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Your new CrossFit trainer? Just the fittest woman on the planet


Annie Thorisdottir
“Iceland Annie’s” last name literally means “Thor’s daughter,” so she may have been born with a slight genetic inclination for athleticism. (Photo: CrossFit Union Square)

New York CrossFit boxes differentiate themselves on the crowded scene in different ways—by offering more amenities, classes for kids, or “CrossFit-inspired” boot camp sessions, for example.

CrossFit Union Square, set to to open in late August, is flying in celebrity athlete Annie Thorisdottir from Iceland to head up its training program.

Known to her fans as “Iceland Annie,” Thorisdottir is like the Serena Williams of CrossFit. She’s the only woman to ever have won the CrossFit Games two years in a row (in 2011 and 2012) and is competing this week to hopefully hit a trifecta (an injury prevented her from competing in 2013). Vogue recently called her “the fittest woman on the planet.”

But rather than just reveling in endorsements and prize money, Thorisdottir is handing over the reigns of her own CrossFit gym, CrossFit Reykjavík, to her two partners so she can share her strength training know-how even further. “I’m definitely not going to give it [CrossFit Reykjavík] up completely, that’s my baby,” she says, “but everything is going according to plan there, which is why it’s okay for me to leave.”

CrossFit Union Square
Thorisdottir competing in the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games in Europe. (Photo: CrossFit Union Square)

The CrossFit Union Square box

Fitness development company RhinoCo, which owns Reebok CrossFit Fifth Avenue in addition to boxes in other locales like Dubai and Miami Beach, is behind CrossFit Union Square. The facility will occupy 8,000 square feet right on the southwest corner of Union Square Park, beneath the new Reebok Fit Hub, and it will include full locker rooms with showers.

What Thorisdottir’s packing for New York

Thorisdottir, of course, is bringing more than just her name recognition across the Atlantic. Mainly, she’s interested in focusing on creating top-tier coaches who deliver high-quality instruction to the box’s members, and she’s bringing her boyfriend, CrossFit Games competitor and CrossFit Invitational Champion Frederik Aegidius, along to help, too.

“I have some good ideas of how I want the gym to be run, and my biggest role is to coach the coaches and make sure they’re good in the way we want them to be,” she says. One strategy, she says, will be requiring coaches to train together and give each other feedback. Membership at the gym will also be capped at 500 or possibly lower to maintain a high coach to member ratio.

And while Thorisdottir is obviously a serious athlete who has a lot to offer those wanting to prep for competitions, she says that CrossFit Union Square will be a place for fitness seekers of all levels. “I’m just excited about building a gym from the very beginning,” she says. New York CrossFit devotees will likely be excited she’s doing it, too. —Lisa Elaine Held

For more information, visit www.crossfitunionsquare.com