A few months ago, we had a visitor. Below is her review.
No Pretty Boys Allowed
Tonight I visited TitanFit on 7109 Girls School Ave. Indianapolis, IN. 46241. From their website I was nervous that they were going to be a gym full of fearless athletes that would look down their muscle-bound sculpted noses at me. The owner, Herb, is an accomplished Weightlifting Sports Performance coach. And they espouse a few “no-nonsense” type quotes like:
Simply put if you are exercising for “boy band” abs, we are not the facility for you.
I arrived at the end of the 5:30 WOD during open gym. This is only the 3rd Crossfit gym I have been to but it looked pretty typical to me. The smell of sweat and triumph clinging to the walls, unfinished drywall, plywood structures, a slip-covered couch. Ok, maybe the frat house of CrossFit gyms but it’s not supposed to be pretty and fluffy. It’s a place to get down to business!
I stood awkwardly by the door until greeted by THE Herb Sampson. I had emailed ahead and been told to stop by anytime after 5 so he was sort of expecting me. I had mentioned that I had some CrossFit experience but as my husband pointed out they probably get that a lot from the people who have seen it on the Biggest Loser via Bob Harper.
He put me through a warm up/fitness test of band walks, band squats, (see the irony here?! boy band? lol) and arm stretches then asked me to show him my pull-ups (2-3 kipping and band assisted.)
Start in 3, 2… whenever you feel like it
He was very laid back and explained that he tries to make the gym like one he would want to work-out in. They are not strict on the WOD class times and he seemed to indicate that it was more of an open gym atmosphere with some people starting at 5:00, 5:15, or 5:30 for the first evening class and they just naturally fell in groups.
I can see what he is trying to do here and I will be going back to try out a “real class” at these times to see how it works, but in concept I HATE THIS IDEA!
One of the things I LOVE about CrossFit over other options is the community atmosphere and the fact that you are all doing the same workout at the same time. Some scaled of course, but I like that there is a distinct start time (3, 2, 1, GO) for all of us and the music gets cranked up. For me it creates an urgency and intensity that helps me push myself. I think letting people create their own heats would not only leave this intensity behind (I did see people standing around and lazily doing Burpees- HOW DO YOU LAZILY DO A SET OF BURPPEES??!) but it seems like it would create fragments within the TitanFit gym community and exclude new kids like me which can be discouraging.
Herb had me do Jackie (1000m row, 50 Thrusters, 30 Pull-Ups) for our introductory 1-on-1. As a trainer he seems very solid and corrected me often on my form, which I like. I finished in 12:48 with 35# thrusters and band assisted kipping pull-ups (hey, I said I was beginner dammit!!) I don’t want to make excuses but I did feel like I stopped mid-WOD a lot more. I think it was because
a) I’m out of shape.
b) I was doing it by myself.
c) Colbie Callat came on the speakers during my WOD. (I CANNOT GET JIGGY WITH THIS SHIT!)
Planet Fitness of CrossFit?
It was a good workout, he was a good trainer, for me- it was hard, but it was not FUN. I meandered out more inspired to hit the drive-through than to come back for another class. It was not the meat head gym I was expecting but I almost think I would have prefered it to the laid back se-la-vie atmosphere I found on this particular Tuesday night. I also admit that I tend to be really high maintenence and require A LOT of attention, praise, and excitement. These were not things that I foresee getting from this place. I would have to be more self-motivated to get more out of it, but if I wanted to do it on my own or work out lazily alongside other people without interacting with them wouldn’t I just go to Planet Fitness?
The Return of the Jedi
I’ll be going back in the next week or so to do a Part Deux and see if my preconceived notions about the intensity is unfounded. The reality is that this is a thriving gym with lots of good members that appreciate the TitanFit take on CrossFit.
What do you think? Am I being a Diva?