WOD – Saterday 26 September 2020

    6 Rounds for Time
    12 Synchronized Burpees
    16 Kettlebell Swings (24/16kg)
    49 Wall Ball Shots (20/14lbs)
    400M Run (Together)

A CrossFit Startup Guide: Part 2

A Brief Explanation of Fitness

Fitness, most broadly defined, is the ability to handle the demands of your life. Each of us has both different and unpredictable demands. A firefighter has no idea how big the fire will be on his next call, just as Grandma has no idea how heavy each grocery bag will be the next time she goes to the store. Very different concerns, for certain, but the ability to handle each requires the same basic abilities. As Coach Glassman has said for years, “The needs of our grandparents and soldiers differ in degree, not kind.” These needs are the functional competencies to move our own bodies and external objects through three-dimensional space.


The CrossFit exercises that we use the most are what we have found to be the most effective ways to build a broad, general, and inclusive functional competence. Squatting, picking things up off the ground, putting things overhead, pulling ourselves up, running, jumping, throwing; these are the movements of life, and done with intensity, they prepare us for the demands of life.


Many people wonder why CrossFit workouts are timed. There are several reasons for this, the most important being intensity. Remember that average power is work divided by time. The same work done in less time is more power and more intensity. Your first workouts should be done at a relatively low intensity. This is essential for you to both learn the proper mechanics of the movements and to let your body acclimate to the workload. Every time you repeat a workout, you can compare your performance and see if you are increasing your power (therefore intensity).


For example, if you do exactly the same number of reps at the same loads in less time, your intensity went up. If you increased the loads and kept the same time (or finished even quicker), your intensity went up. These direct comparisons give you a quantifiable gauge to the increase of your fitness. You are measuring the changes in your capacity and scientifically proving that you are getting fitter and more capable.


CrossFit has a concise yet comprehensive definition of fitness that is a bit of a mouthful: Fitness is increased work capacity across broad time, modal, and age domains. What this means is that you have functional capacity in all different types of movements at a variety of durations of effort, throughout your life. If you are increasing this broad work capacity, you will be competent at both short bursts of activity and extended, longer workouts.


The great majority of functional movements are complex and difficult to master. But the advantages of developing proficiency in them far outweigh the inconvenience and effort required to learn them. There are physical and neurological benefits uniquely associated with these movement patterns, benefits that translate broadly into the various movements and skills of life.


For a more in-depth discussion on technique and its affect on fitness, read Greg Glassman’s revolutionary feature CrossFit Journal article, What Is Fitness? http://journal.crossfit.com/2002/10/what-is-fitnessby-greg-glassm.tpl


To be continued…


Coming in Part 3: Start with the Squat


About the Author

Todd Widman is a former Marine, and a CrossFit Level 4 trainer. He spends a significant portion of his time traveling around the country (and world) working the CrossFit Level 1 and Level 2 seminars. 

CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc. © All rights reserved.

A CrossFit Startup Guide: Part 1

Here’s a quick overview to get CrossFit beginners up to speed.

New to CrossFit and not sure where to begin? If so, then welcome. This series will address the primary concerns and focal points for a starting CrossFit athlete, orienting your use of resources throughout the entire CrossFit.com universe.

What you will find here are some tools to focus your entry into CrossFit workouts and fitness in general. Gone are the promises of easy and comfortable results. The best CrossFitters educate themselves both about movement and fitness broadly, as well as about their own individual strengths and weaknesses.

Of course, the best way to begin CrossFit is with a great trainer who uses his or her vast experience to guide you through the various phases of your fitness quest. This series is not intended to equal that. It cannot. Instead, we recognize that not everyone has access to such a trainer, and this will help those folks get the most out of the vast resources available on CrossFit.com.


Three-part Charter:

Mechanics, Consistency, Intensity

The first and most important component of beginning CrossFit is to follow our charter of mechanics, consistency, and then intensity. These three aspects are intricately interrelated; CrossFit does not work to its potential unless you execute each one and understand how it is bound to the others.

