Blog post

Richard Ashton

18 Months Into Beachfit…

It’s been 18 months since we launched our very popular fitness program BeachFit. So, where did it come from? What can you expect to achieve from this program? What is the plan moving forward?

Where did BeachFit come from?

BeachFit was ‘born’ during the first stages of the pandemic, around May/June 2020. Prior to BeachFit, from around 2017 up until March of 2020 we ran two group class programs – CrossFit Performance & CrossFit Conditioning. Both CrossFit Performance and Conditioning were exactly ‘what it said on the tin’ so to speak. In a Performance class you would expect to use a barbell more often, combined with the option of doing more advanced gymnastics movements such as pull ups, muscle ups, HSPU, TTB etc. Whereas in a Conditioning class there would be no such thing, a Conditioning class would be more a combination of long AMRAP/Chipper style workouts or 2x or 3x workouts around 7 – 10 minutes long, all consisting of non-technical (in a CrossFit sense) movements, such as machine work, running, movements using wallballs, dumbbells, kettlebells etc…

The combination of Performance and Conditioning worked well, it was a hit with our members. However, we still felt like we were missing something, it was a little bit too much like ‘what everyone was doing’, meaning that it had become the norm (from what I heard and had researched) to run a CrossFit style class minus the barbells and advanced gymnastics. It’s easy to understand why too, to be put simply, there are a lot of people who like the idea of doing CrossFit, but they are either “scared” of using a barbell and doing movements such as deadlift and snatch, or they just have no interest in doing such movements.

Fast forward to April 2020, the perfect time if ever there was one (while stuck at home unable to leave the house) to reflect and plan for any changes or upgrades that could be made in the workplace. During this time, I was fortunate enough to jump on a call with a guy called Andrew Frezza, who owns a very successful gym in Florida, US. Having stumbled across his gyms website (previously known as CrossFit Palm Beach, now known as Fit Town Jupiter) I noticed they also had a 2x space system, and they too ran two classes simultaneously – CrossFit & BeachFit. The name BeachFit jumped out at me right away, the class was called BeachFit not because it was a class that was on the beach, but because it helped get the participants of the class ‘beach – fit’ …READY FOR THE BEACH!! A big shoutout and credit to Andrew and his crew, we stole/borrowed/used the name BeachFit, but we still wanted our own twist on the class…

What can you expect from a BeachFit class?

Each BeachFit class is 45 minutes long (another element that we liked from Fit Town). 45-minute classes are rare, almost every class that is offered by gyms or PT’s is one hour. Our CrossFit classes are one hour, and we struggle to sometimes fit everything in that we want within the hour. However, we felt that a 45-minute class would offer something different, especially in a world where people are more and more rushed to get to the gym, get a workout in and then get out of there to start their day.

So, we’ve established where the name came from, and how long each class is. Now let’s look at the structure of the class on a daily and weekly basis. Like our ‘Conditioning’ class we very rarely use barbells (only when using the barbell without weight), nor do we do any higher-level gymnastics movements, no handstand push ups or hanging off the bar, so obviously no pull ups or toes to bar. We do use almost everything else you can find in our gym – dumbbells, kettlebells, plates, wallballs, and all of the machines.

Right now, we have our BeachFit programming split into the following categories, each day has a different ‘focus’ while still aiming to maintain a high level of functionality to the movements (lots of squats, lunging, pushing and pulling), and while still using all of the material mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Monday = Core Focus. We will incorporate movements that help strengthen the core, from dynamic movements, to isolation movements and holds (plank/hollow hold etc), these movements will always be combined with conditioning style movements that too require core stability and strength.

Tuesday = Lower Body Focus. Expect to see lots of variations of squats, lunges and deadlifts! We often change up the lower body focus, mainly depending on the programming that week. If we have lots of lower body focus throughout the week (yes, we still use our legs most other days), we’ll drop the volume down and focus more on strength – Bulgarian split squats, box step ups, tempo squats using DB/KB/BW. Either way expect to feel sore in your legs and glutes on a Wednesday morning. 

Wednesday = Cardio Session. Our favourite day! Here we sweat! On Wednesdays we go for a long AMRAP style workout (as many rounds/reps as possible) or we hit a long ‘chipper’ (a multiple of movements for many reps). The movements used are generally non-technical, but flawless technique and range of motion is required, as always!

Thursdays = Partner Workout. Thursdays are “Los Dos Amigos”! This is where CrossFit and BeachFit come together. Expect a similar style workout to Wednesdays, but in pairs! There is nothing better than hitting a workout with your partner in crime! Again, you will very rarely see a barbell on a Thursday, but you will see a good combination of push, pull and legs!

Fridays = Upper Body Pump. Of course, we save the upper body pump for Friday! This has quickly become one of our favourite days. We always program upper body compound movements, sometimes complexes using dumbbells or kettlebells. We also program plenty of isolation movements – (different forms of) bicep curls and triceps extensions are a must for a Friday ‘Pump’!

All of the above includes a workout explanation, demonstration of the movements (including scaled versions), a warm up, workout and cool down/stretch.

What is the plan with BeachFit moving forward?

We are happy with where the BeachFit program is right now. We know that if we were to have someone to walk in off the street and begin our BeachFit program that we could turn them into an extremely fit and healthy individual. They would learn how to ‘move well’. They would learn how to squat, lunge, push, and pull using only their bodyweight and resistance, they would learn how to use variations of cardio machines, dumbbells and kettlebells, plus much more.

However, there is always room for improvement, moving into 2022 we will be aiming to improve our class experience and programming, but also, we’ll be adding in more of a nutritional and lifestyle element to the BeachFit program. During the Summer we launched our Nutritional Kickstart Program (see previous BLOGs), this will be working in tandem with our BeachFit program in 2022, big results are coming!

We love our CrossFit program and we know it produces results for our members, but we also love the fact that our BeachFit program is something that we’ve built and designed ourselves (with help along the way of course), and as the program gains more and more popularity, we’re excited to see our ‘BeachFitters’ continuously improve their health and fitness, all while enjoying the experience along the way!

– Rich 🙂