Photo courtesy of Flickr user Adrian Valenzuela.

The Dallas CrossFit Craze

How this high-intensity interval training is teaching its athletes to think inside The Box—and why that's not a bad thing.

You won’t find anything special inside the CrossFit exercise mecca known as “The Box.” No fuss. No bells and whistles. Just the essential stuff to push yourself to get stronger and faster. Sure, workout accessories are a good way to show your fitness allegiance (we’re looking at you, yoga mats) , but at CrossFit the results speak for themselves. And isn’t that what we all really want anyways?

Whether you’re a gym rat looking for the best Box, or a newbie wondering about the ins and outs of the high-intensity interval training that your friends—sigh—won’t stop talking about, there is a lot to consider. Here, a handy guide to land in the right place.

What To Look For

Coaches
Greg Glassman, the founder of the workout regime that brought us workouts of the day (WODs), burpees, and a slew of sequences named affectionately after “The Girls,” puts emphasis on proper training and programming (i.e. great coaching).

Find a coach that you mesh well with. They are there for support and to guide you to meet your goals safely and productively. Stop by a few gyms and schedule a time to chat with the staff. Then, schedule a drop-in workout session. Did you jive with the style? If so, give it a shot. If not, keep looking for that perfect gym.

Location
Let’s face it. If the gym is not conveniently located close to home or down the block from work, it’s tough to make that 6:00 a.m. performance class. Find a CrossFit gym that easily fits into your daily commute or is close to your neighborhood. 

Community
A huge component of the CrossFit community is just that—the community. Die-hards are in this together and they want to share their successes and failures. WODPlanet.com (a popular blog for CrossFitters) recommends looking for the Box Rules. You’ll know you’ve found a good-spirited gym if they say something along the lines of: “Unless otherwise instructed, do not start cleaning up until everyone completes the WOD.” At these outposts, it doesn’t matter if you finish first or last. There are plenty options for each and every gym junky, but here are a handful that we liked.

Dallas CrossFit Gyms That Caught Our Eye

CrossFit White Rock
5815 Live Oak St. #104
(214) 444-8540 

CrossFit White Rock calls itself a “personal training studio combined with a team-like atmosphere.” They offer private sessions for one-on-one training of all levels and scheduled group classes combining varied functional movements with a mix of cardiovascular activities, weightlifting, and gymnastics. What makes them different? CrossFit White Rock focuses on sustainable fitness through movement, not isolation.

They also offer tracking from coaches to keep an eye on results and progress. Miss a workout? Looking to keep up with the rest of the group? WODs and results are posted online. Don’t come looking for weight machines or ellipticals. CrossFit White Rock hones in on specific muscles with real weights lending to natural movements.

 

CrossFit Katy Trail
4507 Travis St.
(214) 699-1462

With four facets at its core, CrossFit Katy Trail hopes to help patrons get results and achieve fitness goals, implement highly effective programming, provide friendly and knowledgeable coaching, and facilitate a supportive community environment. Inside, you’ll find regular Dallas residents who are all working toward a similar goal: getting fit. 

CrossFit Katy Trail also offers a variety of CrossFit-minded programming and classes, giving gym members different options to meet whatever fitness needs they bring to the table. For those looking to increase maximal strength or improve lifting technique, try the Barbell Club. Are your muscles achy and sore after an intense WOD? Enjoy a Deep Stretch Yoga Class that focuses on hips, shoulders, and hamstrings.

 

Tiger’s Den CrossFit
2025 Irving Blvd. Ste. 103
(469) 828-1965 

More than a gym, Tiger’s Den CrossFit calls itself “a school of elite fitness” for Dallas. Students learn basic to elite level classes in functional exercise, athletic condition, plyometrics, and more. Tiger’s Den athletes have come to the gym ahead of climbing Mount Everest, competing in marathons, and trying out for the Navy SEALs.

Not sure what you’re getting into? Attend a free intro session to learn the basics of CrossFit from range of motion to technique instruction. Visit their website for daily WODs and more information.

 

CrossFit 214
Two Locations:
4226 Ross Ave. and 5454 Lemmon Ave.
(214) 989-6313 

With two locations centrally located in Dallas, CrossFit 214 is an independent, locally owned CrossFit gym offering over 80 classes a week to its members. Membership gets you into both locations—so there’s no excuse.

CrossFit 214 offers private training, group classes, and nutrition coaching. The 214 Fitness Programs combine one-on-one instruction with small groups to make a unique program geared toward fundamental form and position no matter the fitness level. Don’t miss CrossFit 214’s specialty classes, seminars, and private training geared toward a variety of areas from Ladies’ Strength to Powerlifting (and yes, even Gymnastics).

 

CrossFit Deep
3030 Canton St.
(214) 573-6666 

With a philosophy that “excellence breeds excellence; mediocrity sticks around,” CrossFit Deep teaches real fitness and real nutrition to Dallas residents. Stop by CrossFit Deep and CrossFit Deep Oak Cliff.

Founder Eric Rosenstock found that CrossFit was the first thing he was able to stick with. Boasting certifications like a CrossFit Level 1 Instructor and CrossFit Olympic Lifting, he continues to make a name for himself in the community. “You can never get bored with constantly varied functional movements,” he said. “In doing CrossFit, I found that I had a passion for coaching and helping others reach their goals.”

Not sure if you’re ready to tackle the programming at Deep? Don’t worry. A series of prerequisites are offered to ensure you are prepared to join the classes armed with a fitness plan you feet confident about.

 

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