All things CrossFit with James Newbury and Kayla Banfield

How does CrossFit Mode and the science/techniques behind your training differ from the average gym?

CrossFit Mode is different from a technical perspective, in that our fitness is all based around compound, functional, movements. What this means, is that we use the body as a whole, rather than using isolation training as the basis of our program. It includes, but isn’t limited to: squats, deadlifts, kettlebell swings, pull-ups, rope climbs, pushups, box jumps and many more.

Each of these movements are designed to translate to everyday life, where we believe a lat pulldown and a bicep curl can’t. Routine is our enemy, and we vary our workouts everyday. CrossFit is also a community, and similar to many sporting clubs, we are also great friends with the other members & often hold social occasions – in a regular gym you hardly know anyone’s name! These, among many other little things, are what separates CrossFit Mode from the average gym!


Tell us a bit about your’s and Kayla’s health and fitness background and how this previous knowledge and experience attributed to creating your amazing fitness facility?

Sport and fitness started for me around the age of 5 when I found, and fell in love with, little athletics. Like every kid I wanted to be the fastest guy on the track, and was always racing my big brother around the streets. Much to my disgust, he was faster than me… and safe to say, I couldn’t settle with this! This was probably a real turning point for me in exposing my competitive streak.

I later went on to soccer, and finally settled playing Rugby league from the age of 12. I found a real passion here, and again strived to be the best I could be. After playing competitively for almost a decade, and captaining the Australian School Boy’s Affiliate Squad, I decided I needed to vary up my training. A friend suggested CrossFit to me, so I gave it a try. Like most people, my first session was a mixture of complete destruction, and a hunger to be better.

What I loved about CrossFit was that if you trained hard and did well, you earned your spot to compete. There was no politics or selection panel, and for this reason, I turned to CrossFit 100%. I coached under Mick Shaw at CFX for a year before opening Mode, and truly believe that his advice & watching the operations at CFX gave me a great idea on how to run Mode.

Kayla’s background is a lot less competitive, and comes from more of an enjoyment perspective. She played and excelled at many sports from a young age, including Tennis, Swimming, Gymnastics & Softball, but never had the desire to compete.

Finding CrossFit allowed her to continue to improve herself and to increase her fitness base. Through exercise, she found a passion for health and nutrition, which is now where she spends most of her time. She sees clients helping them with their lifestyle & nutrition, which is a great complement to our CrossFit service.


What are some of the main benefits one can attain from incorporating Cross Fit training into their lifestyles?

One question people ask when they start CrossFit is how they can improve other areas of their lives, to which we always respond: ‘just focus on your training & the rest will come’. The great thing about CrossFit is you don’t need to think! If you step in the doors, you’re half way there. The classes are all run by a qualified coach, and programmed by experts – so the thinking’s done. After a few months of CrossFit, you’ll get addicted – so the desire to get drunk on a Saturday night or eat cr*p every diminishes. From this, I’d say CrossFit helps other healthy habits weave their way naturally into people’s life.


How many classes a week would you recommend the average person do?

It definitely depends on the individual but we recommend any beginners to CrossFit (and general fitness) start off with 1 or 2 classes per week. You can then build up to 3 – 5 times a week for general fitness, and exceed that if you’re looking to compete. Everyone has different needs, but we recommend starting slow, and to see rapid improvement, around 4 sessions a week is great!


What is the meaning behind the term ‘WOD’?

WOD stands for Workout of the Day, and it basically is as it sounds! Every day we program an entirely different WOD to the day before – each day with varying styles, lengths, rep ranges and more. This is where the constant variety and avoidance of routine comes in. We aim to provide different stimulus to the muscles every day!


What are both of your future goals and ambitions? Do you see yourselves opening more training facilities around Australia/world?

At the moment we have 2 CrossFit gyms in Adelaide, and it’s definitely been a topic of conversation regarding more gyms. At the moment we really enjoy having the time to work on two, but in the future it’s a definite possibility. My personal goals are to make the world games. The last 4 years I’ve missed out (one year by only 1 spot), which has made me even more hungry. Only 40 guys from across the world qualify, so it’s not an easy task! Kayla’s goals are to continue bettering herself physically and mentally, so she is able to help people on a deeper level to get their health back and realise how enjoyable it can be!


What is the one piece of advice you would give to anyone looking to start upon their health and fitness journeys?

Firstly, there is no “perfect time”. You’ll never feel ready, you’re just going to have to take the leap – but even you can admit that you know you wont regret it! Secondly, be accountable to someone! That’s why we believe CrossFit has such high success rates, because if you don’t rock up, your buddies at the gym will start asking questions! Try to find something that isn’t an effort and doesn’t require so much willpower. In order for it to be long term, you’ve got to enjoy the journey. Keep trying new sports & don’t give up! Plus, do your research on proper nutrition. There’s a lot of good stuff out there, but also a lot of bad stuff.


Click here to find out more about Cross Fit Mode

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