Exercise for the Mind, Body & Spirit

We speak a lot in our blog posts about how CrossFit builds strength, endurance, speed and flexibility. We also speak of the strength it builds in a mental capacity. But this week, we are going to talk about mindfulness.

This doesn’t mean we are going all Namaste on you – though yoga is a great tool to use in becoming mindful. Mindfulness is not necessarily meditation either. Mindfulness is taking note of the now. Paying attention to the present moment you are in and becoming very conscious of your environment. We often get so caught up with where we have to be, what we’ve done and what we should be doing that things can become overwhelming. Practising mindfulness, even for just 5-10 minutes a day, can help you to handle the stressful situations that life throws at us.

Meditation is the art of taking mindfulness to the next level. It requires practice and there are now many apps (ironically) which can assist you and guide you through various forms of meditation. You need to set aside specific time to meditate properly. If you don’t think you have the time, or the patience, try these other ways of practising mindfulness…

  • Go through the motions

Pay attention to an everyday task that you would perform at an almost subconscious level – like brushing your teeth. Concentrate on the motion of your hand, how the bristles feel on your teeth, the smell of your toothpaste. Take note of your breathing – the rise and fall of your chest. Notice how grounded your feet feel holding the weight of your body. Simply concentrating on each step and how you react is practising mindfulness. Focussing on the NOW can help you prevent being caught up in other thoughts that may threaten to overwhelm. Try it – make a cup of tea, tie your shoes, do the dishes! And concentrate on each step you perform in the task. Mindfulness!

 

  • Write a thank-you list

There is much to be thankful for in life, including life itself! We all have many things we appreciate in our lives, but when do we take the chance to express them? Think of all the people who help you and love you, the fact that you may have limitations but can still use your limbs, your eyes or your voice. That annoying little word – gratitude – is one which we should all take time to use. Being thankful helps us to be mindful.

  • Eat!

Eat? Well I do that every day, you might say. But how about choosing a meal where you sit and focus solely on each morsel which enters your mouth. Pay attention to every time your mouth opens and closes and picture the food travelling into your stomach after you swallow it. Eating is a privilege that most of us take for granted. Eating healthy, nutritious food will refuel your body and prepare you for the day ahead.

  • Observe

The beach is a great place for this – but so is your local shopping centre! Just sitting and observing the world around you without judgement brings you to the present moment. Watch the sand fall through your fingers, listen to the waves as they reach the shore. Pay attention to your breathing and the warmth of the sun. it’s no wonder how many of us feel connected to the ocean – it almost forces us to be mindful, every time we are there.

These are some easy ways in which we can practise being mindful. There’s also another way….

Training. Training can be mindful time as well.

And that’s what we want for the members of CrossFit 4504. We want our crew to come in, leave their worries at the door and focus on what’s in front of them for the next hour. The feel of the barbell in their hands. The weight of their body resting in the soles of their feet when they’re at the bottom of a squat. We want them to notice the breath that flows in and out of them as they strain to make a lift or finish a WOD. Laying on the floor afterwards, muscles pulsing with blood and exertion, sweat dripping from their pores, endorphins coursing through their bodies. We want our members to enjoy this moment. Take great fucking pleasure from it in fact. Because it means they’re alive! Something we want them to experience and appreciate every day.

We want our members to believe in themselves when they walk through our doors – with the belief of a community right behind them. They are happy to see each other – supporting one another in striving to lift to their own blend of greatness.

Sure, some things don’t work out – well, sometimes LOTS of things don’t work out! But by becoming mindful of the present moment, our members can reassure themselves that they are here. That they are loved. That they have made it this far in this life that constantly throws surprises at us. That they appreciate finding something that will help them experience these moments more easily.

This is why our community is THE MOST important aspect of our CrossFit box. Sure, our coaches are important and highly valued. So is our equipment and facilities.

But the community?

It’s what we appreciate the most. We want people who are supportive, understanding, encouraging. We want people who give it their all, no matter what their level of skill is. People who inspire and perspire! We want people who treasure the time they spend in each class they attend. Who celebrate others’ achievements and love to be proud of their own. We want people who like to have a laugh, leave nothing in the tank, who understand the value of a hug or a friendly slap on the back. People who hold out their hand to be helped off the floor – and who are met by a dozen more who are wanting to help.

These are the people we want in our community – and we are so thankful that we already have them. So many of them!! They help each other practice mindfulness by enjoying the present moment. Celebrating and commiserating with one another, but paying attention to what is happening in the time they spend in class.

Mindfulness can seem impossible and overwhelming to achieve. But it doesn’t have to be. Use your every day tasks to practice being mindful. Train in a mindful fashion. Appreciate the now. The present is a gift – and it’s the only time to make the most of what you are doing…NOW.

 

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

Making it Count

Winning is great if you’re that way inclined. It gives your ego a little stoke. And in the land of CrossFit, a PB for a time or rep-based WOD can definitely be taken as a win just as much as lifting heavy things. Good job. Gains made. Forge ahead.

Some of us also like to have ‘friendly’ competition with our mates during classes. Also great – it’s a lot of fun and bragging rights are yours if you come out on top.

Just one thing to make sure of – stay true to your current level of standards and complete the WOD as prescribed by your coach. So if you’re claiming RX for a WOD, do your utmost to ensure RX standard for Every. Single. Rep. If you’re scaling with partial range of movement, then bust your ass to hit that range for Every. Single. Rep.

If you finish a WOD knowing you could have squatted deeper in some of your thrusters, for example, yet you still counted them – is your score correct? Or say you finish Fight Gone Bad with a rep added here and there and you still claim your score as legit – is your score correct? You will not have a true score and any claim of success is false. Jack Shit really. Fair enough, you may really want that PB or you are so close to beating your mate that you want to make sure it’ll happen. But has it really happened?

Is it really a win or a PB if you KNOW you deliberately cheated?

