Building CrossFit in Vietnam: Our Story
Updated: Jan 16, 2020
Will and I arrived in Vietnam in 2016, fresh from London to live and work in HCMC. We settled into life in this bustling city; loving the food, scooter-culture, the people, and all the travel opportunities. But we had yet to find exercise opportunities that we loved. We had left #royaldockscrossfit in London where we first learnt all about the magic of CrossFit, and were surprised that there was so little CrossFit in Vietnam, considering it's all over Thailand, South Korea, China and Indonesia. Will dropped into Vietnam's first CrossFit box, #crossfittayho, in Hanoi for some training while he was working there and was reminded of why he loved it.
the well-structured sessions, the coaches expertise, the personalised levels of challenge, the progression of skills, the friendly competition, and team atmosphere all rolled into one.
Surely Thao Dien was the perfect neighbourhood and community for some CrossFit? Surely everyone was bored of running 5km laps around the roads by now?! We had heard about a fabulous CrossFit coach hiding in Thao Dien, so we jumped on the opportunity to send her a message and do some training at her home. And yes, everything was even more superb than we had hoped! We had met JoJo... An expert in body movements developed from her physiotherapy background, with a huge array of training courses and qualifications showing a lifetime dedicated to fitness, wellbeing, and CrossFit. JoJo and her husband, Lukasz, arrived in HCMC in 2014. After leaving Poland where JoJo worked at #crossfitkrakow, she had always wanted to open her own CrossFit box.
Driving home from the workout in the rain in our scooter, we decided to tell her our plan - to open a gym with her!
We found two empty buildings next door to each other… 3 and 5 Le Van Mien, formally office buildings, and therefore the obvious thing to do in Vietnam was to start some construction work... knock down some walls, move the roof higher so there is space to do wall balls and gymnastics, insulate the roof from the heat of the sun, build changing rooms, build a rig, lay the rubber flooring and get the first equipment delivery...
October 2017… We got our CrossFit affiliation and held our first CrossFit class with some friends...
2018... And our story continues with 25 classes a week!
2019... There are now an amazing 36 classes a week to choose from... Always a time to come see what this global craze is all about, and start your own story about CrossFit and you in Thao Dien! Check the Schedule!