Ben Liuzzi and Hanna Koskenranta, co-owners of CrossFit Central Helsinki Box, take us into the wonderful life of CrossFit in Finland.
Address / Location: ‘The Bunker’ Itäinen Vaihdekuja 8, 00220, Helsinki, Finland.
BOX-Owner: Ben Liuzzi and Hanna Koskenranta
Open since: January 2012
How did you come to CrossFit?
Discovered CrossFit way back in the early days, 2004. I (Ben) was working in the fitness industry and looking online for programs that combined heavy lifting and bodyweight training. I found CrossFit that way.
Why did you open your own box?
We were both passionate about CrossFit and confident that we could create a training environment that would allow our members to experience a high level of CrossFit training.
Why exactly should I join YOUR box? What makes it standout from others?
We pride ourselves on the ongoing development of our members. Quality movement, constantly reinforced, equals ongoing progress. We have a strict limit of 12 members per class and our small coaching team knows each the strengths and weaknesses of each individual. Furthermore, we love burpees.
How does your member structure look like? (Number of members, Male/Female, Young/Old, any competitive athletes?)
We have 107 current members and are fully booked at that size (we have a waiting list that we use to add members when we can). We are 50:50 male and female. The vast majority of members are in the 28-35 age group, but we certainly encourage exceptions. We have a small group of less than 10 members that are interested in competing in CrossFit. This number is growing as the scene develops in Finland.
Do you have additional training possibilities (Yoga, Gymnastics etc.)?
We are currently experimenting we occasional Yoga classes run by a member who is also a professional Yoga instructor.
Do you consult your members in nutrition questions?
If I start as a beginner – how does my training in the first month look like?
Due to be fully booked, we have been currently being adding members via private introduction courses. Prior to that we used small group (6 or less, 2 coaches) 6 hour On-Ramp courses. After the On-Ramp you would be able to join our regular classes. As a ‘newbie’ you would modifying everything from movements to volume in most cases.
Do you organize any internal or open competitions?
We have in past and we will again in the future. Our first competition was a 3 week event with 2 workouts each week. It was a good community experience and a lot of fun.
Do you have links to other boxes?
The CrossFit community in Finland is tight-knit. We recently had a weekend event where almost all the gym owners got together. The owners here in Finland are all passionate about ensuring that CrossFit has a positive reputation and the respect of the health and fitness community.
Can I drop in if I am passing your city? Who do I have to contact?
Absolutely. Our classes are held in English, so everything is easy for visitors. Check this link for details: http://crossfitcentralhelsinki.com/visitors-and-guests/
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