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Hey guys! I have one class left for the year before we go away for a month. I just wanted to send an email to say a massive thank you for the continuous support and encouragement you give me! After a tough year with injury it has been so awesome knowing I can still come and train and get a great workout, even if it is modified in comparison to what the rest of the class does.
You guys make the club, and I couldn’t train anywhere else I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic year in 2015
Lots of love, Michelle
I was just looking around the CFAK website and found an old testimonial I wrote back in 2011. It got me thinking about the journey I’ve been on since and all the stuff that has happened in my life. The one constant has been my desire to continue to grow and learn. Now at 48 I’m still very much looking forward rather than back, yes my joints are no longer as supple and strong as I’d like, recovery is longer and the heavier stuff is more of a challenge – but none of this matters! The beauty is that CFAK provides me with an environment where I can train to my abilities, no one else’s.
This is encouraged and supported by the exceptional team of coaches as well as my fellow athletes.
Crossfit is about more than just training for me, it’s a lifestyle that is consistent with my personal values and compliments my desire to get the most out of everything I do.
Lisa, Alex, Bene, Antoinette, Dave, Matiu, and Bernie you guys are exceptional coaches. I chose to train at CFAK, rather than other clubs closer to home, because of you and the atmosphere of camaraderie and support that you create in each class and every event you run.
Eric “Chuck” Ryda
Nicole Van Ruiten, CrossFit Auckland member
There are one hundred thousand things I can say about my experience at CrossFit Auckland, but I will try to keep it short and sweet.
During the whole of 2011 I would drive by the old CrossFit box and look at these poor people running along the road with sandbags and other peculiar gear. I would think, “no way I will ever do that – so not elegant”. Yet I made my son Ladhu and my nephew Jacob members of CrossFit Auckland’s Kids and Teens program. They loved it (and still do). It was unlike anything else they’d tried before. So by the end of 2011 I gave it a try. The plan was to only do 3 months – just enough to get in shape. I was “skinny fat” with weak noodle arms and a long car butt, worse I was chronically fatigued. I had difficulty eating.
My Basic Training program was with Antoinette. We ran 200m and I was nauseous. I did my rolling snake version of push-ups and I had to flush the toilet with two hands and wiggle as a worm out of bed for days.
After the three months I started to see change in my body and in myself. Seeing the incredible freakish fit stuff other members were doing made me make the decision that I was married to CrossFit Auckland. Maybe not always romantic and pretty, but worthwhile sticking it out and eventually (hopefully) it would grow into a beautiful thing.
The whole first year I felt retarded. I could only train 3 times a week and had to take recovery naps. What made me come back was the social interaction with the wonderful variety of people coming to work out. The shared activity, suffering, heavy breathing and sweating together as a group gives a deep sense of connection in a strange bizarre way. And it all has a purpose… getting stronger. Not only physically, but also emotionally and mentally. Learning to get comfortable with discomfort, accepting limitations yet continue at a steady pace to overcome them and all that while having fun. It is a spiritual practice to me.
By the second year I had a blood test that showed I was almost diabetic (it runs in my family big time). My sister Caroline was doing the Paleo challenge, so like her I removed all grains from my diet and introduced eggs and fish. I used to be a strict vegetarian. Within a short time I felt the desire to train five times a week and there was no more need for “near death” naps. The symptoms of diabetes receded. Physically I was slowly getting stronger and more coherent. I am slightly dyslexic and even the counting of numbers improved.
About a year ago I joined CrossFit Auckland’s Barbell Club. I like this class very much. Never ever did I think I would or could be doing Olympic style weightlifting. It takes a lot of time to get it right and I’m still not getting it, but things are slowly improving. The snatch is my favorite lift because it is so complicated. To watch these great lifters move with grace, speed and strength all at once is absolutely fantastic.
This is the beginning of my fourth year at CrossFit Auckland and it still feels like I am just beginning. Little things are big things! So getting three pull-ups is big for me. Working on “post mortem” core control is a continuous quest. Push-ups are still difficult. Where some have the advantage of strong willpower supported with pure physical strength, I had to dig deep to find some aggression and drive to use it as speed. It is like changing from a sloth into a chimpanzee. I even cried over a rope, but managed to do a rope climb two weeks later for the first time in my life.
Recently I took a yoga class for the first time in ten years and to my surprise I had gotten better at it. I am much more aware and in control of my body, not at all inflexible as often is expected with intense training. Every workout still takes me by surprise. Never can I truly prepare for what’s to come, it always remains a rather shocking and humbling experience. Add to that the bizarre inner dialogue: “Why are we actually doing this??? I feel like my legs want to throw up etc…” And then at times it is silent, the body obeys and there is the satisfying knowledge that afterwards it will feel really good.
I feel much better as a human being overall due to CrossFit Auckland.
Thank you Alex, Lisa, Dave, Antoinette, Matiu and Bernie for your kindness, your patience and great coaching. Thank you Bene for quietly and steadily working in the background. You all make it a great place to be, to grow and to learn. Thank you to all the members for being there, sharing the laughter and supporting each other through all this insane training. Still have heaps and heaps to learn.
Blessings to you all!
Yo Coach hows it been? CrossFit really changed my life around over the 2 years with CrossFit Auckland and after a year off I’ve noticed how well my body has been functioning and how all the movements incorporate into everyday life which has helped a shit load with the landscaping I’ve been doing the last couple months. I’ve been focusing on my bodyweight movements this year (max pushups at 90 and max strict pullups at 17 booyah!) and when I head over to Europe next year for a few years I’ll be sure to check out the local boxes and mention Alex Porter and the crew at CFAK and how badass you all are, give the rest of the coaching crew my regards! Cheers for everything Alex & Lisa!
Craig Ferguson – 49
At 47 I was 108Kg and technically obese according to my BMI. I was unable to maintain running due to damage I had done to my Achilles attachments on both heels caused by running long distance events overweight and without proper training!
This is when things got interesting, I used to Trail Run in Inov-8 shoes and was at Shoe Science Albany and they had CrossFit shoes in stock… I asked the question I have been asked many times since! “What is CrossFit?” The salesman explained it to me in detail and mentioned CrossFit Auckland in Albany. I was hooked, I looked at the website, signed up and waited for the induction!
I really enjoyed the CrossFit Induction with Antoinette but struggled as my fitness was a lot worse than I thought with respect to high intensity training. I pondered for a few weeks post induction, then received a call from Alex Porter and talked through my fitness concerns. I then signed up for a 3 month limited membership, which meant maximum 3 times per week. The first week I managed one session, the second week two sessions, and it was probably the 3rd or 4th week I managed to do the prescribed 3 sessions. I started feeling really good post workout, by this I mean not just physically, but mentally! I was on a natural high for the rest of the day apart from crashing into bed earlier due to the 5:45am class I chose in an effort to maintain home/work life balance.
Once I was comfortable with 3 times a week I switched to an unlimited membership which meant I could train every day! Now I pretty much do every day as the way I like to kick start my day and prepare myself for whatever the world throws at me. I cope so much better. I love the post workout feeling of being energised and focussed. Good Food and Coffee tastes better, you actually crave nutritious food if you listen to your body!
My nutritional diet was always pretty good, I just needed to cut out the crap when bored or stressed. As a result of CrossFit training and a cleaner diet I lost 20Kg’s in 8 months reaching my initial goal weight of 88Kg’s!
After 2 years at CrossFit Auckland I now weigh 82Kg! This surprised me as I had tried many times and failed with running, Gym memberships and dieting. It was gradual but constant weight loss, but the benefits are enormous, with less impact on my joints much more energy etc. I’m pretty sure I used to arrive at work with a stupid grin on my face and in a good mood to greet the day after CrossFit sessions.
I love CrossFit Auckland in every sense, from the exercise regimen, the coaching staff, the workouts, the fellow members who are all like-minded people. The culture is fantastic and a welcome distraction to the rigours of external life.
These days I think everyone should be doing it, and I have my wife Julie and son’s Callum and Connor enjoying CrossFit and have started enticing friends along also.
I am so thankful I discovered CrossFit as I feel back to my old self and have a sport that is constantly varied and challenging to keep me interested for a long time to come.
Many thanks to the coaches and people I have met and befriended along the way.
Sarah Laycock & Richie Remnant
Dear Alex and Lisa,
We have loved every minute of the years we have spent at CrossFit Auckland. We’ve met so many awesome people and made so many great friends as well as achieved so much in terms of our personal goals. Why we remain at CrossFit Auckland is largely due to you both. We appreciate your philosophy towards fitness, endless expertise of which you continue to seek and the efforts you make to provide an engaging programme for us even when we are struggling with old bodies hammered from years of rugby. I know at times what you do becomes an expectation from others for it is the very nature of our jobs! In case we’ve forgotten to tell you how much we appreciate you both as people, coaches and business owners… THANK YOU so much from us both! Sarah and Richie
Dave Smith – RNZAF Pilot
Hi Lisa,I have really good memories of the old box with the ‘originals’. Especially enjoyed the smack talk.Thanks again to yourself and AP for your coaching over the last 4 years. I’ve been to 8 CrossFits around the world now and I can say without any bias that you two provide the most professional coaching I have seen while still maintaining a fun environment at the same time. That is why CFAK is still the benchmark box in NZ.Cheers,Top GunP.S. Thanks for the kick ass nick name
Nathan Bitcheno – 30
I was reluctantly dragged to CrossFit Auckland in May 2013 by my boss Mark who had a spare GrabOne package that his wife was unable to use. I say reluctantly because although I didn’t have any real idea of what CrossFit was, what little I had read online screamed to me this really wasn’t going to be my cup of tea. Group exercise? Check. High intensity? Check. Possible High-fives? Check. But anyway, it was free and Mark was persuasive enough so I ended up agreeing to go. I figured I could learn a few things and take that back with me to the gym I was going to. I had no intention of staying on past those 4 weeks…and…well…somehow I’m still here 72 weeks later.
