Currently sharing space and running WOD classes out of an all-purpose training room in the Queenstown Event Center, CrossFit Queenstown resides just outside the bustling tourist center in Frankton. Easily accessible by bus and close to the airport, CrossFit Queenstown’s current set-up is only temporary. Blueprint plans have already been drawn for their new box, set to be built just outside the Event Center with a spectacular view of The Remarkables for a fitting backdrop.
Co-owners Graeme Macdonald and Stephen Orr affiliated recently, making their box official in February of 2012. A Canadian transplant who came to Queenstown for a winter vacation and never left, Macdonald fell in love with the charming tourist ski town (and CrossFit) and decided to bring the sport of fitness to this adventure seeker’s paradise.
Macdonald started his athletic career with soccer and lacrosse but found CrossFit at age of 18, immediately attracted to its intensity and variety. After three years of dedicated training, and a transition to CrossFit Vancouver, the first and biggest CrossFit gym in Canada, Macdonald felt passionate and prepared enough to become a certified trainer. He earned his CrossFit Level 1 Certification in Portland, Oregon.
Macdonald and Orr “individually write programming for our own respective classes,” Macdonald says. In the true spirit of CrossFit, he believes it, “Keeps things random and unpredictable.”
CrossFit Queenstown offers 11 classes per week with the 6:30am WOD drawing the most members, between 4-9 athletes.
5 x 3 of heavy deadlifts
Fight Gone Bad [Queenstown style]
1 minute per exercise for 3 rounds:
1 minute rest
Still working on establishing a consistent client base (Queenstown is notorious for high-tourist traffic, especially in winter), Macdonald recognizes the value in nutritional consulting, he just hasn’t had time to introduce it yet. “Paleo is something Stephen and I have both dabbled with. We hope to introduce it to our members in the very near future,” he explains.
On a not-paleo sidenote, I indulged in a local institution known as Fergburger, dubbed the best burger in town by multiple sources. This “Big Al” came loaded with 1/2 lb prime New Zealand beef, bacon, 2 eggs, beet, lettuce, tomato and red onion.
It didn’t disappoint.
CrossFit Queenstown’s philosophy is simple, “We strive to deliver the most consistently variable, professional, and valued service to every single athlete,” Macdonald says.
A mecca for adventure sport athletes, Queenstown draws skiers, snowboarders, mountain bikers and paddleboarders alike. Macdonald recognizes a market ripe with potential when he sees it, “We promote CrossFit as a means of improving your performance in every sport. The generation of lean muscle, combined with metabolic conditioning creates a perfect platform for sport performance increase. From soccer to rugby, paddle boarding, cycling and running, we train and support them all.”
Macdonald is quick to credit the Queenstown community, “The community has been so supportive. Personal trainers have sent us clients because they feel we can offer them more. That’s amazing.”
In the future, Macdonald believes, “CrossFit will lead to an elite population of educated, fit, and AWARE citizens that know their bodies like never before.”