Monthly Update – September 2016

Dear member,

Welcome to Spring! Luckily that was an easy Winter to get through! Each and every member did a great job getting through the cold, tough months and we are now rolling downhill towards the best parts of the year. What better time to set some goals to smash until 2017? If you are wanting to sit down with Matt over the next few weeks for a chat about some personal goals to achieve before the end of the year, please contact him via email to arrange a meeting time during the week. His availabilities include Monday/Tuesday/Thursday 7am-9am, 4pm-5pm and 6pm-7pm.


We will be closed all day for Labour Day Monday October 3rd 2016.


Change of Program Names
Don’t be too alarmed by the heading. In the past we have had a lot of confusion about the benefits of each of the different programs we offer under our CrossFit programming. To simplify the focus of each program we have decided to change the names of the programs to Active, Athletic and Competition.


Active – This level is suitable for anybody and everybody that wants to improve their fitness and stay active. With a primary focus on movement quality rather than intensity, our Active members work on building foundations in strength, technique and mobility. It is designed to give long term, sustainable and broad fitness in the long term. This program offers all the benefits of CrossFit, without the complexity of some of the more difficult movements.

Athletic – For the member who has proven to our coaches that they are capable of completing the Active workouts consistently with good form, we offer the Athletic WOD option. WIth a greater degree of complexity gymnastics and Olympic weightlifting movement, as well as increasing repetition volume and load, this is our tried and tested method to get you strong & fit. Active will get you fit, Athletic develops you into a well-rounded athlete.

Competitive – For those who want to compete in CrossFit, and have proven to the coaching staff they are capable of consistently completing all the complex movements involved in CrossFit. This is for the competitor who has spent time polishing their skills, and had personal coaching to develop their technique. For this program, an understanding of when to train and rest is necessary. A much higher degree of skill and mentality is required at this level.

Member Survey

We would like feedback from as many members as possible to know how we can improve both CrossFit and Weightlifting classes, as well as your experience outside of class.

If you wish to have your opinion heard, please click on the image below to take the survey.



Referrals Competition


As a small business we rely on word of mouth and referrals from our clients to help us grow. If you love us, then let your friends and family know. If you have someone in mind that you feel would love to be part of our awesome community then please let us know. We will contact each person and offer them a free consultation and assessment. Like you, we want to help them achieve their personal physical and mental goals, get in the shape and workout with fun people.

Please click on the link below to leave us the names of family or friends who would really benefit from our community and training.

If you fill out this link, you will go into the draw to win an awesome prize pack including:
– Pair of Nike Metcons
– A BIG tub of protein
– A 12 pack of Peak Chocolate

All you need to do to be in the draw is fill out this survey and provide us with the name and number of three friends who need help with their health and fitness! Lastly don’t forget to let them know we will be calling them soon to have a chat. Click on the picture to refer someone.


Gymnastics Workshop

The next Gymnastics workshop will commence on Thursday October 13th. The following workshop will be 12 weeks in duration once again. The workshop has limited numbers, so if you wish to enrol please email Matt at as soon as possible. There will be a Beginner and Intermediate program structure. No matter what level you feel you are there will be progressive scaling options throughout the whole course.
Member of the Month


Congratulations to Katie Blackburn for being our member of the Month.

Katie suffered a shoulder injury over a month ago and has not stopped training. No, she didn’t not train through pain! She spoke to the coaches, who helped her find the root cause of the problem. She then consistently followed programmed rehabilitation exercises to strengthen her shoulder. In the mean time she stopped doing the movements that were uncomfortable and painful, including scaling WODs so she could continue to keep her fitness up capacity each week. The team at CFNB are pleased she was persistent and sensible throughout her injury rehabilitation and training.


As the August member of the month Katie receives the book “Becoming a Supple Leopard”

Weightlifting News

A reminder we have our Open Weightlifting competition to be held at Hills District Weightlifting Club on the 24th of September. You do not need to be an official AWF member to participate in the event. This is a great opportunity for anyone looking to practice weightlifting in a formal format and under the pressures of competition. All female spots have been taken with only a few male spots remaining. If you wish to participate in the event please contact Vanessa on 0407-909-120.
Next weekend Kev Cawthorn will be heading up to Brisbane with Coach Ness to compete in the Junior and Senior National event for 2016. He is representing NSW in the 77kg category.
Kev was also selected to represent the team format competition where his total score (Snatch + Clean & Jerk total) will go towards the NSW team score Vs the other states of Australia.
If you see Kev this week please wish him and Coach Ness the best for the upcoming weekend.

CrossFit News

Congratulations to all 8 CFNB teams who participated in the Gods of War competition at CrossFit Rev X on Saturday. The atmosphere was great and the results even better by all teams! Here were the final standings out of a total of 60 teams:

Stacey and Aaron – 6th
Tara and Liam – 7th
Kat and Alex – Equal 9th
Annette and Christian – Equal 9th
Beth and Josh – Equal 12th
Christina and Dan – Equal 35th
Renee and Steve – 41st
Marlena and Andrew – 46th


Below are the details for other local NSW CrossFit competitions for any members wishing to test their fitness in the coming months. If you wish to participate in any of the following competitions, please let Matt know so he can organise a team and supporters to head down together for the events.





CrossFit South West Sydney’s 8th games day. This competition is a 4 person, mixed teams event. Workouts are designed to allow for a mixed and varied group of individuals to be able to perform well. Some events will be targeted to the strong, some the fast.

