CrossFit Bukit Timah

Why Every Woman Should Try CrossFit

CrossFit is community strong, fun and most of all challenging. It's amazing what you can achieve in such a short space of time - if only you were to take that first step...

If this isn't a good enough example of why every woman or human being should try CrossFit then we don't know what is. Steffi shares her story getting to Asia Championships this past year, how CrossFit has impacted the way she trains for the better, and the results have been outstanding. Over to you Steffi...

My first competition, the Sectionals for the Asia Championships! Wow! I still can’t express my joy over my shared 3rd place in Legacy women (35+). I went there to have fun and to not bring home the wooden spoon. I did not even dream about finishing on the podium. The feelings I had before, while and after every event, the adrenalin rushes, which helped me to perform at my best in 5 events over 2 days still give me goosebumps. It was a phenomenal experience which I could share with my husband and friends from CrossFit Bukit Timah.

The week before I left for Bangkok, I pulled my bicep and hit my shin while doing box jumps, not really nice preconditions. So the mind game started....Should I really go there? What if I embarrass myself?

I keep telling my clients to step out of their comfort zone. Going to the Sectionals was a big step out of my comfort zone. I have nearly forgotten what it felt like to be so amped with my adrenaline running up, but at the same time, scared to death.

I knew that no one was judging me, everyone wanted me to succeed. I told myself this over and over and I gradually started to chill a bit. I knew I was ready for this, I’ve worked hard. To my amazement my hard work paid finally off!

As a complete beginner I started with CrossFit in September 2015 at CrossFit Bukit Timah. I immediately loved the energy, the challenge, and teamwork that existed, though we were each working individually to achieve our very best scores. The community, paired with professional coaching makes every single WOD (Workout of the day) special. After 9 months of CrossFit, I am stronger, faster, leaner and fitter than ever before.

WHY DO I LOVE CROSSFIT? 

Because it makes me fit for life!

"CrossFit is constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity. All CrossFit workouts are based on functional movements, and these movements reflect the best aspects of gymnastics, weightlifting, running, rowing and more. These are the core movements of life," - CrossFit


A lot of my friends, especially female friends think, they are not fit enough for CrossFit.

We all have to start somewhere right? For me it was taking that first step and now never looking back. I'm proud of what I have achieved and I hope that if you're reading this you walking away inspired. Whatever you were thinking of trying that's new and you're a little scared, push yourself out of your comfort zone and go do it! Believe in yourself!

"While CrossFit challenges the world’s fittest, the program is designed for universal scalability, making it the perfect application for any committed individual, regardless of experience. We scale load and intensity; we don’t change the program. The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree, not kind," CrossFit

My CrossFit journey has just started and it is a life long journey. It is not only about competing, it is more about showing up, doing your best and not giving up. At CrossFit Bukit Timah I love the energy and support every gives which compels you to push yourself that bit further. If that's what I achieved in a year I can't wait to see where it takes me next year. 


New to CrossFit and want to see what all of the fuss is about? Check out UFIT's sister companies CrossFit Bukit Timah and CrossFit Tanjong Pagar right her in Singapore.

Photo credit Christopher Wadsworth

What To Do When You Hit a Plateau | UFIT Fitness

Find out how to push past your plateau when it comes to your training!

 

We all reach a point where we're just not into our training and start finding reasons not to go.  When we train regularly we are bound to have our off-days where we feel too tired or are busy with other things, but when it happens frequently it's time to do something so you don't kill your training momentum. Trying new types of training, setting yourself new goals, or increasing your weights and reps to take your training to the next level are a great start. Here are some other things that can help you spice up your training with UFIT ...

 

Mixing Bootcamps

Each week try to do different types of Bootcamps for variety and different challenges - in one week you can get a complete all-over workout by doing the following:

Stair and hill challenges for great glutes and legs - FIT, FIT MAX, FIT BODYWEIGHT, FIT ELITE at Fort Canning  
Sweating out amongst palmtrees and sea breezes barefoot in the sand - Tanjong Beach Club classes
Strengthen all your major muscle groups -  HIITFIT and METCON
Girls-only fitness and toning - SHEFIT
Upper body focus and stamina - BoxFit
Improve your running times - RUNFIT                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Relax, unwind, stretch - YOGAFIT

If you try something different every week you will not only love the variety, but you will be pushing different parts of your body. More importantly if you give 100% at each class you will see the results quicker. Don't forget to get enough rest time in between classes so your body recovers and you maintain some spring in your step.

