Please post your experiences/recommendations training at gyms in this region. Please post with the gym name, city and country as your post title. For example:
"CrossFit South Brooklyn, London, England"
CrossFit Central London, London, England
This one goes under the "with reservations" file. I was not crazy about the coaching here -- when I went, the WOD included one-armed KB movements which many people, myself included, are not skilled at, but there was no review of the movement before we were just thrown in. I ended up with bruises all over my arms. That being said, the strength component of the class (back squats) was coached OK. If you need a box in London, this one's convenient, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it if you haven't been CrossFitting for a while.
The Butcher's Lab, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Awesome gym in the meatpacking district downtown near Vesterbro. Very friendly and welcoming group, they ran the entire class in English for my benefit. Good coaching, good class. They have different types of classes offered nearly every hour of the day. Also it is always open gym there and they didn't mind me hanging around for extra gymnastics practice and mobility work. There is an attached paleo cafe with protein shakes, salads, etc, and a new Reebok apparel store.
Also spent time in their sister gym, The Butcher's Garage which is in Valby, a suburb which is a 15-20 minute bike ride out of town. This gym is also a MMA training center.
Highly recommended: www.butchers.dk
Condal Crossfit (Barcelona, Spain)
Getting there: Barcelona has a good public transit system. There's a few metro stops that are a 5-10 minute walk to the gym. It's likely you'll be staying in an area that's not walking distance, so plan for a total commute of 25-30 minutes by metro, or a 15 minute cab ride (if you're staying in Barceloneta or Barri Gòtic). It's on a small, dead end side street (Passatge Rustullet) that's right off a major street (Passeig de Maragall) so it's easy to miss, but just look for a small banner for the gym and walk down the alley.
Workouts/Coaching: I dropped in 4 times the week I was there. For the most part, each workout was structured similarly to CFSBK. Strength and/or skill component followed by conditioning that never exceeded 10 - 15 min. Their website does not list their coaches and qualifications, but it does list the daily WODs. The head coach and owner, Carlos Tinoco, was very welcoming and a solid coach. He used logical movement progressions and stressed good form throughout. One day, he let me get in my 20-rep squat exposure that I didn't want to miss while away, which was prior to a conditioning workout that included 100 wallballs. That was a fun day for my quads. My spanish is decent (not so much with Catalan), although I appreciated the English breakdowns too. Turns out he assists Level 1 certifications in Spain as a translator. There is definitely a community-feel to the gym and everyone was super nice. Oh, and if you're lucky, like me, you might drop-in while the Spanish rugby team is training.
Drop-in rates are pretty standard - 15 euros for a class or 25 euros for a class + tshirt. Be sure to send an email in advance to let them know when you're planning to drop in. They also have a locker room with showers in case you want to workout and then explore the city without having to go back to your hotel.
There's a few Crossfit gyms in Barcelona and you'll probably be staying within walking distance to Reebok Crossfit BCN. I didn't end up dropping in there because I really liked my experience at Condal Crossfit. I actually asked them about Reebok and I appreciated that their response didn't badmouth the place, but gave me enough information to make an informed decision about where I wanted to train during my stay (e.g. Reebok has very large classes with only 1 coach).
Crossfit Donostia, San Sebastian Spain
Very appealing and impressive box in this prosperous Basque resort town. You'll want to email first, and you'll need to take a taxi as it's in a mixed-use light-industry office park on the outskirts of town. The owner follows David's blog and has visited CFSB, so it's not that surprising that the box feels very familiar, not just in terms of layout and gear but in terms of spirit. Very intelligent, focused, crisp instruction. Warm-ups more like athletic team warm-ups (lines of people doing bear crawls, etc); then strength, followed by WOD, followed by end of class group mobility work, interestingly. Young, athletic group - a pro rugby player, and others at same level of fitness. My Spanish got me through, with some help from some new friends. They wouldn't let me pay either day, so I splashed out on some Crossfit Donostia swag. All in all an ideal experience.
