2018 CrossFit Open…..One and Done!

The 2018 CrossFit Open is……(insert Dave Castro-like annoyingly long pause)….over!

PHEW!!! A collective sigh of relief and accomplishment can be heard around the planet as all participants finally relax. The past 5 weeks has been an intense test of ability and character. And while we’re all glad to be rid of the gnawing anxiety felt before each WOD, the CrossFit 4504 community has had a rocking good time during this year’s CrossFit Open. We’re so proud of everyone’s efforts and participation. Here are some of our highlights –

Strengths
Strength comes in many forms and we’ve seen all versions from our members during the Open WODs this year. Brute strength was shown in 18.2a when finding a 1RM Clean after our legs had already been destroyed in 18.2 and again in 18.4 with heavier Deadlifts coming after a 21-15-9 round of Deads and HSPU/Hand Release Push-ups.

We also saw strength in movement from our members who pushed their bodies to achieve the standards set in the Open. Whether it was squatting to depth, smashing out burpees over the bar, pumping out HSPU or straining for pull-ups, many of our members discovered new strength in movements they had only dreamt of achieving.

Most importantly, we saw strength of character. Mental strength is one of the most valued CrossFit elements and our members continually shone with Grit, Integrity and Determination throughout the CrossFit Open. They were able to push themselves to new limits and higher standards because of their self-belief and determination to get the work done.

Weaknesses
Now, you wouldn’t expect weaknesses to appear in a highlights reel, would you? But that’s the funny thing about the CrossFit Open. While you’re busy celebrating milestones and the levels you were able to reach, you’re often left scratching your head over the things you still struggle with or are yet to master.
The CrossFit 4504 members have personally identified areas that they felt may have let them down during the Open WODs. Guaranteed. Which is awesome!! It might be the speed of a movement or a strength element they feel they need to work on. Whatever it is, it’s actually exciting to hear them talking about it.


Because it means they WANT to improve. They WANT to set goals and work toward becoming tougher, stronger and faster. The weaknesses of this year can be the milestones of next year and that’s why identified weaknesses will always be a highlight for us.

Bingo
Bingo? In the CrossFit Open? WTF???

Haha, yep – Bingo! Such a fun distraction to the crap-your-daks nervous feelings during the Open. Complete a challenge as set on the Bingo card and our members received a sticker for that challenge. Fill in a row of stickers and – Bingo! – Members had an entry in the draw to win a pair of Reebok Nanos donated by Head Coach Lisa . Completing more than one row gave them more than one entry. And they were fun little challenges like building a human pyramid, or 50cal on the Air Bike. Crazy dress-ups, social media check-ins and selfies…selfies galore! Coach Lance, in particular, LOVED being part of that!!!

In House Teams
Of course our box as a whole was entered as a team for those officially in the Open. But CrossFit 4504 also had athletes who wanted to complete Open WODs without officially entering. We had new athletes and some returning from injury, who wanted to participate but who occasionally needed to scale the scaled option. Rather than cast them aside every weekend for 5 weeks, we wanted all members to feel included. This is where our Teams concept came from. 4 teams with members of all ages and abilities were formed, with Team Captains leading the way. We had ‘WOD Up 4504’, ‘WOD Have I Gotten Myself Into’, Team Dottir’ and ‘CrossFit Clowns’.

Every member who participated, judged or cheered scored points for their team in a fun and totally non-competitive environment. Everyone felt involved and the team atmosphere took pressure off individual athletes to make the CrossFit Open experience one of good times and support. Definitely a highlight.

By far the Most Outstanding Highlight of the 2018 CrossFit Open for CrossFit 4504?

Community Spirit
Honestly, this gets us in the feels a lot lately! Over the past 12 months in particular, CrossFit 4504 has built up an amazing level of spirit. And during the Open these levels have exploded!

To experience every person in the box cheering for each athlete as they strained for another pull-up, complete another burpee or lift that heavy clean in time was electric! The energy in those shouts and cheers helped our athletes achieve new heights. Families with children screaming excitedly for their mums or dads to keep going filled us all with pride. The support shown by everyone – for everyone – is one of the qualities we value most about CrossFit 4504. Dancing, laughing, supporting each other through the frustration, hard-work and exhilaration of the CrossFit Open proves to us beyond a doubt that our members are amazing, they breed community spirit. And you can’t fake that shit – it’s either there or it isn’t. CrossFit 4504 has a terrific community, which we are all so grateful for.

