Michael and I spent Christmas in New York this year. So, a few days before we flew out to the bitter cold of the Northeast, I drove three hours to see my parents and have a little R&R before the hectic rush of holiday travel. My parents were actually staying at condo on the beach when I came to see them (Hmm, wonder where I get my travel bug from?), so our R&R was that much better!
I packed my sneakers and researched local CrossFit boxes in their area and picked CrossFit Manatee because of its proximity to Anna Maria Island, its easy-to-navigate website and member quotes/testimonials up on their site. I also really liked their mascot!
Twenty bucks gets you a drop in at CrossFit Manatee. Another $20 and you can get a shirt with a buff manatee on it. It is still one of my favorite shirts from the gyms I have visited! It is soft too! I do wish they would have decreased the drop-in price with the purchase of the shirt, but only because I think it is a nice gesture. But, to each their own.
Depth of Knowledge and Quality of Coaching: B
By definition, all CrossFit coaches are certified through CrossFit or they are not CrossFit coaches, just coaches. All three coaches are certified at Manatee CrossFit. I met Lucas, the owner the day I dropped in. He helped me with the (incredibly easy) drop in process of signing a waiver and paying. Rob was our coach and his sense of humor was silly, but welcome! The day’s workout (listed in entirety below) began with Snatches, heavy snatches. Rob worked with an athlete to modify his snatch due to limited flexibility and he also worked with another to keep the path of her bar closer to her before dropping under the bar. His coaching for them was solid. However, I gave a B as I did not receive much coaching myself. I got some “atta girls” which I definitely appreciate, but snatches are complicated and technical feedback is crucial to improving. I will chalk it up to the fact I have some of the best coaches in the CrossFit world, so my form is pretty good to begin with. 🙂 But there is always, always room for improvement.
Intensity of the WOD: A
I loved the Snatch work at the beginning of the day and even though the WOD was quick, it definitely got my heart rate up! I wanted to rate this WOD lower than an ‘A’, but only because of my own intense dislike of double unders, not because of the intensity. I also liked that there was a cool down and mobility options programmed in and written up for the last few minutes of class time. On another good note: Unlike my drop in at Arena Ready CrossFit in San Fran, I had my own jump rope! Yay!
Appearance and Function of the Facility: B
There were three people in the class that I dropped in on. With a small group, the space was just fine. However, with any more than 19 or 10 people, especially with barbells out, I can see how the space would be too small. There are two rooms to use, but the space is divided up. They have rigs in both rooms, and make the most of their space. The paintings on the wall were a cool mixture of humor and inspiration – both of which are important to CrossFit training! They also have a huge white board where members get a space to write their own goals and PRs. It struck me as a great place to showcase their sense of community and hard work. The gym was clean and the equipment was new or gently used and very functional.
Overall, I really liked the coaches I met while working out and I think CrossFit Manatee has huge potential with Lucas at the helm. Their cute mascot may or may not have persuaded my decision to drop in, but my time there assured that I’ll drop in again if I ever find myself back out of Anna Maria Island.