Mechanics refers to technique—your ability to move properly through our core movements. For us, this means moving yourself and external objects in the most efficient, effective, and safe manner possible.

Consistency has a two-part application: 1) That you are consistent in performing the mechanics of the movement; and 2) That you are consistent in CrossFit workouts. Both are necessary! CrossFit workouts are very potent medicine; too much too soon and you can severely hurt yourself. Luckily, the body adapts quickly, and before you know it, you will be hitting each workout with maximum personal intensity.

Intensity, as Coach Greg Glassman, founder and CEO of CrossFit, formally states, is the independent variable most commonly associated with the rate of return on favorable adaptation. More simply put, intensity brings about all the good results from working out. However, we also have to realize that intensity is relative to our physical and psychological tolerances. This is a process, and one that takes an indeterminate amount of time, so be patient. Elite-level athletes may be ready to ramp up their intensity in a couple of weeks, while de-conditioned athletes can take months or longer. The goal of CrossFit is to improve your fitness for life; no one ever got in shape overnight. If you gradually exceed what you have done before, soon enough you will be doing the main site workouts “as prescribed.”

All three together: Now that you understand mechanics, consistency, and intensity, here’s how they all fit together under CrossFit: While many assume that safety is the main concern with proper mechanics —it is certainly the safest way to train—we can’t emphasize enough that sound technique is the most efficient and effective road to fitness. Proper movements will allow you to lift more weight, perform more repetitions faster, or both. More work in less time means higher average power (force x distance / time = power). Higher average power means higher intensity. Higher intensity means better results. Therefore, proper mechanics are the ideal supports for the bridge to fitness.


To be continued…


Coming in Part 2: A Brief Explanation of Fitness


About the Author

Todd Widman is a former Marine, and a CrossFit Level 4 trainer. He spends a significant portion of his time traveling around the country (and world) working the CrossFit Level 1 and Level 2 seminars. 

CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc. © All rights reserved.


Your ego has cursed you. Break the spell in three steps.

 “There is a compelling tendency among novices … to quickly move past the fundamentals.” —Greg Glassman, CrossFit Founder and CEO


Read that quote twice. Maybe three times.

Now admit that you—yes, you—are afflicted by the novice’s curse.

The novice’s curse is utterly indis- criminate: It affects 99 percent of people who do anything.

Luke Skywalker succumbed when he brushed off the last of his training and went to fight Vader. Your partner bowed to the curse when he or she tried to assemble the new barbecue without reading the instructions. Your kids got a taste when they fired up “Guitar Hero III” and tried to play “Through the Fire and Flames” on expert mode before they mastered easy mode.

You’re burdened by the curse when you squat.
I’d bet this is true no matter how long you’ve been squatting.

In fact, the longer you’ve been squatting, the more certain I am that you’ve neglected the fundamentals.

At a recent CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Course, I learned that I’ve lived under the novice’s curse for some time. After sinking into the bottom of a squat first learned at a seminar in 2009, I was quickly reminded that a technically sound air squat is way more difficult than it seems.

Instead of drilling the air squat every day for the last seven years, I’ve viewed it only as “some shit I need to do before I load up the barbell and max out.” Similarly, I tried to snatch more than I could overhead squat, and I tried to walk on my hands before I could hold a handstand.

As I sat in the bottom and worked to hold the best squat I could, it became clear that I haven’t struggled to achieve the position in years. Nevertheless, I hoped I was in the sort of glorious air squat that would coax a single tear from the eye and draw slow, deliberate clapping.

“Shift your weight back a little,” instructor Rory Zambard said. “Squeeze your butt.”

I shifted and turned on lazy hamstrings and glutes, and the squat became even more difficult—but it felt stronger and more balanced. As I performed more reps with the right muscles engaged, I had a revelation: I miss PR back squats because I let the weight shift toward my forefoot, which is a real problem when you have a decent load on your back.

And there, of course, is the laser beam that shoots through 5,000 bad reps to connect a single good air squat at a Level 1 course and the PR back squat I keep missing.

