Am I the only person here excited for January?
I'm not so sure about that actually…as a lot of us (myself included) have now had their fill of turkey dinners, double desserts, fancy coffees and alcoholic beverages, a certain amount of reality has kicked in. We are in 'no man's land' at the minute with regard to our nutrition and our training.
With another holiday weekend coming up, it's very easy to just let yourself slide on into the weekend without even giving the slightest thought to your nutrition and exercise goals for the new year. If you let this happen, you will be regretting it come Tuesday. Even one gym session this week, a couple of regular sized, healthy meals and maybe even an alcohol free night will stand you in good stead for a strong start to the new year.
If you get the chance, you could maybe even take some time to clear your head and make some notes or possibly jot down some ideas for your meal prep for next week. Maybe even do some of said prep and stick it in the freezer. Get yourself a 2018 diary and write down your goals. Write down your plan and how you plan to execute it.
If these small details are in place, and you get yourself to the gym between now and Saturday to blow out the cobwebs, you will be primed and ready to go on Tuesday.
You have the opportunity to become a better version of yourself this January. The difference is, we don't stop at the end of January. We offer a sustainable program that is designed around long term, lasting results. Results that will change your life for good.
Here we are folks, incredibly less than a week away from Christmas!
Work Christmas parties are well underway and family and friends get togethers are happening on a daily basis.
So you're thinking, 'right, so he surely isn't going to try to advise people to eat well over the festive period!?' and you're right, I'm not. Well not completely. This is a time to let your hair down a bit. Have the beer, eat the sweets, have second helpings at the dinner table. At the end of the day, a week off plan over the period of a year isn't going to make a difference to your long term goals. Even professional athletes will be 'taking it easy' over Christmas.
But that doesn't mean you have to eat the full box of celebrations on your own, in a single sitting! What I would say though, would be to definitely make conscious decisions around your eating around this period, and don't feel guilty about it. Consciously eat the mince pie and savour every bit of it. Eat it slowly and mindfully, and then move on.
Mindlessly eating everything in your path at this time of the year is where a lot of people undo their good work. This is an emotional problem that people have with their food. The guilt will quickly set in after this and eating can spiral out of control as a more negative mindset takes hold. This will probably lead to some kind of 'quick fix diet' in early January. That is not what we are about
We don't want you to eat grilled chicken and steamed broccoli every day. We don't want you to eat cardboard like crackers with fresh air for breakfast. Who actually enjoys eating like that? We want you to eat foods you enjoy, foods that are sustainable, and foods that support your training and fitness goals in the long term. And at Christmas, that just happens to be mince pies, turkey, and possibly some wine.…enjoy it while it lasts folks, and keep and eye out for what we have in store for the new year!
It is also the most enjoyable exercise plan in the world, ever…..
Why do we say that? Regardless of the huge physiological benefits which CrossFit can deliver such as improved strength, stamina, endurance, reduced body fat etc etc ( the list goes on and on and on…) one of CrossFit’s major strengths ( no pun intended) is adherence.
In other words you will actually go.
You could obtain the most thorough and detailed exercise program created personally for you by the most qualified, experienced fitness expert on the planet but if you don’t go to the gym and follow it to the letter then it is worthless. Typically you may last 2/3 weeks and then as boredom sets in you will either jump to a new, shiny program or worse, just stop completely.
In fact, that’s how the traditional gym model works. It is totally reliant on members NOT showing up. If you are a large gym chain or government fitness centre with 3000+ members, what happens if all it’s members show up on a Monday? Chaos.
But don’t worry, that will never happen as the success of their volume based, budget priced business model is completely reliant on absentee members. That’s why we see all the January memes and jokes about getting a space on a treadmill.
CrossFit gyms are different, we want and need you to attend for both us and you to be successful.
With CrossFit you show up.
When you just start you will usually have made friends after a few weeks and also seen some initial results and progress. Your Coach knows your name, knows what you are good at and what you need to work on. ( As will your friends!!)
This community environment with everyone doing the same workout under the guidance of a Coach ensures a level of accountability that will keep you coming back.
You measure your progress through recording your lifts & workout times so you know you are making progress without guesswork and with our constantly varied style of programming we ensure that boredom won't set in.
After you CrossFit for any significant period of time, it is virtually impossible to return to any other style of training or class unless you happen to have the motivation levels of Tony Robbins.
Which is highly unlikely, otherwise you wouldn’t have tried CrossFit in the first place.
In the words of one of CrossFit’s most famous competitors Samantha Briggs:
"When you have worked hard all day this is your own time when you should be having fun and getting fit. Exercise shouldn’t feel like a chore. It should be fun. This is your release."
