I will preface this review stating that CrossFit LoDo is the box that got me hooked, so this review might be a bit biased. I have held off doing a review on LoDo simply because I think it will end up being so glowing that it won’t be worth anything, but, it is what it is.
There are hard to find CrossFit boxes and then there is LoDo. Hidden under an old building just a few blocks north from Coors Field you will find a garage door marked with CrossFit LoDo. It is a hidden gem.
When you walk into the box you see basically what you would expect from the appearance of the outside. Inside you will find exposed wooden beams that appear to have been in the same place for at least 80 years. Under your feet you will find old, broken concrete floors where there isn’t stall matting. If you walk into the front door to the left you will see racks for weights, some rings hanging, rowers and stacks of weights. Kettle bells, bumper plates, mettle plates, dumbbells, barbells and anything you can think of you make yourself stronger. Along the walls are exposed bricks, big bricks, the sort of bricks that you would hate to rub against because it is rough and ragged.
As you walk further into the box to your right you notice another room with more exposed pillars, more matting and lots of sweat (assuming you arrive during one of their many classes). This is where the jump ropes and med balls are hidden and the CrossFit classes take place. In the front of the room are the boxes and WOD scores displayed from previous workouts. At the back of the room is a garage door that is opened as often as possible so the awesome parking lot and almost nearly perfect 400m track (actually a lap around the building next door) can be taken advantage.
This, to me, is CrossFit. Dirty, dingy, cold and hot at the same time. The perfect place to go and get a really good workout and not care about what you look like. Why would you care in a place like this? This place has one purpose: fitness. Fitness can be defined by strength, cardiovascular health or flexibility and all of this can be achieved at LoDo. Get on the floor and do pushups? On that floor? OK, get it done and LoDo is one of the few boxes I have been to that has a shower (boys and girls) available to its members after a workout. So get dirty, get sweaty, get fitter! You can shower later.
LoDo has tires, sleds and other odd objects great for CrossFit use. The ceilings are low for a CrossFit box but thanks to the character of the box there are some slopes and slants and that lends itself to have some pullups bars about six to seven feet from the ground and in the same room enough distance from floor to ceiling to hang rings for muscle-ups.
One thing separates LoDo from many of the boxes I have visited in the past year (check here for more reviews): they have a lot of “open gym” time. With the way the box is laid out you can easily work on Oly lifts, if you choose, while a typical CrossFit class is occurring without interrupting or getting in the way. If you want all the space to yourself they even have quite a bit of time during the day when they are open with no classes going on. As their website used to say “The benefit of a globo gym with the CrossFit classes” (or something along those lines).
The coaches are LoDo are great. They give great instruction and pay equal attention to everyone during the class to ensure everyone keeps proper form and is properly motivated. The combination of experience between the coaches at LoDo is great.
The variety is also added benefit. They offer Olympic lifting specific classes, Georgia is an Active Release Therapist (for those days when you are super sore), they offer mobility classes, often masseuses or even experts in applying kinesio tape are available at LoDo and of course they have a lot of CrossFit classes during the early morning, day and evening. They used to have Yoga classes but I think those are no more.
If it is community you like they also organize many events for the members outside of the gym. They have done bicycle pub “crawls”, holiday parties and health based events like their current Paleo challenge (I wish I could take part in that one!).
After all of this gushing one might wonder why I don’t continue to workout there: it just became too far for me. I like to workout early and for me to get to their 5:30am class I had to leave my place no later than 4:50am. By the time I worked out, showered and got to work it was 7:3o or sometimes even 8am with traffic. The CrossFit I go to now I have to leave at the same time but their class starts at 5am. I am usually at work no later than 7am and those 30 minutes (or 60) can be huge.
I strongly recommend CrossFit LoDo to not only beginners but experienced CrossFitters. LoDo offers not only “level 1” prescribed weight but they often prescribe “level 2” and “level 3” also. They have “level 3” classes which are aimed towards those who want to compete in CrossFit and also “level 1” only classes for those who are completely new to the sport.
It is a great place.
That wasn’t too biased, was it?