Exercise Review: Southern Cross Fit, Willetton.

Southern Crossfit – Better Than Yesterday.

It is fair to say that we are self confessed Crossfit addicts, more accurately we are Southern Crossfit addicts!

We know what you are thinking “What on EARTH is Crossfit?” We know this because it was precisely what we thought before we started our love affair with the program! So before we get into the actual review here is a bit of an explanation about Crossfit.

Crossfit is a strength and conditioning program that is sweeping the world and gathering dedicated followers wherever it goes. Each day in a Crossfitter’s life they will encounter a different workout (Workout of the Day or WOD). Exercises contained in these workouts vary from running, push ups and sit ups to weightlifting and gymnastic based movements. Each session, or class, held at the gym is led by qualified instructors that provide motivation and feedback and assist with completing the workout correctly and safely whilst still pushing you to achieve a new personal best time or weight. Every workout can be scaled to meet your current fitness level which means that literally everyone can complete the workout regardless of prior experience, fitness level, previous/existing injuries or limitations.

Now, when we first heard this we would be lying to say we weren’t nervous and worried about what sounded like a fairly full on exercise program. The biggest step was putting on our workout gear and heading down to our first session at Southern Crossfit. We have never looked back! Southern Crossfit (or SXF as it is commonly known by its flock of members) embodies all that Crossfit stands for. The three owners and trainers are dedicated to each and every member’s fitness goals and the community this creates amongst its members and trainers is social, motivated and most of all fun! Southern Crossfit is one of many Crossfit gyms across Australia and is located in Willetton, Western Australia.

Our typical day starts with checking what the WOD (Workout of the Day) is on the website, this is either a very good idea or bad idea depending on the workout but we learnt very quickly that the ones that look hard or sometimes even impossible are the better ones to attend as you get the most out of completing them. WOD’s vary day to day, week to week and month to month, you will find it very hard to get bored. When it comes time to leave work it’s off to the gym (“the box”). Classes are held in the morning and afternoon at various times but we personally prefer the afternoon/evening classes as we are certainly not early birds!

When we arrive at the box we get to catch up with everyone, discuss workout times and the impending workout. “The Box” or the Southern Crossfit gym is a large building in the industrial area of Willetton. This is not your usual gym. You will not find mirrors here or treadmills, instead you will find sand bags, pull up bars, gymnastic rings and a second level dedicated to teaching technique and most importantly stretching after a workout. For us, joining the gym has always been the same, there is the worry about how you are perceived, the meatheads in the corner always vying for the best position in front of the mirror so they can grunt as they lift dumbbells and the heavily made up gym bunny who seems to be able to run for miles without sweating! Southern Crossfit is different, very different. It seems to attract the genuine, the friendly and the dedicated amongst us. Every new member is quickly made to feel very welcome and just like Cheers, Southern Crossfit is the place where everybody knows your name. Everyone is there for the same reason and this resonates throughout the gym when members stay behind to cheer on the next class or arrive early to cheer on the other class. We have never experienced anything like it!

First we are run through a warm up that makes sure we are fully prepared for the workout as well as a run through of the workout itself and how each movement can be performed. Yesterday’s workout was 3 rounds of an 800m run and then 21 Dumbbell Push Presses with the recommended weight for the dumbbells being 20kg each arm for men and 15kg each arm for the ladies. This is to be done in the quickest time possible. During the explanation the trainers come around and ask if you have done the workout before and if so what weight. They tend to ask what you feel like you can do and will tell you to stick with it or try for a higher weight if they know or think you can challenge yourself a bit more. We went with 5kg and 7.5kg respectively based on previous workouts (which are logged each time we do a workout in our log books. Very handy!). Before you know it the countdown to start the clock is on and we are lined up at the start of the run (runs are performed around the surrounding areas with 100m, 200m and 400m marked on the side of the road for reference. This is excellent as getting out and about in the fresh air is very rewarding on the hots days and refreshing on the cold days).