A good team will have a fast guy and girl and a strong guy and girl.
A great team will have all members able to do both!

Community Event

Matt’s Turning 30!

Matt would like to invite each and every member to come celebrate with him on next Saturday the 10th of September. It’s only fitting that you dress up for this occasion as your favourite athlete – past or present.
Come let your hair down, celebrate, meet other members and laugh the night away in your favourite costume. The party will be held at the gym – 3/2 Anella Ave, Castle Hill. BYO alcohol and eskies/ice. Some food will be provided. If you are #paleo, eat before you come!
Fundraiser Trivia Night

New Members

We would like to welcome the following new members to the CFNB community: Michael, Rachel, Davids. D, Alex, David. M, Tyson, Bo, Maryanne, Meagan, Nathan, Melissa

Monthly Update – August 2016

Hills Health and Fitness
Monthly Update

It’s the last month of Winter and each and every one of you have done so well to keep up your adherence to training which has been great to see. In comparison to previous years numbers were strong in each class. In the coming months we have plenty of events on, so please be sure to read on for more information on everything that is happening in the gym soon.

Member of the Month

Congratulations to Adam Fonfarski for being our member of the Month.

Adam joined us not too long ago with barely any training background. Since commencing he has improved in all aspects of his fitness by continuously turning up to sessions each and every week. It is clear that Adam has put on some muscle mass in his arms and legs which was one of his initial goals along with strength. When starting out Adam was barely able to do 8kg kettlebell swings and 6kg shoulder to overhead. Now days he is consistently using a 16kg kettlebell, sometimes even venturing to the 20kg. His shoulder strength has also improved massively and he now uses the 10kg set of dumbbells consistently.

As the August member of the month he receives one Personal Training session with Matt.

Weightlifting News
The State Champs were held at Homebush Bay on the 23rd July. We had successful results from our members Kev, Mick and coach Vanessa.
The results were as follows;Kev SN 95kg CJ 120kg -1st place
Mick SN 83kg CJ 116kg PB* -2nd place
Ness SN 55kg CJ 80kg PB* -3rd place.

If you see them around the gym please congratulate them on their efforts.

Coach Vanessa has organised for a Open Weightlifting competition to be held at Hills District Weightlifting Club on the 24th of September. You do not need to be an official AWF member to participate in the event. This is a great opportunity for anyone looking to practice Weightlifting in a formal format and under the pressures of competition.

CrossFit News

Below are the details for other local NSW CrossFit competitions for any members wishing to test their fitness in the coming months. If you wish to participate in any of the following competitions, please let Matt know so he can organise a team and supporters to head down together for the events.

CrossFit Rev X
Date: August 27th
What: Mixed Pairs Competition, 2 categories including Open and advanced
Where: CrosSFit Rev X, (4/29 Crescent St, Holroyd NSW)
Theme: TBA
Register here:


All Star Affiliate Team Series
Date: 17-18th September
What: 6 person teams (3 male, 3 female)
Where: Homebush Showgrounds.
Register here:

Community Event

Friday 2nd of September, Castle Hill Golf Day.

Fundraiser Trivia Night

New Members

We would like to welcome the following new members to the CFNB community: Michel, Nicola, James, Callie, Luke, Navid and Jess.

Outside the Box – “How can a younger athlete excel in their chosen sport without burning out too early?”


How can a younger athlete excel in their chosen sport without burning out too early?

The April edition of Outside The Box will focus on a valuable and integral part of the CrossFit New Beginning community. The Teenagers and their parents. We run teens classes at 5pm every weekday and at 9:30am Saturday mornings. Each  specifically programmed class is coached by Emily, Christian or Matt and is designed to develop a teenagers overall athletic capacity. As I will discuss below, only through exposure to a diverse range of training modalities can a young athlete truly reach their full potential.   

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A lack of resiliency is the main cause for young athletes not reaching their full potential and burning out too early in their sport of choice. Contrary to popular belief the burn out is not caused by a lack of coaching, limited availability of fitness equipment/facilities, or the support of overzealous parents who feel their little Jack or Jill could be the next Jonathan Thurston or Cathy Freeman.

Although exceptions do exist, most young athletes have access to pretty much anything and everything they want or need, from a wide array of “specialty” coaches—I know of 13-year-olds who have a running coach, nutritionist and a strength coach;  I wouldn’t be surprised if some have coaches to show them how to brush their teeth and tie their shoelaces—to any number of holiday sports specific training camps, weekend clinics  or one-on-one personal sessions designed to 1) increase their exposure to the specific sport and 2) give the parents who are paying for everything the illusion that their money is being well spent.

It’s usually not.

In fact, I would argue that the overexposure of young, impressionable athletes to any of the above—which typically morphs into early sport specialisation—does more harm than good in terms of improved athletic performance or “career” longevity in a specific sport for the youth athlete.

Resiliency and Why It Matters

Resiliency refers to how people adapt to adversity—the ability to roll with the punches when things do not go their way and still get the job done. In short: people who are resilient are able to function—and persevere—in the presence of anger, grief, failure and/or pain.

