Weightlifting – Building the Base Series 8

Weightlifting is beautiful.

I love this aspect of training; it offers diversity, is appropriate for many people and helps to achieve so many different things.

Most people when they think of weightlifting will immediately think of bodybuilding training made famous in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Ask a CrossFitter what weightlifting is and they will generally think of the classic Olympic-style lifting. For me though, weightlifting is FUN. It’s also a great way to optimise health and performance and when properly practiced, weightlifting is beautiful and powerful.

I use weightlifting with a wide variety of people for many different reasons, whether it is to help slow the ageing process, improve posture, rehabilitate injury, increase strength and power or just simply help people change their aesthetics.

I would like to share with you why YOU should be doing some element of weightlifting despite your different backgrounds. When used correctly it can be very powerful, but like all things if you don’t understand it or you abuse it you can encounter problems.

Weightlifting can reduce the side effects of ageing!

As we age we lose the ability to gain muscle as easily as we could when we were younger, I’m not talking about gaining muscle to look like an Adonis on the beach, I’m talking about having enough muscle to get yourself up and down the stairs. The muscle mass you will need to help you get the shopping home on your own and keep you self sufficient as long as possible into your old age. Think of muscle as a pension plan. The more, healthy, strong, lean muscle tissue you can build and keep through your 40’s,50’s & 60’s etc. the more you will ensure a better quality of life for as long as possible. You will still able to go out and adventure rather than become dependent on other people’s help. For me, I’m training to ensure I can keep active right through my 70’s and much further!

Reduce Injuries and help prevent them.

I deal with a lot of people day to day with chronic pain. Let’s take back pain for instance, through the use of of load bearing exercises I can provide your hips, back muscles and core the ability to take the pressure of your lower back. This will give you the confidence to be able to go through ordinary life without the the fear you may break. It’s certainly not a cure for all but more often than not it helps to alleviate the problem and your body thrives on movement when done correctly.

Weightlifting can also be used with a lot of sports that don’t even require you to lift a weight. Endurance athletes such as triathletes or runners can often suffer from knee and back pain. Through the use of weightlifting to specifically strengthen the glutes and muscles around the hips and encourage them to work in unison it’s possible to achieve a significant reduction in pain. Weightlifting can also help compliment and improve many sports when undertaken correctly. Even if you just play 5 a side once a week adding a little weight training into your weekly routine could massively help you keep playing the game you love for longer without constantly needing to take a week off as you’ve pulled or hurt a muscle. I’m not saying it’s a miracle cure but its much better to be a lot stronger and robust than breaking down your body week on week.

Changing your physique.

A lot of people aspire to lose weight and change their health which is fantastic and with the help of training with weights you can see a dramatic impact on your appearance.

The more, healthy, lean tissue you can attain the more your body can burn excess calories as your body requires more energy to get through its day to day activities giving you what most people would call a “toned” body. This can be achieved by building a lean solid base of muscle around your skeletal frame, not only helping with athletic performance but also giving you the look that your body is strong and healthy.

Weightlifting can also help re structure your body posture which is often compromised by sedentary jobs which require a lot of sitting, driving and staring over IPad and phones etc. Your posture can eventually lead to back and neck problems which can be very painful over time but can be prevented by a good resistance based program.

Overuse problems and lack of understanding.

Weightlifting sits at the top of the Health and Wellness pyramid, all the lower layers must be addressed prior to reaching this stage. If the lower stages are skipped, people encounter problems. By trying to lift too much weight without the right ranges of motion or simply not being physically ready to lift those loads people can seriously injure themselves. This gives weightlifting a bad press which puts others off doing it. Through proper tuition and balanced bodies athletes will reap the benefits of this discipline and hopefully encouraged more of their friends and family to take part.

But I don’t want to get massive!

Through the use of aides such as performance enhancing drugs some athletes will massively build their bodies past the capabilities of the human body. Images of these abnormal athletes skew opinion on what the results from weightlifting can entail. It’s important to consider the weight training program you put yourself on. Many of my female clients are mistakenly given the impression that they will put on gargantuan proportions of muscle, when in fact their training is going to leave them looking athletic, strong and lean which is what most people want to attain from their training anyway.

So in closing, find yourself a great coach who can tailor a plan specifically for you. CrossFit 3D trainers are all skilled in this area and will help you reach your goals. Remember weightlifting is fun, enjoy it and realise the benefits that can be had from this amazing way of training.


New Year, New Me?

New Year, New Me

Ever hear this before, maybe even posted it?

Over the last 10+ years of coaching people through to better lifestyles or fitness one of the things I try to get people to do is re program for the long term. After periods of feast there always seems to be famine and vice versa but always it leads back to the same pattern. Statistically few overweight or obese people lose weight; in fact it’s less than 10% who will ever keep the weight off that they lose. Scary facts when you come to think of it hey?

Changes are made easier to maintain when you ADD things in rather than TAKE things away. Anyone can find a moment of sobriety after a few bad hangovers or can cut carbs out after over indulging for a few weeks, but ask yourself is this maintainable or even useful? If you take too much away or change things too drastically too quickly without a long term plan, most of the time your adding fuel to the fire. Instead, you need to goal set for the long term and start adding in good habits that you keep before you start starving yourself down for 3+ weeks ask yourself does that mean after that time your now okay to engage back in the behaviour that was making you unhappy or overweight in the first place? Are you ready to take these issues on in long term and invest in your future?

  • Instead of dieting by taking out too many food groups why don’t you add in some healthy foods first and make things a little easier. If your plan is to train harder than usual you are going to need to sustain your body and keep it fuelled.

