At the beginning of January  I was nosing around facebook (with a slight hangover) I clicked on a link to CrossFit Mallows facebook page, not knowing anything about CrossFit at the time I did some research on the web by looking a videos on u tube. My first instinct was no way would I be able for this type of training because I had no experience in weight training such as deadlifts, back squats and power cleans etc and at 15st 9lb these workouts would be impossible.  Then after doing a bit more research I noticed how the workouts can be scaled for all levels of fitness so I decided to book in for the free intro session. During the intro session Ger explained the theory behind CrossFit, then he got me to do AMRAP (as many rounds possible) workout in 10min which consisted of 10 wallballs, 10 box-jumps and 10 squats, I did step-ups instead of box jumps, straight away I could see how these workouts can be scaled. After completing the intro session I knew this was what I was looking for and could not wait to get started. I started off with 2 sessions a week, at the beginning I found the sessions tough but the support I got from the other CrossFit members was fantastic. For the second month I increased it to 3 sessions a week and for the past three months I’ve being doing 5 sessions a week….yes I was hooked.

I like the way it’s a different WOD (workout of the day) and the results are posted on the website that night so if the WOD is repeated in a few weeks time your can see how much progress you are making by comparing time or number of reps. I never look at a WOD and say “oh that’s tough today, think I’ll give it a skip”, the tougher the WOD the greater the challenge and the greater the challenge the more I want to do it. The sense of achievement when a WOD is completed gets better every time and if a PR is achieved its even better. CrossFit shows how people have different strengths and weaknesses in different areas, so there is always room for improvement. A lot of people join regular gyms with good intentions and may last only a month because they want to see progress straight away; from the moment you join CrossFit you will see yourself progressing all the time.

The progress I’ve made at CrossFit Mallow over the past 6 months has being incredible. I’ve lost 18lb in body fat and getting stronger all the time. I’ve gone from using green band doing pull-ups to doing unassisted pull-ups; just the other day I did 6 consecutive double-unders a few months ago I couldn’t even skip properly. My skills are improving all the time using the gymnastic rings. My deadlift 1 rep max is 420lb, back squat 275lbs, power-clean 185lbs, these are all lifts I’ve only learned in the past few months. I’m getting faster, stronger, fitter and I can not wait to see my progress over the next 6 months. When I look back at the first training programme I got 12 months ago and look at the CrossFit workouts I’m doing now, I realise how far I have come. This week I will be going back soccer training and I cannot wait.

I would like to thank the other members for their continued support and encouragement since joining CrossFit Mallow. Finally I would like to give a massive thank you to Ger. I first met Ger last August (at his previous job) and I weighed 17st 7lbs and I now weigh 14st 5lbs. Thank you for the advice, guidance, encouragement and support you have given me in the past 12 months. CrossFit Mallow is a special place. Thanks for introducing me to CrossFit.





My CrossFit Mallow Experience

Erika Stani

April 2011

I took a plunge into crossfit without even knowing what it stood for. I saw an ad posted by Ger and it was one of those split second decisions to sign up.

My idea of training at that time was to wear the treadmill out, take  a squeak or two out of some gym machines and season all this up with a dozen of sit-ups plus some pedalling on the bike. If anyone mentioned barbells to me I would run fast and far away. From time to time I complained to anyone happening to listen that I would not lose weight despite all the training and healthy eating.

So, come the day of the first crossfit session, I presented myself tall and proud, still not knowing what crossfit was, as I did not bother to google it (living la vida loca, you see?... erm... ok, ok, fine, it wasn't about la vida loca, actually knowing Ger I also knew I'd be in safe hands).

Back to the first session, Ger explained the workout to us and we started it.
I discovered I was hardly able to do even a bad squat, let alone 10 proper ones. Jumping 10 times on the step left me wobbling and thinking that running 400 m, the last leg of the workout, might kill me.  It didn’t, and – no prize for guessing – it made me stronger, the saying is true…
I was exhausted but already hooked on crossfit and looking forward to the next session.

Now I realise that first session was simple and Ger adapted it to pose a light challenge to my fitness level back then. Little by little he stepped up the level and I got to do more serious workouts, pushing my limits a bit at a time. I became a big fan of correct form in exercises and got to like working with barbells. I love the satisfaction it gives me to finish a good workout, the confidence I get from breaking yet another personal record and from succeeding at my goals. I am now doing decent squats, getting to squat with weights and jumping easily on a 24’’ box. That memory of myself struggling to jump on a simple step makes me smile and I am sure in a couple of weeks I will be smiling recollecting how I am trying right now to hold 'support' in the rings.
All this is probably not a big deal for a very fit person but it is a steady progress for myself and at the end of the day that is what matters most.

Nowadays I am not obsessing anymore over losing weight and it was about time. I’ve been losing a pound or so every 1 or 2 weeks since starting crossfit but I see it now as a collateral effect. Feeling fitter and stronger than ever before, going easily through the day without feeling already tired at 6pm as a result of this type of training made me shift the focus from weight loss to wellbeing.

I’ve been with Crossfit Mallow for more than 2 months now. I enjoy training together with other people, men and women, younger or older, well built or still building up their basic strength, but all like-minded when it comes to taking the best out of themselves. The support I get from them during workouts is tremendous as is Ger’s guidance and dedication.
I also like to watch the seasoned athletes Crossfit Mallow invites over for demonstrations, it is inspiring and makes me want to catch up with them.

