Friday, 3 November 2017

Take this quiz to discover if CrossFit is for you.

1: Do you consider yourself:
a - overweight
b - about right
c - underweight

2: Do you consider yourself to be:
a - incredibly unfit
b - an elite athlete
c - in reasonable shape

3: Are you:
a - tired all the time
b - full of beans
c - have peaks and troughs of energy throughout the day

4 - Do you have:
a - none of your legs
b - some your legs
c - all of your legs

5 - Do you have:
a - a small window of opportunity
b - all day to train
c - some windows of opportunity

6 - Do you spend money each week on:
a - alcohol, chocolate and/or crisps
b - protein shakes
c- fresh fruit and veg

7 - Do you:
a - hate physical exercise
b - turn everything you do into a competitive training opportunity
c - like a bit of a brisk walk every so often

8 - Are you looking for:
a - a change in your life that makes it better
b - a competitive outlet that makes you an even more badass version of you
c - a new challenge

Mostly As
CrossFit is perfect for you!  You need to make some serious changes in your life but you need a guiding hand.  The great news is CrossFit Uckfield is there with you every step of the way, walking and talking you through everything.  Everyone at CrossFit Uckfield has been a beginner - many still are - so they all understand what it feels like to walk through those doors for the first time. CrossFit Uckfield prides itself on being a non-judgmental, safe, friendly and supportive space that encourages everyone to get the most from every session, at your own pace! If CrossFit sounds a bit too intense to start with, why not give FitClub a try?
Contact us now to arrange membership or to book a free FitClub taster session!

Mostly Bs
You are perfect for CrossFit.  This is what you have always been searching for in all the sports and gyms you have explored over the years.  At CrossFit Uckfield, you will find a competitive environment that challenges you every session.  We will build on every aspect of your physical capabilities, from strength, power and speed to balance, coordination and accuracy. Our strength and conditioning programming can be supplemented with our CompClass or MasterClass programming and Olympic Weightlifting Classes making you a more well-rounded athlete than you already are, with regular opportunities to compete in local, National and international competitions.
Contact us now to arrange membership!

Mostly Cs
You and CrossFit are a match made in heaven! CrossFit will help you tone those muscles, keep on top of bodyfat and increase your fitness levels.  You'll learn cool new tricks and skills and build strength you didn't think was possible.  You'll mix with a great bunch of like-minded people in a fun, inspiring and supportive environment.  CrossFit is as competitive as you want it to be; so whether you are happy focusing on being better than you were yesterday or you want to compete within the gym or at a national or international level, CrossFit Uckfield is the place for you.
Contact us now to arrange membership!


Friday, 16 June 2017

The Impatient CrossFitter

CrossFit is like spinning plates.  There is so much to learn and so much to improve and as CrossFit punishes the specialist, these improvements have to be made across the board.  


This is really hard to do when we consider quite how long the list of movements is.  As CrossFitters, we have to work on getting stronger because if we are stronger, then everything we do is easier.


As CrossFitters, we have to work on gymnastics skills and while gymnastic skills (when done well) look super awesome, getting to that point of looking super awesome is pretty unsexy.  It involves a lot of repetitive, often dull, goat work.



As CrossFitters, we have to work on Olympic Weightlifting. This is one of the hardest thing to get our heads round because when it's done well, it looks effortless but as any of us who have ever worked on weightlifting know, those effortless lifts take an enormous amount of time and work behind the scenes.  And again, snatch-grip deadlifts with pauses in the power position, without an actual snatch, are not very sexy but they are integral to our learning journey.

On top of all this, us CrossFitters have to work on getting fitter and faster too while keeping on top of our balance, coordination, power, speed, etc etc.  not forgetting to devote AS MUCH TIME AGAIN to recovery (eating well, sleeping well, mobility and massage).


CrossFit is therefore incredibly frustrating for the impatient. So how do we manage these spinning plates at CrossFit Uckfield and how do we try to manage the development, expectations and frustrations of The Impatient?


Firstly: programming.

