CrossFit For Beginners: What You Need To Know

CrossFit For Beginners: What You Need To KnowYou may have heard it from your friends or have chanced upon it from ads, CrossFit’s popularity retains a large following who assert their love for the regimen. Dedicated fans may leave you feeling intimidated, but you don’t need to have superior muscles and athletic capabilities to get started. All you need is the will to do your first CrossFit workout routine for beginners.

Whether you have signed up for your first CrossFit class or just curious of what CrossFit workouts entail, here is a quick beginner’s guide to keeping you in the loop of this popular high-intensity fitness programme.

What is CrossFit and what are the benefits?

If you want a break from the same old, boring workout routines and you’re ready to fight the stasis with a fitness programme that is sure to challenge you, CrossFit is a great choice. Keep reading to know the reasons why.

Without specifically specialising in a certain workout, CrossFit is composed of a series of different intense workout disciplines that are designed to maximise the amount of work done in the shortest possible time. Instead of having a one-on-one training session with a coach, CrossFit is typically done in groups to boost support, raise motivation and stimulate competition at the same time.

Just as with any other kind of workout programme, CrossFit takes a certain kind of focus and discipline for you to succeed. Specifically focused on both relative and actual intensity, CrossFit does not involve a variation of ‘do a set and then rest a minute’ routines. Instead, avoiding patterns is a must and striving to always challenge the body in new ways are what CrossFit aims to bring to the next level.

Common CrossFit exercises

Simply put, CrossFit is a complete workout where you will perform strength training with callisthenics and weightlifting, which will significantly improve your endurance and stamina, as well as your flexibility to further allow you to build your competence in all aspects of fitness.

Typically, CrossFit consists of four phases.

  • Dynamic warm-up – includes aerobic exercises such as jumps, jumping jacks, jump rope, push-ups, lunges and pull-ups.
  • Strength work – involves weightlifting such as squats or deadlifts.
  • WOD – short term for ‘Work Out of the Day’ which is the phase where you are meant to perform a specific number of reps on particular exercises as fast as you can, within a time limit.
  • Cool down and stretching – to relax the worked muscles and end the workout.

How to find the right CrossFit gym?

Choosing the right CrossFit gym (or ‘box’ as it’s more commonly known) calls for so much more than just considering the one nearest to your location. Whilst it is ideal to join a class that is within your area for convenience, it is important to consider the community and coach as well. Select a box with competent, experienced coaches to ensure you will obtain the maximum from your CrossFit programme.

If you are looking for the perfect box to start your very first CrossFit journey, look no further than CrossFit Portishead. We provide a varied training programme that is based on functional movements and your ability to perform and adapt. We also present small classes and intimate sessions in order to provide you with the benefits of paying for a personal trainer in a regular gym whilst ensuring that you will never feel alone on your journey because we are a community that will encourage and support you in achieving your goals. Be a member today. For enquiries, give us a call on 01275 217003 or send us an email at membership@hubgyms.com.

November Introductory Course – Starts Saturday 5th November at 8:00am

CrossFit-11

 

Start your fitness journey with CrossFit Portishead this November

>> CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR PLACE ON NOVEMBER’S INTRODUCTORY COURSE <<

So what is the Introductory Course? What can you expect from it? The answer is “a lot actually”.

For all of CrossFit Portishead’s new members, we recommend that you join our introductory course. Why?  It’s the best way for you to understand what we do, become familiar with the movements that we use and it allows you to hit the ground running when you enter our main class program.

The aim of the Introduction course is to give you teach you the Fundamental movements, plus a host of other movements that we use in our main CrossFit Classes.

The cover a number of Fundamental movements throughout the course including: Air Squat, Front Squat, Overhead Squat, Shoulder Press, Push Press, Push Jerk, Deadlift, Power Clean and Power Snatch

We will also introduce you to: The Kettlebell; Gymnastic work, which will help train your core; Plyometrics, such as box jumps and skipping and Olympic Lifting, where we will cover the Snatch and the Clean + Jerk.