Don’t get me wrong: I have witnessed in action and worked with a number of young athletes who do very well when faced with adversity. But I have also witnessed my fair share of tantrums and breakdowns. Sadly, at crunch time, I have observed the latter trumping the former. I cannot identify one main culprit to blame for the lack of resiliency of today’s young athletes, but here are a few nominees:

1- Specialising in a sport at a young age

 When I was a kid growing up—especially between the ages of 10 and 17, when I began to participate in organised school or club sports—I played a different sport for every season. I one hundred percent believe by playing a variety of sports throughout the year it allowed me to excel in Ice Hockey, which is what I ended up playing in my early adult years. Playing several sports helped me to develop a multitude of athletic abilities and developed not just a better hockey player but a better athlete. Moreover, it kept me healthy and prevented me from developing pattern overload injuries (tennis players demonstrating larger forearm muscular hypertrophy in their forehand arm and tennis elbow, cricket bowlers developing shoulder and hip problems localised to their bowling arm or blocking leg). If you really think about it and break it down, all sports bias a side or repetitive movement pattern. Yes, repetition leads to familiarity, familiarity leads to consistency, consistency leads to high performance BUT as we know repetition also leads to RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury).

I would like to see these points stressed and reinforced with every young athlete. It saddens me when I start working with an athlete and I ask him or her which sports he or she plays, and they respond with only one sport. A rare and gifted minority of professional athletes have only trained in a singular discipline for their entire career (Don Bradman hitting a golf ball against a cylindrical water tank all day and night with a cricket stump comes to mind). “The Don” developed his cricketing skills in a time where limited sporting disciplines were readily available (Country town Bowral did not have a readily available Ice Rink or “Flip Out” indoor trampoline centre). One could  argue that Don may have been an even greater all round cricketer if he had access to a larger variety of sports when growing up.

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2- Lack of Recovery

Early sport specialisation does not allow young athletes to recover. There is a reason why every sport has an off-season—it’s to allow its athletes to recover after a long, gruelling period of hard work.

Grown, mature, professional athletes take time off. Why this message has been muted among young, underdeveloped athletes is beyond my comprehension. It sounds counterintuitive, but playing multiple sports helps with recovery. An athlete who plays soccer in the winter, cricket in the summer and athletics or swimming in between prevents pattern overload and stays fresh. That athlete is less likely to burn out.

Intense weekend clinics, in my opinion, make things worse—especially for soccer, football or cricket players (for whom they are most prevalent).

The biggest issue is timing. Most clinics are run in the off season, weeks if not months after an athlete has shut things down (when the instructors aren’t coaching their own teams or competing themselves and have the time to conduct the sessions). The athlete is tossed into a “game intensity” scenario at a time when he or she is least prepared for it. And this may happen several times throughout the year. Is it any surprise that we’ve seen an increase in ACL, MCL and other surgeries within this youth demographic?

3- Obsession With First Grade or 1st Division Squads

For many high school athletes, the opportunity to play first grade or at the Division 1 level is the Holy Grail. I get it. That is a big deal (and an honour).

However, I have seen some athletes become so obsessed and indoctrinated into believing that playing at the top level is the only way to succeed, they are demoralised and “broken” if it does not happen.

I understand that at the highest level, athletes expect the coaching and facilities to be better (sometimes true, but not always) and that getting exposure is easier. Surrounding yourself with excellence breeds excellence, right?

I have colleagues who work exclusively with young athletes at the highest level and have personally helped enough athletes from all levels to tell you that if you are good enough, talent scouts will find you regardless of what level you play.

More importantly, your chances of getting exposure increases exponentially at a club where you will actually play (and therefore get better).

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Monthly Update – July 2016

Dear members,

Last month we launched our brand new Customer Relationship Management system Zenplanner for all members to use. The CRM system implementation has been a great success with 96.5% of members checking in more than twice! However to help each and every member with their attendance, we need it to be 100%. So please make the small effort before or after each class to check in so we can see your attendance record. If you have had any issues with your account login, passwords, gender display in the leaderboard or anything else I have not mentioned please email me at

Member of the Month

Congratulations to Adryan Daynes for being our member of the Month.

Adryan has been consistent with his training and diet in the last month, and this has shown in an amazing body transformation. Adryan likes to play soccer and do some running during the week to supplement his CrossFit training. He has lost almost 20kg since commencing with us back in October 2015.

As the July member of the month Adryan receives a new pair of CrossFit Nano’s!


My Nutrition Plan
If you are wanting a personalised nutrition plan from Coach Nolan and to be invited into the private Facebook support group please read below.
Why is nutrition important and why is it the first platform to success?
Nutrition provides the building blocks of mankind. Everyone has heard the saying “you are what you eat”, and its completely true. Another common saying you may have already heard is  “you cannot out-train a bad diet”. Even though you may look healthy on the outside, it does not mean things are working optimally on the inside and you may not be performing at your full potential. Nutrition is a solid foundation for success, as illustrated in the picture below.
The Theoretical Hierarchy of Development
New Supplements

We have received some new arrivals last week to expand our supplement range range and cater for the needs of all our members. Some of the new supplements which we now stock include: casein protein, WPI protein, fish oil, FX pre-workout, and creatine. All supplements are available at a reduced cost to our members due to our affiliation with Nutrition Warehouse down the road.

Zenplanner now makes it easy for you to purchase your supplements on the run by using the iPads. Simply click on PURCHASE on the bottom right hand corner of the screen and follow the prompts.

Weightlifting News

This month we have 2 members (Kevin & Mick) and Coach Vanessa competing in the State Champs at Homebush Bay on the 23rd July. It would be great to get a large group of supporters to come down on the day to watch these 3 compete. Car pooling will be organised via the white A-frame the week before the competition for ease of transportation too and from the venue.