The programming is really carefully designed to ensure progression across the board. But not only that, the programming is written with you guys in mind.  It takes into account the wide variety of abilities in the gym (this is where a history of primary school planning and assessment comes in incredibly handy!) it focuses on eliminating weakness, developing strengths and improving movement using regular gap analyses of your individual needs.  Trust the programming; it is there to improve everything all at once. If you look good, I look good, so it makes sense for me to give you the best programming for your individual needs, which is why a lot of what you do is personalised for you. Sometimes that will be a specific mobility drill, a specific warm up, a particular weight or movement, a specific cue or scaling option.  We do not do a one size fits all at CrossFit Uckfield.

Secondly: coaching.

The coaching at CrossFit Uckfield focuses on making sure the basics are covered, starting with your intro course and building from there.  We have a brilliant Couch to CrossFit program that focuses on developing excellent form and technique way before intensity is added. As coaches, we are able to identify, as you work, where your weaknesses lie, how your movement can be improved and to triage these into what needs to be addressed first.


Thirdly: adaptation.

We are constantly adapting to your needs which means the programming will change depending on what is happening in the gym.  This serves not only to ensure continued progression but also keeps the classes fresh and new as they are always changing and improving and focusing on your unique requirements.  This is why recently, I have added a targeted warm-up into the programming.  This is a five minute slot of time (it's short, I know but it's amazing what can be achieved with 5 minute's focused work each time you come to the gym) where we focus on one thing you want to improve. There have been some really magnificent and dramatic improvements with this targeted warm up.

It helps to see CrossFit more like learning a Martial Art.  It takes time; I mean years, to master most of these skills. This is not a 6 month hobby. It is not even a 2 year phase. CrossFit is a lifelong learning journey with many, many ups and downs. We know we can't be a specialist in CrossFit so we need to focus more on becoming less shit at everything across the board.

Take your time in the beginning and you will create a much stronger and more solid foundation. It will save you time in the long run as you won't need to go back and relearn stuff you should have focused on in the beginning.

I have records of your lifts and movements and so I can see across the board the improvements you guys are making and I can see where the gaps lie. We work together to plug those gaps.

With this integrated approach to your training, we are building a gym filled with wonderful, friendly, supportive, constantly improving CrossFitters!  As always, I am incredibly proud of each and every one of you and I feel incredibly privileged to work with such a genuinely kind, entertaining and hard-working bunch of people. I truly do have the best job in the world.

Coach Krish xx









Monday, 15 May 2017

MEMBER STORY #3

Maggie's Story.
Not everyone has a dramatic story to tell.  Most of us are just normal people discovering things about ourselves and trying to live a fitter, healthier life.  Maggie's story will resonate with many of us as she found a way to feel better with a few small steps for some very great results!

2012
I started this whole journey when I was still living in Dubai at the beginning of 2012.  My daughter was turning 1 and I was so aware that I was overweight and unfit.  I was overweight before having children but pregnancy really had not helped the situation.  I tried walking but could never motivate myself to go regularly enough.  I thought about doing exercise apps or dvds but never actually did anything.  Meanwhile, I was eating everything!  Looking back, I thought I was eating healthily and making informed decisions.  I was not!  
Then up popped Krish’s blog, explaining how she and her husband, Russ, had lost some weight and got a lot fitter.  Now I had always trusted their opinions and knew that if they did something like this they would do it as scientifically and logically as possible and avoid all fads and trends unless they could be proven to be effective.  So I was interested and I read and researched a bit myself.  I found that Krish said a lot of things that resonated with me…  
The most significant thing was the basic paleo philosophy – keep it simple.  Eat clean, move more, sleep well.  It made so much sense to me.  
However, there were a few times I would read her latest post and not be happy...I remember reading Krish’s blog about going paleo and swearing at the screen, “I have just got my head around fucking oatcakes and no bread and now you do this to me!”  I was not convinced and it took a lot of research and thinking through it all to realise she was right.
I started doing some bootcamp classes and a bit of netball and tweaking my diet but it wasn’t until I moved back to Sussex in 2014 when the really big changes occurred.
2014

