As mentioned in my box review from last week; I was going to definitely go to CrossFit Junction. I am not certain why the name sticks out in my head but it does so there must be a good reason why, right? Before going I felt like it was probably going to be full of solid athletes.
As usual I got to CrossFit Junction early before they opened. It was in a warehouse/industrial part of the city which I am getting used to as I visit more and more boxes. Rent is cheap and when all you need is an empty structure it makes the most sense. If the coaching is good and the results are positive people will come and they will make the drive.
If size means anything then Junction is good because it was big. Lots and lots of floor space. They had a pullup structure that could hold eight individuals in the corner and it looked tiny sitting in the back corner with all of the floor space. They had tons of med balls, bars, bumpers and even had multiple GHD’s (not too many boxes I have visited have more than one).
Leaning against one of the garage doors was a tetherball and a pole and I asked what they used that for. “Fun” was the answer I received. The coach said they would play tetherball with each other during the summer while they waited for people to warm up or use it in place of warming up, etc. That’s a great idea and another thing I love about CrossFit: there are so many ways to have fun and get fit and the more boxes you go to you find many different ways they do this. I saw a video on Youtube the other day where one of the big CrossFit boxes in California (produced Kris Clever and Becca Voight) warms up playing dodgeball! How fun would that be?
The class was a small one. After visiting WestCo you almost wonder…with WestCo having such a large class (maybe 20) and the class at Junction was only four. That is quite a difference. Who knows? I know people kind of come and go for their workouts and possibly the day I was at WestCo there were a lot of folks who usually don’t attend the 5am class show up while at Junction many of the regulars took a rest day? But it was almost a shock going from such a large class to such a small one.
As mentioned in my review of WestCo I destroyed my abs at Junction as we warmed up by doing three one minute weighted plank holds followed by three one minute seated weight twists. I couldn’t laugh or cough for two days following.
The WOD itself left something to be desired, if you ask me. We did squat snatches EMOTM for 20 minutes with the option to increase weight every four minutes. While I certainly need the work on my squat snatch as I have a hard time getting under the barbell and holding it, it seemed easy. I would have rather gone for 10 minutes and did one every 30 seconds or two on the minute. Something to increase my heart rate more.
Out of the four people in class one was lifting quite a bit of weight but he hurt himself on about sixth or seventh lift. He quit and at first I was shocked because I thought he was just upset he didn’t make his lift so he gave up, but later it became apparent that he felt something in his shoulder and rather than risk serious injury he stopped. Probably a great decision.
After the WOD we did a “Paleo Squat”. Something I never heard of and you can read more about it in my WOD post from that day. It was pretty painful and rough.
The coach was nice that morning but seemed a bit bored. With a class of four on a chilly morning and a fairly slow WOD like we did I think it is understandable. There wasn’t a lot of energy in the building that morning. I think the problem with boxes that big is if you have a small class it just feels empty and that hurts your ability to perform. If the class is bigger you feed off of others and feed off of the energy in the room, but when the place is that big the energy dissipates and the motivation isn’t as strong.
In the end the box was nice, the coach was willing to take my money for a t-shirt and mail one to me when they get more in stock (they only had men’s small and extra large sizes available) and the people were OK, just a bit quiet. I found myself wishing I had returned to WestCo for my second workout. That wasn’t due to having a bad time at Junction it was because WestCo was fun. I wish I could go to Junction again and attend a larger class because I really think my opinion and view of the place would differ if I could.