Last week I was traveling in and around Pennsylvania for my new job and I knew I’d still need to fit in my half marathon training around work. Running is never a problem…I can always find a park or (worst case scenario) a hotel treadmill to get a run in! But what about my newfound love, CrossFit?! Once I knew where I’d be staying, I immediately started googling boxes to do a drop-in. I’m still a CF newbie, but I didn’t want to miss a workout and I also think it’s fun to check out new places and see what they’re doing.
My google search found at least 10 different boxes within driving distance from my hotel, but one clearly stuck out from the rest. CrossFit King of Prussia has 4.9 stars on Google and the reviews were all positive. I e-mailed about dropping in and Aimee (owner & trainer) got back to me immediately saying to come on in whenever my schedule fit.
So last Monday afternoon, I did just that. Upon entering CrossFit KOP, I immediately thought “Holy crap! This place is HUGE!” Seriously, they have a lobby. And a daycare room. And a kitchen. Oh, and shower rooms. And that’s all on top of the 6000 square feet gym space. As Jason (Aimee’s husband, owner and trainer) later explained, the building was previously home to an old theater and still has some of those cool details. Namely, the 20+ foot ceilings and a lion head mounted on the wall overlooking the gym.
Aimee was at the desk when I came in and after signing the waiver, paying for the drop-in ($20) and giving her a brief on my CrossFit skills (or lack thereof), she introduced me to Jason who would be coaching the 4:30 class. Aimee was taking the class herself, along with a few other Crossfit KOP trainers. Cool, newbie chose a great class to drop-in on…working out next to rockstar trainers. Ha! I was ready to be embarrassed and humbled, but everyone was really nice and encouraging. Jason had us start with a warm up- a short run (down to the dam/schuylkill river, NBD), lunges, bear walks, crab walks, etc. The onto the WOD…
WOD: Choose your own adventure!
I loved this throwback to childhood idea, but it wasn’t all fun and games. It was tough. Here’s how it worked:
First, select from the following:
A. Row 500M
B. Run 400M
C. 100 Double Unders
If you selected A. then either choose:
1. Pull-ups (butterfly, kipping, strict, weighted, band or L-pullups)(30 reps)
2. Sit-ups (GHD, KTE or V-ups) (30 reps)
If you selected B. then either choose:
1. Dips (paralette or ring dips) (30 reps)
2. Push-ups (regular, ring or clapping) (30 reps)
If you selected C. then either choose:
1. Walking Lunges (overhead, weighted or Dumbbell)(30 reps)
2. Air Squats (30 reps)
Based on the “adventure” you chose above you must complete the next exercise (15 reps).
A. + 1. = Thrusters (65#/95#)
A. + 2. = WallBalls (14#/20#)
B. + 1. = Deadlift (135#/200#)
B. + 2. = Sumo Deadlift High Pull (65#/95#)
C. + 1. = Shoulder Press (55#/75#)
C. + 2. = Push Press (65#/95#)
As you can see, none of these adventures let you off easy and each one hits all muscle groups. Awesome. Having just run the Cherry Blossom 10-miler the day before, I immediately knew running was out for me and I haven’t quite figured out Double Unders yet. So, I went with A+2 (Row 500m, 30 situps, 15 wall balls). It didn’t sound too bad, until Jason mentioned we were doing 3 rounds of this. Woof.
I finished my “adventure” in 15:51 and am damn proud of that. I don’t really have anything to compare it to, but this was a tough workout for me. I have a very weak core (for now!) and struggled with the sit-ups. Jason had me do them keeping my arms straight overhead (elbows next to ears) the whole time, so I was only using my abs to lift myself off the floor. OUCH. My abs were seriously sore for DAYS. Like 5 days.
I’d imagine this is a tough workout to coach, because pretty much every person is doing a different movement at any given time. But Jason was awesome and really attentive. And as is typical in the CrossFit community, everyone was encouraging. While I knew I was definitely inexperienced compared to everyone else, I never felt judged or dismissed for being a beginner. Humbled, for sure…but mostly inspired!
Despite the tough workout, I had such a great experience at Crossfit KOP. Both Aimee and Jason were so friendly, really pushed me during the WOD and took the time to chat with me before and after class. They each have impressive CF resumes and an awesome dedication to fitness and their business. They’ve grown CrossFit KOP from a 400 square foot space in 2008 to what it is today and it’s pretty obvious why. A welcoming and supportive gym with experienced and passionate coaches is a recipe for success.
If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend dropping in for a workout with these guys. I know I plan to come back for a visit as soon as I get the chance. Maybe I’ll even bring crazy crossfit boyfriend! 😉
Have you ever been to CrossFit KOP? Or done a Choose Your Own Adventure Workout? What’s your favorite way to stay fit while traveling?
I was not compensated in any way for this review. I paid to attend a drop-in class at CrossFit KOP and the thoughts and opinions in this post are solely mine. I was encouraged to be truthful about my experience and am doing just that. I’m always happy to spread the word about great people and places in the fitness and health industry!