A Visit to CrossFit Shadyside

15 Oct

A few weeks back, while traveling for work in Pittsburgh, I had some unexpected free time.  So what did I do?  Immediately googled local CrossFit gyms.  A quick search revealed a box not even 2 blocks away from the hotel I was staying at! Boom! I took my chances that they’d let me drop-in without advanced notice and showed up at a 6:30am class.  I was greeted by Erin, one of the coaches, filled out a quick waiver and had no issues joining the class.

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Crossfit Shadyside is actually located in the bottom part of Ryer Martial Arts Academy. and initially was less than half the size it currently is.  I snapped some pictures of the space to give you an idea of the layout, but it’s a decent size and has lots of equipment tucked away that you can’t see.  IMG_9418[1]

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One of my favorite parts of the gym (and something that immediately caught my attention) was the “Box Rules”.  They’re so perfect for anyone just joining CrossFit and a good reminder for those who have been doing it for a while.  🙂IMG_9415[1]

The WOD (workout of the day) started with 10 minutes of mobility work (rolling, stretching), followed by 4 rounds of max effort Handstand Push-Ups (for me, modified by using a box), 2 minutes rest, then 8 bent over rows (using barbell), 30 russian twists (I used a 20lb med ball).  Finally, we completed a max effort 1000 m row, rested 5 minutes and finished with 4 RFT (rounds for time) of 3 push presses (85% of our 1 rep maximum weight) and 15 toes-to-bar (knees to chest for me).  I can’t remember the weight I used for push presses (maybe 55lb?), but I know my shoulders and armpits were sore for days after this WOD.  Hello, handstand push-ups!

There were probably only 5 people in the class I took, so I can’t say how it is during more crowded sessions, but Erin made sure to check everyone’s form and give us feedback, critiques and encouragement during the workout.  She also made sure I knew where to grab equipment from, which was much appreciated because I was so unfamiliar with their gym.  At first, I couldn’t figure out where the med balls were–they’re kept in a wooden box built into a wall!  Erin has been a coach at Shadyside for about two years and really seemed to know her stuff.  I definitely think it’s important to have someone coaching who not only knows about crossfit movements, but isn’t afraid to correct you or make sure you have proper form.

After class, I got to chat a little more with Erin about the history of CrossFit Shadyside, and she took me upstairs to the giant martial arts area.  Of course, I also took the time to snag some Shadyside tees for the boyfriend and myself!

I’m so glad I was able to check out another box during my work travels (see my last box review here), and highly recommend CrossFit Shadyside if you’re in the Pittsburgh area.  I know I’ll definitely be back!

Do you like to explore local gyms during travel?  What do you look for most in a coach or fitness instructor?  Tell me about it!

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