The fitness world is full of inspiring stories of men and women who quit their corporate day jobs to pursue careers that help people live healthier, more active lives. Read a few and you might be motivated to do the same – I mean, let’s be real here, I’d be lying if I said the thought of opening my own studio or becoming a full-time fitness fanatic never crossed my mind.
But I’ve never personally known someone who has taken that leap. Until now.
Today I am honored to showcase the brand-new CrossFit 513 United, the brainchild box of my friend Patrick. We have been in touch off and on since high school, but when he recently mentioned that he was moving home to Cincinnati to open up a gym, I immediately knew I had to make a trip to check it out. He literally built the darn thing by hand (see below) and I couldn’t be more excited to give you all a (virtual) tour!
For locals, CrossFit 513 United is located in downtown Cincinnati, within a medicine ball’s throw of Paul Brown Stadium. There’s plenty of street parking out front or near by. Here’s a map for reference:
How Patrick came to be the owner of a CrossFit box is worthy of its own blog post, and I recommend you stop by and ask him about it in person. But to give you an abbreviated version, here is a snippet from his coaches bio:
Having spent 10 years in the Army, group fitness has been my “normal” for a long time, and as an officer, being responsible for the health, welfare and fitness of many is also something I’m no stranger to. In the fall of 2013 I began working as a consultant in Manhattan but CrossFit was never far from my mind.
After six months of working in the financial industry I knew it wasn’t for me and I began laying the foundation of what has now become CrossFit 513 United. I set out to create an environment where anyone from a high-level athlete to someone just taking their first step towards a healthier life can reach their goals and I think that’s what we’ve done. Give me your dedication and willingness to put in the work, and I’ll take care of the rest.
Photo via Patrick’s Instagram @preppy_caveman
Talk about a winning combination of passion, hard work, and a dash of old fashioned chutzpah. Patrick and his equally impressive co-coach + partner in crime Sarah have poured their everything into making CrossFit 513 United as awesome as it can be. And after spending an afternoon with them, I can honestly say they’ve hit their mark.
So what about that studio tour, you ask? Well you’re looking at the most important part: the main workout space. Almost everything you see in this picture – from the squat racks, the wooden boxes, the walls – was crafted by hand. Patrick and Sarah even sanded down the pointy edges of the boxes to soften the blow if you hit your shins on them during a jump.
There is a reinforced wood strip for Olympic lifting, rings, heavy rope, a timer, and all the other toys typically found in a CrossFit box. But instead of being intimidating tools of torture, the place exudes a very local feel. It’s friendly. People are welcoming. There’s no meat-head machoness wafting through the air (at least not that I could pick up on). Even the orange + black motif is homage to the local football team (go Bengals!). It’s a Cincinnati spot through and through.
Other fun facts about the studio:
- They have a fully stocked shower (win!) on site for post-workout clean up.
- There are cubbies by the door for bag storage + a counter top area to hang out around before or after class.
- They offer a free beginner’s class on Saturday at 10 a.m.
- Sarah offers yoga three times a week and the studio is working on a schedule for Olympic Lifting classes.
- Crossfit 513 United also has open gym time and personal training options.
- They have a licensed massage therapist on staff to help keep your aches and pains away.
- Prices vary depending on the type of package needed. Drop-in CrossFit classes are $20. Month-to-month memberships with access to all classes are $140. Click here for the full list of rates.
- There is a discount for all service, fire, and police personnel.
The class I observed had four individuals. The space had just opened and it was Christmas week, so it was nice and quiet. They started things off with a long series of mobility drills. To me, these are always the most painful to watch, probably because I am terribly inflexible and can only imagine the pain invoked by those stretchy bands, lacrosse balls, and other drills. Shudder.
Patrick and Sarah walked around and gave very specific feedback and advice to each student. Try moving it this way. Try reaching a little further that way. You may need to modify, here let me show you how.
When it came time for the weights portion of the workout, each student seemed to be at a different experience level, but that didn’t phase the coaches or hold up the class. Some students were doing crazy impressive lifts. Others were working with just the bar. Either way, the moves were tailored so that each student could participate fully within their ability, and Patrick and Sarah kept a watchful eye for optimal safety and form.
I have not completed the CrossFit Foundations class yet so I am not eligible to participate in drop-in WODs, but I may need to come by next time I’m in town to check that box with Patrick and Sarah. I love what they built at CrossFit 513 United and really felt like the teaching style was a perfect mix of professional, attentive, and down-to-earth. I know I’d be in excellent hands. Plus, a little yoga and massage after my workout sounds like just the incentive to get me through the inevitable burpee blitz.
If you’re visiting Cincinnati or live in the area, be sure to stop by and say hello. Tell them The Fit Crasher sent you!