With CrossFit you show up, have a laugh, get fitter and be happy. Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat.
In the first of our 'Client Stories' features, we caught up with Brenda Murray. Brenda has been a member of the 7:30pm crew for some time now though she is know to drop in to a few other time slots every now and again.
What made you join CrossFit Antrim?
I wanted to loose weight as I was always tired and felt very uncomfortable, I seen CrossFit as an opportunity for me and wanted to attempt this as I wanted to get a healthier lifestyle and increase my fitness.
I found myself very stubborn and always wanted to show people that I can do it, I also wanted to show myself that I can't beat anything that comes at me.
I found it as a challenge for me to step over the door into a whole new different surrounding. A very nervous day for me but I overcome the nerves and got signed up for the onramp. Once I done this I felt totally different as I knew I was ready for this challenge ahead.
I completed the onramp and enjoyed every part of this as it was something different, learning different movements etc, I then decided that I would like some PT sessions as I felt this would help me gain more confidence when being in the CrossFit class.
I completed the PT sessions and I found myself ready for the classes and from that point to now I have enjoyed my journey but this is a journey I am not ready to stop.
What were your first impressions of CrossFit Antrim?
My first impressions of CrossFit Antrim was that I felt I wouldn't be able to do any of the movements during my onramp, but to my surprise I beat this and was capable of doing all.
I love the whole concept of this as this is not just your normal boring running on a treadmill, CrossFit is totally different from anything I have ever done before.
Another impression of CrossFit Antrim/Magherafelt would have to be down to the coaches and staff, each one of them are all very helpful and are always close at hand during the classes etc.
Even outside of the gym I would generally receive text messages, these just being your normal check up message to see how I was getting on with the PT sessions.
With being in a gym like Crossfit I find it great as I have met and became great friends with alot of folk. I believe this is what a gym is all about meeting people and having everyone there to help each other out.
Why have you stayed?
This is easy......I love it, love how it makes me feel, love how my body has changed since I joined up (even though that was a nervous day), I find myself being more positive in thinking about my health and not having to worry as much as I previously did.
Another reason as to why I have stayed would be down to the CrossFit family - I love them all, every coach, staff, members in both Antrim and Magherafelt they have been a big part of me staying.
You feel welcomed every morning or evening depending on the class you have booked into, you feel accepted as everyone else.
During each class it's all team work in the strength parts, but down to your workout if you are the last person to finish other members come over and encourage you to keep going until you have all the reps completed and also the coaches would be over to encourage you also.
The coaches and the friends I have made are another main factor as to why I have stayed with CrossFit, you really are a valued part of CrossFit Antrim and I am please to be part of an amazing CrossFit family.
What is your next fitness goal?
My next goal in CFA would be to get my double unders, to get these would be a massive goal for me and eventually get my pull ups.
Another goal or goals I would like to keep on achieving would be to do more or the announced workouts in "RX" form and also increase my PB's.
I was once told that I was not allowed to lift anything heavier than 2.5kg, but with being in CFA I have proved people (doctors) wrong and here is some of my PB's I have achieved during my year in CFA.
~Back Squat 55kg
~Front Squat 50kg
I would love to beat my above PB's and achieve more!
I have vowed to keep going and achieve more, I feel getting PB's make you feel great and give you a positive thinking as I previously mentioned "I can do it"
What changes have you noticed to your health and fitness since joining?
Some folk may be aware of this and some may not, but I was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2015. A very big shock to me, my husband and both families and including my friends. I never smoked, never consumed alcohol and understood I was healthy.
During the time of my treatment I gained a lot of weight (which I couldn't help) but my treatment ended in December'15.
My doctors recommended that I was to get fit and loose body fat to minimise the risk of it coming back.
This is why I plucked up the courage and being nervous stepped over the door of CFA and spoke with MT and signed up in July'16.
From being diagnosed up to present the doctors are very happy with my progress and have also noted the determination I have shown.
Would you recommend CFA to a friend?
I have mentioned CrossFit to my family and friends in numerous occasions about getting them on board and getting fit and healthy.
I would love to see a lot more of my friends in CrossFit as I am proud of how far I have come from day 1 to now.
I enjoy doing CrossFit and especially everyone in here. This has been the longest I have ever stuck at a gym as I love it.
This is not like anywhere else where you are left to work at it yourself.
With CFA you have the help from everyone around you.
CrossFit has changed my life in a very big and positive way. It is so much fun and incredibly supportive and motivating place to be.
As I said at the start "I can do it" and I am proof of that.