All posts by Terence Jape

Crossfit Open 19.3 – My Lessons Learnt

Attempt 1 – 129 reps (39 of 50 HSPUs)

Really wanted to get to the HS walk but areas in which I could have done better:

  • Went too slow on the box step ups (and the DB slipped out of my hands…oops)
  • Fatigued on the HSPUs earlier than I thought. Should have done shorter sets from the start.

For my retry on Monday, I’m going to try:

  • Lunges – stepping together at the top rather then trying to walk through. Hoping this will save the legs a bit.
  • Step ups – Focus on power at the step off and stepping down quickly with the same leg, then swapping leg (rather than alternating legs at the top of the box).
  • HSPUs – Go for quick sets of 5-6.

And in general keep a constant pace. Aim is to complete box step ups in 5mins (this attempt 5:54)

Fingers crossed I’ll get to the handstand walk on Monday.

Feel free to leave me a comment for what else I can do better.

Good luck and have fun with 19.3!

Check out my 19.2 attempt here

The 40% Rule

I’ve been reading David Goggin’s book “Can’t Hurt Me”. One of the things he talks about is the 40% Rule and how at the point we feel like quitting, we’re actually only at about 40% of our true capacity.

I thought about my own workouts and just life in general and I have to agree with the 40% Rule. How often I’ve felt ready to give up after the 1st round of a WOD but then when I get to the final round, I suddenly feel a burst of energy and the pain I had before doesn’t feel so bad anymore. Or when writing that blog article or assignment, I hit that “wall” and feel like quitting. But when I push through and get “into the zone”, that feeling of quitting is no longer there.

So often the limitations we face are self-imposed and mental rather than real physical limitations. Its only when we push past pain, suffering and those self-perceived limitations that we are capable of achieving so much more physically, mentally and in life as a whole.

Here are 5 tips I’ve got from David Goggin’s on pushing through those mental barriers.

1. Ignore negative self talk – that voice in your head telling you to quit.

2. Remember your past successes where you dominated and managed to push through. Remind yourself, that’s who you are capable of being.

3. View pain and suffering as a victory. Proof you can deal with obstacles and win.
Disclaimer – be wise about this. Learn to discern between pain that is mental and pain that is telling you that there is an actual problem and you need help.

4. Visualise victory. Think about that feeling of satisfaction you will have when you complete whatever challenge you are facing. Don’t allow yourself to settle for less.

Note: This is different to thinking about finishing. Don’t do this. If you think about the end, you will feel even more like quitting.

5. Remove the automatic limiter in your brain by gradually pushing beyond where you normally stop. Just add a few more reps or extra weight where you normally feel comfortable getting to.

Good luck for those taking on the Crossfit Open 19.1 workout. Hope these tips are helpful.

5 Tips for Maintaining Your Barbell

Your barbell is a key piece of any home gym setup. Whatever you put in while you’re building it, you’re gonna need a good barbell or even two if you want to see some serious progress. But not all barbells are alike.

A stiffer bar is great for something like deadlifting, while for working on your barbell snatch you’ll want something with a little more flexibility. If you’re going to be doing both regularly, you might want to have two different barbells. Not to mention the knurling pattern, bearing vs bushing, etc. But that’s a post for another time.

A good barbell is not a cheap investment, and it needs to be maintained well. Properly taken care of, your barbell should last you years — and only need replacing when you’re lifting so much you bend them in half. A gym would typically run through a barbell every couple years. At home, though, a good barbell properly taken care of could last your lifetime.

So here are 5 tips for taking care of your barbell:

1. Proper Storage

If you really want to be serious about barbell maintenance, then that means watching how you store your bar too. I know it sounds tired, but it can’t be stressed enough: you have to re-rack your weights. 

Well, since it’s your own gym you don’t actually have to re-rack them, but they can’t stay on the bar. Your barbell isn’t designed to withstand those heavy weights for a long amount of time. Even a little bit can warp it over time, severely limiting its lifespan.

