Performance Group Exercise (PGX) is a new gym and the name says it all. PGX offers unique group exercise classes that appeals to men and women looking for a challenge and a great workout.
The Space: PGX is located in a semi-sketchy stretch off Maple and Wycliff. Unlike other boutique gyms, PGX has A/C and heat, which I hear is usually not the case for most crossfit-type or mini-gyms. The gym is one large room that is split in half to run 2 classes simultaneously. You’ll notice the division instantly with the giant multi-use metal rig in the middle of room. The gym’s theme colors are black and green and has a pretty basic set up. One half of the gym is carpeted with astro-turf and is where the primal training takes place. On the other side of the room, Crossfit and Insanity classes are conducted on their regular floor. Upon entering, the receptionist desk is located immediately on your right, along with cubbies to stash your belongings. You will also find a portion of the wall covered with mirrors followed by an area with a few Concept 2 rowers. On the left side of the room, you’ll notice two large screen TVs and check-in station for members. Medicine balls, kettle bells, and weights are stacked against the walls for easy access during classes.
The Classes: PGX offers five main classes: Mobility, Insanity, Crossfit, Primal Endurance and Primal Strength. I had the pleasure of trying a handful of classes and really got my butt kicked. I was impressed with the guy to girl ratio. Almost half the members are women in what seems to be a “guy’s gym” and they kill it every time. Here’s a breakdown of the class offerings:
Mobility: At the beginning of each evening at 530pm, PGX offers a free 30 minute mobility class. The mobility portion allows you to work on both your flexibility, mobility, and warm up. This class offers an in-depth stretching sequence that focuses on different parts of the body. I encourage everyone to take advantage of it. The instructors are a great resource plus the workouts are intense and you’ll need it. This was the class that helped me identify the cause of my lower back pain and I couldn’t be more grateful to the knowledgeable instructors.
Insanity: The insanity class is offered for free on Wednesdays and Saturdays and is taught by Alina. This was my first Insanity class ever and it was no walk in the park. Very leg intensive and high cardio base. It’ll definitely get your heart rate up. She sure does love her planks and burpees. My shoulders were on fire! The class moves pretty quickly with plenty of perfectly timed water breaks. Insanity is the only hour long class offered at PGX. With the music blaring, it was hard to hear her, but I’m told she will be getting a mic soon.
Primal Strength and Primal Endurance: These classes are both 30 minute long and run back-to-back for 2 hours (2 primal and 2 endurance) and they focus on building core strength coupled with speed and agility drills. As the name implies, Primal Strength intends to help you build your power and strength by having you do weighted exercises with kettle bells and medicine balls. Primal Endurance is a HIIT workout fused with speed and agility drills all set at fast burst of exertion with short periods of rest. The primal series are broken into 4 different class types:
- Time – complete as many reps within a certain time.
- Task – Repetition circuit that challenges you to complete a certain number of reps per exercise.
- Competition – Classes are broken into teams to do relays, tag relays, and are most common in the endurance classes.
- Station – Classes are broken into multiple groups to complete a circuit as team.
Crossfit: I didn’t get a chance to take any Crossfit classes. Just based on my observations, the instructors are very keen on form and new students must work on form first before even tackling weights. I saw quite a few practice deadlifts with plastic pipes until they got the form right. If any gym is going to help dispel the misconceptions that come with Crossfit training, it’s PGX. New members looking to do crossfit training must attend 6 semi-private fundamental classes to learn basic movements and form before jumping into a full fledge crossfit class. PGX also uses Wodify that integrates the class curriculum with member accounts to display on the TV screens time and weight. It’s results driven and allows members the ability to log their progress.
The Instructors: The instructors at PGX are incredibly gifted and qualified. When I first met Erik and Josh, they have a very laid back and easy-going demeanor. They interact freely with students and they know members by name. I was greeted with a firm handshake and appreciated the introduction. There isn’t a pretentious separation between instructor and student. I can see how intimidating it can seem initially for first-timers. Everyone seems to know each other, but once you break that ice, you’re part of the community instantly. I took Erik’s strength class and really liked his attention for proper form. He’s knowledgeable in biomechanics and it shows in his instruction. Josh leads a high energy class that pushes you to your limit. After his 30 minutes classes, there is no doubt you put in some work. Fun fact: Josh also used to train Cowboys WR Dez Bryant. Alina leads the Insanity classes and is currently training to teach crossfit. She has a very friendly and inviting demeanor and does a great job at checking form and offering modifications. Each instructor has multiple fitness degrees or certifications coupled with years of experience in various fitness or sports programs.
