When we first heard the term ‘CrossFit box’ we thought it referred to a piece of gym equipment. But no – apparently that’s the name for a gym equipped up to host the much talked-about CrossFit workout.
Founded in the USA at the outset of the millenium by Greg Glassman, the fitness trend has been gradually gaining popularity outside the States and, following on from the arrival of Crossfit Delmon – which came to the island two years ago – there are an ever increasing number of boxes springing up in Bahrain.
So what is CrossFit? Well, it’s described as ‘a strength and conditioning programme… aimed at improving muscular strength alongside cardio-respiratory endurance and flexibility’. Or in other words, it’s a workout approach which uses an ever-changing mix of aerobic and body weight exercises, combined with Olympic-style weight lifting. A typical session might include pull-ups and handstands, or rowing, squat jumps or and powerlifting.
CrossFit is designed to be high intensity, but it’s not the exclusive refuge of fitness freaks. The aim is for anyone to be able to do it, with the momentum and intensity of the workout tailored to the fitness level of each participant. Put simply, the results are obvious: The fitter you become, the more you can achieve from your CrossFit workout.
In a bid to stay faithful to Glassman’s founding principles, the system runs out of affiliated boxes, with classes typically including a warm-up and workout of the day, which is often scored and or ranked so you can check your progress and compete against exercise buddies.
Where to CrossFit in Bahrain
CrossFit Delmon The first ‘box’ in the kingdom to be affiliated by the programme’s American founders, CrossFit Delmon is run by Ahmad Al Sharaf and Osama Kamaluddin, who introduced the concept to the island two years ago, and have been going ever since, helping inspire scores of new fitness enthusiasts to take up the approach.
Ahmed has been training in CrossFit for more than seven years and coaching for close to three. He is a CrossFit Level 1 coach, British Weightlifting coach, CrossFit mobility trainer, and a CrossFit Kids coach.
‘I believe that CrossFit has changed my life in many ways,’ said Ahmed, ‘and my dream was to open a box and spread CrossFit with the hope of giving people a chance to turn their lives around for the better.
‘And here I am today running one of the Middle East’s biggest facilities.’ Classes run Sat-Thu throughout the day, including beginners’ and ladies only classes. BD5 per class or BD30 for ten sessions, to be used over three months. CrossFit Delmon, Al Nakheel Highway, Gate 1129, Block 528, Barbar, Budaiya. Call Ahmed (36 755 499), Osama (39 533 130).
CrossFit Blacksmith A ‘box’ which has clearly attracted some hardcore workout nuts. Online testimonials for Blacksmith include ‘People walk through the door and say “Hey, where are the machines?” WE ARE THE MACHINES!’ (from Kad502) and ‘This really shows you what your body and mind can achieve! And it’s fun too! Never going back to the gym,’ (Dana Alwardi).
Blacksmith also posts a nutrition blog on its website as well as a work out of the day, and members can log on to see details of their own work outs. There’s also nutritional advice. Classes run Sat-Thu from 4pm with open gym on Friday. There are also ladies only classes daily except Thu. Rates start at BD40 per month for two classes per week up, to the ‘beast’ package at BD120 for two months of unlimited classes and open gym use. CrossFit Blacksmith, Wali al Ahd Highway, Hamala (17 004 455).
Reps While not officially affiliated (yet) Reps is hosting the same style of workout, and with accreditation in the offing, this is the newest and possibly funkiest-looking box.
Based in Juffair, the venue uses top-of-the-range Rouge equipment utilising body weight, barbells and cardio to create a high intensity workout hitting all areas of fitness. Classes are run by former Royal Marine John Maxwell, who’s also known for HIIT THAT bootcamps, and the aim is not only to build fitness but also to create a good community within the box. Classes run five days a week, Sat 4pm and Sun-Wed 8pm-9pm, with more sessions planned. The introductory rate is BD35 per month. Reps Fitness Studios, Business Bay, Juffair (77 377 348).