Central Staffs CrossFit
KITBOX: Hey, Tim! To start with, could you tell us a little bit more about Central Staffs CrossFit - what made you decide to open the box?
TIM: I fell in love with the sport after my very first WOD. Not only was I getting the results I wanted physically, but I had a lot of fun too - and made some great friends along the way. I first started talking to Kieran in 2012, whilst I was on tour in Afghanistan, and it didn't take us long to discover we had the same vision. When I returned to the UK, we sat down and had a long chat about our goals and ambitions - and Central Staffs CrossFit was born!
KITBOX: What was your vision?
TIM: We both wanted to create a leading strength and conditioning facility, where people could go to learn how to move efficiently, improve their fitness, and train with likeminded people. We didn't want to focus on the competitive side of the sport; we wanted to help people become healthier, stronger, and fitter - generally more capable of carrying out their day-to-day activities.
KITBOX: What's your coaching philosophy?
TIM: We always strive to provide quality coaching - that was our number one priority from day one. We believe form should always come before speed and intensity. The speed comes when we're efficient, moving in the correct way to sustain a heathy movement pattern under load. As a coach, I pride myself on teaching all of our members the proper mechanics, not only so I can make sure they're training safely and effectively, but also so they get the maximum benefits from the time they spend in the box.
Coaching is all about helping your athletes achieve their dreams. It should be done positively, smartly and with passion.
KITBOX: What have you learnt since opening the box?
TIM: I'm constantly learning - both about myself and others. As a coach, you gain an understanding of your coaching context - the obstacles you have to face, how to deal with limitations, appropriate and safe training methods, and the goals you're trying to help your members achieve.
I get to know all of my athletes on an individual basis, so I learn a lot about their strengths and limitations, tailoring the training to meet their needs. I've also learnt a lot about myself - why I'm coaching, and how I can effectively go about enhancing my coaching delivery.
KITBOX: What does a typical class look like at Central Staffs CrossFit?
TIM: A typical class is capped at 10 people to ensure quality coaching and feedback, with controlled training and essential individual equipment. This is important to ensure the safety of our members within the available space, but we also wanted to make sure nothing gets missed - everyone receives coaching throughout the class.
We normally have a group or dynamic warm-up. This goes on the board, and our members tend to arrive early enough to get this done prior to the class. Next, we hit some strength or a skill, often adding some mobility between the strength cycle.
The WOD varies. If it's a skill day, it tends to be a longer, engine-building workout, which could be a partner workout or a 30 minute+ WOD. On strength days, the WODs can vary from short and heavy, to medium length with moderate weights.
We based our programming on the Westside Barbell method, but encompass other elements to adapt and keep it constantly varied.
KITBOX: What's been the highlight so far?
TIM: We held our first in-house partner throw down earlier this year. It went down really well - you can see photos from the event on our website.
KITBOX: What does the future hold for Central Staffs CrossFit?
TIM: Our next goal is to add a permanent lifting club to the program. We'd also like to expand the unit, so we can offer a variety of classes to our members. In five years time, our goal is to have a weightlifting and gymnastics club next door, whilst still running as Central Staffs CrossFit in our original unit.