Category Archives for "Duna News"

Aug 16

Reviving the Dad – Getting Started

Duna News

The following is a story from a CrossFit trainer (wannabe), trying to help her Dad to get back into shape. In part one of this series, Viki takes us through the initial struggles of her dad. What helped him to get started. And in the end, she will also provide you with three easy steps you should consider before you start.

The Beginning

My Dad is 50 years old and has a good 20 kg extra on. He is turning to an age in which changing his lifestyle is getting harder and harder. Habits are very hard to get rid of, and changing your everyday life has already become a question of feasibility and if it’s still worth it. Routines feel like they are set in stone and it’s easy to find excuses why you cannot do the one thing or another. Time feels like it is constantly in short supply. Should you even be physically active at this age? Knees and back often tell you not to rock the boat too much anymore.

However, one night during a family dinner my dad told me he wants to lose those 20 kilos (mostly to make up for the beautiful wife he’s got) and generally feel better. He’s had an ankle injury back in the day so he never thought about exercising ever since the accident. Before, he thought that getting rid of carbs would do the trick. I, personally, never believed in ‘diets only’ so I tried to be as diplomatic as one can be with her father and explained to him that we need to look at this from different perspective. Getting rid of 20 kilos by only eliminating certain types of food might not be sustainable or effective. If it happens too fast it might be dangerous too as the toxins released by rapid fat loss might have detrimental consequences. 

The Idea

In my opinion, there is only one sustainable way – he needs to start exercising and instead of eliminating carbs we will try to balance the diet so he eats nutritious food which supports his new lifestyle. I was honest and frank with him and told him that it wasn’t going to be easy but working out will also help him to stay on track with his diet. Over time he would be able to see how eating nutritious and losing weight will directly translate into less suffering and more enjoyable sessions at the gym. I tried to convince him that a being in better physical condition will allow him to run around like he is 30 again. The bait was out in the sea. But would he take it?

Soon after I started to see more positive sides of this and through working out together me and my dad to would become even closer and it gave me the chance to start off my CrossFit career by pushing myself into the deep end right away. Everybody knows how happily parents accept advice from their own children and how delighted they are once they realise that the tables have turned.

I won't lie to you, getting started is the hardest part and first you need to find your why before you should even think about the how. Many people get started and resolve: “I will go for a run 2 x a week and do 100 Push Ups and Sit Ups every night.” But they don’t have a clear sense of direction. After a few days or weeks, motivation slowly starts to fade and it is very hard to keep up with the pace you have set for yourself at the beginning. Me and my dad gathered a couple of actionable steps which will hopefully help you define why you would like to be in better shape than you are now. I hope to they will help you as much as they did us!

1. Prior to starting, find your motivation

But it’ never too late. Like I said before, my Dad will soon turn 50  and he has a good 20 kilos extra. He got to a point where he realised that the extra weight affects his health and that he wants to change his eating habits to make up for the beautiful wife he’s got. Yes, women are always in the story.

On top of this, he’s got a physically demanding job where he needs to lift heavy weights which is getting harder and harder. The motivation was simple. Getting back in shape so he can still look young and fit enough for his wife and he could still meet the demands of his job. Finding your motivation is usually just a thought which flies through your head, but unavoidably stays there. For my Dad, it was that he wanted to be a stronger, healthier, ‘smaller’ version of himself. This was strong enough to get him started and keep him on track.

2. Be honest and accept your flaws

We all start a little overweight and on a less optimal fitness level (I did too when I started, and that is just normal). I often heard: "No that’s impossible, I can’t do that" or "I’m too old for this!". Let me get this straight. If someone, your trainer understands how hard it is, because we started somewhere too. Being overweight and not 20 anymore doesn’t mean you can’t move, it only means that you need a little extra effort. We are here to give you a little push, help and explain. If you have the opportunity, starting a ’revive’ program in a group of people with similar fitness level can give you even more energy, but look for a personal trainer if you feel like the group setting is not for you. 

3. Work with Professionals

It is very important that you don’t start yourself. The movements you are planning to do can cause injuries if not executed right (even a simple squat can be hard on your knees, hips, back especially if you are overweight). Talk to a trainer, set your expectations in terms of losing weight and the fitness level you want to reach, or find a dedicated program like our Beginner's Program to get you started.

Is there a special goal we are aiming for? Special goals can help you and your trainer to specify the exercises you’re doing so you will be able to reach your goals. Finding a trainer who can motivate you is probably the most important element of it all. Don’t bother with the ones that give you what to do and then walk away and chat with others or playing on their phone. Keeping the high energy up through the whole class is very important (I do cheer for my Dad all the time it must look very funny from the outside) so your motivation doesn’t slip away after 2-3 classes.

