The first steps to gorgeous!

The first steps to being gorgeous

Taking the first steps to raising the bar to get strong and fit are often the most daunting, and not surprisingly many women are put off by the fear of it being “too hard”, “too painful”, “too heavy” , “too male dominated”, and also concerned that they will; “make a fool of myself”, “look stupid”, “slow people down” etc etc etc!

Overcoming those fears can sometimes be a major achievement in itself so here are some tips:

  • Take a friend (even if you have to blackmail them to get them there)
  • Ring in advance (this firstly gives you an idea of the kind of reception you will get, and means the coach is expecting you so will make time to give you the attention you need)
  • Remember that every person there has been through the same first day nerves
  • At  CrossFit everything is scaled so you could be working alongside a Royal Marine or a 80 year old grandparent, but you will all be equally challenged to match your own abilities
  • Everyone is on your side, (nothing gives people more pleasure than watching people overcome challenges and succeed)
  • It can be scary but it’s the first steps to a new gorgeous you
  • Within a very short space of time you will achieve things you never believed you were capable of
  • Remember – it’s FUN!

Our friend Tess relives her first steps to joining Dragon CrossFit  in Cardiff:

“I started out in a bog standard gym really only to please my husband who thought that exercise might help the serious depression I was suffering.  I met a lovely PT (personal trainer) who tells me now how he remembers me shaking with fear on our first session!  When he decided on a career change, he introduced me the Andy Edwards CrossFit coach extraordinaire.

Andy suggested we moved our PT sessions out of the ‘globo gym’ and into the newly affiliated Dragon CrossFit box. I remember walking up the stairs opening the door and having a strong urge to turn round and walk straight out again! But the difference with CrossFit is the community it creates and I was spotted quivering in the door way, welcomed in and introduced to the other participants. At this point I couldn’t do a sit up, a push up or lift much more than a plastic pipe. But Andy and Coach Simon Harris showed immense patience and helped me get fitter and stronger. The Community embraced me and their support and acknowledgement of my achievements have been pivitol to my progress.

Then going to watch the Crossfit Games regional competition I saw Sharron Lowe competing in the team event.  It was inspiring. I know I am older than her, but watching her obvious joy at competing made me think that maybe, with lots of hard work, I might compete one day. Next step taking part in the competition in Manchester meeting other ‘Masters’ women and again being inspired   I’ve not stopped since. But I have also never forgotten the fear and look out for the ‘newbie’ at the door.”

They’re breeding strong mum’s in Harrogate

The problem of women wanting to try out strength and conditioning, but being rather intimidated by the thought of high intensity training has been overcome by CrossFit HG3 in Harrogate.  Owner and Head Coach Andy Ruddick explains:

“I was approached by a couple of the mums from the local school asking for a circuit class, as basically this is all they knew. We started those classes but they quickly evolved into more of a CrossFit style class. There were a number of reasons they couldn’t attend the regular classes in the evening and this was really due to responsibilities with the family and the intimidating nature of CrossFit (at a first look). For that reason we branded their class “Strong Mums” and run it on the same lines as the kid’s classes where the workouts are AMRAPS (as many rounds as possible) with very few task specific.  The classes are also pay as you go so they don’t have to worry about subscriptions and not wasting money if they can’t always make the classes.  We try to demonstrate to them the relevance of what exercises we do in terms of their everyday life. This way they don’t have to worry about being first or last, they can just grind away at their own pace. The vocabulary we use is slightly different too. It has also built a nice little community of mums who see the benefit and who want their kids to attend the HG3 Kids classes.”

On the CrossFit HG3 website it is described as:

HG3 “Strong Mums” class is a session based around functional movements that will benefit your health, fitness and strength in everyday life. The exercises are designed so you can work at your own level and achieve great gains in fitness and strength as well as make new friendships in a women’s only class.”

Safety in numbers

Sharron Lowe and I were lucky to have taken our first steps in CrossFit together – unbelievably it was 5 years ago!

We both agree that having a buddy to train with has been great for both of us and we push each other to go for heavier lifts, and faster times in workouts, although Karl Steadman, our coach at CrossFit 3D does get a bit nervous when he sees us in a huddle during a lifting session, he thinks we’re casting spells!

Our husbands are also members and we all train regularly together, so we all do it “for the olds” regularly.

Neither of us can remember first day nerves as such but still suffer workout nerves as we wait for the dreaded call of “3 -2 -1` GO!”

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About Jane Holgate

This is me! I am 53 years old I am a freelance writer and PR consultant. I have never been particularly sporty although I was hooked on scuba diving for over 15 years and am a BSAC Advanced Diver, Open Water Instructor. However, I was introduced to CrossFit over 5 years ago and was instantly hooked, discovering that I was strong and keen to develop and improve other skills. I am a member of Reebok CrossFit 3D in Manchester.
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7 Responses to The first steps to gorgeous!

  1. Lesley Regan says:

    Gosh I remember my first time at Crossfit really well. It was Summer and everyone was lying on the floor outside the gym having just finished a workout. I was absolutely terrified but you, Shaz, Lorraine and everyone made me feel so welcome and was so encouraging. I was hooked from then on.

    Les
    x

  2. Lawraine Wood says:

    I remember my first encounter with Crossfit well. Both hubby and I had sedentary jobs and were feeling badly in need of some kind of exercise, but disliked commercial gyms. By chance, one of Dick’s colleagues, Mark, had just qualified as a Crossfit trainer, and was looking for suitable guinea pigs. We thought we would go for a couple of weeks, then do it on our own. We started off with walking warm ups, half heaves to a bar and 3lb weights! But we really got into it.That was seven years ago. Mark and Karl (of 3D) set up the first Crossfit in the UK.

    I like Crossfit because it is “functional” fitness, which means the exercises and workouts all involve movements that help you in your everyday life. It has helped me to:
    carry my own bags at the airport
    lift bags of coal into the car
    lift and use heavy tools to dig fence post holes when I am out with the countryside guys
    walk up and down mountains

    I am now 62, and there are some things that I can’t do any more. But the joy of Crossfit is that, because everything is scalable, there is always something you can do. And as Tess said, there is a lot of support and camaraderie. The young fit guys never laugh at your efforts, but treat you as an equal.

    Crossfit has become an important part of our lives. I keep looking at other older fitness freaks, like the 80 year old marathon runners and I think, well maybe I could do a little better?

    • Jane Holgate says:

      Lawraine you’re amazing – I have always been inspired by you and your performances.. keep it up awesome lady!

    • KarenW says:

      Aww, Lawraine. It was mine and Chris’s first time at CrossFit and you are part of the reason it is so memorable. It was Chelsea and we had our arses handed to us by a 50 something librarian who just kept going like the Duracell bunny. That was the wake up call we needed to see how unfit we were!

  3. Beverley Pattison says:

    My first crossfit session was also at crossfit manchester over 4 years ago, I too was terrfied stepping into the gym for the first time, but I have never looked back since. It has been inspirational to train with so many talented ladies amongst the gym crew, with a few like me being slighter older than we feel .

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