Reebok CrossFit Back Bay Review

January 17, 2012 · 18 comments

Last week, I tried CrossFit for the second time. A new studio opened up just a few blocks from me and was giving out free trial classes to potential new members.

I admire the competitive nature of CrossFit, to which I discovered last year when I visited CrossFit Fenway in Boston.

They somehow turned exercise into an actual sport you can compete in, complete with the CrossFit Games. Reebok, who is a sponsor at the Back Bay location, recently began an ad campaign called, “The Sport Of Fitness Has Arrived.”


For my session, the instructor began by taking us through a warm up Tabata, my favorite! We did 20 seconds of squats, followed by 20 seconds of forearm planks. This was a good warm up but not as efficient in my opinion as a dynamic warm up. It was a cool exercise though for the gym to show off their awesome timer. I took the picture below at the end of the session but it was set up to act like a Gymboss, complete with automated alerts at 20 second and 10 second intervals for four minutes.

Like I mentioned above, this was my second visit to a CrossFit studio. Both facilities put me through what they call a “Baseline” workout. The Baseline consists of a 500 m row, 40 squats, 30 sit ups, 20 pushups, and 10 pull-ups.

Above is my vlog from CrossFit Fenway. At Back Bay, I had to row on one side of the gym and cross to the opposite side for my pull-ups, which were not set up properly for me to immediately begin. We had to add a few weighted plates for me to stand on in order to grab the rings. Both times, I did use a green elastic band. Last year I got 6:04 and this year I got 6:30. However, if I had not had to adjust the height for the pull ups, I think I would have tied my time, but that is just me.

Either way, according to the chart above, I am an expert. That works for me. However, I do understand I am not an actual expert since I did need the assistance of the green band. This is kind of where I ask, how do you compare when you offer these advantages? It’s not really accurate for women using an across the board starting line.

The class was small and energetic. I had a great group of fitness enthusiasts it seemed. Half had tried CrossFit before. I don’t feel like my knowledge of CrossFit is adequate enough to really give it a good review. The baseline is not enough to know what an actual 55 minute workout is like. That being said, the facility was clean, open and bright! The classes will be capped off at about 12-15 and classes will run on the half hour I believe. They can only have about 300 members so it’s going to be a first sign up, first served basis.

They had an incredible response before opening. Over 800 people registered for a free class like the one I took. After the class, they give you the sales pitch which is expected and totally fine. They are brand new, they gotta get members some how. The part that shocked me though was the price. Cross Fit is expensive! I understand most CrossFitters do not belong to other gyms, so if you are planning to join, you might want to wait for your other membership contract to expire. I can’t remember what the exact rates were, but I left under the impression that at a minimum you will be spending over $200 for a monthly membership. It’s not like a regular gym membership in that you can go whenever you want. You need to sign up for a class, arrive on time and finish in 55 minutes. They are prepared to add classes and slots where needed to satisfy their members.

Update: Some one on my Facebook page had a good point. You’re paying for a monthly gym membership plus a personal trainer for each time you go. Makes more sense to me, when you think of it like that.

I enjoyed the class, and loved the space. Wish I could have gotten more of a taste of what CrossFit actually is. Perhaps if they run a special, I’ll buy a package but I can’t justify spending the amount for something I’m not 100% in love with. If you do Cross Fit, and I know many of my readers do love Cross Fit, how much do you pay a month/session? I’m very curious now, because I was shocked.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shandi Alegre January 17, 2012 at 9:50 pm

My husband is opening a crossfit gym in our area and we have been to a lot of them to research prices and class sizes and equipment. Anyways most of them charge anywhere from 150-300 depending in the gym the best one we have been to started at 150 a month unlimited classes (they offer crossfit,speed x, kick boxing and a crossfit yoga) now since they are so big and have so many members they increased it to 175 a month but that is for unlimited classes I feel like the price you are talking about is a little crazy seems too high but then again it is a trainer you are working with and having a personal trainer is more expensive then that so hopefully their price isn’t to high cause everyone I know that does crossfit gets addicted and loves it!!! Xo (also most crossfit gyms let you try it out for a week since you can’t really get the feel in just one class)

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2 Sarah January 17, 2012 at 10:11 pm

I realized the the way they presented the monthly fees, they priced it down to how much you pay per class – not on top of the amount, so for a month unlimited, it’s like $319 but if you went every day, it would be $10 a class… I thought it meant you had to pay an additional $10 per class. Yes, I’m blonde but I still think it’s expensive. I know I would love it, I just don’t think spending $3,600 a year on a gym membership is smart for a 27-year old, especially when my job has be trying out new classes all around the city. Good luck opening up your studio! It seems like the people who love it, are willing the spend the $$ which is awesome. I’m not one of them yet, but maybe some day!

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3 Shandi Alegre January 17, 2012 at 11:26 pm

Yeah that seems extremely high in price I don’t know if I would pay that much if I wasn’t 100% in love either ! Hopefully they do do something like a groupon or a package deal you could do!

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4 Maria @ Pappa Don't Preach January 17, 2012 at 9:51 pm

I’ve heard GREAT things, AMAZING things about CrossFit and as much as I love it and the challenge of it all, I just cannot justify spending that amount of money when I’m already committed to a monthly gym membership elsewhere. I would still want the option of doing a drop in class at my regular gym.

The fact that the demand is going up probably won’t increase the chances of prices going down. I mean, is there a specific reason why monthly memberships are so high?
I’ve done some research to locations in my area and they are in the $200-300 price range per month! It’s pretty outrageous.

