Kaizen is Japanese term that means continuous improvement. The Daffodil Principle shows that slow continuous improvements can pay off over time.
It has been less than a year since we opened the doors at The Black Box. And in that short time we have built a very impressive community of people that are committed to getting fit. In a short time we will be moving to a newer and bigger facility and our family will continue to grow. With a bigger space comes bigger responsibility. So now would be a great time to get some feedback from you, our loyal members.
We would be pleased if you would take the time to answer the following questions:
On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the quality of our services for the past year?
If you answered less than 10, what would you have us do to make it a 10?

Please be thoughtful and constructive. We appreciate your feedback and thoughts. If you have personal comments that you do not want to share on the blog, please send them directly to info@crossfitnyc.com or to the individual trainer concerned. We are committed to giving you the best gym experience you will ever have. Please let us know where we can continue make improvements in the quality of our services.
Monday 071022
5 rounds for time
5 Muscle Ups (or 15 pullups/dips)
20 Overhead Walking Lunges, 2x16kg
Post survey responses and times to comments


  • sam

    is that 2x16kg kettle bells?
    oh and 10/10 πŸ™‚

  • michelle

    10!!! πŸ™‚
    though i am looking forward to a shower in the new place bc that ybf just does not do the trick when u have to go back to the office after a wod..

  • Jack Bauer

    You’re getting soft in your old age Keith! Didn’t you practice Brazilian Jujitsu?
    But I can’t front though-it was a bit inspirational. Made me pour out a little liquor for the homies who couldn’t be here to read it.

  • Adam

    I’ll finally be able to make it in again tomorrow night! I’m up for super hero fran although I’m curious as to what exactly constitutes a super hero. I was planning and swiping some gear from the dental school and coming dressed like that but it’s not really a costume for me.

  • I must have gotten choked out a few times too many. Never tap!

  • Adam, you can come as an evil villain: The Tooth Chipper or Dr. Doom, DDS

  • Hari

    Given the shoestring budget you guys had to work with, I think it is absolutely extraordinary that you breathed life into Black Box, made it viable, and are ready to expand this quickly.
    I sometimes worry about the tone of the Box and whether it has the potential to become hostile to some of our members or potential members. But overall, I am satisfied that a culture is rapidly emerging that recognizes talent regardless of where we find it.
    In our organization, talent is the willingness to push hard, sweat, bleed, and grow. You have these things and youβ€šΓ„Γ΄re one of us; if not, you are not, and will probably soon be gone. As a group, we respect those among us who fit the bill, without regard to any of our other immutable characteristics, and this is not only a good thing, but also an incredibly rare thing.

  • juan g,

    aw gosh, flowers.. somebody hug me.

  • Check out our man, Ross Enamait, deadlifting A LOT in response to a challenge on his message board. Awesome!

  • dan def

    The Box is headed in a good and positive direction. Excellence can always be improved upon. These are my suggestions:
    please allow me to repeat that again.
    Like many Box members, my 9am to 5pm work schedule dictates evening workouts. Sometimes, I can’t make it out of work in time for a 6pm class. Other days, I have evening obligations, be it tickets, dinner plans, ect., where the 7pm class ends too late.
    Mt. Baker Crossfit has had success with an “open” model allowing members to train in a given 4 hour period and posting times to the whiteboard:
    Elements classes would be factored in as needed.
    Keeping the Box open from 5pm to 9pm on weekdays is an option.
    A opened weekend schedule would also work. This would allow early risers to finish their WOD in the morning and allow late risers to finish thier WOD in the early afternoon.
    With all the certified trainers we now have, I’m confident we could create a WOD schedule were a certified trainer would always be present.
    This plan disperses the evening rush over a 4 hour period, insuring 30 people don’t show up at one time for a WOD.
    Another option is:
    5:30 pm WOD class,
    6:30 elements class,
    7:30 WOD class.
    I also think a “success story” tab on crossfitnyc.org is a great idea, sort of like this:
    We have SO many members with so many great stories of what brought them to Crossfit and how it has changed thier lives. Why not tell them?
    If we are moving into a bigger space, the time has come for marketing. We have an AMAZING product (Crossfit) that sells itself– we just need to get the word out there and let people know about us.
    I am a big fan of Yoga. A 10-15 minute “mini-yoga” class as a WOD warm-up might increase WOD power.

