Guest Blog: Allison visits Middle Kingdom Fitness in Beijing, China!

beijing-china-map_1Thanks to our travelling correspondents here at CIC, I really get to feel like I’ve crossfitted all over the world!! Today’s guest blog is from Allison, who recently visits Middle Kingdom Fitness in Beijing.  Honestly, how cool is that?!?



In Beijing in 2014, a visitor who wants to do CrossFit has two options:

  • Follow the WOD posted by your home box in the hotel gym which has limited barbell equipment (it was workable … but only just, and it was really distracting to be able to see myself in the mirror); or
  • Go rogue. And by that I don’t mean Rogue™. I mean, go off the reservation. There are recognised CrossFit affiliates in Shanghai and Shenzen. Hong Kong also has a bunch and there are a couple in Taipei, but in Beijing proper, nothing*. There is a CrossFit affiliate near the airport (CrossFit 086) but it was not particularly convenient to the central business district where I was working.

*As Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast.” The same can be said about the pace of just about everything in Beijing except the traffic, so an official affiliate in central Beijing could be in the cards soon.

Some basic googling before I arrived helped me identify Middle Kingdom Fitness. The logo alone intrigued me:

Located in the basement of an office building near Yintai and the CCTV building, Middle Kingdom Fitness isn’t a CrossFit Affiliate, but it may as well be. Although the location may be a bit unusual, the space has what I now recognize as the typical box feel – pared down, and ready to receive your effort, blood, sweat and tears. I showed up a couple of minutes late for the class (shock, horror!). Box owner and coach Tim Hill did not impose any punishment even though it was clearly indicated on the wall that this was a consequence of being tardy. Visitor’s luck, I guess!

The space is small (smaller than the old CrossFit GVA location), so class sizes are limited to seven participants. I attended one class while I was in Beijing that featured a warm up emphasizing movement and balance and then straight into the WOD:


Yes that says Hands Stand Push Ups. Or progressions thereof (yay). Followed by rowing (more yay) and burpees (ummm… not at all yay).

Finish your burpees

There are also olympic weightlifting classes available and introductory Chinese acrobat classes! Yes, if you visit Beijing and you are so inclined, you can learn how to climb the silks and perform climbs, wraps and drops. Drop-in rates for classes are 100 yuan (about CHF 15).


And remember, CrossFit gives you important life skills which you will use in Beijing. Two words: squat toilets.

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