By guest reviewer, Honey Parker
I was going to be in Biloxi MS for a few months and was looking for a gym. Spoiler alert - I found a great one! I had two choices. V&L Biloxi Fitness (formerly V&L Biloxi CrossFit) and Crooked Letter CrossFit. While Crooked Letter’s site was more inviting and showed more trainers, V&L was closer to where I was staying so I started there. Color me CrossFit lazy.
Having started doing CrossFit in Park City Utah and dropping in on boxes in New Jersey and Maryland, I was in for something new. Life’s just different on the Gulf Coast. (Hint: Leave your Lulus at the door.)
Communication Information Availability
I called and left a message saying I was interested in dropping in. It took a couple of days to get a response, but when the owner, LaTisha called me back she was welcoming and told me everything I needed to know to get started. I never did find a WOD listed anywhere.
You can find information, including their schedule, on V&L Facebook. To get specific drop-in information, you’d have to call.
You have to look past the age of some of the equipment. Older bikes and rings can appear dirty and first glance, but everything is wiped down. The mats are clean and floor work felt fine. There are buckets out with spray bottles and paper towels to wipe down equipment when you’re done using something. Everyone uses them. The bathrooms are very clean and there are spray bottles and towels in there as well.
The space is quite large particularly for the class sizes which were all relatively small. I was often working out in classes of four or five. The biggest class I was in was eight people. Tons of room for all and more than enough equipment.
Every workout has a warm up, a strength element and a more cardio element. The more cardio element has options for three level of intensity. There’s a fair amount of cross-pollination within a workout. You might do the weight from the middle level and the reps from the RX level. That worked for me. And cool-down…that’s on you. The first time I dropped in, there was nothing organized after the workout. So, I asked LaTisha if they did a cool down. Her response? “We usually just lay down in front of the fans.” Welcome to summer in Biloxi.
The schedule is more limited than I’m used to. They just don’t have a lot of coaches. There’s an early morning class that ends while I’m still in Dream Land, an 8:00 am then a 4:15pm and a 5:30pm. And no classes on Saturday or Sunday. 8:00 am works for me so that was fine, but I would have liked a Saturday class.
Honestly, I’m used to more of a review of movements than what they do here. So that was a bit odd. I would like more of formal review. But once we got going, the coaches were all watchful and there to point out how to improve on form. And if you asked anyone to show you something specifically, they will. It’s a relaxed vibe, but the work is good, right and true.
The owner, is great. She’s equally easy with men and women. All the coaches are casual, yet welcoming. The welcoming nature of the other people working out was hit or miss. Some of the people were very friendly and some of the guys had no time for me. That’s okay. I’m there for myself. I enjoyed the people willing to be receptive, but I was usually the one to reach out.
Drop-In Cost and SWAG
This score is an average between drop-in cost and swag. I did a 10-visit pass and the first class was free, so I felt it was a good deal. A single class cost is $15, which is very good.
Not a lot of swag. When I asked about it, she said her T-shirt supplier had gone out of business. She’s considering getting her own printer so they won’t be dependent on a third party.
If you’re not from the South or the Gulf Coast, it’s a bit of a culture shift. Utterly not fancy. But if you’re willing to hold back on your judgment, it’s a cool vibe and a solid workout. The owner is easy company, and nothing seems overly judged. Everyone works out at their level and pace and it’s all good. I’ll be bummed to move on.
V&L Biloxi Fitness
875 Barthes St.
Biloxi, MS 39530
About The Author
Honey Parker has been a CroissFit athlete for 13 years (as of this post). She is also a successful author of both professional books and novels, including the 3-book Careful-ish series.
For more information on Honey, go to www.honeyparkerbooks.com.