 

Change things around

That said, if something still isn't working just have a break from a class or try a different location or trainer. Some of our coaches will push you harder, don't avoid them - you will get the results you're after - and their new perspectives may motivate you more.

 

If you find something you love, do more

If you've found the best type of training for you then continue with that. It can be anything from Bootcamps to CrossFit, or strength work with your Personal Trainer. Each training style will help you reach your goals in different timeframes. If you feel like you're plateauing then let your coach know so they can help you take things to the next level.

 

Know that no matter what you do, you are getting fitter and leaner

Sometimes we feel we work hard but aren't getting anywhere. The great thing is that with every single workout we are getting fitter and stronger and faster and burning those calories! That's what makes getting into your active gear and lacing up those trainers so worthwhile!

 

ENJOY NEW FITNESS CHALLENGES ON HOLIDAYS

Are you travelling this summer? Great! Most hotels will have gym facilities or pools to keep you active over your break. Try some of the local gyms or CrossFit boxes. Pack your skipping rope and resistance bands to maintain your fitness as well! Or get up early in the mornings and explore a new city by running around it. You can generally stop working out for up to two weeks and retain your fitness levels - but if you go without training for longer than that just get started again as soon you can!

 

See a personal trainer to get you on track

They are specialists who can advise you on what to do next - based on your own personal circumstances. They can work with you on areas you want to improve on, or focus on, and how to be efficient with the time you spend on your training. They can suggest exercises that you never thought you needed but that actually help improve your strength and overall fitness. They can also help you prevent injury by showing you correct form and doing things properly. 

UFIT offers free trials on the first personal training sessions - then if you want to continue with the training they suggest your options - you can continue as it suits you. Personal Training usually comes with a high price tag, but this simply comes down to tailored and focused training on the individual, which is actually very efficient and brings great results more quickly. 

 

Have fun with your bootcamp buddies

Most importantly fitness should be built in as a way of life - when you're feeling flat and unmotivated don't turn off that alarm, head to your class and have fun with your friends! You can certainly count on that as an achievement for the day!

 

Brought to you by our very own UFIT Jacqui Browne, drawing from her own experiences!

 

Bootcamp Coach Profile: Daniel Lundberg.

Daniel grew up in Sweden and has always been passionate about sports and exercise. He has competed in different sports such as swimming, volleyball, martial arts, adventure racing and triathlon. He has been competing and coaching in CrossFit since 2013.

After his military service as a Swedish Army ranger Daniel decided to pursue a degree in physical education. He studied at the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences and then also lived a year in New Zeeland studying Adventure tourism (that is climbing, river kayaking and just having fun). After that Daniel worked a couple of years as a PE teacher with kids from grade 1-12. He then started working in the Swedish Armed Forces as a physical training instructor and educator. He stayed there for six years and that is where he was first introduced to CrossFit in 2008.

While in the military Daniel continued to educate himself. He became a licensed personal trainer, Poliquin certified strength coach and more. He opened a personal training business in 2011 where he has guided clients to a stronger, better life. He has now moved to Singapore to help more people reach their fitness goals.

Daniel loves long grueling workouts that not only challenges the physical capacity but also the mental. He is looking forward to be training with you!

Coach Profile: Dylan Goddard

We have a superstar team of coaches at UFIT and Crossfit Singapore-today we are shining the spotlight on Dylan Goddard.

Dylan has recently been crowned champion for his weight category at Singapore’s  Sin City Invitationals. The Sin City Invitationals are a 2 day competition where competitors from South East Asia take part in 4 separate gruelling WODS (workout of the day). Competitors included Crossfit celebrity- Michael Mogard-who won the 2013 Asia regional championships.  The judges gave Dylan a perfect score for every event across the 2 day competition. A truly amazing achievement!!

Training schedule:

Dylan’s training schedule is intense and ongoing. He trains himself at UFIT 2-3 sessions a day, 5 times a week, for 1 hour each session.