Because that’s basically what it is. A deliberate action to alter your score. There are a few ways that athletes do this in a CrossFit WOD….

  • Shaving Reps

If a WOD says 21-15-9, that’s what you do. It’s not 21-13-8. Now, truthfully, some of us are so gassed during a WOD that we can’t get enough oxygen to the right side of our cerebrum – that’s the counting side of our brain! – and as a result we occasionally end up miscounting. This is not cheating. It’s an honest mistake and when it happens, we usually admit we lost count somewhere in there at the end of the WOD.

But when you KNOW what you’re doing by only grinding out 8 pushups instead of 9, or running 180m instead of 200m, that’s when you will be labelled with the ‘C’ word. (Cheat – that’s the ‘C’ word we’re referring to here!)

  • Incorrect Time

Say you finish the WOD in 8.53 but you notice that ‘Baz’ in an earlier class recorded a time of 8.51. So you think to yourself ‘Ah, it’s only a few seconds’ and you record your time as 8.50. Boom Baz! I finally beat ya! Sad thing is – you didn’t beat Baz at all. You actually got beat twice…once by Baz and then by yourself. Stick to the clock. It’s there for a reason.

  • Adding Reps

Count with me ‘1,2,3,4,5…’, not ‘1,2, miss a few, 17,19,20…’ Adding reps can be one of the easiest mistakes to make during a WOD. It’s hard enough to keep track of your next movement in a tabata sequence, let alone remember how many reps you’ve achieved. Write it down. Use tally marks. A number clicker. A counter for every 10 reps. Don’t just estimate you’ve done 23 reps. Chances are it’s only 22 and you’ve given yourself extra credit. Then there’s those who deliberately add reps on to their score. This rockets you to the leaderboard of the cheater category. It’s not a cool place to hang out.

  • Compromising Technique

This is a big one in many CrossFit boxes around the world. Sure, you’ve completed all the prescribed reps and been honest about your times. But were you honest about your technique? Did your wallball shots hit depth and target for every rep? if not, did you repeat the reps which you failed? What about your air squats? You know that you pumped 50 out in record time. But did you hit the depth you know you’re capable of?

In truth, movement standards are easily lowered when pushing through a WOD. The more fatigued you become, the more likely you are to count that dodgy pullup as a rep. You know, the one where your chin is at the same height as your eyebrows. And again, you may think you’ve hit prescribed depth for your thrusters as as you tire. It feels just as deep and painful, but fatigue has set in. Your coach will tell you to get deeper so you know the feeling of depth under fatigue.

Training with lack of discipline in regards to movement standards is also heading down the path towards injury. Performing movements with poor technique is quite often how this happens – and then it’s no PB for you until you have recovered from injury.

In your haste to finish the WOD or beat your mate you sometimes compromise technique. Don’t let it become a habit. Bro reps aren’t acceptable. Be disciplined. Hit the movement standard that has been set for you. Every. Single. Time.

Yes, the WOD may suck. You may be falling behind, your mate is kicking on ahead, or that PB has become a distant memory. You just want it to be over. We get that.

But cheating?

Who are you really cheating?

Yourself.

Don’t treat yourself that way. Cheating is a bad habit to get into. It’s lazy. And it’s really not fair to the rest of your CrossFit community. Alter your WOD result and you can be 100% sure that it will be noticed by someone. You may think you’re getting away with it or that it doesn’t matter because it’s just a workout and you’ve still got some benefit from it anyway.

WRONG.

It may feel discreet to you, but trust us, it isn’t. Cheating during a WOD shows about as much discretion as Cameron Bancroft with some yellow sandpaper and a cricket ball. There are eyes everywhere. Your coaches will notice. Fellow members will notice. And when they do – their opinion of you as an athlete – and maybe even a person – will diminish.

While you may still gain physical benefits from working out dishonestly, you will not gain friends. It is not fair to the majority of your community who are honest during each WOD. They work hard to maintain technique and count correctly. It’s something they’re proud of and it gives them great satisfaction and mental strength. This is where you are cheating yourself. Treat yourself and your results with honesty. Place integrity over all else and work your butt off. We can guarantee you will gain far more admiration that way.

If you are someone who knows they may cheat in some way during a WOD, make it a goal to change your behaviour. It’s easy to drop a rep, or go sloppy on technique. Don’t take the cop out. Forget the scoresheet. Don’t rip yourself off. Maybe you can create a ‘post-cheating’ PB chart. The real deal. This one will give you much greater satisfaction if you do it right. Then you will know you’ve earned the right to enter a score that you’re proud to brag about!

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

Comfort..the Enemy of Success

Hands up who feels comfortable with their current efforts at training? Do you desire to be better or do you just show up for the sake of it? Seeking comfort is normal for the majority of people – it’s human nature to find security in reaching levels that are familiar to us. We’ll often begin with a burning desire to reach a certain level – not too high – usually a level that’s attained quite easily and quickly. Which is fine. But what happens next? Do we up the ante and reach even higher or do we play if safe in the comfort of our current levels?

Why do so many of us hold back?

  • We place limitations on ourselves –

Why put yourself in a box? Self definitions are our biggest limitations. Closely followed by the definitions or limitations others place on you. And you listen to them!

Who says you have to be a 1 rep wonder on strength days?

Who says your box jumps will never happen?

Who says you are never going to improve your running?

Or your pull ups/double unders/thrusters/snatches/muscle ups/career prospects/love life/underwear choices….blah, blah, blah, we could be here all day naming limitations people place on themselves.

Don’t be limited by what you THINK your place is. In life and in the gym. If you start a sentence with ‘I am’ then you have already done so. Let go of what you think is expected of you. Let go of what your expectations of others are. You can only do you. Ask yourself who you are, where you would like to be and WHY. Think about this in terms of your CrossFit training…Why do you want to lift a certain number or make a certain time in a WOD? Is it because you want to be stronger or faster than someone else? Think again. Work on becoming stronger and faster – for you. To push those limitations you have on yourself. Sure, use others as inspiration to help you strip away those labels and step out of your box. Every time you step into the ‘Box’.