I’m not going to write a long back story about how the combination of an office job, not exercising enough (or effectively) and drinking and eating too much rubbish had led to a few years of a steadily increasing waistline. Needless to say it had. Instead I’m going to write about the reasons why I still happily walk through those doors 4 or 5 times a week.
- Weight loss – When I joined CrossFit Auckland I was the heaviest I have ever been at about 94kg. I’m not tall so that was a lot of weight to be carrying around and as I soon found out not very much of it was muscle! The last time I weighed myself I was 81kg. I have gone from a size 40 down to a size 30-32 waist. The only downside is that I now have a cupboard full of jeans ranging from 40 down to 30, and only 2 of them fit me.
- Strength – I had never done any strength training before. Generally my workouts had consisted of half an hour of cardio followed by a few sit ups, what I thought were push ups, and maybe some curls. I’m stronger now than I have ever been and I’m doing things I never imagined I’d be able to do. Unassisted pull ups and ring dips were a big achievement for me as I really struggled with the bodyweight movements. I had never squatted before, let alone with weight. I’m now up to 90kg front squat and 110kg back squat. What I had never anticipated was how much easier everyday things are when you are stronger. Working around the house, doing yard work, cutting up and carrying firewood is all far easier and more enjoyable these days. CFAK has also been my first introduction to Olympic weightlifting and it has become one of my favourite aspects of CrossFit.
- Fitness – The typical CrossFit workout was a complete shock to my system. I struggled for months with the amount of mental and physical discomfort these workouts put me through. Anyone who scoffs at the idea that a 10 minute workout can leave you in a complete mess on the floor has never tried a 21-15-9 couplet for time. I had never exercised at that level of intensity before and it has clearly proven to be effective for me. I am fitter and stronger now than I ever have been and I spend about half as much time “exercising”. People say CrossFit workouts never get easier, you just get stronger and faster, which is true. However one measure I have noticed above all is how my body responds to the workouts. When I started, a hard workout would have me feeling mentally and physically exhausted for the rest of the day. These days I have almost completely bounced back within half an hour and have far more energy and alertness throughout the afternoon.
- Coaches – Before joining CrossFit Auckland I had never done any sort of training with a coach. The extent of it at my old gym was a quick walk around the machines with one of their trainers and then they set me up with a simple program and that was that. It is painfully obvious looking back that I was never going to make any progress there. I had spent 2 years plodding along on the cardio machines thinking I was doing well. At CFAK every workout I do is done with a coach. Each movement is practiced regularly with the coaches to ensure they are correct and safe, and that carries over into scaling correctly to ensure we are attacking that specific workout at a weight and level that is appropriate. This is especially important for me as I have had intermittent knee issues caused by having discoid lateral menisci which have meant at certain times I have been unable to do a large number of the prescribed movements comfortably or safely. CrossFit Auckland helped me through the rehab and recovery of the first operation, and during that process ensured that I was doing movements appropriate for the condition of my knee while still getting a really good workout in. I am most likely going to need the same operation in my other knee in the coming months and as daunting as it is having to take more time off training I now know that I’ll be back and continuing to progress as soon as I can.
- The People – Despite initially being unsure of the group workout dynamic it is now one of the biggest draw cards for me. We have a solid group of regular lunchtime QucikFitters. It’s great to see all these people pushing themselves and kicking ass every day. It’s pretty incredible to see how far everyone is progressing.
On top of all that the regular exercise has had the effect of overall improving my life. I am more productive at work, I sleep better, I don’t drink as much (because let’s be honest, have you tried doing a crossfit workout hungover…), and I am just generally happier. I have really changed for the better since starting at CrossFit Auckland. My partner and I are expecting a baby in January so I’m just glad to be where I am now rather than where I was 2 years ago as I know I’m better equipped physically and mentally to face the challenges that will bring!
I can’t believe it’s been so many years, but there’s seriously no other gym for me. I love CrossFit and I especially love CrossFit Auckland. I’ve made such lovely friends, I love the coaches, and most of all, I love the incredible culture that you guys have inspired since the very beginning.
Lisa and Alex (and Little Dude), you guys rock! Thank you for everything! You can be very, very proud of all that you have achieved.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you both!
All my love, Kat
My CrossFit Auckland Women’s Program Journey so far…
For a little while now I have wanted a better, let’s say more natural way of managing my health issues. I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (UC) in 2011. UC is a form of inflammatory bowel disease whereby my body’s own immune system attacks elements of my digestive system. What I found most difficult to deal with (other than the symptoms) was the news that autoimmune diseases such as UC are lifelong and not medically curable, but managed by medication. I was prescribed to take 11 pills a day. Taking this many pills a day horrifies me, I am in my 30’s! So for the past couple of years I have been looking for a way to improve my lifestyle as a means of managing my UC. One part of this for me is exercise.
I first heard of CrossFit through friends on Facebook posting about their experiences. It took about a year before I investigated it for myself. At first what I saw on the internet looked intimidating and my initial thoughts were ‘that’s way out of my league’. However after looking through CrossFit Auckland’s (CFAK) website I came across information on the CFAK Women’s 6 week fitness program. This program, for me, looked more achievable. I phoned straight away and made an appointment to go in and meet Matiu, one of the coaches. What first struck me as I walked through the doors was that there was no ‘traditional’ gym equipment – no weight machines. The environment itself didn’t look as intimidating as I thought it might. I signed up and filled out the paper work that very day.
I am now half way through my second 6 week women’s program. Early into my first 6 week program my elbows became very sore and inflamed. Due to the problems with my elbows I decided to sign on for another 6 weeks of the women’s program rather than go into mainstream classes. I came into the program with the goal of losing some weight and gaining strength. What I have gotten out of it so far has been far more than that. The program has challenged me physically, mentally and emotionally. Physically I feel stronger – I still have issues with my elbows but I know overall I am fitter and stronger. When I started the program I could barely skip, now I am doing double unders. At the end of the first 6 week program we did Deadlifts for the first time – I lifted 70kg! I’ve gone from a baby box for box jumps to the regular height box. I distinctly remember watching the regular class one morning doing box jumps on these big boxes and thinking wow, I could never do that. I have surprised myself. The CrossFit Auckland Women’s coaches, Antoinette and Bernie are amazing, their patience with me, their encouragement and support have lead me to achieving what I have. They are incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about what they do. There have been times during a workout where I have nearly been in tears, where it has been more of a mental battle than a physical one to keep going. Another nice surprise for me is the bond that has formed between the women. I love this aspect of the program, it feels like we are a team and we look out for each other during a workout; the encouragement and support has been invaluable. During a workout it is incredibly inspiring seeing the other ladies out the corner of my eye doing their thing! Now both my mind and body are starting to feel healthier.
During my time at CrossFit Auckland I have heard our coaches talk about the Paleo Diet. When I started my second program I decided that for the month of July I would go Paleo. Again with the goal of managing my UC but also in the hope that it will help with the inflammation in my elbows and with my general progress at CrossFit Auckland. I am not yet where I want to be, but I am excited about the combination of CrossFit and Paleo in terms of improving my health and wellbeing.
My goal is move onto the mainstream classes. Every morning when I walk into CFAK I take a look at the 5.45am class and hope that one day I will be a part of it. But, for now I walk up the stairs and I am greeted by our awesome coach and a group of inspiring women, and for that hour I get to concentrate on me.
Logan Price – MMA Fighter & CrossFit Auckland Member
It’s been 2 solid years since I got given the chance to train at CrossFit Auckland! Man time flies when your WODing and I just wanted to thank Alex Porter and Lisa O’Neill and all the crew at CFAK for making me the person I am today.
I started out as an over weight wonna be fighter, to a Contender due to the awesome strength and conditioning programming at CrossFit Auckland. If it’s in the cage or in life itself I’ll always be reping CFAK and cant wait for the years to come. Here’s to you my CFAK Fams!
Here’s a photo of me just before I started looking not so paleo lol and recent photos of me in my recent fights in March and June and giving it my all in the 2013 CrossFit Open.
Aurie Viviers – 34
I hurt. My quads are sore, my shoulders are tight, my lower back is tweaked and my calves tighten up when I walk down the stairs at work. The palms of my hands are callused and my body is covered in bruises. I love feeling this way. I am over 30 and I am in the best shape of my life.
18 months ago I was introduced to CrossFit Auckland. At the time, having played numerous sports and having been a mainstream gym member for most of my life, I thought I was fit. I wasn’t. Now I know fit. I can define it and I can recognize it.
I remember walking into the box for my first Induction class and comparing how I felt to the first day of school jitters. Will the other kids be nice? Will I make friends? What if I embarrass myself?
