Seoul was the last stop in my World Tour 2012. The last time I was in Seoul, I dropped in at Crossfit SAP, which you can read about here. Since my last visit to Seoul, another Crossfit affiliate in Seoul has opened it’s doors. With the affiliate located in the Gangnam, it couldn’t be more than appropriate to be named “Crossfit Gangnam.”
Seoul is basically spilt into two parts by the Han River – north of river is the older part of the city and the south is the newer, more modern part. One of the popular trendier places South of the Han river is “Gangnam.” I can’t say I’ve spent loads of time in this area, but I did have dinner in the Apgujung area(near Gangnam) with friends once of twice. I can definitely attest to the area being a little more affluent, i.e. higher priced restaurants.
This affiliate shares some similarities with Crossfit SAP. Those customary to the Western Gyms, we walk right into the locker rooms without any thought of taking off our footwear. In Korea, however, it’s just an unspoken rule to take off your shoes when you enter someone’s house. In this case, the locker room is considered one of those places that footwear must be removed before entering.
The workout during my visit consisted of a 5-5-3-3-1-1 back squat strength WOD. The class began with a group warm-up using PVC pipes. Then we split into groups to share the racks. I was paired up with Won Ik-Hoon on the squat rack.
One unique aspect that members take in is their gym uniform attire. Men wore Grey “Crossfit Gangnam” T-shirt while women wore the equivalent black T-shirts. I rocked my time and tried CF Playground gray shirt, thus matching their uniform attire.
The classes are conducted in Korean. The coach running the show has very limited English skills, so if you plan on dropping in, just be aware. He’ll probably put you with someone that is bi-lingual in English and Korean so that if there are questions, you’ll be immediately next to someone that can translate.
One interesting note is that in Crossfit Gangnam, their 400-meter loop is done on the treadmills. Though a treadmill doesn’t really simulate real running, it’s much safer than running the extremely busy streets of Seoul. I can clearly recall in Tokyo at Crossfit Chakira, their 400 meter loop was done outside amongst the people walking the streets, though their neighborhood isn’t exactly the same here as Seoul.
The easiest way is from Shinsa Station, exit 3 and walk straight until you see a café called “A Two Some Place.” Crossfit Gangnam is located in the basement of that building complex. It’s funny how affiliates don’t display these directions on their website. I would think it would be especially helpful for interested members to find their way. Land marks are extremely helpful in Korea as addresses are pretty much useless. From what I can gather that buildings are not number sequentially so a new building build amongst older buildings will have a number totally out of whack from it’s neighbors. So here’s a photo of what you should be looking for.
On my last day in Seoul, I hit a WOD here and afterwards I was invited to rock some Korean BBQ at a local restaurant. I don’t know if I was invited because I was Korean or they’re just friendly in nature with all drop-ins. Nevertheless, I enjoyed myself and I have to say this was one of best visits to a CF affiliate overseas.