There is now the option to receive a personalised training plan from Coach Vanessa for all competing (registered) and non-competing athletes under the Hills District Weightlifting Club.How does it work? – Vanessa will sit down with you to talk about your strengths and weaknesses to know exactly how to plan for each 4 week block.
What is the Cost? – $7.50 a week for NSW/AWF registered weightlifters, $12.50 a week for non-registered weightlifters.

This has been implemented to give each member the help they need to make every program personalised and targeted towards your individuals needs. Non competing lifters who do not wish to have a personalised program will still have a template to follow on the white board as always.

CrossFit News

Congratulations to the 4 teams who represented us at the CrossFit 565 Competition on the 12th June. For the majority of participants, it was their first time competing. They shook off the early nerves to perform very well over the course of 3 workouts.

Future Beginnings (Male Adv Div) – 27th
The Past, The Present, The Future (Male Adv Div) – 22nd
3 Wise Monkeys (Male Adv Div) – 23rd
New B’s (Female Open Div) – 13th


Below are the details for other local NSW CrossFit competitions for any members wishing to test their fitness in the coming months. If you wish to participate in any of the following competitions, please let Matt know so he can organise a team and supporters to head down together for the events.

CrossFit Rev X
Date: August 27th
What: Mixed Pairs Competition, 2 categories including Open and advanced
Where: CrosSFit Rev X, (4/29 Crescent St, Holroyd NSW)
Theme: TBA
Register here:


All Star Affiliate Team Series
Date: 17-18th September
What: 6 person teams (3 male, 3 female)
Where: Homebush Showgrounds.
Register here:

Community Event

We will be organising a car pool for the community to go support our 3 athletes competing in the NSW Weightlifting State Champs on the 23rd July at Homebush Bay. If you are interested in attending the competition as a supporter, please write your name down on the A-frame white board at the front of the gym during the week starting on the 18th July.

Time: TBA
Cost: Free or less than $10
Location: Titan Weightlifting Club, Homebush Bay

New Members

We would like to welcome the following new members to the CFNB community: Rose, Clara, Melissa, Josh, Aaron, Angela, Alexandra, Jules, Anthony, James and Jodie.

Monthly Update – June 2016


Hills Health and Fitness
Monthly Update

June 2016 – Monthly Update

Catch up on all the important things happening in the gym this month!

Thank you once again to everyone who took time last month to fill out the survey we posted in our last monthly update. It has also been fantastic to see members respecting people’s work out space and the class zones, even though the gym was increasingly busy over the past month.This month we will be launching our brand new Customer Relationship Management system Zenplanner for our members to use. The CRM system has been briefly talked about on our members only Facebook page  last week.

Some Zenplanner features to look out for include;

– Simplified billing (the ability to check your debit history, change your personal details and change billing details)
– Workout tracking (log your daily scored on the website to track your progress)
– Dashboards (creates communication between members from different classes by allowing them to check the daily WOD, scores and make comments. Members not on other platforms i.e.. Facebook and Instagram can join in on the fun)
– Online scheduling (Allowing you to book into classes)
– Member mobile App (allowing you to log scores, book classes, check into classes, pay for retail purchases)
– Attendance tracking (allowing us to keep you more accountable when your attendance drops)

We hope to be rolling it out with a small group in the next week or so, in order to test it out and make sure it works perfectly before launching it club wide.

Member of the Month

Congratulations to Ryan Fitzhenry for being our member of the Month.

Ryan has had some massive gains in the last month due to increasing his dedication to training since the CrossFit Open. He has reaped the rewards with perfecting skills such as the kipping pull up, toes to bar and his strength numbers have jumped. Usually a little shy Ryan has asked for some help regarding attaining his first ever muscle up. We hope the hard work pays off this month!

As the May member of the month Ryan receives a set of rings for his quest to the land of the muscle up.

New Coaches
Would you please welcome aboard our 2 new staff members Vanessa and Fabian to our coaching team.

Sport has always been a big part of Vanessa’s life. Competing in athletics and netball at a national and state level since the age of 12. She was introduced to CrossFit and Weightlifting later on in life when she joined Locus Strength and Conditioning. Vanessa now competes in 69kg division for NSW and Qualified for the Masters Nationals in Hobart 2016. She loves the challenge of weightlifting and is passionate to teach others.

Vanessa’s qualifications include:

– Australian weightlifting federation level 1 coach
– Cert lll and lV in fitness
– Master Trainer
– Senior first aid and resuscitation cert

Fabian started his fitness career in Dubai over 7 years ago. He’s been an active person from a young age taking part and representing his school or district in various sports. His desire to keep active has always been a priority for him. Fabian has always been interested in CrossFit, as he enjoys the variety and camaraderie the sport brings. He will always be there to help and encourage you to get the work done.

A desire to bring up his twin girls closer to family and friends has brought him back home to Sydney.

Fabian qualifications include:

– Certificate III and IV in Fitness
– ASCA Level 1 Strength and Conditioning
– First Aid and Resuscitation Certificate

Membership Changes

As some of you are aware, we recently changed our billing cycle. All members will now be billed on the same day moving forward. The new cycle commences on the 2/6/16 and we will be billing within our new system Zenplanner on the following cycle 16/6/16.

