How do you find a CrossFit gym in Switzerland when the GPS isn’t right? Listen for the Foo Fighters!
Nothing beats the vibe of a new CrossFit box with young owners and eager new athletes. Okay, one thing beats that vibe. How about the owner and coach telling everyone about his wife having a baby early in the morning that same day? Seriously, how cool is that? Fabian Baumann is out there living his own CrossFit dream in an old Swiss sawmill, greeting his child in the morning and teaching a CrossFit class that afternoon. Pretty amazing stuff.
Zurich is divided up into 12 separate districts and bSport CrossFit Leutschenbach is in the 11th district and the neighborhood of Oerlikon. I had to do a bit of city hiking to get to bSport CrossFit Leutschenbach, but I am really glad I made the effort. I really couldn’t pinpoint the gym as I wandered a bit looking for the address, but sure enough the windows were open on that early summer day and Dave Grohl was belting out Monkey Wrench. I knew right where to go.
You know you’re probably in for a good workout when the first thing you bump into at the bottom of the steps is a pair of monster tires.
With a small group of athletes getting their gym off the ground, the community spirit was exactly what you’d expect. More like a family gathering with kettlebells instead of side dishes. The building was very unique, having been a sawmill for several decades. The discontinuity of the building with the neighborhood is jarring, amidst sleek glass Credit Suisse towers and other modern office buildings. I’ll take the big tractor tires sitting in the hall and the Olympic lifting room under construction in this big windowed space over one of those fancy buildings any day of the week.
The gym has invested in a good combination of high-grade equipment with a small but very serviceable Rogue rig and a healthy supply of Rogue bumpers and bars. The layout of the gym reminds me that all too frequently American CrossFit affiliates have lost the ability to design an efficient space. Instead, our focus in the US is on raw square footage. The bigger the better. It is awesome to see a new gym focusing on the roots of our movement. 12 foot of rig, some kettle bells, bars and plates. Something to be said for “old school”.
In addition there were also some very interesting uncommon items – in particular, sand bags. We did team warm-ups with our partner placing the weighted canvas bags on our back. From the sand bag push-ups we rolled into weighted pull-ups; a great push/pull strength session overall.
Fabian’s enthusiasm for coaching was very obvious. He spent a great deal of time throughout the strength session and the WOD visiting with every person in the class and making corrections in technique. There just is something undeniably inspiring about seeing a guy who is very clearly living his dream. And the passion that Fabian brings to his classes shines through. You could truly tell that each of his athletes cared about him, his dream and each other.
The WOD for the day was a 25 minute AMRAP of:
- 2 Clean & Jerks
- 15 Wall Balls
- 20 Kettlebell Swings
- 30 Double Unders
It was a nice “long grind” WOD with just the right amount of motivation from Fabian to get through it. I got the side benefit of getting to use a Buddy Lee Aero Speed rope. Funny, I had to go to Switzerland to demo a jump rope made by a former US Olympian. More on the subject of jump ropes in a soon to be published review of several different brands.
- Great community!
- Passionate owner, it shows in his coaching and his kindness.
- An efficient use of space and equipment
- Only the limitations faced by any new gym