North West Telegraph - - North West Lifestyle - Raquel de Brito

When Cross­Fit first broke into the Perth fit­ness scene about six years ago, there was an end­less pa­rade of videos be­ing broad­cast of hard­core ath­letes push­ing them­selves to the ab­so­lute limit.

As a re­sult, there is now a com­mon mis­con­cep­tion that Cross­Fit is only re­served for those at a su­pe­rior fit­ness level.

But Perth Cross­Fit Ac­cess owner Ai­dan Daw­son says this could not be fur­ther from the truth.

“We’ve got the mums, the dads, the grand­mas, peo­ple miss­ing a leg, four-year-olds, all the way up to 65-year-olds all do­ing Cross­Fit,” he says.

“The big­gest fight we have is, for some rea­son or another, when Cross­Fit was in its in­fancy, we pub­lished a lot of hard­core work­outs, and all the stuff that’s out there in the me­dia makes it look re­ally hard­core, and it’s not un­til you get into our en­vi­ron­ment do you re­alise that what’s ac­tu­ally out there be­ing pub­lished is only one per cent of what we do.”

The com­mu­nity-based fit­ness pro­gram in­volves a mix of gym­nas­tics, weightlift­ing and car­dio.

“Ba­si­cally, we take lit­tle as­pects of all the fit­ness pro­grams and fit­ness regimes and com­bine into one group fit­ness-type train­ing,” Mr Daw­son says. SF Gym West Coast Cross­Fit head coach Tracy Cooper sug­gests be­gin­ners start with two to three hourly classes a week for their first month or two and then build from there.

“Our classes start off with a warm-up to prep the body for the work­out, then we go through skills and skill de­vel­op­ment to make sure ev­ery­one is well versed in what’s hap­pen­ing within the ac­tual work­out, then we prep for the work­out, com­plete the work­out and then have a cool down,” she says.

And while Cross­Fit is suit­able for any fit­ness level, Mr Daw­son re­veals a com­mon bar­rier for peo­ple in­ter­ested in join­ing is the men­tal­ity ‘I want to do Cross­Fit, I’ll go get fit first’.

“They’ll go to a gym or they’ll go start run­ning and then they get in­jured be­cause they don’t have the cor­rect train­ing and then they’re like ‘Oh, this fit­ness thing is re­ally hard, Cross­Fit must be way harder, let’s not go’.”

But far from the blood, sweat and tears that many may ex­pect when sign­ing up, Mr Daw­son says they will have a lot of fun.

“Ev­ery sin­gle work­out that we do can be mod­i­fied to suit the fit­ness level of the peo­ple in that class,” he ex­plains.

Ac­cord­ing to Mr Daw­son, when peo­ple take that in­tim­i­dat­ing first step to join Cross­Fit, the usual re­ac­tion is they are com­pletely gob­s­macked when they re­alise they can ac­tu­ally do it.

“And it’s the same re­ac­tion ev­ery sin­gle time. They come in and they’re very timid, they’re al­most scared to walk through the door into this new en­vi­ron­ment and weights are bang­ing around and crash­ing and they think ‘I can’t do that’.

“And then when we ex­plain how it works and let them try it for a week, and then they fig­ure out that they can ac­tu­ally do th­ese ex­er­cises that they thought they couldn’t do.”

Ms Cooper says while Cross­Fit is ideal for build­ing strength, en­durance, co-or­di­na­tion and agility, its big­gest draw­card is ac­tu­ally its com­mu­nity.

“What we of­fer is a com­mu­nity and get­ting peo­ple in­volved and be­long­ing to some­thing. That sense of be­long­ing is re­ally im­por­tant to Cross­Fit,” she says.

“It’s that sense of be­long­ing and be­ing ac­count­able to each other that we find is what keeps peo­ple com­ing back, as op­posed to a nor­mal gym where you just go in on your own.”

Cross­Fit takes lit­tle as­pects of all the fit­ness pro­grams and regimes and com­bines them into one group fit­ness-type train­ing.

Cross­Fit in­volves a mix of gym­nas­tics, weightlift­ing and car­dio.

Picture: Iain Gille­spie

Cross­fit in­struc­tor Ai­dan Daw­son.

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