Gymnastics Workshop

Over the past 8 weeks a small group of 8 members have been training on Thursday nights in the first CFNB Gymnastic workshop. Due to its increasingly popular demand from the current group and other members who have heard about it, we will be running the workshop once again.

The commencement of the second workshop will be on the 30th June.

Cost: $250 for 12 weeks
When: Every Thursday night from 7pm-8pm
What to expect: Beginner Level gymnastics skills to improve core, skill and flexibility AND an Intermediate level gymnastics class at the same time. Homework every week to be completed in your own time.

If you did not complete the Beginner level program but you feel that you are of an Intermediate level Matt will conduct some benchmark tests for you to complete before you can enter the Intermediate program.The current group who have been doing the Beginner program are very happy with their improvements in performances so far. Here a few things they had to say about it:

I’ve improved my core strength and i’m starting to see improvements in my shoulders. Also i am loving the the variety of new exercises/movements every week. – Marlena

My strength increased almost immediately. It’s been really beneficial to focus on both core strength and skill progression for a full hour every week. It’s given me the confidence to try new skills I previously found daunting, and I’m really happy with all the achievements! – Kylie

This workshop has done much more than I expected. I’ve PR’d my back squat, started doing ring dips unassisted in WODs and am feeling an overall improvement in the way I move in my lifts. I’m really happy with the results so far, this is a great course and I highly recommend it. – Beth

The gymnastics sessions have been very well planned out, with clear progressions that have allowed us to build strength and then progress to more complex movements without being overwhelmed. – Josh

The Gymnastics workshop has definitely improved my core strength and overall flexibility and I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to improve in those areas! – Dan

The gymnastics course has been great for building extra core strength and building confidence in new movements. Also found my hands are able to take a bit more abuse. – Grant

New Gear

The weather is getting colder and colder so if you are interested in our 2016 jumpers we are selling them in the office. If you wish to buy one, make sure you ask one of the coaches next time you are in before they run out.

New Supplement Membership add-ons

What a great response we had to our supplement discount program we launched last month! Nutrition Warehouse Castle Hill, are able to pass on supplement discounts to our members if they join our monthly supplement subscription. So if your a new member or someone who forgot to ask Matt about it last month don’t forget to get yourself on the system today!

How does it work?

1. Choose your protein and/or other supplements you regularly take and add the cost to your membership.
2. At the commencement of each month we will place an order for everyone who is due for a repurchase.
3. Your order will arrive within a week for you to collect from the gym and take home.
4. Depending on the size of your protein we will follow up with you 1-3 months down the track for your re-order.

This process is to save you time, money and effort by avoiding the need to go to the supplement store, as well as give you the opportunity to ask a coach for some advice on training supplementation.

If you are unsure which supplements you should be taking to optimise your training results, please ask one of our coaches next time you are in the gym.

Here is our supplement pricing list which is also available to read next to the coach bios in the front entrance of the gym. The discounts are noted for members who join the subscription program.

Weightlifting News

We would like to congratulate Kev and Mick on participating in the Odd Socks Heterophile Weightlifting competition 2 weeks ago. This was Michaels first competition and he did very well hitting 5/6 lifts. Kevin also lifted well, qualifying for Junior Nationals with a total of 208kg.

In other Weightlifting News, coach Jimmy also made a comeback from a 2 year hiatus from competition by participating in the Burwood competition. Jimmy hit a successful 94kg snatch and a solid 120kg clean and jerk!

CrossFit News

Congratulations to Sin for competing in her very first CrossFit competition 2 weekends ago. She participated in the Back to Basics Games day out at Campbeltown with a 16th place finish from 100 competitors.

Below are the details for another upcoming local NSW CrossFit competitions for any members wishing to test their fitness in the coming months. If you wish to participate in the Games Day please let Matt know so he can organise a team and supporters to head down together for the events.

2016 CARNAGE on Saturday 3rd September

CrossFit Plus annual individual THROW DOWN.
Registration opens on Monday 27th June @ 1700 – via

Timetable Changes and Closures

We will be closed on Monday the 13th June for the Queens Birthday Public Holiday.

Community Events

We will be organising a trip to the Tree Tops adventure park on Sunday the 19th of June. If you are interested in attending the day please write your name down on the A-frame white board at the front of the gym before the 10th June.

Time: 10am
Cost: $48 per person (possibly 5% discount if we get a group of 10 or more)
Plough & Harrow East,
745 Western Sydney Parklands,
Elizabeth Drive, Abbotsbury
PO Box 284, Bonnyrigg NSW 2177
Check out the website for more information on the activities on the day.

New Members

We would like to welcome the following new members to the CFNB community: Bryce, Michael, Adrian, Alexa, Andrew, Sophie, Luis, Aaron, Kai and Katrina. Please make them feel welcome by introducing yourself if you see them around the gym.

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Outside the Box – “Rest Days or Active Recovery? Which is best?” 


Think rest days are for resting? Then you’re doing them wrong. Now, I’m not saying you need to do an hour-long workout on your days off. I’m just saying you need to keep moving to enhance the recovery process.

In this months edition of Outside the Box we will be providing some insight into active recovery techniques, methods and efficiency. I will provide an example at the bottom of the article for a great “Recovery Day Circuit” that will have you feeling 100% and ready to go for your next day of training!

If you are serious about changing your body, feeling better, and making serious gains in the gym, then “active” rest days are a must.

