Guest Blog: Kyuta does Crossfit HH in Hamburg, Germany

As you guys know, I love hearing about other boxes. So I’m really lucky that I go to a gym full of travellers. Kyuta joined our box about a year ago, and watching his journey has been almost as much fun as being on mine. To say Kyuta loves Crossfit would be like saying I have a mild affection for M&Ms. He lives it…and he has come a long way. I’m actually pretty sure that he is made of elastic…no one should be able to do burpees as quickly as he does. I’ve been harassing him for a while to write about his experiences, so without further delay, here’s Kyuta……

Skin what!?

This guest blog entry is way over due. Like really overdue. And it’s not only this one entry that I owe Rae but 3(?) and (I apologize in advance R!)

This is Kyota. (I chose the picture...Your welcome, lol).

it’s likely to increase at this rate. The fact is my interest in CrossFit has become a bit of an obsession to the point that when I do leave Geneva, I will make sure to drop by the local CrossFit box. But when it comes to contributing to the CoveredInChalk blog, well…that’s another story…

It was this past April (told you it’s long overdue!), I visited a friend up in Hamburg, Germany. I hadn’t seen my friend Marcel for some time and there was a music act called the Knife that was passing through, so it called for an occasion to discover a new city, to party, catch up, etc. I had heard good stories about Hamburg, was curious to see what this port town had to offer. For those who haven’t been yet, I concur with those stories. The place is fun. But okay, that’s not what I’m here to talk about.

It had been roughly 5 months at this point that I had joined CrossFit GVA and started CrossFit itself. And I was enjoying it. I remember a couple of days before leaving for Hamburg that Daniel was wearing a London Thames CrossFit shirt, talking about his experience there. It got me thinking, maybe I should check out if Hamburg has a box…

So went online and sure enough there was one, and I quickly shot an email to see if I could drop by for a class. I soon got a reply with some time slots and convinced my friend to join me for a session.

Located at the time (since my visit they have re-located to a larger facility) on the outskirts of Hamburg, we found the box to be in an industrial office complex. And like a kid in a candy store, I quickly scoped the place and saw toys that I didn’t have access to in GVA. Giant Tires! Ropes! Giant kettle bells that were clearly heavier than 24kgs. (We didn’t have the 28 or 32kg ones in GVA yet). The place was roughly twice as big as the GVA box and the average number of people in a class was between 10 to 15 or so.

When checking in, I was a little disappointed to find out that we had in fact missed the time for the ‘Regular CrossFit class’, the equivalent of the normal classes in GVA. So instead they said we can try out their ‘Gymnastics’ class. I didn’t know what that meant at the time, but I was there in my training gear, ready and seeking an endorphin kick before I went out to discover more of the Hamburg nightlife.

For some reason, I thought the gymnastics class would be focusing on stretching, mobility and less strength based and thus be a ‘lighter’ workout.

5 minutes into the warm up of the gymnastics class, I’d have to admit that the score was CrossFit Hamburg Gymnastics class 1 Kyuta 0. We were doing a couple of rounds of wall climbs and inverted burpees. Yes inverted – didn’t know burpess could be inverted.

Followed by a stretch – and as I quickly trying to catch my breathe, we jumped into stations of different ‘gymnastic’ exercises such as kipping pull ups, bear crawls, hand stands and then some… ‘Skin the Cats’. Skin the what? Come again? I was still catching on to the CrossFit terminology but this just sounded bizarre. Seeing my confused facial expression, the coach came over and quickly demonstrated what a ‘Skin the Cat’ was. With the rings, you basically do a forward roll but not a complete 360 rotation. You stop just before you come around full circle and then reverse the rotation, to go back to your starting position whilst obviously keeping a tight core and your shoulders/arms locked. That is one repetition. On my first go, I forgot the reverse part and proudly went around.

And like the regular classes, the ‘Gymnastics’ class had a WOD at the end. It was an AMRAP of box jumps, burpee pulls ups and lunges with an overhead weight. Seeing this on the board, I felt slightly relieved that they were exercises that I was familiar with! And so the timer was set and off we went…and a couple of minutes later –


And with that my first hour at a ‘foreign’ box quickly came to an end, and there was a familiar sense of fatigue and satisfaction that consumed me. It didn’t matter that I didn’t know the other participants asides from Marcel (who was still trying to compute what he just gone through), nor if my German was limited, but there was a mutual appreciation and respect for the other for having completed the class. Not to sound cheesy or anything but I’m sure many of us have felt this when visiting another box.

I figured that any box visit isn’t quite complete until you hit the gift shop, so before leaving, I picked up a few tees, and was off to enjoy the rest of Hamburg.

During the 24 in 24 charity event

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