Also define your measurements with your trainer (for us it is the change in the T-shirt size which is visible for my Dad too and we have a couple of benchmark workouts which we do month by month and watch the development). As we are getting close to being 4 weeks in training, I will soon come back with the first experiences. Until then, good luck getting started.

Short Profile

Name: Viktória Csánicz

Age: 25

Hometown: Gyula

Nationality: Hungarian

Instagram: cslexi

Hobbies/Interests:​ Painting, CrossFit, Kombucha

Viktória Csánicz (25) is a painter/graphic designer for a living, and a CrossFit trainer yet only in her free time. Her artwork is just as personalised as her training sessions in a very particular way. She leads you through the whole process, picking out the style, the colours, the size for your free apartment space. In her opinion, people get more attached and are ultimately happier with the result if they participate in the process of making the artwork or fitness program. She brings the same mindset to her training and nutrition guidance. The idea is to discover the needs, maximise the goals and lead you through the process of making it happen. Of course she cannot train for you but can bring you right to the edge of your comfort zone and maybe step outside of it for a while.

She has been training Kettlebell for 2 years and has been with the CrossFit community since more than half a year. She has been interested in nutrition since she has been a little girl, as there were a couple of cases with diabetes in her family. Because of this, she saw that changing certain things in your eating habits can be a life changer. Viki is a half-marathon runner and she is dedicated to take her CrossFit knowledge to the next level with enrolling to a Level 1 course in the near future to chase her dream to be a personal coach. Until then, she is trying her training skills out with her Dad who did not really know what he got himself into when he agreed to Viki’s training program.

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Jul 03

Meet Hungary’s Fittest Woman – Laura Horváth

Duna News

On May 27, 2016 something historic happened which, however, went largely unnoticed by the general Hungarian public. On that day, Laura Horváth competed as the first Hungarian woman at the Meridian Regionals in Madrid, Spain. 

To understand what kind of accomplishment this is, it is important to look at what it took Laura to make it to Regionals (if you are unfamiliar with the term Regionals think of it as the European Championship of CrossFit). 

From the infographic above you can see that the CrossFit Open is one of the biggest sporting events in the world with more than 324.000 people competing against each other over the course of 5 weeks. After the Open, the fittest men, women, and teams from each region of the world advance to the second stage of the CrossFit Games season: the Regionals.

CrossFit splits the world into 17 regions. There are 10 regions in the United States (North East, Mid Atlantic, South East, Central East, North Central, South Central, North West, South West, Northern California, Southern California), and 7 international regions (Canada West, Canada East, Latin America, Asia, Africa, Australia, and Europe).

In 2016, 12.925 women signed up for the CrossFit Open in Europe and competed for one of the 30 Regionals' qualifying spots. From a purely statistical point of view this would leave Laura with a 0,002% chance to qualify. Luckily, in sports probabilities are calculated differently. After the 5 weeks and 5 workouts Laura became 23rd in Europe with her best placing being a 7th place and the worst a 86th place.

But who is Laura Horváth? How did she find CrossFit and what is her athletic background? What are her thoughts on diet and that strong women are not feminine anymore? How did she feel competing on the biggest stage that CrossFit has to offer in Europe? Last week, Laura sat down with Lilly Letassy of Reebok CrossFit Duna and answered all those questions for us. 

Short Profile

Name: Laura Horváth

Age: 19​

Hometown: Budapest​

Nationality: Hungarian​

 : laurhorvat

CrossFit Box: Reebok CrossFit Duna

Coach: Alastair Vella Stiles

Sponsors: Cavefit

The Interview

We should kick off this conversation by you telling me about the beginning, considering that - as some of us might know - you have a past with wall climbing, so I guess sport has always been in your life growing up. When was it that your interest shifted from climbing to CrossFit and how did you find CrossFit?

Wow, you already got me a good question [laughs]. In the beginning, we were working out at home with Kristóf [her brother] and it was him that started looking into CrossFit and lifting in general, so for me it started out as complimentary training to climbing. Gradually and over time, I started doing more CrossFit than climbing, so climbing slowly became secondary. After more or less a month, Kris signed me up for a competition [The Central European Throwdown in 2014] since he had to undergo surgery and couldn't compete himself. I placed 4th, which made me very enthusiastic and made me realise that I wanted to go into CrossFit on a competitive level.

Considering your climbing background. How do you think climbing helped you in CrossFit?

I think my biggest strengths are pull ups and grip strength. Essentially, all the gymnastics/ bodyweight exercises as climbing helped me develop a very strong upper body so when it comes to those exercises I do not fatigue as quickly, which allows me to keep pushing.

When did you first realise that this is more than a passion for you, that you actually want to start competing?

As long as I can remember, I have always been very competitive with everything I did. Even at primary school during PE I would feel the urge to beat everybody including the boys. It really comes naturally to me, nobody really tried to push me into this direction. It just happened this way. And now that I train mostly with Kris, I always try to beat him and everybody else too.