The first few days at CrossFit I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing. The workouts felt hard, I was hot and sweaty, and for the most part, out of breath. Before Induction started in the evenings I would watch the “Big Kids Class” and stare in awe at how much people could lift, or how many burpees they could do, or how beautiful their form was while swinging a kettlebell. And I made it my goal to one day be as amazing as they were (and still are).
Fast forward a few months, after surviving Induction and a few QuickFit classes, I decided CrossFit was something I wanted to do long-term, Coach Dave talked me into signing up for the annual, 28 day Paleo challenge. I bombarded him with a million questions and with his quiet reassurance I reluctantly gave in and decided to give it a try. This was the next step in my CrossFit development – turns out when you eat a clean paleo diet and train hard; the PR bell will ring often. Several kilos of fat are quickly replaced with muscle and after a few months of faithfully CrossFitting and eating clean, I wasn’t the same person - physically, emotionally, or spiritually. I had learnt a new respect for my body and everything it was capable of, and everything it could be. I now train twice a day, up to 4 or 5 days a week. Fitter and stronger than I have ever been…
On its website, CrossFit is described as “A strength and conditioning system built on constantly varied, if not randomized, functional movements executed at high intensity.” By definition this is accurate; but it doesn’t begin to cover all that CrossFit is. Not only am I physically more capable of doing things I never thought were possible, CrossFit Auckland has given me confidence in myself as a person. It has given me a community to thrive in and a passion for fitness that has no bounds. It has given me an endless list of possibilities… goals to strive for and milestones to achieve. It has brought me a great sense of self worth and accomplishment. It pushes me, challenges me, motivates me and empowers me. It gave me the ability to build strength from within that developed so fully and deeply into my heart and soul… And as I watched that strength manifest itself physically, I realised that I’d also gained the mental and emotional toughness I finally needed to leave an abusive relationship. After 12 years of believing I would never amount to anything, I was able to pick myself up, stand strong and go after the PR I had always wanted but thought was unattainable – to live my best life.
I can honestly say if it was not for CrossFit Auckland, its members and coaches I would not be where I am today. And while it seems the hard part is over, I’m going to maintain my winning streak by continuing to learn how to live my greatest life, how to move on and STAY strong.
My name is Aurie, and I am a Crossfitter.
Lauren Smith – 35
Wow what a journey I have had over the last year at CrossFit Auckland, below is my story.
I started at CrossFit Auckland for a few of reasons:
1. I needed to do something for myself (as a working mum of two young children time on my own is very precious).
2. Stress relief.
3. General fitness.
4. Right next door to work!
In the first couple of weeks I wondered what I had got myself into… (especially at the end of week two was 400m lunges!). I looked at everyone else and thought there is no way I can be good at this. But I preserved I was determined not to give up and the great thing was it didn’t matter if I scaled or was the last person because it was about me and only me and what I can achieve. Not to mention it is addictive.
Over the years I have tried all sorts of different types of fitness; running, walking, personal trainer, gym membership, swimming and aerobic classes. Everything I would start with such enthusiasm however this would quickly wane, along with my attendance and hence I never saw any real benefit or results.
What I have got from CFAK in the last year, is not just improvement in my fitness and weight loss, it is the “other” things that have changed my life. Greater self-esteem, strength (mind and body), muscle definition, a better understanding of healthy eating and a whole new wardrobe (as nothing would fit me anymore!).
At CFAK I found all the coaches are welcoming, supportive, helpful and encouraging. They are experienced and full of knowledge that they are willing to share with everyone. They apply the right kind of pressure to ensure you are reaching your potential, whilst being mindful of any injuries you may have. As for the members, it is a wonderful community of people who are friendly, supportive and just awesome. I have made some great friends.
I have always avoided having “full” photos taken of me so it was a bit of a mission finding a before one. For the photograph taken in December I actually asked someone to take a full photo of me, how things have changed!
I would recommend CrossFit Auckland to anyone who is willing to achieve great results. It will be hard, very hard, to say otherwise would be a lie, but the reward is so worth it!
Hey Lisa and Alex -Before I collapse into bed I really wanted to say a very big thank you to you both. I always feel proud to be a member of CrossFit Auckland and have never doubted or questioned that you guys are the best. This weekend CrossFit Level-1 Cert was such a potent reminder of how lucky I am, that I really want to share these thoughts and my thanks. What I learned is how much you guys live, breathe and share this information every day. Lisa – I remember doing shoulder rehab on Saturday’s and listening to you teach the CFAK Women’s classes about the 10 physical skills. Alex – you don’t talk too much – every word has meaning and value from talking about couplets to chippers to glycolitic energy systems. My vocabulary was set. There was even a GHD question that was directly related to the cue you are always giving me. None of what we covered was new to me, there was no term or concept that I was unfamiliar with. The I Am CrossFit program you run is gold. The progressions were what I have been taught time and time again. The time with Julianne in nutrition – and what I have been living ever since in my diet is spot on. It feels like I have been living the Level 1 Cert since my very first day Elias and I came to check the place out and Alex taught us Medball cleans in a skills class.You Are CrossFit and You Are The Best!!Many, many thanks!!Laura
Mel Ramsay – 29
A few weeks ago, I got my “Happy Anniversary” email from CrossFit Auckland. It’s hard to believe that it has been 5 years since I took my first step into the old CFAK box. The last 5 years have been challenging to say the least, but without having my family at CFAK, and the support that I get from everyone here, it would have been a much harder period of time.
I discovered CrossFit Auckland when I was riding down Albany Highway on my bike training for a cycling event. I remember seeing the big sign out on the driveway, pulling over and making note of the website. I was starting to see a few bits and pieces pop up online about CrossFit, and I was interested to learn more about it. So I got home, checked out the website, and really liked the sound of what was involved. I liked training outdoors, and back then XLR8 was run in blocks of 8 weeks, so I figured that it was worth a try. I rocked up to my first class (there was no induction back then) with Alex, and a few others, really having no idea what I was in for. Turns out it was log day… 800m log runs and burpees. I remember lots of burpees. I also remember having to ask Alex what a burpee was, and I’ll never forget the look he gave me. Long story short, I could hardly walk the next day, and my shoulders were turning an interesting shade of purple but I couldn’t wait to get back. The rest, as they say, is history. I survived the 8 weeks and made the next step to become a regular member.
The biggest challenge that I faced starting something like this was whether I would be able to handle the intensity of the training. Many of my friends and family wondered whether I should be doing something like CrossFit, and I had doubts myself, but I was determined to give it a go. The reason behind this doubt – was the fact the two years prior I had had my lower back fused together. I had 4 titanium rods and 6 screws inserted into my lower back, thanks to 20 years as a competitive dancer. My surgeon wasn’t convinced that I would ever be able to run comfortably again after the operation, and lifting heavy weight didn’t exactly come recommended. But I’m not one to let people tell me I can’t do something. I’ve at least got to give a try to find out for myself. I did my rehab like I should to give me every shot at a full recovery. Despite this however, I couldn’t say that my back ever felt 100%. It was much better than it had been prior to the surgery, but I could never really say I was painfree. I was frequently taking pain meds, and I started to think that that was as good as it was going to get. I wasn’t going to stop being active, I just had to deal with the fact it was always going to hurt.
Once I was convinced that I wanted to give CrossFit a decent go, I remember filling out the paperwork for my membership. I remember reading a question that asked about past back injuries. Had I ever had a bad back injury, and should the coaches be aware of anything…ummmmmm nah I’m good I didn’t want to risk not being able to have a good shot at what I was about to embark on. I figured I was smart enough to know that if something was going to hurt my back, I just wouldn’t do it. Turns out I never should have worried, because what I learnt pretty quickly, and even more so over the last couple of years, was that you should tell the coaches everything! What has impressed me the most over my last 5 years, is their skill, patience, knowledge and their willingness to help, that Alex and Lisa have both shown towards me, as well as more recently all the other awesome coaches we now have at the club.
I haven’t had the best luck in terms of injuries, but I stand by the fact when people question why I keep doing CrossFit, that CrossFit hasn’t caused most of my injuries, but it has sure as hell allowed me to keep coming back once I am able to, and has helped me rehab a lot quicker than normal. Once again it comes back to the coaches that have enabled me to do this. In the last 5 years, aside from my initial back fusion, I’ve had surgery on my wrist, both my hips, and my shoulder. I’ve broken my ankle, and broken my wrist, and as some of you are aware, my attempt at flying a few months ago failed, when I fell off the pull up bar and broke my back again in 3 places. But, guess what, I’m still here, and as long as I can move I’ll keep coming back. My shoulder surgeon discharged me 3 months early post surgery because with the rehab I had been doing, which Alex had prescribed me, my shoulder was, at 3 months, at the level most people were at 6 months. The same surgeon, who reconstructed my hips, couldn’t believe a year post surgery, the level of strength and mobiltiy that I had achieved. Once again, Alex had worked with me to build a program to help me rehab to a safe level. And on top of all this, after spending years with chronic back pain, even after surgery, I can confidently say that 95% of the time my back is pain free. A big goal of mine (and highly unrealistic for a few years) was to get a 100kg deadlift. I achieved it last year, and it was a special moment, given what I had been through. If someone told me 5 years ago I would be able to do that, I would have called them crazy. But I know that without the help of Alex and Lisa, and everyone else, my achievements would not be possible.
