Tuesday, January 19, 2010

CrossFit Southwest Visit (and climb up Camelback)

On Friday I took the long journey down to Phoenix, Arizona to pay a visit to Lindsey and to check out a few fun workout locations.  First stop: CrossFit Southwest, January 16, 10am.

Hidden back in a sort of industrial park, CrossFit Southwest utilizes the open area very well.  In fact, besides a few warm ups and some sandbag squats and throws, we were entirely outside in the large parking lot.  The gym itself is great; super high ceilings, plenty of room to store all equipment comfortably while keeping a huge open area for training.  There is a large bag storage area, bathrooms and a few other rooms in there as well.  I was introduced to Ken, the owner there, Lindsey had been there three times already and was slowly starting to get into the swing of things.  Ken told me that the place was pretty new, abut five months if I remember correctly.  Before that, he had a spot down the road a little bit.  With the 80 or so members they had already, I have a feeling that this particular affiliate has a ton of room to grow.  They got the good name, they have a great CrossFit style location, and they seem to be, as I am finding is very common, very, very welcoming.

The cool thing about this workout was that with the smaller class size for a late Saturday morning (6 people), two were visiting (myself and one other), one was her first day, and Lindsey was on her 4th day.  This proved to me that Ken and his spot could really be the go-to CrossFit box in Tempe, Arizona.

We started the day with introductions (everyone was a little quiet off the bat, understandable since we were all so new to this place), then we went through some great mobility and active warm up exercises.  This actually was the first time I have been with a CrossFit group where we went through a specific set of warm ups directed towards the days workout.  It was clear that we were going to be running a bit since Ken had us really work hip, knee and ankle mobility, along with a warm up that included learning proper running form.

The workout:
partner up and perform 2 sets of 8 total each of Sandbag squat cleans (alternating shoulders) while your partner performs push ups.
Then, each person performs two lengths of the gym floor of sandbag reverse throws.  This was fun, just chucking the sandbag as far as we could over our heads.
We then did some med ball throws and sprints and then came the main workout.  Each of us performed 2 rounds of:
1 lap driveway sandbag sprint
1 length sandbag/tire pull
1 length med ball chest pass

This was a sneaky hard workout.  It just really weighed you down to do all this running with different weight loads.  I mentioned to Ken how I like the sort of rope harness they have fr the tire pull; it forced you to figure out the best way to strap yourself in for the run.  The legs burned a good bit during the workout, but we had a ton of recovery time (I think all of us had a two person recovery, as in, two people went before we got to go again).  That time was spent just hanging out and chatting.

All in all, I had a great time there and I think the way Ken has everything set up makes it so welcoming for anyone to give it a try.  The workout was not timed, Lindsey said that there really is no real competitiveness there, which is a unique aspect that I feel Ken is doing a good job with.  And while I would always be more than excited to check out other affiliates in the Phoenix/Tempe area, I feel that CrossFit Southwest would very quickly feel like home to me if I went there a couple more times.

Thanks so much guys!  I will be back in a few weeks for a workout or two.


2027 E Cedar St.
Tempe, AZ 85281

In the evening, Lindsey and I marched up to Camelback Mountain.  Took us about two hours, maybe a bit less (mostly because I kept jumping off the trail to explore random rock fixtures to scamper up).  The climb was exhausting, very technical and challenging for anyone; but the view from the top was breathtaking.  Coming down while the sun set over Phoenix was a moment I will never forget.  My legs were shot, my shirt completely soaked in sweat, and I had a huge smile on my face the entire time.

Never Stop, GET FIT.

Josh Courage

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