News & Events← Older posts Newer posts → February 28, 2011
There are many elements of the sport of fitness (aka CrossFit) that have a tremendous amount of appeal to beginners and seasoned athletes alike. The variety of workouts, level of coaching, intensity of metcons, the community that forms, the PR’s, the stopwatch, the benchmark workouts…there area ton of reasons why people come back…and come back…and come back…and come back.
We think CrossFit is great; otherwise, we wouldn’t have opened the gym. But too much of a good thing, can be, well, too much. To go from couch potato to CrossFitter takes time, consistent effort, and smart training. Here are a few tips for all of the newbies (and some of you old-bies, too) to help keep your body in top shape as you begin to get into the best shape of your life:
1. More is not always better. Four Crossfit classes per week are better than two, but that doesn’t mean that six classes is better than four. If you roll out of bed to go to your sixth consecutive day’s workout and every muscle is sore, stay home. Shift your focus from quantity to quality. If you are going really heavy during the lifts, and you’re pushing yourself to your limit during each and every metcon, you might be best off with an extra rest day thrown in there every once in a while. Use the rest day to practice a sport, go for a light jog or a walk, or just hop on a foam roller while watching TV. Which brings me to my next point…
2. Rest and Recover. Recovering from a workout, believe it or not, isn’t about getting your breath back or waiting until you stop sweating. Recovery is what happens to your muscles, joints, tendons and brain when you leave the gym. You can work hard for 1 hour a day, but what about the other 23?
Meals. As much as you’d like to, you can’t erase bad eating habits with an extra hard workout. Think about what you are eating and what it’s doing to your body. Before you eat anything, ask yourself “Is this helping or hurting my body?” Just about all of your meals throughout the day should consist of Grassfed/free-range meat, fish or eggs, with a big serving of vegetables cooked in oil, butter (from Grassfed cows only) or topped with avocado.
Sleep. Get more of it! Turn out the lights 30 minutes earlier than you normally do now. Your body needs this time for cellular repair, and your brain needs some down time, too. Sleep in a pitch black room; invest in some heavyweight curtains that block out all of the light. It’ll dramatically affect your quality of sleep.
Lifestyle. Avoid unnecessary stress. The body is meant to handle a certain amount of acute stress, but long periods of chronic stress tend to throw the hormonal system all out of whack, resulting in fatigue, depression, belly fat, and other unsavory physical and mental symptoms. Exercise = good stress. A high stress job, unruly kids, late night boozing, and relationship unrest = bad stress. If you are having stress issues, try to identify (or create) one fraction of your life that is completely stress free. It might only the length of a TV show, a chapter of a book, a new hobby or a morning cup of coffee in silence, but be sure to find it and take advantage of it as much as possible.
Muscle and Tendon Repair. You are currently engaged in a training regimen not far off from that of a high level athlete. Your body is constantly adapting to new stresses, and is being pushed around, flexed and stretched in ways it isn’t used to. Initial signs of a hard workout, which include sore and tight muscles, should not be ignored. If you have chronic soreness or tightness in any part of your body, invest in a foam roller, a lacrosse ball, and spend some time at at the Mobility WOD Website to find new ways to become mobile and pain-free.
3. Scale It! The weights in our metcons are chosen on an individual basis, so that everyone can scale the weight to a level that will guarantee they finish within a few seconds to minutes of everyone else in the room. The quantity of reps and rounds, however, can also be adjusted. This presents the opportunity to scale UP or DOWN, depending on your ability. You know your body best, and as you work out here you will get to know, and push, its limits. Pushing your limits is great ( our advice is usually to go heavier, move faster, dig deeper), but working through pain, or grinding out super-slow reps, in a stubborn effort to get the work done, is not smart. If you see something on the board that seems utterly impossible, ask one of the trainers about scaling options. For the most part, we stick to short and intense metcons, but days with close to 100 reps of one movement do sometimes appear, and if your body isn’t equipped to handle the repetitive stress, it might be wise to scale back.
