Hi, my name is JB. I am 47 years old. I joined Bob’s garage in April 2015. This is my CrossFit story in brief. In October 2012 I left the British Army after a 26 year career. I had always been a reasonably fit soldier but had to work really hard at fitness whilst serving. In 2008 I discovered CrossFit and never looked back so for the last five years of my service at age 39-42, I was fitter and stronger than I had been for years.
2013 – Carrying too many pounds !
It started going wrong about 6 months before I left the Army when I injured my lower back which ended up with an ambulance ride, morphine, a hospital stay, several weeks of pain killers, physio and an injection into my spine to nullify the pain in my nerves. I had been carrying injuries for years – a result of a long rugby career and 26 years of military service which is tough on the body. I think I just overdid it, not helped by not doing much stretching or mobilisation (always a failing of mine). Needless to say, I don’t want to experience such pain again…
After the physio, I meant to start CrossFit training again but then I left the Army and started a new job as a civilian where I was living to work – 16 hour days, high tempo, high learning curve, high stress, no life, no family time, just work. Initially I was up at 0500 hrs everyday and on my rowing machine but after 3 months I was exhausted and something had to give – the rowing and training went out of the window. So, for the next 15 months, I worked, had no life, did not train and was miserable and angry. I was unfit, unhealthy, gaining weight and becoming someone I did not recognise. So, I quit my job not knowing what was next, but knowing I had to move on for the sake of my family and for my own well-being.
I then started working as a solo consultant and slowly began to get a life back. This included the occasional jog and the occasional row but no more. Then in October 2014, I started running and over several weeks built up to a weekend run of 15kms, some rowing, some upper body work…and then I plateaued and knew it was time to change gear. I knew by about January 2015 I needed to get back to CrossFit so over a few weeks I started researching which box I liked the look of. When I found #bobsgarage on line I liked the messaging and the simplicity of the site. It just seemed right so I emailed Bob to say hello. His response was welcoming and enthusiastic so I decided to take the plunge and start CrossFit again. I am glad I did.
As soon as I walked into Bobs place, I felt at home. I loved the simplicity of it. Kettle bells, olympic weights, rings, an impressive frame set up, boxes, sandbags, a sled – I love the sled, ask Bob 🙂 – and a few other bits and pieces. Plain, simple, no frills – I knew immediately I was in the right place. And so it began…
Bob asked me my history, took note of all the injuries I was carrying, my weak points and my goals and started tailoring my workouts accordingly. The inclusion and focus of mobility, yoga moves and stretching came as a surprise – painful, necessary and over time welcome. I am much more flexible than I used to be even though I have a long way to go on that front. Over the last few months, through hard work and decent coaching, I have regained strength, got fitter, lost some fat, put on muscle, feel healthier and fitter. The workouts are hard, some a really hard, but that’s what I always loved about CrossFit.
I love the sheer effort required to finish a workout and the sense of satisfaction I feel when I complete something that is really tough. I like Bob’s coaching style – he gets to know people, he works with you not against you and he is cognisant of what each individual needs. I also enjoy the company of like-minded people who do CrossFit – there is no bullshit, no people standing around posing or pretending they are working out. Instead, they are people of varying degrees of fitness working hard, sharing banter, pain, successes and encouraging each other. There is a camaraderie and a spirit alive in Bob’s Garage and it’s good.
I am not as fit as I was back in 2012 before I injured my back but I am on the road to get there. It has been a hard journey to get to this point but I know where I am going and I know 2016 in going to be a big year for progress for me. I have some goals – improve my mobility and flexibility, try to get some old injuries sorted out so I bear less pain daily, start completing some CrossFit hero workouts, run a marathon, cycle across Scotland and do a muscle up…all achievable. All driven by CrossFit and a coach who knows his stuff.
People always ask me why I do CrossFit and I hope I have answered that question. More importantly, some people I talk to are worried about trying CrossFit because, ‘I am not fit enough,’ or ‘It looks really hard.’ All I can say is Bob is a trainer who will motivate you, push you and work you hard but he’ll know where to start and he’ll know how to improve your fitness beyond your expectations. Try it, it really does change your life.
6th October 2013 is the first time Nikki Conner emailed me. That was the day I was introduced to her life. She had a lot on her plate and still does – mother, wife and career woman. She juggles many balls and is able to manage it all seamlessly well. She is a dedicated woman and trains 4 times a week in the mornings before work at 6am.
