I ran across this article yesterday, and it reminded me of a trip I took last year, and a story I’d like to tell.

I was headed to London for the first time, last year, and wanted to make sure I got a workout in. I did a little research and decided on a box (that shall remain nameless) that, from what I gathered on the internet, appeared to be one of the better boxes in London, and was relatively close to my hotel. Either I misread something, or misjudged what I read, because it was fucking awful.

The WOD was simple enough; work up to a 1RM C&J, then, for the metcon, row a 2k for time. After a brief warm-up we were told to grab barbells and line up so one of the coaches could demonstrate the C&J and then take us through a progression. I could not believe what I saw. During the demo, the coach essentially reverse curled the bar while jumping three inches forward into the bottom of his squat. Then, I shit you not, he jumped a good six inches in the air the while doing the jerk.

Turns out, that’s not all that uncommon in Europe. After I returned, I had a conversation with a friend of mine, who is originally from Serbia and travels back to Europe frequently, about my experience. He told me that he’s been to CrossFit gyms all over Europe, and that the coaching he has received has been far behind the coaching he receives in the States. I heard a similar sentiment from a woman that recently traveled to Ireland.

Now, with the rise of the European contingent at the CrossFit Games, it’s safe to say that the coaching isn’t bad everywhere in Europe. And the last thing I want to do is discourage people from traveling to Europe (Go! It’s amazing!) or visiting CrossFit gyms in Europe. What I do want to do, though, is make sure people are prepared for what they may run into. Make sure you do your research before deciding what gym to go to (hint: if the website is shitty, the gym is shitty). Make sure you contact the gym, beforehand, to see if there’s a specific class you should attend. And make sure you’re comfortable with your movements and know your weights. That way, if you run into bad coaching, it won’t matter.

Actually, this is probably true for the states, as well. I’ve been to a few awful gyms here, too.

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I ran across this article yesterday, and it reminded me of a trip I took last year, and a story I'd like to tell. I was headed to London for the first time, last year, and wanted to make sure I got a workout in. I did a little research...