The introductory course is also a great chance for our coaches to get to know you.  We can understand your movements patterns, assess any issues/injuries that you are currently dealing and work with you to give you as much support as you need on your fitness journey with us.

That way, upon completion of the course and by the time you reach the Main Classes, we would like to think you can confidently, safely and efficiently carry out the movements.

The Introductory Course is also an excellent opportunity to make new friends as over the course of the 4 sessions you will all be training together. The sessions take place on Saturday mornings at 8:00am. The cost of the Introductory session is £60

So, what are you waiting for. Start your journey to a new and better you by signing up to our next Introductory course.

>> CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR PLACE ON NOVEMBER INTRODUCTORY COURSE<<

We look forward to seeing you at the Box soon.

I’ve finished my workout…..What should I do now?

Nutrition

You’ve been to the gym, had a great workout, but what happens then.  How important is your post workout recovery?  This a questions that we get asked a lot.  CrossFit Portishead Coach;  James St Leger has put together: 5 Tips for Post Workout recovery – Have a read and start implementing.

Lower Heart Rate and Move Blood

After any intense training session your body will be full of toxins, the by product of your hard work.  By increasing circulation and simulating blood flow to your muscles you are very likely to speed up the recovery process and not feel as sore the following day. This should be done after each session, but can also fall in the bracket of an ‘active rest day’ when you take a day off away from the gym. Examples of an active rest day might include a light jog, a gentle cycle, some easy swimming or a kick about on the field with the kids.

Stretch

The more you exercise without stretching, the tighter your muscles will get. Which will lead to that squat depth and good overhead position

creeping even further away.  It’s usually the 1st thing to go AWOL from a training program, and this is usually because it’s not been planned for. So set aside 20 mins in the evening whilst you’re watching TV/relaxing before you go to bed and address your mobility issues.

Food

Good quality nutrition here is key.  Not only do you want to be fuelled correctly for your workouts, but you also need to replenish your body with a good quantity of carbohydrates and protein.  For post workout, aim for a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio of carbs:protein, depending on the intensity of the session and your personal goals. Nutrient dense foods are great as they are able to provide your body with essential minerals and vitamins needed for optimal recovery and energy production.

Fluid

Hydrate! All those sweat angles you are leaving behind is a sure sign that you need to take on and replace the lost fluid from the workout. Drinking plenty of water will ensure you are hydrated and will help flush out any toxins. Consider replacing lost electrolytes too – either through an electrolyte drink or a banana, which contains amounts of calcium, potassium and magnesium.

Sleep

This is where your body repairs itself! So getting good shut eye is key for your recovery. The recommended target to aim for is between 7-9 hours. Stay away from light stimulating technologies about an hour before bed, as these will disrupt your body’s natural shutting down mechanisms.

So there you have it, 5 simple tips which will optimise your training and post workout recovery.

If you’d like any more information on any of the above, be it help with sleep protocols, nutrition or mobility, then why not book yourself in for a Consultation or session with one of our coaches and we’d be happy to give you a lot more detailed information specific to your needs.

To book a consultation e-mail: james@crossfitportishead.com and we will put you in touch with the best person

Being Fit? What’s it all about?

DCIM101GOPROThat’s it, the last bank holiday of the year before Christmas has been and gone.  The weather on the bank Holiday Monday was beautiful and I was lucky enough to spend some time at the Clifton Observatory and Giants Caves.  I haven’t been there since I was a child, I would highly recommend it if you have some free time.

The Giants Caves was quite an experience, you enter it through the observatory and then walk 61 meters down some precarious stairs to a balcony which gives you stunning views across the Avon Gorge and Bristol.  

Don’t worry this is not a post about my weekend.  You may be wondering where I am going with this and what it has in relation to fitness…

The journey down to the caves, and back up again, got me thinking about and questioning “what does it mean to be fit?” “How do we as individuals define our level of fitness?”