Well, there you have it. A small highlights package of the 2018 CrossFit Open as experienced by CrossFit 4504. We hope that everyone’s experiences have been as positive and exhilarating as those of the CrossFit 4504 community.

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

It’s More Than Just a Rig…..

CrossFit 4504 installed a brand new rig built by the team at Maverick Strength & Conditioning  this week and boy, are we excited!!

Sure, we’re excited because we have new equipment and we all love shiny, new toys. But this rig stands for something much more significant. It stands as a validation. A tangible testament to our existence as an affiliate. “But it’s just a piece of equipment!” we hear you scoff. “Gyms get new stuff all the time.” Well, yes, that’s true. But here’s where the significance lies – it’s been a long term goal for Owner and Head Coach Lisa to be able to supply the CrossFit 4504 team with a quality new rig. Symbolically, it also signifies to our members that we’re here to stay. A new rig is a pretty flash and pretty expensive piece of equipment, so once it’s in place – it ‘aint goin’ nowhere! And if the rig ‘aint goin’ nowhere, then neither are we! A major milestone finally achieved.

Catching onto the symbolic meaning yet? Whilst our old, second-hand rig served us extremely well, it had run its course and no longer fit with the premium CrossFit experience we endeavour to provide to our members. “Uh…congratulations, I guess” you might say. “But what’s it actually got to do with my fitness? Apart from being able to use it when I train at CrossFit 4504.”

What a great question!! So here’s our answer –

EVERYTHING!

It’s got everything to do with your personal fitness journey. Bear with us while we make the correlation. When you embark on your CrossFit training, you have fear, excitement, anticipation. And you also have all these ideas of what you’ll be able to achieve in your training and what a total badass you’re going to become. Which is awesome.

Whether you acknowledge them or not – in the back of your mind will be goals or milestones that you want to reach. And whether you acknowledge it or not – reaching a goal validates your efforts. It makes you stop and think ‘Wow, look how far I’ve come from when I first began.’ Achieving goals in life motivates you to continue, to strive for more.

Some goals are easily attainable within the first few months of CrossFit training. Things like completing your first RX WOD or reaching the correct depth for a wall ball. Lifting a certain weight or nailing that first Double Under. Whatever it may be, reaching these short term goals lifts your confidence and maintains your motivation. An awesome feeling!

But what about those goals that are a little further out of reach? Something you really, really want to achieve and you know that if you put in a lot of hard work that you’ll be close to achieving it. A movement, a WOD or a milestone, that if accomplished, will make your CrossFit existence worthwhile. It might be running 5km continuously, or finally mastering a pull up or muscle up. It’s usually in the back of your mind…and you subconsciously use it as a benchmark to your performance. You might put in a lot of hard yards to try and reach this goal and you want it so much. But it always seems just beyond your capabilities – just out of reach. You want it so much that several times you almost give up totally. So close, yet falling again and again at the final hurdle. ‘Don’t give up – Get up,’ you might tell yourself. So you do. Bruised, slightly broken and a little scarred, you continue to fight and not allow yourself to be defeated. This in itself is a major achievement – to find strength you never knew you had. To keep fighting against all the doubts and fears. You’re already a champion if you have the power to do this. But then you achieve what has been in your subconscious for so long. And you’re elated, relieved, emotional and ridiculously proud all at once. Validation.

Pretty intense right? And maybe a little dramatic? But this goal analogy is tied to CrossFit 4504’s new rig. Something which was only dreamed about year after year and almost given up on so many times. Yet subconsciously always there as something to strive toward. Monumental evidence of our ongoing success. Years of planning, hard work and tears are behind our new rig.  A huge milestone for CrossFit 4504 as an affiliate and a significant validation of our existence.

CrossFit 4504 is a very proud affiliate and we love our members to share in that pride. Being able to provide our amazing community with a premium piece of equipment proves to our members that having goals is important and are always worth pursuing – even the ones which seem just out of reach. Keep working hard – and your strength will astound you.

