Members of Reebok CrossFit Tuluka greet each other with a special Tuluka handshake, an open horizontal high-five followed a quick fist bump and a smile. The handshake is a small thing, really, an intimate gesture among trusted friends. But it’s representative of the warmth and community at Tuluka, a box with big dreams that could be the blueprint for CrossFit’s future.
Reebok CrossFit Tuluka, the first and most established CrossFit Affiliate in urban Buenos Aires (est. 2010), just launched a second location along busy Avenida Libertador in Nuñez. Both locations (including their original box in Palermo off of Honduras) are beautifully decorated and offer an impressively comprehensive array of services and amenities to their 600+ members.
From the exterior, the Reebok CrossFit Tuluka boxes might be mistaken for trendy, boutique globo gyms. Make no mistake, despite their luxurious appearance and amenities, these boxes are serious about the training. In each location, a receptionist checks athletes into classes and doubles as a barista for the caffeine-addicted. Small paleo treats, protein bars, and packages of nuts are also offered. Inspirational quotes and gorgeous murals line the walls. Above the main training floor, a full-service locker room and lounge oversee the action below.
Here, the Reebok CrossFit Tuluka brand reigns paramount and the marketing has been tailored accordingly. Brochures, pamphlets, posters, stickers and business cards are all perfectly executed. In-house motivational videos inspire on multiple TV screens throughout the box, accompanied by upbeat music.
Check out some of their videos here! When I showed one of these clips to my Argentinian host, she replied, “Are you train to be superhero?”
Four co-owners (Martín, Santiago, Nico, Lucas) oversee development, marketing, coaching, nutrition and management at the two bustling Reebok CrossFit Tuluka locations. I chatted with Martín Casas after an evening WOD in their original location.
I told Casas how impressed I was with the amenities and he thanked me graciously, saying, “At Reebok CrossFit Tuluka, we are serious about service.”
Head Coach Santiago “Siri” Terbalca writes the programming for these boxes. Kettlebell training featured prominently in both WODs I completed at Tuluka locations. When I asked co-owner Lucas if they utilized kettlebells over barbells because of limited space, he replied with a smile, “No. We use them because they’re effective.”
Reebok CrossFit Tuluka maintains a robust class schedule; at their original location in Palermo, WOD classes begin at 7am and members crank out workouts every hour on the hour until 9pm. Weekends are much the same with WODs beginning on Saturdays at 8am – 1pm, breaking for 2 hours, and continuing from 3pm – 8pm.
At their new location in Nuñez, classes run on the half-hour.
Tuluka also offers an “athletes” class; an elite group of members handpicked by the coaches to tackle extra strength training in preparation for competition.
Reebok CrossFit Tuluka Nunez (Saturday, September 1st, 1pm):
300 KB Meltdown (R’x: 24kg/16kg)
25 weighted sit-ups
50 kb snatches
25 kb figure 8′s
50 kb goblet squats
50 kb swings
50 kb alternating lunges
50 kb clean & jerks
Reebok CrossFit Tuluka Palermo (Tuesday, September 3rd, 7pm):
18 minute AMRAP:
8 kb cleans
16 kb wall balls
Paleo nutrition is common among Reebok CrossFit Tuluka members, Casas says. “We want to teach the community. We want to educate our members, so they can make the best choice,” he explains. Both boxes host paleo seminars at least once a month and employ a nutritional consultant for private sessions.
Coach Pablo Cariman described the Tuluka philosophy with an appropriate iceberg analogy, “What we do [here] in the box is just the tip. We want our members to take that same attitude to life outside the box, to push yourself in the same way you push yourself here.”
Global Sport Culture:
Casas is sure that CrossFit is here to stay. He and the other co-owners have started integrating training with some of the local sport clubs in the area, targeting rugby in particular, “Rugby players come in, train for a few months and see the same results in a year’s worth of work.”
Tuluka has established itself as a premium fitness brand, and Casas believes other boxes will move towards their model, “I believe CrossFit will begin to take the place of other ‘globo gyms’ out there. People are bored. Once they start to train CrossFit, they love it. It’s not just a sport for fun, it’s a way of life.”