Our Box of the Month this month is CrossFit Swansea. Check out our interview with co-owner and coach, Dan Spinks, to learn more.
KB: Why did you decide to open your box?
CrossFit Swansea was originally set up back in 2007, I joined as a member in 2008. I started to help out with coaching, then the original 2 owners moved on to other things and I took over in 2012. There are now 4 of us running the place. Never set out to be an affiliate owner, it kind of just came about, but very glad that it did.
What makes CrossFit Swansea so special?
Our members, simple as that.
Seeing their support for each other, watching acquaintances become friends. The heckling/trash talking is always hilarious. We never take ourselves too seriously.
We are a family focused gym, Owen Pillai, one of my co-owners runs our CrossFit Kids programme and his wife Kerry runs 'Thin Lizzies' a ladies only class. We want to help people become better more useful humans.
What have been the highlights since you opened?
Very difficult to pinpoint particular things, one thing that stands out though is a 24 hour row we did to help some local girls who had been diagnosed with cancer.
We thought we might have 30 or 40 people come down, particularly during the night. We ended up with several hundred showing up to help out, other local affiliates lent us their rowers and got some miles in, Ospreys players got involved, firemen, friends, family. It was all a very humbling emotional experience. Unfortunately since the row 2 of the girls we raised money for have passed away.
We are planning to organise it again next years but on a larger scale as we have recently moved to a larger facility.
What's your coaching philosophy?
'Creating healthy, happy, humans'
Each year we simplify what we do, we look at what works, what gets everyone closer to our philosophy, if it doesn't we bin it.
We're big fans of Tommy Hackenbruck's statement: "You don't need harder workouts, you need to go harder in your workouts."
We love strongman movements as they are easy to learn and have a hugely positive impact for anyone so program them in some form every week.
What are your members like?
Hilarious, hard working, infuriating, ridiculous. Every one of them is #GamesReady ;)
What happens in a typical day at CrossFit Swansea?
Every sessions looks like this:
The skill focus is usually the movements that are in the WOD. We loosely follow a program algorithm created by Kenny Kane of CrossFit L.A.
It is a 12 week programme that has a test week, 10 weeks of programming then retest week. We choose a movement, a strength element and an energy system. These three things become the focus of each block. We've had great success with it as it helps keep members focused on the 3 goals.
What does the future hold for you guys?
Full of happy members getting stronger, fitter and more resilient.
Remember, life is a happiness competition, don't define yourself by what you can or can't do in the gym.