At Crossfit Mallow, training stopped being a boring routine performed out of some sense of duty for my health. It means now new workouts every week, developing different kinds of abilities and making efforts to get where I want to be fitness wise in 2 months, 1 year or in the long run. And equally important, it often feels like I am back on the playground, busy to skip the rope, slamming the ball against the ground and hanging from bars and rings.



My CrossFit Mallow Experience

Norma Fleming

March 2011

I started at CrossFit Mallow in the second week of January 2011.  I was looking for something new to add to my training but quickly realised that CrossFit would become more than that.  I began running three years ago; starting with a 10k and moving on to run three marathons.  However, I found I was doing the same thing to train for each marathon (basically a lot of running) but not seeing a significant improvement in my times and finding the training monotonous.

I am currently attending two CrossFit classes per week but hope to increase this to three classes over the summer months.  Although the workouts are tough, I enjoy every CrossFit session; what works for me are the challenging workouts I would never set for myself, the team spirit during classes and the constant support and encouragement from Ger, the CrossFit trainer.  The Workout of the Day (WOD) changes every day which ensures classes are never boring and is for me, the essence of cross training.  Your body does not know what to expect at a CrossFit session!  This is in contrast to how I trained at the gym; I repeated similar workouts over and over.  Although the WOD of the day is posted online before the class; at present, I decide what day I will attend and go for it.  I realised at the beginning that sometimes, what looks easy on paper, is actually very challenging! At classes, we use free weights and kettle bells as well as skipping and squats to mention a few.  I had little experience of resistance or weight training in the past but with Ger’s guidance, I am enjoying using weights and can see the difference they make to training.  The first few classes I attended were somewhat daunting as I was doing exercises I had never attempted before with people at varying levels of fitness.  However, Ger scales each workout to suit the individual so everyone is challenged at their level.  What I most like about CrossFit Mallow is the welcoming, supportive and respectful environment, an example which is set by Ger and followed by all members.

The benefits of CrossFit training became clear to me following a recent ten mile road race where I completed the course 6 minutes faster than last year.  I achieved this by doing less running (once or twice per week) and two CrossFit classes per week.  I hope to run another marathon next year.  For this marathon, however, I hope to follow a plan which includes more CrossFit training and less distance running sessions.





My CrossFit Mallow Experience

By Peter Meade

March 2011

I recall my first time hearing the term “CrossFit” last year. I was holding a beer, smoking a fag and listening to (my now trainer!) Ger explaining his plans and progress on opening a CrossFit in Mallow. I hadn’t heard of CrossFit before but even in my slightly inebriated state I could see the passion and determination in what Ger was telling me. It was easy to see at the time that he felt very strongly about it. I recall talking about it with him a few more times leading up to Christmas when he was gearing up to open in January. I had decided before then that I wanted to try CrossFit for myself. With my friend Eamon I resolved to sign up and give it a whirl. What’s the worst that could happen!!


I did my fitness assessment with Ger just after Christmas and realised I wasn’t as unfit as I had thought. Though I didn’t feel like that later that night!! I turned up later that evening for my first CrossFit class. There was a good turnout and on seeing the setup in the gym I felt nervous and excited all at once. I wondered would I be able for this….


To add perspective to this I should explain my pre Crossfit physical condition and lifestyle. I am 32, about 5ft 7, I weighed in at 12st and had a beer belly which I was rather proud of having spent many years cultivating it! I did play soccer once a week for an hour or so but that was pretty much all my exercise. I was more inclined to crash on the sofa after work and eat more than I needed to and lose myself in meaningless television. On a night when there was a match on TV I would need little encouragement to open a beer! Crisps and sweets were part of my daily diet (though I did eat healthy enough dinners each night). In general I was happy to an extent but knew I was conscious of my beer belly and knew at 32 years of age I needed to make a change to get healthier in mind and body. More importantly, I WANTED TO!


So back to my first Crossfit session. I enjoyed it immensely. The challenge, the variation in the exercise and routines, the mix of strength training and cardio. Everything that we did clicked with me. I was instantly hooked! It went from there. I started with two nights a week so as not to burn out, though Ger insured I worked only to the level of what I was capable of. That to me was a massive encouragement in itself. Guidance when you are new to any type of working out is critical and you get that in spades with Ger. After my first four weeks I increased to three nights a week and I intend to move to four nights a week very soon.


To say that CrossFit works, for me anyway, is an understatement. The results I have gained are tenfold. I have changed my diet to eat healthier which is a lot easier than you think. I have lost a stone without losing muscle. If anything I have gained muscle while losing weight. My beer belly is almost gone. I can see the first two cans of what I one day hope will be the full six! I have gained strength week after week increasing the amount of weight I can lift in the workouts. I have gained a strong sense of camaraderie and friendship with the people I workout with. Their support is vital in completing workouts when you might sometimes fade out. I have surpassed my goals already. Having struggled to ten pull-ups with a green band during the first month I last week did 33 kipping pull-ups with no band, a gym record…..for about 45 minutes until Matty did 38!! Now I feel I must work towards 40 to beat that as soon as possible! I love the fact that CrossFit has put me in this frame of mind.  Finally I would like to thank my CrossFit Trainer Ger. Without his guidance and support and his attention to detail I may not have signed up again after the first month. Thanks to CrossFit Mallow and Ger. Heres to more progress in body and mind for a long time to come!

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