The Pro’s and Con’s of X-Element45


The Pro’s and Con’s of the X-Element45 system run by the team at Elements4Life are ultimately defined by the principals of “good coaching”and “good programming”.  Anyone can implement a Workout of the Day (WOD).  Anyone can get someone to do a specific skill.  The key to a good program and good coaching is attention to detail.  This comes from not only the exercises that you prescribe but the attention you provide the individuals (Our clients, members and friends).   Individualisation is paramount.   Something as a coach I pride myself in.   As head coach I install this to my coaching team and I discuss this with our members.  Not always easy but awareness and focus on core principals are integral to the back bone of your coaching philosophy.   Sometimes it makes me a grumpy coach.   I make no apologies for adjusting your form at the expense of your ego.

X-Element45 is a combination of all the training programs available, the science and from what I have learnt so far (Forever learning).  I will continue to improve this program too through progressive learning.  Conventional and unconventional techniques.   Functional movements and sequences.   Crossfit, body weight, calisthenics, heavy lifting, weight training, gym equipment, functional training and aerobic and anaerobic systems.  Using all the planes of movement and focusing on multi-plane sequences.  It is fun.

Sebastian Ellis designed the X-Element45 training program in 2012 with emphasis on the 10 elements of fitness, functional training, unconventional training and traditional training methods and in July 2015 it became a reality when the first E4L Gym was opened. X-Element45 represents the system and the duration of the class. Fire Power, Wind Energy, Earth Core and Water Flow are the 4 programs of the system.

All sessions are 45 minutes of focused programming with a coach. Fire Power is Strength, Lifting and Muscle Development, Wind Energy are High Intensity Anaerobic full body stimulators, Earth Core are workouts for midline development and Water Flow focuses on technique, flexibility and mobility. All programs are written and programmed by the experienced coaches, not by a computer, with clear progressions, regressions and attention to technique. All programs are different, constantly varied and we utilise the entire gym and all the equipment. All 10 elements of fitness are covered throughout the week of training. X-Element45 is an effective structured program that specialises in a mix of “Functional Training” and “Traditional Training” with specific varied daily programming to provide the complete environmental challenges to stimulate the nervous system towards physical, mental and emotional change. These classes will shred fat, sculpt the body, build muscle and increase your strength to amazing levels and unlike any other class or system. Why? We focus on the 10 Elements of Fitness. We use all proven methods of training and bring them into one ultimate system. The ultimate fitness program. Included in the program are High Intensity (HIIT) small group classes that shred fat faster than any other method of training. Indoor & Outdoor environments will also be utilised. 1000’s of exercises to ensure a constantly varied program but with focus on the foundation movements and multi-planar functional sequences. We have combined all the benefits and science of Crossfit, martial arts, athletic performance, strength & conditioning, 45 minute principals, aerobic & anaerobic training, and combined them into one highly effective training system. Work on all 10 elements of fitness and become the person you really want to be. These classes suit all fitness levels as your Elements4Life Coach will guide you to perform better technique and teach you a better understanding of your body and mental limits. Class Types – Fire Power, Wind Energy, Water Flow, Earth Core, HIIT, Punch, Technique & Mobility, Saturday Super Session and Beginners. Every class will be different. The “Workout of The Day” (WOD) will be outlined on the whiteboard.

One thing I have noticed is the affection to certain training philosophies.  For example Crossfit.

CrossFit is one of the hottest workout “trends” these days. It has grown exponentially and has people moving that is for sure.  I enjoy it but I find the programs a little one dimensional.  They lack attention to the individual.   This is only relevant to the coaches but I am confident that there are many coaches who don’t have the goods when it comes to an understanding of human movement or a focus on the individual.   Lazy? Ill-informed? I think Crossfit will evolve in time as training system and hopefully will be adapted and adjusted for the general public in accordance to an understanding of duty of care and with a focus of individualisation.

As a strength and fitness coach and one who prides themselves on technique or at least the awareness of good form, I am a huge believer and supporter of any new or existing training system as long as it’s safe.  It must be functional and it must be safe for my clients.  Short term and long term.   This makes sense!  Sport specific training is relative to the individual and is not,  and should not be a staple program delivered to the general public as a whole.

