Since getting started in CrossFit just over 6 months ago, I have really enjoyed dropping into CrossFit Boxes when I travel to different places.  There are some high-quality boxes around the world and visiting various Crossfit Affiliates can bring some great value to your own training and can make traveling a lot more fun! I am starting a series on this site called CrossFit Drop-Ins.  This review is of CrossFit Chiang Mai in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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I recently spent 2 weeks in the beautiful and peaceful Northern Thailand city of Chiang Mai.  I can hardly call it a city, it really is more like a large town with lots of city qualities but with a laid-back feeling.  I really recommend a visit if you haven’t been before.  I was not going to let this trip put a halt on my training and so I found CrossFit Chiang Mai and bought a 2-week pass (more on the prices below) and spent almost every day there joining in their WOD’s and Open Gym slots.

CrossFit Chiang Mai

CrossFit Chiang Mai was the first CrossFit Affiliate set up in Thailand in 2010 and was also one of the first to be opened in Asia.  It is now a part of a growing number of CrossFit boxes all around the region.  It was opened by Mark Ritchie, who is the current owner, as a way to give fitness training to the students that were coming over to his study abroad program from the United States (a second business that he runs).  It quickly turned into a great opportunity to bring CrossFit to the Northern Thailand region and now sees daily traveling visitors dropping in and a growing number of regular members comprised of expats living in Chiang Mai and some locals.

The Space

CrossFit Chiang Mai has recently moved into their new location, which from what I hear, has been a positive move.  Their space is larger than their older building with walls as opposed to what looked like bamboo fencing which I’m sure is better for protecting the equipment from the outside elements! They have a larger rig that runs down one side of the box.  The rig bars are quite high so anyone shorter than about 5″7 would need to jump off of a box or climb on the rig to get up! The other side of the box holds the barbells, weights and other equipment.  The far end of the box is where you access their washrooms and showers.  They have full washrooms, hot water for showering and space to change.  Since the facility is fairly new, everything is clean and feels up to date.

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Coaching

They have a few regular Coaches that seem to run the day to day happenings of the Box.  I always like to get as many tips as I can from dropping into other Crossfit Affiliates and this one was no exception.  I was impressed with their overall knowledge of movement and standards and enjoyed receiving feedback on my lifts and other things I was working on.  I joined several of their open gyms and was able to hit some PR’s and develop some new movements like stringing my muscle-ups, learning the technique for butterfly pull-ups and beginning to figure out how to do pistol squats!   If you are in town, I highly recommend joining their Open Gym slots as they have lots of space and you are free to work on anything you would like.

Programming

It is always interesting to see how other Crossfit gyms do their programming.  One thing they do that I haven’t seen before is they run two “strands” at the same time.  One strand is called “fitness” and the other is called “performance”.  Basically, fitness is designed for those that don’t want to do all of the regular Crossfit movements like barbell movements and heavy lifting.  The performance strand is set up for regular Crossfitters who want to push their abilities and are able to do most of the movements.  This system seems to work for their members as about 80% prefer joining the fitness workout.  Out of a class of about 15, there would only be a few that would do the regular performance WOD.  They are generally not a competitive box and most of their members seem to just be looking for a good sweat rather than improving in specific CrossFit movements.  Nonetheless, if you are a regular Crossfitter you will be very happy with their performance strand and they incorporate lots of the lifting and barbell movements that you enjoy!  They use a strength cycling system where they rotate through their strength training.  You can ask one of the coaches as to how this works but they also have their schedule on the whiteboard.  It was helpful to know what I should bring to the box depending on if it was a Snatch day or a Deadlift day!  They don’t post their workouts beforehand but if you need to know what the next day will be, a coach will be happy to let you know.

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It was helpful to know what I should bring to the box depending on if it was a Snatch day or a Deadlift day!  They don’t post their workouts beforehand but if you need to know what the next day will be, a coach will be happy to let you know.

Prices

You can check their website for up to date pricing but I will also put it here for your convenience.  Their rates are as follows:

Regular Membership Rates
  • Monthly Rate: 3,000 Baht ($90 usd)
  • 3 Months in advance: 8,000 Baht ($240 usd)
  • 6 Months in advance: 15,000 Baht ($450 usd)

Their drop-in rates are as follows:

Drop-In Rates
  • Daily Drop-In Rate: 500 Baht ($15 usd)
  • 1 Week Rate: 1200 Baht ($35 usd)

If you are in town for a few days, it definitely pays to buy the weekly rate because if you go more than 2 times you have already saved money over paying for individual drop-in classes.  Likewise, if you stay longer than 2 weeks it will pay to get the monthly pass.

Schedule

Their schedule page from their website will give you the most up to date information on their schedule, but basically, they run a few morning classes and then have a couple of evening classes with a 90-minute Open Gym starting at 3:30pm each day.  Their Saturday workout is a free community workout so if you are only in town for a Saturday then you won’t need to pay anything for the workout (Free is always good, right?!).  They are closed on Sundays.

Rx Cafe

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I wanted to include a short description of the wonderful Rx Cafe that is set up directly next to the box.  I loved having coffee and all sorts of other fitness goodies here for pre and post WOD recovery.  Their brand slogan is so awesome that I had to buy their T-shirt.  It is “Rx Cafe: Coffee as Prescribed” – only a Crossfitter would understand how good that is.  They sell protein shakes, coconut water (so tasty and refreshing), great coffee from the hills of Northern Thailand, and protein bars to name a few.  Try their chocolate protein shake with coconut water – it is delicious! Definitely, check them out if you are dropping into Crossfit Chiang Mai.  They have good wifi if you need to do a bit of work or just check your internet and the staff at the cafe are lovely.

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Conclusion

I loved spending 2 weeks at Crossfit Chiang Mai.  The community is great and everyone is very friendly and welcoming.  You will feel right at home in this Crossfit gym and if you go back a few times people will remember your name and you will feel like you have been going for years.  I give this box a two thumbs up so do consider dropping in if you are in the area. They will definitely take care of you and make you feel welcomed!


If you live in Chiang Mai or are visiting Chiang Mai, you may also like the following:

  1. 4 Of The Best Lane Swimming Pools In Chiang Mai by One Fit Nomad
  2. The Best Smoothie Bowl In Chiang Mai, Thailand by One Fit Nomad

I would be thrilled to connect with you on my social media channels.  You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  I post photos, articles, and inspiration for staying fit and traveling often.

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As always, please leave a comment if you have something to add to this content. Have you been to Crossfit Chiang Mai? What’s your experience with dropping into a CrossFit Affiliate? What’s your favorite Crossfit Box you have visited – let me know in the comment section below!

 

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Tim Gascoigne is a Canadian, full-time traveler/nomad who has found a love of fitness and how to combine this with living a life of purpose and freedom.  Tim writes at One Fit Nomad and shares content on Instagram, Pinterest & Twitter.  Crossfit is his favorite form of fitness and he likes to write about how you can live the life you want while being the best version of yourself.  Tim has been a fulltime teacher in schools in Canada, Beijing & Malaysia for 10 years and is currently taking time off to see the world & hopefully create meaning for others.

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