Almost as soon as we moved back to Uckfield I started going to the little gym in Krish's garage; only twice a week to start but it was just lovely.  My CrossFit buddy, Helen, started at the same time and was in same state as I was so it was helpful and motivating to go through this together.  Krish got us hooked on lifting weights -  you can’t beat a really heavy deadlift to make you feel awesome!  I slowly started eating a more paleo style diet and began to feel the benefits.  
I changed shape, lost inches and lost weight and I began to feel fit and strong.  I stopped weighing myself; t didn’t matter anymore;
the only time I wanted to know was to discover what percentage of my body weight could I lift.
It stopped being about the kilos on the scale and became all about the kilos on the bar!
My reason for doing this was and still is, to stay out of hospital.  I want to be able to move independently when I am in my 70s or 80s.  I want to avoid all the modern diseases that seem to inflict so many of us now like diabetes and heart disease.  If I do get something like cancer, I want to give myself a fighting chance by being as fit and strong as I can be.  
My game changer WOD
There is one particular WOD (workout of the day) that transformed the way I think and feel about my body – Nancy.  This was the first benchmark WOD I was able to do Rxd (as prescribed) which is a significant step in any CrossFitter’s journey.  15 x 30kg OH squats and a 400m run – five times. It took me over 30 minutes. I was the only one in that morning; it was incredibly hot and it felt like it was never going to end but I completed it. I had never felt so strong and fit and that feeling stayed with me for days. For the first time in my life, every time I looked in the mirror I was no longer ashamed of my body; I was proud of it.
That had NEVER happened before!  
It didn’t last forever.  A few months later I was getting changed to go out with friends and everything I tried on seemed a disaster.  I felt like I looked like a middle-aged, frumpy mum, which is hard to take when you still feel 16.  However, it suddenly struck me that I didn’t look any different from when I did Nancy.  My body hadn’t changed at all so if I felt good about myself then, what was stopping me from feeling the same way about myself right now?  So I threw on the first top I had tried and chucked on a pair of jeans and went out…and had a great time!
CrossFit has completely transformed the way I feel about my body.  I am no longer ashamed of it.  Yes, I have wobbly, flabby parts but it just doesn’t matter.  
I feel strong, healthy and fit.  
I could never have imagined in those Dubai days where I would end up with all this.
Since returning to the UK and discovering CrossFit, I have competed in CrossFit competitions and taken my Level 1 CrossFit Trainer's Certificate and I'm now a coach at CrossFit Uckfield, helping others discover what I did!



Monday, 8 May 2017

MEMBER STORY - #2


Oly’s CrossFit Story
I had never even heard of CrossFit when I found somehow I had entered a competition.  

Not being one to shy away from trying new things, I wasn’t fazed by this.  It was while I was scrolling through Facebook (probably while on the loo, like you do) that I came across this competition.  A fellow double amputee, whose aim is to enable more disabled people to get into fitness by adapting and overcoming any boundaries, was organizing it.  
I turned up at Crossfit Connect gym in Portslade on a Saturday morning having done zero training; I was completely unprepared.  I met Barnaby and Holly, the owners, who were really nice people and very welcoming.  

I looked at the WOD sheet and it was like looking at another language.  After receiving our t-shirts and a quick warm up, we got underway.  

First off was a sled pull - 4 lengths of the astro strip - 80kg if I remember correctly.  What I was most surprised about, was the fact that so many strangers were there cheering me on (my own family were  there too) Next came wall balls, a 10 calorie row and ball slams.  The first round was fine but I’m not proud of what happened next...I threw up!  Luckily I managed to get outside, not like another person who decorated the floor.  
After finishing this competition and making some new friends, I was bitten by the crossfit bug!

The next leg of my journey if you’ll pardon the pun was entering the crossfit open.  Some may call me mad, that after just one crossfit experience I was entering a worldwide competition with some of the fittest people in the world.  

I do like a challenge!