Dylan”s Coach-James Taylor from OPEXFit is actually in the USA. Each week James will send Dylan his program for the week ahead and then they catch up via video call every 6 weeks to review his program and diet-a true 21st century athlete.

Diet:

This is a standard diet for Dylan every day no matter if he is competing or

Breakfast-weight protein and oatmeal

Mid morning, after 1stsession: whey protein shake, fruit.

Lunch: salad, sweet potato and a protein eg chicken, eggs

Mid afternoon: protein bar and oatmeal

Dinner: vegetables and protein. And the odd slice of dark chocolate

During a competition Dylan tries to hydrate a bit more and eats more frequently.

We sat down with Dylan and asked him 5 questions in 5 minutes.  

How and why did you get into Crossfit

I have been doing Crossfit for 2.5 years (I started when I first moved to Singapore). I used to play a lot of rugby in South Africa, but could not continue any longer due to injury. I was introduced to Crossfit through friends when I was looking for an alternative from high intensity sport and have never looked back.

 

Any tips for newbee Crossfitters:

Make sure you come to classes. A newbie should be training 4 times a week in the box for the first 2-3 months. Be consistent. Its not going to happen in the first month but it will happen! Get a great coach-a lot of bad movement patterns can be taught and these are hard to rectify.

 

What are the benefits of Crossfit:

Community, it really helped me to meet people when I first moved to Singapore.  It improves your discipline and challenges the mind and the body. Trying to get into the top level in competitive Crossfit is pretty brutally tough man!

What do you love about Crossfit

I love that Crossfit is for everyone! There are so many great things to love about Crossfit -lean muscle gain, fat loss, increase healthy lifestyle, community, you make new friends, increase strength, learn new movements and exercise.

 Tell us something we might not know about Crossfit?

hmmm. There is Crossfit Yoga! Yep, and it is fantastic. It’s a great way to increase your flexibility and prevent injuries as well.
Dylan is available for PT sessions and as a Crossfit coach. Come and train and learn from the best at Crossfit Bukit Timah.

 

The Crossfit open will take place at the end of February 2015 in Singapore- kicking off the global start of the Crossfit season . You will be able to follow Dylan’s road to regionals next year with us.

10 Mistakes Women Make in the Gym.

Great article on T Nation today !

10 Mistakes Women Make in the Gym

Here’s what you need to know…

•  Too many women, because of poor exercise choices or practices, end up building a body that’s “skinny fat,” a condition where they appear thin in clothes, but actually have a higher body fat percentage than they did before they started exercising.

•  Women generally need to use heavier weights. Stop with the delicate little flower thing. Your muscles won’t grow – won’t get curvy – if you’re pressing, squatting, or curling with weights that have roughly the same heft as your iPhone.

•  The one exception to working with heavy weights is the waist. The waist is comprised of muscles and muscles respond to heavy weights by getting bigger.

•  It’s virtually impossible – no matter what you eat – to gain any fat in the post-workout period. While gaining fat during this period is highly improbable, it’s highly probable that you will build some muscle during this same timeframe, provided you give your body the protein (and calories) it requires.

For anyone knowledgeable about exercise, walking into a public gym is kind of like stumbling into a nudist camp – you quickly just want to slap on some horse blinders because there’s so much that you don’t want to see. In the case of the nudist camp, it’s usually a lot of flabby, pasty-white guys that should never be naked, even when they’re alone in a secluded cabin on a mountaintop. In the case of the gym, you want to restrict your view because people are often doing the lamest, silliest, most illogical exercises and practices imaginable and it hurts your sensibilities as a fitness expert.

Guys are probably the biggest tools in the gym because they’re driven by ego instead of logic, but women make their own share of mistakes that are unique to their sex. Women are torn between what they read in Shape or on some insane aerobic queen’s blog, their unqualified husband’s or boyfriend’s pontifications on diet and exercise, or society’s conflicting and confounding expectations of what a woman should look like. It’s no wonder women can’t decide between lifting weights, becoming a Crossfit wind-up toy, doing aerobics until they’re thin as a waif from Oliver Twist, or practicing so much yoga that their seven angry and overworked chakras pack up their things and go to Cabo for a weekend of volleyball, sun, and suds.