There has been a lot of negative stuff around lately on social media about CrossFit and how bad it is for you and that people are stupid for doing it, and we are seeing some terrible examples of people demonstrating some stupid and dangerous things. How this has been related back to CrossFit is beyond me, and people trashing CrossFit makes me angry. How often do we see the good stories? And how many people’s lives have been changed for the better because of it? Very rarely! So people get a biased negative opinion about something that could benefit everyone. In my opinion in comes down to the affiliates and the quality of the coaches. And I know that my life has been changed because of how awesome life is at CFAK, and I can’t speak highly enough about the quality of the coaches. I may have broken nearly every part of my body, and had a lot of it rebuilt. But I know that I’ve been rebuilt stronger and better because of CrossFit Auckland and this allows me to keep coming back! I only wish I had found CrossFit 20 years ago, instead of 5!
So to Alex and Lisa, and all the coaching staff, you guys are awesome. There is no way I would be here without your help today. And to everyone else at the club, thanks for your support and encouragement to help me get through everything. You are all family to me, and knowing that being part of the awesomeness that is CFAK is enough motivation to get my ass back there anytime I get broken again
Tila Hamad – 20
When I first started CrossFit I thought I was reasonably fit, until I attempted my first xler8 class, I ended up last and cried during the workout (people thought it was sweat). But one thing that kept me coming back time after time was the enormous amount of support and encouragement I got from everyone else at the club, they knew how I felt and they all had gone through the same thing.
You see, at CrossFit Auckland there is no such thing as coming last in a workout, with a few words from the coaches and other members you end up feeling like you came first. We all have personal goals and work at our own level; and in the end we come out being the most badass versions of ourselves.
I wouldn’t give up the close bonds that I’ve created with the members or the excellent coaching received by Alex and Lisa (TRUST ME, they know what they are talking about) for any other club because with their help and support I was able to surpass my goals for 2012, I love my club, bring on 2013! =D
Puawai Munro-Halkyard – 25
I wanted to write a little rant about my background and the time I have spent here at CrossFit Auckland. I grew up playing a lot of sports, my main sport being Basketball of which I represented Rep teams such as North Harbour and Junior NZ development squads. Unfortunately I had the passion torn away from me when I was young and found myself quite lost throughout my teens. I developed an eating disorder, Bulimia & starving myself from the age of 14 and this stayed with me through to my adult years until the age of 24.
After finding CrossFit and training at CrossFit Auckland I have finally rid the habit that had held me back for so many years and have a new found confidence in myself. Being the competitive person I am, there is no way I would sacrifice my strength or “Wod times” at the thought of trying to be a “skinny prototype” anymore. After Alex convinced me to join in the “competitor training crew” I really started to see that I could do well at this if I applied myself.
Within 3 months I went from being a scaled athlete to an RX competitor and competed in team competitions at CrossFit Infinite and Mount CrossFit placing 2nd in both. However, I also found the passion and belief to back myself as an RX individual athlete at the CrossFit Auckland games in which I placed 5th overall.
Although I am honoured to be representing CFAK on a regular basis, I want to express how much the CFAK box alone means to me. I was not only hooked to the training methods and programming but equally to the CFAK family I inherited. People wonder how I can spend so much time at a “gym”, well this isn’t a gym to me, once I walk through those doors all my worries are gone, I am not judged and I no longer have to hide the person I am! My CFAK family is what saved me so why the hell wouldn’t I be here with every spare minute I have!!
Jerome Ohlson – 41
HiI’m not one for long paragraphs, but basically I saw and felt more results in the 1st 3 months at QuickFit than I did going to gym for 3 years doing my own thing. Since starting QuickFit about 6 months ago, I have lost a total of 8kg’s. I lost 5 kg’s in the 4 week Paleo Challenge alone.Besides the weight loss I also enjoyed the fact that in 5 months of going to QuickFit thrice a week, not once did I do the same routine. This keeps things fresh and interesting.I enjoy the fact that there are always new disciplines to learn and of course the intensity is also very stimulating.So all in all , I have pretty much enjoyed my new crossfit adventure.Regards,Jerome
Valerie Frith – Police Officer
I just wanted to say a huge thank you for having me at CrossFit Auckland and for everything you’ve taught me over that time. It’s been exceptional. The people and the community you’ve created is truly like none other. You should most definitely be more than a wee bit proud of that!
I have had such a blast, I can’t even put it into words. And you’ve definitely instilled in me a love for CrossFit.
You are all amaze-balls and I’ll be sad not to walk into the gym every day and see your smiling faces or hear your yells of encouragement
I wish you all the very, very best in the future!!
I hate goodbyes so I’ll just say, Seeya later…
Darryl Munro, CrossFit Coach at CrossFit Dunedin
Life changing community and environment
I spent about 12 weeks with CrossFit Auckland working with Lisa and Alex prior to a move to Dunedin in the Deep South. For me joining up with CFAK was a life changing decision, it gave me the confidence to make and commit to a couple of decisions that had been a long time in the making. The coaching of Alex and Lisa is outstanding and they really care about each and every member of the CFAK community.I spent the first four weeks undertaking the Induction Program classes which was awesome in helping me understand the fundamentals of CrossFit and indeed contributed hugely to my passing of the CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Certificate. I can’t recommend doing the Induction Program highly enough.From doing the Induction Program I joined up as an Unlimited Member for the last eight weeks I was in Auckland, and this was just bloody awesome. I never did the same workout twice which is what makes CrossFit so damn great. I increased my capacity to do innumerable things in this eight week period and I began to feel so much better not just physically but mentally as well. I have never experienced such a great environment to get fit and be healthy in, you just don’t get the same thing at any other type of gym and I have tried a few.I highly recommend CrossFit Auckland not just because doing CrossFit is so addictive, it is also the passion that Lisa and Alex have for their members and the fantastic community they have built around being healthy. I miss working out with Lisa, Alex and the rest of the crew due to the fact it was more than just going to the “gym”.Darryl Munro
Karen Udarbe, CrossFit Auckland Member
Dear Crossfit Auckland,
It’s been another year since my last love letter to you. So much has happened, I can say that almost everyone will agree, it’s like something out of the movies!
Ahh, CrossFit Auckland … The *people* make this place … my community, my family in NZ. For expats like me, home is truly where your heart is. I nearly left for Canada last year, but then realised NZ is my home too. What kept me here? Believe it or not, it was CFAK. Or rather, the PEOPLE in CFAK! I write this to the folks that have stood by me on my continuing journey to becoming a better version of me. It’s no secret that my world came crumbling down nine months ago – a very painful and very public breakup started the chain reaction to the transformation of what I was, to what I am meant to be. There’s still a lot more to improve, but the journey thus far has been this roller coaster of a ride!
Over the last 9 months:
- I’ve gone from 80kgs to 65kgs. I was 105kgs when I started at CrossFit Auckland.
- I have the happy problem of being a size 8 but only fitting a 10 or 12 due to my arms, shoulders and/or legs not fitting in clothing. BTW I started at CFAK wearing size 18 clothes. #crossfitproblems
- I PB’d every day for nearly two months late last year. People then joked I should have my own section on the whiteboard … LOL
- My PBs included Weightlifting movements; my Deadlift, Clean & Jerk, Snatch, Front Squat and OH Squat. Each of these increased by about 10-15%
- I can now do bodyweight exercises; Pistols, Rope Climbs, Handstand Push-ups and CTB Pull-ups. All of which, especially with strict form, were almost impossible a year ago.
- I shaved off significant minutes on workouts like Annie; from 16+ mins to 8+ mins. DT I did twice in one day, faster by 2 minutes the second time around and in under 10 mins. And Ivan the Terrible from scaled to RX’d, and faster.
- Running PBs (this is a MAJOR one for me). In my early CrossFit days, I could only row, I did not run for over a year. And I wheezed terribly. All. The. Time.
- I joined my first ever Olympic Weightlifting comp in February and ticked that off my bucket list. I got electrocuted with other CFAK Lions at Tough Mudder (I nearly kicked the bucket!) And went into this years CrossFit Open FEARLESS versus panicky and dead scared.
