Posts Tagged ‘austin’

My dad is in town for (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!

Crossfit Fogo (Austin, TX)

Posted: February 5, 2014 in Ex-er...size?
Tags: , ,

I recently went to Carnaval in Austin, which is a giant costume party with a ton of half-naked people all listening to cumbia music and doing a conga line through the hordes of people. Fun times! Besides the band there was also a bunch of Capoiera fighters/dancers in between sets and off in corners showing off. Apparently those dancers were from Capoeira Evolucao’s/ Crossfit Fogo’s Studio!

Part of my personal goal of 2014 is to get enough core strength to do this:

Spoiler/confession: I have a long way to go. :-\

So I went to Fogo Crossfit expecting a new crossfit experience- one based on calisthenics- and I wasn’t disappointed. The WOD was a twist on an old favorite: “Deck of Death”- but everyone got their own deck and got to cycle through the hell/death/deck on their own pace. (I appreciate this!)

The 4 elements were

    • Burpees,
    • “hard-core situps” (kinda like a reverse burpee: with a weight above your head, you lay down on the ground, do a situp/stand up and put the weight over your head).
    • jumping lunges
    • ball slams
    • 100 mountain climbers when you hit a joker

The class was small (4 athletes plus 1 coach) and the gym itself has hard-wood floors and a full-wall mirror (used for the Capoeira class) along one wall and a beautiful mural on the other. It’s a slightly smaller space, but for the amount of people that are there for crossfit, it’s perfect.

(Note: They are moving this summer to a much larger location, which I hope to see someday! Individual sections for Crossfit, Capoeira and Yoga!)

In probing the coach, she admitted that this box has a does a lot of creative movement lifting. Like “bent over press
and doing hellacious workouts on Thursdays. (like 10 burpees, EMOTM for 30 minutes).
I will give them credit, though, it seemed that the most important thing that they focus on is technique and form. The head coach (Brian) will work with you and stress getting great/perfect technique before you are allowed to move up in weight- which is really refreshing.

They also really encourage you to get “whatever you want” out of your workout. Do you want to be faster? Do you want to be stronger? Do you want more of a cardio or weight-lifting workout, today?” It’s up to you to scale it however you want to and set goals for yourself.

The coach that I trained with was Kelly- who was a ray of sunshine and happy to answer all the questions that I pestered her with. Alex, the owner (and the coach of Capoeira) also had an infectious happy attitude and just wanted to make people happy and healthy (using any exercise he could). After my Deck of Death, though, I couldn’t move, let alone do another class that required coordination- so I’ll be joining them again for the (free-first time) drop-in Capoeira class.

For those who don’t know what Capoeira is, here is a video. It’s basically martial art fighting, but without touching the other person while looking graceful.

If you are looking for something different than your average crossfit/work out regime and want to feel like a graceful badass, I would highly recommend checking these guys out! 🙂



Philip Tamez was sick of working in corporate America and needed something else in his life. He started a box in his gym and then inspiration hit him one day that said “I enjoy helping people get better. Improving people’s lives. I’m doing it for fun, I should do it as a career!” So he quit in July 2012, moved the box down the street to a bigger location and that was the birth of Crossfit Bulletproof. Now they have 135+ monthly members. Truly a success story.

I won’t lie- this is very parallel to my life as well. Wanting to just better people’s lives that are around me instead of working for some scmuck in an office that I can’t wait to exit from so I can go to the gym and hang out with my friends. It’s the last part that Bulletproof has acknowledged and made sure to emphasize.

Sure, it’s a gym, but it’s a social hour. Not in the aspect of talking- I think I gasped a few words to a few people during the rests- but there was a softball-team sign up (with 36 names on it), rockclimbing events, happy-hour nights and kid-days posted on a littered cork-board on a wall.

I had come early and watched the 20+ “newbie” class knock out the “Grace + Elizabeth” wod. People of all sizes and shapes were there lifting, panting, possibly happy-crying, while 3 (sometimes 4) coaches walked around, gave tips, corrected forms and broke down the movements for the other athletes.

They have a “level 2” class, which is designated for people who have been doing crossfit for a while and need minimal help on the movements. This is the class where the other coaches train and Philip was the main/master coach during this WOD. It was exciting to work with Austin’s elite. (A team is made out of these guys and then taken to competitions that random boxes around Austin hold. There’s about one every month, apparently!)

All in all, I’m glad I visited/sweat with these guys- and I would definitely check them out if you’re looking for a long-term stay. Short-term won’t cut it here… This is a family that you will become part of once you join. 🙂