The next part of my journey involves CrossFit Uckfield.  I’m a big social media user and the aforementioned gym popped up on Instagram.  So after some deliberating about whether I wanted to continue with this crazy exercise regime that makes you vomit, I e-mailed Krish.

I explained that I had just entered the Open and would it be possible to join them for the workouts.  I received a reply just a few hours later saying that it would be fine and I should come for a chat and a look around.  So I did.  I visited the gym on a Saturday morning and chatted to Krish and booked straight onto the intro course so we could go through the movements and work on any adaptations necessary.  




I joined their Facebook group and was immediately welcomed by all members; some of them even fighting over me to join their team!  At this point I thought: I’m going to like this Crossfit thing!


The Open was only two weeks away so I booked into a class.  My first ever proper Crossfit WOD was ‘filthy fifty’.  It bloody well nearly killed me! I ached for days after but I’m one of those weird people that enjoy the pain.



So the Open came and went and I really enjoyed it. I managed all the workouts with a few adaptations here and there and I even did workout 17.3 legless!  =)

One thing I really love about Crossfit is the family feeling of it all; you just don’t get that in other gyms.  Everyone cheers you on when you’re doing workouts and there is even beer after (sometimes…)

For anyone who is stuck in a rut at their current gym, I urge you to try Crossfit; you might find that you love it just as I do!




Thursday, 4 May 2017

You could totally get to Regionals!

I will start this post by saying I am a firm believer that
if you want something badly enough, you will find a way to make it happen.
I also believe that each and every one of you has the potential to do great things with CrossFit, if you approach it the right way.  

The thing with CrossFit is that it seduces you. With the right programming, coaching and attitude, you get such quick, amazing result with CrossFit that your self-esteem rockets.  Which, don’t get me wrong, is a very, very good thing. Low self esteem is a ruiner of lives.  So thank you CrossFit for enabling us to feel so much better about ourselves in a genuinely healthy, positive and fun way.

But it seduces you.  

It’s like falling in love, reluctantly, with a charming rogue.  It starts by knocking you for 6 and confuses you.  How can something that beats you up so bad be so addictive?  How can something that, some days, makes you want to cry keep you coming back for more?  

Because it seduces you.

But just as you can’t see the lovable rogue beyond the charming smile and sweet nothings, you stop being able to see CrossFit with any perspective.  If you want to be good at CrossFit, you need a coach who will tell you the truth.  Not a coach who will fluff your ego and tell you what you want to hear.  

What we want to hear is: ‘You could be a really good competitor.  You could get to regionals.’

When we are told this, it makes us feel warm and fuzzy and spikes our self-esteem.  

But we are being seduced.

This is what it takes to go to the CrossFit Games: minimum 4-5 hours training a day, 6 days a week, every week, including daily mobility and weekly sports massage.  Constant coaching and personalised programming to ensure perfect form across the board. Perfect genetics.  Perfect nutrition, no deviations. No major muscle imbalances or mobility issues. Incredible mental fortitude and the ability to keep going when it sucks the biggest, fattest, hairy balls ever. Luck.

This is what it takes to get to Regionals: minimum 2-3 hours training a day, 6 days a week, every week, including daily mobility and regular sports massage.  Constant coaching and some personalised programming to ensure perfect form across the board. Very good genetics. Perfect nutrition, few deviations.  No major muscle imbalances or mobility issues. Mental fortitude. Luck.

This is what it takes to be a good competitor in UK and European comps: minimum 1-2 hours training a day, 6 days a week, every week. Constant coaching and great programming to ensure perfect form across the board. Great genetics. Excellent nutrition, few deviations. No major muscle imbalances or mobility issues. Mental fortitude. Luck.

If you want to compete, you need to get real.  
I believe in every single one of you and I truly believe that if you want something badly enough then you will find a way to make it happen.  But, and this is a fuck-off massive but, you need to get real.

