Your Success is Our Success
As I fly back from a trip to Italy, bloated from the good food and booze, fearing someone will harpoon me in my sleep, I realize I need to start exercising seriously again. This is difficult because I moved last year and therefore had to leave my Crossfit Box, Crossfit PHX. I’ve joined another Box, the fifth I’ve belonged to, and it’s ok but it’s not PHX. What’s the difference between PHX and other Boxes? I’m glad you asked…
Crossfit PHX is a fun place to get strong and fit. As soon as you walk in, you’re greeted by a coach. They’re glad to have you there. It’s common to see members 20-30 minutes early for a class warming up, using the rollers or bands and talking to each other. After class you’ll see people cooling down doing the same thing.
Music is loud, but not too loud, and coaches often ask members what they want to hear for a workout. There’s plenty of space and equipment for getting your swole on.
The coaching is fantastic, the WODs tough but modifiable to meet your needs. It starts with Derz, a Marine and an incredibly knowledgeable athlete involved in fitness throughout his life. This is coming from a Navy man and I want to compliment a Marine about as much as I want to watch my grandpa’s snuff film again. The other coaches are also knowledgeable and are willing to push you to be your best, without pushing you to do anything dangerous. Correct form is stressed and individual attention is given when needed.
It’s one thing to be able to correctly perform a lift, it’s another to be able to describe how to have the different muscles engage at the proper time and be able to point out where your problem lies. Coaches at Crossfit PHX can do both.
True story: I’m at my new Box, and I’m going to do a WOD that involves a 400m run. I’ve never done this run at this Box and I need to know where to run to before turning around, a light pole, a sign, a tree, etc. I ask the coach, “Where do I have to run to before turning around?” His response: 200m. Thanks genius.
We all have demands on our time, and the coaches here respect that. Classes start promptly on the hour. You’ll get used to hearing: “All right 5 o’clock class, out the backdoor give me a 400 meter run” or “6 o’clock class, hop on a rower, give me 500 meters.
You’re not going to see coaches in sandals and ripped clothing. Coaches wear proper equipment because this is their job, and they respect the Box and it’s members.
Growth is not just for the members, but for the gym itself. When I joined, the gym office was located in the back corner, then it was moved to the front, and then it was drastically cut down in size. The pullup rig has been moved from one side to the other. New equipment such as newer, heavier plates and a “log” have been added.
Derz has expanded into the building next door and has added a cryo-chamber for recovery, possibly the only Box in Arizona that currently has this. The gym also has a weekly yoga class that focuses on Crossfit recovery.
Just like it’s members, the gym is constantly growing and attempting to be the best it can be.
Above and Beyond
Monday through Wednesday there are 8 classes throughout the day, Thursday is open gym throughout the day, and Fridays have 7 classes. Most days, probably everyday, a coach is at the gym in between classes throughout the day, so if you can’t make it to a class, you could come in some time in between and lift. I can’t tell you how awesome this is. Most gyms do not have 7-8 classes each day much less an open gym throughout the day.
Wodify, not every Box has this. Wodify is a great tool for keeping track of your progress. An App for your phone, Wodify allows you to register for classes, see the WOD and keep track of every lift/named WOD in the Crossfit world as well as create your own specific lifts. It does the math for you when calculating a percentage of your max in a lift. It’s perfect for Marines, who view math as a disease.
You can also see the scores of your fellow gym members in the WODs throughout the day and comment on them, such as telling Coach Caleb that his PR in the Snatch would have been higher if he tried harder. Or doubting the validity of Coach Laura’s score due to her duplicitous nature.
Weekends are open gym until 1pm with each morning having a single WOD. Saturdays are Family Throwdowns, teams of 2 or 4 people knocking out a WOD. It’s a laid back atmosphere right up until the WOD starts and you realize you’re going to have to move weight.
Sundays alternate between “Hat Tricks”, back-to-back-to-back named girl-WODs with 5 minutes of rest in between each WOD or a Hero WOD. Either way is a great way to jump start the week with a kickass workout.
Holidays usually have 1 WOD, something special to push yourself as well has hosting Murph on the Saturday before Memorial Day. Note: Coach Thatcher never shows up to this, possibly because he hates America.
