Even as I write this, it’s still far too nice to day for indoor activity, so it was with great and misplaced reluctance that I journeyed to the third stop on my Gym-a-palooza tour: Crossfit Gym. Situated in Santa Barbara’s one-of-a-kind Funk Zone, amid wineries, butcher shops, art studios & restaurants—with plenty of off-street parking just the same—I was still less than ready to get boxed in indoors. Imagine my surprise when I pulled up to see this sight awaiting me:
An impressive number of fitness buffs still en route, I thought. What was the deal? Were they lost? Loitering? Leaving? I didn’t know for sure, but I did know it was a lot of muscles hanging around outside, when inside is generally the sinewy destination. Confident I wasn’t running late after all, I hurried to join the other folk prepping to do…er…something. Get their cardio on, or leave it at the door. It remained to be seen.
And seen it was. Felt, stretched, lifted, pulled, pushed, squat & run, too, since the focus of Cross Fit Gym is exactly that. Already in its fifth year, and affiliated with the national chain, its programs & classes are a combination of “metabolic conditioning, weight-training & gymnastic movements”—to quote Level 10 gymnast & Level 1 Crossfit trainer: Naomi Recania-Nelson. Better known as the “Ninja”, the young lady was to lead the class in which I participated…A class that—even before I started its intriguing mix of motion–I knew would be a special treat.
Because we weren’t going indoors. Not after our warm-up run of 400 meters around the neighborhood, and not for the duration of the: W.O.D.–Crossfit’s catchy acronym for its 12 minute: Workout of the Day, which in turn describes the subsequent class instruction conducted alfresco in the temperate breezes wafting offshore from nearby West Beach. The option to attend class within the confines of turnkey Fisher’s Gym is available during the rare rainy day in Santa Barbara–the establishment that works cooperatively with the adjoining Crossfit operation—as well as free gym hours for Crossfit.
That was hardly necessary today, with temps in the high 70’s, and after describing the exercise options du jour, the Ninja supervised the stretching of creaking cores, hammies, & bursae (at least from where I was bending over toward painfully distant toes) before proceeding to the calisthenics. With plenty of squats, push-ups & pull-up reps to choose from—aided by medicine balls & weights for the more
foolhardy—it was clear no body part could simply “phone it in”, so I was especially glad to take advantage of my Photo Opp excuse to slack off. No, no—pushes hands forward and demurs—no need to thank me. My lazy sacrifice was all for you, chickens, as I absolutely eschewed a fitter me there, for a phatter post here. 😉
Laziness I left behind, when the Ninja capped our reps with a 100 meter run, followed by 50x abdominal exercises of choice, whatever pull ups one could manage, without or without the aid of a gigantic rubber band–which was pretty fun, actually–as well as the de rigueur, cool-down stretching session. I had fun whipping this heavy rope around after that, an enormous loop of jute described to me as: “heavy” by one member and: “all of them” by another, when queried as to which muscle group it worked. After less than a minute at these formidable Reins to Nowhere, I was out of descriptions, as well. (or maybe just out of breath!)
Todd says it’s the velocity that gets ya’!
The Ninja & Stephanie
Stephanie’s Stylin’ Steppers
I hope you can feel the camaraderie & sense of community emanating from this wholesome crowd —because they were surely that, as much as they were collectively ripped. It was my best sweat stop on the Gym-a-palooza tour to date, and with a manageable number of 100 or so members, they might need to add a final “Dalmatian” to their spot. There wasn’t one “Gun Show” scheduled among these super-fit guys & gals, making it a nice change from the automaton experience & narcissistic pools some gyms trips tend to feature. Everyone I encountered at the co-op operation was friendly, helpful and unplugged, if you can believe that, in this day of the ubiquitous iPod, and as eye candy goes, you couldn’t order a better looking beach whereon to set up sweaty shop.
Crossfit’s YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/CrossFitHQ, and find them on Facebook!
209 Gray Ave
Santa Barbara CA, 93101
Tyler Medearis- Owner & Head Coach/Trainer. Crossfit Level 1 cert, CrossFit Olympic cert, CrossFit Kids cert, ISSA personal trainer, NREMT-B, MCMAP Blk Belt Instructor.
Phone number: 805-448-4999
Basic Movements Course dates:
Mon 2/18, Tue 2/19, Wed 2/14 630-730 pm(Course Filled)
Mon 2/25, Tue 2/26, Wed 2/27 630-730 pm.(Course Filled)
Mon 3/4, Tue 3/5, Wed 3/6 630-730 pm.(Course Filled)
Mon 3/11, Tue 3/12, Wed 3/13 630-730 pm(Open)
Catch you chick-a-rooz on the rebound, when I visit a Yoga studio and get my Downward Dog on…
BIO: Based in Santa Barbara, CA, Karen Robiscoe is a certified Corrective Exercise Specialist and personal trainer through NASM. DBA Kardio with Karen, she is additionally certified as a Group X instructor and Spin teacher with Fitour, a licensed Livestrong Cancer Survivors instructor by YMCA, and a fully accredited Aquatics teacher with AEA.