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WHERE TO WOD: LONDON CROSSFIT GYMS YOU SHOULD KNOW

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EVA PINEDA

JUL 14, 2020

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IMAGE VIA @REEBOKCROSSFITTHAMES | INSTAGRAM

Just because CrossFit has a rep for being hardcore doesn’t mean you have to be a pro athlete to be part of the community. There are plenty of CrossFitters ready to show you the ropes and help you get to crushing those WODs (CrossFit speak for workout of the day). Feeling up to the challenge? We’ve rounded up the best London CrossFit boxes for you to try — should you dare.

Making you sweat in the shadow of The Shard in London Bridge, this space offers CrossFit for every range and genre of fitness. Choose from personal training sessions, foundation training, element classes, workout of the day, endurance, Olympic lifting, and yoga and prepare for a lot of sweat. Classes run throughout the day and the experienced trainers at this box also offer a free introduction appointment, so you can see what you’re getting yourself into before you commit.

The team at CrossFit Thames in Canary Wharf believe having a solid group of workout partners is the key to pushing you to improve. So, they do all the work for you by sifting through all the best research to give you proven workouts and eating strategies that will help you get lasting results without having to be an exercise scientist yourself. And their quality carries through everything — their facility is one of the largest, most convenient, and cleanest CrossFit gyms in London. Plus, they have all the equipment you need, including a chill-out and mobility area, changing rooms, and even a treatment room.

Based in Hackney, this Crossfit gym will turn you into a strong, lean machine. Exercises aren’t just mindlessly thrown together (easily done in some CrossFit boxes). Instead, they follow a simple, effective, and tested structure. And it’s not all about the Olympic lifts — they also focus on cardio endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. On top of that, sessions are taught by experienced coaches that consider your safety the number one priority. At the end of the WOD, they feed you your performance stats so you know your progression and how you’re stacking up against the competition. And if Hackney is a little too far east for you, keep your eyes peeled for a new Momentum studio that’s coming to Old St. in 2019.

East London’s Royal Docks CrossFit sits next door to the Excel Centre and is one of the smartest gyms around, complete with competition-grade Wolverson equipment and flooring, as well as a handful of qualified and experienced coaches. Classes start at 6:30am during the week with the WOD (workout of the day) and running throughout the day. And if you’re new to the game, they have a beginner-specific class, so you can nail your form before really getting after it.

Set up in East London, CrossFit Perpetua prides itself on being a dedicated world-class strength and conditioning facility. When you come here, you first attend their ‘Fundamentals Program’ (a one- or two-on-one training session) before moving onto group exercise classes or personal training. You can also take advantage of a full range of regular gym equipment at any time throughout the day. If you’re a total CrossFit newbie, check out CrossFit Perpetua’s 60 Days Fitness Immersion Challenge. It’s a small-group program that teaches you absolutely everything you need to know to become a full-fledged CrossFitter.

CrossFit Ivy in Feltham offers a complete range of training, including open gym time, Olympic weightlifting, and personal training, as well as a complete range of CrossFit sessions. If you’re lucky enough to get some rare sunshine, workouts are even taken outside to make the most the warm weather. The best part? You can walk in for a free session to find out if this is the gym for you (phone or email for times), and then sign up for a rolling monthly contract to officially become part of the community.

The facility is pretty basic and is by no means huge, but it has an old-school feel, with urban boxes, exposed brick and and pretty much all the equipment you need to knock out that WOD. The team boasts a community environment that ‘trains together, sweats together, sometimes suffers together’. It’s worth noting that they also occasionally enjoy a beer and some food together. In terms of exercise, expect all the usual suspects: weightlifting, gymnastics, and a 45-minute WOD, perfect if you’re short on time or for those who just want to work on conditioning.

CrossFit Evolving in Holloway opened in 2011 and has since gone from a community of strength to serious strength in numbers, opening another site in Kilburn in 2013. Their boxes are second to known and their goals is to meet the training needs of members of all technical abilities and confidence levels. Which is why they offer trial sessions, beginners’ classes, specialist sessions, and kids’ classes.

CrossFit North London is one of the largest CrossFit centres in town. Training daily near Crouch End, the super-experienced founders Gerard and Sarra provide various CrossFit training, mobility and movement, weightlifting, and endurance coaching. You can also take advantage of full nutrition and lifestyle tips, scientifically-backed training, pre- and post-natal classes, core workouts, and much more. And they offer everything from foundation classes to workouts for people over 60 and yoga, as well as open gym time. Don’t worry, though — there’s plenty of room to move around in this 10,000-square foot box.

Clapham’s Gymnasium (formerly In2CrossFit) is a strength, conditioning, and mobility gym that runs cardio and strength training classes as well as killer CrossFit sessions. And they keep their classes small, with at least one coach for every 12 members. That means every level of athlete is welcome and all workouts are scalable to match the needs and abilities of every individual. And that respect for your time and body explains the 60-minute, free-of-charge, one-on-one introductory session (where you can even bring a friend) that will teach you everything you’ll need to know about the CrossFit methodology and techniques.

CrossFit Performance 360 can be found in the heart of Crystal Palace and is hailed for having some of the most knowledgeable trainers on site, including owner Ed Brown (who boasts a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt with over 10 years experience in personal fitness and martial arts). Here, they offer an excellent selection of CrossFit, weightlifting, and calisthenics workouts — as well as martial arts classes if you want to de-stress by throwing a few high kicks. If you’re new to CrossFit, you’ll need to complete a foundation course first that covers the nine fundamental movements within CrossFit, Olympic weightlifting, and basic gymnastics movements. And if you decide to be part of the P360 family, don’t forget to grab your branded merch to flaunt around town.

Just a stone’s throw from Waterloo Station is CrossFit Blackfriars. And while it may not be the largest CrossFit gym in the capital, it’s jammed-packed with all the equipment you could want, and offers one of the best workouts in town. There’s a good mix of small group classes, expert-level classes, and bespoke personal training on offer — making it perfect for all types of training styles. Plus, you can use the gym on a pay-as-you go basis or take out a membership and save a little extra on session costs — the choice is yours.

This 5,000-square-foot box in the centre of Shoreditch is stocked with everything you need to take your fitness game to the next level. Aside from top-of-the-line equipment (think rowers, slam balls, rigs, weights, and more) from Primal Strength, you can expect a roster of expert instructors, and a community of fellow CrossFitters who somehow make endless burpees seem fun. If you're just getting started, their Foundations class will get you acquainted with the workout. Once you've got the basics down, you'll have your pick of endurance-focused classes, strength-only sessions, and Metcon workouts. Oh, and did we mention they also offer one-on-one personal training?

Sleven CrossFit is more than just your local box. It's a place where people of all fitness levels and abilities can come to get their heart rate up, push themselves harder than they have before, and enjoy the perks of having a community in their corner that will never let them down. Of course, they offer their fair share of traditional strength and conditioning CrossFit workouts, but when you want a change of pace, they also offer high-energy metabolic conditioning, gymnastics, yoga for CrossFit, and a Friday night class that ends with beers at Nando's nearby. Check out the timetable and book in — who knows, you may have just found your new fit fam.

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