When I was traveling for a work about a month ago in Jacksonville I decided to visit three CrossFit boxes that were near my hotel. I was in southern Jacksonville and it is apparently a hot bed for CrossFit as all three were very close and were also different in so many ways.
My first review is of Bold City CrossFit which was the first box I visited while I was there.
The first thing I noticed was the humidity. It was killer coming from Colorado and even with the two large garage doors open it was still suffocating in there. Nothing BCCF could do about it; mother nature is the ultimate force. When I saw an AMRAP with burpees and wall balls I knew I was about to sweat out 10 lbs.
The box was huge, the biggest I have been in (I have worked out in five different boxes and visited two more). I am not a good assessor of square footage but I am guessing they can easily get a class of 30 individuals in there doing olympic lifting. The ceilings were nice and high for rope climbs to probably about 30 feet and they had so much room left over there was a kiddy area that had to be 500 square feet. As a parent with two small children that is definitely something I wish the box I currently belong to had.
The people at this box were super friendly and made me feel welcome immediately. A few folks introduced themselves right away and the coaches were very nice and helpful with some good tips. When I arrived in Jacksonville I figured I could get four workouts in and decided I would visit the three CrossFit boxes near my hotel and whichever one I liked the best I would go again on the fourth day and the people at BCCF sealed that deal and I went twice while down south.
The layout of the gym was good, too. With all that room it was easy. The location was a bit hard to find but then again how many CrossFit gyms are EASY to find? Not many. But the location was perfect because the first day we did some shuttle runs and with the big opening behind the box designed for large trucks there was plenty of room to run. We lapped the building for 600m, if I recall correctly, and the second time I visited the WOD was to run a 5k which was pretty easy as we ran down the street to a marking the coach put in the ground that morning and then ran back.
The med balls were clean and stacked nicely along with the kettle bells. They had a nice pullup structure which could easily fit 10-15 individuals and probably more if they wanted to really squeeze in. Their weights were well organized and easy to find and like I said there was a ton of room to oly lift.
The bathroom was nice, but I do not recall seeing a shower. I am starting to realize that this is not uncommon for CrossFit boxes to not have a shower and unfortunately for a guy who likes to workout before work that is really a requirement.
The WOD on the first day was really interesting with three separate AMRAPs and I love a good AMRAP. The second day was also interesting because prior to the 5k we did max pullups, pushups and situps (how often do you max at those movements?).
Finally the one thing that really stuck out to me and in showing the friendliness of the folks at BCCF was that I got into a shoe discussion with three or four folks. How often do you talk shoes with strangers?? Because of them I bought a pair of New Balance shoes today. I didn’t get the Minimus like they had but got a similar pair that was nearly half of the price. I look forward to working out in them.
I strongly recommend this gym for anyone who has children or anyone looking for a gym with a really strong support from its members. During the 5k as I passed people (me going out and the faster crew coming in or as I was coming in passing the slower crew still going out) nearly each person offered up words of encouragement. I follow them on Facebook now and it also appears they are very active in the community which is always nice.
I wear their shirt and wrist bands all the time and if anyone asks me about them I give them a rave review.
Bold City CrossFit
9655 Florida Mining Blvd. W
Bldg 400, Suites 407, 408
Jacksonville, FL 32257