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Gym X Training Championships and Black Sheep Interviews 2015

Martin Zawadzki – Winner Male Advanced

Originally from Poland Martin Zawadzki has now lived in Scotland for nine years. His journey to peak fitness has been nothing short of amazing. He trains from Waterfront gym in Inverclyde and has been competing in Gym X Training for a mere 18 months!

Not really having a real focus in training Martin decided to try X Training to enhance his journey to lose weight and well we can safely that has worked . He has lost an amazing 7 stone throughout his journey.

Snap Interview ...

What did you find challenging about todays course?

The Box Jumps , as I’m quite heavy . I found it quite tough.

What is your 2000 m Row?

I average around a 1.35 split , so 6.20

With your performance today , what would say was your best events?

Cycling and Rowing

How many other events have you done?

Just the Maxifit last year . This is my second event.

Ben Cornwell – Rising star of Gym X Training

Ben Cornwell trains from Bannatynes gym in Sutton Coldfield. They have a small team of around 6 gym athletes who are lead and trained by Scott Edmodson a personal trainer there and inspired by top ranking gym athlete Paul Morton. A solid team who push each other along as much as they can.

We are constantly being asked about our training and what we do in the gym and the new manager has got behind us too, with our success being mentioned in the gym and recently a purchase of a new WattBike to enhance our training. We are happy about that because it has raised the profile of the sport in our gym.

How long have you been doing Gym X Training ?

My first event was the Phoenix last year in September, followed by K2 , Ironman and Gauntlet, where I was competing at Intermediate level. Today with this event it has been my first Advanced race.

What other sports do you play?

Mainly football, and I have tried Boxing and MMA. It was there that I took more to circuit training and developing X Training from there.

Who have been your influences?

Obviously Paul Morton as I do his class on a Tuesday and Scott Edmonds, who I do PT with, both of whom push me massively. They are both supporting me and encouraging me to improve my time and always giving me something to aim for. Which is the same for all the other guys in our gym. It’s a real asset having both here.

Has Gym X Training improved your fitness ?

Yes, I would say it has. I had to give up long distance running so these exercises are perfect for me. They have improved my core strength. They have also helped out with any injuries I've had because the sport is so diverse. It seems my back problems have disappeared and I can say I have got stronger and stronger. Which is a happy balance to train towards as I want to become stronger without losing my cardio and endurance abilities.

Are you more CV strong and Strength Endurance Strong?

Currently my CV is my stronger attribute in Gym X Training.

Do you know your current 2000 m row time?

Not something I have done for a while and certainly something I aim to improve on , but around 7:30 to 7:40.

I mentioned to Ben about the MGC’s  (Monthly Gym Challenge) and asked whether or not they would be interested in taking part?

Yeah, definitely !

Alex Woods Organiser of the UK X Training Championships

Describe the day before ?

I picked up some kit from our gyms in Edinburgh, then went to Greenock to pick up more kit that was kindly loaned to us by Inverclyde Leisure, then headed to Glasgow to pick up a couple of competitors, then down the M74/M6 to Manchester. We then set up for today’s event. A day of driving/loading/unloading kit.

How do you see the current state of X Training?

I think X-Training is in a better place than it was 2 or 3 years ago. The X-Training Series is going very well with an increase in competitors year on year. I think it caters to people who want to have fun and challenge themselves as well as those who want to race others. That allows us to provide an awesome day like this.

The format of racing three times in a day for the Advanced Championships, must be hard as a organiser and competitor?

It’s tough racing three times in a day and preparing for it. Because of the fantastic assistance of everyone involved, the organisation wasn't very difficult. It was a lot of fun. I had a full, but thoroughly enjoyable day.

How is the X Training Series developing?

Most of the events are in a good position. We want to support a Series of National Events. We can only achieve that by everyone working together and pushing in the same direction: Life is always full of surprises. I am amazed by how willing X-Training competitors are to talk about ideas; share information and data; compliment others on success; embrace positive change and embrace a transformational perspective. That is the X-Training community I love.

Who did you see today, who has improved the most over the last year?

AJ Orchard, without a doubt. He has got himself into the top 10 in the rankings. In the past year, both of the events he has entered he has been top 3. I thought Sandy Taylor may win today, but Liam Florey deserves this and winning today for him is really a case of constant hard work and strong performances throughout the Series. I think the Mens Advanced category is very strong at the moment: Ben Cornwell, from Team Bannatyne XT will only add to that. It’s fair to say Liam, AJ, Sandy and myself are a bit ahead of the other guys but there is a lot of potential there.

What about Ben Cornwell stepping up into the Advanced Championship races?

I think that was a brave move, but something he wanted to do. This competition gave him the opportunity of racing at Elite level and gain some valuable experience. I’m sure he will continue to develop and is certainly somebody to look out in the future if he works hard.

Looking at the bigger picture – Do you see gyms approaching you to get behind X Training?

Yes, some gyms have and we are looking at packages that we can offer to develop that…

Do you see similarities between CrossFit and Gym X Training ?

Financially no, CrossFit is a very successful global multi-billion dollar enterprise which has developed a huge following. From doing some CrossFit they are both Gym Sports, and so there is crossover. In my experience the biggest difference I see is that CrossFit is lifters doing some endurance training, where as X-Training is Endurance Athletes doing some lifting. Anything that motivates and inspires people to be better versions of themselves is a good thing.

Pleased with today?

Very much so, there have been some terrific races today, with a very successful structure which has seen competitors arrive from all over the country to compete. The venue (The Armitage Centre at University of Manchester) was ideal and allowed us to set up in the Sports Hall without causing any disruption to the gym over the Saturday and there is potential for the event to run again, based on today’s success. We looked at last year, got feedback from people, and made positive changes today to provide a better experience for the competitors. I’m confident, next year will be better than ever. We are always open to suggestions about how to improve.