New YorkHIIT, CrossFit
Concrete Jungle is known for its close knit CrossFit community vibe and this is evident as soon as you walk into the studio. The studio has been on the Upper East Side for a few years but recently opened a new studio that’s a bit more polished than the old one. While it’s not shiny and proper like a barre studio, it does offers a variety of classes in a fairly compact space with easy accessibility to anyone in Manhattan (and there’s a second location in the Bronx). Concrete Jungle offers classes ranging from Strength and Conditioning to boot camp style classes, open gym time and even a “Bro Sesh” class that focuses entirely on the upper body. The people who frequent the gym are “regulars” and come equipped with notebooks to record and track their workouts as well as cellphones to help them calculate those pesky percentages for their lifts. The wide range of classes available attract both experienced CrossFitters as well as those who want to dip their toe in the CrossFit pond. Be sure to read the workout description, as many of the classes do require a working knowledge of CrossFit and lifting. While the community vibe is incredible and evident immediately, it might also be nice to come with a friend so have a sidekick by your side for those awkward minutes before class gets rolling.
CrossFit Concrete Jungle is more than just a CrossFit gym. There’s the sense of community and “following” but there are definitely people who attend classes for a one off workout. Strength and Conditioning is not that class, because it requires a prior knowledge and comfort level with lifting. Edgar ran through the WOD (workout of the day) and the rest was history. Everyone got to work setting up their station, paired off and set their racks to the weight they referenced in their notes from previous sessions.
The WOD was straightforward and written on the whiteboard. Edgar had us warm up for three minutes on the rower or the ski erg and then stretch with a PVC pipe for a couple minutes first. If you’re new, we’d suggest pairing up with an experienced person in class as there is not much instruction on where to find the lift stations, how to set them up or even where to set them up. Next, we transitioned into the “strength” portion of class. We ran through four sets of bench presses at various percentages of your max. If you’re new to lifting or CrossFit, this could take some adjusting. We then ran through a superset of bent row and overhead presses. The class was lively during this time – everyone was chatting and recapping their day. There’s a definite sense of community, which can feel quite intimidating, but many members during our class made sure to introduce themselves and include us in their conversations.
We finished up class with the “conditioning” portion: a 3-minute AMRAP consisting of 3 pull-ups, 6 burpees and 9 medicine ball slams that we ran through three times. Even though it was just a small portion of class, it packed a punch after the Strength work and was a great way to end class. Once we finished the last round, there was no formal stretch, but the regulars stuck around to chat with one another.
Edgar was welcoming and friendly. He checked us in at the desk and also asked if we’d been before. He explained the WOD on the whiteboard and made sure to get all our names up on the board to track our weights for our sets. He didn’t demo any of the strength exercises but did make sure to walk around the studio as we rolled through the rounds of benching, bent rows and overhead presses. He offered words of encouragement frequently which helped, especially on that final round on the bench! We were some of the only “non-regulars” in the class and he did make sure to come over to us frequently. He made meaningful connections with everyone in the studio and helped out different people when he knew they needed assistance.
Concrete Jungle is a studio style CrossFit gym. It’s not huge but there’s enough room to house all the necessary equipment for boot camp to strength classes. When you walk in, you immediately see the gym space and the front desk. There’s a small space with lockers and a coat rack where you can hang your coat. If you’re a frequent member at the studio, there’s even a cubby space to store your shoes between lifts. There are both men’s and women’s restrooms and a shower. There are no products, though, so if you’re looking to freshen up after class, you must bring your own products. The studio itself has everything from a pull up bar that runs throughout the length of the studio, to rowing machines, ski ergs, lifting stations and dumbbells. The whiteboard is front and center in the middle of the room, listing the WOD as well as all previous classes’ stats; it adds a competitive edge, if that’s something you’re in to!
1690 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10128 Upper East Side HIIT $$$$
Upper East Side HIIT, CrossFit $$$$
1690 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10128
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