CrossFit

Getting ripped in twelve months

We first met Christian Dally one year ago when he was over 98kg and about to start the UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge. He won after losing 9% body fat, and a year later is totally ripped, super fit, his mind is sharper and he's never felt better in his life. We all think he's totally awesome.  

Nov 2016 - before the UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge

Nov 2016 - before the UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge

Dec 2016 - after the UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge

Dec 2016 - after the UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge

Since finishing Clean & Lean we see him nearly every day at UFIT doing Bootcamps at Sentosa and Metcon at Bukit Timah, Personal Training at Amoy and CrossFit Tanjong Pagar. He's found a family of fabulous fit friends across UFIT, is well-known to our coaches and is an active Spartan participant.

This is what Christian looks like ten months after the Clean & Lean Challenge.

October 2017 - weighing 83kg (down from 98kg in Nov 2016)

October 2017 - weighing 83kg (down from 98kg in Nov 2016)

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October 2017 - pulling 220kg 

October 2017 - pulling 220kg 

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HOW DID CHRISTIAN DO IT? 

We asked Will Foden, his personal trainer.

"He came to me as an empty shell after finishing Clean & Lean and my job was to help him build muscle. He had to go to the extreme to get back to normal, and has now progressed beyond, taking things to new levels. He went from eating no carbs for months and now he's training almost daily and is back on carbs as he needs to be, and losing weight and getting stronger.

He was anxious about reintroducing carbs back into his diet. But after some time figuring out what works for him he can now go out on a Saturday night and eat well and enjoy a drink or two".

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OVER TO CHRISTIAN - WHAT DID YOU DO AFTER Clean & Lean?

"Initially I thought completing Clean & Lean was the ‘goal’ but in fact it was just the jump-start I needed to launch me on this amazing journey.

By the end of the C&L month I’d made such progress, and was absolutely loving the way I was beginning to feel, so continuing with the same nutrition plan was a no-brainer! Removing carbs from my diet had such a fundamentally positive effect, on not only my body but also my mind, bringing a much more stable level of energy and focus that it had by then become a foundation that sticks with me today".

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How has your diet changed since you finished Clean & Lean?

"For the first 9 months or so I stayed pretty much entirely ‘clean & lean’ (bar the occasional cheat meal), eventually though in consultation with Will I did decide to put a little carb back into my diet peri-exercise to allow me to work out harder and build more muscle mass now that I very low in body fat.  

It wasn’t easy psychologically - carbs were the ‘enemy’ for so long that it took significant bravery to reintroduce them, but the trust I have in the knowledgable supportive and experienced UFIT team helped me to get over this unexpected hurdle! And it worked - within weeks I was beginning to look and feel strong & I actually lost more body fat after introducing carbs again".

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How do the UFIT Bootcamps fit in?

"I started UFIT Bootcamps at the same time as C&L and a year later whilst I also do several PT sessions per week, they are still my ‘go-to’, they are available, challenging and fun.  

When I say ‘challenging’ - it doesn’t matter whether you’re fat and slow like I was at the beginning or one of the fittest people out there, everyone can challenge themself to the max, it's a supportive, non-judgmental environment where over the last year or so I’ve watched myself and others achieve levels of improvement we really didn’t expect.  

I love Bex’s FITMAX and HITFIT classes in Sentosa, and the community there is brilliant! Quite apart from giving the opportunity to workout with like-minded people, we’ve made some really great friends there. I've recently also been using Giles’ brilliant Metcon/ORT sessions on Sundays at Bukit Timah to prepare for my Spartan races.

It’s also great to have the option of a yoga session once in a while ... sunrise yoga at Sentosa Marina has to be the best way to start the day!

I attend 2-4 classes per week depending on how much PT/running I’m doing, which really depends on what event I’m training for next ..."

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Why did you start doing PT?

"Part of my prize for winning C&L was some PT sessions, I went in thinking I’d use them up and go back to my Bootcamps, yoga & running but wow the progress I made during those first few sessions was amazing. I use PT for mostly strength-based training and I love it.