3, 2, 1 and we were off for our first 800m run which was two laps to the 400m mark. Today’s trainers, Hayden and Cheng, keep spurring us on by telling us our times as we head off on the second lap and offering words of encouragement. Once we are done with the first run it’s into the gym to do the Push Presses. These are tough but the trainers keep us motivated and help us with technique as we go through and the music is up to keep us going. Two more rounds to go! Second round of any three round workout is tough but we push through. The final round, we are nearly there! We always find that little bit extra in the final round and end up finishing with good times. Finished! There is smiles and heavy breathing all round but we feel great for having challenged ourselves.

After the workout its time to pop our times and weights used down in our log books and head upstairs to compare workout stories and congratulate each other on a job well done! The stretching area is fitted out with a padded floor to make it more comfortable and uses special equipment to help get into every muscle. The trainers demonstrate each stretch and can also be quizzed if you have any sore spots from previous workouts during the week. A single class takes 1 hours including warm up, skills instruction, workout and cool down.

Every time we leave the gym it is with the knowledge that we have achieved something. We both live north of the river and travel to Willetton especially for this gym. There are many Crossfits around Perth but this one is our home. Each class can be compared to a group personal training session as the attention paid by the trainers is meticulous and helps you improve greatly with hints and feedback.

Crossfit as a program extends far beyond just going to the gym as well. There are many competitions, affiliate gatherings (where all the Perth gyms meet up and workout together) as well as the world wide Crossfit games! It is such a flexible program that many refer to it as a sport. We prefer the WA based competition but both hope to give qualification for the Australian Games a shot next year, who knows what we could achieve in a year!

Southern Crossfit (the gym) turns one year old in July and we have enjoyed being part of this amazing community during its first year. We look forward to seeing you down there too! As Southern Crossfit’s mantra suggests the only thing you can be is “Better than Yesterday”.

Web: http://www.southernxfit.com
Address: 10 Whyalla Street, Willetton WA, 6155.
Phone: (08) 9259 0003
Email: info@southernxfit.com

Imogen and Astrid
xo

14 comments

  1. lisa says:

    Hi Annette, long time reader, first time commenter! Love your blog and it’s Perth emphasis! So refreshing! This gym sounds absolutely amazing and I’d love to get started with my best friend as we’ve been talking about it for a while. However, she is very overweight and is quite self conscious about gyms etc, could you tell me whether there are any other people actively trying to lose weight at the gym? Will she feel terribly out of place? I am not overweight but am certainly not fit either, so we will have each other in that respect, but just wondering if you could shed any light?

  2. lisa says:

    Whoops! Should be addressing the above question/s to Imogen and Astrid! Sorry girls!

  3. Annette @ Wellness WA says:

    Hi Lisa!

    Thanks so much for your comment and your praise, I’m thrilled you’re finding Wellness WA a good resource and hope you continue to do so!!

    I’ll let Imogen & Astrid reply to your question as I haven’t personally been to Southern Crossfit (this review is by them!).

    I’ve let them know about your comment and they should be along within the next day or so to answer your query.

    I had a look on the Crossfit site and it says you can come down on a Saturday morning for a trial run, so maybe you could check that out as a taster to see if it suits.

    I’ll leave it to the experts from here ;)!

  4. Imogen says:

    Hi Lisa

    The beauty of Crossfit is that its so adaptable for various levels of fitness etc so no problem there. As for feeling a bit self conscious, its all natural because we are so used to the standard gym scenario described above with the gym bunnies and macho men etc. Luckily with Southern Crossfit this is never an issue, they have members of all shapes and sizes! We are all there to better and challenge ourselves and it sounds like that is what you and your friend are after as well so it should never be an issue. As for weight loss etc i personally have lost 15kg since joining a year ago. The main reason for this isn’t just the exercise but the way it inspires you to live the rest of your life.

    Have a browse through the website and you will find some photos as well to take a look at. Another option as well is if you don’t want to take part straight away you can always come down and watch us do a workout on a Saturday or during the week. Hayden, Cheng and Jono (the owners and trainers) are more than willing to answer questions over email or over the phone as well, you will find them very approachable.