So how do you squat better today? I’ll lay it out it three simple steps:

1. Shake off the novice’s curse by reading “Virtuosity” and “Squat Clinic” by Greg Glassman.

2. Spend a full hour working on the air squat with a skilled coach or film yourself and ruthlessly identify each error. Fix as many as you can in 60 minutes—and you won’t get all of them. Revisit this step regularly.

3. Try to perform every single warm-up or workout air squat with virtuosity.

Sure, drilling the air squat isn’t as sexy as trying to hit a 300-lb. overhead squat, just as driving piles into the muck is boring compared to stacking more and more floors on a skyscraper. But one leads to the other, and it’s foolish to think otherwise.

If you recommit yourself to mastering the fundamentals, I’m certain you’ll hit new PRs in the back, front and overhead squat. Probably the clean and snatch, too. So get back to the basics and pursue perfection in your movement.

Or you can ignore all this nonsense, load up the bar, and get buried under the weight of a bunch of iron and the novice’s curse.

CrossFit Journal – February 2016

Author: Mike Warkentin

The Cheer Squad.

I know some of you hate the cheering, you hate it because maybe it means you were last in the WOD and are still counting off burpees, one slow rep at a time.

Maybe some of you hate staying around, because you have “better stuff to do”.

But seriously? That is what CrossFit is about. That is what makes it successful, that is what makes it better than walking into some Globo Gym and hiring a personal trainer.

So yeah, it pisses me off when I walk into a box, the workout is ending, someone is struggling to finish and people are just sitting around watching, or packing up to go, or worse… gone.

We see our fellow WODers 3-4 times a week, often more than our friends outside the box. We sweat with them, we bleed with them, we lay crumpled on the floor on Saturday morning with them.

They share in some of your greatest triumphs…

and they are still out there struggling through each rep.

So what the hell are you doing dis-interested, checking your facebook posts and inane work emails.

Put down your damn phone, get a little closer and step back into the game. You’re not done yet.

This person is part of your crew, your new family, and you know what, they could use your help.

This person who is experiencing the same awfulness you just went through is in the middle of that dark place.

Your encouragement helps them pick the weight back up.

Your attention focuses their energy.

Your yells drive them forward.

You should care about this person because they will care about you.

You should cheer for this person because they will cheer for you.

And you should be in the game until its over for everyone because that is how its done in our CrossFit community. Each and every one of us, newbie, veteran, competitor, deserves to be pushed by their neighbor.

The athletes who are last today won’t be last tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need a little get up and go from that dark place.

Get to know your Coaches.


Get to know your Coach!

Coach: Lee-ann Theron

Lee-ann is one of our awesome coaches who also heads up our CrossFit Kids Coaching program. She’s been with us since day one, loves to throw barbells around and have a good time with the members!


Get to know Coach Lee-ann a bit better:


• How long have you been doing CrossFit?

Since 2011 (8years)


• How long have you been coaching?

CrossFit since 2012 (7 years)

CrossFit Kids since 2013 (6 years)


• CrossFit qualifications

CrossFit Level 2 Trainer (CF-L2)

CrossFit Gymnastics Trainer

CrossFit Kids Trainer

CrossFit Level 1

Mobility Certificate

CrossFit Scaling

CrossFit Weightlifting


• What do you love about CrossFit?

Our Community, I’ve met a lot of amazing people through CrossFit. I’ve made good friends and even better memories through CrossFit.


• CrossFit strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths: Anything with a barbell

Weakness: Tequila


• Favorite Quote?

“I’m no Barbie and I’m okay with that, I don’t need to be skinny, I like to be strong”

Get to know your Coaches.

Get to know your Coach!

Coach: Charlie Blundell

Charlie is our regular 5am coach with a full-time 8-5 job. His personality is as big as he is tall (very tall!) and you’ll never see him in the box without a smile on his face even in the early morning hours.

Get to know Coach Charlie a bit better:

• How long you been doing CrossFit?

Since June 2012 (7years)

• How long have you been coaching?

Since October 2013 (5,5years)

• CrossFit qualifications

CrossFit Level 1

• What you love about CrossFit?

