CrossFit Brand X

4.8
based on 10 reviews

Location5Perfectly safe

Cleanliness4.6Fairly Clean

Equipment4.8Nicely Equipped

Coaching5Superb

Atmosphere4.8Somewhat friendly

432 Maple Street
Ramona, California 92065
United States

Web:

MAP

Reviews

The box we aspire to be

Posted 5 years ago by

I don't really know where to start. We have visited Brand X a number of times now, and on every visit have been welcomed with open arms. The community there is second to none and the owners, Jeff and Mikki are the most generous and kind-hearted people we have had the pleasure to meet on our CrossFit travels. Their knowledge and expertise is outstanding, and the work they have done with the CrossFit Kids programme is life-changing. I simply cannot recommend this box enough.
Equipment wise they excel. There is something for everything and it is always such fun! And if anything could top the set up, it's the coaches.
Brand X is the box we aspire to be like, and that is the biggest compliment I can give. Keep up the fantastic work!

Overall experience

5

Location5

Cleanliness5

Equipment5

Coaching5

Atmosphere5

Squiiirreeelllss and stuff

Posted 5 years ago by

I travelled over from Scotland to the States to compete in the 2008 CF Games. I am a satelite BX er and very proud to say so. Jeff, Mikki and family very kindly offered me a bed for the whole time I was in the area. What other people would do that, given the fact they did not even know me!
I wish I lived closer as the standard of coaching is second to none. I can honestly say I have never came across nicer people in all my life!

The work they do with CF kids is so important in this day and age with obese and unhealthy children only goes to show that they care about the next generation.
I watched a couple of CF kids classes while I was there and was blown away with how they engage the kids and the energy they give them to enable them to be there best!"

I will never forget their hospitality and count them as dear friends always.

Julie Cleghorn
Scotland

Overall experience

5

Location5

Cleanliness5

Equipment5

Coaching5

Atmosphere5

Highlight of my trip!

Posted 5 years ago by

You see, I travelled to California in 2008 to compete in the Crossfit Games. When Jeff heard I was coming he offered a place to crash if I wanted to hang out with the BrandX crew for a few days beforehand. A real no brainer there and the time I spent at the box was easily the highlight of the trip, even more valuable and enjoyable than the Crossfit Games a week later.

I have a little different experience than many of the other reviewers. I run my own box in North East England and whilst my own movement certainly got a few helpful hints the most valuable things I took away were ideas on how things should be done. From programming, to cues, to gym set up to what really draws people to make the pilgrimage to Ramona - the community that is centered about that big ol' box in that little town.

Truly honoured to be a satellite BrandXer

Cheers, kempie
Crossfit North East England

Overall experience

5

Location5

Cleanliness5

Equipment5

Coaching5

Atmosphere5

Gold Standard

Posted 5 years ago by

I don't know if I can expand on any of the reviews other than to echo what others have already said.

My history with Brand X starts with the scaling they provide as a resource for main page Crossfit. For folks without a box, and without huge work capacity this is the only thing that makes crossfit accessible to the understrong and underfit...

I became a fairly active member of those boards, first as a complete newbie, then eventually well, I learned enough that the Martins graciously allowed me and another satellite member build up a FAQ page.

As for my crossfitting, I'm a bit of a gypsie. I've attended three crossfit gyms as a member, and several as a repeated drop in client (I travel for work, so I get around).

I've also worked out in my garage for long periods of time and have had personal distance training from a Brand X trainer.

Basically I'm trying to say that I've seen a few different gym styles, and that Brand X is the gold standard.

They've always had kids in the gym, whether their own or the kenpo classes they've run for years, so they are more family friendly than any other gym I've seen.

They have more experience teaching than almost anyone out there. What I mean is that they are experienced, so if your'e having trouble, they've seen it before, and they're students of the art of physical fitness, so they're still learning and growing. Brand X was one of the top affiliates when I started crossfit in 2008 and I'd still put them up against anyone. They were the ones who had to learn how to teach the ordinary folks who came in the door, not the self selecting "firebreathers" that gravitate toward crossfit.

