Join the CrossFit revolution with the help of Form, Leeds. No machines, no egos, just big results… and perfect technique.
CrossFit is a phenomenon that shows few signs of slowing down in 2017, and beyond. If you’ve heard the term, but you’re not sure what it means, then essentially CrossFit is functional fitness performed at a high intensity.
Here, to provide a series of exercises you can follow throughout your week, we’ve enlisted the help of the experts at Form, Leeds, who offer daily functional fitness classes.
“We deliver sessions where your body is the machine,” explains Paul, Form Strength and Conditioning coach. “Each day we have a ‘WOD’, which is our CrossFit abbreviation for Workout of the Day. This is the great beauty of this type of programming and class: every day is different. Exercising this way is not only more interesting, but it will lead to you having all-round fitness, strength, speed, fitness, mobility and flexibility.
“We teach people movements that focus on what the human body was designed to do and which ultimately leads to some well-known benefits, including correct posture, improved mobility and range of movement, bone development or prevention of osteoporosis, better sleep and rest and enhanced ability to concentrate.
“Our CrossFit programme is very similar, but for those who want to include more Olympic Weightlifting, bar-recycling, intensity training, gymnastics and kipping movements. We programme with a more competitive element in mind, but with the same intense focus on excellent technique and efficiency. Form Fitness was very much designed to teach correct technique. Performing exercise with a full range of movement, efficiently and safely, leads to far more benefits for those doing it, with the intention that you’re then well placed to think about pushing yourself more in a CrossFit class. Or even one of our many Form Fitness Series competitions.”
Do something fast and fun to get your heart rate and mood up. Combine flexible movements with full-body activities, and make it more enjoyable by doing it in pairs. This is time to have a bit of banter with your friends.
Correct technique on your squat is probably one of the most important things to focus on, so ensure you keep your back straight at all times. Remember too, the deeper the squat, the greater the benefit. Poor technique can easily result in injury, or simply not getting the benefit from the exercise. At Form, you’ll be tutored on correct stance and the mobility to achieve full depth. As a progression you will also focus on Overhead Squat, improving your upper body mobility as well as leading into your Olympic Lifting (Day 4).
This tutors you to improve your shoulder and arm strength and stability. Learning correct stance and grip, you’ll progress from strict press to introducing leg and hip drive to do more dynamic Push Press and Push Jerk – the latter again leading into your Olympic Lifting (Day 5), but all are fundamental exercises within CrossFit. From the images here, you see how important it is to grip properly, and get the basics of your stance right before lifting.
Understanding how to move a weight from the floor is vital, not only in sport and exercise, but safe practice in everyday life. Countless back issues are caused by incorrect lifting, so this day is designed to focus ensuring you understand correct set-up. A key principal of Form is that what we teach here can be transferred into many aspects of everyday life. Remember to keep your back straight and to provide the movement required through your legs.
Growing massively as an exciting addition to your usual fitness routine, Olympic Lifting is technically challenging but equally rewarding when done correctly. Practice makes perfect here. Teaching you the key drills to be able to learn the movement patterns, it’s hard not to get addicted to trying to perfect your technique. Again, stance, lifting technique and body position are vital: lift through the legs and keep your back straight at all times to prevent injury.
In this second Olympic Lifting day you will learn the second of the lifts, the Clean. As with Day 3, you will learn to safely but powerfully move the bar from the floor to your chest. Again, you’re using your legs rather than your back. In Olympic weightlifting this is the heavier of the two lifts but, again, completed safely it can be a superbly challenging exercise. It also forms the basis for many other power-based sports and movements, so we dedicate time to teaching the key positions.
The final day in the Fundamentals is reserved for some of the more fun gymnastic movements. Whether you have done gymnastics before or not, all our members really enjoy when the movements come up in the classes.
Gymnastics is very much focused on overall strength, but especially your core strength. Core stability is widely recognised of being directly linked to eliminating or preventing back pain, and again what you learn in this class can really help in day-to-day life.
Learning gymnastics again is challenging but fun, and it is designed to help you improve your health and fitness. Our final day includes a re-test of your fitness so we can benchmark your present level.
This is a chance for you to regain your senses and go through the coach-led stretches. They key here is to try and prevent injury and muscle soreness, so make sure you take the time to stretch out properly.
Fitness doesn’t have to be a necessary evil. It can be fun, and by dedicating only a small part of your day to it can make a large difference. We’ve also introduced very accessible lunchtime ‘Fast Classes’ which are 30 minutes of fast, fun fitness, so even if you’re busy you don’t have to compromise your well-being.
If you’re still unsure then the best idea is to come and visit. We’re a friendly bunch. There’s no egos here at Form, just a lot of people who really do care about your well-being.
Form take your fitness very seriously at a venue where you can hang out with old friends and make new ones. It’s a fun, friendly atmosphere where you will feel at home. There are no machines, so don’t expect to see banks of bikes or nice shiny little dumbbells. Egos are left at the door, too.
Our classes are very varied. No day is the same, which is one of the reasons it’s enjoyable.
We’ll give you instruction and guidance in each session and, when you need it, more detailed one-on-one coaching.
Form’s fitness provides people with ‘life-time’ fitness. Their programming is such that you will be able to see your progression from your first day. Starting at any new place can be a bit scary for anyone, which is why Form designed an entry program that is an easy route into their classes.
The Taster Class, for example, is a free, hour-long session, which is fun but challenging, so you get a really good feel for what the classes will be like. It’s also a great opportunity for us to do an assessment with you to gauge your current level of fitness and mobility. We’ll also get to know what your aims are and, if you choose to take up our membership, what your focus should be.
We’re not about the hard sell, so if you should choose to join after your Taster session, then our Fundamentals program is the next step. This six-day programme will give you all the essentials you need to later join the mainstream classes. The Fundamentals classes are always very small groups, so you’re receiving detailed coaching from our staff.