Too often women end up blending elements of all those practices and as often happens when you combine too many recipes, that dish won’t cook. Women make little progress and often end up looking worse than when they began, sometimes developing a body that’s “skinny fat,” a cruel, paradoxical condition where they appear thin in clothes, but actually have a higher body fat percentage than they did before they started to exercise because they lost muscle instead of body fat.

I’m going to assume that one of the reasons women go to the gym is to look better, and looking better usually means becoming leaner and/or acquiring more curves. Bodies, at least the most aesthetically pleasing ones, are a combination of convex and concave curves instead of straight lines. You’re a delectable and enticing mammal, not a tree. As such, you want to build muscle to build or accentuate convex curves. If you’re already blessed with convex curves, you want to create concave curves by losing fat. You accomplish either or both by smart weight lifting. Plenty of women have accepted this wonderful reality, but I still see stuff that makes me want to wear blinders. Here are some of the regrettable practices I see women making all the time.

1. Fear of Appearing Butch
You’ve heard this one before, but it doesn’t look like it’s sinking in. You need to evolve beyond using rubber-coated dumbbells that have a clump of iron the size of a baby’s fist on either side. In other words, you need to use heavier weights. Stop with the delicate little flower thing. Your muscles won’t grow – won’t get curvy – if you’re pressing, squatting, or curling with weights that have roughly the same heft as your iPhone. Say hello to the 20 and 30-pound dumbbells, aspire to the 40 and 50-pound ones. Use weights that allow you to do between 8 and 15 repetitions.

And don’t play the age-old, “I don’t want to get too big” card. Unless you’re the one woman in a million that has such high Testosterone levels that female horses start to whinny nervously when you walk by, you’re not going to suddenly sprout muscle from your ears and everywhere else. Neither will your muscles grow beyond your aesthetic ideal unless you start feeding them a lot more. Muscles don’t grow out of thin air; you’ve got to supply them with protein and carbs. That’s why men who lift weights eat barnyards of fowl, ranches of cattle, rivers of fish, barrels of protein powder, and vats of Cocoa Puffs. If you don’t eat that way, you won’t get “too big.” (See mistake #9 for advice on when you should eat big.)

2. Fear of Making an Ugly Face
We just discussed using heavier weights, but we didn’t discuss intensity. When you’re lifting weights, you shouldn’t be able to maintain the same facial expression as when you’re getting a mani-pedi. Too many women just don’t get down and dirty. There’s rarely even a grimace or a bit of semi-feminine grunting. Look, building muscle requires some discomfort; it requires some pain. You might be able to look all pretty and composed for the first few reps, even while using an appropriately heavy weight, but you’re ultimately going to have to make an ugly she-wolverine face on the last few highly-productive “money” reps where you coerce muscle into growing. No ugly face, no curvy muscle. No ugly face, no increased strength. Tank your outdated views of femininity. Screw how it looks or what anyone thinks.

3. Absession

Absession is not a new scent from Calvin Klein. Rather, it’s being obsessed with working the abs or the waistline in general. Here’s a shocker: everyone has a six-pack; you just have to whittle away enough fat so that it shows. Granted, you may want to build the abdominals so they’re more pronounced, but stop thinking that you need to dedicate half your workout or more to working abs. Three or four hard sets of 15 to 20 – using resistance or using more challenging angles as necessary – a few times a week is all you need. Spend the rest of the time building overall muscle and doing activities that burn fat in general.

4. Working the Abs Like a Powerlifter
I know mistake #1 said to use heavier weights, but ab work is the one exception. For some reason, a lot of women already use heavy weights when working the midsection. Oddly, they think that working the waist with heavy weights is somehow going to make it smaller. Maybe… if we all lived in the Bizarro world. The waist is comprised of muscles and muscles respond to heavy weights by getting bigger. If you want a waist that’s as broad as a tree stump, then have at it. If, however, you want the mythical wasp waist, stop working your abs with heavy weights. As mentioned in the previous tip, stick with weight or resistance that allows you to do roughly 15 to 20 reps. Most importantly, don’t use weights while working your “side muscles,” otherwise known as the obliques. The surest way to build a blocky waist is to do side bends while hanging onto dumbbells. Instead, work your obliques by doing a few sets of side planks a couple of times a week.

