Review: CrossFit Twente. Holland

When the owner of a gym looks around himself with pride, and says that he’s standing there as a result of a hobby that got out of control, you can be sure of a few things – he’s going to be a passionate coach, the gym will have a good vibe, and he’ll do all he can for his athletes.

CrossFit might just make you puke....

CrossFit might just make you puke… Awesome wall art at CrossFit Twente.

Jan, the energetic but “mature” owner of CrossFit Twente, still holds down his normal day job and started out as a rowing coach.  When he discovered and began to dabble in CrossFit, his strength and fitness gains spoke for themselves.  He noticed that this new sport helped to reduce injuries and improve weaknesses, and so decided to use the training method as part of his rowers’ training programme.

Located in Enschede (get the back of your throat guttering to pronounce that one), in east Holland, I wasn’t sure what

The CrossFit Twente PR bell.  Awesome!

The CrossFit Twente PR bell. Awesome!

to expect from CrossFit Twente.  After all, the majority of Holland’s population is found along the west coast, so I assumed that the best gyms would be there too.  But, rather than being a sleepy hollow where people just eat cheese all day, Enschede is a bustling student town of 300,000 people.

I only just made it to the midday class at CrossFit Twente after getting lost on my walk from the center of town.  All the same, I was received warmly by Jan, who even offered my aunty – who I had dragged along – a cup of coffee.  I was introduced to the rest of the small class, and we got into a thorough warm-up.  I loved the short sprint and butt kicks he included, different to going through more common CrossFit movements of situps, air squats and push ups.

Working on muscle-up progressions with Jan

Working on muscle-up progressions with Jan

Next in our session we went through muscle-up progression.  We were given some pretty good pointers and it was good to see that a few guys in the class were already very proficient at them.  I got to work with a couple of nice girls, some who had some incredible strength, and others who were more at my level.

8x muscle ups (or dips/pullups)
20m farmer’s walk


Although Jan was attentive during the skill practise, I found him too quiet for my liking during the WOD.  It was a tough WOD and I would have appreciated more encouragement to keep me going.

CrossFit Twente was the first gym I’d been to where CrossFit main site programming was followed.  Jan explained that he works this was as he doesn’t think anyone can programme better than the main site.  I thought this was interesting and wondered why more people don’t follow the main site (if you have an opinion, please comment below!).  Noting that some of the main site sessions are very short, Jan said that he adds strength and skill work to make up the hour.  I guess one benefit of following main site programming is that programming is a skill in itself and, rather than doing a bad job at it, you can draw on someone else’s skill.

Post-WOD I got high-fives from the other athletes – a friendly gesture that’s always appreciated.  While some of the

We all love burpees!

We all love burpees!

athletes took the time to have a stretch and do some mobility, my aunty and I hung around to have a chat with Jan.  Jan doesn’t fit what I would consider to be your standard CrossFit coach – male, mid-30s, A-type personality and still training very hard himself.  Jan brings maturity, life and coaching experience to the position and I believe that having passions other than CrossFit probably give Jan some perspective, and might stop him from burning out.

CrossFit Twente was only the third or fourth CrossFit box to open in Holland which means that, now being in a more mature place, it can really benefit from the surge in CrossFit popularity by providing members with a well-developed gym. CrossFit Level 1 and other certifications are regularly held here and, in the past, people from all over Europe would travel to attend them.

CrossFit Twente had the most spectacular and hilarious wall-art I’d seen in a gym.  Ever.  I loved the images of Popeye struggling under a heavy bar-bell and vomiting on a box – kudos to Jan’s wife who did the paintings.  Although the box was large, the pull-up rig was in the middle of it and I find that this breaks up the gym, really limiting how the space can be used.

More info:
Drop-in date: 19/08/13


About Josinta

I am passionate about travel, CrossFit and writing and have combined all three in my blog - boxjumping. A Level 1 certified CrossFit trainer, I am visiting as many CrossFit boxes as I can during my travels. This has opened many doors - I´ve been to random parts of cities, met awesome people and seen the myriad of ways a CrossFit box can be run. I also CouchSurf - another awesome way to meet locals and end up in areas you never expected. I like hidden corners, local flavours, sitting in a cosy café with my journal, lying on a hot beach with a book. I like flexibility. I like freedom. I like learning about myself, other people, about the world. Life is a journey, they say, but it is also short and full of the unexpected. I am making the most of mine.

Posted on 21/04/2014, in European Boxes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. In November we will move to a new location. A large 900 m2 church!

  2. Have a look at the site, and see where CrossFit Twente is now!

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