Sitting four stories above Stadium One, aka Southeast Asia’s largest sports and lifestyle mall, is Crossover Gym, a new-ish open-concept, one room workout studio that’s meant to provide something of a blank canvas for your exercise goals and needs. Here, the focus is not so much on bells-and-whistles and amenities, but on getting customers to realize their goals in a smart way.
As such, the open layout is pretty no-nonsense — outfitted with just the right amount of equipment you’ll need to achieve your fittest self, and certified personal trainers to help you figure out how to get there.
It all sounds nice and warm and fuzzy, but, fair warning: this place is not for the faint of heart, spirit, or discipline. This gym will kick your ass.
Coconuts Bangkok recently visited Crossover to give the gym’s HIIT class — that stands for high-intensity interval training, my couch potato friends — a shot. It’s currently offered from Monday through Friday, from 6pm to 7pm.
To give you an idea of the ethos and concept here, the gym counts, among its “signature classes”, Bootcamp (focused on getting a quick, efficient full-body workout) and Cross Barbell, which incorporates a creative use of weights in the exercise routine. There are other classes available, too.
As CEO and head coach Aurimas Juodka puts it: “Crossover takes a holistic approach to wellness, moving away from the body image-oriented fitness industry and using health as our focus to drive people towards their goals.”
“We meet our clients where they are, help them accept themselves and strive to get better every day.”
My first observation upon arrival was how bright the space was. The large windows that cover two of the gym’s walls let in so much light that you can likely get a satisfactory dose of Vitamin-D from anywhere in the space.
This place is big — which is a refreshing change of scene from so many of the crowded gyms in downtown, which if you’re like me, hitting them up with relative frequency using the Class Pass, is probably a pretty familiar sight for you, too.
Something else that immediately stood out to me was how friendly everyone was with each other. Not just between trainer and student (I mean, you’d expect that, right?) — but between trainers, between the gym employees, between the students. They’re all mingling and happily getting their fitness on alongside one another — take away the exercise equipment, and we might as well be at a neighborhood picnic.
Juodka, who simply goes by AJ, was the trainer for the class I tried. He’s an NSCA-certified personal trainer, and while gentle in his mannerisms before he started the class — he’s nothing less than hardcore come training time.
Before we began, AJ demonstrated eight HIIT exercises that we were to do three sets of, each.
The routine was a mix of body-weight exercises like V/ jackknife sit-ups, weight exercises including weighted glute kickbacks, and cardio, including box jumps and cycling.
For each move, we would work for 45 seconds, then rest for 15 seconds — before moving to the next exercise in routine. Between each set (after a round of all eight routines), we were given 90 seconds to rest.
Alternating short spurts of intense anaerobic exercises with less intense recovery periods is, after all, at the core of HIIT training.
If this sounds hard, it’s because it is — very much so. However, this non-stop format steadily keeps your heart rate up, which allows more fat burn in less time.
In fact, new study published last month revealed that just two minutes of sprint interval training can give you the same fitness benefit as jogging for 30 minutes at a steady, breazy pace. (Yeah, we’ll be thinking about that next time we’re on a treadmill.)
After a brief stretch, AJ made sure we hit the ground running by requesting 50 jump squats and 50 lunge switches, which already got my upper thighs weak and wobbly.
I quickly concluded: This class was definitely going to push my limits.
Then, we jumped straight into the three rounds.
AJ’s attentive and hands-on teaching style kept me on my toes for the whole hour. When my mind would start to wander off to daydream about thirsty Thursday (hey, it’s that time of the week), he was quick to call me out or fix my form, which jolted my focus back to the exercises.
Even as someone who works out regularly, I found myself wondering if I was going to make it to the end, several times, throughout the hour.
But when it finally did, my goodness … it was rewarding as hell.
If you’re looking for a boutique gym where the workouts are a walk-in-the-park, and luxury amenities are at the heart of the studio, then Crossover will probably not be the place for you.
As AJ explained: “No two classes are ever the same — we adjust to every client and challenge and motivate everyone differently.”
So, if you’re hoping to be pushed outside of your comfort zone by a qualified, attentive professional who understands that being your fittest self takes hard, hard work, then we’d recommend this ass-kicking community in a drop of the barbell.
Crossover Gym is at Chula Soi 6 849/17-18 Stadium One, 4th Floor
Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330
Open daily with classes available from 7am to 7pm
Fees for group classes start at THB650; memberships also available
BTS National Stadium