Thursday, August 7, 2014

TJ's Gym - San Rafael

The first TJ's Gym: TJ's Gym San Rafael!

After weeks and weeks in San Rafael, I've been meaning to make my way over to the original and first TJ's Gym, established in 2002!  Man, at that time I just started high school and had no interest in exercising.  Thing have obviously changed.  Though I traveled a lot leading up to Nationals, I didn't visit many CrossFit gyms as our Nationals cycle was quite intense.  Anyway, I've been to the Novato location a couple years ago and absolutely loved it, so I was curious what the other locations would be like. 

I did the 5:15am class last Friday the owner, TJ himself!  With all the locations, I wondered if he even coached anymore, but he does!  As an added perk, if you come on Friday mornings, he brings coffee for the class.  How sweet is that?  Below was the "All Levels" programming:
  • Warm Up: 3 rounds: 15 calorie Airdyne/Row, 10 Lunges, Shoulder Passes, 10 Push Ups
  • Workout:
    • 10min AMRAP: 
      • 100m Run
      • 8 DB Thruster
      • 20 DU
      • 6 Pull Ups
    • Rest 3 minutes
    • 10min AMRAP:
      • 10 calorie Row
      • 10 DB Step Ups, alternating
      • 10 calorie Airdyne
      • 10 DB Push Press
    • Rest 3 minutes
    • 4 rounds: 20s Airdyne sprint @ 100%
Some things I really liked here:
  • First TJ's gym.  established in 2002!  And after almost 15 years in business, it still has that old school CF vibe 
  • Their all about the individual based on your goals!... from coaching to programming to gym equipment.  Their blog contains daily workouts for All Levels/Wrench/Travel and is released weekly.  In fact I like to check their blog for the travel WOD when I want to do something bodyweight.  Also, some of the basic equipment like the pull up structure has been personalized.  For example, on the pull up bar, there's a bar that is 1'8" smaller in diameter to accommodate the little people like me, and also a bar where the coating is shaved off.  All these little things add up and contribute to the personalized experience.
  • Along these lines, you can do you own programming, even during class time.  Remember, it's all about you and your goals.
  • Four locations in Marin: San Rafael, Novato, Mill Valley, and Corte Madera... and one membership for all!  I've said this before, but the ability to scale and not compromise on quality is pretty amazing.
  • TJ!  He's a great coach, very friendly, and knows what he's talking about.  I mean when the thing is coach brings in coffee on Friday's, he's gotta be pretty caring.  While I was there, I learned a lot about the San Rafael location and his philosophy with the gyms.  I also learned a lot about measuring output on the airdyne and how to airdyne more efficiently.  Love visiting gyms and learning something while at it.
  • Great people and great vibe!  I met everyone in the class before class started and after the workout, I met folks who were early for the 6:15am class.  It's fun working out with people who push you through words and activity.  They also had a BBQ later that day and most of the people there were planning on attending.  Also, surprisingly, the 5:15am class was well-sized and energetic.
  • Specific to the San Rafael location: the indoor AND outdoor gym.  So awesome, work out inside with the fan or suns out guns out style outside.  
  • Variety of equipment: jerk blocks, dip stations, farmer's carry bars, tires, prowlers, airdynes, area to do bar muscle ups, yoga mats, ropes, yoke, etc.
  • Free filtered water
  • Showers, lockers, and changing room

Some things that could use improvement:
  • Formatted WOD blog so it's easier to read.  Potentially bold the days (easier to find) and put the workouts in a table (reduce scrolling).  If you go to the blog now, it's currently all listed in a column, one after the other in the same text.

Some pictures:
2. Multiple signs outside

3. Inside

4. rowers, airdynes, and ropes

5. main pull up structure.. love how TJ shaved the coating off one of the bars

6. one of the many whiteboards

7. other pull up structure and main whiteboard

8. yesterday's workout & PRs

9. jerk blocks, rings, and barbells

10. love the effort for higher rings!

11. side

12. more pull up structures & parking lot entrance

13. that's not it...

14. there's a gym outside too!

TJ, his staff, and the members are awesome!  If you have the pleasure to drop in, you'd agree too.  Great gym and great vibe.  I absolutely love the indoor and outdoor gym.  I'll actually be there tomorrow for the 5:15am class.  I could get used to this while up here for work!

Related Posts: TJ's Gym - Mill Valley | TJ's Gym - Novato / CrossFit Novato
Nearby Gyms: Tamalpais CrossFit/San Rafael Barbell (San Rafael) | Corey's Gym/North Bay CrossFit (San Rafael) | West Bay CrossFit (San Rafael) | Five Points CrossFit (Corte Madera) | Pacheco Valley CrossFit (Novato)