We talk to Tommy Hackenbruck, owner of the box whose athletes won the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games team competition.
- Locations: 543 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84106
- 1006 E. Draper Parkway, Draper, Utah 84020
- Number of members: 250
- Number of trainers: 11
- Years in Operation: 3
- Facility Size: 6,000 square feet (Sugarhouse); 4,500 square feet (Draper)
- Membership Fees: About $150/month for unlimited memberships
- More Information: UteCrossFit.com
What’s your process for new members?
We offer free trial classes for new people. We don’t have brand-new people just come into regular group classes. People have to come into a private group class consisting of a basic workout that we make sure is doable for everybody. And we interview new people to get their backgrounds and what they’ve been doing before we have them do anything. Once people sign up and want to be members, we have a mandatory two-week On Ramp program — six group classes where we go through all the fundamental movements of CrossFit. We also have one session dedicated to kettlebells, one session for Olympic lifting, and one dedicated to gymnastics skills and scaling.
So you’re not doing actual WODs during those two weeks?
We do modified workouts with less volume so people can start getting a feel for the intensity and how their bodies are going to respond to it. I don’t feel like On Ramp is sufficient to build a foundation for somebody, but I think it’s enough time where we can really coach them through movements, educate them, push them through the intensity and give them feedback. Once we’ve educated them, they can transition into group classes and continue to build a foundation by scaling workouts and having trainers work with them every day.
What’s the daily protocol for workouts?
We put our workouts up on our site the night before. My wife and I program out ahead of time, and we email the workouts to our trainers a week in advance. We encourage our members to look at them the night before. If they’re going to go skiing later in the day or something and they don’t want to do a ton of leg stuff, that’s fine. I allow people to do their own thing. I just make sure they’re doing something smart, and I’m still watching them and coaching them. Our clients have different goals at different times, so if our training on that day doesn’t fit into their agenda, I still want people to be happy with their experience.
Do you have separate classes for your competitive CrossFitters?
Yes. I open it up to anyone at the gym who wants to train specifically for CrossFit as a sport. But if you want to train for the CrossFit Games with me and some of our top athletes, there’s a certain amount of volume you’re going to be doing and there’s different programming. You can’t come in and do these really hard workouts unless you’re doing recovery practices and other injury-proof stuff. Otherwise, I don’t think it’s smart training.