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The Ox Box Gymnastic Cycle
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Through the year we have a complimentary speciality program that is designed to "round out" the current CrossFit Programming Cycle. In Cycle 2 of The Ox Box Method we tackle... Strength + Power

As we will be spending more time with a bar in our hands the cycle lends itself perfectly to a concentrating more on gymnastics. We describe Gymnastics as the ability to run your body through full ranges of motion without the use of an external load. 

The thing that I have found with Gymnastics is that it is WAY harder than moving a barbell with the main reason being time under tension. With a barbell, we only hang onto it for a small amount of time in order to build capacity. Gymnastics, on the other hand, requires A LOT of time under tension. 


Gymnastics is an incredibly important component to the overall health of our body and in fact the Hierarchical development of Fitness, CrossFit deems gymnastics to be a more important base to work on that weightlifting. What this means is that we should be developing more virtuosity in controlling our body through space before we worry about controlling a barbell. 

The main change from 2017 to 2018 is the format. We are spending less time on the skill development i.e. how to muscle up, to more time on building the strength necessary to perform the muscle up i.e. Strict pull-ups and dips. 

The class focus itself has changed also from our first training cycle.

Straight Arm - Pull/Push (Week 1/3/5 etc)
Bent Arm - Pull/Push (Week 2/4/6 etc)
Core and Posterior chain strength (Week 1/2/3 etc)
Joint ranges of motion

Each class will include the following most sessions but not necessarily in this order.

Warm up
Joint Prep
Cool Down

Something I have noticed after my years of Coaching is that spending time developing this important area of your health helps improve everything else, increased body awareness, increased stability and joint strength, increased core strength and condition, just to name a few. 

Think about it like this analogy, you are sitting down for dinner with meat, potato and broccoli.
Weightlifting is the meat, you want to eat it first.
Metcons are the potatoes, delicious.
Gymnastics is the broccoli, it is the most important part but not necessarily your favourite but you still need to eat it.

I pose these couple of questions... 
Do you think to improve your upper body pull strength will help with a workout like Fran (which involves pull-ups)?
Do you think improving the mobility in your shoulders and elbow to be able to lock them out completely will help you in the receiving position in the snatch?
Do you think improving your core strength will help your back squat which requires large amounts of core bracing?

If you said "yes" to any of these, then it makes me happy as you have been listening in class. If you said "no" then you need to pay more attention in class ;).

Everything is everything and the development in 1 area will help improve others. There is a reason why the best athletes in the world win the CrossFit Games and that is because they work their weaknesses.

There are 26 Gymnastics classes programmed over the next 13 weeks with 36 spots available to our athletes to spend time developing this important aspect of your health. Try to make it a priority, turn up to all 26 and watch how the cycle improves your capacity in all the other areas of your health.

I hope that this next cycle turns out to be your favourite and the team are excited to see how you all improve. 


Masters League
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Masters League at The Ox Box, being held over 4 weeks in May and first week of June.

Participating athletes will have the opportunity to get the WOD done at Friday Open Gym, Saturday-after scheduled classes or by individual arrangements between the athlete and Coach Ren.


Whats Masters League all about?


The Masters League has provided an opportunity for us to support athletes in celebrate their training achievements by inviting them to compete and realize their full potential.


Participating athletes can compete at any level, beginner through to advanced, hard work should be recognized at every level and everyone should have their chance to shine.


The masters category within our sport is thriving yet there are still too few opportunities to compete, the Masters League motivates you by providing a competition to train towards winning a good place in your division and also the chance to promote yourself to the next division the following year.


The competitions are fun, non-intimidating and the needs of masters athletes have been carefully reflected in the programming. Factors that influence training and performance are carefully considered; busy lives, family commitments and recovery. For example, plenty of time is provided to perform the open workouts and competitions are 1-day family friendly events.


So, if your 35+, get registered for the 4 week online competition and join your Ox Box fambam in a celebration of your health and fitness.



The CrossFit Open Recap


Back to the beginning!

So the Open is over. You are either sad or relieved or a strange combination of both where you kind of enjoyed some workouts and have a mild case of Castro inspired Stockholm Syndrome.

In this article we are going to talk Post-Open to go about it and how we are going to help guide you in the right direction.

If you train often (~5x a week) that’s 260 sessions for you to get better. This is both heaps and not many at all.

Here I am going to make the assumption that you are training for the CrossFit Open as it is the most logical way to benchmark your improvements from year to year with a multitude of data points for comparison, as well as it being the culmination of an entire year of the Ox Box Method.


