Burpees ’til Dusk at CrossFit Sunset


As I write this, I’m sore in all the right places — my shoulders aren’t hunching like Quasimodo and my belly doesn’t look ready for ride on a Harley. Taking a CrossFit class appears to do the day after what some fitness regimens take weeks to achieve. And, yes, it kicks your ass.

Living in LA, I’ve tried just about every fitness trend at least once.  I sweated in a Bikram box, did boot camp burpees, stretched rubber bands in Pilates and passed the bar workout (not hoisting beers but using a barre). Yet  I always go back to tried-and-true: outdoor running, Hatha yoga and lifting weights. When CrossFit Sunset opened in Echo Park near my abode, of course I wanted to give it an ab crunch.

I started with an Elements class given by CrossFit Sunset owner Ty Vincent, a former chef (so he must know something about keeping weight off). The Elements workout consisted of exercises I’ve done thousands of times before – pushups, sit-ups, squats — bookended by a few minutes of a row machine and jumps onto a 2-feet high box without stopping for a set amount of time.  The sequence and pacing of these basic exercises turned these moves into a killer. I was sweaty, sore and took a minute to speak afterwards, all in a good way.

My second visit to CrossFit Sunset I took a new specialty class by trainer Roberto “Berto” Marin, called SPF (Speed + Physical Function), a circuit of 10 exercises. A few of these are ones I did as a kid in elementary school such as crab walking made challenging by a 20-pound medicine ball resting on my torso. The first movement, the hanging bicycle was killer, which made the rest of the circuit more of a relief save for the wall mountain climbers. Of course, I was paired with a class regular who sailed past me and a woman, who took the CrossFit pace in stride.

CrossFit Sunset aims to separate itself from other CrossFit studios by its classes, some which will be outdoors once Echo Park Lake reopens afters its rehab by the city.

Oh, and that’s one thing, I should mention about CrossFit is that in a few times I’ve been there the regulars are extremely fit, which should sufficiently motivate anyone who signs up. And since, this is Echo Park there is some creative tatt watching and a taco truck next door if you need a post-workout reward. I think the meat and salsa fits under the recommended CrossFit Sunset diet of meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Not sure about the corn tortilla.