GoRecess Spotlight: CrossFit Strive; Bastrop, TX
CrossFit Strive Owner: Coach Seiji Ishii has a B.S. in Kinesiology from the American College of Sports Medicine, is a Certified Personal Trainer, is a CrossFit Level 1 Certified Trainer and Registered Massage Therapist. Coach Seiji has 20+ years of cycling and successful competition experience both on and off road, extensive experience in injury management and physical therapy, and 17+ year experience in training and coaching endurance and outdoor athletes (including elite level bicycle road racers, mountain bike racers and several national champion triathletes), keeping them healthy and performing at their peak when it counts.
Classes offered: We have three types of classes:
- Intro classes: always free and offer a taste of the CrossFit methodology and movements, designed for first-timers
- Fundamentals classes: a series of 3 very small (up to 4 athletes) personal training type of classes designed to teach the 9 principal and functional movements of CrossFit in a supportive environment. The small class size ensures personal attention and will provide the knowledge and skills to participate in our WODs.
- WOD (Workout of the Day): our “normal” CrossFit classes, still small in nature (up to 12), and utilizing CrossFit’s broad, inclusive fitness model to increase your work capacity and improve your overall fitness and health in a very time efficient manner.
What makes CrossFit such an effective workout? A main tenet of the CrossFit philosophy is that increased fitness means increasing your work capacity. This means, in simplest of terms, how much work you can get done in the shortest time. The functional movements are chosen because that is what they do: in essence you are moving both your body and possibly an external load as far as you can, as quickly as you can. This means you are doing the most work possible in the shortest time frame and by nature, the workouts are VERY time efficient. Basically, physically doing the most work in the shortest time is the key to improved work capacity and fitness according to CrossFit.
After almost 20 years as a trainer and athlete, I truly believe CrossFit is the most time efficient path to improved fitness and health and provides the most useful type of fitness for most people. Another CrossFit tenet is that everything is designed to be scalable: this means that these movements and loads are modified for each individual’s ability level, ensuring that everyone is working at their personal, safe and most effective work rate.
What makes CrossFit Strive unique from other CrossFit boxes? CrossFit Strive Bastrop was founded to bring True Fitness, Real Health and Strong Community to this area in a manner that reflects our rural community. We want to approach each participant, each class as more of a personal training situation. My background is personal training and I never liked large group fitness classes; people get left out, are working over or under their ability levels, etc. The group size in CrossFit is smaller and really the benefit of this group is support and camaraderie. It’s the sweet spot for me as a experienced professional in this industry and I wanted to make our box take a more personal stance for each individual participant. I know that makes us different from other boxes. We are not teaching a class, we are personal training each participant. It’s a different mentality. It fits our rural community, our smaller town. People know each other and take more of an interest in each other. Moving here from Austin made that very apparent to me and I wanted that same feeling in our box.
I also think that our level of coaching is very high for a CrossFit. We aren’t coming into CrossFit with little or no experience as trainers or athletes. I have a degree in Kinesiology and have been a professional trainer/coach across several sports at the professional and elite level before venturing into CrossFit. Our other two coaches have elite level athletic experience and/or coaching experience in aspects related to CrossFit specifically – Power Lifting and Strength coaching or national level CrossFit competition for example. We don’t have the stereotypical “I like CrossFit so I got certified” type of coach. It makes it difficult to find coaches but we would rather have quality over quantity when it comes to coaching. We are, after all, providing a singular product and that IS coaching.
Advice for first-timers? Slow, steady, long term progress will trump quick, forced progress every time. Give your body what it needs to actually benefit from your hard work: recovery and the proper foods. People get really motivated, gung ho, come in every day, etc. and that may work for a few, but the majority will have better long term results if they plan their recovery, which includes food. Work hard, rest just as hard (when your body is actually changing for the better) and give it what it needs to make these changes by eating the proper foods. By all means hit it hard, give it your all, but also give your body the necessary rest, fuel and building blocks to benefit: sleep, days off, proper diet. If you’re going to do it, might as well do it right and do all of it I say.
Any favorite WODs to share? Haha, good question. WODs are designed to be broad: you never know what is going to be prescribed in class ahead of time. This prepares you for the “unknown and unknowable” in CrossFit speak. It gets you ready for anything both physically and mentally. It’s part of the CrossFit mentality, to train to be ready for anything life may throw at you: yard work to emergency situations. I know that isn’t a WOD but that’s my favorite thing about WODs is their unpredictability and the resulting gains from this mentality. It also forces participants to work on weaknesses since you cannot “cherry pick” WODs that you may be good at; you are only as good as your weakest link so bring your overall ability up by constantly working your weaknesses. Some people are better lifters, some better rowers, etc. but this type of programming makes you work on what you are not as good at doing, bringing your overall fitness level up. I am, by the way, a little weakling, lol, so I would tend to go to workouts that had more rowing, running, etc. but this system makes me accountable to what I need to work on personally.
There are “named” WODs that CrossFitters can use as benchmarks. They are standardized WODs that each individual can use as a yardstick to their progress. Of these, my current favorite has to be Fran, a classic. I like it personally because it combines something I am really horrible at (thrusters) with something I am good at (pull ups).
The one exercise move everyone should master? Dead Lift. It is difficult to do 100% correctly but to me, nothing can be a more functional strength movement in regular life than lifting something heavy that is in front of you in the most efficient and safe manner.
Any nutritional advice to complement your workouts? Nutrition is to me, a personal choice and every person responds to their foods in their own way. CrossFit embraces the Paleo/Primal type of diet, which eliminates all processed foods and foods that were created by the agricultural revolution. Simply stated, the diet is comprised of meats, vegetables and fruits in as much of a native state as possible. If you can hunt it, fish it, pick it, without human intervention, it it’s pretty much game on. No breads, cereals, pastas, simple sugars. I realize that it may not work for everyone but it has worked for me and a lot of athletes and coaches I know. It was a very interesting journey for me to switch my diet to this a few years back and I really wish that I would have done it sooner, but like I said, diet is very individual and a personal choice that I think needs to be based on how you feel on those foods.
Tell us about your Wellness FX program. WellnessFX is what I call “functional medicine.” I think it can change how we think of medicine. In traditional Western Medicine, you wait until something goes wrong, you go to a doctor whom can then test you to find out what is causing the symptoms, then a plan is formed and executed that hopefully resolves the problem but often just resolves the symptoms. Functional medicine involves getting these tests BEFORE something goes wrong, looking at the results with a professional medical advisor and forming a plan of action to improve major markers of health so that you are addressing the cause of health issues and preventing them in the first place. It’s a totally different health care paradigm. You aren’t going to be prescribed meds, you are going to be advised to alter diet, exercise, rest, stress, etc. all the things that you are within your direct control to improve these markers of health and cutting health problems off at the pass, with the side benefit of improved performance and improvements in just how you feel. Different mindset, I think, than the usual “I messed up, I feel bad, give me a pill.” It’s more like “I want to take active control over my health instead of a back seat."
Ready for "True Fitness, Real Health and Strong Community"? Check out CrossFit Strive today!