CrossFit Dock – a bare chested, tattooed Herculean Santa Claus holding up a shipping container with an airplane and a pie truck on top of it!
I don’t care who you are, there is no denying the sheer awesomeness of it. Did I mention that it is also like 20 feet high by 40 feet wide?
If you haven’t figured it out already, I had a blast at CrossFit Dock. First, you need to know that this CrossFit gym is massive. Purists might have a beef with that, because it isn’t just a CrossFit box. It is also a rock climbing gym. But it is definitely a “dock”; as in loading dock. The building is in a warehouse facility and the ceilings are a solid 30 to 40 feet above the floor. And the interior is separated into the rock and CrossFit areas by actual shipping containers. We called them conexes in the Army. In Warsaw they apparently call them big-ass Legos.
The shipping containers aren’t just handy room dividers either. They are stacked on top of each other into multiple stories and they house bathrooms and other spaces as well. I haven’t even mentioned the foosball table.
There is no doubt that CrossFit Dock has one of the most unique layouts in the CrossFit world. Since I’ve focused so much attention on the physical facility itself I’ll touch base on the CrossFit specific equipment. They gym configuration places a very long rack (somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 foot if I estimated correctly) along a back wall. The rack is pure homegrown – looking to have been fabricated and welded on-site. The only weakness I can speak of in the configuration is that the lower pullup stations were too low for anyone over 5’8″ or so. This is a minor issue though as the length of the rig and additional pull up stations under a run of the shipping containers provided several optional stations.
The lifting gear was good. The barbells were high-grade and there were plenty of weights for a large class. A bit of a warning for those who travel to and workout with the CrossFit Dock crowd, the weight plates are hi-temps. There is nothing wrong with hi-temp bumpers from an equipment perspective. But if you’ve not lifted with them you’ll be completely surprised by the amount of bounce they have. I dropped a thruster from the top and the barbell bounced back up to above waist height. You’ll want to ride the weight down to the floor with these types of bumpers.
The programming was great. And nasty. Pawel Raczynski is an excellent coach. As I visit gyms in other countries I try to let the coach know that I don’t need special attention and not to worry about accommodating me with English language instruction. I much prefer to follow the crowd and watch how the coach interacts with his regular athletes. Pawel made more micro adjustments to midlines, technique and positional placement than any coach I’ve seen. His focus on the midline and the core stabilization in particular were impressive; he was a blur moving around a class of probably 30 athletes giving attention to each and every one of us.
Our strength session was an EMOM complex of 2 front squats into 2 push press and then to 2 thrusters. Target weight was 70% of bodyweight. I like the association of the working weight to bodyweight as opposed to a percentage of a 1RM. I think it is an easier model for novice and intermediate CrossFit participants to understand – and CrossFit is in it’s early beginnings in Poland.
The WOD was 5 rounds of 3 minute capped movement – 6 chest to bar pull-ups into 6 push-ups to 6 air squats and then a 200 meter run. The rest period between rounds was the time you had left from finish to start of the next round. The scoring structure was highest time of your 5 rounds. It was a great WOD and I feel that the conditioning potential for athletes using this type of scheme is a good one – forcing people to consider their level of intensity in the early rounds so they don’t burn out in the last one.
Pure and simple, CrossFit Dock is worth the trip. It isn’t just a stop-in, drop-in and workout. It is a full out experience. CrossFit Dock has just recently opened another location at the National Stadium and I’m very much looking forward to my next trip to Warsaw.
- Cool, cool, cool, cool
- An excellent set of spaces and equipment
- Great coaching
- Rig stations are a bit low, but there are plenty of places for the over 6′ crowd