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5 Sarah January 17, 2012 at 10:14 pm

my thoughts exactly. It seems like due to the gain in popularity, the prices have no reason to fall. Oh well… It’s only a matter of time before a gym like Planet Fitness rips off the idea and just opens up shop with the bare bones of a Cross Fit gym.

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6 Julie January 17, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Glad you talked about the pricing! I’d love to try cross fit, but can’t afford it! It seems like a great workout, but I wish it was a little cheaper!

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7 Viviana January 17, 2012 at 9:54 pm

That’s crazy! I get it’s a new studio and a fairly new “craze” in fitness but I really don’t know how we the normal people could afford anything like that! I go to LA fitness in San Diego because there is no better choice around here. It’s mainstream but it’s only $30/month! And I take Barre classes but not all year round because they are so pricey as well! $110/month and I think Barre has its limits too so I would not want to pay that much for a studio where I only do Barre classes. I wish they has a nicer gym like your where they offer Barre or Tabata classes too, then I would gladly pay more, and get lots of choices! Hubby got me a pack of 10 Barre classes and I’m planning to go only every once other week to mix up my gym routine! Other than that, it’s the TIU workouts, your videos, and my couch to 5k running sessions! ;)

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8 jesse guy January 17, 2012 at 10:37 pm

Just a correction Sarah, it is possible for you to do pull ups. Love the idea of competition with fitness! Thanks for sharing, u rock!

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9 Sarah January 17, 2012 at 10:55 pm

I can do pull ups! I just need to green band to do 10 of them :) haha

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10 Kori January 18, 2012 at 2:09 am

Disclaimer: I am a communications director for two CrossFit boxes!

Two thoughts: Consider yourself an “expert” at your level. A good CrossFit coach will always offer you modified workouts for you at your level. For you, that was using a band for pull-ups. This way everyone can participate in the workout. However, once you become a member and work more with the coaches, you’ll eventually work your way out of the modifications to the real deal. More than likely you’ll be encouraged to keep all of your workouts in a journal to keep track of goals and workouts. Most coaches will go over these with you. That’s one of the major differences between CrossFit and other general fitness group classes, the coaches help you keep track of everything and make sure you’re making advancements, that you’re getting stronger, that you’re getting faster, etc.

The price: CrossFit is definitely more specialized that most general gyms. The coaches/instructors are usually highly experienced and certified. They are teaching very technical skills such as the Olympic lifts, which sometimes require several certifications. These certifications don’t come cheap either. These are not, spend 2 weeks studying, spend 30 minutes taking a test certifications. You are paying for high level instruction. As my boyfriend says, you can either the best or you can get the cheapest, you can’t get both. And as I mentioned above, the coaches are more than instructors, they are your trainers, they will work with you to make sure each workout will help you toward your goals. They will help you come up with training plans, they will help you with your nutrition plans. When was the last time your BodyPump instructor asked you about how you are progressing?

On a side note: It’s CrossFit (one word.) Just a friendly tip from one writer to another :-)

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11 Sarah January 18, 2012 at 2:13 am

Thank you Kori! It seems like CrossFit is justified in it’s pricing and I understand the why now, I was just shocked so I figured other people would be too and seems like they are. I’m glad I have intelligent readers, like yourself, who can help facilitate this discussion further. I feel like the convos on here and on Facebook have changed my opinion for sure and maybe lowered some CrossFit hesitations.

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12 Kori January 18, 2012 at 2:35 am

Anytime! P.S. I love this blog and your videos and follow both regularly!

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13 Kristy Doyle January 19, 2012 at 2:07 pm

My YMCA does this. I have a trainers that are certified and will teach me Cross-fit WotD’s, they have nutritionists that will help me figure out a nutrition plan. They monitor my body fat, weight, measurements, etc. I pay less than $40/month and if I want a trainer, it’s an extra $50/month at the most, for like 3 sessions.

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14 Vanessa Sykes January 18, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Hi! I really like the CrossFit style workouts which are based on performance and not on looks. As an athlete that’s the most important and as a bonus the aesthetic side of working out is a bonus! I have personally never tried CrossFit since I live in Argentina, BUT I do do very similar exercises for rugby traning and I juse my gymboss regularly.

Has anyone checked out BODYROCK.tv? I think the style and intensity is similar. FAST and INTENSE workouts. Perhaps its a good FREE option for those wanting a more intense practical workout. Mind you, you don’t have a personal trainer helping you but if you have basic know how about form, etc. I think its a great option.

Sarah what do you think about bodyrock.tv????

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15 Kyle January 18, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Not only are you paying for the classes and trainers, you are also paying to have a gym that is set up just for CrossFit. Try doing a CrossFit workout at your gym. Most gyms frown upon running around, using 4 pieces of equipment at once, and dropping weights. I have yet to go to a non CrossFit gym that even has bumper plates.

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16 Kyle January 18, 2012 at 4:57 pm

I do agree with you that it is expensive though. It’s the only thing keeping me from joining a CrossFit gym.

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17 Kristy Doyle January 19, 2012 at 2:03 pm

I feel like you can do CrossFit on your own though. The gym is a nice convenience I guess, with it’s fancy timers and equipment, but you find WotD online and do those at home I think. I guess a lot of people need the competition factor to motivate them, or maybe spending an outrageous amount of money so someone can time you doing pull-ups is the motivation, haha.

I’m all about frugality, so I find my motivation elsewhere I suppose. Thanks for the review though!

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18 ilovefetacheese February 1, 2012 at 7:58 pm

The price depends a lot on the box too. I pay 100 dollars a month for 3x a week at mine, I get a student discount. Its worth it in my opinion. I’ve never gotten a workout like this before.

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