Review: MyLeo CrossFit. Berlin
MyLeo CrossFit in Berlin was such a solid box that I walked out absolutely raving about the place. Whether this was because I had been gagging for a CrossFit session after 10 days of cheese in Holland, or because the coaching and box itself really were that good I don’t know, but I loved my session there.
With my creative travel itinerary [read: non-existent] and priorities to catch up with old friends in the fascinating city of Berlin, organising CrossFit sessions had become a last-minute task. All the same, I got a quick reply to my drop-in request from MyLeo CrossFit’s Lea, who said she would fit me into any of the classes, despite the website saying they were full. Now that’s welcoming!
In true Berlin style, I jumped on a funky old bike and rode from the east to the west of the city, past funky wall art and welcoming cafes, the House of Parliament, and the beautiful green expanse that is the Tiergarten Park. The ride was a good warm up for a body that had become more accustomed to beer than burpees. I stuck my head through the door and into the massive, black warehouse that is MyLeo CrossFit. Leo himself was taking a PT session at the time, but took a moment to say hi and tell me where things were. Also very welcoming!
The space really was huge, with plenty of tables and chairs downstairs from where you could watch the main class, a big pull up rig, a massive area to move around in and then a separate studio upstairs. Leo asked about my CrossFit background (I noted that my travelling was taking its toll on my performance), and then introduced me to the rest of the class as a visitor from New Zealand. He told me everyone’s names and then joked that I would have to do burpees for every one that I forgot. Awesome!
1x push press, 1x push jerk, 1x split jerk.
3RFT 15min cap
15x shoulder to OH
30x double unders
15x toes to bar
30x double unders
We started the session with a solid tabata warm up, including jump rope, push ups and sit ups. I loved this warm up, although I would have liked some stretching and/or mobility to have been included too. The WOD was perfect for what I needed and I really enjoyed the session. Even though it KILLED my CrossFit-deprived body!!!
Leo was a friendly and engaging coach. He walked around, keeping everyone in check, giving many pointers. During the strength portion he noted that a couple of people kept dropping their elbows and he stopped to make a point of this to the entire class, not only the individuals. I thought that this was great – ensuring that everyone in the class was reminded of an important point. Leo proved himself to be a very involved and conscientious coach, which I think is vital to the success of a gym.
One thing I didn’t like (there has to be one – I’m a perfectionist!!!) is that there was a time cap to the WOD and he put “DNF” (“Did Not Finish”) next to a couple of names. I think this goes aganst the inclusive nature of CrossFit and putting the max time could have made the athletes feel more confident. After all, they had done an entire 15 minutes of work!
Post-WOD we did some stretching altogether, something I always enjoy – not only becuase it makes the body feel better, but it’s also a nice way to tie off the class. By this stage, I’d even managed to crack a smile out of a couple of the seemingly-serious members. This was an achievement in itself! I wasn’t sure if their apparent unfriendliness was a cultural thing or because they were used to having a lot of drop-ins around – Berlin is a very touristy city after all.
MyLeo CrossFit’s demographic was one of the most diverse I’d seen in a while. There were your usual fit young men (I was certainly not complaining when some of the shirts came off), but then others in the class were older, or were relatively new to CrossFit. However, there were only a couple of girls in this large class. Again, I’m not sure if this was the gym, the city or just the class. I’ve always believed that a varied demographic in a CrossFit gym is an indication of a gym with a healthy culture and wide appeal – MyLeo seemed to be doing well!
I guess I liked MyLeo CrossFit so much becuase it really did tick the boxes that are important to me – inclusive/welcoming/smart coaches who introduce you to the class and find out about your background; good warm ups/cool downs/programming and an awesome space.This was a box definitely worth checking out, and one I’d love to head back to.
More info: myleo.de – all in German except the WODs.