So come and check out our brand new rig – we think it’s pretty sexy! And we’re even more proud of the community behind it. They make the almost unachievable a reality.

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

Here’s to Strong Women

Last Thursday the world celebrated International Women’s Day – a time to celebrate the women in our lives and recognise the ongoing fight for equality and fairness experienced by women around the world.

It’s also a time to value the strength of women – both mentally and physically. CrossFit 4504 is filled with amazing, strong women and we’re proud to say how honoured we are to have them as part of our community.

Women’s fitness has changed dramatically over the past century. From the early 1900 minimal movement machines –

To the phenomenal movement of today’s CrossFit WODs –

It’s fair to say that today’s women in fitness are totally badass!!

Strength training for women is no longer about just being buff or skinny. It has become more about gaining confidence, building strength and proving that women really can do anything. We’ve had many wonderful women walk through the doors at CrossFit 4504 who at first had very little belief or confidence in what they could achieve. Speak to these same women 6 or 12 months later and they themselves are amazed at their success. Success, not only in the form of the results they are getting through their training, but also in their personal lives as they realise that YES they are strong, YES they are capable, YES they are in control of what happens to them.

It’s such an empowering feeling. Just to know that you have the strength to pick a heavy item up on your own. To be able to hold something over your head and realise which muscles are being used – because you’ve performed such movements in CrossFit classes. To carry all those fucking grocery bags inside in one go!!

The women in our community have our support. They also have the support of the men in our community who are ridiculously proud of what our women are achieving – and hats off to our guys for being genuinely supportive, amazed, and even envious at times.

The older we become, the more important strength training is for our health. Women can lose up to 5% of their lean muscle tissue per decade starting in their 30s. If you can begin strength training NOW, in a safe environment, your body will thank you in the future. The more muscle you build, the faster your metabolism becomes. This makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight range. It also reduces the risk of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis – which are all risks to women as they age.

Movement is important, but so is correct movement. CrossFit 4504 focuses on correct movement and technique. This will help your body in the future and help prevent joint and muscle issues.

There are 3 movements which we love to see our women getting stronger in. These movements involve entire groups of muscles and will help our women to improve in all facets of CrossFit.

Squat

The squat is an exercise which involves the entire body. Want to build muscle and become more toned? Then squat. Want to lose weight or find the meaning of life? Then squat!!

While the squat is something which is at first a natural movement to most humans, it becomes a movement that is quite often performed incorrectly. So many times, we see images of people squatting which make us cringe. Rounded backs, knees tracking in, butt winking – all NOT great techniques in performing an effective and safe squat.

Squats work your whole body. Obviously your legs are working, but your back muscles and core are also working hard to stabilise you and your arms are keeping a barbell or dumbbells in place. The athletes at CrossFit 4504 are coached in correct technique before being allowed to squat with weight. This is very important in preventing injury. Squats are hard work, but do them properly and your body will thank you in years to come.

Deadlift

The Holy Grail of lifting and strength training, the deadlift is one of the best exercises around to improve your athleticism, fitness, strength and muscle density. Much like the squat, however, the deadlift must be performed properly. We don’t want the women of CrossFit 4504 to end up looking like a one-humped camel or the Hunchback of Notre Dame. So once again we focus on – technique. Technique. Technique. A broken record, we know, but we actually care whether or not our athletes are able to walk in 10 years’ time. Weight lifting will always come with associated risk of injury, but if movements are performed with correct technique, these risks are greatly minimised. We have some badass weightlifting women at CrossFit 4504 and we’re proud to say that our injuries have been very minimal. Our members know that the moment their form breaks down, our coaches will let them know and their weight will not increase. If their back is rounding or their hips and knees don’t move together, then a coach will indicate that their weight may be too heavy.

The deadlift is vital in training total body muscle. All muscle groups are utilised in the deadlift, but particularly the posterior muscles of back, glutes and hamstrings. The benefits of a good deadlift session assist the CrossFit 4504 women in all facets of their life – even mentally. Get your head around lifting over 100kg from the floor and you can accomplish anything!!