Being able to help and watch people grow in strength and confidence using what I’ve learnt. Using my fitness in my daily life to function on all levels. Being part of a great likeminded community.

• CrossFit strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths: Cardio and lifting workouts

Weakness: Gymnastics

• Favorite Quote?

Power is only given to those who are prepared to lower themselves to pick it up.

• Any words of encouragement to new/existing members?

Don’t concede to the workout by kneeling, stand up and make the workout concede to you. Words I’ve always told myself after every tough workout.


With next Wednesday being another public holiday we thought we’d do something fun!

Pack you favourite drinks and snacks and join us for a fun workout and picnic brunch in Rietondale park on Wednesday 1 May @ 9am!


You are welcome to bring along friends and family. Everyone is welcome to join!

Sunshine, outdoors, some fitness, good music, delicious food and drink and awesome people!! What more could you ask for on a day off!


Fatigue is a primary limiter standing between you and better performance. If you could delay or resist the sensation of fatigue, you would go faster and last longer at a given effort level – the ultimate purpose of training. Yet we never rid ourselves of fatigue, which is actually a good thing because this prevents us from damaging our bodies or perhaps needlessly expending physiological resources. But understanding what brings on fatigue during a workout may point to strategies that could raise your fatigue threshold, allowing you to go farther and faster.


Fatigue seems to vary according to the duration and intensity of exercise. An 800-meter runner and a marathon runner may both fatigue during their races, slow down, and struggle to the finish lines, but their specific reasons for fatigue aren’t the same. Or are they? What causes fatigue? Currently there are three ways to explain fatigue.

Catastrophe theory. This is the oldest model, having been around since the 1920’s. It’s the one accepted by most exercise physiologists. That model proposes that exercise stops when something catastrophic occurs in the body, especially in the working muscles. Other than overheating and severe dehydration, which can obviously limit performance, the catastrophe model proposes that there are at least two common physiological reasons for fatigue during endurance events: the accumulation of metabolic by-products such as hydrogen ions, especially from lactic acid release; and depletion of energy stores such as glycogen and glucose. The catastrophe model proposes that when either of these situations occurs, the body is forced to slow down. It’s much like a car running out of gas or the fuel lines becoming clogged. A catastrophe has just happened, and the body stops functioning normally.


Central Governor theory. The second way of explaining fatigue originated in the physiology lab at the University of Cape Town in South Africa in the 1990’s. Here, noted exercise physiologist Tim Noakes, PhD, proposed that fatigue occurs in the brain, not in the muscles. In this model the body is constantly sending signals to the subconscious brain regarding the current status of the working muscles. For example, fuel levels and metabolic by-product buildup are being monitored by the brain. This is a bit like the operation of the thermostat in your home, which gauges the temperature and turns the heating or air-conditioning system on or off as needed. At some point the brain may make a decision, again, subconsciously and the result of perceived exertion, to slow down due to the current status of the body. It’s proposed that this central governor for fatigue evolved to protect the body from damage caused by excessively hard work.


Psychobiological theory.This theory is a bit like the central governor model, but with a twist. Samuele Marcora, PhD at the University of Wisconsin proposed in the early 2000s that it is indeed perceived exertion, a subconscious calculation made by the brain during exercise, that limits performance. He proposed that exercise stops well before fuel levels and metabolic by-product accumulation suggest it is absolutely necessary. In a part of the forebrain known as the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), subconscious decisions are made regarding conflict resolution and response inhibition. Essentially this means that during exercise the ACC is weighing the cost of continuing at a given intensity versus the reward for doing so. Dr, Marcora has shown that “fatigued” athletes are able to overcome the sensation at what appears to be the end of exercise to failure and produce a greater output if the reward is big enough.


You have probably experienced this at the end of a workout. You may have been slowing down, but when you saw the finish line, you had the capacity to somehow speed up or even sprint. You were willing to overcome the suffering because the reward, an awe-inspiring finish or perhaps a slightly faster time or higher finishing place, was great enough to overcome the suffering you were feeling. He further suggests that this system evolved to keep us from needlessly wasting energy in the pursuit of food when the prospect of success in finding it was low. But should food appear (perhaps a deer in the horizon), increasing the likelihood of getting it, then the suffering becomes tolerable.


