Box Review: Update – CrossFit Kilo

My original review of CrossFit Kilo is still pretty accurate. I got to visit Kilo again this past week and see their new place as I was in Iowa for family. The workout on Friday was awesome – heavy squats with strict pullups for strength followed by a metcon combining overhead squats and deadlifts. On Saturday we did a team Fight Gone Bad, sort of, that ended up being a great lung burner.

The gym is full of athletes. In their new place they have a wall of their teams that have competed in Regionals (TWO teams qualified for Regionals last year) and they have had two men qualify for Regionals (one in 2014 and the owner made it to the Games in 2011). They have a wall of records for girl and hero WODs and the times are very impressive. I think they had 3 or 4 athletes with sub 3 minute Fran times and all 5 slots for the best Murph time were under 40 minutes with the guy who made Regionals last year with an impressive 32 minute Murph time.

Anyway, the new space is pretty sweet. They have CrossFit classes beginning every half hour. On the right they do their warmup and strength portion which lasts about 30 minutes and then the class moves to the left side of the gym to do the metcon and any extra work. Meanwhile, the next class moves in behind the first class to the right to begin their warmup and strength work. There is still plenty of space for athletes who get to class early or stay late to mobilize and not get in the way. There is room for the coaches to work with kids from the University of Northern Iowa, to which it is clear that Kilo has a strong relationship.

Their new place is great and I highly recommend giving them a try if you are in the area.

The entry/waiting area. Filled with trophies, pictures and awards. Also lots of merchandise for sale.

The entry/waiting area. Filled with trophies, pictures and awards. Also lots of merchandise for sale.

A look towards the right side of the gym (strength/warmup side) from a space near the restrooms/showers where you can roll out or mobilize before/after class.

A look towards the right side of the gym (strength/warmup side) from a space near the restrooms/showers where you can roll out or mobilize before/after class.

A look to the left. You can also see the space in the back. There is a lot of room for extra work (running/sleds/prowlers).

A look to the left. You can also see the space in the back. There is a lot of room for extra work (running/sleds/prowlers).

How would you test fitness?

I like checking the local news station website on Friday because they have “9 things to do in Denver” every Friday for the weekend. Kind of interesting to see what they come up with, and, hey, maybe I actually do one of those 9 things sometime?

This week they listed this.

If you have never been to Red Rocks, you need to go. It’s just plain beautiful. If you have never worked out there, you need to. It makes working out a lot more fun…even if that workout is just running steps. The view is amazing and you will DEFINITELY get a good workout. It has been a while since I have been there to workout (last summer?) so I thought I would check it out.

Of course, tomorrow at 7am it will probably be about 32 degrees and possibly really wet, so I won’t go. I’ll stick inside the gym tomorrow to avoid the weather.

I did find the website interesting, though. They basically charge what a CrossFit gym might charge, but do not have to pay any sort of overhead, other than their time and effort. No roof to pay for, utilities, or, and I am guessing, not much equipment. Just use the clients body weight and the surroundings to get a workout.

What really caught my eye was how they test your “fitness” before and after the eight week session. As a CrossFit fan you know I like constantly varied and unknown. The CrossFit Games is obviously not reasonable to test a bunch of people looking to workout. So how do they test “fitness”? This is what they test:

Fitness assessment activities will include running, body fat measurement, weight, BMI, plank hold, push up and stair test.

How would you test fitness if you have just about an half an hour to do so? I wouldn’t use three different measurements to see how fat or skinny you are, for one. Testing body fat, body weight and BMI is basically testing the same thing three different ways, right? And BMI is a joke. Just had to get that out of the way. But, if I was testing, I wouldn’t even bring a scale. However, 99.9% of Americans only care about weight so if you are catering to your clients I guess a scale is probably a requirement.

They test your body composition, cardiovascular endurance, some core and push capacity. Running and stairs are both testing the same thing, too. That’s akin to thinking that biking, running and swimming test something different. It’s all cardio testing.

They test body composition, pushing capacity (to some extent), core (to some extent) and cardio. Not really a solid test if you ask me.

How would you test Jill or Joe Schmoe? What if you had a line of them to test inside a few hours? While I would love to put them under a heavy bar, that probably isn’t realistic – or safe. I would want to test pushing, pulling, cardio and leg strength. I would think a great test would be something like Angie – 100 pullups, 100 pushups, 100 situps and 100 squats would be a great test of general fitness. It tests pulling, pushing, core, legs and cardio. Yep, you don’t have to just run to test cardio. Anyone who has done Angie will tell you that they sweated a whole bunch and were definitely out of breath.

But Angie isn’t really feasible. Not many people off of the street can do that. Something smaller. How about 25 pushups, 25 squats and 25 situps? Might not have access to a pullup bar.

It looks like the first and last workouts are at Red Rocks, so let me use the space to make a nice test of fitness.

This is what I would do:

I would weigh the clients. Very, very few people would embark on something like this who didn’t want to lose weight.

Then, they would warm up and …

Starting at the bottom of Red Rocks they would run up the steps to the top, circle to the other side and run back down. Once you get to the bottom you need to do 50 situps, 50 pushups and 50 squats. Once that is complete you need to use the planters/walls along the outside of the amphitheater and “muscle up” your way up all of the walls (testing pulling a little bit). Once that is complete you run back down the outside steps.

How long does it take you to complete all of that? It tests a lot. Certainly tests aerobic capacity, leg strength, push and pulling, to some extent and a little core. I would think the most unfit I would scale back to maybe only running half way up, half the reps for situps/pushups/squats and instead of using the planters they could do some sort of jump/dip movement on the wall and see if they could press out 15 or 20 times.

I think that would be a great test of fitness. I think the best could complete the entire workout in 10 minutes or so? The least fit would take closer to 30 minutes. They have a solid measurable to see if they get more fit over the course of the session.

How would you test?