Late last year I started a new job in the Chicago area and, although it took some time to drop in during one of my monthly visits, I was finally able to workout in the area. The first place I visited was CrossFit Salire in Westmont, IL.
Honestly, I had looked at a different box a little closer to my hotel, but I was having shoulder issues at the time, and they were going heavy on the shoulders that week. How fortunate I was to find CrossFit Salire. This is a relatively small gym but great all-around environment.
How did CrossFit Salire rate? Let’s find out. Remember, all ratings are on a scale of 1-5 barbells.
Sometimes I wish I had separated out this category. I’ll be honest, their website isn’t the greatest but the communication I received more than made up for it.
Most of the navigation of their website is from the hamburger menu on the top right. If you go to schedule, there’s a URL but it’s not clickable. I had to copy and paste it into another window to see it. To find details on dropping in, go to FAQ’s and scroll down to the second to last FAQ. You’ll find pricing and other details. Just above FAQ’s in the menu is some details on their coaches, which I always like to look at. Overall, the site has the information you’ll need but it’s just not very intuitive to navigate.
The good news is I emailed them (located at the bottom of all the pages on their site) and got a very quick response from their owner, Melissa. She told me who would be coaching and gave me details on how to locate the facility. I received info about the workout so I knew what I needed to bring with me. I actually visited them a second time a couple of months later and Melissa sent me the workouts for that visit as well.
No real issues here. The first time I visited was an early morning class and the second time was in the afternoon. The floor was in good shape. The afternoon class showed signs of the day’s use more so than the morning, which was expected but nothing bad. There was a little chalk on the rig and even less on the bars. It was nothing that raised an eyebrow. There’s spray bottles and rags and the members used them. The bathrooms looked clean each time I visited.
CrossFit Salire is a small-ish facility but doesn’t feel cramped at all. They have one rig along the side wall and some free-standing squat racks on the other side. They’re well equipped and quite organized. I liked their rack for wallballs. It was almost like a display. Everything seemed to have it’s place. They use the wall space to hang equipment like their benches. They even have racks to hang their rowers.
There was no shortage of bars and plates and, although things showed signs of normal wear, it all seems to be in good shape.
I mentioned I’ve been there twice, each on a different trip. Both workouts were equally challenging in different ways. The lifting component of the first one included a front quat at 85/90% of your max, followed by a 3-minute EMOM of a front squat at 60% x 3 reps. Then the fun began with descending sets of 40-30-20-10 wallballs and 10-8-6-4 deadlifts (225# RX). It got real tiring real fast. But it was a good challenge.
The second workout started with a lifting component of a E2MOM of a 3x push press. The workout was an EMOM of a 45 second row on the first minute followed by a pushing component of 30 seconds for the second minute. I chose bench press but people did push ups as well. It was slated as a 10-minute workout but the coach asked for votes to double it, so we ended up doing a 20 minute EMOM. Fun!
I really enjoyed the coaches here. On my first visit, Haley was the coach. She’s very personable. She introduced me to the modest size class (of 3). And had the others introduce themselves. There was a thorough warmup and she walked us through all the movements. She stayed focused on us and encouraged us throughout the workout.
On my second visit, it was coach Karen. And for the record, it was her idea to turn the 10-minute EMOM into 20. She was also personable, attentive and encouraging. So, I guess I’ll forgive her for that idea of hers.
Each time I’ve visited, the classes were only 3 people (including myself). I like small classes but it’s harder to gauge the culture with fewer people. However, there’s three things that motivated me to score this so high. First, there was an earlier class in the morning of my first visit and they were very friendly and welcoming to me. Second, when I returned 2 months later, one of those people from the earlier class was in my class and he remembered me and where I was from and immediately engaged me in conversation. Third, everyone I interacted with was very nice. I didn’t feel like an outsider at all.
Drop-In Cost and SWAG
Really standard fare here. The drop-in fee is $20 and you can charge it or pay cash. Shirts are $25. There are no package deals that I’m aware of. I didn’t get a shirt honestly because I have so many now. But this is what you can expect to pay these days.
CrossFit Salire is one of those good things that comes in a small(ish) package. It’s not a huge facility, it’s a little out of the way and the classes are small (which isn’t a bad thing). But it’s really got it where it counts. Their workouts are well programmed and well coached and you feel welcomed the minute you walk in the door.
I’ve been here twice and I fully plan to return. Hope you get the chance to check it out if you’re in the western Chicago suburbs.