Box Review: CrossFit Establish

20150609_063344_resizedAs my family was making its way from Colorado to Wisconsin we had an overnight in northern Kansas City, Missouri. There is a hotel in Liberty with a pretty solid water park inside of it that is included with your nights stay. When you have children that are 6 and 3 that is a HUGE win on a long road trip.

For a guy like myself I have to search for CrossFit boxes nearby. There were three or four boxes pretty close to the hotel, including CrossFit NKC which I visited a few years ago (and apparently didn’t review?!). However, this trip I needed as much time as possible to get the family to Wisconsin and the closest box was CrossFit Establish. In looking at their website and Facebook it looked like a solid place to train. It was.

I arrived early in the morning before most everyone else except the coach and owner. Both introduced themselves and made sure I felt like I was at home.

I wish we had turf like that at my box. Would be a lot of fun.

I wish we had turf like that at my box. Would be a lot of fun.

As I was stretching my shoulders because we were going to start with snatches I started to notice a trend in what the other athletes were doing as they slowly showed up for the early morning class…I realized that all of them were doing the same stretches. As more people kept arriving, and eventually doing the same pattern of stretches I initially thought that the box must have a basic set of stretching everyone does before class. The stretches were popular, yet effective stretches like the ever favorite couch stretch and some pigeon stretching. But then I noticed what looked like a warmup on the board, some of it in lingo I wasn’t familiar with. While I like to consider myself well versed in CrossFit lingo or exercise lingo in general I am always amazed how I run across terminology I don’t recognize all the time. Some gyms refer to things differently. Even things as common as PVC pass-throughs.

Anyway, I soon realized I wasn’t doing the prescribed warmup for the day. This was the one thing I didn’t like about Establish: they didn’t keep me informed on what I should be doing, class schedules, patterns, how it would be run, etc. When I have visitors attend one of my classes I make sure they know I will start the warmup and the class will warmup together, what to expect for the WOD, cool down, etc. In this case I had no idea what some of the movements were in the warmup or that it had even started. Thankfully I know what I like to do to get warmed up for snatches so it turned out OK, but for a newbie this could be a real turnoff.

The strength portion was a snatch complex of a hang snatch + snatch + overhead squat. Every 2 minutes for 20 minutes you performed that complex. Add weight if you wanted. I worked out near the owner and he was very cool as we were able to chat about whatever in between efforts. The coach also made two solid efforts to watch me and my form. I like to think it looked so good he didn’t have to provide much feedback – that and there was a girl who was obviously very new and she received the bulk of his attention, which was correct in my opinion.

Main WOD space

Main WOD space

After the snatches the WOD was an eight minute AMRAP of five power snatch at 135 and 10 burpee box jump overs. It was a sweaty mess. There was only one other guy RX’ing the workout so I did my best to keep up with him. He had me in the snatches, but I caught and passed him in the burpee box jumps. In the end, however, he beat me by a rep or two. After the WOD I walked up to him and thanked him for the push because I was trying to beat him and he caught me by surprise by saying the same thing back – that he was trying to keep up with me.

The beauty of visiting other boxes – trying to make a good impression you push yourself harder and others might benefit other than yourself.

Finally, to finish off my t-shirt, we went outside for two rounds of 50m sprint, 10m lunge, 10m broad jump.

All-in-all my experience at Establish was good. The people were friendly and the space was really nice. They just need to clean up the initial part of class for those who are not members and not familiar with how they warmup and I would highly recommend Establish to anyone visiting or living in Liberty.

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