Shredding down and skilling up – Meet our member of the month for April
Gav joined us early Feb – and has gone from strength to strength (literally).
After a coming in with a very solid movement base – we knew we could help him in a massive way.
There were two things that Gav admitted had previously stopped him from being the adonis he is today – a niggling wrist issue and his ability to implement a nutrition plan tailored to him.
Despite having an extensive CrossFit and training background, he was extremely open to deconstructing some of his previous motor patterns and nutrition habits and allowing us to hone in one some minor changes which yielded some massive results.
An absolute dream to coach and always packing a smile that’s almost as big as his shoulders (which is saying something).
Gav has now gone from being an integral part of the 6:30 am class at Waterloo, to being an integral part of our 7:00 am zoom classes as we made the switch online during COVID. (I don’t think he missed a session).
We wanted to get an insight into Gav’s persona and how he’s arrived at the current point in his life.
“I’m a 30-yr old finance professional who was born in Nairobi, Kenya, raised in Toronto, Canada, and who’s been living/hopping around the world for the better part of the last 5 years. I love eating good food, spending time outdoors (beach, hikes, etc.) and am always thinking about where I want to travel next (ticked off over 32 countries and counting)
Although most of my family and friends are back home in Canada, I’ve got my Sydney-siders here making sure I feel right at home”
“I TRAIN AT BBB BECAUSE I HAVE FOUND THE COACHING TO BE EXCELLENT – ALL THE COACHES REALLY INVEST TIME IN YOUR PROGRESS AND DEVELOPMENT, TO SUPPORT YOU WHENEVER SELF-DOUBT CREEPS IN, AND PROVIDE AMPLE ENCOURAGEMENT TO FUEL YOUR DRIVE FORWARD ONCE IT’S GONE.”
One of our favorite questions to ask new members is what drives them to train with us. It gives us a great insight into what somebody is after, and how we could improve their experience.
“It started with a need for a new gym after returning from life on the farm in SA, and quickly developed into much more: a love for the community, a hunger for improvement, and a desire to constantly be better. I train at BBB because I have found the coaching to be excellent – all the coaches really invest time in your progress and development, to support you whenever self-doubt creeps in, and provide ample encouragement to fuel your drive forward once it’s gone.”
Coming from farm work straight into a new community, Gav would have been forgiven for being a little shy, however, he jumped straight into our social Saturdays and has been a vital part of the community ever since.
Here’s what he had to say:
“The community welcomed me from the very first session and it’s safe to say I’ve made a few friends in a very short amount of time. The focus on aligning physical fitness with mental fortitude and philosophy is also something that resonates a lot with me, so I’m pumped to be part of a gym and community that embraces that mindset.”
Gas attention to detail regarding the congruency of a healthy mind and a powerful body has been a large reason for his success. But what initially drove his focus?
“Mainly Performance – I’m very competitive with myself and ever since starting CrossFit/Functional training in general, there have been plenty of learning opportunities on how to continuously improve and perform better; whether it be Olympic lifting technique, rep scheme strategy, or memorizing all the movements that add up to one Man Maker.”
(For those wondering – it’s one renegade row each side, into a dumbbell thruster- and yes they suck)
“The BBB focus on prioritizing perfect foundational movements in order to improve performance was something that I was drawn towards because, from my own experience, I know that it’s the best way to structure fitness programs so they become part of your lifestyle. I’ve also experienced injuries in the past that have set my training back, so by stripping back down to the basics I was keen to see how it would translate to an injury-free improvement in performance and I’ve been nothing short of ‘stoked’ with the results”
Gav had previously experienced wrist niggles and pain when going overhead, especially during the transition phase of thrusters… often we see this in clientele where their previous training has prioritized workload over motor patterning. Rather than the “do it until it hurts and then avoid until they don’t hurt”we had a look at his mobility, and current motor patterning. We like to call this process:
“ASSESS, ADDRESS AND PROGRESS”
- Assess. So the ‘assessment’ = where was Gav’s wrist pain coming from? Lack of lat flexibility, and front rack mechanics leading to elbows dropping = more pressure on the wrist.
- Address. How did we address it? Increase wrist passive and active range + increase lat mobility to reduce the strain placed on wrists in the front rack.
- Progress. Gradually increase load until movement is pain-free!
Safe to say that was a raging success – here’s what he had to say about the process:
“The BBB focus on prioritizing perfect foundational movements in order to improve performance was something that I was drawn towards because, from my own experience, I know that it’s the best way to structure fitness programs so they become part of your lifestyle. I’ve also experienced injuries in the past that have set my training back, so by stripping back down to the basics I was keen to see how it would translate to an injury-free improvement in performance and I’ve been nothing short of ‘stoked’ with the results.”
Having a background in functional training meant that we were confident for Gav to move straight into classes. However – being the best-looking farmworker in SA doesn’t lend itself to jumping into a BBB class – naturally there was some apprehension.
“After being 5 months out of formal cross-fit style functional training and with a body in need of serious TLC/rehab after life on the farm, I was nervous of exacerbating existing niggles/sustaining an injury again and not getting the chance to progress at the pace and to the level I wanted.”
So, how did the coaches at BBB curb that apprehension?
“The initial discovery chat with Big Dawg Brady and the first week of classes at the gym helped me understand the different approach that BBB takes with its members to prioritize a highly personalized, injury-free progression plan. I was excited to see with this approach how quickly I would be able to achieve my goals.”
Music to our ears, it warms our hearts to hear those words.. Speaking of goals – we asked what Gav’s primary objective was when joining.
“Primarily goal was and still is to put on size and gain weight – gradually on the road to a lean 70kg while maintaining body fat % levels. I also wanted to get stronger, and hit new PBs on some of my lifts.”