It was a hot summer day in early September 2019 when I found myself in Newport, Kentucky looking from my hotel across the Ohio River at Cincinnati. Only 3 or 4 blocks away from my hotel was NewCov CrossFit. I had contacted them a few days ahead of time to let them know I was coming. They were very nice on the phone and the location was perfectly located for me.
Newport is a growing area with plenty of restaurants, an aquarium, a distillery, a few nearby microbreweries and shops. There’s a great view from the levee. I didn’t have a lot of time to explore but I was impressed with all the options.
When I arrived at NewCov, I went to the front desk, paid my drop-in fee and signed the waver. Someone (I believe one of the coaches) took me back to the workout area and introduced me to the coach for the class.
Here’s how the rest of my experience went. Ratings are on a scale of 1-5 barbells.
I had no problems getting in touch with someone to address my questions prior to my arrival. They were very cordial and were happy to have me.
Their web site is among the better ones I’ve seen. There’s a section for drop-in fees on the home page (you’ll see a group of links and it’s the bottom one) or under ABOUT on the main navigation bar. There’s lots of drop-in options with multiple days and combinations with shirts. Once you’ve settled on an option you like, it will link you to a page to process payment. I haven’t gone past this point but you should be able to reserve a class at that point. You’re also able to view their schedule from the main navigation bar. Their schedule has lots of time options. BTW, Saturday classes are free. A nice bonus I haven’t seen anywhere else.
NewCov’s website also offers their workout of the day about a week in advance, which is a huge help if you like to plan ahead. They have bios on all of their coaches. The only thing that appears to be missing is the coach’s CrossFit certification levels.
At the time I visited, I didn’t have my mental check list established yet because this blog hadn’t been contemplated. So, although I didn’t check the bathrooms, the rest of the facility was clean. Not a lot of chalk dust. Nothing glaringly unclean.
They encourage wiping down equipment at the end of class. When I was there, they had spray bottles and rags. I saw just about everyone using them.
NewCov CrossFit is big. One of the largest facilities I’ve been to. They have a large, open area with high ceilings. I think you could have 2-3 classes going on there if you wanted to (not that they do). During class, there were several people lifting on their own and they weren’t really near us. There’s also a smaller area where different fitness classes are held. This was not as open but certainly big enough for a class. They have shelves to stow your bag/gear. Everything was well organized.
There’s a big plate rack close to the middle of the main workout area. It’s got kind of a mix-and-match of plates but they seemed in good shape and there was enough for everyone. There were at least a dozen people in our class.
They had a load of rowers. I didn’t count how many bikes they have but it didn’t strike me as a particularly small or large amount. Their rig was against the wall. There was plenty of space for it.
I mentioned it was hot. As luck would have it, I came on a day where their giant ceiling fan was broken. When you get a large open space like that and add heat it becomes a bit like an easy-bake oven. Nevertheless, we persevered.
The workout was pretty straight-forward. There was a strength portion which was clean and split jerks and an AMRAP of clean and (push) jerks and rowing. There was some time spent on warm up and then we got to work. I personally like a class with a strength portion before the metcon. There was more than enough time to do our lift and get the AMRAP in, with time to clean up before the next class.
In looking at the programming on their web site, NewCov seems to change things up and offers plenty of variety.
Again, I didn’t take all the notes then that I do now but I’m pretty sure that Erin was the coach. She was knowledgeable and confident. However, NewCov was the first place I’ve dropped in to where the coach didn’t introduce me to the class. It could have easily slipped her mind but without the intro I felt a little on my own.
On the strength portion, she gave me some suggestions that have stuck with me and my split jerk is better for it. She also kept an eye on everyone throughout the class. During the AMREP, she pushed and encouraged people to try for their best results.
Lack of introduction aside, the coaching was quite good.
I always say that one drop-in is a moment in time and doesn’t always give the full picture. The folks in my class on that day pretty much kept to themselves. The hot conditions may have contributed to that. It was more like being a guest rather than part of the group.
After the warmup, someone did introduce themselves to me. It turned out to be another coach that was taking the class. That helped me to feel a little more welcomed.
When the workout was over, I had a rag and spray bottle and wiped down a couple of people’s rowers. They thanked me and gave me a “good job” on the workout. So, not a bad experience. Just not as social as some other places. But, I’ll end as I began. It was a moment in time. It would not keep me from returning.
Drop-in Cost and Swag
Finishing strong. The drop-in costs at NewCov CrossFit are very reasonable. One class is $15 and $25 if you include a shirt. They also have two and three-day and week-long packages with options with and without a shirt. The week-long package without a shirt is $55. I haven’t seen many options better than that.
I opted for a shirt. You really can’t beat the price. It’s a tri-blend so, it’s nice and soft and they had plenty of inventory. I’m a big fan of the drop-in/shirt combo.
NewCov CrossFit has some really good things going for it. It’s a big, well-equipped facility (I’m sure the fan is working now). The staff is friendly and knowledgeable and the coaching was hands-on. I wouldn’t let anything about the culture put you off. It was a hot day and not a single person was unfriendly. I would certainly return. Their web site has just about everything you’ll want to know ahead of time and the drop-in costs are excellent. If you’re in the Cincinnati area, I’d recommend giving NewCov CrossFit a try.
Wishing you safe, healthy and successful travels.
15 West 6th Street
Newport, KY 41071