Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cross Aruba / Muscles & Lungs CrossFit

Cross Aruba / Muscles and Lungs CrossFit

Bon Bini Aruba!  We had the warmest welcome when we arrived at Cross Aruba / Muscles and Lungs CrossFit!  Surprisingly, Aruba had more than one CrossFit gym on the island and I actually learned about them from CrossFit A297 (since they weren't on map.crossfit.com before my trip).  We were so glad we stopped by since we had an awesome time and got some tasty Aruban plate lunch with a couple trainers afterwards that brought me straight back to home!

We did the weightlifting class on Monday at 9am with Adolfo and Jonathan.  I got to meet and train with the only female Aruban weightlifter, Jennifer.  She was preparing for a meet in two weeks and I did my weightlifting program which involved snatch on the minutes (and then build up to a heavy single), snatch pulls, back squats, and SLDL.

Some things I really liked here:
  • Multi-purpose gym: you can come in here for CrossFit, weightlifting, powerlifting, strength and conditioning, MMA, yoga, etc.  Though I feel like the gym currently has a strong weightlifting focus =P
  • Adolfo, an Olympic-level weightlifting coach from Columbia is currently there to build and train the Aruban weightlifting team!  Though he doesn't speak English very well, we still learned a lot from him!
  • The sweetest, and most thoughtful and accommodating coaches.  It really doesn't get better than this.  First, when I contacted them super last minute, while in Aruba, they replied back to me right away with the warmest welcome.  After telling me I could use the facility anytime, providing contact numbers, and offering to pick us up and drop us off from our hotel, how could we say no?!  When we got to the gym, one of the owners and coaches, Jonathan introduced us to everyone at the gym and it was so exciting to lift with the crew.  Afterwards, we got Aruban plate lunches with Jonathan and Adolfo at one of their favorite local joints.. one of those places you can't find on TripAdvisor!  It took me straight back to home and reminded me of my favorite katsu/kalua pig/loco moco/kalbi plates, and was one of our highlights from our Aruba trip!  
  • Family and community oriented.  The whole gym is one big ohana and everyone is very welcoming to visitors.  People come here because they like the sport their doing, whether it's CrossFit, weightlifting, MMA, etc, and the folks at the gym.  Therefore, you'll always find people at the gym working out, hanging out, or just socializing.  It's also a family business.  The gym is open all day, but classes are either in the morning or the evening (see schedule).  So during the early afternoon, one of the owner's mom watches over the gym.  So cute!
  • Indoor and outdoor space so you can workout suns out guns out anytime.  
  • A lot of homemade equipment like the platforms, dip stations, boxes, outdoor pull up bars, etc.  But they also have a variety of equipment: kilo plates set, platforms, mats, parallettes, ropes, prowlers, tires, benches, farmer's carry bars, etc.
  • Open gym available.  Check out their schedule or coordinate with them.
  • Visitor Policy: email or Facebook beforehand.  They love t-shirts from other boxes and t-shirt exchanges.

Some things that could use improvement:
  • Update website with weightlifting information.  I had no idea it was a weightlifting gym until walking in.
  • Get 0.5kg plates.

Some pictures:

2. Outside

3. Pull up structure and platforms

4. weightlifting end

5. the weightlifting corner!

6. fake grass area

7. mat

8. rowers and such

9. storage and benches

10. and an outdoor gym!

11. work out suns out guns out style

12. Cross Aruba goals

13. WOD

14. they love t-shirts!

15. got some Aruban plate lunch afterwards!  obviously stoked!

When we visited back in September, they just moved into their current space about two months ago.  They have legit plans to build more weightlifting platforms and purchase more equipment, specifically a nice set of kilo plates and fractional plates for each platform, and upgrade the bars.  Other than working out in the heat, Cross Aruba is hands down one of my favorite gyms I visited to date.  It's especially great for the weightlifters out there, as they not only have the equipment, but they also have an Olympian coach for a year!  If you're in Aruba, check them out.  You won't be disappointed!  

Nearby Gyms: CrossFit A297