barbell movements).  Now I know why.  My palms tore in places they've never torn before and I came home with 4 water blisters.  As for the diameter, my hands are very small so I like the 25mm diameter women's barbell better, like the Rogue Bella Bar.  Wish they had some options.

Some pictures:
2. Entrance to CrossFit Oahu.

3. Spacious.  They also have t-shirts from different boxes hanging at the top!

4. Pull-up structure.  Also can be monkey bars.

5. Neatly organized lifting area.  Weights are easily accessible at each platform.  Love this!

6. Large matted corner.. and with more mats! 

7. Sweet CFO plates. 

8. My favorite whiteboards!  Seems like everyone also has a notebook.

9. Courtney, one of the trainers, and a few members after the WOD.

I didn't check out their other 2 boxes: CrossFit Kailua and CrossFit Waipio since CrossFit Oahu is the biggest, has the most classes, and is the closest.  I would love to check those out next time I am in town.  Thanks for letting me attend a class and come in early to do my back squats!