  • Adam

    I think we are all going to give you guys a 10. Each and everyone of the trainers gives 110% to the blackbox.
    I can, as I assume will everyone else, only offer a few suggestions to make it even better. First and foremost I have to agree with Dan. More WOD classes benefits everyone. For those of us with extremely tight or difficult schedules, having a window of time where we could come workout would make quite a difference. Also, since the WOD have been getting so packed of late, it could also reduce congestion while simultaneously increasing the voluming through the gym. The only downfall to “open window” is not having competitors there during the WOD. I know that I really prefer to having Kevin, Mike, Ewen, Paul, etc. there while I workout because it drives me to work even harder.
    Secondly, I think that we should try to incorporate some more of the difficult skills that come up into WODs into some type of program so that people can practice them. Cleans, snatches, Muscle-ups, etc. cannot be learned just by doing them whenever they come up in a WOD. It would be beneficial to offer some type of additional class maybe at a reasonable price to justify the trainers extra time there.
    My $0.02

  • marisela

    y’all know i love ya!
    i think all of the current “complaints” will be easier to fix when you get the new space. the current box doesn’t leave much room for improvement in those areas
    no stairs, please.
    no stairs, please.

  • Kevin

    Wow ! Very impressive on Ross’ part with those HEAVY deads. Talk about carryover strength. For never working deads that is serious.
    I have to get my act together.:(
    For what the Box was able to accomplish giving the space, I give them a big fat 10. As for the new space, we have to get climbing ropes (1.5 and 2 inch).More classes especially for O-lifting, Slow lifts, gymnastics,etc. I agree with the other comments about showers, more WOD classes, etc.

  • sarena

    I too would rate the box a 10 (and yes, all the trainers as well)! Would also agree with more classtimes and even an open gym time frame as many other CF gyms have.
    Showers and a ground floor location would be ideal too!

  • Yoon

    I second Dan Def on the WOD times and the success stories tab. Maybe also add some sort of virtual trophy case/PR page like what’s on the main CrossFit website.
    I have to say I’ve been extremely impressed with the equipment and classes offered. You all really have made the most out of the available space.

  • Jack Bauer

    I third Dan Def-More WOD times would be a big help with juggling life after work; especially expanded times on the weekends. We all have extra commitments or second jobs and sometimes the class times don’t allow us to do both.
    I second Adam’s suggestions-an additional “Supplements class” like the KB class to go over gymnastic workouts, and Oly lifts.
    Showers would be nice and NO STAIRS!
    10 for the trainers-In the 3 months I’ve been at the Box I’ve looked and felt better in the 2 years I spent at Globo gym. You guys do good work and motivate me to do stuff I didn’t think was possible. DL 370# never seem attainable until I got there. Thanks for making me a better athlete.
    Another 10 for the cool people that make the BOX a second home for many of us.

  • michelle

    ok sarnea birng ur camera-cant find my charger. and if i can find an adult size power puff girl costume i am in for the video!

  • sam

    So what’s happening this evening, if I come to the 6pm WOD i’ll be doing the muscle up workout and the superhero fran is at 8pm?

