Friday, March 22, 2013

Arena Ready CrossFit!

CrossFit Games Open WOD13.2 at Arena Ready!

Last weekend we decided to head up to the city to do 13.2 with Liz and Hillary at Arena Ready CrossFit.  We miss these two and a visit was long overdue!

Update, 5/24/2014: I don't even know how many times I've been here.. basically every time I'm in the city, I'll stop by.  Arena Ready is our favorite CrossFit gym in the San Francisco Bay Area.  We try to go here at least once a month.  Sarah and Rob are some of the most kind and unselfish people I know.  They care a lot about their gym and even more for their members.  If we ever moved to the city, I actually might end up crossfitting again, haha.

Arena Ready is Sarah Hopping's gym.  It's one of the few new CrossFit gyms nowadays that actually has a big emphasis on quality and not trying to suck every penny out of you.

We joined Liz and Hillary for the 10am class.  Since it was for 13.2, the class ran a little differently.  There were heats.

Some things I really liked here:
  • Real coaches.  Sarah and Rob are awesome!  They're both huge badasses in the field and very knowledgeable.  They are also super down to earth and most importantly, your coach.  What I mean by that is, they're not just your instructor.  They come in outside of class to validate your score if you want to redo the workout.  They also attend competitions they're not participating in, just to support and cheer the team on.
  • Tight, supportive community.  Everyone's really friendly and approachable.  But what really stood out is the motivating, high energy atmosphere during the final heat.  The last heat had 2 people.  People could have left or gone upstairs to the post WOD brunch that was starting.  Instead, everyone, staff and members, hung around to cheer on and encourage the two guys.  During the last minute of the workout, everyone was cheering at the top of their lungs!
  • No negative energy.  I don't know how many times I can reiterate this.  The support level is tremendous.  They're not looking for ways to 'no rep' you next.  Don't worry, standards are held. The difference is people want you to get that next rep and they'll feed you positive energy and encouragement to help you get it.
  • On-site Paleo chef!  Fontaine of StrongTable SF, has a full kitchen upstairs!   Eat after the workout or order something to go in advanced.  I got to try her brunch menu after the workout and it's yummy.
  • Open to feedback and quick to take action.
  • Clean and organized facility.  They don't have much equipment since the space is small, but the equipment is well kept and the space is well used.  They also have a sweet lifting platform in the back!
  • Clean bathrooms and showers (2 of them!).

Some things that could use improvement:
  • Honestly, it was very difficult to come up with something I did not like.  It's $25 to drop in but that didn't bother me since I had a really good time.  Classes are capped and you can sign up online.  

Some pictures:
2. Entrance to Arena Ready.

3. Inside.

4. Rig.

5. Platform & Jerk box!

6. Upstairs lounge area

7. Fontaine's kitchen!!

8. Brunch menu!

9. and chef Fontaine herself, of Strong Table!

10. sandwiched between 2 badass chicas

11. sucks that this picture is blurry...  but what I wanted to capture is the strong positive energy within the community.  There were 2 people in the last heat and the whole gym stayed to cheer them on!

12. Miss these ladies

With the high positive energy and the motivating atmosphere, I wish I could do all the Open workouts here, let alone, convert.  I've been feeling a bit down about CrossFit lately, but wasn't quite sure why.  Now it's clear why.  I miss the community aspect and having a coach, not just an instructor.  Anyway, unfortunately, San Francisco is quite a commute for me and I'm terrified of city driving.  If my career or life every brings me there, you know what gym I'll be signing up for!

Nearby Gyms (other side of the city): LaLanne Fitness | United Barbell / CrossFit SOMA | CrossFit Golden Gate