Reebok Crossfit BCN, Barcelona Spain
I envy Rickke her experience at Condal - it looked very appealing, but I was with my family and sneaking in my workouts in a tight time window, so chose the one around the corner. I went three days in a row. It was absolutely fine, but the instruction was fairly minimal - the first day, to my amazement, the single coach was "teaching" our class and giving a private lesson at the same time.. No greetings or conversation, no t-shirts, and a pretty, well, sorry, meat headed clientele - let's just say I'd bet good money a lot of those guys take supplements that are a tad more, ah, aggressive than protein powder. And the condition of the box was a little shaky. And they definitely didn't waive the fee, which at 18 euros. But once I got the plot, it was fine, and I got three good workouts, a reasonable strength section and a good hard WOD. And in late August the locals not in the service trade flee and leave the town to tourist hordes, so grain of salt.
Located in central paris on the right bank not too far from the Louvre entrance on Rue Rivoli. Part of a Reebok Crossfit store and gym with store upstairs and gym in basement. Similar setup to Reebok 5th avenue in NYC.
Facilities were a little dark and damp. Programming was nothing special. French and english were spoken but mainly French. Shared facility downstairs with a weightlifting club who seemed to have most of the barbells. No space for MU or rope climbs as low ceilings. I went in the middle of day and it was a big class.
Whle I would not recommend it if it were in the US, it is frankly the only CF gym in Paris so there you go.
Bob -- are you referring to CrossFit Louvre? I have also been there but hesitated to post about it because I went only for open gym and thus I don't know what a class is like.
I will say that you're right about the downstairs space being no bueno due to the low ceilings. It's a good thing my plan for that day was bench press and not press (I was doing strength cycle at the time) because I literally could not have pressed a barbell overhead in that downstairs space. I'm tall for a woman, but I'm not THAT tall. My husband, who is 6'2", was screwed.
Also, annoying: while my husband was squatting, a coach came up to him to tell him he was doing it wrong, i.e. not squatting to depth. Hubs was just below parallel on a low bar squat. The coach told him to put the bar higher on his traps so he could "earn that squat" and get his butt to his heels. What this tells me is that the coaches don't know the difference between a low bar and a high bar squat.
But, as you say, it's pretty much the only game in central Paris.
Crossfit London, London, England
Note that this is not Crossfit Central London!
Been here a few times over the years when travelling on business. Only 1 stop on the Tube from Liverpool St so handy for the City (financial district).
Very friendly, clearly used to having drop-ins. GBP15 per session with online booking. When I dropped in to do an open workout it was free so long as I stuck around to judge as well.
Class size is around 10, usually with a single coach. All the ones I worked with have been very knowledgeable and I've come away having improved something and feeling like I've had a good, fun workout which I think is the important thing!
ps Don't forget that the weights are all kg (I'm British and I still did this)
Stella,You are correct. I was posting about CF Reebok Louvre Paris.
Lutece Crossfit Paris
After the disappointing experience at CF Louvre, I decided to try a different CF box in Paris, voila Lutece Crossfit.
Located in the 15th, it is a typical Paris box, very limited in space with relatively less experienced coaches. However they worked hard: a thorough warm up, a intensive strenght portion (although it was a 5 minute AMRAP of TTB- whew!), and then a met con (5 rft 7 Front Squats Rx 135#,14 Push Press Rx 135#,21 Situps,28 DUB- also a challenge),then some stretching and DROM cooldown.
Facility is still being built out. Men have 3 showers and a spacious changing room.
Weirdly, after class, the instructor said he also coaches at CrossFit Original Addicts, located in the 20th. He recommended that the next time I was in town I try that one. Not sure what that meant but it made me uncomfortable- sending clients to another gym while in another's employ? However I will probably give it a try so I guess it worked.
Great facility - probably the largest I've ever seen with five or six separate "rooms", all part of a general loft space. They also had a hot tub, cold tub and sauna in the locker room. Nice.
The workout was good. In Icelandic, but the instructor translated when necessary. After some basic warm-ups, bench press (5x3), then a short WOD. 3 rounds of sit-ups and kettbells swings every 3 minutes - 9 rounds total. The coaches couldn't have been nicer or more helpful. THey also allowed me to sneak in 15.2.
It's also free. They don't charge for drop-ins. Old-school. I expected everyone to be absolute beasts, but instead there were a lot of normal average people there as well. All in all, a great experience.
CrossFit AKA Westerpark, Amsterdam, Netherlands
This box has two locations, one closer to the city center and a larger one in Westerpark, easily accessed by several tram and bus lines. I went only to the larger one.