We are going to go step-by-step:


  1. Set your goals and figure out if you care about them.This one is pretty simple. If your goals are tangible, measurable and lofty yet reachable, every decision becomes about whether this is taking you towards your goals or away from them. It’s as simple as not bitching out on coming to the WOD with heaps of running, ensuring there are vegetables in every meal you eat, not having dessert, or finishing off the movement you’re doing a couple of seconds after the clock hits time.
  2. Always consider intensity.“Be impressed by intensity, not volume” - Greg Glassman.Your pace is generally your pace. Even though mindset can make a make a difference as to how you go about your workouts, the best mindset in the world will not save you from a good and proper early redline. Know your pace and think about getting a little quicker each session. We are playing the long game here...think 260 sessions for us to get a little faster each time. Whether it is literally doing the reps quicker, or enforcing 5 second set breaks, or committing to always pushing the last minute of every WOD in an all out effort.The point is, if you’re going to devote 1 hour of your day to fitness, and ~20 minutes of it actively trying to encourage physiological adaptation to want to make that 20 minutes count. Finish with no regrets.
  3. Do things to standard.People whose chest touches the bar on their chest to bars are going to have no issue when it is judged. Same with those who squat hip crease below knee crease, those who lock out their elbows at the end of their reps, those who make sure their chest hits the floor on burpees...the list goes on. The basics in the Open should feel no different to your normal training.
  4. Accept that you suck at something.You now probably have a pretty good idea of your weaknesses. Do not avoid them and challenge yourself to make them a strength. If you come to all the workouts involving wall balls, it truly will not take you long to get better at wall balls. Once you see that traction and improvement you will soon enjoy wall balls. Shortly after you will be good at wall balls. Make a note of what you hate to say come up, and make it your bitch.
  5. Think long term.You’ve got an entire year. 260 workouts, and some rest days. The pizza is not off limits in moderation. Stay sane. This is not your justification to eat shit food because you read point number 5 of a Post Open article. This is an encourage meant to eat and train consistently over the year.If you miss 2 straight workouts and back it up with burgers and beers, don’t concede the remainder of the weekend to the binge. Enjoy your beers and burgers, and then get back on track tomorrow.
  6. Read the brief.The brief is going to outline the intention. The intention is going to be super important for you guys. The intention is like we’ve done all the work for you in creating a beautifully structured and well rounded program (patting ourselves on the back here). Our program takes into account movement, strength and mobility through all planes, types of movement, energy systems and progressions. If you perform the workout completely different as to what is intended, thus not hitting the stimulus, you miss out on becoming a well-rounded athlete.
  7. If you ever need any advice on the direction you’d like your training to go, feel free to ask a coach. We want to see you get better. It is truly the purpose of our work. We are proud of you and take pride in you. Let’s get better together this year.


ArticleCoach JComment
The Ox Box Method
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The Ox Box Method is a comprehensive strength and conditioning program that utilises the founding principles of CrossFit to help us be the best version of ourselves possible.

Since the beginning in 2012, we’ve offered well-rounded CrossFit programming designed to increase the General Physical Preparedness (“GPP,” i.e. overall fitness and health) of our members. Our program has continued to evolve and improve not only our athletes conditioning, strength and skill but also overall joint function, mobility and flexibility. 

This is what it means to be a part of The Ox Box Method.


The intention is to make well rounded individuals with the goal of longevity and vitality.

A program design to continue to see you improve no matter your goals.

Our methodology is based around a yearly-cycle of GPP programming, working towards our annual test of fitness which is The CrossFit Games Open. No matter whether you started CrossFit for health – general fitness – to support your athletic pursuits – to push your boundaries of fitness, The CrossFit Games Open, will function as the major test of our change in GPP from year to year.


The year is broken into four 3-month long ‘macrocycles.’ We will focus on two of the macrocycles at a time: Strength / Power / Conditioning / Stamina + Endurance. The alignment and overlap of the cycles allows us to build our fitness in a cumulative way.

We also employ the use of dedicated specialty programs, that run in parallel with our daily programmed workouts complimenting the overall health of our athletes. Our specialty program compliments the cycle but not necessarily the Workout of the day.