  • We stick with what is comfortable –

We touched on this at the beginning of this blog. Comfort = Security to many people. By staying within the boundaries we have placed on ourselves, we know our capabilities and our predicted stress levels. We can reach our comfort levels with reasonable confidence and perform without fear of looking stupid or making mistakes. But once you reach a level of prolonged comfort, you are cutting off so many opportunities.

Mistakes are amazing!!

They help us grow as people. Mistakes in your training methods work in the same way. Just as you remember every little success you have, so should you remember your mistakes. Because if you learn from them, they will make you a better athlete. Your coaches are there to ensure your mistakes don’t lead to continued poor technique or injury.

You are there to make mistakes, to learn.

To miss those lifts or fall on your arse. Probing the outer edges of those boundaries your mind has set. With the support of a good CrossFit community around you.

Comfort is for bedtime!

So how do we go about pushing those so called limits that we have set for ourselves?

  • Find confort in the Uncomfortable –

If you’re comfortabe the majority of time during your CrossFit classes, you need to change something. To really grow as athletes – as people – we need to be ok with going to those places where we know things will get sucky. While security and comfort are human requirements, we also need stimulation and the ability to stretch ourselves. If that seems scary, try just one thing at a time. Take the risk. Risks are, well, risky – we know. But just think of all the new ‘levels of comfort’ you reach by trying!

  • Make a bucket list that pushes your mind and body –

Say you’ve always wanted to take singing lessons. You have no desire to be on Broadway, but you’re scared that you’ll sound more like a bansaw than Aretha Franklin.

So what? What does it matter? Do it anyway!

Your teacher can always wear earplugs and you could contain your performances to your nightly shower. But you have tried something new! You have created new stimuli for your mind and your body. Replace singing with box jumps or squats or pull ups – anything at all and ask yourself, WHY NOT? Why the hell not?

Don’t be so afraid of failure that you won’t even attempt something you’ve always dreamt of doing.

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”

  • Courage + perseverance = strength

Have the strength to not only push your boundaries, but smash them into oblivion! We will never know what we are capable of until we push against our limits. Great things happen on the edge of our limits, so have the courage to lean on those edges a little. The walls of our mind can be stubborn, so perseverance and a little extra pressure may be required in many instances.

Endurance, speed and strength all have self-imposed limits. And we’re not talking about comparison between yourself and others here. It’s about pushing the boundaries of what you THINK you can achieve. But if you have the courage to push these boundaries just a little every time you train – you will surprise yourself with what you actually can achieve. You will also find yourself with the STRENGTH to push a little more.

Pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone in all facets of life can seem daunting. Because we don’t know the outcome. But it’s worth trying. Because if we try, we will become closer to realising our potential. As an athlete. As a person. And whether you experience failure or success, the fact that you have had the courage to push yourself means you’ve already succeeded in extending your limits.

Don’t die wondering – step outside of your comfort zone. Today.

Struggling with your Health….Let Us Help You

This is Rob. Rob is a doctor, so we can’t show you his face!!

G’day Dr Rob!

Dr Rob loves CrossFit & CrossFit 4504 – and he knows how beneficial exercise can be for overall health. Read below to find out more….

People often correlate exercise with trying to lose weight – and it is a great factor in aiding weightloss. But more and more studies are showing however, that in terms of dropping weight, your diet and nutrition hold far greater importance.

So why do we exercise? To gain strength and fitness? CrossFit is an awesome training method in terms of becoming stronger, faster, fitter and more agile.

But there’s another reason why exercise is a vital ingredient to good health…it is a proven way to reduce the risk of chronic disease. How cool is that?

There are people who swear they can’t afford a CrossFit membership, or that they don’t have time to workout. How about this? Add the extra cost of a large coffee to your daily budget. Except don’t drink that extra coffee. Put it toward a CrossFit membership. And here’s the super cool part….it will save you a shite load of money in the long run! Because chronic diseases are currently the most expensive of all health problems- and they are also the most preventable.

Meet Lazza…Before joining us in January 2018 he was drinking 6+L of Coke per day. Gave it up the day he joined and uses that money to afford a membership.

Just 40-60 minutes a day of heart pumping exercise is perfect for not only preventing chronic disease, but will significantly aid in managing and reducing symptoms associated with the common chronic diseases listed below.

Diabetes (Type 2)

Physical activity is an important step in treating Type 2 Diabetes. Exercise makes it easier to control the sugar levels in our blood and people with Diabetes have way too much sugar (or glucose) sitting in their veins. Your muscles use the glucose in your blood when you exercise. It gives them energy which in turn lowers your blood sugar levels and helps maintain that level.

Now most people who are diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes are also overweight, which can make exercising a very daunting prospect. We cannot stress enough the need to consult your doctor before jumping straight into an exercise training program. But we can also tell you this…CrossFit is a training methodology which is perfect for the shit-scared beginner who knows their capabilities will be limited. Each movement can be stripped back, altered and suited to each individual athlete!

Heart Disease

Want a healthy heart? Make it strong! As our lifestyles have become more sedentary, Heart Disease has risen to be one of the leading causes of death in developed countries. Now there’s a First World Problem for you!

Exercise counteracts Heart Disease by not only increasing your heart’s strength but decreasing the strain on your heart. Get your blood pumping and your blood pressure will be lower, your circulation much improved and your levels of good cholesterol will skyrocket. And good cholesterol is the business you want in your body for your brain, your hormones and your cells to do their jobs properly.

Don’t be scared to try CrossFit as a form of exercise if you suffer Hypertension or Heart Disease. Slow and steady wins the race and gadgets such as heart rate monitors will ensure you exercise within a range that’s safe for your requirements.