The owner was super nice and welcoming of me. If there are any visitors who don't speak Dutch, he conducts the class in English! He was also fine with working around my injury even though that meant I needed a little extra attention. The workout itself included both a strength and a conditioning component, just as SBK does. Westerpark has open gym at all times that they have class going on, which is great if you need to make up something specific.
The only thing I really missed was intros/QOD. Since I was visiting I would have liked to get to know more people than just the one girl I was working with.
The owner ended up recommending to us the restaurant where we had the absolute best meal we've had on our trip so far. So I in turn recommend that you stop by while you're in Amsterdam.
CrossFit Delft, Delft, Netherlands
Matt and I have joined CF Delft for our time in this picturesque old city. Delft itself is about a 55-minute train ride from Amsterdam. Your best bet to get to the box are your own two feet or a rented bike, bus service is infrequent and there isn't much to explore in the area.
Classes are led in a hybrid of Dutch and English (trainers are happy to fill you in on anything not immediately self-explanatory).
Group warm-ups tend to be more intense and challenging than those at CFSBK. The strength portion is dictated by the programming template, which is percentage-based and features the same lifts for 5-week cycles. WODs are heavy and challenging, in general, and include lots of interval work.
Best part is the whole-class cool down at the end, but I'm missing the whole class mobility and introductions at the start. (You get time dedicated before strength for this, but it is all DIY.) At a small gym like this, you may not be paired on a bar, so don't expect an overly-social experience.
WODs aren't posted online to prevent cherry picking, but you'll want to e-mail in advance anyway since classes are capped at 14. Ron and Barry can tell you if you'll need special equipment.
Nominal drop-in fee (€12.50). Shower on site, but you'll need to bring your stuff, and would probably head back into town and your accommodations, anyway.
I agree with Stella's writeup above. The Vauxhall location is at Arch 56/57 Ewer Street under an old rail line which crosses the Thames. The space is not great but it is central city and rents are high. There are two spaces in the box, one of which was used for newbies and one for experienced crossfitters. On my visit they were following Invictus programming, which that day consisted of lots of pull-up variations including weighted and a met con of pull-ups, C2 and burpees. The coach tried to assist and encourage some of the members who needed help but generally she seemed more interested in talking to friends. However it was hard for me to really judge becasue the movements were simple and required less coaching. I would go back the next time I am in London becasue of the central location.
KOM Crossfit (Klan Original Madrid)
Klan has been my gym these past few months while I've been studying abroad. It's very accesible, located just a block from the Cuatro Caminos metro. They're only a year old and I'd highly recommend stopping by for a workout if you're in Madrid. I have my problems with their programming sometimes but y'all should go anyway.
Pros: the people, the ambience, the (many) gym social events, some very high level athletes... an awesome community. Note: very few people at this gym speak English. That said, they've gone out of their way to make me feel welcome despite my imperfect Spanish. Edy Montenegro is an awesome dude along with the rest of their staff. Every class is near full and most people know each-other.
Cons: Their strength programing is poor/unstructured. You won't find yourself squatting more than once a week. Their WODs are also very (I think excessively) complex. Think 3 consecutive 5-minute AMRAP periods. Regardless of how I feel about their WOD complexity, the workouts are very, very exhausting. Needless to say, I tend to go in the open gym slots. They also have a no-dropping policy, so if you want to drop you have to use their annoying dropping pads.
CrossFit Prvi Tim, Belgrade Serbia
General overviewThe gym is pretty big and has lockers, showers, AC, and whey (if you're into that). They have everything you would possibly need in here, like plenty of bars, plates, KBs, etc.. English is also very good here. It's right by the water, so if running is in the warm up, it's nice and scenic. Belgrade gets really hot in the summer so pre prepared with tons of water.
PricesIt's about 5000rsd or about $44 per month. They have just open gym options and also drop-in rates that are very affordable too.
Getting thereIt's kind of in a weird area but you can get a cab to and from for about $5 round trip.
Crossfit Navan, Co. Meath, IrelandI dropped in on a 7am class. The owner Alan Fitzpatrick led the class. Nice facilities and very friendly people. The programming looked solid, although I was only there for one class. The box is tucked in at the back of the Industrial Estate. Parking wasn't a problem. They have showers.
The drive through Meath is gorgeous. I arrived before sunrise, but left driving through a wonderland.
Unit 1, Mullaghboy Industrial Estate, Mullaghboy, Navan, Co. Meath, Irelandhttp://www.crossfitnavan.com/
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