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Hi, Tony here from Auburn, South Chiropractic. Is it time to get a little bit fitter? or maybe drop some kilos? Get a little bit stronger? Well, I met up with coach Nat from CrossFit Hawthorn East to ask all things weight training, CrossFit. Who’s CrossFit for? Who’s it not for? What do you do at CrossFit? All of these questions are answered, so let’s not muck around, come and check out the interview I did with Nat from CrossFit Hawthorn, East. 

Nat Chorobczyk from crossfit Hawthorn East. Welcome. 

Thank you. Thanks so much for having me.

It’s so good to be here and a lot of questions about CrossFit training, weight training in particular, fitness. 

You’re an exercise scientist. You’re a CrossFit coach. You’ve represented Australia in weightlifting, Olympic weightlifting. So folks, she knows what she’s talking about. 

What is CrossFit and how is it different to other styles of training? 

Right. So basically CrossFit is just a multitude of disciplines. So we’ve got Olympic lifting. We’ve got a bit of gymnastics, stuff with kettlebells, bodyweight stuff. We’ve got rowers, running, so it’s basically just everything- We pop it into a nice little workout, well, we do an hour session here, so, we’re able to just get in a bit of everything. 

Got it. So a bit of everything. And is it, is it a bit of everything for any one or do you need any sort of prior fitness or strength to start CrossFit? 

Ah, no, not at all. We are able to, the way that we’ve run things, we’re able to bring in complete new beginners, people who haven’t exercised for a little while or even a long while, and we’re able to bring them on board and slowly on ramp them on into our classes. So it’s really for anyone from people who have done it before, to people have never even heard of it before. So yeah, basically it can be for anyone.

Because we all see videos of the Kara Webbs and the CrossFit games and they’re, just the fittest people on earth as they, as they call them. But that’s, like playing AFL for Collingwood versus Auskick – kids can play Auskick. So people can come down and just get a great workout, learn new skills and push their bodies a little bit. 

That’s absolutely right. Absolutely. Right. So yeah, if we’re looking, you know, I myself, might see the best Olympic lifters on the planet, but you know, I’m not even at that level. Whereas some people can come in here and just learn how to do the snatch or the clean and jerk with an empty barbell or even just a dowel. So we’re really able to scale it back and let people work at whatever level they’re at. 

Got it. So you might be doing the same workout, but I’ll be lifting 30 kilos and the person next to me might be doing 130 kilos and it’s all to each other’s levels, that’s it? 

Correct? Yeah. Great, great, great. And so is there more to the, the workouts as well? I noticed when I came here, there were people doing some mobility work, some stretching, how does a session kind of run? 

So the way that we structure it is we have generally a strength or a skill portion at the beginning. So when people have warmed up after our warm up, we’ll get into either some skill work or strength focused work, wherever that may be squats, could be even like push press jerks, cleans, whatever it’ll be. Then we move into a conditioning piece where we have that a little bit more intensity, where we’re actually doing a workout, getting our heart rate up and sweating.

And sweating. It’s hot here today, folks. And they were absolutely sweating. 

Strength training, just in general. What are the benefits and why should people do strength training? 

Oh, man, there’s honestly so many benefits from not only like strong muscles and being able to move well and not be tired walking up stairs even. All your joints will also be a lot, a lot better off, especially in the long run, having like those stronger muscles, will just work wonders for you and just sort of prolong the joints themselves – all your tendons, muscles, all of that. that’ll just be a lot easier for later in life. Not only just for now. 

And again, there’s lots of research out there isn’t there that shows that quad strength, glute strength is comparable to longevity in life. You know, the weaker you are the shorter you live. 

That’s right. That’s right. And if you have stronger bones from doing weight training, you’re less likely to fracture a hip later on in life, , there’s all kinds of trips and falls that do happen when you’re a little bit older, but if you have that muscle and that bone density, built up from all the time that you’re doing your strength training, you’re going to be better off. 

So what is the age range then? What age range have you got coming in here? 

We’ve got literally everyone we’ve got, um, from sort of like 16, 17 all the way up to, I think maybe I’m going to should say about what our oldest member is, but, um, in their sixties even, so we’ve got, we’ve got a whole range and then of course everyone in between as well. So yeah, really catering for anyone. 

Fantastic. And on that catering for everyone, folks, if you’ve been thinking that, well, maybe I should try CrossFit or some sort of workout exercise routine, then you’ve got an amazing kind of kickstart offer haven’t you? 

Yeah, absolutely. So we’ve got our five week Kickstarter program. It’s three times a week. So you can easily sort of have a day in between to recover. I know the first week might be a little bit tough, so, we space it out nicely. All of our coaches are really hands-on. They demonstrate everything. They have scaled back options as well. so you can really sort of progress as you go on as well. So as you get a little bit more confident or even a little bit stronger, you can sort of start to scale it up a little bit as well. So again, from the very beginning, we can bring it all the way down to like body weight or just a really light barbell or kettlebell, whatever we’re using. And we can build on that. 

Great. One of the questions that I hear, or one of the comments that I hear is from, particularly from women, is that I don’t want to do strength training because I don’t want to look massive. What’s your, your thoughts on that? 

Honestly, I’ve been doing strength training for so long and I wish I was massive!

There you go, see, Nat wants to be massive and she actually hasn’t got there yet. So is that a bit of a myth that if you do strength training you’re gonna get massive? 

It takes a lot of effort to be massive –  we see those extremes right, where people, or like women, are like really huge muscular, but that takes up a lot, a lot of effort, you know, , and building that muscle does take a lot of time as well. So you’re more likely just to experience potentially just a little bit of soreness from training, not necessarily that bulkiness, that, that women are afraid of. 

Absolutely. And if you want to lean up, drop some weight, increase some fitness, get a bit of muscle strength, not necessarily size. Then I would recommend jumping on to www.crossfithawthorneast.com and I’ll have the links down below and get into the Kickstarter program, come and work under the guidance of coach Nat. Who’s done it before. I going to have some footage going here of Nat lifting. You can see that she knows what she’s talking about. You hold a record, don’t you?

Not anymore 

Ah scrap scrap that haha 

I did. Yes. Correct. 

What was that? 

It was a 90 kilo clean and jerk in my weight class. 

There You go folks. She can lift more than me above her head. That’s pretty full on. All right. That’s impressive. Well done. Even if someone’s done a little bit better.

I’m going to work towards something to beat again. 

And I can tell you folks, she’s not that big only a little thing. So you don’t weigh a whole lot to lift that over your head. I mean, that’s one and a half times your body weight.

A little bit more.

A little bit more than one and a half times their body weight. So well, something t work for. 

Nat, any final thoughts on someone thinking, should I do CrossFit.

Absolutely. Come on down. We’d love to have you. Obviously the more the merrier, we’ve got a really awesome community here. We’re all about embracing you, beginners, to people who have tried it before. 

So there you have it folks that was Nat from CrossFit Hawthorn East, hopefully that gives you some insights, hopefully gets you motivated to do something about it. Go down and join that wonderful community down there. And I’ll look forward to bringing you more of the health community through the Boroondara area each and every week. So I’ll see you soon – Be well.