My Class Pass free trial continued on Saturday morning with my first trip to a CrossFit "box." While I've never ventured into the world of CrossFit, I'm familiar with a lot of their terminology, (AMRAP, WOD, "for time," etc.) and have always thought I would love their high intensity nature.
But belonging to a box is not a financially feasible option for me. Luckily, BRICK offers a bootcamp-style class called B|X that's available for sign-ups through Class Pass. B|X incorporates some basic principles from crossfit without the fancy Olympic weight lifting moves that take months to work up to.
Strength-building movements, dynamic explosive movements, cardio, endurance - this class was a non-stop sweaty challenge.
BRICK has two locations in NYC and I visited the one near Grand Central. The space is massive for Manhattan, with three floors, a full-service coffee shop (with fancy, health-fad drinks like coffee with butter and MCT oil), protein shake bar, and tons of different gym areas for their variety of class offerings.
Everything is very...orange - but organized, spacious and clean. Not to mention they have top of the line equipment like the TrueForm Runner treadmills that were incredible!
The locker rooms had showers with complimentary razors, Q-tips, hair ties, etc.
After checking out the digs I went into the room where B|X classes are held. There were about 20 of us in the class and I will say that it felt a little crowded at times - though there were plenty of machines and equipment to accommodate everyone.
Our instructor, Scarlett, started class right on time (which is something that I always appreciate).
A quarter of the class started on the rowers, a quarter on the treadmills, a quarter on the spin bikes and a quarter on the mats for burpees. We did two minutes of cardio before switching to another station for another 2 minutes.
Lucky me, Scarlett came over to let me know that I was on the bike which was permanently set at the heaviest resistance. After 2 minutes of that torture device, I got to complete around 30 burpees in 2 minutes. Warm-up? I was excited/petrified for class to start.
Next was an AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible). For 6 minutes we rotated through 10 alternating straight leg marches each leg, 10 alternating back lunges each leg, 20 Russian Twists, 20 mountain climbers (knee to elbow).
As we mentally prepared ourselves for what was to come next, Scarlett walked us through the set-up for the rest of the class. B|X works by splitting the class into 4 groups who rotate through 4 different 7-minute working stations. There's a 1 minute break in between each station.
Scarlett was great in her explanation of each station and demonstrated each movement in case there was any confusion.
STATION ONE - COMPLETE AS MANY ROUNDS AS POSSIBLE IN 7 MINUTES
- 10 Calories on the Rower - this took around 1 minute to complete
- 15 Push-Ups - while Scarlett was very specific in how we should be properly performing our push-ups, I fully admit that I wasn't feeling up to it and instead floundered around on my knees in a pathetic attempt at correct push-ups
- 20 Later Jumps - there were different sized hurdles that we could use and I opted for the lowest one
STATION TWO - COMPLETE AS MANY ROUNDS AS POSSIBLE IN 7 MINUTES
20 Sit-Ups - I don't normally struggle with sit-ups but these were brutal after Scarlet showed us how to ensure that we weren't using our hips to help lift ourselves up (bend your knees and put the soles of your feet together, forming a diamond between your legs. On the way down, make sure your hands touch behind your head and on the way up maybe sure your hands touch out in front of you).
40 Mountain Climbers
STATION THREE - COMPLETE AS MANY ROUNDS AS POSSIBLE IN 7 MINUTES
- 10 Push Press - A little bend of the knees before straightening to push dumbbells overhead
- 10 Kettlebell Swings
- 10 Wallballs - These are a typical crossfit exercise that look simple but are deceptively killer!
STATION FOUR - LADDER FOR 7 MINUTES
- 100 Meter Sprint
- 5 Squat Thrusts - another go-to crossfit move, this is a front squat with two dumbbells into an overhead press and they are HARD
- 100 Meter Sprint
- 10 Squat Thrusts
- 100 Meter Spring
- 15 Squat Thrusts
- Continue until 7 minutes are up
During this station I climbed onto a TrueForm Runner treadmill and let me tell you - those things are like MIND READERS! At first, I couldn't quite figure it out. The belt was moving slowly even though I wanted to run faster - you don't input a speed - it just intuitively knows when to speed up and slow down based on where you're standing.
Eventually, I figured out that as you run closer to the front of the treadmill, it will speed up. After class, I spoke with Scarlett about the TrueForm and she explained that it's designed to make you run with perfect form - high knees, butt kick, almost as if you're falling forward. Even people who are extremely in shape say that it's extremely difficult to run on the TrueForm - but I found it to be pretty comfortable! Granted, I only ran 100 meters at a time, but I'm really interested in finding some other gyms and studios with these machines to give them a spin for a longer run.
WHAT I LIKED:
- Again, this class was a huge butt-kicking in the best way possible.
- You get to use SO many different things - a rower, treadmill, bike, kettlebells, dumbbells, etc.
- The 7 minute stations make each set of exercises seem possible - "I can do anything for 7 minutes!"
- Scarlett did an amazing job at explaining each exercise, correcting form throughout the class, encouraging us to finish each station strong, giving us a heads up when the clock was counting down, and letting us know when it was time to start back up.
- There's no way you can be bored during this class as you're constantly doing something new.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:
- So far I'm 2/2 on classes that I've tried through Class Pass exceeding my expectations. B|X had everything I look for in a workout.
- The one thing I would say is that the space was ever so slightly cramped.
*Based on a scale of 1-10
The Studio - 9
Spacious, packed with shiny, top of the line equipment
Class Size - On the larger side
There were about 20 people in my class and though space was a little limited, there was plenty of equipment and everyone still got personal attention from the instructor
Sweat-Scale - 9.5
Soaked through my sports bra for SURE.
Fun-Factor - 7
Constantly doing new exercises and only staying at each station for 7 minutes meant that you never had time to feel bored or wonder "are we done yet?" Perhaps B|X could add a little bit of competition or team-work to the stations to bring up the "fun" score. I was in a group with 4 other people during the whole class but there wasn't much encouraging each other or bonding over our shared pools of sweat.
Amenities - 8
Cost - $$$
(<$20 = $, $20-$30 = $$ and $30+ = $$$)
If you can't commit to crossfit full-time but still yearn for a workout that will leave your feeling sweaty and STRONG B|X might just be the perfect solution for you.
BRICK also has locations in Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles. You can get your first class free on their website!
HAVE YOU EVER USED THE TRUE FORM RUNNER? WHAT DID YOU THINK?
DO YOU LIKE CLASSES WITH DIFFERENT STATIONS OR WOULD YOU RATHER DO ONE ACTIVITY LIKE SPINNING OR BOXING?
HAVE YOU TRIED A CROSSFIT CLASS? WHAT DID YOU THINK?
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