Arthritis/Osteoporosis

It really hurts to move when you suffer from these debilitating chronic diseases. And normally, you would assume that placing extra weight on affected joints would lead to further problems, wouldn’t you? Studies have in fact proven the exact opposite. Regular exercise, particularly weight-bearing exercise is now a known combatant in regards to both preventing and aiding musculoskeletal diseases. By increasing strength, flexibility and mobility you can reduce pain associated with these diseases and move more freely into old age.

Cancer

The National Cancer Institute released a report from an extensive 11 year study on the effects of exercise and cancer. During that time, they studied a broad range of participants (aged 19-98) and examined many forms of cancers in over 1.4 million people.

Experts drew quite a few conclusions from the study – most importantly that physical activity was found to “have far reaching value for cancer prevention.” And for those who are suffering or recovering from cancer, exercise is a fantastic way to aid in positive emotion, regaining self control and keeping your body strong.

Cancer is a chronic disease close to many of us and to know that we are fighting it every time we exercise enables us to maintain our health and confidence in our bodies.

So if you currently suffer from a chronic disease and are looking for a suitable form of exercise, come in and talk with one of our CrossFit 4504 coaches. We are always happy to sit down with you, liaise with your doctor and design a program that’s safe for you. We are passionate about getting you moving to the best of your ability.

And for those who don’t suffer with chronic disease but know they need to start down the path of exercising more regularly? Come and see us! Start slowly – be kind to yourself. But also be prepared to work hard to prevent the potential onset of disease in the future. If you do something now, we are able to teach you how to give yourself the best possible chance in preventing or delaying chronic disease.

We’re all so busy with our lives that we sometimes forget to look after ourselves. Make the time – for your own physical and mental health. A 30 minute WOD is only 2% of your day. A 1 hour class is 4%.

Four. Percent. Of your entire day!! That’s not much in the grand scheme of things. Most of us would spend more time than that on social media or watching TV. Turn off your gadgets – just for a little while. Make time for you.

Listen to Doctor Rob and see for yourself how beneficial CrossFit can be in terms of your overall health.

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

Lacking Motivation? Let Us Help

We talk a lot about motivation. How to achieve it. How to maintain it. Motivation ensures you show up to training even when you don’t want to. Or does it? What happens when you lose motivation? And it will happen. ‘Ole ‘Motivation’ goes and hides somewhere in that vortex that’s usually filled with missing Tupperware lids, left-footed socks and vanishing hair ties!

Then what are you left with apart from right-footed socks? (WTF?)

You still want results from your training right? You don’t want to go backwards in your fitness levels, your weight loss or your muscle gains.

So what gets you moving when you don’t want to train but you know you should?

DISCIPLINE.

Just one word.

Now coaches can’t really hand out discipline in the true sense of the word (even though some may like the idea of having a box full of disciples!) Most of us aren’t children anymore and are big enough and ugly enough to make our own decisions. But this isn’t the type of discipline we’re talking about anyway. In terms of training regularity, technique and integrity, good CrossFit coaches can only encourage discipline in an athlete. Discipline in each athlete comes down to self-regulation. And sometimes you really have to be strict with yourself. Self-discipline in training will keep your results ticking over until your fickle mate ‘Motivation’ decides to return. Discipline can be achieved in the following ways…

Routine –

Maintaining a routine is vital to discipline, particularly when motivation is missing. Your training routine should look somewhat like this…

Exciting hey? We never said discipline was exciting. It’s just something that has to be done.

If you know you train better before heading off to work, set your alarm and make it to that 5am class. Yes, it’s winter and it’s cold and the doona is your best friend. But how good is the feeling of a cold, steel barbell at 5am? Ok, so not very fucking good, especially when your fingers are frozen and jar with every movement…Seriously, how do you early crew do this every day? Aaaahh…that’s right! Because you are disciplined!! Because it’s part of your routine. And even though that doona coaxes you to hang out for more ‘snuggle time’, you realise that your arse will not make it to class if you give in to its sweet nothings and don’t get up and go.

 

Find a class time that suits you. It could be different for every day depending on your other commitments. Just don’t forget to include CrossFit training to your list of commitments. Because you have made a commitment to yourself to achieve results. To make improvements. To take time for yourself. To learn discipline. CrossFit 4504 offers 8 class times every weekday for our members to choose from and work into their daily routine.

Direction –

We all train to improve, don’t we? We want to improve our fitness. Our technique. Our physical capabilities. Ultimately we want to challenge ourselves over the course of a week, a month, a year. To make note of our weaknesses and take pride in our strengths.

Direction is all about pointing yourself towards where you want to be and working out how to get there. If you have a goal you’re working towards, you’re going to need direction on how to get there. It may be a program for slowly improving your fitness, progressions toward your first pull-up or a nutrition plan designed for your body type, some sort of strategy so you now have that direction mapped out for you. Discipline comes from following that map as closely as possible in order to achieve results.

Now there are many different directions you can travel in the CrossFit training world. Start with something simple. Take into account factors such as your current body composition, mobility and fitness levels. Talk to your coaches and come up with a ‘map’ on which direction you want to head to with your training. You may even be able to visit more than one place on your CrossFit travels just by heading in a certain direction. Having the discipline to head in that direction will help you get there sooner. And seeing results might even lure the elusive ‘Motivation’ back from the vortex!

Fun –

Showing discipline doesn’t mean your training will always be dull and boring. The exact opposite is our greatest hope for all of our members at CrossFit 4504. Now usually motivation and fun go hand in hand, don’t they? So how do you maintain that sense of fun if you currently have zero levels of motivation to train?

Simple! Train somewhere you enjoy being. With people you enjoy being with. In a supportive community filled with others who will encourage you and make it easier for you to show the discipline you require. Sharing a chat and a joke with your community before tackling a WOD helps. Laughing and complaining about it afterwards helps too. Knowing that others share your pain and understand your frustrations makes turning up to class easier. There will always be people you enjoy hanging with and on days where motivation is lacking if you provide the discipline, they’ll provide the fun.

