I’ve written a number of times that Roark is in the business of building athletes who get better at their chosen sport/hobby, as opposed to just building athletes who get better at the exercise we practice here. With that said, there is no denying that the Crossfit athletes who practice Crossfit specifically to get better at the sport, are very impressive athletes.
I recently read a tweet by Gym Jones disciple Matt Owen which stated, “if you don’t think about quitting at least a few times during a 2000 meter row, you aren’t going hard enough.” While the 2000 meter row provides an excellent examination into the psychological strength of an athlete, the theory behind this statement isn’t limited to it.
At Roark, our programming doesn’t involve rushing through a quick fix programme and crash diet to get you ‘bikini ready’ – although that might be a goal of yours. Our aim is to teach you to use your body properly, to get steadily stronger, which will allow you to put yourself in better and more efficient positions during exercise, therefore increasing your fitness and making your body stronger, leaner and fitter.
One thing which is immediately noticeable on entering our new women’s gym is that there are no mirrors. If you’ve trained at a globo gym for most of your life, this may seem a strange concept, considering that these ‘health’ clubs are usually lined with mirrors to assist you in checking out every angle of yourself.
We are taught for most of our lives that some of us are sporty, and the rest of us aren’t. We like to perpetuate this belief because it allows us to be lazy, to hide our inactivity behind labels such as ‘bad genes’. We flip through magazines and sigh, ‘I’ll never look like that’. And for the most part, we’re right. Not because you didn’t hit the gene jackpot, but because you’re comparing yourself to someone you are not.
A beginner athlete will often have many questions, one of them being ‘what should I eat to get a body like so-and-so’. One thing Roark athletes realize very quickly is that in order to be able to use your body, you need to feed it properly. By this we don’t mean carbo-load or protein shake or take supplements or even cutting carbs – we mean understanding how your body works and what it needs to deal with the level of work required. That level is dependent on what you wish to get out of your body, that is, the goal that you set for yourself.
Roark Women is a gym which caters exclusively to women. The gym is a large, private space with a view over the city, and is stocked with the best available equipment. View aside, there are no saunas here, and no hairdryers. We will not lie to you and tell you that exercise should be a gentle trot on the treadmill followed by a steam. If you’re here you’ve probably noticed that that doesn’t work.
Roark Women is due to open March 2013 and is situated on the 3rd Floor of The Buying Service Building, which is situated on the corner of Roeland and De Villiers Streets – opposite the Ferrari Garage on Roeland. The gym is one floor above the Men’s gym. Before you start training with us we will need to set up an introductory coaching session with one of coaches. This will take roughly an hour, during which we will explain how the sessions will work, show you around the gym as well as go over the fundamental movements we practice.
At Roark, we are firmly against the ‘one size fits all’ policy. It is ludicrous that men and women be required to follow the same training programme, or even be taught the same movements, when our bodies are built for such different functions. It must be noted right at the outset that this does not mean women cannot compete with men, it only means that their bodies have different compositions, and that this should be kept in mind at all times when considering programming.
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