So I understand that you rely a lot on him when it comes to training, support and motivation. In the light of that, how did you react to his plans of moving to Malta and open his own CrossFit box?

Oh, I was really sad... I mean, why can't he open one here? [laughing] No seriously, I definitely feel that it is going to be a big change, because even if I will visit him often, and he will visit me, it is going to be very different. Now we work out together every day and support each other.

How did your family react when you told them that competing is going to be your main focus, and you want to make it a career?

It actually took my mom a long time to accept it. She was against it at the beginning but by now she has come around as she understood that this is what I want to do, that this is what makes me happy. She would have preferred that I follow a more "feminine" sport like dancing or ballet, but luckily by now it is my family that supports me the most alongside with Kris.

It is good that you mention 'feminine' as many people consider CrossFit as more of a sport for men because of the big muscles that they might see on the on other female CrossFit athletes. What are your thoughts on this?

I get this a lot that wherever I go, they ask me what I do, how do I have such big muscles. Honestly, I do not believe in an "ideal body" because as long as you are happy with yourself and how you are it does not matter. Frankly, I probably would not like myself if I had a super skinny model structure. I am happy with it the way I look, so I do not really care about people who think it is too much. Unfortunately, the media is still very much focused on the "skinny is sexy" message but luckily I also see that the image of a "strong woman" is becoming fashionable again.

Let me go back now for a second to the Laura that had just decided to go into competing and intense training started. Do you feel that because of this decision and focus, you had a different childhood compared to the other kids at your age?

It was completely different. When they started going out during the weekends, my days were just about training and sleeping to get the proper rest. However, I do not feel that I missed anything or that I had to make sacrifices, for me what meant and still means fun is knowing that I am doing the best for my goals, this is what keeps me motivated even on the days that normally I would not feel like training or doing anything at all.

As an athlete you also need to watch what you put in your body.What is the ideal diet and nutrition plan for you? Do you track what you eat?

I try to eat just as much as is necessary for the amount of training that I do, and I really think that having a big breakfast is beneficial. After breakfast, I eat about two, three times during the day, but I tried to avoid eating after 8pm. I really like the dairy products so I drink a lot of milk and yoghurts but I completely stay away from bread. I think the last time I ate bread was some sort of brown bread that my grandma baked at home [laughs].

You also followed the Paleo diet for a while, how did that work out for you?

It was okay, but at some point I just got too bored of so much meat that now I kind of hate it, and I do not eat it anymore [laughs].

So let's talk a bit about the main reason of this conversation, Regionals and competitions in general. How do you prepare mentally and when you are there how do you calm down your nerves?

I am not a nervous type in general, so I am not nervous prior to the competition. For me sleeping is the most essential thing, I try to sleep 8-10 hours before. When I am about to compete I feel the excitement, but it is more of a positive feeling, it is more the adrenalin that kicks in. I feel that I just want to be there and do it. And during the competition I totally blend out everything. I talked to some people who came to cheer for me and they asked me whether I heard them. It is funny because knowing that they are there helps a lot, but I did not hear anything.

Few people know that you had knee surgery in late 2015. Knowing this did you expect to qualify for Regionals?

For me qualifying for Regionals was more important than anything. By this I mean even the high school final exams. So if I hadn't qualified, I would have been extremely disappointed. After the surgery, I rested for 4 weeks but now looking back I think I really needed it and I might even have benefited from it physically. Even if at the time mentally I was quite down.

At Regionals how did you experience it? How is the mood and the atmosphere among the athletes?

God, it is hard to find the right words to express it [laughs]. Everybody is extremely nice and friendly, and I felt that nobody sees the other person as a rival. It is more of a competition with yourself and with the clock than against each other. I can compare the atmosphere like it is at the box right before a WoD. Everybody is excited, and we all talk to each other as friends.

What was your favourite Regionals moment, something that you will definitely never forget?

Definitely the last WoD is something I will never forget. Also, when we arrived I got to walk around with Annie [Annie Thorísdottir] and we had the most friendly conversation ever. This was an amazing feeling and very inspirational for me.

What will be the next step, what are your future plans with CrossFit and in general?

During the summer I will train as much as I can, and then I will go to study to Vienna from September. I will keep coming home often as the classes are from Monday to Thursday. My goal of course is to make it to the Regionals again next year and possibly even further [the best five of each Regionals qualify for the CrossFit Games which will take place in Carson, California from July 19-24, 2016].

I would like to wish you all the best for the future, thanks a lot for the conversation. 

Videos of Laura's Regional Performance

Below you will find all of Laura's Regionals' performances. For your convenience, the videos will start right before Laura's heat.

Day 1 - May 27, 2016
Day 2 - May 28, 2016
Day 3 - May 28, 2016