Location

Very easy to find, parking a little light but serviceable, very large square footage

Equipment

Lots of bars and plates, very large rig, good number of rowers

Instruction

Gordon was top notch and attentive to all athletes, including me – the guest

Vibe

It was a full class, everyone very positive and talkative

Crossfit Exertion

Dropping into Exertion was made easier for me by a couple of things. First, I know a few athletes there. Second, I’ve met the head coach, Gordon, before, if only fleetingly when I dropped in there months ago to drop off a poster and a personal invitation to his members to my Bedford 5k to Beat Lung Cancer. And third, as a member of Nova Scotia’s Crossfit Affiliates Association, there was no drop-in fee. I just had to show up early enough to sign their waiver. Fourth and finally, Exertion is about one kilometre the front door of my home – just at the bottom of the main road into my neighbourhood. So it was a no brainer to BoxJump to Exertion. I just happened to make it my second stop because my friend Amy, who’s worked out there for some time now, encouraged me to come by for a visit during their lunch time class. She spoke very positively about the group she works out with regularly so I figured that would make it a fun time to drop by.

So on a day when I has already worked out with my usual 6am crew at Rocky Lake Crossfit, I dropped into Exertion at about 11:45 to say re-introduce myself to Gordon and sign the waiver. He remembered me from the run, and by the time I was done with the waiver and changed my clothes, we were ready for the warmup.

The warmup went by quickly – itself an every minute on the minute mini workout of burpees, switch lunges, push-ups, and sit-ups. The first component of the WOD was a barbell workout – a “death by” workout consisting of power snatch and bar over burpees – each round adding one more rep to each – with a 90 second time cap on each round. It was a tough one, and I rather enjoyed it. Gordon wandered among the athletes, correcting form either during or after lifts. I was the second last to finish, managing to complete round nine just before the buzzer. No way I could have immediately started round 10 so I wrapped it there. Another athlete finished 11 rounds – impressive.

Then after a brief break, we moved onto workout B – a metabolic workout for which every movement involved the knees – each round, a 1000m run, then 30 double unders, then a 30 calorie row. I scaled it to avoid the pressure on my knee, switching a 30 calorie row in for the run and 30 pull-ups in place of double unders. Bridging from round 1 to round 2 meant staying on the rower for 60 calories in total, so it was pretty tiring – but I’m getting used to it with the number of times I’ve been scaling runs to rows lately to spare my knee. Lesson learned: if you ever start to feel issues with your knee, stop what you’re doing and allow it proper time to heal because it seems whatever amount of time it takes to bring it on is quadrupled on the healing end.

A brief cool down after the workout and a chat with a few of the other athletes and everyone was out the door – it was, after all, a workout in the middle of the day and people had places to be.

Overall, I quite enjoyed the class at Exertion. Despite their overall square footage, because they have a little more equipment in place taking up a more significant footprint of the building, the end of us working out in the noon class were still in fairly close quarters for the barbell workout in particular. But that’s without equipment being pushed to the side, rowers tipped up, etc. so they certainly have enough space top manage slightly larger class sizes if they needed to – but with one instructor, the ratio of 10 to 1 that I’m used to certainly worked here as well. I don’t think most gyms, even if they had the space, would want to push that ratio too far without very experienced athletes making up most of the class and therefore not needing as much one on one attention.

Gordon was very friendly, gave me some efficiency pointers on my kipping pull-ups, which I immediately put to good use. It was a great visit and I hope to come back some time down the line after I’ve visited more gyms in my box jumping experiment.

Where can you find them?

Crossfit Exertion

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