Woodward is CrossFit and Beyond

Woodward CrossFit and participants at it's Women's Throwdown.

Twenty bucks. That’s how much people had to chip in to first do CrossFit with Matt Woodward in his garage.

When he suggested they up it to $80 to afford their own space, people were game at first, but then backed out. However, Justin Adams, Coach at Woodward CrossFit in Austin, Texas, recalls Woodward’s thoughts. “’I either pay out of pocket for a space not a ton of people are using or I turn it into a business and start,’” remembered Adams.

Woodward CrossFit was affiliated in 2009 and has had four different spaces since as it continued to grow. Although under the traditional CrossFit name, Woodward CrossFit’s programming is anything but traditional.

Monday, Wednesday and Friday are typical workouts, with a strength focus before the WOD. However, Tuesdays and Thursday are designated strength and skill days. While members still get a workout, said Adams, they will work specifically on skills like powerlifting and gymnastics movements.

“We feel as a gym if we really want to progress in those things and truly get stronger that’s not something that we can just throw before a WOD,” said Adams. “It’s something that needs dedicated time.”

Adams, who is in charge of RX Gymnastics at Woodward CrossFit, first tried CrossFit at a Box that was later bought out by Woodward CrossFit. But, while away at college, Adams had thought he’d left the world of CrossFit for good and been converted permanently into a gymnast — he did club gymnastics at the University of Texas, coached gymnastics and had an extensive background in the sport.

However, he was hooked as soon as he tried a class at Woodward. That’s when Matt Woodward came up to Adams. “’How would you feel about working for me and coaching normal CrossFit — this thing that you’re doing — but also with a gymnastic emphasis?’” remembered Adams.

In fact, rooted at the heart of the Box is Matt Woodward’s belief that he did not want his gym to be full of just a bunch of CrossFit Coaches, explained Adams. Instead, he envisioned an all-encompassing thing like that which would be seen at an MMA gym: Each coach is specialized and can teach the others what they know.

So, Woodward CrossFit offers a variety of programs: traditional CrossFit, an Olympic lifting program taught by Olympian Oleg Kechko, RX Gymnastics, an overall strength and conditioning program called Everyday Strongman, Ironwill Training focused on endurance, a boxing program and the mobility program called FlexFit.

The well-roundedness of the Box only seems to boost the advice Adams would give to other CrossFit owners: just keep learning. “The reason we’re so good is we play off each other and we learn the best tips that each other has to offer,” he said. “So, if you don’t have people that specialize like we do, it’s completely OK because there’s a ton of certifications and learning opportunities out there where you can continue to learn.”

Heather Hartmann
Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at heather@peakemedia.com.