Getting To Know The Team

Here's the second addition to the coaches Q&A, you'll get to find out a little more information about CrossFit Harrogate's latest Coach- Tom Irwin


Q. How did you find out about CrossFit?


A. “I first encountered CrossFit whilst deep in the depths of Youtube one evening, clicking through various related videos focused around random feats of strength. It was some time later that I actually decided to give it a go when a friend I used to work with would talk about all the workouts he would get up to and the improvements he saw in his strength and overall fitness. I already considered myself quite fit but after my first couple of workouts it was clear my fitness wasn't where I wanted it to be. By gradually increasing my exposure to the high intensity of each workout I began to see significant improvements and, coupled with the enjoyment of working out in a class, my overall fitness rapidly and noticeably began to grow.”   


Q. What was your very first CrossFit workout?


A. "Daniel"

For Time

50 Pull Ups

400m Run

21 Thrusters @43kg

800m Run

21 Thrusters @43kg

400m Run

50 Pull Ups


“I'm not sure of my recorded time but I completed the workout as prescribed and remember lying on the floor for a long time afterwards. I hadn't quite mastered the kipping pull up technique or the Thruster which made the workout that much harder.”


Q.  Have you ever taken part in any CrossFit competitions?


A. “Over the two years I have been a member at CrossFit Harrogate I have taken part in a number of different competitions both interclub and national, as part of a team and as an individual. I love the thrill of competing and by putting myself into the competitive environment, I discovered that I have the capacity to push myself to limits I didn't think possible. The feeling of competing is incomparable to working out in a class. It’s hard to explain but its the mixture of the atmosphere together with not knowing what you are about to be put through that’s exciting and also meeting new people along the way who are also there to compete and better themselves whilst having fun at the same time. The competitions I have entered so far are:”


Lions Pride x3

Premier League Fitness 20/143

One For The People 2015 - 10/60

Glacier Games 2015 - 11/40

WildWest Winter Slam 2016 - 32/43


Q. Are there any movements in CrossFit you prefer doing over others?


Muscle ups & Olympic Lifts


"I really enjoy spending time on the rings and was fortunate enough to achieve my first strict muscle up early into CrossFit. Since then, I have spent lots of time practising and utilising all the feedback given from coaches which has now enabled me to string multiple reps together with ease. I also love lifting heavy weights. I used to dislike the Olympic lifts because of how technical they are and how much my mobility at the time stopped me from moving into proper positions. However, after spending a lot of time with Ryan in open gym sessions and during the weightlifting classes he has helped me improve significantly in both the clean & jerk and the snatch.”


Q. Are there any movements you feel you need to spend time working on?


A. Handstand Press ups & Sotts Press


"I have always struggled with shoulder mobility, something I never even considered when joining CrossFit. Handstand Push-Ups and Sotts Press require good shoulder mobility so when performing these movements my arms tire quickly and lack strength. Shoulder mobility has now become a constant battle of mine with lots of time spent stretching in and outside of the gym with results slowly starting to show.”


Q. What’s been your favourite workout so far?


A. ”I don't really have a single favourite workout as such but I enjoy any workout that involves muscle ups and pull ups. That's my jam.”


Q. How about your least favourite workout?


A. Hero WOD "JT"


Handstand Push Ups

Ring Dips

Push Ups


"After the round of 21 my arms have already abandoned me.”


Q. I think we all know the answer but what is your favourite cheat meal?

A. “Everyone knows I love Pizza.”


Q. And what about your favourite meal?

A. “Pizza, with healthier toppings”


Q. And finally can you tell us about your most memorable CrossFit Moment?

A. “During the 2016 CrossFit Open there was a re-test of a workout from the 2014 CrossFit Open which was:


21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:
Thrusters @43kg


I had only been doing CrossFit for a couple of months before I undertook this workout in 2014 completing it in 23 minutes and 26 seconds.  I swore to myself I would never do this workout again unless I had to... fast-forward two years to the 2016 CrossFit Open and there it is. I managed to complete this workout the second time in 13 minutes and 15 seconds shaving over 10 minutes off my time. I couldn't believe my time! It was a great reminder that putting in all the hard work through the two years of CrossFit had paid off. It was a great finish to the 2016 Open and confirms I have become much fitter, as there can be times when you doubt yourself during bad days believing that no progress is being made at all, when really there is. “