If you have a family and a job or any sort of life, you are going to have to make sacrifices in order to do what needs to be done.  If you have any deficiencies in movement, skill or mobility, you need to leave your ego at the door, forget the numbers on the board and address them.  If you cannot do a pullup, stop trying to do muscleups. If you cannot do a pressup, you need to sort that shit out!  If your kipping pullups resemble a floundering fish, stop it!  Just stop it! Get your coach to show you how to do it right, work like a bastard and do it right!

The reason we have the targeted warm ups in our gym is to help you address your gaps.  For most of you, this will be enough.  If you are serious about competing, it probably won’t touch the sides.

As your coach, I have a million resources at my disposal to help you achieve your goals, I know your movement, I know your imbalances and your deficiencies, but the case may be that you either need to come in more often, find a way to get to open gym every day or invest in a course of personal coaching to address particular issues.  

Let me end with this: CrossFit is addictive and it is effective but it can mess with your head.  Try not to get lured into the, ‘If I just worked a bit harder I could get to Regionals’ trap.  You could, of course you could but don’t for one second underestimate the amount of work, dedication and sacrifices this would take.  The training will not always be fun.  Sometimes you will hate it.  If you want to love CrossFit, think hard about where you want to go with it.  Think seriously about why you are doing it.  

And don’t let anyone flatter or beguile you into thinking you are Regionals ready, if only you had the right mix.  If you are serious about competing, then you need to get serious and that starts with a brutally honest dialogue with your coach.

If you want to talk about competing seriously, then book an appointment to chat with me and we will come up with a plan.  

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

MEMBER STORY - #1 - Verity

Verity's CrossFit Journey

Verity's journey is an important one because there are so many women and men out there for whom food has a hold over them to such an extent they feel trapped in a downward spiral.

Verity demonstrates that by focusing on what your body can do - the amazing things it's capable of - rather than what you believe it to look like, you can free yourself from a cyclical life of punishing diets and guilt.

"The weight on the bar is more important than the number on the scales."

Verity:

"I finally decided to take control of my life at the age of 34.

From the age of around 8 or 9 I started to believe I was fat. No matter what I was told, I believed I was huge.

I used to feel embarrassed with every food shop, eating in public, believing people were looking at me wondering why I was eating because I obviously had some serious weight to shift.

I began to abuse laxatives around 10 or 11 years-old and learnt the fine art of making myself sick after meals. I tried every diet going. The high point being the celery diet! I literally only allowed myself to eat celery and drink tea, nothing else.

My weight in adulthood stayed between 7 and 8 stones. I was constantly exhausted and miserable.

So after finally admitting what my life was like, I took control.

I do CrossFit as it allows me to eat and not feel guilty.

The weight on the bar is more important than the number on the scales.

I've learnt to throw clothes away that no longer fit. I know I'm never going to starve myself to fit into them again. I no longer shop in children's clothes sections.

Do I ever relapse? Yes. Do I sometimes obsess about the fact I no longer have a thigh gap? Yes. The difference since CrossFit? I go and train. Sometimes I can't face talking, I have to just lift and get through a shit workout to realise what my body and fucked up head can push through.


It's not always plain sailing but I'm pretty confident I control food rather than the food controlling me."



Thank you for sharing your story with us, Verity - I'm sure many people will relate to it. If you would like to share your story, please don't hesitate to get in touch.




Friday, 31 March 2017

CrossFit for the Oldies but Goodies.

If you're over 40 and you do CrossFit, chances are you're not a million miles behind the youngsters and you give them a good run for their money during some wods and you can lift just as heavy, often heavier.  
But I bet sometimes it takes you days to recover from a grueling wod.  I bet your shoulders are a little shot and your ankles and hips could do with a spot of oiling.  A lot of the time it feels like you've been hit by a bus. Sometimes it feels like you're going backwards and all you can see is the 20 year old PBing every session....

Once you're over 40, things change a bit but it doesn't mean you can't still PB regularly with the rest of them  - it's just a little harder going than it was in your twenties.