And that goes for athletes who go full throttle 100 percent of the time, too. Your muscles and central nervous system need a break from high intensity training. To optimise your time in the gym you need to be able to work at full capacity each time you walk in.

After all, your next training session will only be as strong as how well you allow yourself to recover.

Below : Figure 1 shows the importance of training with the correct level of intensity, timing of recovery (recovery days) and volume to optimise your improvement.

The CrossFit world in particular often makes it easy to overlook or forget the golden rule of training QUALITY OVER QUANTITY! Instagram and Facebook is flooded with post after post of CrossFit Games athletes completing 5+ training sessions a day. It is easy to forget that these athletes have been building up a base of conditioning, strength and resilience over many years. Not to mention all they do is train, they don’t have to sit at a desk all day. The external stresses are pretty low for the majority of the athletes. A fantastic advocate for quality over quantity is Alethea Boon. Alethea works a full time office job, trains for a solid 3 hours most nights (with active recovery days in between) and has qualified for the CrossFit Games 2 years in a row. A solid gymnastic training base growing up didn’t hurt either!

In previous editions of outside the box articles we have discussed solid nutritional practices that play a massive role in the recovery process. Practices such as eating the bulk of your daily carbohydrate intake before, during and post workout. Utilising recovery based supplements such as protein powders and BCAA’s can really supercharge your recovery when used correctly. So please refer back on past articles to brush up on the information as nutrition is an integral piece of the training pie!

Here’s what your active recovery day should achieve:

  1. Address common problematic areas such as poor thoracic (upper-back) mobility, bad ankle mobility, tight hip flexors, and a weak core and glutes.
  2. Elevate your heart rate and help you break a sweat—without the additional joint stress that comes from traditional cardiovascular work like running*
  3. Promote additional blood flow to sore or stiff areas
  4. Prepare your body for its next training day without causing fatigue

    5. Make you feel like a superhero!


*Cardio or aerobic work does not have to eat away at your muscle or strength gains. Performing traditional aerobic exercise can be a great way to encourage active recovery—as long as it doesn’t elevate your heart rate too high. Swimming, rowing and Airdyne (all completed at a low level of intensity) are great steady state cardio pieces. To make the most out of your recovery days try and stay out of the normal gym setting. A change of scenery can do wonders for motivation and re-energise the mind on days off conventional training. The added benefit of getting outdoors in the sunshine drastically improves general physical and mental wellness.

Doing low-impact slow and steady cardio that keeps your heart rate between 120 and 140 BPM (beats per minute) has been shown to increase blood flow, negate soreness, reset your central nervous system, and help your body adapt to new training loads. This means you will be leaner, stronger and faster next time your are in the gym.

If steady state cardio isn’t your thing, I have found that the following circuit hits on all 5 points listed above. The workout involves 10 bodyweight mobility drills that you can do anywhere.

But you can choose any mobility movements that you want, and then slot them into the circuit. Just hit any tight or weak spots on your body, and make sure you check off the bullet points above.

The biggest thing to remember: This should not be or feel hard.

Here’s how to do it:

Perform each exercise in a row. After you’re finished all 10 movements, rest 60 to 90 seconds. That’s 1 round. Do 3 to 5 total rounds. Most of the movements we do in classes and you should have done before. For those of you that don’t know, pease ask a coach and we will be more than happy to show you!

Do this circuit two times a week for one month and I guarantee you will notice a massive difference in your training.

1. Air Squats, 8 reps
2. Yoga Push Up Complex, 3 reps per side
3. Alternating Lunges, 8 reps per leg
4. FLR hold, 30 seconds
5. Lateral Lunge with Pulse, 5 per side
6. Alt side dead bugs, 5 reps per side
7. Ring Rows, 10 reps
8. Mountain Climbers, 15 reps per side
9. Turkish Get Up, 1 rep per side
10. Bear Crawl, 15 seconds

Monthly Update – April 2016

 Dear members,


Firstly the team at CFNB would like to congratulate each and every single person who participated in this years 2016 CrossFit Open.

(For those new to our community click here to find out what the CrossFit Open is –

We had 72 members register for this years Open and with that came many first timers. There were many highs, lows, tears and blood shed over the past 5 weeks but now it is all over for a little while. Now that the dust has settled it is time for reflection of what you personally accomplished.

If you did not participate in this years CrossFit Open this also applies to you. Take this opportunity to reflect on the past year. This is the perfect time of the year to look back on the entire year of training you did, and how you got to this point right now.

Reflect on all those hours of training that you accumulated in the gym. The improvements in your fitness and the sacrifices you made. Reflect on the journey you experienced with everyone else around you. Think of your training partners who may of helped you along the way.

For those who participated in the Open think of the coaches, judges and supporters who shared your experience that were there for every step, rep, pull, push, squat, breath you took.

After all that reflection I want each person to think of what’s next. What goals are you wanting to achieve within the next year in your health and fitness. Take the time to write it down. Once you have something clear and concise post it up somewhere where you can see it on a daily basis. Make sure you write it down rather than typing it and printing. This is an opportunity for to keep yourself accountable from now until you achieve that goal.

Now for those of you who struggle to do this exercise Matt will be making himself available for some goal setting sessions during the month of April like he did in January. Feel free to contact him via email or phone for a face to face and you can sit down to map out a plan for your goal or even set you some goals if you do not know where to start. Each goal setting session will be roughly 15 minutes in duration and can be booked at a time that suits you.

