CrossFit Flagstaff: A True CrossFit Home

By Lisa Ray and Mike Ray

In Affiliation, Videos

December 16, 2011

Video Article

Lisa and Dr. Mike Ray, co-owners of CrossFit Flagstaff, give us the tour of their box and CrossFit home in Flagstaff, Ariz.

The Rays began CrossFitting in 2004 out of their home. In 2006, they formed a garage affiliate, then moved into a gym, finally finding their current location two years ago. Lisa says they bought a 10,000-square-foot building and use it for adult classes, CrossFit Kids and their private home.

Lisa says her husband, Mike, taught himself how to weld so he could fabricate CrossFit equipment, such as boxes and pull-up structures. Their pull-up bars are unique because they attach to the walls instead of being part of a freestanding structure.

“We keep the floor space nice and clear. It just seemed to make more sense to us than putting it into the floor as a cage system,” Lisa says.

Their love of projects didn’t end with gym equipment. When the Rays bought the building housing their affiliate, it came with office space they converted into their home.

“My dream has always been to have a live-work space, and we had that with the garage,” Lisa says.

She adds: “The close proximity to the gym I think for our personal life can be somewhat challenging. We’re trying to work through that.”

Nevertheless, Lisa says the arrangement is working out really well.

“Our clients are completely respectful of our space and of our privacy,” she says.

12min 37sec

Additional audio: CrossFit Radio Episode 69 by Justin Judkins, published June 1, 2009.

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14 Comments on “CrossFit Flagstaff: A True CrossFit Home”


wrote …

That would be awesome to build a residence inside a CF gym. I'd NEVER leave home.


wrote …

Very nice facility.

Just an FYI, running with weighted sleds is not a good idea. It does not improve results and can lead to perturbed running style (i.e. mess up your running).


wrote …

My L1 trainers! Fantastic duo. I had fond memories of Mike and Brett (our third trainer) having an epic showdown with the sleds right after Day 1. Kudos to Coach Kevin for introducing this torture device.


wrote …

@ Chris Mason don't you think sleds are a great conditioning tool that help develop power and explosiveness? the arguement has been made to use no more than 110% of BW on sled which can lead to "peturbed" running. I think they has a lot of value for athletes especially to ones that involve running(short dist, rarely run in straight line where power/speed/agility is more important than technique) I think the positives outweigh the negatives here and ppl can see a lot of benefits from running with weighted sleds. Were not all training for the 100m olympics here.



wrote …

Place looks awesome Lisa!


wrote …

Mike and Lisa, the space looks great! Congratulations!


replied to comment from TODD DANDRADE

You don't need to run with a sled to use it for conditioning. We have worked with everyone from sprinters to marathoners and Ironman competitors and all they do are various form of walking with the sled (difference cadences and stepping styles). Running with the sled will NOT improve results and MAY create running technique concerns.

I think the running thing goes back to a CrossFit mentality of doing everything balls to the wall. That mindset has its place, but can be misapplied at times as in this scenario.


wrote …

Here's a link to the best miler in the world alongside his teamates.
About five minutes in you will see them running while dragging tires. Is it productive? I don't know, but if the best in the world are doing it, it's probably worth playing around with eh?
Congrats to CF Flagstaff, looks like a phenomenal facility!!!


replied to comment from Chris Mason

I first encountered running with a sled 24 years ago and it wasn't new then.
CF's been around for 10-15 years at best.
From that the assertion that CFers are overzealously pushing themselves into new territory in this respect doesn't hold up. More that they're following in an established path.

Now whether running with a sled is a sensible thing to do, that's another question, one I'm not qualified to answer.


wrote …

Colin, I don't agree. They would be better served doing it differently. They are also pulling a tire in the rain, not a weighed sled (at least from what it looks like to me).

Craig, what I am saying is it goes to a basic mentality in CrossFit. Are you saying that mentality does not exist? I also said that it can be of benefit sometimes, and can be detrimental others.


wrote …

That's awesome. I love the live/work dynamic, wish I had a wife that saw the beauty of that (I'd still be married).


Stephen Hubbard wrote …

Running with a sled (or tires) is hard, right?*
It moves large loads, far distances, quickly, right?**
It's different from what you normally do, right?***

Constantly varied*** functional movements** at high intensity*.

Sounds like its perfect for Crossfit. Whats all the fuss about?


wrote …

My wife and I are visiting family in Flagstaff for the holidays and attended their 9am class today. The gym is great and the staff are extremely helpful, thanks for all your input Lauren!

-Clayton and Kristy


replied to comment from Chris Mason

If this is the Chris Mason I think it is (AtLargeNutrition and EliteFTS) I am all ears. Would this make a difference if someone is pushing versus pulling a sled? What about band sprints and other overspeed or resisted training devices? I understand that it can't be the only thing someone should do as it will definitely screw up a runner's technique. Someone who isn't a runner, however, who may pushing and pulling objects on a regular basis, this may be a very functional training tool. I would just be weary about using it with runners specifically. I also see where Chris is coming from in regards to walking upright with the sled as Louie Simmons and some other great coaches have their athletes do. I think this is where a good coach has to step in and design more specific programming to meet each clients needs.

As for the facility, this is literally my dream. I'm looking at locations now to either build or remodel to put me into something like this. Truly a dream come true. Congrats Lisa and Mike!

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