In July, 2019 I was doing some work in Portland, ME and had the opportunity to get in an early morning workout at Beacon Community Fitness, formerly CrossFit Beacon. I think it’s worth mentioning that Portland is a great town. It’s right on the water. Plenty of great food and shops. There’s also lots of places to visit both north and south of the city and costal Maine is absolutely gorgeous.
There’s lots of CrossFit/workout options in the Portland area. I was staying by the airport and had 3-4 within a 10-minute drive. I settled on Beacon due to their volume of high online ratings, their responsiveness to my call and their scheduled workout for that day. When I called ahead they gave me all the details I needed and the person I spoke with was quite upbeat. They said they’d be happy to have me workout with them.
It’s easy to get to, just of I-295. I arrived a few minutes before it opened and there were a couple of people waiting in the parking lot already. When they opened up, I introduced myself, paid my drop-in fee and signed the waiver and went to warm up.
Here are the details. (As always, all ratings are on a scale of 1-5 barbells)
I initially called and left a message and was responded to promptly. I reviewed the workout with them and let them know which class I’d be at. Everything was smooth there.
They’ve got a clean web site that’s easy to navigate. There’s some info on all of their coaches, lots of testimonials and a class schedule. There’s a section for drop-ins right on their main navigation bar. It’s got all the details and contact information.
There’s a section on the main navigation bar for the WOD as well. It indicates the workout for the current day and past days.
It’s also worth noting that the communication I’ve had with them since my visit for additional Q & A has been exceptional.
Beacon is quite clean. Granted, I was there for the first class of the day but you can tell they take care of the facility. No residual chalk or dirt buildup that I could see. I’d say more here but there’s not much else to say. Less is more in this case.
Beacon Community Fitness is a somewhat different facility. It looks like a business front when you arrive with windows up front. It’s a stand-alone building. When I walked in, there’s a room with a handful of rowers and assault bikes and a small open floor. At first, I was wondering what else there was. Then the coach showed me through a doorway with a few steps up to the back room.
This room was much larger. It’s not massive but it was a pretty decent sized class and we weren’t on top of each other. They don’t have a traditional rig. They have a line of free-standing racks that are anchored to the floor, each with a pullup bar. There’s also stations along the wall with wallball targets. Everything is pretty well organized. The equipment appeared to be in good shape. No signs of abuse or neglect. The building is situated right in front of a running/biking trail, which is great for running workouts.
We warmed up with stretches and a run. From there, the strength portion was a sled push. We had a little extra time so we did some tire flips as well (always fun).
The metcon was more aerobic capacity. It was several rounds (I believe 5) of 10 burpees, 100m run, 10 air squats, 100m run, 10 push ups, 100m run, 10 box jumps, 100m run. So, we used the running trail. The interesting part was when we retuned from the run, we came in through the front section and ran across it, and up a ramp to the back. This kept people from running into each other when they were entering and leaving for the run. It all worked out.
As a separate note, Beacon is one of the places that has religiously posted workouts daily during the pandemic. I did a couple of them. Extra credit for reliability!
I was greeted by coach Tyson. His official title is a coach/lightkeeper. I’m told he’s one of the founders and “continues to be that steadfast person who continues to keep the light on for us all!” How can you not like that?
Tyson is the type of person who makes you feel comfortable. He was quite hospitable and introduced me to the class before we got started. He said their drop-ins pick the music genre for the class. I went with rock. Wanted to go with something with as much universal appeal as possible.
Tyson was quite attentive to everyone throughout the workout. He was good about answering any questions I had.
Beacon has a friendly culture. You can see there’s a sense of community here. They’re quite outgoing and I had the opportunity to interact with several members. The coaches help facilitate this culture. I was made to feel welcome and a part of the group. There was plenty of encouragement among members during the workout and post-workout congratulations.
Drop-in Cost and Swag
Drop-in costs are slightly higher than I usually see at $25 but not unheard of at all. They do offer a couple’s drop-in rate of $40 and weekly individual classes for individuals and couples at $60 and $100 respectively, which is pretty good.
I don’t have clear notes on the swag cost but I recall it was a good rate. I believe around $15 with your drop in.
When I reflect on a drop-in, I find that a big measure of a drop-in is how comfortable I felt. Beacon Community Fitness is an easy place to feel comfortable. I really like the coaching and the people here. Those are two of the top criteria for me. I hope to get back to Portland soon and I’d love to visit Beacon Community Fitness again.
Wishing you safe, healthy and successful travels.
Beacon Community Fitness
341 Marginal Way
Portland, ME 04101