I have looked at the Crossfit protocols, the advantages and the disadvantages and taken from it what I can and implemented them into my X-Element45 program.  What I have done is also add clear principals of personalisation, multi level programming with a focus on all the elements of fitness, without deviation, and ensured a clear focus of scalability is applied to all clients (Progressions & Regressions).  We train our coaches well in this area.  Our groups are capped at 12 to ensure attention can be applied at all times.  Sometimes we have two coaches.  If a coach is in doubt, we will cease your movement and adjust to ensure correction.

What are the Pro’s of X-Element45! 

#1: Very Strong Community

We recruit like minded people and ensure they feel comfortable with each other and with themselves.  This can take time for some, that is ok, but as a team we can progress and enjoy other peoples victories.   All in a fully equipped gym with all the training tools required for the ultimate training experience.

#2: Exciting and Safe Atmosphere

We kick ass when we need too.  We have several sessions per week designated for beast mode and we push each other.  The coach however has ultimate control over the session, safety and adrenaline/ego never becomes the reason for bad form.  Our coaches will tell you to step it up when you’re tired and they will push you when you want to give up.  We will stop you when it is required.   Add some Psy trance, Deep Progressive house, 80’s, 90’s and a good solid beat (Just like your heart rate) and you are going to enjoy the atmosphere at Elements4Life.

300 only members = More gym space for YOU! Nothing worse than a gym full of people you don’t know.   You will get to know everyone at E4L.

Atmosphere is more than screaming and yelling.  It is the energy you feel.  It is a sense of feeling safe, welcome and respected.  

#3: Competition / Goals/ Assessments

We have not forgotten natural human competition.   Competition is an awesome tool.  It helps motivate you to do an extra set and extra reps and it is always motivating to watch others pushing just as hard as you…or harder.  This applies for all testing and goals.  The best competition you have is against yourself.   Set your own goals and go for it.

At Elements4Life we have installed a great training regime.  We have a core set of principals and they are discussed.  We are on the same team.   Same end goal and that is a better life.  A longer life.  A stronger life.

#4: Personalisation

Personalisation is customising a training program for an individual.  Our Focus PT sessions are the best for this type of training no doubt but in the X-Element45 program each coach is trained to monitor and adjust accordingly to individuals.  If someone does not have the mobility or capacity to execute the session they are either given a completely different skill or asked to follow a different program.

We will never make the mistake of assigning the same workout for both advanced trainees and beginners.  This is a massive mistake.  We have beginner classes and again our coaches are trained to identify situations of adjustment.  As head coach, I will always step into a session run by another coach, if required, and lend a helping hand or share insight to form and technique.

#5: Programming

Programming to us at Elements4Life is everything! Results can only come from clear and understood programming.  Safe and effective programming.  Consistent variation and stimulation to the nervous system can be applied with out hammering the physical elements and capacity of the human body every time you train.  The WODS should never be a by product of your own capacity as a coach or ego.  You need to address the skill level and mobility of the individual. What are their specific needs?  Everyone is unique and has different strengths and weaknesses. Personalisation focuses in on weaknesses and corrects them while enhancing strength.

Great programming essentially prevents injury. Focused personalisation is the key to true fitness

This is what sets us apart from Crossfit as a protocol.  A high number of CrossFit instructors don’t “program” as they follow WOD’s posted on forums, websites and of course  They simply implement these predetermined WOD’s to their clients.  This causes serious problems.  Ask any physiotherapist.  Ask that rotator cuff how it is travelling.  Bursa?  I know as I have been there and experienced it.  Crossfit is a niche, one I respect and enjoy but it is not designed for the general population who are looking to take that step towards better health.  There are some exceptional Crossfit coaches out there, I know many, but are they watching all their clients, individualising programs and applying a greater duty of care based on the workouts they prescribe? Maybe…maybe not.  Most likely not! What about the other coaches under their wing?  What are their operating procedures structured around? Do they in fact have an operating procedure for coaching?  This is not taking anything away from Crossfit.  If you are an advanced athlete or after an advanced form of strength and conditioning to complement your X-Element45 fitness program then definitely give it a go.  I can recommend several great coaches.