  • Kurt

    Well, given my history, I will approach this topic carefully….. πŸ™‚
    1. I have had a lot of fun in the short time going to the Elements and beginners courses and would want to see those continue.
    2. Having beginner classes that are open to members and the public is cool. It is a big help in getting my friends to try it out (I have brought two in and have a third who wants to try it) as they can “come with” someone and feel more comfortable.
    3. People are great. In the 10 hours or so I have spent at the Box, I have never heard a negative comment and most people will be spontaneously supportive of anyone that is pushing hard and struggling. The trainers really inspire this kind of behavior and create the positive culture of the Box.
    4. The equipment is nice, relatively new and seems to be well maintained.
    5. The trainers know what they are talking about and are always willing to give form and technique advice, but have never, at least to me, given it in a rough, rude or condescending manner.
    6. The web page is very friendly and creative. I appreciate that it takes a good amount of determination to keep putting info and pictures up, day after day, but it keeps me interested and coming back and coming back to the web page reminds me that I need to keep getting back to the gym!
    1. Space, but this seems to be issue being solved by the move. I would think that the important change would be to increase space to allow the current membership to use the space more effectively and efficiently, while not being so big or well located that dues have to increase.
    2. Timing of classes- people have addressed this above, so I will simply say that more, or open, classes would be necessary to really open up the potential of the Box. This is NYC, people have insane and unreasonable schedules, so getting to a 6 or 7pm class is just not going to happen alot.
    3. Showers- I am already feeling the strain at work from having to leave so early. Having these would at least let me go back to work and finish up without having to play catch up on the weekends.
    4. Equipment- Quantity needs to increase. The stuff that is there is great, but a good number of the WOD’s need more equipment for more than 2 or 3 people to run through it at a time. This is particularly true of the rower/treadmill issue.
    As an entirely separate request/submission/recommendation, I would like to see a diversification of types of classes offered. This will probably evoke a lot of disagreement, but I would be interested in having other types of similar functional fitness stuff taught at the box and be part of the membership (or maybe as an add on to the basic membership).
    I am talking about combative training, yoga, maybe pilates, etc. Basically, whole body fitness techniques that some of us might be going to other gyms for already, but would much rather do in a single place with people we know and like.
    In terms of combative training, I am thinking in the terms of heavy/speed/double end bag instruction and some form of MMA instruction. I know Keith has taught BJJ before and I would wager that a few other members hold belts/certs in various forms of MA, so I would think that the knowledge base exists for this type of endeavor. Heck, having those types of bags and pads also opens up intersting additions to the Black Box brewed WODs.
    I am not sure of the interest level for something like this from other people, but it seems like it would be pretty cool (and healthy) to be able to go from doing a kick ass WOD with a group of people you know, right into a Yoga class. Or get a great workout that warms you up and then jump into a BJJ or Muay Thai class. It also presents a great drive to keep coming to class and improve in all of the qualifications of a good athlete as your progress will not only be tracked by your times/rounds on the WODs, but also by a relative comparison to your performance in training an actual sport or activity.

  • xuan mai

    I agree with Kurt. I would love to see some combative training in the new space.
    Also, it would be great to see some Certifications in NYC. While I would love to travel to an out of state Cert (I’ve been checking out the O-Lifting certs in particular), it would be a lot easier (and cheaper) to go to one if it were local.
    Finally, more O-lifting classes would be the bomb!

  • Gene

    I have to give the box a 9.5. I truly appreciate the willingness of all of the coaches(Josh, Court, Keith, and Mike) to work with me after my leg surgery earlier this year and their ever-patient demeanor while I slowly and painfully discover how weak I have become since getting out of the Corps a few years ago. The coaches and trainers are some of the most knowledgeable and superb fitness professionals I have ever had the pleasure of training under. Now, the reason behind the less than perfect rating is due solely to the current WOD schedule. I really would like to come in more consistently but with my 9-to-5 and often turning into 9-to-6 job along with graduate courses 4 nights out of the week all the while working on my final thesis has made it very tough for me to get into the box on a consistent basis. During the short time I have been at the Box, I have already seen consistent and marked improvement in my overall fitness and this is one of many reasons why I do not hesitate to recommend the box to friends and acquaintances. Please keep up the outstanding work and I really do hope to come in more consistently.

  • Hari

    Until we move into new space, some possible logistics changes we might make to accommodate the desire for more WOD time options:
    (1) Instead of dividing the Elements into M-F at 6:00 and T-H at 7:00, maybe we could go with, say, T-H at 6:00 and at 8:00. Then we could open up 2 more WOD slots on M-F at 7:00, and it would be easier to get people to assist before or after the 7:00 WOD. Another possibility is to make, say, the M-F 7:00 Elements classes open to a minimal number of Elements students who absolutely cannot make the T-H 6:00, and then let the small M-F Elements class work on alongside a simultaneously scheduled WOD class.
    (2) Perhaps we can offer two (stopwatch) starting times for 7:00 WOD classes: 7:15 and 7:45. This would allow people to arrive at 7:00 warm up and start at 7:15, or arrive at 7:30, warm up and go at 7:45. This approach might relieve crowding, while offering people a bit more flexibility. In effect, it would produce a WOD window from 7:00 to 8:30, with two subgroups starting the actual WOD at 7:15 and 7:45. These times could be tweaked; perhaps, stopwatch starts would be 7:00 and 7:30, for example. I think the main thing would be for people to know with some certainty when the actual WOD part of the class is expected to begin.
    I appreciate that none of the above may be practical. There is a lot to balance, particularly with monitoring new people and even experienced ones.