These gains in my CrossFit life have translated directly into making gains in my personal life – I have started to appreciate myself as a person. I gained the confidence to expand my social circles and try new things. I’ve taken to Stand up Paddleboarding and Indoor Rock Climbing (when I’m not at the box, of course), and I now have non-CrossFit friends (whaaaat!). I even changed my look; yes, I even wear skirts now. Although we all choose to deal with what life throws at us our own way, I just want to acknowledge the fact that I would never have come out of the state I was in if not for my fellow CFAKers. My sanctuary not only provided me with an outlet for my energy, but my mates were really there for me…
Thank you for listening to me, offering me shoulders to cry on, many hugs and really sage advice, force-feeding me, giving me silent pats on the back and squeezing my hand in support, having heart-to-heart talks, offering me places to stay, cooking me dinners, opening up your own insecurities, vulnerabilities and even past hurts, your encouragement, your very kind words, and most of all, your time, respect, honesty, genuine friendship and love. NOTHING compares to having people of this calibre all around me, every day. You folks not only LOOK GOOD, you ARE GOOD! For realzies. :-)
So to you, my fellow CFAKers, I am forever grateful …
… Lisa and Alex (and Kira and Russy), Antoinette and Nick, Bernie, David, Matiu, Puawai (and Kado), Panda, Bennylicious, Tila, Janelle, Katiebum, Courdy, CC, Amanda and Logan, Sonya and Ronnie, Nate, Danny, Craig and Julie, Mel, Suz, Aneliese and Carl (and Benny and Beau), Sarah and Richie (and Abby), Steph and Sam, Sarah and Ollie, Garth and Daisy, Asuka and Andy, Tarns, Jane and Matty, Jer and Jaqcues, Huggy, Laura, Michelle W, Hummer and Val, Trekkie and the Le Rouxes, Mama Catherine, Erin and Mark, Monica, Julie H, Caroline, Tracy, Andrea, Debs, Meliss, Daniela, Des, Boy Des, Fraswa, Jay, Buzzy, Naomi … oh man, I’m sure there’s more
I don’t really know what I’ve done to deserve to have you amazing people in my life. But then again, You reap what you sow, as they say. This is true for pretty much anything, including CrossFit Auckland. So put that extra juice into your WODs, strive to make gains, set goals, challenge yourself! The results willalways speak for themselves.
Three years on, and I can safely say joining CrossFit Auckland has been one of the BEST decisions of my life. I’m looking forward to many more years of friendships old and new, gains, booty dancing (twerking? yeah nah) and of course barbells and WODding in my box. Happy three year anniversary to us, CFAK.
Peter Heslop – 54
Hi Lisa and Alex
Just a quick line to wish you both a great Christmas and New Year and to say thanks for getting me in to some sort of shape over these last 18 months – squats excluded!!!! I’ve lost around 15kgs since joining CrossFit Auckland and running 10 kms these days is like a stroll in the park – I’ve never been this fit in all my 54 years!!! I look forward to resuming training again mid-January.
All the best to you and the team.
In the relatively short time I’ve been going to QuickFit classes I can tell that I have already become fitter and stronger. Perhaps even more importantly though I’ve overcome some of the mental barriers I had in place and am doing things I never considered I’d be able to do.
The induction was a great way to meet other new members, and really important in helping to understand the CrossFit methodology and bed in the basic techniques behind the stuff we do. I remember Antoinette telling us that this CrossFit thing was addictive. At the time I was doubtful – but now I know she was right, it surely is!
Lisa and Alex are clearly passionate about what they do and have created a great club where everyone is encouraged and challenged to reach beyond their potential.
A comment I read that says “This is the only sport where the last person to finish gets the loudest cheer” is so true. That’s been me a few times and the encouragement from the coaches and other members is awesome. Even better is the satisfaction of completing that workout and knowing that, actually, you CAN do this.
I had been training at CrossFit Auckland for two years when I became pregnant, so naturally I was really keen to continue doing CrossFit for as long as I could into my pregnancy. I spoke to Alex and Lisa who were able to provide me with some really good advice and guidance around how I could continue CrossFit whilst keeping both my baby and myself safe.
I continued to train until I was 28 weeks pregnant and all the coaches were great during this time – keeping a close eye on me and making sure I was taking regular breaks and not pushing myself too hard. I was able to adapt workouts or sub out any exercises that I couldn’t do as I got bigger, which meant I could still participate in all of the WOD’s with everyone else.
I’m really thankful that I was able to do CrossFit during my pregnancy. Not only did it help keep my weight down it also helped my body and mind cope with the physical changes during pregnancy and helped me to easily lose my pregnancy weight after Noah was born.
Once Noah was born I was keen to get back to CrossFit Auckland as soon as possible. Unfortunately I had a ceserean so my recovery took a little longer. I returned to CrossFit after 3 months and after having a really good chat with Lisa I decided to come back to the QuickFit classes to ease myself back into it. QuickFit was fabulous and really worked for me in the early days. I was able to come in and get a great workout in 30 mins and get home to Noah. Because the QuickFit WOD is at 7am it also meant that Dan and I were both able to train in the mornings – even though it was a bit of a military operation!
After 3 months of doing QuickFit I felt ready and strong enough to take on more so I signed back up to the mainsteam CrossFit classes and haven’t looked back. Dan and I have both been able to continue training by doing alternate mornings or evening classes so it really works for us.
Thanks to the coaches for being so amazing during my pregnancy and supporting me when I returned to CrossFit.
To the coaches and community at Crossfit Auckland, thanks for everything. Thanks Lisa, Alex and Cookie for helping me with technique and pushing me every time I came in the gym. I feel fitter than I’ve ever been, both physically and mentally. I’m off to Europe now, wish you guys all the best and will recommend you guys as Top Coaches and a top environment to anyone looking for a positive change. Cheers Cookie for giving me shit and pushing past my limits and thanks to my quickfit class, keep it up!
I never thought that I could get so strong so quickly. When I started QuickFit I could barely do one proper push up, now in under 3 moths I am managing 15 without stopping – I couldn’t ask for better than a 150% improvement. The encouraging nature of the staff at CrossFit Auckland motivate you to go beyond what you thought you were capable of. I will never go back to a traditional gym again after trying CrossFit.
Hi Lisa,I just wanted to pass on my high regards to the team at CrossFit Auckland. Antoinette was a very very good induction coach and I enjoyed each session with her which helped a lot. I had all of my QuickFit sessions with Dave and again what a top bloke and he really helped push me into my workouts. Full credit to them and you guys, and a huge thank you.
I have been to classic gyms in the past but not really liking them choose to avoid them. But I do like CrossFit, and I will be signing up next winter to push me through the winter. In the meantime is out to paddle board, surf, dive and slot in some home workouts for now.
Again thanks heaps, when we work out some time with our young daughter I will get my wife to come through and see what its all about.
Cheers Scott Jury – Architect
Sonia Joyce – 62
Hi Lisa and Alex,
Often think about you and hope all is going well for you at CrossFit Auckland’s new premises – which must feel like old premises by now?
I wanted you to know that I am well and I think keeping pretty fit – by following some of your advice Alex – which was that the very best exercise that you can do is squats !!
You will be pleased to hear that I am religiously doing 20 squats and 20 press ups every morning. It seems to work and that along with mostly paleo eating (not so good at this time of year) seems to keep me in reasonable shape. I am still working full time – much of it in an office – but I have just had a few good physical sessions in my garden (moved 3 cubic meters of bark today) and in my parents’ garden recently – and the body is holding up well. Go the squats and push ups!! My ‘old self’ would have been stiff and sore – especially in my back. So thank you for the great tuition and encouragement.
Hope that the 2 of you have a very happy Christmas and a good holiday break.
Love to you both
Stew McRobie – 52
I really want to truly thank you both for what I have got out of CrossFit Auckland over the last 18 months or so that I have been coming frequently and this is in no small part due to the efforts of you both. You are both very supportive and encouraging and always have something to say that will help and improve me and after this it is really up to me. I also just love the high standards that you both have and it really has promoted excellence within each of the people that attend and CFAK overall – superb!
George Todd – 52
Coach – thank you and CrossFit Auckland bro, my Metcon for today was – Mow the lawns – these are f###ing epic lawns bro, used to take me half a day, 60 litres of sweat and I’d be puffin like a steam train, in the end I bought a ride on man, today I thought – F### it, lets see how it goes again with the hand mower, and the lawns were long man cos of all the rain, been too hard to mow with the ride on – got it done in 1 hour, 28 min, and could have done the F###er again, sure there was sweat, but breathing wasn’t anywhere as near as bad as it gets in a nasty WOD and lookin forward to Krav tonight, the f###ers better bring their A game.
Have cut out all bread, pasta and grains etc, eatin heaps of veg and lean meats chicken etc for the last 2 weeks, usin olive oil, and Advos etc – not quite Paleo, but I’m gettin there man, once again mate, so f###ing glad I found CrossFit Auckland man – big hug bro
Eric Ryda – 46
Hi Lisa and Alex, I was going through some old boxes this morning and I spotted this old X-ray taken 6 months after major surgery to repair a ruptured patella ligiment. The injury was left untreated for 10 days as it was mis-diagnosed as a hairline fracture after a motorbike accident.
When this happened I was told there was doubt I would ever regian full use of my knee again. That was 24 years ago, I have done alot in that time, looking to get the most out of everything I do, but always feeling limited by the belief that my knee was weak. It was a convenient excuse. Since starting at CrossFit Auckland I have learned that I my knee is strong, it just needed to be used in the right way, trained and given a chance to grow strong. I suppose this is what functional movement is all about.
Looking back I realise that every squat, wall ball, run, jerk, clean, thruster, box jump, row, lunge, deadlift, even burpee is a privilege; one that I have earned. I’m turning 45 this year and have never felt fitter, stronger, more whole and capable than I do now – ever. CrossFit Auckland has been pivotal in my reaching this point.
Thank you for creating an environment where people can grow, challenge and push themselves beyond what they believe is possible.
It’s about more than just lifting heavy s–t! Thanks!
Bernie Murch – 43
I compete in the sport of Outrigger Canoe Racing. For those of you who do not know much about it, it is a type of canoe with a lateral support float known as an outrigger which is fastened to one side of the main hull. The most common types of outrigger canoes you will see in New Zealand are 6 man, 2 man and 1 man canoes. I use a paddle, singled sided for several strokes then change to the other side.