The bar itself can be stored horizontally or vertically, though you shouldn’t leave them leaning against a wall. If you are storing them vertically, make sure to regularly rotate which sleeve is facing down. This will prevent oil from building up and possibly leaking out of one side.

Alphafit – Wall Mounted Horizontal Barbell Storage 6 bar – $195
NC Fitness – Barbell Wall Rack 8 bar – $100
Rogue Vertical Bar Hanger – $64

2. Wipe it down, Daily

There’s nothing quite as nice as that “like-new” shine you get on a clean and polished barbell. You can keep yours in good shape by making sure to wipe it down every time you use it. A simple once-over with antibacterial wipes at the end of your workout can make a big difference in how clean your barbell stays.

3. A Stiff Brush, Weekly

Antibacterial wipes won’t do much when it comes to chalk, or worse, dead skin, in the knurling of the bar. This can be really tough to clean out, especially if it starts to build up over time. A good, stiff nylon brush can help get that stuff out of there.

How much you use it changes depending on how much you use the bar. For regular use, at least once a week is recommended. The more you clean it, the easier it is to clean.

Bunnings – Tile and grout brush – $3.50
Amazon – Boardwalk 9008 Grout Brush, Nylon Bristles, – $3.74 USD

4. WD40, Monthly

Contrary to popular belief, stainless steel isn’t the best steel out there. When you have to regularly load a bar up with big weights, it needs to be made of sterner stuff.

Unfortunately, sterner stuff rusts. Even with an oxide coating, rust over time is something you have to worry about. A quick coat of oil or WD-40 is a good way to protect your bars against this.

For your personal bar, once or twice a month should be sufficient. Soak a rag and wipe your bar down before you put it away overnight. Wipe it down again before you use it next and you’re good to go.

Note: You can also use 3-in-1 oil (see tip no. 5)

Bunnings – WD40 – $7.45

5. Oil the Bearings, Monthly

Older barbells have little holes in the sleeves so you can squeeze some oil onto the bushings and bearings inside. Don’t use WD40. WD40 or others like it will dry out your bearings and attract dust and dirt. Oil will make sure your sleeves and bearings keep turning just the way they’re supposed to.

Bunnings – 3 in 1 multipurpose oil – $2.98

Knowing the difference between bearings and bushings can make a big difference in the kind of barbell you’re going to buy. Typically, barbells with bearings in the collar spin more smoothly, which can make a difference for olympic-style lifts. Bushings — which are essentially brass or copper sleeves that reduce friction in the barbell collar, tend to be cheaper, and thus not spin as freely. However they’re typically fine when you’re building a home gym or simply trying to get in a few more reps before you head to work.

Barbell maintenance is a lot like personal hygiene. It’s not always fun, but a little daily maintenance can make everything more fun for everyone later on. The right care performed regularly can keep your barbell in tip-top shape for years to come.

Top 5 Home Gym Packages for 2019

So your New Year’s resolution is to get fitter or you want to get some extra training in before the 2019 CrossFit Open (21 Feb to 25 Mar) but you don’t have the time or would just rather work out at home? Here are our Top 5 Home Gym Equipment packages to help you get set up with your own home gym .

A home or garage gym gives you the flexibility to work out whenever you want and saves you the travel time which can often be one of those “excuses” that stop us from getting to the gym in the first place (“I just got home from work and I’m tired”, “There’s too much traffic” or “It’s raining”).

When I first had my kids, time and money was short and I found it difficult to get to a gym. I mean how could I justify to my wife who just spent the whole day looking after the kids, that I was going to spend an extra 1.5 hrs at the gym after work?

A home gym (or in my case a work gym) allowed me to get my workouts done during my lunch break. I signed up for the programming from Raw Strength and Conditioning who train Crossfit Games athletes James Newbury and Brent Fikowski and slowly built up my home gym with both new and second hand gear.