A lot of masters athletes in a CrossFit gym have well over 30 years of learnt bad behaviour and ingrained movement patterns to get over that CrossFit just can't fix in a couple of months or even a couple of years. We need to realise we are a work in progress - like painting the Forth Bridge - we just manage to sort out our hip mobility and it's time to move onto the shoulders.  We fix them and the hips need revisiting.  Just as CrossFit itself is like spinning plates - you need to keep on top of all the movements all the time - it's the same with mobility.

The trouble is, when you're an over 40s athlete and you do pretty well in a wod, you start to think you're 20 again.  You train with those younger guys - you're not a million miles away in terms of strength and fitness, you might even have the edge on them mentally but I tell you what you are unlikely to have over them and that is flexibility and mobility.  You have had more years to develop tight pecs, weak lats, tight hip flexors, weak glutes.  In short, you are stiff and creaky and a little bit knackered!  Unless you're an ex gymnast, dancer or spend more than 2 hours a day with a lax ball shoved up your piriformis, it's going to show.  And the trouble with mobility issues is they will lead to injury.

As an over 40s athlete you need to spend much, much, much more time looking after yourself and recovering!

So how do we do this?

Recovery starts with sleep.  

If you aren't sleeping well, your body just can't repair muscle.  If your body doesn't have time to repair the muscle, you are just adding more and more damage with every workout that your poor old body doesn't have time to repair.  You will end up working really hard but not seeing any gains in strength or muscle because you aren't sleeping well enough to allow that to happen.

SORT OUT YOUR SLEEP!

  • Make sure your room is dark - NO lights from anything charging or on standby.
  • Drink something warming before bed, chamomile tea, warm vanilla coconut milk, whatever - obviously not coffee or caffeinated tea.
  • Try to eliminate all screens at least half an hour before lights out.
  • Get rid of your worries. List them into two columns, on paper or in your head: those you can do something about and those you cannot.  If you can do something about it, do - and then you can stop worrying.  If there is nothing to be done, don't waste your energy worrying - it will change nothing for the better.

Recovery doesn't just require full-on sleep, it requires rest time.

If you are knackered, take a break!  

If you are ill, don't train - especially if you are sick or have a chest infection!  You will delay your recovery by training.  Add in the occasional day dedicated to mobility - spend your training time rolling your quads or hamstrings, stretching and twisting that T-spine - get more mobile!
Realise that even a week or two off training completely just isn't going to turn you into a useless blob!

Recovery needs fuel.  

If you aren't eating right, your body is going to struggle to repair itself.  If you do resistance training, which CrossFit is, your body is repairing muscle (and burning calories) for around 48 hours after you stop training. Therefore, you don't only have only a 45 minute window of gains, you have 48 hours in which to make good food choices.  You need protein - around a palm sized amount of meat per meal - some fat (11 almonds.....) and the rest of your plate should be carbohydrate - vegetables - not bread and pasta necessarily - green leafy vegetables, colourful peppers and carrots, berries....
Straight after a workout, get some carbs into you to replenish your energy stores - a banana or an apple is good - I like those little pouches of fruit baby food - they get into you quickly.


We oldies also need A LOT of mobility.

We are old and broken and we need to mend our broken ways. We need to spend more time than the younger guys warming up and getting those stiff joints oiled. To get those joints through their FULL range of motion, we need a lot of maintenance - Mobility Wod is great for this as is just taking some time with a foam roller and a lax ball to smooth out those old, knotted muscles. Watching the TV of an evening?  You're a captive audience - do some mobility!

Get regular massages - a sports massage with a physical therapist is essential if you know you are in trouble - if you know your squat needs fixing or your overhead position sucks or something hurts and won't stop hurting.  If you just need to keep it ticking over, just get a back and shoulder massage every few weeks.  It's an investment in your future mobility.

Recovery also needs mental space.  

Keep your training in perspective.  

If you are stressing over missing a session because life has got in the way - you need a bit of perspective. Remember why you are training in the first place. Very, very few over 40s make it to the CrossFit Games each year - work out your reasons for doing CrossFit and remind yourself regularly that while it is fun to give those 20 year-olds a run for their money, it is still just a workout!