TO LIFT OR NOT TO LIFT – THAT IS THE QUESTION!

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.

Training at CrossFit 4504

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.

 

If you’d like to experience the CrossFit 4504 Difference register below for your FREE 7 Day Trial

The Power of Gratitude

Happy Birthday CrossFit 4504!!!  This week, our amazing affiliate celebrates its 3rd Birthday and it’s a time not only to forge ahead, but to reflect on how far we’ve come. The past 3 years has seen many changes to the box as our team continues to learn and grow. We are an ever evolving community and are always looking for ways to improve the CrossFit experience we provide for our members. Owning and acknowledging how we arrived at this point – whilst celebrating, of course! – has made Head Coach Lisa and her wonderful team truly grateful. Which has got us thinking about the power of gratitude and how it can assist in a positive CrossFit experience for everyone…

Gratitude. It’s said to be the healthiest of all emotions, yet it’s rarely correlated with benefiting your physical fitness. Our community here at CrossFit 4504 is finding that practising gratitude can be a powerful tool for shifting energy and bringing more of what they want into their daily lives. Rather than projecting negative thoughts about what they don’t have, members are encouraged to express more about something they are thankful for. Whether it’s making time to come to class during a busy schedule, achieving their first Pull Ups or RX movement, their family or friends or even just waking up that morning! It’s become a great way for our community to really focus on the positives which already exist in their lives and to hear what others are expressing. We’re also finding that members are relaxed and smiling before we WOD and our newer members are understanding the holistic approach to our CrossFit training.

After delving further and researching the power of positivity, we’ve found that expressing gratitude also helps in these ways..

  • Improved overall physical health.

Studies have shown that making a conscious effort to express gratitude can create a general feeling of health, with fewer aches and pains and a tendancy for more regular exercise – great for CrossFitters who want to improve their strength and fitness!

  • Increased mental strength and resilience.

Life can get tough for all of us – there’s no doubting it. But if you make time to express what you’re thankful for, you will experience less of those “Woe is me” demons which sometimes threaten to swallow us up! Expressing gratitude will increase your mental strength to slay those demons when things are rough. We all know that mental strength is a key component in surviving many CrossFit WODs (think ‘Karen’). Practise gratitude and your mind is already stronger and more resilient, which is sure to help punch through those last 50 wall balls!

  • Enhanced empathy and self-esteem and reduced aggression.

Gratitude provides you with the ability to appreciate others. By giving thanks to the good surrounding you, you open yourself up to appreciating the efforts made by others. This, in turn, allows you to better understand not only the issues others face, but to react with less aggression to opinions or actions which differ to your own.

Gratitude can be expressed in many different ways. It doesn’t have to be shouted from the rooftops for all to hear…

  • Journaling – a great, self-reflective way to really pay attention to your surroundings and document the amazingness of what you already have.
  • Reflection – call it meditation or just taking a few quiet minutes each day to say to yourself “Hey, you know what? My life rocks because of….”
  • Letter/Video/Email – a lovely personal way to thank someone who has done something helpful or special. They may have helped you, or the postman, or saved that tiny insect from being squashed. Someone who has taken time to show kindness, or generosity. By letting them know how grateful you are, you make them feel good about themselves. Which in turn makes you feel good about making them feel good – full circle!

Gratitude. It’s something we’re very mindful of in our CrossFit 4504 community. That doesn’t mean to say we’re all lollipops and rainbows!! We still curse and swear our way through WODs. Because – Fuck it – some of us will always hate Burpees or wish that Fight Gone Bad was never invented! But what practising gratitude is achieving for our members is that while the WOD may still suck – our attitudes don’t! Our members are achieving more with their fitness than just lifting heavy shit. That part is still fun, but giving thanks to others enhances our community spirit even more.

So Thank You to all involved in our journey so far. We look forward to continuing into our 4th year with the amazing community we have today. And we can’t wait to meet those who will join our amazing community tomorrow!

If you’d like to experience the CrossFit 4504 Difference register below for your FREE 7 Day Trial

The Magic of Getting Started!

So your friends are noticing that you seem fitter, happier and healthier over the last few months. “What’s your secret?” they ask. “Have you joined a gym?”

When your answer is “Yes, a CrossFit gym,” the questions come flooding in. “Isn’t that like, really dangerous?” “I heard it was full of wankers who love ripping their shirts off and throwing barbells around.” Then follows – “Is it hard?” “Do you think I’d be able to do it?” and “What’s it like where you go?”

Sometimes it’s hard to put into words exactly what to say to your mates about CrossFit, particularly if they have preconceived ideas about how difficult or dangerous it is. Trying something new can be daunting, but the following points may help you convince your mates that CrossFit is something worth trying.

  1. THERE IS A BEGINNERS PROGRAM

This is something that actually makes CrossFit more achievable and more sustainable than most training methods. At a grass roots level, there are many CrossFitters who would not call themselves ‘sporty’. Yet they would also tell you that they’ve never felt more like an athlete.  At CrossFit 4504 we offer a comprehensive On Ramp Program that allow new members, particularly those who have never performed any of the movements before to be taught at a pace best suited to them, in a 1:1 setting with a coach. The movements in the On Ramp are designed to be less technical, and are scaled for inclusion as part of the normal workout of the day (WOD).  Read about our specific On Ramp Program here.

