I recently took a 2 week trip to Thailand with the husband. Before we headed South to Koh Phi Phi, we spent 3 days in the city of Bangkok. I looked up CrossFit gyms as soon as we got into town and found two. While they both looked interesting (the other one was on a rooftop), the one I chose, Ari CrossFit, claimed to be “Bangkok’s friendliest gym”. This sounded good to me in a crazy, new city, so I showed up for a 6:30am class. Any later in the day and I may have died from the heat and humidity. This gym was outside, partially covered by part of an apartment complex. The owner’s name is San Teekasub. San is also a Captain in the Royal Thai Army. San’s father owns the apartment complex that surrounds the CrossFit gym. His father is an energetic, enthusiastic man of small stature that stood on the sidelines of the gym watching the workout intensely while mimicking many of the movements on his own. Like San, he was very friendly and eager to chat after the workout (and during the workout with my husband who was taking pictures and filming). I learned that he is a retired high ranking General that was a fighter pilot years ago. He and my husband bonded over both being pilots and then getting their MBA’s and getting out of flying. Doing the workout with me were a few people from Bangkok, one from Germany, a gentlemen from the UK, and some others that I’m not sure about.
Everyone was extremely friendly and fun to work out with. This is definitely a place I’d go back to and visit on my next trip to Thailand. The nice thing about CrossFit is that it is multilingual. Since I’ve been doing it for several years, all the movements we went through in the workout were familiar to me. While all CrossFit gyms have their own unique vibe and personality, a constant that I continue to see is a strong emphasis on technique and coaching. You’re not just panting and struggling to survive for 60 minutes. You’re learning about particular movements, why you’re doing them, and how to do them safely. San is a great proponent of proper technique. Several of the members were newer to CrossFit and he emphasized working slowly and properly throughout the workout. A special feature of this gym is that the ground is uneven. While this may sound crazy for a gym in the U.S. it was simply another obstacle to deal with that mimicked real life situations. It added a fun twist to basic moves. That strip of rubber by my heels in the picture above is to make sure the weights don’t roll away when I set them down.
The gym is situated off a narrow alley that is great for adding in 400-800m runs to the workout; though you are dodging cars that come dangerously close and side stepping potholes and giant cracks. It definitely kept my mind off of the fatigue! I was certainly glad that we took a taxi in the wee hours of the morning to find this place. They can truly claim the title of friendliest gym in Bangkok. Ari CrossFit