Quite often we hear people voicing concerns over whether or not to incorporate strength work such as Olympic Lifting or Power Lifting into their training. CrossFit is certainly known for building strength as well as conditioning, though not solely through the use of barbells and weighted plates. The element of strength is extremely important to everyday living – both physical and mental. The longer you keep strength of both types in your life, the more fulfilling it will be, particularly as you age, adding weights and resistance work to your training for example can help increase your bone density.
A lot of people we initially speak to here at CrossFit 4504 are unsure where to start and the following points show some of their main concerns and the advice we like to pass on –
- “I’m too fat to lift weights”
NO. SUCH. THING. People come to us and say they want to lose weight, not gain muscle. One of the most common myths about weight loss and strength training is that gaining muscle will make you appear larger. Our view is that lean muscle gain is way more beneficial and can increase fat loss. What we want our members to realise is that increased lean muscle equals increased metabolism. Your metabolic rate will increase if you incorporate weight training into your fitness routine, which means that even during rest – your body is burning calories. By combining strength and cardio training (pretty much the ethos of CrossFit), you are increasing muscle mass which is vital to maintaining a fulfilling lifestyle as you age.
The programming here at CrossFit 4504, always offer scaled options and you won’t be lifting huge amounts of weight if you’re just beginning. We like our members to progress at a pace and level they are confident with. The combination of strength training with the cardio and body weight movements such as gymnastic elements like handstands and rope climbs, incorporated into our program, makes CrossFit a great way to start or continue your weightloss journey. And along with a healthy eating plan, our members have found that not only can they lift, but are feeling more healthy too. You gotta lift it to lose it! Strength training will undeniably increase your ability to burn unwanted fat – even while you sleep!
- “I don’t have the mobility to perform those lifts”
This is a big one, particularly when people watch weightlifting videos of athletes performing a squatting movement. Sure, there is an ideal depth prescribed for CrossFit movements involving a squat (hip crease below top of the knee). But unless you’re planning on becoming a Games athlete or entering competitions – you squat to whatever depth your mobility allows. Unless you are moving, you will not improve your mobility. CrossFit 4504’s coaching team conduct analysis of all members, including injury and mobility limitations. We customise every WOD to accommodate your issues. Our scaling options allow everyone to participate, working to gently increase your mobility while lifting and maintaining correct technique. Can’t do a full depth squat? We’ll get you squatting to a box or bench. Limited range of movement for overhead lifting? We have dumbells, bands or broomsticks to help increase your range and get you moving in the right direction. We actually spend the time to help you IMPROVE your mobility, not just settling for where you are.
CrossFit 4504 also offers ‘Mogability’ classes. A unique cross between Yoga and Mobility, Mogability can assist in loosening tight muscles and increasing range of movement in your joints. Our Instructor, Tracey, is a licensed Yoga Instructor, with many years of experience, and she also also a keen CrossFitter so understands what we need from our bodies, and we all love her classes as they are fun and suitable for anyone.
Many of our members have started CrossFit with limited mobility and are now surprising themselves with not only their improved lifting technique and numbers, but how their training has improved their everyday functional living.
- “Lifting weights will make me bulky”
Women are big offenders of this comment! They want lean muscle and think that running is the only way to achieve it. Running will certainly assist in producing some lean muscle, but the toning that you are chasing will never happen with running training alone. We are, however, seeing more and more people who view muscle definition as ideal. Strong is the new sexy! And CrossFit is the new strong. CrossFit Games athletes often train twice a day, so we know that their muscle mass and definition is going to be off the charts compared to someone who trains once a day, 4 times a week. CrossFit will not turn you into The Hulk unless you’re taking some pretty dodgy supplements! Yes, some gyms incorporate a lot of heavy lifting into their program and this is usually based on member demand and the bias of their program which is usually based off what their coaches are more confident with teaching. Our program is very well rounded including plenty of options from all fitness domains.
The focus at CrossFit 4504 is technique. Sure, we like to go all out on a 1RM day, but our members know that if their technique starts to look dodgy, they will be held at that weight. We have found that there’s no point lifting heavy, if you compromise the way you do it. And while we have some super strong members, we remain focused on building strength at a steady rate, preventing the possibility for injury.
Every body is different. Some will have broad shoulders, others defined thighs or a ripped back. The point we constantly emphasise here at CrossFit 4504 is not how jacked your biceps can look, but how you feel as a WHOLE before and after a workout.
So for those of you who have concerns over whether to lift or not we want to share this final point – find a CrossFit gym which understands your concerns. Find a CrossFit gym where the coaches will congratulate you on your movement technique first and the amount you lift second. Find a CrossFit gym that makes you feel good about what you achieve, rather than how buff you look. That will just become an added bonus! If the coach can’t explain the reasons behind the program or isn’t prepared to discuss it go find another box to try.
We think CrossFit 4504 is that gym. Our members have testified to that and it’s actually something we’re pretty proud of being recognised for. So come and try the CrossFit 4504 difference with our FREE 7 Day Trial.