Don’t take my word for it, stop on by and speak to someone. They offer a first week for free. Lose weight, gain muscle, have fun. Damn I miss that place.
Check out Caleb’s interview on our podcast Feed Me Fuel Me!
Check out Caitlin’s interview on our podcast Feed Me Fuel Me!
Check out Forrest’s interview on our podcast Feed Me Fuel Me!
Check out John’s interview on our podcast Feed Me Fuel Me!
Check out Matt’s interview on our podcast Feed Me Fuel Me!
Check out Matt’s interview on our podcast Feed Me Fuel Me!
Check out Jeff’s interview on our podcast Feed Me Fuel Me!
Check out Mycal’s interview on our podcast Feed Me Fuel Me
“There’s no way on God’s green earth that I’ll be able to do this!” That was my first thought the day I walked into CrossFit PHX. I explained to the head coach Mycal Anders that I was extremely hesitant and nervous to try CrossFit because of my double knee surgery and history of chronic knee pain. Mycal explained that I most likely needed proper strengthening of the muscles around my knees—a sharp contrast to what I thought was the solution. He provided reassurance when he discussed his own knee injuries and previous surgeries. I trusted his advice. I took a chance. After my first three weeks at CrossFit PHX, I was hooked. After my first two months, CrossFit became my addiction.
You may have heard people say their “box” is the best because of the great coaching, family environment, challenging workouts, etc. PHX encompasses all these aspects, but what sets it apart from the rest is the elite coaching. CrossFit PHX coaches ensure you are lifting with the correct form and technique before progressing onto heavier, more complicated movements. If you don’t understand an Olympic lift, gymnastics movement, or even a standard pull-up, the coaches have 17 different ways to explain something until it is understood. They get to know you on a personal level and are always willing to modify movements to address your needs. The PHX family is phenomenal, and I have felt welcomed from day one. It is an inspiring atmosphere because there are novice and advanced athletes (and everyone in between) that push and encourage each other through the workouts with equal effort and intensity. No one, I mean no one, leaves the gym until the last person is done with the WOD. Not to mention, the PHX sound system is bumpin’. I’ve dropped in at several other box locations around the country and there is no sound system that compares.
I look back on the past year and think about how CrossFit PHX has changed my life. Perhaps the most pivotal point was six months into my CrossFit journey. Coaches Thatcher and Laura hosted a six-week Paleo “Gains” Challenge. Through their guidance and motivation, I immediately began to see positive changes to my body, strength, and speed during workouts.
Not only did my physical health change, I was in a better state-of-mind. Before CrossFit PHX, I was depressed about my achy painful knees and unhappy with my weight. After the Gains Challenge, I lost 20 pounds and at 25 years old was in better shape than I was playing college sports at age 19. This is an accomplishment that I never dreamed possible. I’ve made friendships at the gym that will last a lifetime. CrossFit PHX has pushed me to not only to raise my standard in the gym but also in my career, with my family and in other aspects of life. The gains I made during my first year at PHX… Irreplaceable. The gains yet to come… Priceless!”
“It was last summer when I was first introduced to CrossFit; an innovative concept of working out that in some ways was very foreign to me, and in others, so completely familiar, meriting my previous athletic background in football. CrossFit piqued my interest because it was a workout that involved several different types of training, and not just the typical lifting of weights, as well as bench pressing, bicep curls, cardio, etc. It was very different from what I had done in previous years. This was something that was new and exciting to me and I was very interested at this point and ready to learn more. I had all the intentions of starting a new workout while bettering my health and self discipline, but what I needed to do next was break through two major roadblocks: laziness and lack of motivation.
A year had passed since my initial discovery of CrossFit and I was still lazy unmotivated. I knew I had to do something to improve my health and get in better shape. It was when a couple good friends of mine started voicing ambitions similar to mine when we decided as a team we would begin the CrossFit workout and work toward our strength and wellness goals. We chose CrossFit because we needed something that would inspire and motivate us in putting our best foot forward.
A buddy of mine informed us of CrossFit PHX, a new gym not far from where I live. After an initial walk through of the gym, we knew that was our spot so we made the commitment and signed on the dotted line.