Believe it or not, asking for feedback from a coach can also be ‘fun’! Stimulating conversations in regards to your training can encourage you to rediscover lost motivation. Making slight changes can also make training more enjoyable. It may be something as simple as a technique variation, mobility exercise or different scaling option. A change or refocus that will leave you feeling satisfied that your training does matter and that you’re still achieving – even though you may feel flat.

Motivation is a feeling, but it won’t always be around. Discipline, on the hand, is a trait which has to be learned. Discipline seems harsh, but it is not punishment. It is hard, but it’s a vital quality to improvement and accomplishment. And when it comes down to it, discipline is something only you can achieve. Sometimes it takes a lot of bloody effort to be disciplined, particularly if your CrossFit training hasn’t been offering the motivation that it normally does. But ‘Motivation’ will return. When it’s finished sipping Pina Coladas on the beach with Mrs ‘Left Sock’, ‘Motivation’ will burst back into your life and ask what the heck you’ve been doing. Then you can introduce ‘Motivation’ to ‘Discipline’ and be like “You 2 can get to know each other while I get on with being bad ass!!”

CrossFit 4504 encourages discipline from our athletes. Regular training sees more definitive results and greater satisfaction in their training. We provide our members with many routine options, direction and loads of fun and support from within our community. A perfect environment for learning the art of discipline.

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

Wear your Pride with Pride

A few weeks ago, we asked the CrossFit 4504 crew to let us know ‘What makes you proud?’ A whiteboard was provided along with colourful markers, so our members could provide answers in their own time. It seemed an easy enough question, yet there was a surprisingly slow response from our athletes. We know they are proud of their achievements, both in and out of the box. It just seemed that writing something down for everyone to see wasn’t something they were initially comfortable in doing. The board eventually filled with reasons our members were proud of – in themselves and in others. We know that pride is not just about a desire for recognition, but we shouldn’t feel shame in the enjoyment of that recognition either.

Why is pride important to us? Let’s talk about why and how it is awesome to be able to express pride…

  • It’s Motivating

Whether we acknowledge it or not, our emotions play a huge part in fuelling our motivation to succeed. Pride is a powerful emotion that it is generally triggered in response to achieving a goal or making a conscious effort with self-improvement. Showing pride in your accomplishments – whether it be improving your ‘Fran’ time or going without cigarettes for over 2 weeks – creates a positive feeling inside of us. A feeling of worth. Pride is different to arrogance in that you don’t HAVE to let every single person know that you have smashed a goal or two. They will see it. In your expression. In your posture. In the way you approach your training. In how you react to life! Taking pride in yourself, your achievements and your actions signals to others that you are confident and you are important. And you are!

The motivation you attain by expressing that pride, can lead to many more of your goals being accomplished. Pride does not equal conceit. Pride is something you can show in others and in yourself – motivation for all.

  • It’s Inspiring!

We spoke of ways to be inspiring in our last blog and how showing pride is one way to inspire others to succeed. Letting others see how proud you are of YOUR achievements will inspire them to push forward with their own goals. It’s not a matter of being the best, it’s more about giving yourself the opportunity to be YOUR BEST. Others will take note of your pride and share in it with you. This is where inspiration kicks in. To know that your efforts are being recognised is cause for pride in itself. But to know that your efforts are inspiring others in the process? What a phenomenal feeling of pride that can give you.

  • It Gives You Courage

Successes and failures are a part of life. You are not always going to succeed at everything the way you would wish to. In fact – and this could not be more true in the CrossFit method of training – there will always be some things you suck at! Do you just give up on those weaknesses? Heck NO! The way you handle failures says a lot about your character and having the courage to succeed with pride but also fail with pride shows an immense amount of courage.

Showing pride in every achievement, no matter how small, can build momentum to help you through those times when nothing works and you feel as though you suck at everything. You don’t suck at everything – it just seems that way. Persistence itself is something to be proud of and taking note of every achievement, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant can give you the courage to continue if things get rough. This is also when your past achievements can provide you with your greatest strengths. Knowing that you have overcome obstacles in the past gives you strength and courage to push through. Whether in relation to your CrossFit training or life in general, being able to express pride not only allows you to take control of yourself, it reminds you of the courage you continue to draw from yourself in your ability to keep moving. A 2-steps sideways, 3-steps backwards, 4-steps forward kind of movement – yet still moving toward your goals. Tackling all obstacles head on…maybe with a certain amount of trepidation – but also a bucket load of courage and pride.

The road to success in CrossFit training and indeed life in general is often bumpy and at times filled with horseshit. We are forced to make choices which seem horrible either way – do we divert along a long, bumpy road or trudge wearily through the horseshit? Neither a pleasant way to travel, but eventually we are cruising again on a smooth highway, celebrating our achievements after a little re-evaluation and a whole lotta pride.

Just remember to occasionally look in your rear vision mirror from time to time. This will serve to remind you just how far you have already come in your journey, how many obstacles you have overcome and how hard you have worked to become a better version of you. You may have a ways to go yet, but take PRIDE in the fact that you are here. Right here, right now. You are amazing and you SHOULD be proud of that. We are proud of you!

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

Are You an Inspiration?

Here’s a little story….

Johnny has had one of those days where he feels like he should have just stayed in bed! And he also has the feeling that this day could easily turn into one of those weeks. You know the ones – when it’s a struggle to make it through the daily ritual of life let alone turn up to CrossFit and train. But Johnny goes anyway. Resentfully, of course, and the WOD is a sluggish, unbearable slog where his energy levels are as non-existent as his motivation. It’s not Johnny’s fault, at least he bothered to turn up. But he wonders why he actually bothered and his mind drifts instead to whether the Broncos will even make the top 8 this year.

