A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO CROSS FIT
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.
Crossfit instructor Aidan Dawson.