During the first few days of my new path, I struggled through the workouts but it was what I had expected and I was determined to push myself harder and harder, all the while becoming stronger and leaner. The coaching and motivation that Mycal, Beau and Scott provide have helped me push myself through the tough times in the gym. The coaching received from CrossFit PHX makes me want to come back for more and push myself to become a better athlete. I have not been this motivated and felt this good in a long time. In only a short few months of CrossFit, I have dropped weight and put on muscle mass. Long gone are the days of feeling lazy and unmotivated. I don’t dread going to the gym like I used to, instead, I look forward to it. I am enjoying the path that CrossFit PHX has taken me and am interested to see where it goes from here. Thank you CrossFit PHX for entering and changing my life and my health.“
“I had been participating in CrossFit for just under a year when I joined CrossFit PHX…what a great decision! The coaches are fantastic! Frustrated with participating in classes with little individual instruction, I feel that the coaches make an effort to provide instruction to each individual athlete within the class and really push you to improve each day. They are very knowledgeable about the specific exercises as well as overall training principles. I love that they emphasize strength, conditioning, and mobility which helps create a better, well-rounded athlete. I feel like I have noticed a far greater improvement in my performance during the short couple of months I have been with CrossFit PHX than my entire first year! The workouts are some of the most intense I have done, and always leave me feeling hungry for more and ready to get back in the gym!”
“Our fitness journeys all have a starting point. Once that journey begins you soon realize that there is no finish line, only goals you reach along the way. It becomes a way of life. That way of life brings you the fortune of meeting some amazing people that contribute in many different ways. Whether the interactions be positive, negative, supportive, indifferent…they all shape your journey. I have had the privilege of being a member of many gyms from an apartment complex gym to LA fitness to just relying on any type of weekend warrior activity to keep me in shape to finally going a a Crossfit gym. I have been a member at 3 Crossfit gyms and have had different experiences at all 3. The culture, coaching, programing, etc have been all been extremely unique. Mycal Anders at Crossfit PHX has been the most impactful of all the gyms I’ve ever been a part of. He’s dedication to not his gym but also fostering a culture that is not only incredibly positive and fun but also accountable. With any gym, programming your workouts can be challenge if there is no goal or methodology in place. This is not the case at Crossfit PHX. Every week is a building block to a goal. Whether members know it or not theyre being molded to become better. Individuals goals are always different but the ultimate goal of being better than yesterday is always prevalent. The overwhelming praise I can bestow upon Mycal is his character. There is no better person who’s worked harder in building this gym and culture than him. He is genuine in every way in his concern for your well being to his desire to push you to be a better you. Is Crossfit for everyone? No. But the experience is priceless. There’s not much else I can say but come and see for yourself.”
I have had the great opportunity to know Coach Derz since 2003 when we played football in college together. We went separate ways and met back up in 2012. I was struggling with not making any progress on my fitness. I was well on my way to make regionals in 2012 in Europe and completely failed at a workout that crushed my rankings. I had no coaching and no motivation where I was stationed. In steps Coach Derz. I called him and asked for his help with programming for me. The programming and coaching I received was beyond my expectations. I was in England and he would answer my phone calls at weird times at night because of the time difference and it was even a worse time difference when I moved to Japan. Mycal took me out of my comfort zone and identified my weaknesses. The result was that we earned a spot at regionals in Asia to compete. I ended up finishing 13th at regionals that year. I couldn’t be happier with the programming I received from Mycal. I qualified again for Regionals in 2014 but could not go due to military obligations. His programming is calculated and well thought out. It was personalized to my weaknesses and he is there to make you the best you can be.
No matter your fitness goals or aspirations, Coach Derz is your guy….PERIOD. His bio and background speak for itself. In my particular situation, I’ve had 3 knee surgeries and knew I needed a proactive, engaged, and focused approach to my recovery. Moreover, I was looking for a rebirth of my fitness level and physical capabilities. The program thus far has been beyond my expectations and humbling to say the least…I’m not immune to hard work having played college football and ran track. With Coach Derz, you’ll get a passionate fitness guru who listens to what you’re saying and adjusts the programming to how your body is responding, but not at the expense of what you’re looking to achieve. He’ll push you to your limits and set up a plan that exceeds your goals. Phase 1 was a grind and I saw amazing progression and re-calibration of the balance and strength needed in my lower body to “Go to WORK” in Phase 2.