Johnny goes through the motions of the WOD half-arsed – until out of the corner of his eye, he notices Sally smashing out her WOD. She’s really working hard and pushing herself. Johnny can see that she has a weight on the bar that’s really challenging for her, yet she is still maintaining technique while she struggles to complete every rep. Her performance is impressive and so inspiring that Johnny breaks his Broncos reverie and hauls ass for the back end of the WOD. Sally’s inspiring effort has meant that he has ended up putting in a big effort himself. Johnny and Sally Hi 5 each other at the end of class and head to the Members’ Lounge for a recovery drink.

Now it doesn’t matter if ‘Sally’ is one of the strongest or fastest members of the box or one of the weakest or slowest. It was her ACTIONS and EFFORT which inspired Johnny. That this person was giving their all – right here, right now. It’s these inspirational efforts that make CrossFit classes so effective. We see it every day at CrossFit 4504. Our members don’t set out to be inspirational – they’re usually just trying to get the WOD done so they can die quietly on the floor in a pool of sweat. But that’s the thing with Inspiration – it encourages others to push their boundaries.

You can inspire someone you don’t even know – simply through your actions. Here are some of the ways that you may be inspiring others….

  1. Show Pride, not Ego

Have you ever finished a WOD well outside the time of everyone else, still fighting for every last rep? Or had THE MOST exhausting week at work but still made the effort to train and train hard? What if you’ve recently stepped up to a new level of technique or heavier loads and the struggle has never been more real in every WOD? How about if you’re injured but still training with modified workouts just to keep moving?

Then you have INSPIRED someone.

It’s all too easy in the above situations to let old mate Ego get into your tired mind and body…”Give up, old friend,” Ego says. “Save yourself the embarrassment and let’s just go home to the couch. We can share those chocolate Oreos and moan about how we never wanted to get fit anyway.”

Don’t let Ego win. By showing up, taking pride in yourself and not giving in no matter how sucky it gets you are exhibiting an intention. An intention to holding yourself accountable. An intention in taking a step closer to smashing your goals. An intention to strengthen not only your body, but your mind. And so next time something happens in life where it would be simpler to give in, you can flip Ego the bird and say “I got this – just you watch me.”

Take pride in yourself. Know that you are capable of so much more than you realise. And guaranteed, if you approach your training this way, you will have inspired someone else to do the same.

  1. Be Enthusiastic and Encouraging

This is something we’ve seen in spades here at CrossFit 4504. Enthusiasm is contagious!!

Do you love it when certain people are in the same class as you because they are generally so positive? Do they encourage everyone to keep going? Will they always give it their all and push you to do the same? These people are inspiring in their enthusiasm and encouragement. They know the WOD will be hard – but that’s partly why we train, right? To push through to the best of our ability and congratulate each other at the end.

Sharing the fun of CrossFit is inspiring in itself because we all love the release of happiness and positive endorphins which come from exercising in good company. Pushing yourself further takes you a step closer to achieving your goals. Your steps may be small – and at times, even backwards – but at least you’re moving. The CrossFit 4504 members and coaches inspire each other every day by showing enthusiasm and encouragement. They’re proud of themselves, but the pride they show in all of our athletes and our box inspires all of us to keep going. And like we mentioned earlier – the positivity and celebrations shown in our classes are contagious.

  1. Let Your Imperfections Show

Think about a movement you aren’t particularly good at. If it comes up in a WOD do you rush through said movement, not bothering to maintain the standard you know you’re capable of? Do you shave reps just so you finish with a faster time? Is this the way to be INSPIRING?

We all know the answer to that one!

You inspire people when you are GENUINE. You don’t need to be perfect or ‘The Best’ to inspire others. WTF is perfect anyway? People will be more inspired by how you handle your imperfections. Let people see your imperfections for what they are – and acknowledge them.

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

Everyone’s definition of perfect is different anyway and just like a Lorna Jane t-shirt, ‘We Were Born to be Real, Not to be Perfect.’

Sure, there’s always someone out there who will be better, faster or stronger. There always will be. But that’s not a reason to cheat. Don’t compromise your standards or integrity just for the sake of false praise. The most inspiring members of CrossFit 4504 are those who show INTEGRITY. They will give an honest assessment of themselves without any false pretences of perfection. Remember, you are training for YOURSELF. By putting in the effort every time you train you will see the changes you want for yourself…and that’s when others will be inspired.

They’ll see you making mistakes but not quitting. They’ll see you putting in effort and reaping rewards. They’ll see that you’re not here to be perfect.

So you know now some of the different ways in which you may have inspired others. You don’t have to be the strongest or the fastest in every movement. Or any movement for that matter.

You do have to work hard.

You do have to push through adversity.

You do have to persevere.

Admit your weaknesses and put them on your list of things to improve on. Work on your weaknesses. Be enthusiastic about where and when you train and why you’re there. Be inspired by the actions of those around you. Know that if you’re putting in the effort that you ARE inspirational.

It’s a pretty cool thought knowing that while you are achieving goals for yourself, you’re also inspiring someone else in the process.

Be an INSPIRATION.

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

Happy Mother’s Day!!!

“The strength of a mother is like no other. During times of stress, she may struggle to find her way because she’s facing her own personal demons, but her child’s welfare comes first. She’s not perfect and makes lots of mistakes but never doubt her love, it burns deeply in her heart.”

Very appropriately this week we are going to focus on and celebrate all the Mums out there. In particular, we want to recognise and raise our glasses to the amazing Mums of CrossFit 4504. These women are the illustration of strength – and we’re not just talking about their badass lifting!

                                                                                                                                                      

Motherhood comes in many forms and variations. Say the word ‘Mum’ to yourself and no doubt an image forms in your mind of the amazing woman you have had the privilege to call Mum. And, depending on the environment we grew up in, each of us will have a different definition of our mother – each just as important as the other.

