Performing walking lunges across the floor of the vast CrossFit Praxis takes quite a bit longer than it would at other gyms.
There’s a reason CrossFit gyms are called “boxes.” That’s what they normally look like — sparsely decorated warehouses stocked with an assortment of weight plates, ropes and kettlebells. But Washington’s two newest CrossFit facilities are trying to think outside the box when it comes to developing an identity.
Talk about the next big thing. This place has two separate CrossFit spaces, each with 22-foot ceilings, which leaves plenty of room for ropes and rings to hang. The larger studio boasts a 50-foot-long pull-up bar that accommodated 19 athletes simultaneously during the gym’s November opening. “And you can really do sprints in here,” says head coach Joe Freeman.
That’s just the ground floor. The plan is to turn the entire 26,000-square-foot building — which was used over the summer to host Vitaminwater Uncapped Live, a pop-up music and arts festival — into a health and wellness hub centered around CrossFit. Large locker rooms are going in on the second floor, where they may be joined by a cycling studio and yoga room. At the top level, there’s space to set up offices for physical therapists, massage therapists, accupuncturists and other bodywork professionals. Also, there’s a patio, where they’ll soon start outdoor training. “It’s an amazing facility that will allow you to do anything,” Freeman says.
CrossFit Praxis: 2217 14th St. NW. Prices are $135 to $249 per month, depending on how often you want to do the WOD, or Workout of the Day. If you just want a taste, Praxis also offers a free class every Saturday at 11 a.m.
Second Wind CrossFit
If you’re training for the CrossFit Games, look elsewhere. This week-old facility in Brightwood is geared to newcomers.
Owner Steve Dolge built up a following with his outdoor boot camps, and is now transitioning his mostly female clientele — many of whom have never done a pull-up — to CrossFit. “We’re accessible to everyone,” says Dolge, who explains it’s possible to modify any WOD exercise.
He’s still offering his boot camp-style classes on Saturday mornings, only now, his clients are protected from the elements (and have bathrooms with showers to use to clean up after class). Dolge also offers triathlon coaching.
Second Wind CrossFit: 5509 14th St. NW. Membership is $145 for visiting twice a week, or $175 for unlimited workouts. It’s $20 to drop-in.
No one seems to know what’s behind the major proliferation of CrossFit gyms along 14th Street. But once CrossFit Metro Center opens for business, there will be five facilities dedicated to forging elite fitness either on or within one block of a four-mile stretch of the street. Joe Freeman, of CrossFit Praxis, says there’s been talk of planning a “box crawl” along this CrossFit corridor. It’ll be like a bar crawl, except participants will exercise at each stop.