They do use mainsite programming and they do their own, with one exception: They're really really good at it. Newbies think crossfit programming is mashing up a bunch of stuff like a chipper for 30 minutes. The folks at Brand X know that a decent small couplet or triplet that's short, sharp, miserable, and memorable is where the magic happens. Do they do long wods? Sure, but they know when and where to put them. Furthermore, more gyms are coming around to the way they've been doing things for years. When I started, most crossfit gyms did the crossfit warm up, the wod, then you went home. First time I was at Brand X, we did some different warmups, dynamic movements, some lifting, and then the main wod. Was it fully developed? No, but that template has now spread across the land.

Furthermore, they're just good people. They invited me to their home when they didn't know me from Adam. Since that time I've made it a point to get out there at least once a year. Every time I've dropped in, they've coached me gratis, let me hang out and learn, and whooped my backside with a wod. Oh, and the Friday night spot they go to after class knows to bring paleo margaritas (the Mikki Margarita) and plates of meat. Seriously....

Now, I'm a partisan and cheerfully admit it. But I don't know that you can get a better experience than this gym, once you factor in all the "plusses".

Overall experience

5

Location5

Cleanliness5

Equipment5

Coaching5

Atmosphere5

Brand X sets a high standard of excellence and they treat you like family

Posted 5 years ago by

I loved the multiple visits I have made to Brand X.

I discovered Brand X in 2008 through their website and the free scaling of the crossfit.com workouts that the coaches offer. This is an incredible service that Brand X provides the entire crossfit community.

If you have a chance to visit you should. It is worth the drive from however far. A few years ago my brother and I did a road trip from Northern California to San Diego primarily just to hang out at their box and get excellent coaching. It was an amazing experience. We did this simply because we were garage crossfitters who were helped out so significantly by their website and the helpful forums. The only problem is that I had such a good experience at their gym that I haven't been to another crossfit affiliate that has comparable coaching! They set the bar high.

Jeff and the coaches do a PHENOMENAL job and have created an incredible community and training facility. Jeff, his family, and the coaches at Brand X are the kind of people you want on your side when the sh*t hits the fan and you are in serious trouble. They are generous, kind, they pursue excellence in their own lives, and they teach you to pursue excellence in your own life.

They have a unique space, a great tumbling floor, they emphasize safety, proper technique, and a warm and inviting community. The offered different kinds of classes, had solid programming, and creative warm-ups. It had a family-friendly atmosphere and it was fun to see the crossfit kids classes that they had. It was common for parents and their kids to crossfit at Brand X. This is the kind of place you hope your children will love and grow up in like Jeff's kids have. Whether you are getting up there in years, you have young children, or are a serious crossfitter with your sights on the Regionals and the Games, it would be difficult to find a better place to train. I met multiple people that would drive past many boxes on their way to Brand X because of the coaching and community. They also take their training seriously and it was obvious that they seek virtuosity in their coaching.

This truly is a killer box.

Josh K

Overall experience

5

Location5

Cleanliness5

Equipment5

Coaching5

Atmosphere5

Life changing experience, Fun atmosphere, Serious coaching

My home boxPosted 5 years ago by

I have been a member of CrossFit Brand X since 2004. As pointed out by Craig M, this box is a foundation affiliate and the Martins have established many of the common elements of boxes around the world. All of what Craig says is true and I won't repeat that here.

My experience at this affilliate is personal and unique but also a shares a common thread with many people I have spoken with over the years.

I was a chubby computer geek with little physical coordination or confidence when I started training off site with Jeff and then two members of Brand X who came to my office to teach self defense classes. Over time I have seen many changes in myself as well as CrossFit and at Brand X. But here are some of the things I see as consistent over time:

1) Committment to virtuosity - It is not always ok to just go fast. You have to master the basics before you can blur the line between form and speed. “NO REP” – Get used to it.

