Hello Alix, tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Alix James and I am the co-owner of Reebok CrossFit Asphodel (RCFA), along with my business partner Ashley Booth.  RCFA started in Hong Kong 5 years ago though I have been helping people professionally as a Personal Trainer and Coach for over 12 years in England, Thailand and Hong Kong. I used to fight professionally as well, not in pubs but for Muay Thai tournaments throughout my fitness career. Body composition and nutrition goals are consistently in my work with clients and I have started offering 12-week programs at RCFA.

What are your other favorite workouts?

At the moment I mostly enjoy workouts with rowing in them, which is not a common preference for an average height guy.  I used to enjoy running but no longer see the value in running long distance, not since I have been able to build better strength and fitness level through bodyweight resistance training and weightlifting.  Our methodology at RCFA is perfect for people who like to run a lot – you can gain strength, improve endurance and increase speed without a loss in fitness.  Triathletes and trail runners at our gym now use track runs sparingly and cut down vastly on the time they need to dedicate to being in shape and ready to run.  RCFA’s Head Coach, Ashley Booth, will be leading a new program called BeFit, which is designed for those who are new to high intensity bodyweight training and are not ready to heavy weights in the CrossFit classes yet.  These classes will be held at Reebok CrossFit Asphodel in Chai Wan.

Your workout routine / tips to suggest or share?

There is no “the one” workout model that is perfect for everyone.  You need to be doing something that you enjoy and that can move you towards your fitness and body composition goals.  My maintenance training consists of 4 days per week weightlifting, broken down to 2 upper body focused days and 2 lower body focused days.  I will do something lung-burning (read: cardio) maybe twice a week.  This could consist of some sprints on the row machine, Airdyne bike or pushing a prowler.  If and when I want to step up my training I will refocus it on the goal for that specific time.  At RCFA we have a similar template for most of our members, we offer training 7 days per week with many people opting to train at a frequency of 4-5 days per week.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to transition to a healthier lifestyle ?

For someone who wants to start getting healthier.  My advice is simple..

  • Join a gym, get someone experienced to show you the basics.  
  • Read credible sources online, whatever is within your budget but start to learn what training is effective for your goal.  

At the stage you are at now, it could be anything and it will most likely be effective BUT it won’t stay effective for ever.  You will have to challenge your body and learn new ways to progress and stimulate your system.  

We have a great track record for taking people with very litte knowledge of their training abilities, and turning them into people who are very self aware and continually push to get better.

For nutrition, without going into too much detail.  Increase the amount of water you drink, vegetables you eat and the sleep you get – that will get you on the right path on being better.

What does your daily diet look like? Do you give yourself “cheat days”?

My daily diet is pretty consistent like most people, the only difference probably is that I am aware of what I am eating from a nutritional perspective.  I can adjust my diet based on my goals very easily because I do keep track of my nutrition intake.  I’m currently trying to raise some awareness in Hong Kong of macronutrient based diets (check instagram @iifym.hk)  

Many believe in shortcuts of detoxing, extreme low fat, extreme low carb, paleo dieting and so on without any real knowledge of the nutrition content of foods and nutritional content of their daily diet.  Shortcuts are called shortuts for a reason, they are almost impossible to sustain your whole life and fall short on the necessary nutrients.  

Over time I would like to change that.  

The IIFYM method which has been around for years doesn’t get much exposure here, and whilst the system can be flawed in many ways I’d like to think we can teach the people of Hong Kong to extract the right information from the information out there.  

Cheat days is always a common question, i don’t generally crave anything as I can normally eat all of the foods I like within my diet.  “Cheat day” also sounds negative and also sounds like a reward – would I need a reward for looking after my health?

Your Fit motivational quote

A favourite quote by Zig Zagler, that is true of most things in life:

”You dont have to be great to start, but you have to be start to be great”

Book a class at Reebok CrossFit Asphodel now!

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