I have successfully competed internationally representing New Zealand in both sprint racing (500m and 1500m) and distance racing (10km – 70km), receiving podium finishes at world Sprint level and notable distance races.
For the last several years I have competed in a race in Hawaii called “Nga Wahine O Ke Kai” (they call it the un-official world long distance championships): it’s an exhilarating 69km surfing ocean race from the Island of Molokai to O’ahu across the Kaiwi Channel. 10 athletes make up a team, of which 6 are paddling at any given time. The other 4 athletes are in a support boat preparing to switch into the canoe.
Every 15minutes or so the support boat goes ahead of the canoe and drops off the replacement paddlers in the ocean, substituting paddlers in the canoe, switching paddlers in and out of the canoe happens simultaneously: you only have 1 chance getting in the canoe so it’s critical no mistakes are made. If you were to think of this race in terms of ‘CrossFit’; then it’s like doing a 30min WOD, having 15minutes break between each one over a period of 6 hours!
My build up to the 2010 ‘Nga Wahine O Ke Kai’ campaign was quite different compared to the 2009 training schedule. Last year I was privileged to have been part of a top open Australian crew. This year they officially represented Australia so my passport and accent did not qualify me! Following the programme last year, I found my self on the water 7-10 times per week, clocking up a massive 100-120km per week, with 3 gym sessions and at least 1-2 runs per week, a very hard schedule to keep up when you work 40-50 hours per week. I have never gone into this race so conditioned as this, or so I thought, until I found CrossFit!
My 2010 training programme was almost the reversal of last years. I was at CrossFit Auckland ‘banging out’ up to 7 WOD’s per week (including strength training) and on the water up to 4-5 times per week clocking up to 60-70km. It was a gamble going into this race with such a different build up, I knew though in the back of my mind I’ve never been as fit or as strong ever in my life, so surely I should be O.K!
There were 83 canoes on the start line this year. Our team, “Hawaii, New Zealand Team RevoluSun” entered in the Masters Division (over 40′s). It was an intense race the entire way, constantly jostling for positions with other crews. We crossed the line in a time of 6hours and 4minutes, first master’s crew and 4th canoe across the line! We were a mere 1minute and 4 seconds behind the 3rd Open Team and 10min behind the winning open team. This was truly no mean feat, a notable performance.
I felt strong and focused throughout the race; alongside my team mates I believe we had a near perfect race. CrossFit most certainly was the winner on the day. I’m sold on this type of training for my sport and it most certainly now has a permanent role in my training programme as well as encouraging other athletes in outrigger canoe racing to make it a part of their training schedule too.
Thank you Alex and Lisa at CrossFit Auckland in giving me the opportunity to train at your facilities and for the numerous coaching and guidance given to me over the last year, not to mention all the club members whom I train with. Thank you again.
Richard Blainey – 28 – Software Developer
Hey guys, thought I would share this with you. I was looking at some photos from just before I started at CrossFit Auckland and I just about fell off my chair. I have to attribute almost all of this to you and your training methods. I remember then, my weight was about 95kg. I am now 78kg and am the fittest I have ever been. So cheers! You guys are awesome.
Craigè Mayo – Managing Director & Dad
I did a month of PT with Alex and quickly discovered not only was I unfit but that general fitness had a whole new dimension and I soon found myself addicted to the personal achievement of becoming fit in an all round sense for the very first time in my life.
At 40, I am the fittest I have ever been in my life. My inspiration and motivation comes from the desire to remain a fit and active farther and husband. CrossFit Auckland is not elitist, it’s a community of people just like me training for a variety of personal reasons. Unlike conventional gyms, you seldom do the same workout which is one of the things I love about CrossFit; you can literally train for months and never do the same workout twice.
Whatever your age-group, gender or fitness level, I highly recommend CrossFit Auckland. Alex, Lisa and Michael are fantastic coaches with a great attitude towards their members. If your one of the thousands that have tried fitness programs or gyms before and for one reason or another quit, I recommend you trial CrossFit Auckland. As long as you have a little perseverance you will thrive here, it’s truly unique and very rewarding. Hope to see you soon.
Sonja Murphy – Mum & Marketing Professional
I started at CrossFit Auckland about a year ago after watching Close Up on TV1, they were interviewing the fittest woman in Australasia.
Inspired by that story, that was it for me the next day I was down at CrossFit Auckland, joined up and started the 12 week woman’s programme. Having completed that and achieving fantastic results I went on and joined the “big kids” classes (WOD, workout of the day) and have been lovin it ever since.
CrossFit isn’t just for “athletes”. Anybody who puts their mind to it can do it! I’m no super fit athlete, just a Mum of 2 who wants to stay fit, strong and healthy. I like their back to basics philosophy, no fancy gym equipment, I like the fact that they believe in the body should be trained as a whole, developing functional strength, promoting lean body mass and improving health.
All their workouts are always a challenge (and I’m not joking), never boring, they are all scalable so they fit everyone’s level. Alex and Lisa are great coaches, they make you feel very welcome at the gym, it’s like a second home to most of us.
I thoroughly recommend the coaching @ CrossFit Auckland. Alex and Lisa are so passionate about what they do, so if you are looking for a change to your regular gym routine or want to start something new, give it a go, you won’t regret it.
Stronger, fitter, faster, go
Antoinette Van Burick – Pilates Instructor
Good morning Lisa and Alex
You know you are obsessed with CrossFit when you start praying for your clients to cancel so you can get to a CrossFit Auckland class.
That’s not happening cause my clients are just as passionate as I am sigh sigh:) Thanks for a awesome first experience of CrossFit Auckland Games for me. I LOVED IT!!!! So much that I am planning to up my training to 2x a week from next year so will join early January.
Lots of love and sore muscles
Just wanted to say another big thanks to you and Alex for all the good stuff I got out of the CrossFit Auckland Women’s course.
I’m now going fairly regularly to Rapid CrossFit just down the road from us and often find myself thinking, thank god for all the stuff I learned up at CrossFit Auckland! It’s been such a great base for technique and discipline; I really do believe I’d be floundering without all the skills that were drilled into us during those 12 weeks.
So thanks again
Ange Neely – Consultant & Mum
I joined CrossFit Auckland Woman with the intent of simply ‘getting off the couch’.
It had been a couple of years (and a few extra kilos) since I had done any real exercise and I was fairly unfit, lacking stamina and, by comparison, low in energy. Because of my level of fitness I signed up to a first (then a second) CrossFit Auckland Woman’s programme.
- The first obvious thing to me (apart from not being able to sit down easily on the toilet/chair…couch, for 2 days after a squat workout!) was the encouragement Lisa and Alex gave to the team – irrespective of ability. They take a holistic view of exercise and would constantly link it back to real life – e.g. practicing thrusters will help you get that heavy suitcase onto the top shelf of your wardrobe or carrying these weights in each hand will get you stronger for carrying shopping!
- The second most important thing was the technique. Previously I would throw the weights on a bar at a gym and go for it… at CrossFit Auckland the ‘not negotiable’ is the technique and protection from injury… we spent hours (no exaggeration) learning how to pick up a bar (or anything of heavy weight) from the floor. At a guess I would say that over half a class is spent on learning technique. Not once did I get an injury from doing what I was told! What I did get was fitter and more able to function in day to day life without ‘niggles’. Any injuries I might have had in the past have been assisted by the technique’s learned here. I understand more about how my body works.
- The third thing was nutrition – I had really become a bit of a vacuum cleaner for rubbish food – and put simply ‘bad in, bad out’ – The supporting nutritional advice got me out of bad habits and into good. Coupled with the exercise it was a winning combination.
So where am I at now?? I have had 2 weeks in the ‘big kids’ class. Following a similar format to the CrossFit Auckland Woman’s classes, there is a WOD (Workout of the Day) and while technique is still very important most people know how to do it – so the workouts are longer, more intense and just harder! Going to these classes initially scared me half to death! I really felt like the rookie…. But the people are so nice, I feel like part of the family where, what we do is personal and we do it together! While it could be competitive, competition tends to be focussed against you… pitched against myself, I am constantly improving and getting Personal Best times and weights.
If you are thinking that this might be too hard for you, or that you are not a muscle mutt… then this is probably exactly the right place for you – it will be hard! But it will be worth it. You will build muscle, but no one ever complained of a better toned body – did they?? So just do it, you will not regret it for a minute!
Vaughan Hibbert – Police Officer
CrossFit enjoys a strong reputation among military and law enforcement forces around the world.
As a serving Police officer, I can attest that the emphasis on constantly varied and functional movements makes CrossFit ideal for keeping job-fit.
When I first turned up at CrossFit Auckland I thought I was reasonably fit. Two work-outs later and I knew that I was badly mistaken – and I was hooked.
A year later and I may never be ‘The Fittest Man Alive’, but I know that I will be crossfitting for the rest of my able-bodied life and will be much healthier and happier because of it. CrossFit Auckland will always be the place where I began the journey and Alex and Lisa have been terrific with their coaching and support.
Get along and try it. Bring a bit of heart-muscle, leave your pride at the door and the rewards will be many.
Derek Dallow – Partner, Devonports Harbour Lawyers
In February I made a decision to take on my brother in the Gold Coast half ironman in October 2010.