The Oxford dictionary defines fitness as:

“1. The condition of being physically fit and healthy. 

2. The quality of being suitable to fulfil a particular role or task” 

Quite often there is a stigma attached to fitness. I hear the phrases “Wow, they’re so fit”’ or “I wish I was that fit” and “I’m not fit enough to do that!” 

But what does that mean? What are we comparing it to? If a persons goal is to compete at the CrossFit Games, Complete an Ironman or compete in a weightlifting competition then there is going to be a required fitness level. Does that mean as someone who works in an office, on a building site, or as a parent we should be aiming for the same level of ability. Be able to squat 200kg, run a marathon or complete a set of muscle ups…No!

Your level of fitness should be a completely individual thing and based around your own goals. It must be judged on your ability to fulfil a particular role or task. This could be to take your children swimming, to run a local 5KM or even to just be happy, confident and feel great.

In the definition of fitness we saw that it states being fit requires a conditioning of our health. This means we should be working on our mental and physical condition, to the aim of our own needs. 

Being healthy and fit should be about having the ability to be active with your friends, family or Children; being able to make the most of the opportunities that come your way without having to be worried if you can complete them. We should all have the ability to pick something up without pain or breathlessness and even be able to walk 61 metres down a short flight of stairs without having to stop to get your breath.

Quite often I think the bigger picture of health and fitness is forgotten, overlooked or even blurred. There are lots of reasons why people stay fit but I think what should always be remembered is that as an individual you are creating a better and healthier quality of life for you and your loved ones.  

This is something we promote at CrossFit Portihead, YES we have some members who’s goal it is to compete in CrossFit or Weightlifting. But the majority of our members are here to get fitter and to improve the quality of their health and fitness by coming to our classes, having fun and being supported by qualified coaches. Those giants cave stairs are no challenge for us!

If you’d like to see how we can help with your health and fitness. Why not come along and try one of our free taster sessions!

Click here and enter your details to be contacted about trying a free taster session and improving your fitness

July Introductory Course – Starts Monday 4th July – Sign up now

Intro Course at CrossFit Portishead

Intro Course at CrossFit Portishead

Here’s your chance to sign up to CrossFit Portishead 4 week introductory course.

>> CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR PLACE ON JULYS ON-RAMP <<

So what is the On-Ramp?  What can you expect from it?

The aim of the On-Ramp (Introduction) course is to give you an exposure and teach you the Fundamental movements, plus a host of other movements that will appear in our main CrossFit Classes.  During this time, your movement patterns will be assessed which will enable us to effectively work on your skill development, especially when you start in our main classes.

Upon completion of the On-Ramp and by the time you reach the Main Classes, we would like to think you can confidently , safely and efficiently carry out the movements.

The Fundamental movements we cover are as follows:

Air Squat, Front Squat, Overhead Squat, Shoulder Press, Push Press, Push Jerk, Deadlift, Power Clean and Power Snatch

We will also introduce you to:

  • The Kettlebell, which will be utilised as a stability and conditioning tool;
  • Gymnastic work, which will help train your midline stability;
  • Plyometrics, such as box jumps and skipping;
  • Olympic Lifting, where we will cover the Snatch and the Clean + Jerk.

The On-Ramp is also an excellent opportunity to make new friends as over the course of the 8 sessions you will all be training together. The sessions take place on Monday and Thursday evenings at 8:00pm. The cost of the on-ramp session is £60

So, what are you waiting for.

Start your journey to a new and better you by signing up to our next On-Ramp course.

>> CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR PLACE ON JULYS ON-RAMP <<

We look forward to seeing you at the Box soon.

FREE Pull Up program and Kipping Workshop – Tuesday 28th June at 8:00pm

 

Kipping Workshop and get our FREE pull up program 

 

CrossFit Portishead Coach and Gymnastics Specialist Maddie will be running a kipping workshop on Tuesday 28th June at 8:00pm

If you have attended one of these session before you will know that the coaching and technique work that is covered is invaluable in helping you to develop a more efficient kip.  

