– aim­ing for the crown

New Zealand Fitness - - IN THIS ISSUE - By Vanessa Buchanan

Luke wants to have the only CrossFit fa­cil­ity in Welling­ton to have two gym lo­ca­tions and to pro­vide the best pro­gram­ming, train­ing fa­cil­ity and CrossFit ex­pe­ri­ence to his mem­bers reach­ing a broad range of peo­ple no mat­ter what their level of abil­ity or age.

Luke started do­ing CrossFit just over two years ago. He had just fin­ished up his de­gree in Health Sci­ence at Massey Univer­sity and was work­ing as a per­sonal trainer at a lo­cal gym in Welling­ton. He started out by try­ing to re-cre­ate func­tional move­ment work­outs in the gym to im­prove his con­di­tion­ing for rugby. He was in­tro­duced to CrossFit by another mem­ber that was also train­ing at a lo­cal box (CrossFit gym) who in­vited him to watch a CrossFit com­pe­ti­tion that was be­ing hosted in Welling­ton. He was in­stantly hooked.

“There were two CrossFit Games ath­letes com­pet­ing and their phys­i­cal abil­ity was amaz­ing. It was the first time I’d seen peo­ple do bar­bell snatches and hand­stand push-ups and ring mus­cle ups, it was so crazy to me! I am a very com­pet­i­tive per­son so both the com­pe­ti­tion at­mos­phere and the phys­i­cal chal­lenge was enough for me, I knew this was what I wanted to do.”

Shortly fol­low­ing In­stinct Fit­ness was founded as an out­door boot­camp. Luke started by re­cruit­ing a few friends to do 6am classes with him charg­ing $10 for four weeks of classes that he would coach.

“I just wanted to get started and get peo­ple in­volved. I de­cided I wanted to open a gym, but on day one all I just needed was a group of in­di­vid­u­als who were will­ing to put their faith in me and give it a go.”

By 2014 In­stinct Fit­ness had opened its doors to over 65 mem­bers on Wil­lis Street in Welling­ton. In lit­tle over a year, Luke had opened his sec­ond train­ing fa­cil­ity in Thorn­don and be­came a CrossFit af­fil­i­ate along­side more than 17,000 other gyms glob­ally – us­ing CrossFit method­ol­ogy to get mem­bers in the best shape they’ve ever been in in their lives.

In his third sea­son of com­pe­ti­tion Luke is aim­ing to make it to the 2016 CrossFit Games in Car­son, Cal­i­for­nia, USA. Qual­i­fy­ing for the CrossFit Games con­sists of three stages – stage one is a five-week work­out on­line com­pe­ti­tion, called The Open. The Open is held in lo­cal CrossFit Af­fil­i­ates or garage gyms and is de­signed for any ath­lete, while still be­ing tough enough to find the fittest ath­letes and rank them on a leader board. In 2015 over 270,000 ath­letes aged be­tween 18 to 86 years old com­peted in the 2015 CrossFit Open around the world.

The best in a to­tal of 17 re­gions are in­vited to com­pete against each other in what is called Re­gion­als – this is stage two in mak­ing it to the games. Within the Pacific re­gion alone, only 30 men and 30 women from Aus­tralia and New Zealand are in­vited to take part in the Re­gion­als. This is a three­day event with seven work­outs de­signed to be a lit­tle heav­ier and more tech­ni­cal than The Open. In 2015 Luke made it to the CrossFit Pacific Re­gion­als and this year he has his sights set on mak­ing it to the CrossFit games.

“It was a huge ex­pe­ri­ence last year mak­ing it over to Wol­lon­gong for the Pacific Re­gion­als, but it made me re­alise that there wasn’t much be­tween me and the top guys – they weren’t su­per­hu­man.”

CrossFit is one of the fastest grow­ing sports around the world and ev­ery year since 2007, in­di­vid­u­als have com­pleted a se­ries of work­outs to qual­ify for The

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