My bro is fairly fit and was on his second year of it. On advice I bought a carbon fibre high tech racing bike and headed off on my first training ride. As a pen pushing 52 year old lawyer who sits in his office all day or late into the night at meetings etc, I soon found I didn’t have the strength to grab the bike by the throat and drive it up the hills.
My daughter suggested “CrossFit” as a way to toughen up and noted Crossfit was only 5 mins from my office at Albany. I went along to my first class and was pleased to see a mixture of ages and both males and females. I was surprised and a bit nervous to find that even the older ones were throwing weights around,doing chin ups,sit ups and even those horrible burpees. I knew I couldn’t even do one chin up!.
They gave me an oversize rubberband I could put over the bar and put my foot in to help me up, and to my relief after asking around, I found most of the others had been going for 3 months or more. I signed up.
As a lawyer I am trained to pull the most excruciating faces and come up with pleas to mitigate the pain. Sadly the personal trainers at Crossfit believe in “unreasonableness” (“that’s fine, we can stay here all night until you finish”) and hence you do make progress. You also make some great friends who encourage you along and share the journey.
Seven months later, at the end of September I did my last CrossFit session before heading to Oz. At the last session I was able to do 60 chin ups (6 at a time) unaided, could press 40kg above my head, do 200 metres of a horrible exercise called lunges (comfortably), 200 sit-ups, 600 skips, 60 20kg kettlebell swings.
Even though my brother did beat me, I did the 1.9m swim, 90km ride and 21km run, in 6hrs, 29mins and 39secs. That was a nice 1secs faster than my brother’s first go at it. I can dine on that forever!!
Bernie Murch – International Outrigger Canoe Paddler
As an athlete regularly competing in Outrigger Canoe Paddling events both nationally and internationally both requires a great deal of strength and fitness.
Alex, Lisa and their team of coaches at CrossFit Auckland have helped me significantly in helping achieve my individual success and also enhanced every aspect of my performance as an athlete. I have been amazed at the strength and conditioning gains CrossFit training has made with the added benefit of becoming more efficient and maximising my time on and off the water; I’m undoubtedly stronger than what I was a year ago, and only spend half the time training in a gym that I did before.
The workouts are varied and dynamic. One day I may jump rope, lift weights (Olympic style) while the next day, run shuttle runs, do pull ups and or muscle ups. The end result is improved functional movement; a key factor in being able to transfer your power and strength to moving a canoe as efficiently and as fast as possible while competing.
CrossFit Auckland can help any athlete who wants to get fitter, faster and stronger which will enhance your performance and assist in achieving goals. I guarantee you will get huge benefits from this form of training.
Chari Mouton – Physiotherapist
My name is Chari Mouton and I’m a Physiotherapist living in Brisbane. I did a session with you guys through my AUT course in November 2009 with Nigel Harris (good old Fran!!).
I just wanted to tell you that since that session I have become a Crossfit junkie!! Absoultely love it!! I currently use the Auckland website for the WOD and perform them at my normal gym! Since I arrived back I have gone from being able to do 10 max male push ups, to now being able to do 50 non-stop, and can deadlift 15kg over my body weight!! I am absolutely thrilled!! I’ve never been as fit as I am now! And I saw results in no time!!
I just wanted to say that I have recommended Crossfit to soooo many people now and to a lot of my patients!! Its great for functional strengthening and so time efficient!! Keep up the good work and I wish you all the very best for the future!!
Sonia Joyce – Teacher
Hi Alex and Lisa,
At the beginning of my time at Crossfit – you promised ‘strength and endurance’. I think it was very successful!!
Thought that you might like to know that thanks to my time and effort, and your tutoring with ‘CrossFit for Women’- I managed the 3 day Humpridge Track before Xmas – no problems at all.
I was very chuffed – long days (19 kms) and steep on the first day. Beautiful walk. I then <strong>celebrated my 60th Birthday </strong>with a climb to the top of Ruapehu Saturday 9th Jan on a stunning day – amazing at the top, the views and the colour of the crater lake.
The Humpridge was interesting in that 1 of us cycled and walked for fitness, 1 of us walked and had recently done a couple of half marathons, and I had done CrossFit (no walking or marathons); I probably managed best of the 3 of us! The strength and endurance was just what was needed.
Kind regards to you both.
Laura Mittenthal – Test Manager
I just wanted to say a big thanks to you both. This has been a big week for PRs and overall progress for me at CFAK:
- Monday my CrossFit Total went from 166 to 217.5 with PRs on my Back Squat and Shoulder Press
- Saturday I was happy with my I AM CROSSFIT Checkout Beep Test and 300 results, especially when I look back to my very first check-in results:
- First ever check-in: pull-ups on Green band, push-ups with Green band, 8kg on DB and it took me 20:46 / Beep Test 5.2
- Last check-out: pull-ups on Red band, strict push-ups, 12.5kg on DB and it took me 18:00 / Beep Test 8.1
- Today was a PR on my FGB score with 225 (last best score was 212!) – thereby demonstrating that I have achieved one of my I AM CROSSFIT goals for conquering Wall Balls.
Thanks to you both for having the club and community and giving the mental and emotional support that makes this kind of week and all the empowerment and joy that comes with these achievements possible. Alex – a special thanks to you for the thought and encouragement and pushing that goes into my Thursday sessions with you as well as the shoulder rehab.
Keep it coming guys!!!
Lyn Mayes – Business Owner & Mum
Joe started with CrossFit in March 2009 at age 12 with the specific objectives of improving his stamina, strength and fitness to support his performance for school and North Harbour representatives at hockey and cricket.
Joe loves his personal coaching sessions and looks forward to the new challenges presented each week.
I believe that the one on one coaching sessions have directly led to Joe being recognized as a North Harbour U13 representative for hockey and for his appointment prior to injury to the North Harbour A cricket team.
Joe’s cricket coach has acknowledged that Joe puts 100% into his fitness training to the point where he would win the CrossFit PUKIE award! We encourage this! Last week Joe was the first in his year to finish the Round the Bays run in 46 minutes– long distance running is not something we have targeted but the lessons he has learned at CrossFit Auckland have facilitated his ability to beat not just his class mates but his teachers.
Since Joe joined CrossFit Auckland his older brother Bobby Mayes (aged 17) and I have joined the Class Workout programme. We strongly recommend CrossFit Auckland to everyone irrespective of age, fitness or location.
Lisa Dibbayawan – Mother
William began CrossFit in February 2010 as part of the CrossFit Auckland Teens programme.
William has both dyslexia and dyspraxia and began the programme with poor core strength and week physical fitness. The changes have been dramatic.
Academically, William has been able to focus better in class, organize himself and his items, and achieve mostly A’s in the first term report. Physically, William traditionally finishes last in the yearly cross country competition. This year, he was able to finish the race, without stopping, with another 15 students behind him.
He does enjoy sport, but due to his dyspraxia, struggles with normal co-ordination activities. During cricket this season he scored the team’s 3rd highest run score and began regularly taking wickets. It has been remarkable the change in his ability to concentrate, focus, and co-ordinate during sports.
And to my surprise, after each session, whether it be a group CrossFit Auckland Teens session or a private coaching session, he is on a high. He loves it. I believe the change in his ability is due to CrossFit’s focus on core strength and co-ordination activities, linking the right and left brain functions. I have now begun personal coaching at CrossFit Auckland myself – it looks like too much fun.
Patricia Smith – Mum to be & Royal New Zealand Air Force
CrossFit isn’t just for “athletes”. Anybody can do it…including pregnant women.
I had been going to CrossFit Auckland for about two months when I became pregnant with my first child. After reading a couple of books and websites I decided to quit CrossFit, as they all talked about “taking things easy” and not doing anything strenuous – which definitely ruled out CrossFit!
I spoke to Lisa, who gave me some really good advice that I could continue CrossFit at my current capacity providing I had doctors clearance and was in good health. But I would need to ensure I didn’t overdo it, taking small breaks and listening to my body. So I decided to keep going and see what happened.
What happened was a further three and a half months of excellent exercise. The coaches were really fantastic. They all kept a close eye on me, ensuring I didn’t overheat, run out of breath or push myself too hard (something that was hard to do after punishing myself previously at CrossFit). I could do all the same exercises and workouts, but just had to take a little longer, and reduce the weights or reps on occasion. As I neared the end of my second trimester and the bump started to get in the way, the coaches always had plenty of ideas to alter the WODs to ensure I still got a great workout, while keeping me and the baby safe.
I finished at CrossFit Auckland about halfway through my pregnancy. I am really grateful that Lisa convinced me to keep going. I got to keep up a good level of fitness, and it helped me keep my weight gain well within the recommended guidelines. Because the movements done at CrossFit mimic everyday movements I believe continuing CrossFit helped my body adjust and cope with the physical changes of pregnancy.
And working out at CrossFit Auckland ensured that I was receiving professional guidance and supervision the whole time. Thanks heaps to Lisa, Alex and the team – without your guidance I would have chucked it all in immediately and missed out on all the health and fitness benefits I got through the early stages of my pregnancy.
