An introduction to: CrossFit ASG
In our second 'An introduction to' article, we met with CrossFit ASG who are based in Southport. The team went down to speak with George who is the founder of CrossFit ASG, George gave us an insight in what it's like to be apart of their growing community and also what CrossFit actually is.
What is Crossfit
Crossfit is for absolutely everyone but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Anyone can come in, I have people coming here who are in their late 60's and early 70's. I also have some ex marines. We have such a wide range of people who come here, the point I am making is that you can scale any workout for anyone.
Officially, crossfit is constantly varied, functional fitness performed at high intensity. There is one workout for the day, and every day the workout is completely different. I know the workout of the day for the whole year as I have it planned. What this means for the members is that they are never going to get bored, you’re always stimulated. We take elements from cardiovascular training so running and skipping, I’d love to take swimming but it’s a bit difficult without a pool. We do anything weight lifting based, so power lifting, Olympic lifting etc. We have kettlebells and dumbbells and more. We also do basic gymnastics, from you air squat to being able to do handstand walks. We take elements from all of those or just one and put it into a workout. You never know what you’re going to get whole helps keep you interested.
A standard crossfit session would be like this. A warm up, every one warms up together and we go over the workout. Then there will be athlete development so that could be a certain skill or improving strength and then there will be the workout of the day.
The functional fitness part of crossfit means that a lot of the movement we do in our workouts replicated movements we do in our day. So multi-joint movement, it’s all based around standing up and sitting down, picking something off the floor and putting it on the shelf, which is squat, deadlift and press. Admittedly a handstand walk isn't really functional, you don’t see many people doing them down the high street. The high intensity part of crossfit is you just try your best in the time that is allocated. The idea of this help give you a really good overall fitness.
How did your journey into CrossFit start?
I spent ten years ski teaching, that’s my background, going to and from the Alps. But as I started to grow my family it became increasingly clear that it wasn't possible to stay out there and it was better to stay here in the UK. Over a few years I got trained up as a personal trainer. Now I didn’t necessarily like going the gym, I wasn’t someone who was always there, I experience the gym by having to go to get better at skiing, I got to a really high level as a skiing instructor and to get there I had to become stronger. I would go to the gym with a friend of mine, he had the knowledge and together we had the motivation and we basically just squatted and deadlifted and done lunges. We would go three times a week. It was really good when we both went, and it wasn’t quite as good when only one of us went. So I thought there’s probably people out there who need more motivation and need more knowledge. So I took the same skills as a ski instructor and took them into the gym environment. I did enjoy it, but admittedly, living in Formby isn’t the same as living in front of Mont Blanc. The environment out there is amazing, it’s a beautiful place. You would wake up there one day and then sun would be shining and you’d think to yourself this is the best day on earth, you would wake up the next day and it’s lashing down and you think, brilliant it’s the best day on earth because it’s going to be snowing up there. When I came back here and started personal training, it wasn’t giving me anywhere near the buzz I wanted. Having spoken to my wife and friends we discovered that where I could take people both emotionally and psychologically was really powerful with skiing. Seeing a kid go from five years old to sixteen and he’s skiing better than skiing instructors and then how that goes out into his other sporting pursuits and builds his confidence is really powerful.
I needed to find something, I knew about crossfit. I looked into it and thought it was nuts and realised it was actually what I needed. I did the exam and never looked back. Within the first couple of months I had people coming up to me saying I had helped them with their sport and I had a few saying I had helped them through difficult periods of their life.
We set up about two and a half years ago and the main thing here is that the community is the most important thing. There a no mirrors here. There’s no judgement, people come in and work as hard as they can.
Do you take part in any competitions?
Yes we have a few guys who do that. They’re absolutely brilliant, at the moment we haven’t got anyone who is at a really high level but people are pushing for it. We went to an event recently called Tribal Clash which was unbelievable. It’s on a beach on the south coast of Devon, six people in a team, it’s over two days, there’s four workouts in the first day, then two the next and if you progress through to the semi and final you do one there. We have put up a wooden beam in here because they have a wooden rig in the competition which is around 7ft high and you have to get up and over that. All of the stuff we done was so far out of our comfort zone but it helped us work together as a team. There was 160 teams involved in the event and we ended up coming about 68th so we was around the middle, we were made up with this, most of us had never done any of these exercises before.
Do you offer one-to-one sessions?
The process people go through when they join us is that first I can set up a taster session. Usually I have them on Wednesday at 8pm or one on a Saturday at 11am. If that’s completely not going to happen then I can add on a different session and that’s usually one-to-one or a very small group of two or three people. That will give these a really good snapshot of what CrossFit is all about. After that they then join the on ramp program which is twice a week for four week, this takes them through all of the fundamental skills of CrossFit. This works on their fitness and strength but also gives them some knowledge of CrossFit. We do a test at the start and end of this program and we usually see a 10%-25% increase in fitness. But the main thing is that it gets them training for a month, which is amazing as most people quit after a month, and I get to know them really well, so when they come into crossfit they are comfortable and I can chat to them about what’s going on, so that relationship is already starting to build. If they can’t do the on ramp or they want to then yes I do one-to-ones.
If you are interested in joining CrossFit ASG then make an enquiry here.