  • Add in lots of veggie soups and smoothies each day.

  • Slowly reduce your intake of foods you’ve decided are bad, instead of treating them like the enemy.

  • Speak to one of the CrossFit 3D training staff and work out your daily calorie intake for your own personal needs and monitor it carefully while making sure 80% of the daily calories are from healthy nutrient abundant foods.

  • Add in some multi vitamins and other relevant supplements for you while gradually reducing your sugar intake, processing sugars in the body is heavily nutrient dependant so reducing while adding in these great foods will increase your energy intake while not leaving you feeling hungry and lethargic all the time meaning you can train hard feel energetic and actually want to go to the gym and train!

  • Stay away from fad diets and diet books and learn to find a diet that matches your lifestyle and make YOU feel great.

  • If you want to find out more about how CrossFit 3D can help you achieve your fitness goals try us out for free for one week – Sign up here.

Here’s to an awesome 2016, stay happy and healthy!

Mike Madders, CrossFit 3D

Free Trial Week 2016 jan / feb


Another 3D Trainer Added to the Ranks – Ben Robinson

Ben Robinson

“CrossFit is a major part of my life, I absolutely love it. Since day one at 3D everyone has been so friendly and supported me, which I’m so grateful for. I’m so proud to say I am a trainer at the best box in the country and being able to make members old and new feel as welcome as I was is fantastic.”

ben robinson

Since an early age Ben has been involved in sport. He played youth football for clubs such as Manchester City and Liverpool. At 16 he moved to Newcastle to represent Newcastle United’s youth team on a scholarship.

After leaving football at 18, he moved on to play Rugby League at a high level. After sustaining an injury while playing Ben found CrossFit and hasn’t looked back since. The newest (and youngest!) member of the training team Ben is currently studying Sports Science and Strength & Conditioning at Salford University. And is gaining experience shadowing the other coaches at 3D and will soon be Level 1 certified.


Meet 3D’s Latest Addition to the Training Team – Phil Hope


phil-169x300.jpg“Since finding CrossFit my whole outlook on life has changed, constantly working to be a better athlete and a better trainer. There is nothing more rewarding than helping others to be better human beings and to be ready to take on anything life throws at them. I am blessed to be able to train such amazing members and to be a part of a truly inspiring community of people here at 3D. The community, the friendships and the fitness are all a part of what makes 3D such a unique place to be”

Phil’s background in the sport and fitness world has been varied from a young age, ranging from football, rugby, taekwondo and the typical gym goer routine.

Phil found CrossFit when he was working as a personal trainer in a globo gym in 2012 where one of his friends held a CrossFit style class and hasn’t looked back since. Phil is a PT and is also currently employed as a lifestyle coach working in mental health specializing in improving the health and wellbeing of deaf service users.


BA Honours Degree in Sport and Leisure Management

BTEC National Diploma in Sports Development and Fitness

Level 2 Fitness Instructor

Level 3 Personal Trainer

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

British Sign Language Level 1

Want to book onto one of Phil’s classes – check out our getting started page


The Teen Gauntlet Saturday 12th April

*The following has been adapted from CrossFit Brand X Teen Gauntlet information release statement*

Since 2011, CrossFit Brand X, birthplace of CrossFit Kids, has been developing the concept of the Varsity Teen Gauntlet. In practical terms, the event has evolved over the years, but the overarching goals have remained the same. These goals are embedded in the events run at the chosen affiliates worldwide who understand their intentions and represent them faithfully:

. Community. Effort

The Gauntlet must be fun for the athletes. That should be a no-brainer, but problematically, adults hear the word “competition” and they inadvertently default to a mindset we see throughout our youth sports system. It redefines “fun” to mean “win.” The goal is for the athletes to have fun working hard alongside friends or soon-to-be friends and not worrying about winning. Yes, the Gauntlet keeps score and ranks those scores locally and internationally, but the hope is that the rankings serve to motivate athletes to give their best efforts and to reflect on how they can address shortfalls for the next event. 

The Gauntlet fosters community among teen CrossFitters. Teens who met in 2011 are still friends today, keeping in touch through social media and seeing each other at Gauntlet events. There are teens who have travelled to CrossFit Brand X, for instance, in order to WOD with their friends at the Gauntlet, even though their home affiliate is hosting a Gauntlet as well. We ourselves at CrossFit 3D have had teens attend the Gauntlet just to help out and cheer on their friends, when they have not been able to compete themselves. Gauntlet athletes encourage each other during the toughest parts of the workouts and hang out with each other before, during, and after the event. For this camaraderie to spread and deepen organically, host affiliates work hard to create an atmosphere that encourages it. We encourage your own members to act as hosts, to be ambassadors and maybe step outside their comfort zone and seek out and befriend visiting athletes.

The Gauntlet honours and applauds effort over victory. Safety is paramount and excellent movement is inextricably tied to that. But nearly as important to that is that the athletes come to value the opportunity to put forth their best efforts under competitive conditions. To keep on pushing even if winning is not possible is true success. And we want that recognized and to that end, we as event announcers and organisers acknowledge such valiant efforts. In the long run, this will lead to a genuine understanding of the spirit of competition and provide kids with intangible tools that will serve them on and off the athletic field.

Fun. Community. Effort. We privilege these ideals to blunt the status quo win-at-all-costs mentality of youth sports that prowls the fence line of the Gauntlet. As hosts of the Gauntlet, we are representatives of these ideas and it will be through our concerted efforts that we may begin to see a change in attitude with regard to the purpose of youth sports for our kids.