Member of the Month and Spirit of the Games

Congratulations to Christian Tatnall for being our member of the Month and winning our Spirit of the Games award.

Christian made some big changes in his diet leading up the the Open by participating in the Clean Eating Challenge which clearly helped with his performance during the Open. His most impressive feat during the past month was his final score for workout 16.5. Christian bettered all the adult males in the gym with a time of 12:29 only coming second to Liam Pike from the Teens who scored 10:56. His performance crawled him up the gym leader board to 6th position overall.

Christian was ranked 2835 in Australia in 2015 and improved to 1182 in 2016.


Commencement of New Training Programs

Are you interested in trying out our other programs? Here is a description of the programming moving forward. To achieve the best results of you personal fitness goals make sure you stick to the same program for the next 12 weeks of programming as to not interfere with your progression.

BODY – An evolution of the FITNESS program, CFNB BODY will include a balanced regime of agility training, mobility work, isolation movements and weight training. The BODY programming is designed for participants of all experience levels and provides a structured, comprehensive and customised plan to get you leaner and stronger.

BUILD – Sticking to the core principles of CrossFit and continuing to provide participants with the skills to support General Physical Preparedness (GPP). The progression from BODY to the CFNB BUILD program will incorporate a vast range of strength, gymnastic, power, endurance, agility, balance, stamina, flexibility, co-ordination and accuracy building exercises so participants experience a well rounded growth in physical performance. A large focus on skill development and challenging new movements will be included in the programming each week.

COMPETITION – An advanced program designed for experienced CrossFitters who have great movement mechanics. The COMPETITION program requires a greater time commitment, understanding of training principles and responsibility. A specific set of pre-qualification standards must be achieved to be included in the competition program training squad. The standards are in place to sure all participants can safely complete the higher volume of training involved with the COMPETITION programming.

Competition Squad Expectations and Standards

– Train only on days specified by the  CSC (Competition Squad Coach). If unable to attend a session the CSC must be advised so a revised training plan can be put in place.

– CrossFit is the sport of choice and main priority. The competition program will only be effective if the -participant uses the protocols as his/her sole training regimen.

– Punctual to class, attentive to all coaches and respectful to the development process.

– Attends weightlifting classes when scheduled.

– If individualised correctives are needed or physical therapy required it is the responsibility of the competition squad member to see a specified health care professional.

– If social interaction and community are your main priority the competition program is not the optimal environment for you.Your training and completing the competition squad daily workout takes precedence over socialising.

– Competitions (local weekend, all stars, the open etc) may only be completed if the CSC approves your participation. This is to ensure peaking periods are in line with programming and program periodisation. The CSC has the only authority in picking teams and will always put the best team forward for the specific competition.

– Post scores daily to the Competition Squad results page.

* Subject to coaches approval.

Each candidate will be assessed on a one-on-one basis to ensure goals, mentality and attitude are suited to the competition squad environment.

The first step is to inform the CSC of your intent to be part of the Competition Squad.

New Gear

Our 2016 winter range of gear is on its way. This is what we have in store for this years jumper and t-shirt.

Weightlifting News

Hills District Weightlifting will be hosting the New South Wales Weightlifting State Referee Course on Saturday April 30th from 10am-1pm. If you wish to attend please contact Linda via the email in the poster.

Timetable Changes

The gym will no longer be open on Sundays until further notice due to low class numbers and open gym attendance.

New Members

We would like to welcome the following new members to the CFNB community: Michael, Elie, Adam, Ella, Div, James, Charly, Jeremy, Kate, Katie and Ricardo. Please make them feel welcome and introduce yourself and say hi if you see them around the gym.


“Are you getting enough sleep?”



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A lack of sleep has been linked to early death, but too much sleep has also been associated with early death.

It is confusing one-liners like this from the medical community that make your head spin and question science. So, where is the healthy option?

While this might seem like a cruel joke, it is exactly what British researchers found when analysing the sleep patterns of more than 1 million people, across 27 different studies. The research—thankfully—is misleading. (And just one more reason to never put too much faith into eye-catching headlines.) The studies were correlational, but did not directly link a cause between sleep and death. And yet, the number of people that suffer from sleep problems is increasing dramatically each year.


More relative to you, it opened up discussions and research on the importance of how you sleep. While getting enough rest is important, no number of hours is perfect as a blanket rule of thumb (just like no single diet it optimal for everyone), which is why sleep quality is essential for every aspect of your recovery. Poor quality sleep (whether it’s too much or too little) can set you up for a variety of health problems ranging from insomnia to depression and even cardiovascular disease. And it is these health issues that will effect your mortality.

While you might be trying to do everything right—not drinking alcohol before bed, avoiding late night technology, sleeping in a cooler room—chances are you are still missing out on some not-so-obvious behaviours and decisions that could be harming and disrupting your sleep.

Poor Alarm Clock Management

Ever wake up after a seemingly great night of sleep—say 10 hours—and still feel exhausted? The problem is actually very common. Sleeping is supposed to be a thoughtless process, but it turns out that spending more time thinking about how you sleep can have a life-changing impact on your restfulness.

Most people arbitrarily set their alarm for when they need to wake up.

What should you really do?

Time when you body wants to wake up.

After all, grogginess or feeling completely refreshed is not necessarily caused by how many hours you sleep, but instead by the number of completed sleep cycles you enjoy (according to research published in Applied Cognitive Studies).