We’ve all had it happen. The workout is going great – then all of a sudden, from out of nowhere, a muscle begins to feel “twitchy” and seizes up. You slow down, hoping it will go away. It does, but as soon as you start pouring on the power, it comes back. The promise of a stellar workout is gone.


Muscles seem to knot up at the worst possible times – seldom in training, but frequently in workouts. The real problem is that no one knows what causes cramps. There are theories, the most popular being that muscle cramps result from dehydration or electrolyte imbalances. These arguments seem to make sense – at least on the surface. Cramps are most common in the heat of summer, when low body-fluid levels and decreases in body salt due to sweating are likely to occur.


But the research doesn’t always support these explanations. For example, in the mid 1980’s, 82 male runners were testes before and after a marathon for certain blood parameters considered to be likely causes of muscle cramps. Fifteen of the runners experienced cramps after 18 miles. There was no difference, either before or after the race, in blood levels of sodium, potassium, bicarbonate, hemoglobin, or hematocrit. There was also no difference in blood volume between the crampers and non crampers, nor were there significant differences in the way the two groups trained.

Note that we are talking about exercise induced cramps here. In such cases of cramping, the knotted muscle is almost always one that is involved in movement in the sport. If depletion of electrolytes was a cause of cramping during exercise, why wouldn’t the entire body cramp up? Why just the working muscles? Electrolytes are lost throughout the body, not just in working muscles. We know that people who become clinically hyponatremic by losing a great deal of body salts (not exercise-induced) cramp in all of their muscles. It’s generalized, not localized.


It should also be pointed out that when someone cramps, the “fix” is not hurriedly drinking a solution of electrolytes, but rather stretching the offending muscle. For example, a runner with a calf cramp will stop and stretch the calf muscle by leaning against a wall or other object while dorsiflexing the ankle against resistance – the standard “runners stretch.”


In fact, what is known is that sweat, with regards to electrolytes, is hypotonic. That means the concentration of sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride, and calcium is weaker than it is in the body. This indicates that more water is lost in the sweat than electrolytes. So if the body lost more of its stored water but not as much of its electrolytes, what would happen to electrolyte concentration in the body? The concentration should increase. So during exercise when you dehydrate and lose electrolytes, their concentration in the body is greater than it was before you started to exercise. The body functions based on concentrations, not on absolute amounts.  That alone presents a great problem for the argument that the cause of cramping is the loss of electrolytes that must be replaced.


So if dehydration or electrolyte loss through sweat doesn’t cause cramping, what does? No one knows for sure, but theories are emerging. Some researches blame poor posture or inefficient biomechanics. Poor movement patterns may cause a disturbance in the activity of the Golgi tendon organs – “strain gauges” built into the tendon to prevent muscle tears. When activated, the organs cause the threatened muscles to relax while stimulating the antagonistic muscle – the one that moves the joint in the opposite way – to fire.


There may be some quirk of body mechanics that upsets a Golgi device and sets off the cramping pattern. If that is the cause, prevention may involve improving biomechanics and regularly stretching and strengthening muscles that seem to cramp, along with stretching and strengthening the antagonistic muscles.

Another theory is that cramps result from the burning of protein for fuel in the absence of readily available carbohydrate. In fact, one study supports such a notion: Muscle cramps occurred in exercising subjects who reached the highest levels of ammonia release, indicating that protein was being used to fuel the muscles during exercise. This suggests a need for greater carbohydrate stores before, and replacement of those stores during, intense and long-lasting exercise.


When you feel a cramp coming on, there are two ways to deal with it. One is to reduce your intensity and slow down – not a popular option in an important workout. Another is to alternately stretch and relax the affected muscle group while continuing to move. This is difficult if not impossible to do in some sports and with certain muscles.

There is a third option some athletes swear by: pinching the upper lip – it may work for you the next time a cramp strikes.