CrossFit Metric is a new CrossFit gym and wellness centre on Mt. Pleasant just south of Eglinton. Given that CrossFit gyms tend to be very bare bones, old-school gymnasium-type spaces, I was surprised that its three owners, Michelle, Julian and Sean, chose to open their facility in such an upscale neighbourhood. So it makes sense that Metric is definitely the most swanky CrossFit gym I have seen yet.
Bright and clean, with brand new equipment and comfortable change rooms, it also houses the wellness side of the business: Michelle's naturopathic medical practice, massage therapy, and a juice bar/paleo food take-away service. There are also some touches of luxury that you will not find at most CrossFit gyms, such as towel service and personal hygiene products in the change rooms.
But the CrossFit philosophy of inclusiveness and community is still there. This ain't no boutique spa fitness club. When I arrive for a midday class on a Monday, there are six of us in attendance, three women, including myself, and three men. Another thing I like about CrossFit: how it has gotten many more women to embrace strength training! Michelle puts us through a challenging warm up of seven sets of burpees and air squats.
Next she has us do a sequence of front squats. Because of chronic tendonitis (really, I'm not lying!), I can't do much squatting, so Michelle gives me a lunge alternative to avoid aggravating my hamstrings but still work on building lower body strength. We finish with a circuit of ball/wall throws, handstand push-ups and deadlift variations for the last 12 minutes.
The one thing that concerns me about CrossFit, is the inconsistent level of knowledge of coaches that exists from one facility to another. Entry level certification - like most in the fitness industry - is a weekend course; however, it's far less likely that one suffers a catastrophic injury doing Zumba than it is pushing, pulling, lifting or throwing around large amounts of weight like you do in CrossFit.
At Metric, however, you can rest assured you are in good hands. Michelle, in particular, is not only a certified CrossFit coach and naturopathic doctor, but also an osteopath and she holds a degree in human kinetics and nutrition from Guelph University. Julian and Sean also have years of experience and many additional certifications and training under their belts.
During the class, it is obvious that Michelle's expertise is acknowledged and respected by both the male and female participants. The supportive, inclusive atmosphere you find at CrossFit gyms is a far cry from what I experienced at the long gone Bally's on Bloor in the mid-90s, where women entering the weight room received leers and jeers from the cave men dominating the space.
As the class ends, the supportive vibe continues as participants provide each other with positive reinforcement for a job well done. No leering or jeering here thank you very much!
If you are interested in joining the CrossFit movement, Metric provides all the benefits it has to offer with a few extras thrown in for good measure. Memberships range from 2 classes per week for $175 for 1 month to unlimited classes for a full year for $225/month. You can also purchase 10 classes for $220, good for 3 months. Personal training is also available
Photos by Jesse Milns