    If you plan on heading down let me know i will keep an eye out for you!

    Imogen

  5. Annette @ Wellness WA says:

    Imogen you almost make me want to start going… I’m nowhere near fit though and only do yoga!

    I also don’t like raising my heart rate heaps or feeling out of breath. If you only want to do the easy workouts to start with are they happy to let you do that or will they push you even if you are not sure about it?

    It just looks so full on and I don’t think I could even run 100 m before being out of breath!!

    Annette

  6. Hi Guys,

    Thanks for the nice words. We know that some people may find this intimidating and unsure if it is for them. If you are unsure and don’t want to give it a shot with a group you can book in for a free 1 on 1 intro session with one of the trainers. (http://www.southernxfit.com/free-intro-session/).

    Cheers again guys.

  7. Imogen says:

    Hi Annette,

    The guys have taken to words out of my mouth 🙂 I was going to recommend the one of one, the only way Astrid and I knew it was right was to give it a shot….haven’t looked back!

  8. Annette @ Wellness WA says:

    Okay, that looks great! I live really close by so I may just be in for that session… 🙂

  9. Astrid says:

    I totally agree. It can seem quite intimidating at first but as I soon found out I had nothing to feel intimidated about. Before I started I considered myself an extremely shy and timid type of person and found it hard to make that initial decision to try a sport out but I have found that since making that decision to try it out that I have gained confidence and that I push myself more and more to take on new challenges. I’ve never come across such a comfortable working out environment in my life. I really look forward to going to the gym after work as its not just for the workout but to hang out with a group of really great people. I had really stuggled to find a sport that I liked, felt comfortable with and one that I was getting what I needed out of it. Every time I leave SXF I leave on a high. As and added bonus I have also lost 15kg and become much more toned which was what my initial goal was, but I soon discovered that that part of it is just a bonus and I now focus on increasing my strength and abilities.

  10. Robyn says:

    Hi Annette and Lisa
    I am also a super proud member of SXF..
    I am not hugely confident with my body or how i look when i work out etc but ive got to say, going to SXF, you dont feel like you are being looked at or gawked at the whole time. We are all there to do our workouts just like you and you’ll notice how everyone will support you through it all. I have made friends with people I would never have imagined being friends with and would not have met otherwise. Walking into the gym, you will find, is like going for a catch up with friends and then doing the wod and then once again catching up with friends. It is the most welcoming environment that I have found myself in.

    You walk into SXF and you feel like you are surrounded by friends and family, not an intimidating gym environment. If you are last to finish (which i commonly am), you dont have people sitting and staring at you. You have people all around you encouraging you to get through it and the trainers supporting you the whole way. If you are first to finish, you tend sit around and help others get through their workout..
    I am not a gym person but since being at SXF, I have fallen in love with Crossfit and working out.. Ive gone from being the person who hates running coz it leaves me short of breath and hates push ups coz I am slow at them, to being the person who wants to challenge myself and get through it to make yet another personal achievement. I never thought I would be able to do a pull up by myself, lift 80kg, run over 1km without stopping or do double unders with a skipping rope, but i have done all of them since training at SXF..
    I definately recommend SXF as a place to make friends, get fit and have a lot of fun!!!!
    Hope to see you down there (maybe even come and have a look on Saturday morning – there is a second level for spectators to have a watch)..!!!
    Cheers, Robyn 🙂

  11. I had no idea such places existed. Although I’m really happy with my own workout schedule (which I have to say is significantly cheaper than this), I can see how this would be great for many people on a physical and personal level. Thanks for the review, girls, and good luck with the competitions 🙂

  12. Amy says:

    I think this sounds awesomely amazing.

    Why isn’t there one in the northern suburbs though!?!???

  13. Annette @ Wellness WA says:

    I believe there is one in Joondalup!

    http://www.crossfitperth.com.au/ 🙂

  14. Robyn says:

    Hey Amy
    There are a few North of the river, its just that we choose to go to SXF as preference.. But if you go onto southernxfit.com, they have a page with links for other crossfit gyms in perth.
    🙂

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