  • brett_nyc

    All of my concerns have already been mentioned. Class times too limited. No showers. All stuff the new space should remedy.
    No repeat someone else’s comments, I think you guys have done a remarkable job setting this venture up and getting it rolling to the point it’s at now.

  • Thanks for the props, guys! I’m glad that most of the concerns that you mention can be easily remedied by getting us into a new space. Right now we are looking at a space that is big enough to allow us to run two classes simultaneously and privates.
    In the meantime, we’ll tweak the November schedule…
    Thanks again for the thoughtful comments.

  • michelle

    allison-what superhero are u going to be. since i only own one unitard and its brown-that leaves me with one superheroine-OWLGIRL. i swear there is one. though its going to be hard for me to pass as a native american. which apparently she is..

  • jay h

    definitely a 10.
    I’m going to miss the box when I go to Shanghai in a few weeks.
    2 cents: I think a new space, with more… space, would bring a lot of people to CFNYC. In terms of marketing, when people see the CFers results, it practically sells itself. I wouldn’t underestimate word of mouth.. I don’t hesitate to jump at an opportunity to talk about CF. (its prolly getting annoying)
    In terms of the weekends, I am all for openness. I am definitely a late riser, so later times would help. If I could come in for the WOD, maybe with a friend, in the afternoon sometime till 3 or 4 or something… that’d be great
    get lost in the sauce.

  • Yoon

    Oh yeah, one more request: more vodka parties.

  • sam

    Some more about the box.
    I’d like to second the more wods and showers comments.
    Also, i’d like to do some more skills based classes (see Adams suggestion). I’m sill pretty much clueless when it comes to the Oly lifts and would like more time learning cleans, jerks, snatches etc.

  • Moon

    Ok – everyone seems to have the space angle covered to which I say HA! Back in the day, we didn’t have “space”. We just had a singularity – a complete unification of space-time that has no equivalent in today’s multidimensional continium. Concerns about working out?!?! Try finding a private place to make out with a girl in null-point space. Hell, try finding a girl.
    However one thing that we don’t have now could be an effective logging system. A few days ago, the importance of keeping records was stressed. Why not have – or at least have the option to have – these records be centrally kept in an electronic format? I think all this signing in and writing our times/reps/weights/subs/PukiePoints in those doorside memo books is setting up some poor future Black Box International intern to long nights of keying the data at some point.
    Today, we’re doing a lot of talking about what schedules work. I think it would be helpful if we could look at attendance trends and graphs to really figure out when people are showing up – and being able to compare any changes against what we had before. Or, suppose I forgot my (nonexistant) logbook and wanted to know what I did in X WOD last time. Better still, look at the last 4 times I did that WOD to see if the last time was a low-performing fluke. Early beginners (who might not think that they will want/need a log book), the outside-of-class-lazy and those who lose their logbooks in a cab may also find some benefit here.
    And in phase two, we introduce web-accessible logs in case you have to rush out, can’t make it to the gym that day and work on your own, or if you’re a stats junkie and want to know how many pounds you have to lift at The Black Box until you reach the esteemed 5 Million Pound Club. Also some sort of keyfob/keycard/RFID sign-in system.
    And in phase three, you approach the squat station, it scans your retina and automatically configures the weight for you based on the WOD, your established records, and what the dermal sensors in the bar estimate that you ate for lunch, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

    Coach Burgener’s son Casey is on TV tonight O-lifting:
    “We use Casey Burgener to explain the principles of speed-strength and motor recruitment. We use a lot of the high-speed photography and have a pretty cool CGI based on Casey’s mocap data from the C&J.”

  • marisela

    5 rds:
    15 tan/blue band pullups
    15 jumping ring dips
    20 12k ohwl
    i just now started feeling ok.
    i couldn’t feel my legs for a while
    or my core
    or my arms
    i have to conjure up some serious superhero strength to do fran in heels tonight. god help aeon flux!

  • marisela

    hari, i just read your comment back to my “this sucked my balls” comment 3 days ago, and i just wanted to say that calling someone a “vagina” for being weak is quite different from saying something “sucked my balls” because in the end, getting your balls sucked is a quite pleasurable experience, no matter how you slice it.
    by saying it sucked my balls, i am saying that it, sucked, but in the most amazing way possible πŸ™‚
    i don’t think there is a man on this blog that would disagree.
    now i know that i don’t technically have balls, but from my experience (movies, of course) it seems that this is something they (men) do enjoy, a lot.
    so, you see, hari, calling someone a vagina to let them know how weak they are doesn’t even compare to the beauty of ball-sucking.