5. Balancing on the BOSU
I’ll grudgingly admit that the BOSU ball probably has some merit in developing balance. As such, it might be useful for Cirque du Soleil performers. It also makes for a lovely post-modernist style chair. Beyond those functions, I see little use for it.

Okay, I’m being overly snarky. Yes, the BOSU has some application for abdominal work or rehab work for people with hinky ankles and it can probably help with balance issues, but somewhere along the line, exercisers, most often women or their enabler-slash-trainers started using the BOSU as a weight-training accessory. They either put one foot on it to use with lunges or they put both feet on it while doing any number of traditional weight training exercises like dumbbell curls, lateral raises, overhead presses, or squats. Some morons have even taken this a step further by doing these same movements on a Swiss ball. (If you see someone doing the latter, feel free to hip check the ball and send them crashing to the ground.)

The thinking is that lifting weights on an unstable surface makes the muscles work harder to keep you from doing a face plant, but balancing isn’t the type of muscular effort that builds muscle. And, in order to keep your balance, you have to use lighter weights than you would otherwise.

Lifting weights – even light ones – while standing on a BOSU will make your muscles fatigue much faster, forcing you to abort the set earlier than you normally would. You end up missing out on the “money reps,” those reps at the end of a set where you activate the muscle fibers most responsible for growth. If all of that falls on deaf ears, consider that none of the major studies conducted on the BOSU have found it to build muscle any faster than doing the same exercises on solid ground.

6. Too Much Aerobics
I’ve got a question for you: Have you ever see a marathoner or even an accomplished jogger with a really good body? Probably not. They’re either slightly emaciated, have a body with very few curves, or are plagued with the skinny-fat condition I talked about in the intro. They also have really ugly feet.

Without going into all the hormonal or evolutionary permutations, let’s just accept the scientific fact that the body would generally, during caloric deficits, rather sacrifice muscle than fat, and what is excessive endurance exercise but an artificially induced caloric deficit? Regardless, women especially are saddled with the myth that the more aerobic exercise they do, the better they’ll look.

Remember, you want muscle, and excessive aerobic exercise is death to muscle. There are far more effective ways to burn fat. Going for a brisk walk first thing in the morning is incredibly effective and it saves muscle. Similarly, brief bouts of high-intensity exercise in the form of sprinting or Tabata-style exercise-bicycling or weight training build muscle and burn fat simultaneously. In case you’re not familiar with Tabata, it’s a simple but brutal protocol where you do an activity as fast and hard as you can for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds, and then do another exercise/rest cycle of 20 and 10 seconds. You do this for 4 minutes straight and then collapse into a spent but proud heap. You can do Tabata workouts with kettlebell swings, dumbbell squats, stationary bicycle sprints, or any number of other exercises.

7. Workout Monogamy

Mating for life, as swans, wolves, turtledoves, and Catholics are wont to do, has some biological advantages. Mating to your workout for life, however, has none. Too bad so many women ignore this fact. Whether it’s from a lack of imagination or a misguided belief that “exercise is exercise” or that “there’s only one way to lift a weight,” some women keep doing the same routine year-in and year-out. They may have torn it out of a Shape or Cosmo that was lying in the doctor’s office and since they’ve been healthy and haven’t gone back to the doc’s office and read some new magazines, they’re still doing the same routine a year or two later.

That’s unfortunate because the body adapts to workouts whether they be weight workouts or aerobic workouts. That’s why there are so many fat aerobics instructors. They’ve done the same routine for years and their neurological system is so accustomed to it that it costs them little in calories or effort to complete the workout. You need to cycle your workouts every four to six weeks. Emphasize legs in one cycle, shoulders or arms the next. Get new routines from articles right here on T Nation.

8. Workout Promiscuity
The opposite of the workout monogamist is of course the workout slut. While much more common among males, there are plenty of women who can’t stick with a workout for very long. They try out a workout a few days, see that it hasn’t yet given them an NFL cheerleader body, and then try something else. One manifestation of this is “CrossFit Fever.” These women, not entirely sure of what constitutes CrossFit training, do a bastardized version where they perform non-stop, often non-sensical, semi-aerobic, semi-anaerobic conditioning work for 1 to 2 hours for no apparent reason, save to exorcise or exercise some professional or personal demons.

