Crossfit Adaptation (CFA) is located in Shirlington, South Arlington, along Four Mile Run, next to the DMV. They boast a 6,000 square foot space and have been open since May 2010.
WOD Schedule and Additional Offerings
CFA’s schedule has more class offerings than any other box I visited. They have ten WODs to choose from most weekdays, and six WODs over the weekend. Additionally, CFA offers a free Saturday Class, Yoga for Athletes, Olympic Lifting/Barbell Club as well as various skills sessions.
From the outside, the building does not impress with its aesthetics. The building is old and a little shabby looking. When I parked, there were two adjacent storefronts that both said “Crossfit Adaptation” on them. I chose the door on the left and found myself in a carpeted office-ish space. When I walked through to the back, I saw that it opened up into a large warehouse space — what was originally two separate cargo bays for two different businesses had been combined into one spacious workout facility.
I dropped in on a midday class and the numbers were low. In fact, the 11am class I attended was comprised entirely of CFA staff members (coaches, massage therapist, etc.) and little ole me. The owner, Curtis, told me that because they have so many class times available, workouts are rarely crowded. And I’m sure 11am is a less popular time, but it worked great with my schedule that day.
We spent time foam rolling and stretching before going through a group warm-up. The group warm-up was a series of plyometric movements.
The first part of the workout was a 4 x 500 row. When I scanned the previous WOD entries on their blog, I saw that there is often, (but not always) some kind of lifting component at the beginning. Curtis also told me the workouts tend to be lighter at the end of the week (I was there on a Friday). So we didn’t lift, but the row was a good workout.
WOD / Met Con
The Met Con portion of the workout was tabata double-unders. UGH. My DUs are shaky at best and were purely pathetic this day. I worked on them as best I could, but I was stinking up the joint. I should have just switched to singles, but I stubbornly kept trying my DUs. I have to say, I didn’t get a great workout in, but largely because I spent half the time tripping on my rope.
Post WOD / Cool Down
There was no additional core work post-workout, and since I did so poorly at DUs I felt a little under-exercised. After the workout, everyone in the room (clear veterans of Crossfit) did what they normally do in terms of cooldown, there was no need for coach-led instruction to cool down. I chit-chatted for a few minutes before running off to finish my errands before preschool pick-up.
Coaching / Instruction
My impression of CFA is that it is a well-coached box. Prior to the rowing portion, Curtis spoke about proper rowing technique, and also gave me pointers during my row. When I was flailing around at double-unders, he also offered tips — they were helpful, but body just wasn’t executing what my brain understood that day.
Social / Vibe
Everyone I interacted with was friendly and welcoming, including the resident gym dog, Brooklyn. The vibe was very casual and low key. I’d be curious to try a workout in the morning or evening when it is busier, because I’m sure the flavor is different with a range of athletes, and not just a coach-filled class. It felt very similar to my experience at my home box, and I know I’d feel comfortable working out at CFA.
My Bottom Line Impression
I really liked this box. I have seen their athletes compete in local events (and qualify for Regionals), so I know they are developing and supporting “firebreather” type athletes. But at the same time, they don’t come across as snobby or purely hardcore — it feels like a fun place to workout and they were very accepting of me, despite my un-stellar performance.
The wide array of class times makes CFA very attractive. If I didn’t have a box I already loved, I would definitely consider working out at CFA.