Movement has the power to change lives. We are mobile beings and our bodies want to move. The positive physical reactions that occur when we exercise can snowball into a much larger result, not just changing our physical selves, but our lives as well.
We talked to Jack Morgan, Art Director and Fashion Stylist who's experience of CrossFit completely transformed his life. Now the founder of Ground Nutrition, we sat down to chat about CrossFit for beginners, plant-based nutrition and sustainability in the sportswear industry.
What's a typical CrossFit session look like and what does your own CrossFit routine entail?
CrossFit is multifunctional, adaptive, physical fitness training that spans different areas of cardio, gymnastics and weightlifting. It helps you get stronger and fitter while building a proportioned body through a wide range of different exercises (there will definitely be something you’re good at!).
A typical session will vary in different boxes around the world (a 'box' is the name used in CrossFit for the gym space). But in my box, an hour session will be focused around three parts:
- The warm-up: It speaks for itself really, but here we will all work on mobilisation, stretching and activating the areas of our bodies that are going to be targeted during the rest of the class.
- Technical / Skill: This part of the class will see you work on a specific gymnastic movement or weighted lift. For example, attempting to build up to a heavy set of 3 reps on a back squat or maybe an Olympic Lift, such as a Snatch.
- WOD (Workout of the Day): This is where you will leave everything on the gym floor and apply everything you have mentally, technically and physically to getting through whatever the coach has put together.
I currently try and train 5/6 times a week between CrossFit and the regular gym.
How has your body and mind changed since starting this fitness routine? What was your life like before you started?
The development of my mind and body due to fitness has been beyond any expectations I ever had. And to be honest, in relation to ‘the mind’, I had no expectations at all.
I was always the kid that would do absolutely anything to skip P.E or any physical activity in school. Fitness, sports, sweating… count me out. And that approach stayed with me more or less, until 2017, when I discovered CrossFit.
CrossFit has revolutionised the way I my approach life, and the issues and successes that happen within it.
Until I started at my gym, I never fully understood the concept of team members championing one another. The togetherness and relationships that are built through the understanding of another’s physical and mental achievement. The overcoming of a strived for movement or the look in your mate’s eye when you’re both on the floor at the end of a workout, giving one another the nod of ‘nice work’.
It is all of the things that I have found in my relationships with others in this environment and sport - friends that I can truly call personal heroes - that has continued to push me to learn more about how much I can achieve in and outside of the gym.
Many people are intimidated by CrossFit, what would you say to people who want to give it a try, but feel like it might be too physically challenging for them?
I’d tell them how I was exactly the same, I had absolutely no idea what to expect, and was terrified to be honest…
It isn’t about being super fit, strong or muscular. Every single person in that room is pushing just as much as you will be. Whether you’re lifting a 15kg barbell and the person next to you is managing 150kg, you’re both excelling, pushing personal limits and building a stronger foundation for yourself.
Yes, workouts can get tough, but that is the reason and exact element that is going to advance you tenfold.
Give it a go. Keep turning up, keep cheering on your friends, putting in the work and you’re going to be your own example of development in a matter of weeks.
You've also re-trained as a plant-based nutrition coach. Tell us more about this and why you chose to focus on vegan and vegetarian nutrition.
Yes! And I have recently launched my nutrition coaching service Ground Nutrition.
It was about a year ago now when I started to research into my diet, developing a little bit more of an interest into the role that food was having on my training.
Food and diet can be overwhelming for anyone. Especially when you’re trying to find the best way to reach your goal. Add into that mix that you’re looking to adopt a new diet, such as a plant-based/vegan diet and some people feel like they don’t stand a chance.
I have been following a plant-based/vegan diet since 2014 and when I first started to look at how to approach my training and diet, I was overwhelmed. There is so much being presented to us; quick fixes, programmes, articles, Instagram posts… How are we supposed to find what works personally for us?
I realised that people do need help and guidance on this area, just as I did and sometimes still do. I’m not looking to push any personal views on ‘the best diet’; I just want to help others take the right steps for them in their life. And if that means for them to adopt a plant-based diet, Ground is there to help.
CrossFit has led you on a constantly evolving path, which has now changed how you approach what you buy and wear. How did you make that change to becoming more sustainable?
My fitness regime had shifted and raised personal awareness to how much mental and physical health work in tandem. Part of my dietary choices are rooted in sustainability for the planet.
I was researching brands that aligned with my views in those areas, and I was stuck when it came to menswear, until I discovered Starseeds.
I am not in a position where my wardrobe is completely sustainable. It is a step-by-step process of reduction and thoughtful purchases.
But that is how I believe we should all be trying to move forward in our habits. Whether you’re buying some new active wear or food from the supermarket; think about the packaging, think about the ethos of the company where you are placing your money.
You haven’t got to go from zero to ‘eco-warrior’ overnight, just implement the changes week by week that work for you.
Follow Jack on Instagram here.