Crossfit Black Five
Early days.. but this place could be spectacular!
My home boxPosted 5 years ago by Sean M.
8/9/2012- At the time of writing this affiliate is in its infancy but has some big dreams and vision. It's been set up as a multiple partner operation, all of whom are passionate about CrossFit (one being Samantha Briggs- 2 x CrossFit Games Finals/ 4th 2011). The premises is up there with Velocity in the UK for wealth of space. At present there is no way you could claim to be on top of each other in a class, its that roomy. It has a specific area for the olympic weightlifting with around 9 racks. The general class area which has three full length platform strips for additional weightlifting space and plenty of room. A large pull up rig although a little high off the floor for my personal taste..but no biggie. Lots of rings including a gymnastic assistance harness for fun and games. 4 20ft ropes, plenty of skipping ropes and bumper plates.
The other side of the gym has a mini climbing wall, crash mats and is where the kettlebells, large tyres, Atlas stones, 6 concept 2 rowers, ab mats and medicine balls are kept. This area is used for post class wods or alternative classes on the timetable for (Train Manchester) such as bootcamp or kettlebells. Front of house there is space for a future planned cafe area selling good nutritional snacks and food. It has a nice cushioned floor surface although be careful with tyre flips as they can shift the panels as they are not fixed to the floor. There are two ground floor toilets and upstairs they have two spacious showers as well as mens and female changing rooms, plus a physio room. Back on the ground floor I forgot to mention they also have a partitioned PT room. Perfect for quiet undisturbed one on one's with a squat rack, jerk blocks and other common training kit.
The place has a good used and functional feel to it but the size can take some getting used to. The walk between the pull up rig and and the walls for say handstand press ups/wall balls is a litte longer than the average box..all added rest though eh! When it's a quieter period you can often be at opposite ends of the gym so it doesn't always have the intimacy of smaller gyms.
Kit-wise this place will be perfect once they have a GHD machine and some dumbells and maybe get some more forgiving ab mats as the ones they have are a bit thick and hard. Prowlers and power sleds would be cool but they don't really have a natural outdoor spot for using them as they are city centre based in a quite commercial/apartment dense location so we can't have everything I guess. For shorter running workouts it's not my favourite affiliate as you have to watch out for passing commuters on corners a lot and cars outside. There's a tricky loose stone section down one side of the building to account for also which jacks up the unknown and unknowable a bit.
The gym is aimed primarily at city centre dwellers and parking has to be paid for with it being at a premium in such a spot and the gym has only two designated spots for staff. This may be a barrier for some but if you are close by and can walk, its not an issue. I come from a little outside the city and have to watch the times I head there for. Anything around 5-6.30pm makes it a little trickier for me to get there as traffic is a bit more congested around the gym.
Coaching wise they have two highly competition oriented coaches in Darren Freeman and Sam Briggs (Level 1 Trainers, CF Oly Lifting, British Weightlifting Level 2 coaches, CrossFit Gymnastics, CF Endurance) who look to cultivate that ethos into the members and they are always on the lookout for members to embrace competition in CrossFit as well as improve their general fitness and skills.
They are supported by a number of coaches including a specialist Olympic Weightlifting coach who competes in the sport, Pete Brzezinka who really knows his sport. In house physio and Gymnastics specialist Jay Glover and a number of assistant coaches including the other partners Matt Foster and Dom Beardwell. They also have an intern program giving the opportunity for budding coaches to shadow and assist in classes. They regularly host UK comps for the wider community and are now venturing into holding fitness courses at the venue.
It has a slightly different flavour atmosphere to my previous affiliate, a little reserved at times but the size of the venue dictates that a little I think. It does have a core group though that enjoy training and playing together and they eat, drink and be merry together plenty outside of the gym which to me is a massive indicator of a healthy, fun thriving community at your affiliate. Keep up the good work guys!