I dropped in to Hunter’s Creek CrossFit in Orlando on October 23, 2019 for a 6:00 pm CrossFit class. They’re just west of the Orlando airport. Despite the typical rush hour Orlando traffic, they’re not too hard to get to. It’s about 15-20 minutes from the airport hotels and about the same from the Disney, depending on the resort and Universal studios as well. So, if you’re craving a workout while vacationing in the Orlando area, this may be a good option for you.
I found Hunter’s Creek CrossFit when I was looking at the Google reviews for another gym. It said while the gym I was reading about was good, Hunters Creek was the best in the area. I called them and spoke with a very friendly employee (Rose) about the upcoming WODs while I was in town. I like to call to get a sense of the WODs. It gives me a feel for their programming and their responsiveness if I leave a message. I also listen for how welcoming they sound and get other details like cost.
Consequently, I called 4 other gyms, as there were others closer to my hotel, and only one had voicemail (but they never got back to me). The others either didn’t have voice mail, their mail box wasn’t set up or I got a strange message that tells me that mailbox wasn’t set up properly. Sometimes it’s the simple things that can cost business. And it’s not just drop-in business. If I were looking for a new CrossFit home and encountered any of the above for those 4 gyms, I’m moving on.
I arrived about 10 minutes before class. There wasn’t a whole lot of parking designated for them but there was parking for other suites in the strip. Being that it was after work hours, I didn’t have an issue but I could see where it might be if you’re there earlier in the day.
When I arrived, I was greeted by Rose, who I spoke with a couple of days earlier. She had me sign in at her desktop. Their tablet wasn’t working but no big deal. They’re a Wodify house, so it was easy for me. She then brought me out to the floor. I was immediately greeted by Daniel Maldonado, the owner and he introduced me to coach Matteo, who would be coaching my class. He’s level 1 certified, and although he’s not listed on their web site, Matteo did an excellent job. More on that shortly.
Let’s go through the details of my experience. (All ratings are on a scale of 1-5 barbells)
Heck, they picked up the phone. That’s a great start compared to their competition. They were friendly and welcoming.
Their website gave a good sense of the environment. They have a wide range of programs there. It wasn’t easy to find information on the coaches right away – it was actually under the Blog heading. It would have been good to list their CrossFit certifications. However, that information was not available.
Their website also does not seem to specify drop in fees. While some sites allow you to sign up for a class and pay your drop-in fee online, it’s not an option here. To me, these aren’t major things but just something to keep in mind, as you'll want to allow yourself enough time to sign in when you arrive.
You could tell it was a 6:00 pm class rather than a 6:00 am class. However, they were in pretty good shape. It was clear that they don’t let the place go very long without a proper cleaning. They have rags and spray bottles to wipe down the equipment after the workout and members were actively using them.
The facility isn’t huge but there was plenty of room. It didn't feel cramped. Looking at the equipment, while overall things were in pretty good shape, several of the older rubber plates were coming off of their steel hubs. Barbells looked older but in decent shape. The workout didn’t involve the rig that evening but it appears to be solid from observing others using it.
Plates seemed to be plentiful. I only noticed a couple of rowers, a handful of assault bikes and one Ski Erg. There may have been more that I didn’t see. It wasn’t a part of the work out on this night. If needed, it may just require a little rotation planning.
There was some time spent to warm up; a couple of short runs, lunges, pushups, Sampson stretches, bear crawls and a few more items (not in that order). I felt sufficiently warmed up.
It was a strength workout. We started with an EMOM (every minute on the minute), 15 minutes of three movements. First was :45 pistols, followed by :45 wall walk. I have mobility issues with my wrist, so the coach had me do a high plank/shoulder taps. Then :45 hollow rock. We cycled through those movements 5 times.
This was followed by a 7-minute AMRAP of 7 dead lifts, 3 strict press and 7 back-rack thrusters. The Rx weight was 75# for men and 55# for women.
It was definitely a challenging workout but I found it doable, with lots of options to scale if you needed to. I felt I got my “money’s worth”.
High marks on coaching here. While coach Matteo seems like he might be newer to coaching, his communication and involvement was very good. He brought everyone up to the board to go over the warmup and later for the workout.
He understood my personal needs with my mobility issue and gave me a good alternative to scale with. He asked if there was anyone else with mobility issues, which there was so he worked with that individual as well.
Matteo also came around to everyone during the workout several times to see how they were doing. He checked with me on the EMOM to be sure I was comfortable with my movement and offered me alternatives to that if I needed them.
During the WOD I was gassed on the Rx weight about three rounds in and he helped me quickly change the plates out. He also was encouraging to everyone during the workout and congratulated everyone afterwards.
One of the first things I noticed was there were several social conversations going on. Not to the extent where it interrupted the workout. The point being you can tell there’s a good sense of camaraderie at Hunter’s Creek CrossFit.
I personally received a fair share of post-workout fist bumps and saw it among others. Although I really didn’t get involved in any conversations, the folks here were welcoming.
The coaches set a good tone of support and encouragement and it’s clear that it flows to the members. I appreciated the owner (Daniel) introducing himself to me before the workout and checking with me after to see how I liked it.
Drop-in Cost and Swag
A pretty standard drop-in cost of $20. They don’t offer any package with a shirt, which some boxes have.
The swag was nice. They have a good logo and many of the members were wearing their shirts. However, they had none in my size and very few in other sizes. If you go there, they may have stocked back up so you should take that into consideration. Shirt availability at any CrossFit is often hit-and-miss. Hope to get one on my next visit.
I realize swag is not their bread and butter. More of a nice-to-have. Their shirts cost $25, which is not uncommon.
Overall, this was a good experience with a challenging workout, a positive environment and very good coaching. I would recommend Hunter’s Creek CrossFit if you want a good workout in the Orlando area. I’ll return if I get the opportunity.
Wishing you safe, healthy and successful travels.
Hunter’s Creek CrossFit
2120 Orinoco Dr #200
Orlando, FL 32837