For most of us a mother is thought of as one who gives birth to a child. That wonderful lady who has endured a growing, living being inside of her – contorting her body into something unrecognisable from it’s former self. While things can get pretty uncomfortable, (understatement), pregnancy and childbirth are revered and cherished as natural miracles for all who have been honoured with the capability to do so.

Carrying a baby will change an expectant mother – and not just physically. It prepares them for the most intense love they will ever feel, a love like no other – providing them with a strength they may never have experienced before. There is such admiration for women who give birth – and rightly so! To endure such pain (just slightly worse than that of man flu for all you guys out there!) and produce a much anticipated snuggly, baby bundle seems like a miracle every single time. And it is! Each bubba is so different and grows up to be one of us. Not so snuggly or cute anymore, but a miracle nonetheless.

But a mother is not always someone who is able to carry and birth her own baby. A mother is defined more so by the statement at the top of this blog. Someone who has a strength like no other to look after her children before all else. Some women, beautiful women with open hearts, choose to adopt. That in itself takes a huge amount of strength to even contemplate. Others become Mums to a newly formed family who come with previous children. They are referred to as Step-Mums and trust us when we tell you that not all of them are Wicked!!

Biological or not, all Mums offer the same love. And that same strength is required. Because no two days are going to be the same – Mums learn as they go. To love someone unconditionally, nurture them, let them make their own mistakes (no matter how dumb) requires a huge amount of strength and understanding. Mothers feel their children’s triumphs and pain and experience it as their own. (and we’re not saying Dads aren’t this way too, but, you know, it’s Mother’s Day – so all you cool Dads can just wait ‘til September)

Motherhood can be exhilarating – but holy crap!!!! It can also be soooo exhausting. We salute your strength…and Mums who work, single Mums and Mums of special needs children – we acknowledge your Wonder Woman capes and trust that you will also save the world some day!! Being a Mum lets you realise that exhaustion is a functioning way of life. And there are times when that strength you felt surging through your veins as a new mum is slowly ebbing away…

But there is another strength in Mums too – the strength to allow time for themselves. It’s so important!! The mothers of CrossFit 4504 have figured this out and value the hour that they spend with us each day. Just one hour. That’s all it takes. An hour where they put all their stress in a corner and have a laugh. And sometimes a cry. During a WOD, it’s just them against them. With the support of their fellow members, our mums love the added strength that CrossFit gives them.

Yes the strength they gain is physical in terms of weight and mobility, skills and agility. More importantly though, they reclaim themselves. An inner strength, just for them. Sure, they are amazing role models for their children in showing them that anything can be achieved if you keep trying. But the self confidence the CrossFit 4504 Mums gain with every new technique, every new PB, has seen them grow in strength of mind. ‘Cos, yes, motherhood can be tough. But so can a 100kg deadlift, or 7 minutes of burpees. And once our Mums realise their own potential, they realise that they are fucking good at what they do – this Mum business. It’s not always a smooth road, but nothing in life is.

We already knew the CrossFit 4504 Mums had strength when they first started with us. It’s the realisation of that strength in THEIR faces that we love to see. To have the strength to take time out for themselves enables them to continue to be the awesome Mums they already are.

So while every member of CrossFit 4504 celebrates the amazing Mums in their lives this weekend, we give a special shout out to the Mums who are part of our community. We are in awe of your achievements – in and out of the box. Even more so, we love to watch your continuing discovery of strengths you never knew you had.

 

Love You Mum x

How We Measure Success

Measuring success is fairly important to most of us. That feeling of satisfaction when you achieve something you’ve been aiming for – that’s the feeling of success and it validates why we do what we do.

Same goes for our fitness aspirations. Competitive athletes measure their success in terms of results – winning or losing. Times raced, goals scored, weights lifted – an elite athlete’s results are important to their progression and their ultimate dream to be the best.

But what about the average athlete? Those of us who might still be competitive, but not elite? Or those who aren’t competitive and just want to keep fit?

Research has shown that one of the main reasons why people exercise is to lose weight. Or try to look a certain way. But should weight loss or body shape be indicative to success? We live in a world where judgement is passed upon people because of how they look….what if, instead, we focused on what people can DO? Don’t use the scales as the be all and end all for your fitness success. By all means, add losing weight to your list of goals if you want to – but don’t make it your main focus. Improving your fitness will improve your lifestyle – whether you are overweight or not. Becoming fit helps your heart and reduces the risk of heart disease. Increasing fitness will also combat Type 2 Diabetes, improve your state of mind, your sleep and reduce the risk of dementia as you age. Losing weight if you need to is great for your overall health, but being fit is even greater.

So success in fitness can be measured so much more effectively than numbers on a scale. The members of CrossFit 4504 measure their successes by the factors listed below:

  1. Enjoyment!

What better way to categorise success!!

Enjoying your fitness program will guarantee your return time and again. Enjoyment makes perserverance easier and the hard work more achieveable. The community at CrossFit 4504 is filled with supportive, encouraging people who enjoy their training. Sure, they may moan and groan throughout the tough WODs, but there are so many laughs, hugs, cheers and smiles in between that we know they are enjoying the pain and are so proud of each other.

This alone quantifies success. Our ultimate goal in life is to be happy and healthy right? Well the members of CrossFit 4504 have taken a huge step in that direction by becoming part of our amazing community.

  1. Tracking Exercise

Our members log into our ZenPlanner app every time they plan on coming to class. This not only lets our coaches know who will be in attendance, but provides a great method for our members to track the number of times they’ve been to class in a week, or a month. This gives our athletes a sense of mindfulness and they can measure successes by reaching set goals on how often they attend classes.

By tracking their exercise, our members can not only keep themselves accountable, but also maintain motivation to show up and get the results they are looking for in their training.

  1. Tracking Nutrition

If one of your indicators to a successful training program is losing weight, then it is vital to look at your nutrition. Exercise alone is not a long term solution for weight loss – or even a short term one for that matter. Your diet should be all about what you can sustain as a lifestyle choice – not a 6 week shake-a-day, pig’s toenail for breakfast, green algae infusion weight loss program!