We have put together a number of tips + a FREE (That’s right, FREE!!) pull up program which can be downloaded.

Check out these 4 Tips for developing your kipping technique

Tip 1

Don’t run before you can walk.  Focus on building your upper body pulling strength before attempting the more complex gymnastic movements 

>> Click here to receive our FREE pull up program to help you develop your upper body strength <<

Tip 2

Core, Core, Core!!  Having good control of your core muscles will enable you to move efficiently when kipping – Can you hold a hollow body position both on and off the bar?  Whats a hollow body hold – Check this picture…

Hollow Body Hold

Tip 3

Hips!! – Once you have developed you upper body pulling strength and have great control of your core, its time to focus on driving those hips up and to bar to enable that weightless feeling that you should get with a efficient kip.

Tip 4

Relax – Let the momentum of the kip take you through the movement – Focus on keeping your arms relaxed, not breaking at the hips and maintaining core control.

CrossFit Portishead is running a kipping workshop on Tuesday 28th June starting at 8:00pm.  The workshop is open to absolutely anyone who wants to improve their gymnastic skill work.

The workshop costs £15 and places are limited so if you want to book your place, click the link below:

>> BOOK MY PLACE ON THE KIPPING WORKSHOP <<

Good luck with the FREE Pull Up program and we look forward to seeing you at the workshop.

 

CrossFit Games 16.5 – Luke Webber – My Experience

LW

This week we get to hear from Luke Webber, s specialist in short distance triathlons.  Luke has turned his hand to CrossFit now, is a qualified Lvl 1 Coach, he has been a member of CrossFit Portishead for 1 year now and is competing in his first Open. Here’s what he thought of 16.5

Well, that’s my first Crossfit Games Open done and sadly, I’ve not made it to Regionals, the next round of qualification for the Games. I tend to reflect badly on almost everything I do immediately after the event, with a perpetual dour face, mumbling something along the lines of “could’ve gone quicker” or “not strong enough” with a Pumping Iron Lou Ferrigno impression.

I moaned after my first attempt at 16.1, I swore audibly at a picture of James Rodda after 16.2. I slow clapped Russell Rees and Ben Mills as they blasted out bar muscle ups in 16.3 and I cursed my awful comprehension of gymnastics movements after/during 16.4. I’m sat here as I type, criticising my Thruster technique while my wife nods, knowingly…..

But, the reality is that the last 5 weeks have allowed me the opportunity to properly reflect on the journey (told you I’d get it in) since joining in August last year. I’ve a decent “engine” but I couldn’t bend at 99% of the hinges on my body. I also wasn’t not too bad at lobbing my bodyweight around, but put that weight on a bar and I would struggle hugely. In other words – I was ok at very specific things, usually involving a swim, a cycle and a run (insert humble Ironman reference here!) but Crossfit exposed me to a huge range of “things” that I should be able to do but couldn’t.

Coaching, hard work but most importantly, the “friendly” banter from the community, which at times did bring me to tears and made me question my whole existence, now means that I’m about to submit by 5th score having completed every workout “as prescribed.” I’ve achieved movements which had alluded me and I now have the motivation and desire to progress to the next level – because it’s always in reach. Yes, overhearing someone* lifting a PVC pipe overhead, miming a struggle while pretending to be me hurts, but now I can lift that PVC pipe like it’s, well, a PVC pipe.

(*Stedman)

I enjoy the competitive side of it. But I’m competing almost entirely with myself, and occasionally the people who happen to be a touch better than me for that particular workout. And the beauty is that it changes for each workout because we’re all different and all have different strengths. I’ve had a running rivalry with James Rodda throughout the Open, and believe me, we could not be more different in terms of Athletic capabilities if we tried. Yet we’ve been separated by a point the entire competition; there have been rivalries like that throughout the Crossfit Portishead community, tempered with masses of support and everyone wanting, hoping, to see someone push themselves to see what they could achieve. (I would like to go into writing to say that I think some of Rodda’s underhand spying tactics were a little unnecessary, but he looks that sort. Watch him people.)