A WOD consists of both power and strength lifts/skills mixed together into one high intensity interval. Therefore, applying a random WOD isn’t going to address anyone’s specific needs but can support a general program of variation which is integral to success.  More care is required hence why we have our set principals and protocols at Elements4Life.   It comes down to the coaches.

Don’t blame them if you don’t train them

#6: Scalability

At Elements for life we have a WOD but it is broken up into clear stages with focus on different elements and skills.  This gives us the ability to scale and also focus on different levels of mobility and key areas of development.  Specific mobility and beginner sessions are also available for all members.  Not one workout is ever implemented onto a client who is incapable of correct execution.   Scaling is a priority at Elements4Life.

#7: The variety of training tools

New toys are always on the shopping list.  We have maces, clubs, rings and barbells, sandbags, dumbbells, kettle bells and functional trainers, cable machines, suspension systems and prowler sleds.  Box, skip, lift, press, throw, jump, strike, push, pull, turn and twist.

Unlimited X-Element45 Normal Price ONLY $45 P/W (As of March 2015)

This is best price around, too cheap really for the quality of coaching and for an extremely effective program where you will develop your skills, gain true fitness, access to a fully equipped gym with full lifestyle services.

Elements4Life – is paving the way for a better fitness industry.  Higher duty of care, effective training, safer environment and better systems.

Reviews & Comparisons:

The Commercial Gyms – Over crowded, cheaper entry memberships, bastardising the industry by price, rather sterile environments (subjective opinion) and very little community focus except for small internal groups that cause human separation.  Simply do not have focused coaching programs, some PT systems, but not likely high level coaches.   Their focus is your gym membership fee, not your results.  They focus on large group “entertainment” type programs. Not individualisation, technique or progression.  Good for a casual visit but not great for true fitness and long term results.  Best results are found with great coaches, supportive communities and with individualisation.

24/7 Gyms – They provide gym access, limited equipment but do not provide any services beyond taking your membership fee for the hire and use of equipment. No Kettlebells, No Bench Press Barbell, or 40kg Dumbbell allowed during non staffed times.  These equipment items are essential.

Women Only  – Female only environment is never healthy nor does it promote high level lifting, technique or progression.  Generally, you will not find a deadlift or back squat at this type of gym and this is a mistake. Again, mid level coaches and basic programs around a general population.  Too much of a comfort zone is created.  You will be surprised what you can learn from training with males.

CrossFit – Designed for elite athletes, little regard for individualisation and no gym access outside session hours.   Some great coaches but limited focus on the individual and more on the results based around the WOD. Speed over technique and quality is normal protocol.

Americanised 45 Minute Circuit Gyms – Cult based training communities who are ignorant of the science of true health and fitness.  Missing key elements of training that are integral for changeEntire network was designed to make fast money via franchising, selling to trainers who were desperate for a start out business of their own. These cult based gyms focus on hype, celebrity associations, contain limited to no individuation, large group training sessions without any consistent focus on technique or progression.  All programs are computer generated circuits that don’t focus on the key elements of training that bring success.  Great for fun and maybe a 6 week conditioning phase but not a long term solution to society health issues.

The Con’s

If the system has any negatives, it would be purely subjective, as our members and retention levels are extremely high.  Our injury list is low to non existent.  Our results show for themselves.    The smiles and community is our voice.  The progression is our strength. Our diligence, effort and focus on all the Elements of Fitness is our key.

The Summary

The summary of all this is that the X-Element45 program is an “evolution” in programming.  We don’t aim on being the revolution however we will evolve.   X-Element45 combines all the great elements of training and the tools in the gym but ensures the principals outlined above are always in place for each and every session. This will bring greater results, a safer environment and a less strenuous programming system without frying the nervous system.  We keep our players on the field as no one is any good sitting on the sidelines watching (Except to bring us water)

Are you getting the most out of your gym membership?

Join Elements4Life TODAY!

Sebastian Jago Ellis

Head Coach @ Elements4Life


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