Cycle 1 – March / April / May

Focus = Stamina | Strength

Specialty Programming = Olympic Weightlifting

Cycle 2 – June / July / August

Focus = Strength | Power

Specialty Programming = Gymnastics

Cycle 3 – September / October / November

Power | Conditioning

Specialty Programming = Olympic Weightlifting

Cycle 4 – December / January / February

Conditioning | Stamina

Specialty Programming = Metabolic Conditioning

Each macrocycle is divided into ‘microcycles.’ Microcycles contain de-loads to aid our recovery, and builds towards a testing, think: benchmark workouts and 1RMs.


In traditional CrossFit fashion, we will still be training all modalities (metabolic conditioning, gymnastics and weightlifting) as well as all ten General Physical Skills (cardiovascular/ respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy) all year long. The macrocycle format simply dictates the FOCUS of that cycle, building progressively towards the CrossFit Open season testing. Understand that we will focus but not bias. We will never bias programming as it truly limits overall health and that ladies and gentleman is why we ultimately do what we do.


The program is built to be appropriately challenging for all experience and skill levels.  While some days may have options to make sure all members are able to achieve the intended stimulus of the workout, others will have only one option. Continue to talk to your coaches for appropriate scaling, if needed. Here is some insight to what our programming cycles mean

Fitness = Fitness aka Health

Those looking to look better naked. Lose body fat, maintain lean muscle-mass, and improve our quality of life. Eager to learn and take on new and challenging movements and workouts.

RX = Performance

Looking to train for the CrossFit Games Open. Wants to become better mountain climbing, skiing, and pickup basketball. Excited to be challenged every day inside the workouts, but is also not looking to compete in local or online CrossFit competitions.

RX+ = Competition

Looking to Crush the CrossFit Games Open. This track is geared towards the goal of improving one’s scores on the competitive stage, training with specific movements and weights that are seen in advanced competitions.


“Volume is alluring for many reasons. Some athletes who are trying to break into the upper echelons of Open and regional performance look to tack on extra volume in order to try and close the gap, and affiliates sometimes attempt to squeeze more and more into the relatively brief CrossFit class in order to follow suit. But don’t mistake volume for intensity and end up training for 90 minutes at 60 percent when 60 minutes at 90 percent might have been more valuable”
— James Hobart, CrossFit Journal


The goal is that every one of our athletes can do whatever life throws at them and whatever they feel like doing.

The goal is broad and wonderful. It can be whatever you want it to be. Here are some things we think it might be, but the possibilities are endless.

-Have sex when you are 80. Is it gross? Maybe. Is it a symbol of function? Yes.

-PR your Clean and Jerk.

-Jump that fence. Maybe there's strawberries or something growing.

-Run to catch that train. You're not puffed out when you get there in time.

-Carry all that shopping in one load.

-Swim across that river.

-Handstand on the beach for that perfect insta holiday photo.

-Be happy to look in the mirror.

-Your very first muscle up.

-Be able to use a squat toilet. Maybe you're travelling, maybe you're camping.

-Play backyard cricket with your grandkids.

-Top 20,000 in the CrossFit Games Open.

-Wake up and go to sleep with no pain.

-Chase your dog around the park.

-Your first RX workout.

-Inspire others around you to prioritise their health and fitness.

The 2018 CrossFit Open
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It should be no surprise to you all the we love the CrossFit Open at The Ox Box. In fact our whole Training Paradigm culminates in our Annual Test of fitness, which you guessed it.... Is the CrossFit Open!

Now for those who are not indoctrinated you might be wondering... what is this CrossFit Open thing you speak of?

Well for those of you in the dark, have a watch of this link
then continue along. 


We completely understand that if this is your first time, you may be a little nervous. The CrossFit Open for The Ox Box is an amazing and fun set of 5 Saturday throwdowns for our community to come together and encourage, inspire and challenge our preconceived expectations around our own limitations. Overcoming what we deem to be the impossible.

For us, it puts a line in the sand so when we come back around in a years time, we see our improvements. For some of the crew this will be their 4th open and for some of you it will be your first. Either way, it is going to be awesome fun.

Last year we almost had 60 athletes crushing each Saturday with an electric vibe and this year we want MORE!


From the 23rd Feb, each friday (U.S.A Thursday) for 5 weeks @ around 12.00 noon, one of the workouts is released.

Then Coach Josh's head will explode as he figures out all the logistics of how The Open workouts will run at The Ox Box on Saturday and to ensure that athletes on the day are placing their best foot forward.

On Friday afternoon on Facebook we will be releasing...

  1. The Strategy and Tips for tackling the WOD the next day

  2. Heat Sheets for the following days heats

  3. Setting up the studio for the WOD


Over the 5 weeks the Open is running the following need to be taken into consideration...