16.5 is a simple workout. A simple workout that asks nothing more of you than effort. That you try, and at the end, that you think “that’s all I’ve got now” but “give me a few more weeks and let’s see what happens then.”

Oh, this is supposed to be a write-up about 16.5 though, isn’t it? Ok, my thrusters were terrible, my burpees ok and my throat and legs burnt.

May On-Ramp Course – Sign up now

Intro Course at CrossFit Portishead

Intro Course at CrossFit Portishead

CrossFit is full of abbreviations and acronyms.  One of them that you are likely to have heard of is On-Ramp.

So what is the On-Ramp?  What can you expect from it?

The aim of the On-Ramp (Introduction) course is to give you an exposure and teach you the Fundamental movements, plus a host of other movements that will appear in our main CrossFit Classes.  During this time, your movement patterns will be assessed which will enable us to effectively work on your skill development, especially when you start in our main classes.

Upon completion of the On-Ramp and by the time you reach the Main Classes, we would like to think you can confidently , safely and efficiently carry out the movements.

The Fundamental movements we cover are as follows:

Air Squat, Front Squat, Overhead Squat, Shoulder Press, Push Press, Push Jerk, Deadlift, Power Clean and Power Snatch

We will also introduce you to:
The Kettlebell, which will be utilised as a stability and conditioning tool;
Gymnastic work, which will help train your midline stability;
Plyometrics, such as box jumps and skipping;
Olympic Lifting, where we will cover the Snatch and the Clean + Jerk.

The On-Ramp is also an excellent opportunity to make new friends as over the course of the 8 sessions you will all be training together. The sessions take place on Monday and Thursday evenings at 8:00pm. The cost of the on-ramp session is £60

So, what are you waiting for.

Start your journey to a new and better you by signing up to our next On-Ramp course.

To book your place on our May on-ramp course Click Here

We look forward to seeing you at the Box soon.

CrossFit Games 16.4 – James Rodda – My Experience

JR

This week we get to hear from the man who provides the arms for CrossFit Portishead – James Rodda.  James has been a member of CrossFit Portishead for 1 year now and is competing in his first Open.  Here’s what he thought of 16.4

Five seconds! Come on, one more!”

My judge for the past 13 minutes is pushing me for one last handstand push-up but my mind and body have given up. I collapse into a crumpled, exhausted heap on the floor to hear the buzzer signal the end of 16.4. You’re probably wondering why on earth I’ve got myself into such a situation. That begins about a year ago…

Crossfit. I think these days, a lot more people have heard of it but even a year back I hadn’t until the box (Crossfit lingo for “gym”) started up and tempted me in for a trial. I had been doing weights at the gym for a good 9 or 10 years and, quite frankly, I was getting a little bit bored of it. Monday chest day, Tuesday legs, etc… I needed a new challenge. So after chatting to James At Crossfit Portishead, I decided to give it a go. The idea behind Crossfit is to do a wide variety of different types of exercise, such as Olympic lifting, bodyweight exercise, and aerobic exercise, at varying intensities in order to improve overall fitness. Some of the moves I was already familiar with; deadlifts, pull ups, kettlebell swings. Others were totally new to my routine; clean and jerk, muscle-ups, wall balls. Over the course of the following year though, I got stuck in and found the constant challenge thoroughly enjoyable.

