We all know why dropins are good. They are a way to do WODs while away from our home box and they keep us away from hotel gyms that, well, do not have pullup bars, kettlebells and wallballs. Or if they actually have barbells, you can’t drop them.
But what makes dropins great? Recently I was reminded of why I really love visiting boxes on my travels: very different structure and programming than what I’m used to.
On a recent trip to Asia I was hosted by 3 very different gyms. Let me highlight one thing from each that was amazing:
- Middle Kingdom Fitness, in Beijing, China where the owner, Tim has more focus on WOD-specific mobility than anyone I’ve ever seen (short of K-Star). We didn’t just do the same bear-crawls, inchworms and dislocates as always. He meticulously designed targeted extensions, contractions for the specific muscles in the workout. I learned so much there. And to boot, this is the only box I’ve seen with an aerialist training as an option.
- CrossFit Bangkok – has the most breathtaking setup. The box is an open air gym on top of a building overlooking Bangkok. You get to do your pullups, muscleups and wallballs while enjoying the great view. What was great here is their Sunday in the Park routine, going for an outdoor WOD and nice run on a 2-mile loop around a lake.
- CrossFit Fire City, Sam Lim’s great box in Singapore has one of the toughest programming out there. In one hour in a typical day they managed to fit in a heavy deadlift session paired with EMOM snatches, a full metcon with pullups and box jumps and a short benchmark like Fran. A rare gem.
What I learned from years of dropins is the following:
– look for experienced coaches with great teams and preferably more than CF experience
– seek out different programming than what you’re used to (boxing, strongman, etc)
– get out your comfort zone – your usual friends are not around, so try new things