Will is a fantastic trainer and coach, he has worked with me on both training and nutrition, building and flexing my programme in line with my progress and to help me set and achieve evolving goals. It’s always fresh, progressive and challenging".

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What are the major gains you have made with your pt?

"I wanted to get strong, but turning up for an hour pumping iron and going back to the office wouldn’t have done it for me.  Will worked hard with me to understand my goals, or rather to help form some goals.  By this point I had progressed so quickly with my fitness that I didn’t really know what my goals should be! I’m pretty sure he always had a longer term plan to make me strong and look strong but I didn’t know that I wanted that yet, my head was still stuck on being ‘fit’.

He built a really unthreatening progressive plan for me which he evolved/changed every 4 weeks or so - just as I am beginning to get comfortable - he switches it up!  It’s brilliant - always fresh, interesting and challenging - and I feel like I’d make progress in almost every session.

As time went by, he flexed my program to prepare me for upcoming events - spartan, half marathon, this photo shoot etc ..."

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"Right now we are working towards the Spartan Beast, 40 obstacles over 21km which requires both conditioning and upper body strength. I didn’t have to ask for it ... we know each other well enough that he knew what was next after the half marathon and magically my program changed to match.

Will also very gently helped me to amend my nutrition, encouraging me to try the reintroduction of some carbs to help with muscle building. He could see I was scared to do so (I didn’t want to put on weight/fat) he coached me through it, and it worked!  He knew I needed strict guidelines and support to be confident in eating more carbs & calories in general, so he set specific macro nutrition & calorie goals to match my training and help me to monitor and evaluate progress".

How have you found mixing both BootCamps and PT?

"Great - I really enjoy the Bootcamps, they fulfill my cardio and conditioning needs as well as being great fun. PT is more specific and the 1 to 1 coaching has allowed me to progress to a different level".

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What have your friends said about your physical changes? 

"When I see people I’ve not seen in the last 12 months or so, the reaction is hilarious ... people can't quite believe the transformation. To be honest, neither can I!

More importantly though, I’m more than likely going to live a little longer and in the meanwhile, I can be a much more better dad and husband with this new found energy and motivation! I also feel ‘sharper’ mentally - I’m sure this has helped me to progress my career over the last year more quickly than I may otherwise have".

How DO YOU FIT fitness and HEALTHY eatiNG into a busy life? 

"I’ve not really thought of it as integrating this into my life - it’s become a way of life. I just make better choices now, my second pair of shoes for work trips is a pair of trainers and I carry a bag of protein powder in my suitcase! I only made the mistake of repackaging it in little ziplock bags once after getting a few funny looks for airport security ...

Seriously though people around you get used to the small changes, more of our friends now are of the more active variety and some who used to be less so have been inspired to join the journey!"

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What’s next?

"Better, faster stronger! I’ve absolutely loved the Spartan races that I’ve competed in, I’ll have completed all three distances by the end of the year (with luck) and now I’d like to focus on being competitive in my age group. I’ll carry on with the UFIT Bootcamps and PT sessions and am adding some CrossFit - there’s a competitive edge to it and it’ll be great training for the adventure races. I can't quite believe I’m even thinking it (having never really run more than 5 or 10km a year ago) but maybe a marathon...not sure yet.

I’d like to find a way to give a little back to the UFIT community ... it’s given me so very much".

What's Will like as a coach? Any inside stories?

Yes, don’t tell anyone, but he really cares.  Broken nose, cauliflower ears and all, he’s an extremely knowledgeable, caring and committed coach, he really held my hand through the second part of this 12 month journey ... there were times when I wondered how he put up with all my stupid questions over WhatsApp at all hours of the day and night! He invests way beyond the 1, 2 or 3 hours a week we spend together, technically he’s great and he’s a good motivator but moreover he’s always well prepared and thoughtful, you don’t always get that.

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How ABOUT FROM WILL's PERSPECTIVE?

"We focussed on the basics. Then brought some intensity to it. I taught Christian to understand what food is, and what to eat post-workout, to be realistic it will take a year.

I understand Christian personally and know what drives him. We both believe that life's a challenge, and you have to work hard for what you want, and I didn't try to wrap him up. He comes to every session for a purpose - life is too short and you need to make it work.

