Some clients prefer polished brass pull-up bars, while others like a little rust on the barbell.

Nearly 5,000 miles and an ocean apart, two classes of CrossFit athletes are doing work.

Their lungs are searing, but all that matters is the last few reps—and getting them in before the minute turns over.

As the last barbell settles at CrossFit Fifty, an open-air garage gym in Honolulu, Hawaii, the athletes lie on the sun-stricken pavement, heaving as they stare up into the electric-blue sky. At CrossFit Below Zero/I.C.E. NYC, tucked inside a luxury condominium in Manhattan, an athlete rests against a marble column, chalk dust trickling from the brass-coated pull-up bar above.

Once they can breathe again, CrossFit Fifty athletes report to the whiteboard to give their times, scrawling their scores next to a list of mantras—“don’t panic” among them. CrossFit Below Zero athletes sign on to Wodify, broadcasting their efforts on bright flatscreens mounted in a neat line on the wall.

One group leaves sweaty and sun-kissed, hiking the 400 meters to their cars down the block. The other crew stops for a shower in a gleaming spa-like bathroom where high-end shampoos, hair spray and body towels big enough to camp under return the New Yorkers to normal before they step back into the Manhattan streets.

Both leave a little fitter than they were before.

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