2) Commitment to safety: "Put that down." "Not in my Gym" and "Don't be stupid." Sure it is cool to lift really heavy stuff and to PR in the benchmarks but not at the expense of injury or overtraining.

3) Commitment to well-rounded lifestyle: Being in the gym is secondary to being a happy, well-rounded person. Your commitment to working out is only good as far as you can sustain a healthy balance. Barbecues and study halls and support of volunteerism are a big part of Brand X.

4) Commitment to healthy nutrition: Brand X promotes and helps support a way of eating that follows the original CrossfFit "Fitness in 100 words" by Greg Glassman. Fitness is forged in the kitchen as well as in the black box. The quality of food and the quantity of food you eat contribute to your performance as well as body composition.

5) Commitment to smart programming: The Martins are the originators of the "Puppies, Pack, Big Dawg" scaling and the CrossFit kids and CrossFit teens programs. Buy in and Cash outs add value to each class. The Martins and the staff host and create seminars and classes using principles from other affiliates and incorporate them into the class structure (Mobility, Gymnastics, Endurance, as well as the Strength Bias created at by Jeff Martin, CrossFit Mom founded by CrossFit Brand X trainer Andrea Nitz.)

6. Commitment to Mentoring - I would be remiss in not giving credit to the many trainers and staff that make Brand X a great place to train. Some have come and gone but the core team is a wonderful group of mentors and examples of caring and commitment. Dan Strametz, Dan Edelman, Debbie Rakos, Danelle Marks, Andrea Nitz, Connor and Keegan Martin, as well as new trainer Camzin M with whom I have not trained, but I am confident she meets the high standards Jeff and Mikki maintain for staffed coaching. Allison Patinaude and Lura Poggi are beloved crossfit kids trainers who I love to watch nurture the littlest children's love of play and fitness. I hope I have not missed anyone.

Personally, I have been changed over time by these principles, have gotten stronger, faster, better, more confident and overall happier by being a member of the Brand X family. I have had some long absences and I always feel missed, and welcomed back when I walk in the door.

As with every program, you get out what you put in, but if you come with a willingness to learn from those around you and follow the advice of the very experienced and careful instructors, you will grow and thrive at CrossFit Brand X.

My worst complaint ever is that sometimes it has been too crowded but class schedules are expanding and the space next door, the Hurt Locker is often used for extra classes and for training that is more geared toward a competitive focus.
Check it out. It’s worth the drive and you won’t be sorry!

Overall experience

5

Location5

Cleanliness4

Equipment5

Coaching5

Atmosphere5

Visited once. Did not get a chance

Posted 5 years ago by

Visited once. Did not get a chance to attend a class but did a one on one with one of the coaches during an off hour. Have been to many CrossFit gyms around the country, this one has a truly unique space. I am sure the gymnastic floor is fun for CrossFit tumbling. Received outstanding coaching during my visit (and beyond the visit via their phenomenal, free online forum and via paid remote coaching). The gym and town are tucked away in the hills, but it was well worth the 1+ hour drive from the San Diego area. Definitely recommend this gym.

Overall experience

4

Location5

Cleanliness4

Equipment4

Coaching5

Atmosphere4

I wish I COULD train here all the time.

Posted 5 years ago by

CrossFit Brand X has a reputation in the CrossFit community for the highest standards of coaching and character. They were the 5th affiliate registered and are now the longest continuously operating affiliate in the world. Every affiliate starting up should visit Brand X to see what a CrossFit box should be. Several have and they've acknowledged that their own boxes are the better for it.

Unfortunately I can't train at Brand X all the time. I can only visit and it breaks my heart every time I have to leave. I'm apparently the only person in the world who wants to move TO Ramona if I win the lottery. My wife and I have made really good friends at Brand X. Last visit the trainers practically fought over having us over to their homes for dinner and several, including the owners, Jeff and Mikki, have offered to have us stay with them. I have never been as impressed by any human beings as I am by Jeff, Mikki and their staff. The word I keep coming back to is "honourable".