What pushes Christian is him, rather than me. He told me "I need to do this" rather than "I want to". 

AND THE FINAL WORD - OVER TO BEX HIS BOOTCAMPS COACH

Rebecca Dickson his Sentosa Bootcamps Coach tells us: "I’m blown away by the transformation Christian has achieved over the last year. He’s got such remarkable drive, determination and commitment to want to achieve his health and fitness goals. He’s an integral part of the Sentosa bootcamp community with an infectious spirit, always encouraging other bootcamp members to train harder, but also have fun along the way.

He’s a true inspiration and just goes to show what can be achieved when you put your mind and heart to it, he just needs to work on his skipping :-) Looking forward to smashing some new goals with him over the next year ... next stop Spartan Beast Elite in December. Aroo!"

Photo credits: Melanie Lim, David Belmonte, Rebecca Dickson, Jacqui Browne 

What's to love about CrossFit?

We've all heard of people who try CrossFit and before they know it they're hooked! Dylan Goddard, Head of CrossFit Tanjong Pagar tells us why CrossFit is so popular and worth including in your training regime.

What is CrossFit?

CrossFit is constantly varied functional exercises performed at high intensity - and based on the best functional aspects of weightlifting, running, gymnastics, rowing and more.

In CrossFit you move larger loads over longer distances, so you maximize work done over short periods of time. Intensity is essential for results, and the more you do in less time, or the higher the power output, the more intense the effort.

And with a constantly varied approach to training, these movements at this intensity lead to dramatic fitness gains.

But the most unique thing about CrossFit is you don't do it alone - it's the community that makes it a shining star in the fitness world.

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What's so special about CrossFit?

  • You train alongside strangers who eventually become "family"!
  • The community is a lot bigger than the “Box" you train at, there's an international CrossFit community that is felt worldwide
  • Every class is coached by a qualified coach and classes usually limited to 10-15 people which instills high quality coaching
  • The training program is well thought-out to improve your overall strength and conditioning 
  • There's no judgment, we really strive to advocate the mantra "everyone started at the bottom!"
  • Results will be seen as early as 4 to 6 weeks if the program is followed and nutrition is in check 
  • The scaleability of all CrossFit movements makes it very accessible to everyone 
  • You will have the opportunity to learn skills that will enhance your life inside and outside the gym
  • All are welcome! We've had many people join out CrossFit classes who have never even exercised in their lives before.
  • Every WOD (workout of the day) is different, this allows for constant varied exercises and workouts.

The KEY workouts

Fundamentals: Before you start you do a Fundamentals course to teach you how to do the exercises safely and effectively.

WOD: The “Workout of the Day” is what you perform on a given day. Many follow standard CrossFit WODs, and also do their own programming.

Metcon: "Metabolic conditioning,” trains stamina, endurance and conditioning. Unlike WODs — which can also include purely strength or skill-based workouts— metcons generally include timed components performed at high intensity.

Hero WODs: Named after military servicemen who have died in the line of duty, these provide an extra challenge and reminder of their sacrifice.

Murph: one the toughest WODs, this consists of a one-mile run followed by 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, and 300 bodyweight squats. 

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THE BASICS

AMRAP: As Many Reps As Possible over a specific time period. Often lasting 10, 20, or 30 minutes (though it feels a lot longer) AMRAP workouts challenge you to finish as many rounds as you can in the allotted time. Just don't lose count…

Ass to Grass: Get low! Also called “Ass to Ankles,” this is a full-depth squat. 

For Time: Lets you see how you stack up with the rest of the CrossFit world by measuring the time it takes to complete a prescribed workout. 

CrossFit Games: Each summer the CrossFit Games test participants with physical challenges and workouts, ranging from swimming and running to pull-ups and handstand walks. Participants accrue points and the male and female winners are crowned World’s Fittest Man & Woman.

Earlier this year our very own Nazaria Schifra and Stuart Diplock were awarded those titles.

CrossFit Open: Allows competitors to register online and compete on their own or at local CrossFit boxes.

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SOME OF The Movements

Many of these movements are classic exercises you would do in Bootcamps and with your Personal Trainer. However the extra layer that CrossFit adds is the intensity and timed non-stop duration or by the amount of power you put in. 