Loved: The philosophy of teaching and training is more than just working out or lifting weights. I love that they incorporate mobility into the program to teach people how to workout, how to prevent injuries and keep your body healthy. They are also vigilant in teaching members about proper form. At one point I purposely did a kettlebell lift incorrectly during the Primal Strength class and I was quickly corrected. Even in a group setting, the instructors were vigilant. I love that everyone is involved in providing such excellent gut busting, calorie torching classes.
I also loved the community and some of the competitive aspects sprinkled into the primal classes. Whole classes are split into groups and either work together to get through a circuit or work in teams to accomplish different exercises. I can see this being a huge appeal to guys who want that extra push. As a female, I was surprised at how much I really enjoyed that aspect of the class. Not all group classes are competitive. The class flow and curriculum change constantly.
Feedback: While I find the classes are awesome and the instructors are excellent, I’m not a fan of the layout. I actually think it’s kind of awkward. For the receptionist desk to be on one side and the member check in station to be on the other is a little strange to me. The member check-in station also displays class workouts on the TV screens, however they are still hard to see during class. As a new gym working out the kinks, I think their music is one area for improvement. The Insanity class is timed in accordance to a playlist and can . The music blares from the front of the gym yet the Insanity is hosted toward the back of gym. The music interferes with the primal classes that are closer in proximity to the speakers and it’s hard to hear the instructors at times. I think the Insanity class can also benefit from having a clock or timer on display. I also think they need to increase the number of cubbies. When classes are full, there isn’t enough for everyone.
The Next Day: I was sore. The best kind of sore. I worked out muscles I didn’t even know could ache. And, I would totally go back.
Difficulty Level: The pace that the primal classes go, I think it would be great for intermediate and advanced level fitness enthusiasts. It’s perfectly challenging. The ability to stack classes gives members the freedom to push themselves as hard as they want. That’s not to say newbies aren’t encouraged to try it out. There are plenty of modifications during the classes and PGX also offers Crossfit for beginners.
FYI/Costs/Parking: Bring your own towels and water bottle. There’s no towel service. There is a water fountain to fill up on and I liked having my water bottle near me. There are two bathrooms to change in, however I’d recommend showing up dressed and ready to go. I also hear a shower will be added soon. Parking isn’t that great. It’s awkwardly divided. The way the parking lines are angled make it difficult to get out. You almost have to reverse out of the narrow lot and into the street. I’m an Asian woman, so I get to cry about driving. I’m glad to hear PGX is aware of it and are looking for a solution. PGX has a great trial offer. They offer four free day passes instead of individual class credits. This gives you the freedom to visit the gym on four separate occasions and try one or all the class offerings.
The Takeaway: My preferred workouts are intense HIIT type workouts. I’m a fan of using weights combined with cardio to really get the heart rate up, so it’s no surprise that I fell in love with the primal series and philosophies that PGX stands by. It’s a gym that offers holistic teachings from basics all the way to advanced movements and I think anyone can benefit from it. I love the energy and the assurance of knowing my trainers are highly qualified and they know their shit. I’d recommend this gym to all men and women looking for challenging and results driven group fitness classes.
In order to write about Performance GX, Deep Fried Fit and contributing writer Fernando Ortiz took advantage of the free day passes to attend multiple classes.
Fernando Ortiz is a contributing writer for Deep Fried Fit and is an engineer who loves food and physical fitness. His favorite cuisine is Thai and enjoys craft beers. He also loves going on foodie adventures with his wife and checking out new restaurants. In his spare time, you can find Fernando mountain biking, trail running, barbell strength training, kettlebell training, and bodyweight calisthenics. He is also an avid participant of obstacle course racing such as Tough Mudder and the Spartan Race series.