There’s a common trend in a lot of the best gyms in San Diego. It’s a program that combines elements of weightlifting, gymnastics, and more into a constantly varied workout: CrossFit. There’s no one reason for CrossFit’s success, but San Jose–based instructor David Downs thinks one of its biggest draws is the sense of camaraderie shared between participants. “Group training offers motivation, quality instruction, and accountability,” he says. Here are six San Diego CrossFit gyms where you’ll find these elements.1. CrossFit Escondido at General Athletics | 237 E. Valley Pkwy., EscondidoInstructor spotlight: Patrick Mara. In addition to his CrossFit certifications, Mara boasts credentials as a USA Weightlifting Sports Performance coach and a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. Sample WOD routine: One power snatch, one hang snatch, and one overhead squat. Pro tip: Schedule a one-on-one session to discuss your fitness goals.2. CrossFit Chula Vista | 821 Kuhn Dr., Suite 106, Chula VistaInstructor spotlight: Rick “The Boss.” The instructor and nutrition expert placed in the 2012 and 2013 CrossFit Games Masters 60+ competitions. Sample WOD routine: 3 handstand push-ups, 6 deadlifts, 12 pull-ups, and 24 double unders. Pro tips: Be sure to check out the gym’s clinics in rowing and weightlifting; or attend one of the StrongMan competitions hosted here.3. CrossFit 619 | 5260 Riley St.Instructor spotlight: Chris Keith. Throughout his more than 20 years in the industry, Keith has appeared on national programs such as NBC’s Today and has been awarded “best personal trainer” accolades from five local publications, including San Diego Magazine and The GLT News Weekly. Sample WOD routine: 7 power cleans, 14 box jumps, and 21 lateral burpees. Pro tip: Members also get access to open gym times and other fitness programs, such as mobility classes.4. The Stronghold CrossFit & Brazilian Jiu Jitsu | 2176 Chatsworth Blvd.Instructor spotlight: Mike Cusi. He’s the co-owner, and has a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. He’s been training in BJJ since 2000 and CrossFit since 2007. Sample WOD routine: 10 front rack reverse stepping lunges and 10 chest to bar exercises. Pro tip: Stick with it, and you might be named the gym’s athlete of the month.5. CrossFit East Village | 840 G St.Instructor spotlight: Anna Jenkins. The CrossFit Level 1 trainer started swimming and skiing before kindergarten, and today she competes in CrossFit competitions. Sample WOD routine: Two clean pulls, two power cleans, and two push jerks. Pro tip: They’ll let newbies stop by and observe a class free of charge.6. SoCal Martial Arts Center | 5080 Bonita Rd., BonitaInstructor spotlight: Don Partch. The retired-police-lieutenant-turned-CrossFit-instructor has been practicing martial arts since 1970. Sample WOD routine: “The Fran,” a CrossFit staple that we help to demystify in our CrossFit glossary of terms. Pro tip: Supplement your workout program with one of the center’s other group classes, such as cardio kickboxing.
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