  • Band assisted pull-up 
  • Bodyweight/Air Squat
  • Box Jump
  • Burpees
  • Double Unders - when a rope passes under your feet twice and you jump only once
  • GHD Sit-Up - sitting face-up on a Glute-Ham Developer reach back until your hands graze the ground, then explosively extend legs and sit up
  • Handstand Push-Up - you can kick up to a wall for stability 
  • Kipping pull-up - when you swing from a bar with rhythm
  • Knees to elbows - when you hang from a pull-up bar
  • Muscle Up -  hang from gymnastic rings and explosively pull your chest above the rings
  • Pistol / single leg squats - which require half the legs, but twice the effort
  • Ring Dip - just like a conventional bodyweight dip, only on gymnastic rings
  • Rope Climb
  • Snatch - explosively lift a weighted barbell from the ground to overhead in one movement
  • Sumo Deadlift High Pull - take a wide stance over a barbell  and explosively pull from the ground upward until the bar comes up to shoulder height
  • Thruster - a front squat straight into a push press
  • Walking lunges - using bodyweight. barbell on the shoulders or weight plate held overhead
  • Wallball throws.
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Come and join us at CrossFit Tanjong Pagar to find out what makes it so special for yourself.

 

NEW PERSONAL TRAINING GYM OPENING at CrossFit Tanjong Pagar!!

We are opening a brand new Personal Training gym in the mezzanine level where you can train with our coaches who have great passion and skill for lifting, CrossFit and strength training.

OPENING LATE SEPTEMBER!!

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THE MAGIC OF STRENGTH TRAINING

Regardless of the type of exercise you do, including strength training in the mix is super-important. Apart from making you stronger and adding definition to your muscles for a more toned and fit-looking body, it offers so much more:

  1. Burns alot of calories
  2. Revs up your metabolism
  3. Helps with disease prevention
  4. Protects your bone health and muscle mass 
  5. Improves your balance and coordination, posture and flexibility 
  6. Elevates your endorphins, boosts energy levels and improves your mood
  7. Strengthens your bones and muscles to improve your mobility and prevent injury
  8. Helps with your performance at bootcamps, running and other activities like skiing
  9. For competitive athletes it cross-trains the body and helps you race longer and more comfortably.

Some strength training targets your core muscles which underpin everything you do, whilst others focus on very specific muscles of the body. It's been said that the three pillars of great fitness are strength, endurance and mobility, and when you combine your strength work with activities like running, cycling, bootcamps and yoga you've got all you need to be in fantastic health and shape right there.

We figured a great person to give their perspective on strength training would be CrossFit athlete, coach and Personal Trainer Adam Ransley at UFIT Tanjong Pagar. For a CrossFit athlete, correct form and effective training with weights and strength work is essential to be successful in the game. 

Here Adam demonstrates six of his classic strength moves that can be done whether you're a bootcamper who is new to using weights, a regular lifter or a CrossFit athlete. 

Remember that with strength training your muscles need time to recover, and you should warm up and cool down after training. And importantly, get some personalised advice on the type of weights and number of repetitions to make the best and safest progress.

 

ADAM's six CLASSIC strength training moves

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1. The Power Clean - 

Olympic weightlifting is a fantastic way to develop explosive strength, muscle mass and power. Viewed as a shoulder workout the clean also builds muscle development in the legs, lats and overall posterior chain.

2. Front squats

work several major muscle groups whilst enhancing your core strength and improving flexibility. Muscle building and strengthening the lower body is the key benefit of a barbell front squat.

3. Sumo deadlift highpulls 

help you develop power in the posterior chain, strengthening the hamstrings, glutes, lower back and upper back. 

4. Sandbag carries

are a full body exercise and highly functional for everyday use. Sandbag carries restore performance in a basic skill of daily living whilst enhancing strength, core stability and work capacity.

5. Prowler sprints - s

hort duration, high intensity prowler sprints in intervals improves your anaerobic capacity whist building power and explosive strength in your legs.

