Home to Birmingham Barbell Club
Home to Birmingham Barbell Club
From Slovakia to Birmingham; From member to coach; and what I appreciate about MSC
In this blog guys, I would love to take you through my experience with MSC and my point of view.
I always participated in sports. It started with running, sprinting, gymnastics in my childhood and lead me into Cross-Fit. I believe Cross-Fit is still a huge phenomenon. When I started it, I remember that it caught me all into it. I was training every day because every day was a chance to learn a new skill or movement (I bear in mind my life back then was just a high school and part-time job so plenty of time to train).
The atmosphere in a Cross-Fit gym was always something I was looking forward to. The countdown before a workout starts always raised my adrenalin. Being competitive is a part of my nature, thus, I found myself very competitive in Cross-Fit. Don’t take me wrong, I was still cheering other members as we all were encouraging each other. However, everyone has that competitive trigger inside when the clock starts, and you are ready to hit the AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) smash the EMOM (every minute on a minute) or a benchmark workout. When you are a beginner, the improvement comes with almost every session and then it kind of ‘slows down’ as with any training in general. It is called adaptation. Therefore, it is useful to track your sessions, the weights used and the PBs hit so you can progressively overload and improve further.
There is a major difference between doing Cross-Fit as a leisure activity and being a Cross-Fit athlete. I competed at amateurs’ competitions and from my experience I can tell that when it comes to certain movements, such as snatch or jerk, majority of the competitors don’t perform it in a safe manner. That is one of the reasons why Cross-Fit is often judged, as the rate of injury increases out there. I suggest going through solid introduction of the lifts before doing workouts such as ‘ISABEL’ (30 snatches for time). And yes, Cross-Fit is for everybody, as they say, there are plenty of scaled versions, yes. But, again, it is safe if you know how to exercise and understand biomechanics.
Why did I stop? I moved to the UK, and one of the first things I’ve done was found a gym close to a place I live, which back then was King’s Heath. I continued to do Cross-Fit for about a year in a commercial gym. After a year, I just kept coming to gym but not doing Cross-Fit workout anymore. I really missed to be in that community with similar interests.
I’m not blaming anyone who is doing Cross-Fit. I still think the time I have been doing it I was the fittest I remember. I just would like people to understand that when they see Cross-Fit Games athletes training videos on Instagram, they shouldn’t really be expecting coping with training as they do or look the way they do. For those athletes, it is a full-time job and they train numerous times a day. Everything is adjusted, their sleep, their nutrition and training towards Cross-Fit goals. In addition, it remains unclear whether there is more performance enhancement than is being discussed…
As a member of MSC I loved to come to the Met-con classes. The flow, the people, safety exercise choice and hard work, these factors were pushing me to wake up early in the morning and smash the session because what is a better way to start a day, right?
Now as a coach I’m there to make sure you guys are performing the exercises in a safe manner and encourage you, as even the more experienced members need a push. But I also enjoy seeing you working hard or as many of you would say to see you ‘suffer’ (:P). I bet it feels horrible sometimes, especially the anaerobic work, but I’m sure at the end you all feel great about it. It’s amazing to watch how you guys are improving. Many of you have been coming since the MSC opened, and now look at you, at all what you have learnt, moving comfortable, picking up heavier weight, training that lactate buffering. Each of you finds something in it and we are so happy to see that.
MSC Weightlifting club made me settle for Olympic lifting and brought me into competition. I have learnt so much following the club. I enjoyed training surrounded by other people, especially my old buddy G., or preparing for competition. I always been very thankful for the facility. There are not many gyms back in Slovakia I could train weightlifting so I never actually though about doing it. Similarly, the commercial gyms back then, were not equipped with lifting plates and you can’t really throw the weight on the floor with the metal ones.
Back to the Weightlifting club here at MSC, the members have an opportunity of supervised lifting, as well as suggested exercises to improve their technique and skills. Novices are always taken through the fundamental movements before they move to the actual lifts. Members go through segmented movements and the very first session actually feels harder than many expect because of the high demands on CNS. The class is always tailored for all levels of ability so honestly none of you should be scared to come down and try it.
As a member I actually never went to Birmingham Barbell club. Looking back, I don’t even know why. I guess it was just my pure interest into Olympic lifts. I had a chance to experience the insight of the class during my internship here and now when I took over the Friday evenings. I have to say it is such an enjoyable class and time spent with everybody who comes down. My impression after the time I’ve been at MSC and talking to members is that the Birmingham Barbell Club teaches people to train, educate them about the exercises, strength and mobility development. Members who further follow the club’s programme are confident to train on their own in case they couldn’t make it for the class. I believe this is a major achievement for those who come to a gym as complete novices. Because it’s our aim to teach you guys and make you better.
I am really excited to be a part of it and follow the idea of MSC and help people improve their performance and achieve their goals.