So when your friend says “Oh, I’m not co-ordinated enough”, or “I’m not fit enough to do CrossFit”, you can tell them that they don’t need to be. The On Ramp sessions will get them started and scaling options will ensure they progress at a level that both coach and athlete are confident with. Scaling is recommended. Heck, scaling is applauded!! Correct technique and confidence are valued more than anything at a good CrossFit gym.

  1. THE WORKOUTS ARE CONSTANTLY VARIED

Now, this is a term that’s thrown around a lot in CrossFit circles and people tend to be a bit confused by it. “Constantly varied?”they ask. “Does that mean it’s just a bunch of random movements thrown together and called a workout?” Well…no. Constantly varied does refer to the changes in WODs, but whether it be long and light, heavy lifting sets or all about strength and speed, a WOD should be anything but random. A good CrossFit Coach will program constant variation throughout the week. But that weekly program forms part of a longer term objective. Coaches have goals for their athletes in progressing not only in weekly phases, but also monthly, quarterly and even yearly.

At CrossFit 4504, Head Coach Lisa takes care of our programming and ensures we have a well rounded mix of elements so that we constantly improve our skills, strength and ability to do more work in less time.  She spends a great deal of time educating the members on where the program is headed and also the intention of each workout, so we know the purpose behind it.

So while you can happily tell your mates that the WODs are ‘constantly varied’, you can also mention that “We are currently in an endurance/strength/intensity phase”, which gives them some idea of the purpose behind the programming. And that random workouts are not just pulled out everyday – although that does happen occasionally!

  1. CROSSFIT IS ABOUT COMMUNITY

This has honestly got to be the biggest drawcard for a lot of CrossFitters. The community aspect is something which is spoken about from beginners right up to elite level athletes. It’s a wonderful feeling to have the support of a group who celebrate the highs and lows of sport with you. Your CrossFit community celebrates your every success as if it were there own. Stories emerge daily in CrossFit gyms around the world about people being cheered on by their classmates to finish a WOD. Or of athletes jumping in beside someone so they didn’t have to finish those last few reps alone. Because it’s not just about numbers on a scoreboard or how much you can lift. Sure, those numbers reflect effort and fitness and strength and all those things that you walk into a gym to achieve. But finding a CrossFit gym with a supportive coach and community is so much more rewarding.

So tell your friends not to worry that they might come last in a WOD. Tell them that coming last is where the maigc happens. Tell them that its when you’re fighting for those last few reps and you want to die that you’ll never feel so alive – because you’ll have the support of a community cheering you on.

So spread the CrossFit love! Tell your mates why they should give it a go and take them along to one of your classes and make them part of your CrossFit community.

If are keen to try CrossFit 4504 we’ll give you a free 7 day trial so you can get a taste of our awesome community. We’re a pretty nice bunch of people – come in and say Hi!

Beating Those Post Holiday Blues………

Aaahh!! Holidays are great, aren’t they? Taking time out to relax with family….sunset cruising along the river….sampling the local seafood and sugar-coated nuts on offer….laying poolside reading, snacking, snoozing….catching up over a few drinks with friends – and then a few more! Because you never get to do that, right? After leading hectic, busy lives we all need a well-earned rest to relax and recharge…

You’ve taken your gym gear with you and your CrossFit Coach has given you some simple ‘Holiday WODs’ to keep your fitness levels up whilst you’re away….but for one reason or another (usually the fact that you’re actually on HOLIDAYS!) your shoes are yet to be laced and you’ve somehow misplaced that exercise program.

 

And then….the holiday is over….

You’re back home and you would normally head to the box for a WOD the next day. But you know you’re going to struggle, that it’s not going to be pretty. And so follows the excuses. “I’m still on holiday time.”….”All that seafood and alcohol is still digesting – I’ll just wait til tomorrow.”….”I need to save my energy for work.”

 

 

While these are all valid excuses – that ‘s all they are. EXCUSES. Because as much as you try to sugar-coat it…..mmmmm….sugar-coated nuts.  Sorry… As much as you try to sugar-coat it you really don’t have one. An excuse, that is.

There’s really only one solution in returning to CrossFit after being on holiday or any break really.  This will come as an mind blown revelation to many of you, I’m sure, so here it is…………..

Pick up your shoes. Put them on your feet. ONE DAMN SHOE AT A TIME….and tie up those laces. Then go.

Don’t let those excuses rule you. Just go. Once you start, you’re more than halfway there because getting there and starting is 80% the battle. Think of all the positives. You’ll get back into your pre-holiday routine and you’ll actually be pretty proud of yourself. I’m not gonna lie – it will hurt. But you’ve had a good rest and you’ll have renewed energy and motivation to work towards your fitness goals.

Most importantly, your Coaches and Community will be glad you’re back! They can’t wait to hear about the delicious sugary treats and sunset cruises. They’ll comment enviously on your golden tan and your relaxed features. Then they will grunt and sweat and groan their way through the workout with you and you’ll congratulate each other when it’s done. And you’ll know that it was the right decision to put on those shoes and tie up those laces. You’ll know that you’re home!!

Welcome Home!!

If you want to get yourself on track before the festive season kicks off, come and try us for FREE for 7 Days to see why our community love calling CrossFit 4504 home. Register TODAY!!