Fortitude Fitness Crossfit (Austin, TX)

Posted: March 3, 2014 in Ex-er...size?
Tags: ,

My dad is in town for SXSW.edu (because it can still get bigger, apparently) and asked me to wake up at the ungodly hour of 5:30 to do a WOD with him at the box of my choice. I had been looking at Fortitude Fitness for a while and decided to give them a try.

Over the weekend they had moved to a new location that is freshly painted black and orange off of Airport road and we got to de-virginize the floor with our dynamic warm up, stretching and lift-prep before we tackled the Crossfit Total. (1-rep-max of strict press, back squat and deadlifts).

The class was 5 of us in total, which is great size for a 6:30am class. It may have been smaller because of the (weird/ungodly) weather that all of America (including Austin) has been experiencing lately. (The only sucky part of the WOD was that the bars were SO COLD that my hands felt like they were frozen to them. “Screw hook-grip! Wanna hold onto the bar? Just wet your hands!”)

Athan (the coach/owner who teaches at the Texas Officer Candidate School for the Texas National Guard) informed me that his subs are in the high-90s with 7-15 new members every month. They used to be a bootcamp for 18 months before opening Fortitude officially in early 2013. I asked him what made his box different and, for the first time ever, was surprised by his answer. (most people say “OUR COMMUNITY!” but they don’t really grasp WHY the community is the way it is.) Athan knows why his is awesome:

“The programming is done specifically with the intent to make my athletes feel awesome!” Basically he has a cycle of strength, endurance, cardio and hybrid. Between these the athletes will leave the gym that day feeling like they have accomplished something awesome. “That feeling carries over into their personal lives, too. Like if they are at work and their boss gives them a really hard assignment, they typically look at it and say ‘pfft. no problem!’ because they remember the wod they never thought they could do- but DID.”

And because Fortitude hones in on that “I feel awesome/accomplished” feeling and make that their goal, everyone joins in on the goal and all the members become a team. Just like in the military (or in any situation where you “go through the trenches” with a group of people) you bond. That bond is the community of any box.

After the WOD, I certainly felt accomplished. It has actually been about a year since I did a CF Total and it’s always nice to do benchmarks to see where your numbers stand in comparison to last time.

Another thing that Athan does is mix up the WODs to incorporate “odd” (unique) moves that he has used in the military. Things like “seated box jumps- for distance”, Good Mornings, and Stiff Leg Deadlifts.

Thanks guys! I’ll definitely come back (when you’re all painted/muraled up) to check out some of the more unique programming wods!

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