(C) Greg Elkenhans inquiry@gregelkenhansphotography.com www.gregelkenhansphotography.com

Strict Press

Think about pull-ups, push-ups, handstands and wallballs. Anything which comprises an overhead movement. Strict press is essential in building strength in assisting these movements.

Overhead movements are among the hardest for athletes to master. Yes, you are using your arms and shoulders to move the barbell, but you are also using your core, your glutes and your legs. The strict press is a great starting point in learning to lift overhead. CrossFit 4504 trains in strict press so our members not only get used to holding weight above their head, but to increase their strength in other areas.  A strict press will not only develop the upper body strength and core stability of our athletes, but will give our members the confidence to progress to more technical overhead movements such as push press, jerk, snatch and overhead squats.

Establishing a foundation on which to build is important to us at CrossFit 4504. Our ladies lead from the front and have built up substantial strength through their shoulders and midline. The difference it has made to their overall CrossFit training is amazing.

The women of CrossFit 4504 truly are some of the strongest we know – and not just physically. Their CrossFit training has helped them to become mentally stronger and manage their emotions, thoughts and behaviour in ways that will see them successfully make it through all that life will throw at them.

Thank you to the wonderful women who are part of our community – you are STRONG, you are FIERCE, you are BEAUTIFUL.

 

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

Finding your WHY…..

Why do you CrossFit? It’s a relatively simple question but people often find it hard to pinpoint an answer. Yet figuring out why you train can be a catalyst in how well you train and how to maintain motivation. Why…?

If you train for the wrong reasons, you will find it hard to keep going. If you ask yourself why you turn up to CrossFit, what is your response? Do you train to –?

  • Seek approval from coaches
  • Try to get tight buns!
  • Lose weight so that others will accept you
  • Try to get a 6 pack
  • Look more attractive

If any of these sound like you then you may end up struggling with your training. Every single one of the reasons above is what we consider a negative validation. Validation from others is a normal human emotion. We seek it – every day. But really, we should look within ourselves for approval. You will know if you haven’t been kind to yourself and your body. But looking for approval from others as the sole reason for training is not the answer. Why are you unhappy with the way you look? Generally, this answer will come to you because of how you think others perceive you. And because real life is not a Snapchat filter.

Finding a way to validate yourself can be a struggle. Yes, you may need to lose weight – but it shouldn’t be because of a need for validation from others. Looking more attractive doesn’t mean having a 6-pack, or buns of steel. Looking more attractive comes from within.

Ask yourself the ‘Why’ question again…

Think of how CrossFit training makes you feel. Put your hand up if you can answer yes to any of the following reasons –

  • Because I enjoy it
  • I want to be stronger
  • I am making great friends
  • To improve and maintain my health
  • It helps me to enjoy other activities
  • For my mental strength and character

These are fantastic reasons as to why you do CrossFit. Enjoying your fitness journey should be Number 1 on your list of ‘Why’ every time. When you are enjoying yourself, you will continue to push, to achieve your goals and set new ones. Set positive goals. For example, “I want to deadlift 100kg by this time next year”.

Boom! That will tick off at least 3 of the above reasons why you train.

  1. You will be stronger for sure.
  2. You will certainly have the strength and energy to enjoy other activities outside of CrossFit.
  3. Your mental strength and character will have improved – just by working toward that one goal.

Guess what? You may also lose weight, end up with buns of steel and have the approval of not only your coach, but everyone else in the box by working towards your goal! Changing your perspective on ‘Why’, benefits your training in more ways than one.

The beauty of CrossFit is that you can set yourself goals for every single movement if you want to!! Go crazy!

The crew at CrossFit 4504 have goals set for themselves too. We ask them to assess ‘Why’ they train and to name things they are proud of achieving. We are in the thick of the 2018 CrossFit Open at the moment and so many of our members have expressed how proud they are of themselves and their fellow athletes. We have many first time participants in this year’s Open and so many have already exceeded their expectations. And having fun while they do it!

The friendships made here at CrossFit 4504 have already been added to many of our members ‘Why’ list for training. Building confidence is another. Gaining strength, fitness, mobility, skills. All amazing reasons why we train. Looking good naked is not our focus – it’s merely an added benefit!!

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