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Crossfit and the Need For Training Variety – An Interview With London Head Coach Andrew Stemler
As a trainer, I have always believed that variety in any training program is essential for maximum results. An athlete who incorporates a variety of training methods into their routine will undoubtedly have an advantage over someone who sticks strictly to a single form of training, due to the body’s ability to adapt which causes ‘problems’ in the habit. This means that the body begins to build up a tolerance to certain types of exercise and therefore the improvements in strength and conditioning slow down. It is also very difficult to produce a ‘complete’ athlete with a single training method.
Unfortunately, a narrow-minded, one-size-fits-all approach to training still prevails in many gyms and sports fields, but a change in attitude is beginning to appear in the UK, and many athletes in Different sectors include different things in their agenda.
With these thoughts in mind, I went to Crossfit London’s i-course, led by one of Britain’s few Level 2 Crossfit instructors, Andrew Stemler, to find out more about the Crossfit philosophy and how they apply it to their daily training.
Course participants are trained through a variety of exercises and progressions, including overhead barbell squats, snatches, deadlifts, kettlebells, pull ups, muscle ups, press ups handstand, parallel bar work and more.
I caught up with Andrew after the workshop to learn more about him, the course and the Crossfit philosophy;
CO Hi Andrew, Thank you for agreeing to participate in this interview. Can I start by asking a few questions about you and how you came to pursue a career in healthcare?
Actually, I briefly got a law degree from university, did banking for four years, then got into real estate and hated it, but stuck with it until 2002, and just turned 37, which was about ten years ago, got it. became ill, and began to practice many martial arts. I did a lot of fighting and finally did it in 2005, when my trainer referred me to the Crossfit website. I looked at it and thought, ‘That’s funny.’ and then I went back and watched it again and thought, ‘That’s funny!’ But then I thought, ‘Well, I want to try that.’ so I booked myself on a flight and headed to California to learn how to do it.
CO And what does the Crossfit philosophy entail? How is it different from other training methods?
AS Well, on one level it shouldn’t be any different, because that’s what your sports science is doing; but generally focus on general maintenance. Most people tend to define fitness as something specific, so you end up with strong people who can’t run, and runners who can’t get strong; What we’re saying is that to be a good human being, you need to specialize in everything, and that includes training all three energy systems to become a good aerobic athlete, a good anaerobic athlete, and a good sprinter. We think you need to train all three systems. Of course, if you want to quit and become a marathon runner, you have to do this special training, but people should not confuse sports-specific training with general fitness.
CO Ok, is this kind of a one size fits all? How does Crossfit address the needs of different goals?
Basically, you’ve set the same exercises for everyone, but because you’re allowing people to change their own weight system and the weights they actually use, what you’re going to see is that people are doing different exercises. So for example, in the session we did in the i-course here, if you say to people: ‘do ten high squats’, some may decide to use a 10kg bar, some 20kg, and some maybe decide to use a bar. broom. Those who are very strong may do it very quickly, some may have to do it in 3 reps. So if you are very strong, the exercise becomes easy; for others who aren’t very strong that might be the ultimate exercise, in terms of strength.
CO Sure. So what do you say to people who look at the concept of Crossfit, see people building muscles and moving forward and just think it’s too hard for them?
I DO think a lot of people don’t do things before they try, but it’s good to have different goals. My biggest health complaint is sometimes, and it goes right back to my first physical education, where I was taught to treat everyone as if they had a heart attack, (so that people don’t risk putting hands above head, not doing overhead press), and this long list of horrible injuries that can happen. And I think as a result, as a trainer, I’m not fit and the people I’ve trained are not fit either. So I think having challenging goals is what we want. We all set difficult goals for ourselves, like trying to own a house, trying to marry someone who doesn’t mean much 🙂 and when you think about it, trying to build muscle doesn’t mean much in comparison. So it’s not as difficult as you first thought, especially if you work on the exercises step by step. Nothing is impossible. The exercises we choose are very basic in terms of the sport that we do, for example a six-year-old gymnast can easily build muscles, but you need to keep working on them.
CO Right. So it’s a broad and general approach to training that focuses on multiple compound movements, do you think there’s a place for isolation exercises?
AS Hmmm. Basically I think you have to have a very good reason for it. It should not be your first instinct because you do not act in isolation in real life. A lot of people watch pull ups and can’t do one, then quit and do bicep curls and lat pulls etc and the stimulus doesn’t seem to be the same, it doesn’t seem to help them achieve the pull up. ups; There is something special about the tug of war, so it is better to do the real thing with the help of the band. However, if you are injured and need rehabilitation, for example one leg, or if you have a long-term imbalance, use isolation exercises.
CO So isolated to reunite as it was?
AS Yes exactly.
CO Cool. So of course Crossfit is based on a variety of equipment, but if you could only use one equipment, what would it be and why?
I think it would have to be the rings, because you can take them anywhere, you can get them through customs, they’re portable, they’re cheap, and there’s so much you can do with them. They are really nice bags.
CO Very good. So you recently introduced the London Crossfit i-course. What is a brief and for whom?
AS Theoretically for anyone who is interested in starting Crossfit, it takes you through the basic movements. I think there is a lot of ignorance even in the gym about what a basic squat is for example; it’s nice for people to come and see and see the technique; it’s very rare that someone can do a perfect squat right away, usually there are small mistakes that need to be corrected. In general, we do not know how to teach in this country; Behind the British teacher, I don’t even know how to squat, unless you go to a unique Olympic club. Most clinics just don’t have ideas. So what this course gives people is a good and strong foundation. So even for those of us who want to stay in our current workout routine, if we can do a few more squats or a few more pull-ups, we’re totally happy, because the magic is movement and making them good. form. The program, the variety, the intensity, it’s not an extra important thing, but if you have people doing a good basic movement, I think that’s a very important thing.
Cooking. Does Andrew Stemler have a special mantra?
AS Well, don’t have a special mantra at all! I think I’ve read every self-help book, and I think that listening to how other people achieve something is not necessarily how you will achieve it. So look at other people’s studies, but make sure you think about your own ideas. In fact, I have a mantra, ‘You are the experiment.’ What works for one person will not always work for another, so do what works for you.
Co Excellent. Andrew thank you for participating in this interview and for a great day at the i-course.
AS It was wonderful.
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