Nick Collins – Graphic Designer & Dad
I’ve included CrossFit into my weekly training for over 3 months now and I am blown away with the results I’ve achieved in such a short period of time. Being exposed to such a variety of physical skills has excelled my fitness to a new level which I haven’t reached before! CrossFit is always challenging, but at the same time fun! It’s a great environment to train and push your self in, with great support from both coaches and other athletes. I’ve now set a goal to compete at the 2011 CrossFit Games.
CrossFit Auckland has changed the way I look at fitness!
Carly Mulqueen – Tourism NZ
I’ve achieved more than I ever imagined and in such a short time! Alex is an awesome trainer – amazing at both encouraging and challenging us to stretch ourselves My heart throbs as I arrive to do each WOD… the unknown exciting, or do I mean slightly scary?!
I haven’t been this fit in fifteen years and it feels good! I find myself empowered to step out in other areas of my life. Thank you CrossFit Auckland!!
I’ve played competitive rugby for more years than I care to remember having played seasons in Australia, England and more recently, Spain. I’ve played for many representative teams over the years including the New Zealand Defence Force, South Australia and also in an invitational team against the Western Force Super XV side. As any rugby player knows there is a lot of extra fitness and strength training required in the form of weights and cardio. Personally, I’ve never enjoyed running or going to gyms to lift weights, something I often neglected and I needed a new challenge.
I first started at CrossFit Auckland in October 2012 and have been going religiously 4-6 times a week since. These days CrossFit is all over the media and is reflected in both positive and negative light depending on whether you’re talking to a crossfitter or someone who has never tried it (I say this because I’ve never met anyone who has tried CrossFit and not enjoyed the associated challenge and camaraderie). I’ve never been so motivated to train and challenge myself as I have since I started at CrossFit Auckland. Every workout that is programmed is given a lot of thought, is challenging for all levels of athletes but most of all is fun (well there aren’t too many smiles mid workout but the level of support from fellow crossfitters and coaches is great). The coaching standard is first class with all coaches having completed a myriad of courses.
CrossFit involves a variety of Olympic weightlifting techniques, some of which I had never tried and was nervous about especially with regards to injury. For anyone that has reservations about this, you need not worry at CrossFit Auckland. The coaches are always on hand to help with technique and making minor adjustments to avoid injury and most of all keep a close eye on you and make sure you have the technique sorted before you start lifting too heavy.
The CrossFit Auckland community can only be classed as a fun, social atmosphere whereby groups of mates (and I’m happy to say that unlike any major gym, I’ve met a lot of cool people along the way) push each other to achieve and do what they previously thought wasn’t possible.
I feel that my fitness and attitude towards training has never been better. The coaches are always on hand for advice and in my case tailor sessions due to rugby injuries. For anyone that doesn’t enjoy the repetitiveness of plodding the pavement or weights in the gym I strongly recommend giving Alex and Lisa a call.
Dr Rebecca Penman, BVSc MRCVS
I live for CrossFit. I have never been in so much pain, so exhausted and so frustrated.
Yet never have I felt so exhilarated, so inspired, so rewarded. In the 6 weeks that I’ve been doing it, I’m fitter, stronger and slimmer than I’ve been in years!! I’m a CrossFit Addict!!
Wow, what an amazing last 8 months. My first day at CrossFit Auckland was definitely one to remember; sweat, tears, a realization of how unfit I was, couldn’t even do a single pull-up!!
Its amazing to think how far I’ve come in such a small amount of time.
And now not only have I smashed all my goals out of the park, I’m off to represent New Zealand at the Australasian Regional CrossFit Games in Sydney.
Oh and now I can do free Pull ups and Deadlift 125kg! Not only has CrossFit Auckland made me fitter, stronger and healthier, but it has truly changed my outlook on life…
Freda Vaimoso-Forrest – CFAK Women
I would just like to say that I am really enjoying the classes and definitely feel the progress in myself…
I plan to become a member after this CFAK Women and will keep enjoying it alongside my beautiful husband whom has really taken to CrossFit Auckland and speaks about it religiously to family and friends!!!
Thank you to Alex and Lisa (and the CrossFit Team) there has been a great healthy change in my family.
Look forward to next workout class!!
Sarah Halton – Full Time Mum
To me CrossFit means being the strongest, fastest, fittest most energetic you can be. After 1 month I have achieved better results than after 6 months one on one with a personal trainer.
CrossFit doesn’t discriminate against weight, age or gender it’s the best fitness environment for everyone. CrossFit makes you reach and break through fitness boundaries that you thought you could never do – when I started CrossFit I thought I knew where my breaking point was, I was wrong!
It doesn’t just train your body it helps you change your mindset of how far you can push yourself – with this type of training your limits are pushed to the extreme every workout.
D.B. – SOF NZ Army
CrossFit pushes me beyond my physical and mental limits. The workouts are demanding.
Mike Leonard – Aircraft Technician – Royal New Zealand Air Force
CrossFit is my drug of choice. It is seriously addictive.
After training at CrossFit Auckland for about 5 weeks, I noticed a huge change in my speed, strength, muscular endurance and body shape. Probably the biggest change I noticed was the change in my attitude.
With having a 24/7 smile on my face and truckloads of energy, I can safely say CrossFit has changed my life for the better in more ways than one. I recommend CrossFit to anyone that has ever dreamed of being more than ordinary.
If your dreams don’t scare the crap out of you, then they are just not high enough.
Josh Nicholls – Fire Fighter
Since leaving the NZ Army and shifting to Auckland to become a Fire Fighter, I found that i needed to find something as mentally and physically challenging as the NZ Army and my job as a Fire fighter, CrossFit has well and truly meet all of this and more, with helping maintain my fitness level for everyday tasks that I may encounter.
Debbie Downing – Judo Coach, Small Business Owner & Mum
I have been having an amazing time at CrossFit Auckland. I had my reservations about doing the 12 week Women’s programme due to training for the Auckland Marathon.
However this is the perfect cross training for me. I thought I was moderately fit and strong but Alex has well and truly put me in my place (he has put the fear of Fran in me!).
Thank you for this wonderful journey that will not finish at the end of the 12 weeks. I’m here for good!
Again, thanks guys!
Diane James – Mother of 4, Recreational Tennis and Golfer
I am 55 years old and started CrossFit 5 weeks ago.
I found the first week very scary but with the endless patience and boundless enthusiasm of Alex I am now doing things I wouldn’t have thought possible!!
The workouts are always a challenge, never boring and knock every other gym into a cocked hat.
I can’t wait to see what shape I will be in after the 12 weeks are up. Alex and Lisa, your enthusiasm is contagious and you are to be congratulated on running an excellent programme. Thank you.
I want other people like me to know that I am no super fit athlete, just an ordinary middle aged mum – CrossFit does work for everyone no matter your age or stage in life.
Jo Hill – CrossFit Auckland Women @ 6wks
I’m not sure about my weight loss because I haven’t been taking my measurements or weighing myself but I have definitely noticed that my clothes are getting looser and my body shape is changing. I’m sure I have lost body fat because I feel a lot more toned.
Weight loss was one of my goals to begin with – I used to be quite obsessive about the scales and would get really frustrated if I didn’t see my weight going down but now I don’t care what I weigh I just want to look and feel good, improve my fitness and increase my strength.
I love CrossFit – it is the only fitness programme I have done where I have seen such great results in such a short space of time and is also enjoyable and makes you feel so good. It’s changed the whole way I look at diet and exercise and I would recommend it to anyone.
Eva Twardokens – U.S. Olympic Skier“
B.J. Penn – UFC lightweight World Champion
Anna Hutchison – Actor
Alex Porter has been my trainer for the last two years and still the fitness sessions are fun and exciting. With his wide range of knowledge in health and fitness Alex is able to advise his clients on how to achieve their desired results.
Jason Yianakis – Property Investor
I have more energy than I have ever experienced .
I am fitter, faster, leaner and stronger than I have ever been before.
I am consistently learning new tips every time I train with Alex.
Kristy Weaver – Promotional Model and Management
The training sessions are intense and challenging but really enjoyable!
Craig Dixon – Class AAA NZPGA Professional, Director of Instruction, Institute Of Golf
Alex introduced me to CrossFit training 6 months ago. In this time I have become fitter, faster and stronger than I have ever been before. This innovative training system has made working out fun and challenging but most importantly performance enhancing. CrossFit has changed my philosophy on training.
Michael Selak – Director, Wine Network
The results were life changing and from that point I have continued with Alex as a personal trainer.
Mike Bender – 10 time winner of the ‘Toughest Cop Alive’ competition
Jordan Larsen – Professional Rugby Player
We have had great success over the years, with ‘personal bests’ and improvements being reached consistently.
Shane ‘Choppa’ Chapman – multiple Kickboxing World Champion
Alex has been my friend and agent for several years, and was my strength trainer leading up to several big wins, including winning the K-1 Max. I noticed great improvements in both my power and recovery. Now I realise how important it is to have quality strength training as part of the winning formula!
Diane James – CrossFit Auckland Women
I wanted to record my thanks for such a great intro to CrossFit.
It was a leap of faith to sign on and after the first week I wondered what on earth I had got myself into!
But I kept on turning up and you kept pushing me and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I have made for a long time. I had almost given up on my ability to get fit again and to lose any weight and now look at me!!
I have to say that your enthusiasm for what you do is contagious and you have that skill of pushing people just far enough. I owe you a heap of thanks.
Roll on the big boys class!! Thanks again.