My Home (Work) Gym

Side Note

Having now joined a CrossFit box, I have to add this side note. There are some real benefits of joining a gym that has good coaches and a great community. Meeting like minded people that both inspire and help you on your journey to be fitter, stronger, better is great motivation to keep you going and push harder. Great coaching can also help you reach your limits whilst maintaining good technique.

But I still like the flexibility of having my own workout space. So here is…

Our Top 5 Home Gym Equipment Packages for 2019

Our Top 5 Home Gym Equipment Packages are based on:

  • Usefulness – Does the package include enough equipment for you to complete a wide range of workouts (CrossFit, power lifting, gymnastics, etc)?
  • Quality – Entry or competition level equipment.
  • Value for money – Does the package provide a good range of quality gear at an affordable cost?

5. Alpha Fit – RX Pack – $1,518

AlphaFit – RX Pack

Package includes:

  • Endure barbell
  • 150 kg set of Endure black bumper plates
  • 24kg Competition steel kettlebell
  • 20lbs Wall ball
  • Pair of Lock Jaw collars

Usefulness – A basic kit with enough gear for basic Crossfit style workouts. A pull up bar would make this package more useful and without a rack, strength training (squats, presses, etc) will be difficult.

Quality – AlphaFit is a trusted, quality brand. More than enough for a home gym.

Value for Money – As one of the cheapest packages currently available, the AlphaFit Rx Pack is great value if your looking for just the basics and don’t have a lot of room.

4. NC Fitness – Power Rack Full Starter Pack – $1,510

NC Fitness – Power Rack Full Starter Pack

Package includes:

  • Half rack
  • 150 kg set of standard bumper plates
  • Performance series bright hard chrome barbell
  • Pair of collars

Usefulness – A half rack is a great piece of gear for a home gym. With a pull up bar and relatively small footprint, it increases the range of workouts you can perform. Coupled with the 150 kg worth of bumper plates, you can do several basic WODs and strength training.

Quality – NC Fitness is a trusted, quality brand. More than enough for a home gym.

Value for Money – As one of the cheapest packages currently available, the Power Rack Full Starter Pack is great value with the range of workouts you can do and the quality of the gear.

3. Again Faster – Fitness Pack – $1,650

Again Faster – Fitness Pack

Package includes:

  • Evolution barbell
  • 150 kg set of Camo V2 bumper plates
  • Ab mat
  • Team speed rope
  • 3-in-1 plyo box
  • 24kg Team kettlebell
  • 20lbs Wall ball
  • Pair of Muscle Clamps

Usefulness – Another basic kit similar to the AlphaFit RX pack. However the addition of the plyo box, and speed rope give this package a bit more flexibility. Again it would be better if it included a pull up bar and rack for strength training.

Quality – Again Faster is one of the top brands in the market supplying many boxes and competitions around Australia. You won’t go wrong with gear from Again Faster.

Value for Money – The Again Faster Fitness Pack is great value with the range of workouts you can do and the quality of the gear.

2. Again Faster – Intensity Pack – $2,883

Package includes:

  • Team barbell 2.0
  • 150 kg set of Camo V2 bumper plates
  • Ab mat
  • Team speed rope
  • 3-in-1 plyo box
  • 24kg Team kettlebell
  • 20lbs Wall ball
  • Squat stand
  • Flat bench
  • GHD v4
  • Pair of Muscle Clamps

Usefulness – The addition of the squat stand, flat bench and GHD make this a good package for medium to advanced workouts and the ability to do 70-80% of WODs as well as strength training.

Quality – Again Faster is one of the top brands in the market supplying many boxes and competitions around Australia. You won’t go wrong with gear from Again Faster.

Value for Money – To be honest, there aren’t a lot of retailers that sell packages with such wide a range of gear. For the amount of gear included and from a quality brand such as Again Faster, the Again Faster Intensity Pack is great value.