In either case, their workouts are chaotic and ultimately produce rotten results. Find a logical, progressive workout that addresses your particular needs, builds muscle, burns fat, and makes you the queen of curves and give it 4 to 6 weeks to work. Then and only then should you change it up, even if it worked well (see step #7).

9. Fear of Food
Ready to have your dietary beliefs shaken, Jell-O like, to their core? Okay, here goes: It’s virtually impossible – no matter what you eat – to gain any fat in the post-workout period, which is roughly defined as the hour-long timeframe after you finish lifting weights. While gaining fat during this period is highly improbable, it’s highly probable that you will build some muscle during this same timeframe, provided you give your body the protein (and calories) it requires.

It all has to do with insulin, the hormone that carries glucose and amino acids to muscle cells. Broadly speaking, insulin has two choices, it can either shuttle glucose and protein to storage in fatty tissue and the liver, or it can deliver those nutrients directly to muscle cells where they’re used to fuel, repair, and grow muscle. The path it takes is determined by exercise – if you’re lifting weights or just finished lifting weights, insulin will take the nutrients directly to muscle instead of storing it.

Muscle is particularly sensitive to insulin during this workout/post workout period, so if you want to build muscle/curves, it’s imperative that you eat during what we call the “peri-workout” period, which is comprised of the period just before, during, and after a resistance workout. So temporarily forget your calorie fears. Temporarily forget your carb fears, too, because this is when you definitely need to provide your muscles with the material it needs to build those curves. In general, have a protein/carbohydrate drink about 45 minutes to an hour before a workout and a substantial amount of protein and carbohydrates after a workout. In an ideal world, you’d also sip a protein/carb drink during the workout, too, but at the very least, make sure you don’t skimp on that post-workout meal.

10. Juicing
No, not juicing as in steroids. I’m talking about the plastic cups of pulverized, Osterized, barely palatable concoctions of kale, seaweed, wheat grass, and whatever other obscure vegetables or fruits the juicer is able to buy at a discount that so many women have permanently affixed to their hands when they walk into the gym.

I know it seems contrary, even heretical, to suggest you stop or limit your consumption of these drinks, but hear me out. Vegetables and fruits contain simple sugars and more complex, harder-to-digest carbs. No problem there. However, when you blend up fruits and vegetables, you’re breaking down all those normally hard-to-digest carbs into infinitesimally small pieces. Drink that stuff down and you’re virtually bypassing much of the digestive process. All those sugars are presented to your bloodstream like flowers to your momma on Mother’s Day. They get absorbed super quick, and your pancreas releases a surge of insulin to counteract all that sugar. It’s virtually the same effect you’d get from shot-gunning a 24-ounce 7-11 Slurpie.

Insulin shuttles off some of the sugar to muscle cells and the rest are stored (in the liver or as body fat), but then insulin levels dip below baseline and you get hungry again pretty fast. If you give in to that hunger, you’re ingesting more calories than you might normally have and extra, unnecessary calories get stored as fat. What’s more, if you do the juice thing often enough, you may actually develop some insulin resistance, which is the first step down the path to Type II diabetes.

There’s one more thing to consider, too. You probably wouldn’t be able to eat all the fruits and vegetables that are in a typical fruit or vegetable smoothie if they were sitting there on a plate. They’d take up too much room in your stomach and even all that Spandex in your Lululemon pants wouldn’t be able to flatten out your belly. However, pulverize all those fruits and vegetables down into primordial ooze and they, and all the calories they contain, fit in your stomach just fine. Juicing allows you to eat more than you normally could, which is never really good if you’re trying to keep tabs on your body fat levels.

I’m not suggesting that you give up all juices. Drink them in moderation, eat them in their un-pulverized, natural state, or simply employ one simple trick: just have the juice junction, jamboree, or whatever add a scoop of protein (whey or casein) to your drink. The protein will ameliorate the big insulin surge, not to mention giving your muscles some extra building blocks.