So, fast forward a year and I arrive at my first Open. Five workouts spread over five weekends that pit every Crossfitter in the world against one another in a battle of the mind, body and soul. What’s not to like? Well, usually the workouts themselves actually! This week I was to take on 16.4: a grueling 13 minute amrap (as many rounds as possible) of 55 100kg deadlifts, 55 9kg wall balls, a 55 calorie row and 55 handstand push-ups. Mere mortals like myself would be happy to reach the HSPUs but the real elites will be hitting their second set of wall balls. Time to see what I can deliver.

As I arrive at the box I genuinely feel nervous. I know what’s coming up and, whilst I can deadlift over double the prescribed weight, one thing I’ve learnt from Crossfit is that you should never underestimate a workout! 16.4 would prove to be no exception. After setting up the equipment and giving each movement a few practice reps, it’s time. “3…2…1. Go!” First ten deadlifts sailed past with no problems. I decided beforehand to split my deadlifts into 10s and have a good 5 seconds between each set; it’s far too easy to go out too quickly and burnout, leaving you with nothing in the tank. The second and third sets came and went without any problem. Midway through the 40s I start to feel it in my lower back. My breathing was still OK so I focused on that and made sure I squeezed my glutes! As I ground out the final 5 reps, I suddenly realised what I was in for… I dropped the bar and turned round to start the wall balls, managing to waddle the few steps towards the wall. I picked up the ball and employed the same tactic of splitting into 10s. It didn’t help. My wall balls were all over the place. James (who had the pleasure of judging my score) thinks I did around 80 wall balls due to repeating no-reps. At one point, I threw the ball directly in the air and caught it again without touching the wall – three times in a row! A splendid waste of time and, more importantly, energy. Somehow though, I got through them and moved onto the rower. My game plan was always to use the row as a bit of recovery and take it fairly easy – thankfully, my body was more than willing to facilitate this! I finished the row with 10:48 on the clock leaving me just over two minutes for the HSPUs. The first two were surprisingly easy but after that, the past 11 and a half minutes took their toll, leaving me mostly on my hands and knees trying to muster up anything whatsoever. Two more laboured reps later and we’re back to the start of this story; with me in a sweaty heap on the floor. 169 reps to the good. Job done.

OK, I admit it. This doesn’t sound very enjoyable. And whilst you’re actually in the midst of it, it’s probably not. But when you finish there’s a definite sense of achievement and the next few days are full of discussions with your fellow athletes, waiting for other’s scores to come in. Crossfit’s “community” is arguably one of its best features and seeing how you compare to 300,000 other athletes is what makes The Open such a great challenge. I’ll certainly be taking part next year and I’m hoping that an additional years worth of training will have a positive impact on my scores. First though, time to tackle 16.5. Wish me luck!

April Weightlifting Course and Coaching Update

IMG_0702[1]

 

Whilst our members are hard at work bettering themselves, improving their skills, movement patterns, strength and aerobic capacity, our coaches are also at work developing and honing their coaching skills.

These improvements have a direct effect on the standard and quality of the coaching we are able to offer, and we are excited to announce to you the following update.

Recently, both James Grogan and James St Leger achieved their Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Weightlifting, through the leading UK governing body, British Weight Lifting.

On top of this they also both achieved their tutor and assessor qualification as an accredited British Weight Lifting Tutor, enabling them to teach, coach and assess other coaches.

So what does this mean for our members?

– A continued high level of coaching, both within normal classes and the specific Olympic Lifting Classes that we run.
– A finer eye for detail within the coaching environment.
– Continued high level structured progressive programming.
– The paved planning for future Olympic Lifting Workshops, Seminars and courses.

Our current schedule has a dedicated Weightlifting Class on Tuesday evening at 8pm, and all day during normal classes on a Wednesday.

If you are not sure what Olympic Lifting entails, and would like to give it a go, we are running a 4 week weightlifting course starting on Sunday 17th April from 10:00am – 12:00pm –  The course is £79 for members of CrossFit Portishead and £99 for non-members.   During the course you will learn both the theory and practical side of Olympic lifting.

 To book your place on the course – Click here – Then select weightlfting Course from within the sessions tab