Saturdays are usually meant for the boys… but recently they have been my days to get out and involved in the Austin fitness scene. Usually I try to take a fitness class or go to a group meet up… occasionally I spend them battling hangovers. This week’s class was Crush fitness, a locally owned non-franchised studio on South Lamar. Their style is much like Orange Theory as they both stick to a treadmill and weight segment. Typically I’m stuck in my ways and stick to traditional body building lifts and use basketball as my only sources of cardio. Thankfully I have a boss who has taken this class before and had a free pass so I decided I would shoot my shot and go. I woke up at about 7 am, sat outside on my balcony with a fresh cup of coffee, and contemplated why I wasn’t hitting chest today. After some deep contemplation and a couple push-ups I decided to go. The studio was only a mile from where I live and without any regrets I chose to drive there (totally worth it).
My first impression of the studio was how compact it was. Each hallway was no more than five feet wide and the fitness studio itself was half the size of a normal studio. They had nine treadmills and nine benches with a maximum capacity of about 18 people. This concerned me a little but I wasn’t sure why. I suppose I just like the feeling of a big studio instead of a mouse in a cage. My boss soon showed up and we got to our stations and there was no more time to think about the anything.
Class itself started off very suddenly. I was expecting a nice speech or introduction by the instructor to build some kind of rapport. Something I do for my own classes is start off with some cheesy line about how pain is temporary (I usually try and force a couple chuckles). Anything to try and get people to feel comfortable with me and each other. With little introduction we were set off and on our way through the 75 minute class. The class is broken down like this:
-Run for 12 minutes (sprints followed by steady hill climbs)
-Weight circuit on bench for 12 minutes
And you go back and fourth between these like 5-6 times. So after the class finally ended the instructor led us through an incredibly simple stretch, gave us a lovely smelling towelette, and wished us farewell. I wandered to my car, said goodbye to my boss and reflected on my experience.
The Price: I was given a promo free class pass which is a great way to reel people in. Normally a class will cost about 25-30 dollars depending on if you buy in bulk or a one time session. This seems to be a standard price for most classes and considering it was 75 minutes. I don’t think the price is out of line.
The workout: I have mixed reviews about the workout itself. In terms of calories and muscles targeted I have no complaints and can see the appeal in a workout like this. Cardio is my least favorite thing on this planet (next to mushrooms) but when it comes to calories I understand why studios throw it in. The weight section used kettlebells, dumbbells, medicine balls, and sandbells so there was plenty of variety, which was good. We worked legs, shoulders, back, biceps, triceps, and core (barely) which seemed pretty inclusive to me. Throughout the entire workout I burned a total of 1,000 calories which I then gained back instantly with tacos and a stupid thick smoothie.
The instructor: Here’s where my biggest beef with the class came. The instructor was a nice guy and didn’t slip up much at all during class despite the amounts of cues he had to give. I asked about his prior experience and he said he had no group ex training or personal training experience. He was just a client that was asked to teach the class. That’s what explained the lack of descriptive queuing when it came to posture and the quick and simplistic stretch. I mean we just ran 3 miles and did nearly 100 rows and shoulder presses. Our shit was fucked up and we just did 2 minutes of basic stretches. So although I had a good experience overall I am not like most people who take these classes. Not everyone is aware of proper form. I would expect after a weeks worth of classes you would see a lot of novices with early signs up muscle tightness and imbalances.
The atmosphere: I suppose I compare everything to soul cycle now when it comes to how they make you feel but that’s just what I hope to receive. The minute I walked in I didn’t feel a sense of community, rather I felt closed in. Everyone who came there seemed to be by themselves and there for themselves. When class started the instructor didn’t walk around asking how everyone was, making jokes, building report. He just started class abruptly and from there you spent the entire time like a lost puppy waiting for the next cue. Everyone’s different but I love to walk around class and make my clients feel welcome and comfortable. I find time between sets and cues to crack cheesy jokes or to ask a member by name how they’re feeling. I just want them to feel comfortable around me and the rest of class. There was no partner work in this class and no way to build a relationship with people which was a let down to me. Now maybe this is just meant for those looking to get in and out and cut all the other bullshit. Maybe it was just the instructor I had, maybe he was having a rough day. There were a lot of factors that could have been in play so I don’t want to judge all of Crush for one class.
So overall I had a decent time at Crush. It has it’s pros in being a full body workout that works on your cardio and strength. It has it’s cons with a lack of community and tight confined space. It is definitely worth trying though and will kick your ass even if you’re in decent shape like myself. My next class to review is orange theory as that seems to be just like Crush. Hope you enjoyed this one and stay tuned for the next one!
XOXO – Fitness and Shit