1. Again Faster – Competitor Pack – $3,510

Again Faster – Competitor Pack

Package includes:

  • Team barbell 2.0
  • 210 kg set of Camo V2 bumper plates
  • Ab mat
  • Team speed rope
  • 3-in-1 plyo box
  • 24kg Team kettlebell
  • 20lbs Wall ball
  • Squat stand
  • Flat bench
  • GHD v4
  • Home pull up bar v2.0
  • 1.25in wooden rings and straps
  • Pair of Muscle Clamps

Usefulness – This package will enable you to do 90% of Crossfit style workouts and has enough weights to keep even an advanced lifter busy. Provided you have somewhere high enough to mount the rings and the pull up bar, this package gives you pretty much everything you need . Not many, if any, other retailers put together a package like this.

Quality – Again Faster is one of the top brands in the market supplying many boxes and competitions around Australia. You won’t go wrong with gear from Again Faster.

Value for Money – With the quality and range of gear included, its no surprise that Again Faster has taken out the top 3 spots.

To help show the value for money you can get with these packages, here is the cost of a similar package from an entry level brand. Gym and Fitness stock ForceUSA gear. Their equipment is reasonable for a home gym but compared with the brands in our Top 5 which are used in CrossFit competitions and boxes around Australia, they are simply not on the same level.

A Force USA package including barbell, 150kg set of bumper plates, bench and power rack will cost you about $2,500. This is not far off from the Again Faster Intensity pack which includes a lot more equipment and better quality. Although a pull up bar and bench (which the ForceUSA pack includes) is arguably more useful than a GHD, for the price difference, I’d choose the Again Faster pack.

Final Word

With all the home gym equipment packages in our Top 5, keep in mind shipping costs which can be very expensive. It will be cheaper overall if you can select a package from a retailer that is located in your state or city so you can pick it the gear yourself.

To help you with this, we will soon be launching the Fitgear database where you will be able to search, compare and buy gym gear from quality retailers from around Australia.

  • Search for gym gear from retailers located in your state to avoid shipping fees.
  • Compare prices from different retailers. It may be cheaper to put together your own package from different stores especially if they are local.

Lastly, if you’re stuck for ideas for your home gym check out Rogue’s online gallery for some inspiration.

FitGear Relaunch – Version 2019

FitGear – The Gym Gear Guide is relaunching in 2019 with an updated website and expanded blog.

Our Mission

To help inspire you on your journey to a fitter, stronger, better version of you.

How We Do It

  • Helping you find, compare and buy gym gear from the best retailers in Australia.
  • Giving you informative reviews on gym gear, fitness fads and trends.
  • Inspiring you with awesome ideas for your home gym, workout or even your next holiday

For me, being fit is about being the best version of yourself so that you can do all the things you want to do – meet the girl (or guy of your dreams), get that job, play with your kids or just feel good about yourself.

How We Started

I started Fitgear in 2014 when I was trying to set up my own home gym. As I was looking for gear, I found there were a tonne of products and retailers out there but I had no idea what was good or useless, expensive or reasonable or what gear I even needed.

At the time, I was doing Crossfit type workouts but I couldn’t fit or afford to get everything you’d need for every type of WOD.

I also had no idea what the difference was between the $200 barbell and the $500 barbell. They all looked pretty similar to me and did I even need the top of the range one used by elite olympic lifters?

Then there were the dumbbells which I am 99% certain all come from the same factory in China but somehow had a price difference of up to $50 depending on where you looked.

So I started making a database to compare different gear from retailers across Australia to help me find the best gear at the best price. That database is now available for you to Search, Compare and Buy the gear you want at the best price.

Check out our database here and you can start putting together a shopping list of all the gear you want, compare prices between different retailers and buy direct from the retailer.

On the Fitgear blog, my goal is to bring you informative reviews, buying guides and tests of various fitness fads and trends to help you on your fitness journey.

Lastly, I hope to inspire you by showing you awesome ideas for your home gym setup, workout or even your next holiday.

And hopefully we can have some fun on the way.

I look forward to bringing you some awesome content and hope I can inspire you to a fitter, stronger and better You.