Are we really opening a restaurant?
In short no, but imagine we had a restaurant but didn’t eat our own food?
Every member and coach at 353 follow the same program (eat the food). We don’t have Open gym. We don’t do competitors classes. We dabbled in them (and Milf-Fit 😉 ) for a while but decided to stick to what we are good at. CrossFit. (More specifically G.P.P. )
We program one workout a day, with a conditioning bias. Every seven or eight days we prioritise a strength movement or as it’s referred to in the CrossFit world “a heavy day”. If the WOD is not so intense or taxing we do some gymnastics skill/movement piece after the WOD. On our movement or “Heavy Days” we might start with a warm up WOD like doubles and air squats, something to get us sweaty and ready to go. We don’t do “strength”. We coach movement and skills. If the movement / skill is the squat for example, strength will come gradually when practicing the mechanics. If we validate our progress solely on numbers we have moved away from a key pillar of our coaching ethos (valuing movement over load).
Why do the coaches follow the same program as our members? Because we all have the same needs. I hate to be a killjoy but no individual at 353 is going to regionals. We use CrossFit training to help our minds and bodies. If we get a little leaner, a little stronger and a little happier in the process then we as coaches are doing a good job! If it’s good enough for the tribe is good enough for the facilitators of that tribe. A great man: Ben Bergeron (of CFNE) , who trains in his gym’s class every day says that “ you wouldn’t own a restaurant and not eat the food there” How are you suppose to know how a workout feels for class if you don’t do them? I remember the boyos up in CrossFit Ireland telling me a year ago that they do their class programming 2 weeks before class to test it out. I know the same in CrossFit Green. How are you suppose to know how your service/food is in your restaurant if you don’t dine there? Also if we’re programming sensibly the stimulus can be adjusted to all ages, abilities and requirements.
There is merit in people needing special individual programs. But if your goal, like 99% of us, is to stay out of a nursing home and live a healthier longer life then all we need is an hour of CrossFit a few times a week (6 times ideally) ;). As Pat Sherwood said “ The goal is just to get fit, make it the best hour of your day, stay safe, turn up the music, high five some people, and blow off some steam. So remember that. Relax. Have fun. Work out”
Coaching isn’t about wearing trackies to work and making some extra cash. Coaching is about helping people – period. We love helping people succeed. Coaching others is often more rewarding that achieving your own fitness goals. I judged the success of this years open, not by scores or leaderboard placement but by the countless “firsts” set by our members. First muscle ups, first pull ups, linked ttb’s, pr’s on pull ups. By training with class and following the same program, it has cemented my goals as a coach. I love the atmosphere & energy you have in class. I love being able to relate to class when i’m coaching it later that evening. There is also more of a buy in from class when they know we drink the same tonic. “If you’re gonna talk the talk you should probably walk the walk”. I remember being in school and there was nothing worse than the fat old rugby coach, telling you to do sprints. You’d stand there, thinking to yourself, you can’t even touch your toes…
I used to follow an individual program. I trained twice a day with the goal of making it to the CrossFit Games. It took me two full years to realise that this was an unrealistic dream. I could train football 20 hours a day and I’m not going to play for Man Utd. I’m just not good enough. Professional athletes are often genetic anomalies that have the time to invest 3 hours a day into training. Now i’m happy making the absolute best of my ability and enjoying that journey with my peers. My evolution from CrossFit athlete to CrossFit coach to business owner has helped the evolution of my outlook. I also forgot that with 3 previous ACL reconstructions from my rugby days, that doing these long heavy sessions was making my body feel worse. Yes I was getting stronger but at what cost? I was also getting heavier and my joints creakier. My goal along with 99% of the population is to live a longer healthier life (and obviously to get mad ripped and sexy like).
I now train everyday in lunchtime class with the pals. I follow the exact same program as everyone else in 353. I’ve never been fitter, leaner (or sexier) in my life. My joints feel great and my body feels healthy. My goals have changed from making it to the games to making it to 110 years old. I don’t care about lifting the heaviest weight any more. I care about avoiding knee replacements. I don’t need anymore than class programming. I feel honoured to experience class with amazing people everyday. I want to give our members the greatest hour of their day, every single time they walk through the doors. I want our members to leave feeling better than they did when they walked in.
We feel privileged to have such an amazing community at 353. CrossFit has reshaped the fitness world. It’s amazing to see so many CrossFit gyms around the country, inspiring change through movement and fitness. Every CrossFit gym around the world is making a positive change to people’s lives. I see it everyday on social media. The Irish CrossFit community is growing. Its great to have such a positive and supportive National CrossFit community that bleeds down to each individual CrossFit tribe around Ireland. Keep doing what you’re doing, you’re all different but you’re all great. Well done and most importantly enjoy yourself. Try be present. Have some fun. It doesn’t matter what snazzy program you follow just get amongst your community, get moving and embrace the process. None of us have to train, we get to train. We are the lucky few.
Let the hair down, smile, give someone a hug, get the heart rate high and you’ll do ok!
Peace and Love as always
Coach Gaz x