6. Weighted bear crawls  engage the entire body, strengthening hips and core muscles. Bear crawls help connect the lower and upper body whilst increasing overall power. Adam is nailing it here with 220kg, though this weight is not for everyone and we recommend your trainer helps you choose the right weight for you!

Because everyone is different, a UFIT personal trainer can work out the most effective and safe strength training program for you - based on your goals and strength capabilities - and the best way for that to fit into your current fitness routine and lifestyle.  

CrossFit Tanjong Pagar are running their August Assault strength challenge on 26 August if you fancy trying some of these movements and more with the awesome community there. All are invited, there are plenty of prizes to be won and lots of fun to have - just click here to let us know you're coming.

If you're new to strength training with UFIT, come and do a free trial in any of our five gyms at CrossFit Tanjong Pagar - or at Amoy Street, Orchard Road, one-north or outdoors at Bukit Timah. 

BRING YOUR WEIGHTLIFTING SKILLS TO THE NEXT LEVEL

BECOME A BETTER ATHLETE * BECOME A BETTER COACH

Enhance your technical and practical weightlifting skills with coaching from the master himself – Dmitry Klokov - the most sought-after Russian Pro Weightlifter and two time Gold Medal Champion. Come face to face with, and learn from the man who lifted 432kg which won him a silver medal in the 2008 Olympics.

In these small groups, hear Klokov's stories and insights from his experience since lifting from a young age as the son of a weightlifting champion. Let him coach you personally on the latest and greatest methods for maximising strength and power, safely and effectively. 

As Klokov's first visit to Singapore, this is an exclusive opportunity for you to get his guidance on weightlifting movement fundamentals, correct technique, mental strategies and getting the balance between training and recovery right. 

Find out more

Seminar details

  • Practical Olympic weightlifting coaching focusing on the snatch and clean & jerk, based on the Russian system of training, which can be considered as one of many training strategies

  • Correct technique in Olympic lifting and other accessory lifts

  • Ways to maximize your potential as a lifter while progressing quickly yet as safely as possible

  • For both beginners and advanced lifters, either for personal enrichment or to enhance your chosen sport

  • A must for CrossFit athletes, strength coaches, personal trainers or anyone interested in how to make the human body stronger and more powerful.

Seminar dates

  • 29 and 30 June from 5pm

  • 1 July from 9am 

  • 2 July from 9am.

Find out how to join the Weightlifting Legend in Singapore

 

** HOW UFIT's "H" FIRST MET KLOKOV **

 

 

 

Six reasons to include the Turkish Get Up in your training plan

If you’ve been hiding under a rock or training alone and in secret for the past decade, you may not have heard of The Turkish Get up (TGU). Simply put, it involves holding a kettle bell in one hand and going from lying flat on your back to standing up-right in one fluid movement whilst holding the kettlebell above your head at all times. Sounds simple? Try it and you won’t think it’s a Turkish Delight – that I promise you!

TGU is a benefit rich exercise – but amazingly under-used and poorly executed in many training facilities, possibly due to a lack of real understanding on behalf of the PTs – although certainly not lacking in UFIT gyms! So here are my top 6 benefits for including this amazing exercise in your training program:

1.     Promotes stability in the upper and lower body – stability – including your core stability - is a key component of fitness and without it, an athlete’s ability to produce maximum force would be compromised

2.     Promotes thoracic mobility and extension - in a world of desk-bound people, T-Spine extension and “opening up” should be a daily goal for anybody looking to improve or maintain good posture

3.     Stimulates proprioception - the ability of “knowing where your body is" and how it moves through space. This adds a balance element to the training program

4.     Multiplaniar in nature - a well-balanced program should consist of exercises that are in all 3 planes of movement (Sagittal, Frontal and Transverse), the TGU hits all 3 at one time

5.     Has a cardiovascular effect on the body - with slow, controlled movement and correct weight selection the TGU can become extremely challenging quite quickly

6.     Develops trunk and core strength in more than one movement – it effectively trains the “core” and not just the abdominals, which will transfer better to sports and activities that require standing and rotation/anti-rotation (ie most sports).

If you want to know more about this ancient but effective training method, visit Nathan Williams at UFIT Orchard to get the best training and expertise.