Friday Night Open Gym is cancelled. Although you are more than welcome to come and help set the studio up and gain some extra tips ;)

Saturday WOD's are cancelled while the CrossFit Open is running.

You will need to register for The Open in order to train on Saturday.

Yes please sign up even if you are unable to attend all the workouts. If you can't make one, still sign up, if you can't make four, perhaps this year is not the year.


To register click this link

The CrossFit Games

Make sure that you select the “CrossFit Collingwood” team. 


We require some personal responsibilities from you regarding the open.

  1. Read the brief - We will be releasing all the information you need, simply read it, understand it, ask questions and that way you will be armed with everything you need to tackle Saturday. Do this on Friday either via our Facebook Live event or via our Facebook posts

  2. Book your heat time - Last year we had over 50 people competing in the open and while we do our utmost to accommodate for each athletes individual needs, you need to work with us in order to make this beast run smoothly. This year we are doing something different whereby heat times will be available for booking via Wodify (stay tuned for more details)

  3. Do not argue with your judge - Trust that the person who is counting your reps with a heart rate of 50 beats per second and has seen movements for years, has a better understand of what is required then you do.

  4. Have fun and encourage others to do the best they can


The last of the open WODs, 18.5 will see an event being held at CrossFit U called "2 Boxes 1 Cup". This event is where we go head to head with CrossFit U from West Melbourne, seeing which box gets the cup. This fun event in its 5th year and the hope is we take the cup back from the Unicorns this year. After the proceedings have concluded it is time for a good feed, a cheeky beverage shared with a like minded community of people who strive to be better than the day before.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up people!!


ArticleCoach JComment
Welcome to The Ox Box

Dear Oxen,

It’s no secret that we have had our eyes upon expanding for some time. We absolutely love big goals and gaudy challenges and the changes we have to make and the people we have to become to accomplish them. We know to make big dreams a reality (especially something of this nature), we must live in the relentless pursuit of excellence, which can only serve to benefit ourselves, the people around us, and the environment we create.

Aware of the cliche, I’m still going to tell you it is as much about the journey for us as it is the destination.

The journey is the transformation to become excellent and the destination is sharing our brand of health and fitness with as much of the world as we can reach.

After coming to this decision, we realised we had two options…

  1. A bigger box

  2. Another box

After deliberation and research, we came to the decision that we want to go in the direction of opening another box. This allows us to maintain the things that are truly important to us such as maintaining a close knit community feel, and the ability for coaches to be in touch with their athletes needs, goals, and personalities. At the moment, it feels like everyone is a piece in the metaphorical puzzle that makes up CrossFit Collingwood, and we never want to get away from that.

A big part of the reasoning for expansion is a future for our coaches and people involved in The Ox Box. We want to provide a platform for career progression and personal development, and truly live into the relentless pursuit of excellence that is always at the forefront of our minds. This way we can offer more than just coaching classes, but the ability to come into your own as a coach and a leader through having a larger role to play and a larger vision on the horizon.

Our ethos and ethic will remain largely the same, only altering to include things we learn and expand upon the things we have begun learning. Our mindset will remain optimistic and open, and our values will always place precedence upon creative freedom, hard work, personal responsibility, personal development, being as awesome as possible, and being a force of nature.

We see training as a method of curating an active lifestyle and building a buffer of fitness that prevents chronic disease and keeps us out of retirement homes.

We are not about the 6 week summer body blitz or the magic supplement that’s going to strip that unwanted fat away. We are about promoting consistency and patience in a society that craves instant gratification and quick fixes. We promote the enjoyment of the process, the celebration of the small wins along the way, and the feeling that comes along with seeing what your body is truly capable of doing.

We believe that we are putting a better product, facility and community out to market than anywhere else. We do not advertise because you are our advertisement, and our days are filled with the thought of how to make your lives better and our environment better.

This will continue to be the heart of what it means to be at The Ox Box....Lifestyle and Training.

We are still CrossFit, and this is still CrossFit Collingwood, just now under the umbrella of The Ox Box. We believe in CrossFit as a training methodology and are constantly evolving our own interpretation of CrossFit through our programming adaptations to achieve athletic progression, health and wellbeing, and longevity in our athletes. All we need is you guys to turn up and we are profoundly confident we can deliver this in a way that nowhere else can or dares to.

Welcome to The Ox Box has been written on our signage since we first opened our doors. It is with great honour and gratitude that we once again welcome you all to The Ox Box - Home to CrossFit in Collingwood.