Together we have faced many challenges including hip problems, posture issues and generally easing her into tough physical training. When she first came to me, she could not do a pressup or a chinup and now can do both of these – a true test of strength. Nikki also smashes out 100 strict burpees when she is away from the gym on holiday!
A telling achievement of how far she has come was when I signed her up for the Spartan sprint in the pentands this year with her friend Elaine who now also trains at #bobsgarage. I convinced her that it would only be a short 5k run lasting around 30mins and would be nothing major but low and behold it was a huge mental and physical challenge taking around 3hrs in some of the toughest terrain and weather the pentlands has to offer. She took it in her stride. Here is her story:
For years and years I have gone to the gym and done various different classes and had PT sessions. All of which I enjoyed but never really stuck to for any length of time and got bored of very quickly. I needed to find something that suited my lifestyle which being a full time working mum was a challenge! I had seen a few friends on Facebook had started CrossFit so had asked them what it was all about and they all seemed to enjoy it, so I thought why not try something different!
They recommended #BOBSGARAGE to me and said that they had heard good things about it so I contacted Bob for a trial session. I had no idea what to expect and was quite nervous as the garage looked totally different to any other gym. The trial session was great as it gave a taster of what CrossFit was all about and see if it was something that I wanted to continue to do. Well that trial session was 2 years ago and I can honestly say that it is the best fitness regime I have ever done! Let alone stuck to for as long as I have.
I enjoy the variety, the individualisation that Bob puts a huge amount of time and effort into as well as rehabbing any issues that come up. One key thing I learnt about myself is that mentally I need to be pushed.
If I didn’t have Bob’s encouragement telling me I could do it then I would admit defeat. The best feeling is realising that you can actually achieve something that at the start you think there is no way you can do. There is a great sense of community spirit in the classes and with having smaller classes means that Bob can ensure that your form is spot on, which is something that CrossFit seems to get a false reputation for!
So going back to my first point about finding something that fitted into my lifestyle, I go to Bobs at 6am most weekday mornings and many people think that I am mad, but it suits me knowing that I have worked hard and sets me up for the rest of the day.
It is amazing to think that it can fun being totally pushed out of your comfort zone.
I’ve been a member now for two years. When I joined I was broken and really unfit, despite going to another gym about 3 times a week. My time at #BG has been excellent. I’ve been rehabbed, I improved my movement, I’ve been taught some complex movements, and in general my overall health is far better than it was before. As a result, I now lead a much healthier lifestyle. After Years of sitting around not doing much and working a desk job I had a lot of mobility issues. My movement was very poor. After a few weeks of working on mobility, with Bob’s guidance, you soon start to see the benefits of better movement in day to day life and that then transferred over into my weightlifting.
Before I started at #BG I found that I was stuck in a rut at my old gym. I wasn’t seeing the results I desired. I was finding it difficult to push myself hard enough. I wasn’t following any specific programme and was training alone which meant I had no enthusiasm/desire to train. The gym I attended was the other side of town and took a lot of time to get from there to home after a days work. So I looked into local gyms near my home and I came across a few of these CrossFit gyms.
The first thing I did was look at reviews of what this Crossfit was, and by god did it look like hard work! So after some research I decided to get in touch with one of the gyms. After a chat with Bob I actually decided against trying it, but after about 6 weeks of this Crossfit niggling at the back of my mind and my usual old boring gym routine I chose to take the plunge. I arranged my induction course. I did my induction course with a couple of other guys who were all in the same boat as me. When it came to it I was shocked, thinking to myself that the warm up alone was more intense than my actual gym sessions.
I signed up a couple of weeks after my induction. I was reluctant to at first because of how tough it was but I decided to bite the bullet. I’ve never looked back since. The main reason I stuck with it was the training with others as a group, all encouraging each other. Getting to learn Olympic lifting as well as being taught how to do squats, deadlifts and presses properly.
At first it’s challenging but after a few months you develop and you start to enjoy it more and more. Although that’s not to say it stops becoming challenging. You’re training is constantly being changed and new things added to keep you on your toes. After a while you learn to take it in your stride and you realise that no matter what challenge you’re thrown it’s achievable!
I’ve had a lot of success in my time at #BG so much I don’t know where to start! I am stronger, fitter and more mobile than ever before! The special thing about #BG is that you get an individual programme scaled to your ability but that also pushes you to your limits so that you can achieve your goals. One of my biggest successes was passing my CrossFit Level-1 Trainers course and becoming a qualified coach. Which with Bob’s help has resulted in my taking some of the classes at the gym and helping out.