When you sleep, you go through 5 different cycles, with the final phase being REM sleep (deep sleep)—or the period when dreams occur. During phase 1 your vital signs are closest to being awake, and during stage 5 you’re in your deepest sleep, with your heart rate and blood pressure dropping by as much as 30%. Each 5-phase sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes.

So what happens when you wake up during your deep sleep? It is probably how you feel every Monday morning when the first alarm of the week sounds. Tired. Exhausted. Trouble with concentration. This is known as sleep inertia, and a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that morning grogginess could be a bigger impairment than not sleeping all night. (Not that I need to tell you; coffee is popular for reason.)

Your solution is timing your sleep so that you don’t wake up during the wrong portion of a sleep cycle. A good rule of thumb is aiming for 7.5 or 9 hours of sleep per night (again, this is a rough estimate based of the 90 minute sleep cycle so, 7.5 hrs = 5 cycles, 9hrs = 6 cycles). If you must sleep less, sleeping 6 hours might prove to be more restful than 7 because you are more likely to wake up in the first phase of sleep as opposed to a jarring alarm in the middle of your REM sleep.

Eating Right Before You Sleep

In previous OUTSIDE THE BOX editions I have discussed the myth that eating carbs at night is a bad thing. Studies have shown the consumption of carbohydrates in the evening is mostly beneficial but it is important to know specifics on when you should have them.

Eating too close to your sleep can offset the benefits of a carbohydrate based meal because after you eat, a protein called “c-peptide” is created to help insulin do its job and store nutrients.

Only one problem: c-peptide is linked to lower levels of melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep.

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, night snacks hurt your overall sleep quality, meaning it is best to separate sleep and your final meal of the day by 1-2 hours.

The Vitamin D Paradox

You probably know Vitamin D as the “sunshine vitamin” and for the numerous health benefits it offers. These days, you will be hard pressed to find a doctor that won’t prescribe a Vitamin D supplement, especially during the winter. But not having enough Vitamin D in your system can also cause sleep problems and daytime sleepiness.  Studies conducted by scientists at Louisiana State University uncovered the link between low Vitamin D and people with sleep problems—and not just minor issues such as restless or broken sleep. Lack of vitamin D can be linked to sleep disorders, such as insomnia or sleep apnea.

Naturally, you might assume that you should pop a few Vitamin D pills before you go to sleep, but that would actually harm your sleep. Just like carbohydrates before bed, the timing is vital.

Remember, Vitamin D is produced in sunshine, meaning it is an indicator of light and daytime. So when you take Vitamin D, it decreases melatonin levels. In some experimental trials, taking Vitamin D at night decreased REM sleep and the number of hours in nighttime slumber. The best protocol for supplementing with Vitamin D is to invest the tablets first thing in the morning or during the afternoon. Research shows that a safe dosage is between 2,000 and 4,000 IU, preferably from Vitamin D3. This allows adequate time for the body to digest and utilise the Vitamin D without effecting sleep negatively.

The Sunshine-Sleep Effect

Just because you take Vitamin D does not mean you should stop going outside. Sleep is a result of your natural circadian rhythms (natural reactions to knowing when you should be awake and when you should be asleep).

Think about it: The reason you are supposed to turn off electronics before you sleep (a common sleep disturbance), is due to those electronics emitting blue light, which is similar to the light you are exposed to during daytime. The blue light signals to your body that it is daytime, which disrupts your natural production of melatonin and hurts your ability to sleep.

Your ability to fall asleep is dependent your body knowing that it is time for bed. When the sun is out, you need to see it. It builds a more natural daytime circadian cycle of light, meaning that when it is dark your body is more prone to fall asleep naturally, without any aids, pills, or white noise machines.

To create a longer daytime circadian cycle—and thus triggering a quicker release of melatonin in the evening when it is dark—try to see experience sunlight as early as possible first thing in the morning. Habits such as going for a quick walk or stepping outside shortly after you awaken kick start the natural rhythms of the body.

The Hydration Equation

Good hydration is an essential component of your health, but over doing fluid consumption before bed can severely disrupt a restful nights sleep, and even cause a disorder known as nocturia (the need to constantly get up during the night to urinate). Remember, you sleep in cycles throughout the night. And when you need to go to the bathroom, it can disturb the most restful periods of sleep making you restless. Ultimately, this contributes to a low quality of sleep and therefore reduced recovery potential.

Your body is designed to hold your need to urinate for about 6 to 8 hours.  As we age, this ability begins to decline due to hormonal changes. So your best bet is to create better pre-sleep practices that will assist with sleeping throughout the night regardless of your age.

Start by trying to remove liquids at least 1-2 hours before you sleep. And then, make sure that you try to make smarter drink choices. Beverages like coffee or tea can trigger a great need to go. And while a little alcohol might appear to help you sleep faster, it will wake up you up sooner and keep you up, as it’s a powerful diuretic.


It is not solely the quantity of sleep we get each evening that supports recovery, focus and vitality but the quality of that sleep. In particular, how many REM or “deep sleep” cycles we experience over the course of a nights sleep. Factors such as nutrition, hydration, supplementation and life choices have the greatest effects on the quality of our sleep. Stop stressing to manage your time and putting deadlines on your day just to have your head hit the pillow hours after the intended curfew.  Instead, focus on making positive yet simple changes to drastically improve your quality of sleep.