CrossFit con­verts praise ben­e­fits

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport - ABBY BROWN

CrossFit con­verts say the ac­tiv­ity is dif­fer­ent from other sports be­cause it makes them men­tally, as well as phys­i­cally, stronger.

A group of Fit­zone gym mem­bers, in­clud­ing Baylee Nor­ris, Kylie Karakia, Gabby Gif­ford, Sarah Hawke, Les McIl­roy and Char­lie Panapa, have seen those ben­e­fits.

They placed in the top 10 at their first CrossFit com­pe­ti­tion. Karakia placed fourth, Gif­ford fifth, Nor­ris eighth and Hawke tenth in the rookie cat­e­gory.

There were 27 peo­ple in that sec­tion.

McIl­roy placed sev­enth and Panapa eighth in the males sec­tion of the same cat­e­gory at the Ris­ing Stars com­pe­ti­tion in Te Rapa. There were 23 peo­ple in that sec­tion.

The group’s in­struc­tor Jodie Pryor, who has been in­volved with CrossFit for two years, de­scribed the ac­tiv­ity as a vig­or­ous work­out that com­bines weight train­ing, aer­o­bics and gym­nas­tics. She takes a group of up to 20 peo­ple, rang­ing in ages from 14 to 60, through a Work­out of the Day.

One of her par­tic­i­pants, McIl­roy, said ev­ery­one started at a be­gin­ner level. ‘‘It’s not just for fit peo­ple,’’ he said.

‘‘The trainer will judge your abil­ity and scale it to your level.’’

The group ac­tiv­ity makes peo­ple feel com­pet­i­tive but also en­cour­aged.

‘‘The per­son who fin­ishes last gets the most cheers,’’ Pryor said.

The main aim is to beat your last time, she said.

The group said even at the com­pe­ti­tion all the com­peti­tors cheered each other on and strangers were high-fiv­ing each other.

Through­out the day the com­peti­tors had to com­plete three work­outs against the clock.

Nor­ris was sub­mit­ting a work­out online for a teenage CrossFit com­pe­ti­tion.

If she places in the top ten she would qual­ify for a re­gional CrossFit com­pe­ti­tion.

The Waikato vol­ley­ball rep­re­sen­ta­tive and Thames Val­ley net­ball rep­re­sen­ta­tive said CrossFit made her men­tally stronger in a way team sport hadn’t.

‘‘It was weird hav­ing to push my­self af­ter play­ing team sport,’’ she said. CrossFit is high in­ten­sity in­ter­val train­ing. Orig­i­nally a fit­ness com­pany de­vel­oped by Greg Glass­man, it has now­be­come more of a work­out style than a brand. It aims to in­crease car­dio­vas­cu­lar en­durance, stamina, strength, flex­i­bil­ity, power, speed, co­or­di­na­tion and agility.

PHOTO: ABBY BROWN

Baylee Nor­ris, Kylie Karakia, Gabby Gif­ford, Sarah Hawke, Les McIl­roy (and Char­lie Panapa who was ab­sent) placed in the top 10 of the rookie sec­tion of their first CrossFit com­pe­ti­tion.

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