  • Moon

    T-shirt front: “CrossFit sucks…”
    T-shirt back: “your balls!!!”

  • Gene

    Still stuck at this crappy ass office. DAMNNNN IT!!!!

  • Hari

    Until now, I had been relying the old fashioned notion that referring to either sex acts or sex organs to express contempt (whether for a WOD or an alternate fitness program) was all offensive in the pretty much the same way.
    I apparently was mistaken when I interpreted your comment to be less than a positive statement regarding your experience with the WOD.
    Thank you for explaining that to me.

  • alex

    I cant believe I’m missing super hero Fran.
    You guys know that I drunk the kool aid when I joined crossfit. So my only issues are that my schedule and crossfits’s are not meshing at the moment so thats why my back squats sucked on Saturday.
    Here is my wish list:
    Cubbie hole for my sneakers
    A really big rope hanging from the ceiling so I can dream about climbing it.
    Oh and one more thing, I hate being picked to be in the second group during WOD’s. It makes me feel bad. Yes I am looking at you Coach Mike!

  • Brian D.

    Waaaaah! I want to do Fran!
    ‘Nuff of my bickering. I would have to rate you guys a 10, most definitely. This past summer I gained so much knowledge and insight from you all. I especially want to thank Keith because he pointed out flaws in my O-lifting form and helped me correct them. Thanks to him I have improved not only my lifts but my athleticism. FYI Keith, I push pressed 205lbs today [on 4 hours of sleep too].

  • michelle

    Alex we missed you!!!!
    and the cubby hole idea is outstanding.

  • juan g.

    i disagree. Who in Sam Hill, would say that to describe a pleasurable experience?

  • juan g.

    I want:
    -a bunch of C2 rowers
    -some big ass tires
    -def some ropes hangin from the ceiling
    -couple of GHD machines
    -a cool ring station
    -More Squat racks and O bars
    -Benches for bench presses
    -and some sort of hang out area for the stragglers that want to stay after the wods, maybe a picnic table or two.
    -oh and a mini bar.

  • Wow, this is like a Christmas list.
    I have to commend all of the trainers for the hard work they’ve put into CFNYC and the Box over a relatively short amount of time…it’s amazing to think back over those first few weeks where all we did was WODs without any real equipment. I have learned so much these past few months from everyone at the Box and am looking forward to the future move.
    Some equipment/things I would like to see at the new Box:
    -more C2 rowers!
    -Glute Ham Developers
    -Plate racks so they aren’t all over the floor
    -Set of dumbbells for Db thrusters, swings, etc. with racks
    -And of course: Showers. Please! With Towels. And Soap. And showers that get cleaned. Frequently.
    -More Olympic Platforms/Bars/Bumper Plates
    -Storage Space (for gym equipment/for coats in the winter/bags/etc.)
    -Real office Space with a red stapler.
    Some classes I’d like to see:
    -Rowing classes (form&technique)
    -Olympic lifting
    -Kettlebell lifting
    -Jump Rope?
    -A version of yoga/pilates class after WODs or some enforced brief moments of stretching that will encourage the prevention of injuries
    -Workshops addressing various skills on the weekend that maybe last beyond an hour and feature some discussion on technique or skill (like a mini-cert)
    Especially for the Oly lifting and KB, I’d like to not only learn form/technique but maybe get involved in competing (down the line)? Or even learning about how you train to compete? I’m sure there are other people at the Box that might be interested in this also…a CFNYC team?
    And pretty please. In the new space could we get professional cleaners or set up some method of keeping the box clean (especially the floor)? Maybe getting people to sweep or wipe down their area after class is a start. Sweat angels breed over time when they are not cleaned up…
    Finally, with the schedule. I agree with everyone that there are not nearly enough classes. I end up doing a lot of WODs or workouts on my own because of my ridiculous work schedule. That bums me out. If there was a drop in period or staggered start times for WODs (especially the short ones) that would be great, even if it was only a few days a week. Also, having more classes on the weekend would be helpful, especially for those of us who do not live in Manhattan, it can be difficult to get to the city in time for early am class.
    Just my .02 cents.

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