Thankfully I’ve not suffered any major failures really. Everybody has those days you go in and are not in the mood, usually after a tough day at work, but after being there for a few minutes and mixing with the other members you soon pick up and are raring to go.
Personally I stuck with it for a few reasons. The group training and the friends you make being a big one. Also Bob drops knowledge bombs after knowledge bombs, he’s always learning and passing on information to keep your training interesting and fun.
#BG is a very unique place like none other. The individualised programmes mean that you are going to get results no matter what the circumstances. The community of members is a close one and everyone always friendly and welcoming to anyone new. The most unique thing is probably Bob, he’s a one of a kind coach who has the ability to deal with a wide verity of different personalities but also the knowledge to be able to deal with almost every situation possible.
If you are looking to improve your overall fitness, I suggest you come and give it a try. The atmosphere is always good, people encourage you all the time and will help you if you need it, you’ll make new friends and most importantly it’s fun.
That was my tag line. Something that went above and beyond the call of duty. It came to be known as individualisation. But meant so much more, recording everything knowing as much as possible about every member, making sure that each person was training the things that they needed to train to get them progressing as an athlete.
Technique is everything I drill it in at the start, mechanics and core control. It’s a must, friends don’t let friends lift with bad form. My number one priority when you come in is your safety so its so important that you are always in a good position, know what that is and know how to get into it.
I predominantly focus on programming strict movement as I see that we have a short amount of time to train in the day and see it best served with practicing strict movements that have the most carry over to your compound lifts and general performance. Being able to do a good amount of pullups with good form will give you a strong stable upper back which will help you squat more.
As a male or female member you are encouraged to train towards competency in performing bodyweight movements as it shows command of total body and your core control, bracing and tension double figures for men and single figures for women are sufficient. Being confident with the compound lifts is a must.
It is not enough to be strong you must be able to suffer, to get out of breath, to push yourself hard. Developing and maintaining a strong mentality is integral to #BOBSGARAGE. You are encouraged to try your best, to work hard and to push yourself don’t be scared by this as you may come out the other side a changed person with more confidence and motivation then you had, had before for your life outside of the gym.
More than just a gym you will form strong bonds with the people you train with as they may encourage your through your toughest times when training and be the helping hand when you feel today I just can’t do it today.
Every person is treated as an individual here. I have a pragmatic approach. I make sure your training is structured and well thought out. The key difference to my gym to others in Scotland is that it’s the only individualised CrossFit gym. What that means is that your not constricted by following 1 group program so that you get the training you need. We follow a weekly conditioning program which we do after our individualised strength work but the emphasis is on the individual.
You may have injuries or movement issues. I encourage all my members to face these head on and not to stick their head in the sand when it comes to pain, and injury. I will work extensively with other practitioners to help you rehab any issues and progress from what ever it is that is stopping you becoming the strongest, fittest and best you can be.
How to begin your journey & What to expect at the start
To begin all you need to do is take your free trial session and book into a class that best suits your diary. Because of the way I train my athletes they are capable of following their program while I spend time with new members walking them through mechanics, bracing and bodyweight movements.
What you should expect is to be taken through the basics first, to be shown the correct mechanics, and to be eased gently into our training methodology and be given a strong foundational base to then build on.
There is a beginners class every Saturday at 9am if you don’t feel comfortable working out with others at various levels.
Alternatively you can book a private 1:1 to take your through your foundations as well.
Use the link below to book your first class. Sign up take a trial membership and then book a space in one of the classes in the calender.
Classes are kept small at up to 7 people as I focus more on quality over quanitity.
We are going for max effort here, elevate your rear foot, and bring that back knee down vertically then up again, that’s 1 rep, do 10 then pause at the bottom just before your knee touches the ground and hold for 10seconds.
Once you have done that continue on and do another 10reps again hold it for 10secs at the end of those next 10reps.
Keep going to failure on that leg then immediately switch to the other leg. Rest for 2mins then complete a further 2 times. Alternate starting legs
15 kb swings Russian 24/20
10 strict burpees
Seal crawls 5mins
Rope climbs 10-20reps
Supermen holds 30:30 x8
Conditioning (optional as active rest day)
10 Burpee pullups
40m sandbag run
Every 2nd minute for 14mins
5 hang power cleans 70/40kg
4 box jumps
Only 1 person can work at the same time, you may not move on till the first exercise is complete. Run must be done together.