Brand X trainers have a well-deserved reputation for the highest standard of coaching, producing athletes known throughout the region for the quality of their movement. Connor Martin is a member of the Level 1 training certification team, several, 3 or 4? Of the other trainers are on the CrossFit Kids seminar team and Jeff Martin is one of the few people in world to have been awarded the title of "CrossFit Coach" for their contribution to the growth of CrossFit. If someone is allowed to run a class at Brand X you know they've been carefully trained during an extended internship under very demanding supervision. Jeff drives himself hard and expects no less of his staff. I’ve seen him checking on clients he knew to have a problem while he was running seminars in Australia. He and Miki have a capacity for caring that he would be embarrassed if people knew about. So I’ve told people Jeff, live with it.

Jeff and Mikki were personally asked by Coach Glassman to develop the CrossFit Kids program. The program and methodology they developed is now in use in hundreds of CrossFit boxes across the world and Brand X remains CrossFit Kids HQ. One of my favourite things to do is sit and watch the Kids classes at Brand X. The trainers are so great with the kids and it's wonderful to see how much the kids have grown and developed as athletes between visits. Some of them have gone on to own their own affiliates and many more are trainers at affiliates across the country.

I loved seeing so many families there. You’d see one parent in the morning class, another in the evening, the kids after school and grandparents during the day. Families have 3, 4 and in one case 5 generations of family members training there. And they’re all so friendly to a couple of strangers from the other side of the world. We fitted right in to the classes, they taught us, corrected us, scaled the workouts for us and were unceasingly professional. I train at home normally and was overwhelmed by the volume of people through the place on our first day. When I watched for a bit, and tried the classes for myself, I saw how well run the classes were. It’s what you’d expect I guess, if you’ve been doing it for longer than anyone else you get pretty good at it.

Jeff has a particular love of powerlifting and he’s taken CrossFit athletes to being state and National record holders. The methodology he developed is now known as “CrossFit Strength Bias” and modified versions of that template are in use all over the world. It gets results.

Since our first visit, I’ve come to maintain their website for Jeff and Mikki. I don’t take any money for it and their attempts to pay me have become something of a longstanding battle between us. I believe in what the Martins are doing and I’d do it if it cost me to do so, which I guess it does to some degree. I will always look for ways I can do more and I hang out for the time when I get a chance to get back to dusty, hot Ramona and train at Brand X.
Nothing I say can overstate what you find at CrossFit Brand X. As overblown as this review may sound, the truth is better. I stand by everything I say and anyone wanting to verify anything can contact me at craig@metric.gen.nz

If you can train at Brand X, do.
And I will be incredibly jealous of you.

Overall experience

5

Location5

Cleanliness4

Equipment5

Coaching5

Atmosphere5

Visited several times

Posted 5 years ago by

I've visited BrandX several times in the past 5 years and each time has been the best. Jeff, Miki, Dan indeed everyone, trainers and clients alike have been welcomimg and friendly. I've become a better CrossFitter each time I have visited due to expert and inspiring coaching. The box gets bigger and better all the time. I live in Colorado and would be deeply disappointed if I were ever in SoCo and were unable to fit in a couple days at BrandX.

Overall experience

5

Location5

Cleanliness5

Equipment5

Coaching5

Atmosphere5

Good box

My home boxPosted 5 years ago by

Saw a post on this box by Paula S. I don't know who you are or if you are posting false facts under someone else's name, but my name is Paula Stephan and I was a member at Brand X for 4 1/2 years and I was the only Paula there that I know of. It is a great box with great trainers and they were like family to me. I left recently for my own selfish reasons. So whoever you are, Paula S., post your last name or stop using other people's names.

Overall experience

4

Location5

Cleanliness4

Equipment4

Coaching5

Atmosphere4

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