The concept, said owner Justin Cotler, is to not be another “globo-gym,” but rather create an inviting family environment.
“I’ll think you’ll find that most people here consider this place their home away from home,” Cotler said.
Cotler played college basketball and golf at the University of Pennsylvania and moved to New York City to pursue a career in music in 2000. He was a full-time musician until the economy took a turn for the worse.
In 2008, he took a position as a trainer at a local gym in Astoria, and began teaching the “crossfit” workout in 2008, which he says was “frowned upon.”
“I saw what it was doing to people, not just physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually,” Cotler said. “I saw how it was changing people’s lives.”
The workout style is meant to prevent physical decay when a person gets older, while simultaneously working to make the individual a well-rounded athlete. One of the most notable changes is that the gym isn’t called a gym, it’s a “box.”
Whereas most gyms concentrate on a person's appearance, the idea behind crossfit is all based on performance.
“A lean, ripped physique is just a side effect,” said Colter.
In 2011, Cotler opened a gym in a small studio on Steinway Street where he solely taught Crossfit. He outgrew the small space and moved to its current location at 36-5 Steinway Street in February of 2012.
Within one year of opening, the gym – commonly referred to a as a “box” in the crossfit world – now has over 300 members, who mostly heard about the facility through word of mouth. It's ranked as one of the top 20 crossfit gyms in the world.
Despite living on the Upper West Side, Adrienne Winton travels to Astoria to train at Crossfit Dynamix.
“I tried out a lot of different boxes in the area and this one had the elite athletes to train with and the best coaches,” she said. “This is the best show in town.”
Heather Soukas of Brooklyn said the results at Crossfit Dynamix are unparalleled because members cheer each other on.
“We’re all generally young adults so we’re balancing a lot in our lives and it get’s really frustrating,” said Soukas, who works as a parlegal. “It helps to have people telling you, ‘you can.’”