What goes into your mouth is important and while you may be trying to lose weight, you also need to consider the amount of fuel your body will require to train effectively!

CrossFit 4504 members have access to nutrition coaching from Xplore Nutrition. This provides them with the opportunity to obtain specific advice in relation to their goals. While we don’t focus on fat loss or body shape at CrossFit 4504, we want to provide as much assistance as possible for our members to become the healthiest and happiest they’ve ever been.

  1. Improvements

This is a fantastic way to measure success. Improvements in your training means you’re moving forward and achieving more. Focusing on how you feel instead of how you look is a much healthier way to validate your fitness training. And every improvement, not matter how small, can be called a success. Can you now walk up a flight of stairs without being short of breath? Success! Can you pick up a 20kg bag of firewood without much effort? Success! Everyday activities which once may have been difficult are easier when you’re fitter. These same improvements can be measured in your training.

 

By recording their results, the members of CrossFit 4504 can see the difference in their WODs, through times, weights and scaled techniques. Take a first time ‘Fran’ WOD for example…it may have taken an athlete 7.46min, with 20kg thrusters and jumping pull ups. That same athlete can measure improvement and therefore success if, 6 months later, their time has decreased, or their load has increased or their pull up technique has improved.

Improvements are an integral part of measuring success and any improvements our members make are celebrated by the whole community.

Define your success not just by looking in the mirror or jumping on the scales. Enjoy the look of your new badass self but take note of the way you feel and what you can do – this is far more indicative.

There are no mirrors at CrossFit 4504. Our members don’t need to see themselves working hard. They can feel that they’re doing their bodies a huge favour. Our community thrives on the spirit of our members and all who are new to our CrossFit family immediately feel that they have taken a step in the right direction – a measure of success for themselves and their future.

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

Get Your Heart Pumping

“Your heart is a muscle and it pumps blood – like a big old, black steam traaaaiiiin!”

Sorry for that Cruel Sea throwback, but the heart-pumping, high intensity exercise incorporated into CrossFit makes you want to sing after every WOD. Not during. AFTER. During each high intensity WOD, you’re not singing, you’re gasping. You’re wondering if you have the will to make it through or whether your last meal will end up regurgitating. But then you finish – and you want to sing! Because just by finishing that high intensity WOD, you’ve done your body a HUGE favour and you are now subconsciously experiencing all of the following benefits –

Increased Metabolic Rate

When you work your heart at over 80% of its maximum rate, you will speed up your metabolism. This means you burn more calories – even after you exercise. So if you’re trying to lose weight or increase energy levels, this is great news. Combined with good nutrition and adequate sleep the high intensity WODs of CrossFit will help you with your goals.

Ever heard of quality over quantity? This has never been more true regarding fitness training. While running or riding at the same pace is always better than sitting on the couch, this type of exercise doesn’t provide anywhere near the same benefits to your body or your heart as a WOD with intervals of high intensity, especially your heart.

Everyday Strength

Put a sign on your toilet wall that says “You squatted to shitsit here!” Squat now. Squat often. Enough said.

Seriously though, the everyday movements performed under load in CrossFit WODs will improve your quality of life. Moving quickly, with increased load, gets your number 1 muscle – that’s your heart – working and becoming stronger as well as the many muscle groups targeted during a WOD. The more you’re able to lift, the more load you’ll want to add during a high intensity WOD. And as long as you continue to use safe technique, there’s no reason not to. Knowing that you not only have the strength, but the increased strength to lift, push, bend and pull reaps benefits on activities you do outside of the box.

More time!

To achieve anywhere near the same benefits earned during a high intensity WOD, you’d need to spend twice as much time in a regular gym. If you train at a premiun CrossFit facility, such as CrossFit 4504, the programming will reward you with increased strength, speed, co-ordination, power, etc…etc. For all of us, time is a precious commodity and fitting a quality training session around family, friends, work or uni is sometimes impossible. 3 or 4 CrossFit WODs a week won’t be wasted time and you’ll find a whole new set of friends at the box community. You’ll have extra energy levels which will help you get through your everyday routine and pretty soon CrossFit will become an imperative part of your everyday routine.

The Beauty of Endorphins

Your body’s natural morphine, endorphins are released after vigorous exercise such as that of a high intensity CrossFit WOD. Just 15-20min of exercise with your heart pumping at 80-100% of its max will leave you feeling euphoric…after you catch your breath! And once you recover from the pain of the WOD…Yes, there will be pain. But trust us when we say that the pain is almost like a drug. It’s addictive. A natural, healthy high. You want the pain because you know the feeling you experience afterwards is the best stimulant around. CrossFit gets those endorphins flowing – just like laughter and sex, and we recommend all 3 if you’re of legal age to do so! (‘Not until you’re 21!!’, say the parents of EVERY teenage girl reading this!)

The Collective Heart of a Community

Your heart will expand in more ways than one due to the high intensity WODs of CrossFit. The more you push yourself out of your comfort zone, the more you will realise what you’re capable of achieving. Not just in training, but all facets of your life. Self confidence, motivation and positive energy are all side effects of a good CrossFit training facility. This is achieved by reaching new heights, learning new skills, and increased courage.

It’s also achieved by the people training alongside you, sharing your pains and celebrating your gains. Your coaches – those who program the pain, will also celebrate your gains. Knowing how hard every single person has worked in each WOD creates a bond. CrossFit may be largely an individual sport, but it is the team environment created within a supportive box that keeps you coming back. It’s the reason why people leave a normal gym. The reason why athletes make CrossFit a priority in their day.

 

The walls of CrossFit 4504 are eminating with good vibes and endorphins. Our members wear their WOD pain faces as a badge of honour and bask in the knowledge that their heart is pumped full of the benefits that each high intensity WOD brings. Challenge yourself and you’ll soon experience the CrossFit 4504 natural high.

 

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