4. Exercise in cycles. Our life runs in cycles of intensity and down time. Intensity is necessary to survive (gotta pay the bills and keep yourself and your family healthy) and downtime is necessary to thrive. School breaks, vacation, weekends, social time, reading, etc are things that occur regularly to give your body and mind a break. Your training program should also provide you with periods of downtime. In addition to taking a few rest days per week, try setting aside 1 week every 4-6 weeks when you lift at sub-maximal weights, and leave a little gas in the tank during your metcon. Sure, you numbers won’t look as impressive on the whiteboard that day, but you are training for life, not for the whiteboard and a little break from the intensity is good for your body. Then, you’ll have no excuse for not crushing the workouts for the following 4-6 weeks. Some of you might benefit from this more than others, or find it suitable at different times in your training, so we’re leaving this one up to you to fit in on your own.
5. Consult a Professional. If you have joint, muscle or tendon pain that persists, book an appointment with a physical therapist, chiropractor or sports massage therapist ASAP. If your pain isn’t life-altering, avoid heading to the orthopedist right away (most are surgeons), and stick to a manual therapy for some natural relief first. A few sessions at any of these medical professionals, and some at-home rehab exercises, and you should be good as new. By routinely getting your body assessed and corrected, you will almost certainly avoid serious injuries that result in surgery or an inability (gasp!) to continue your workout program.
As your trainers, we want you to be healthy and strong. Our CrossFit gym is a place of high energy and intensity, filled with healthy and happy athletes. Let’s keep it that way. Happy Training!Posted in News & Events | 1 Comment February 4, 2011
And this guy.Posted in News & Events | 1 Comment February 1, 2011
Nutrition is a HUGELY IMPORTANT part of health, longevity, internal health, metabolic processes, weight maintenance, and performance in the gym.
Without proper nutrition, you will never reach your full potential in the gym or in life.
To help our members get caught up to speed about nutrition and it’s role in your heath, longevity and performance in the gym, we’ve put together a Beginner’s Guide to Eating Real Food.
If you joined our gym back in it’s ‘garage days’, or you have previous experience with CrossFit, you may already have already read about or practiced the concepts discussed in the guide. However, it never hurts to brush up on your nutrition know-how! For the rest of you, this may be the very first time you’ve even thought about your diet, or you might read things in our guide that go against the things that you’ve been told by the media, your family, or even your doctor.
The things that will be discussed in the Guide are:
1. What to Eat (and what not to eat)
2. Three Small Steps to take to eat only real foods
3. A 30 Day plan for jump starting healthy eating habits
4. A real life example of cooking a week’s worth of food in just one hour
5. Sample shopping lists and grocery shopping tips
6. A guide of additional resources on eating well.
The guide is just that – a simple beginner’s resource with general recommendations that are based on the scientific findings in the areas of nutrition, auto-immune disease, obesity & diabetes, and metabolic processes. The information discussed is a reflection of our viewpoints as they relate to the findings. We encourage all members to read, research and learn as much as they can, in addition to the information that we provide.
Be on the lookout for this printed Guide in early March!Posted in News & Events | Leave a comment January 30, 2011
We had an awesome time at Elite Climbing today! Over 20 members/friends came out, most of whom have never climbed before. Some conquered their fears, and others were fearless. Overall, everyone had a great time and learned a few new skills! And most probably have sore forearms to show for it.News & Events | 1 Comment January 27, 2011
CrossFit is nearly impossible to explain to someone who hasn’t tried it yet, or even to a brand new member. CrossFit is so much more than the concept of ”moving heavy loads across distance for time”, or the notion of constantly varying the workouts to provide maximum neurological and physical response and adaptation. Those descriptions are boring, anyhow.
CrossFit means something different to everyone involved, and it’s up to us, your trainers, to make sure that all new members are enjoying their CrossFit experience and that they understand what’s going on around them.
Our friends over at CrossFit Delaware Valley wrote up a great article on “10 Tips For Success For the CrossFit Newbie”. They are spot on, and we couldn’t have said it better ourselves, so we won’t try.
CLICK HERE to read the 10 Tips, and feel free to add in any other comments/thoughts/tips for newbies in the Comments section of this post.
Our goal is to educate our members and allow everyone to experience CrossFit in their own way. Hopefully these 10 Tips will help answer some of your initial questions about what you’re doing in the gym and why you’re doing it. Learn a lot and have fun with it! See you in class.Posted in News & Events | Leave a comment January 26, 2011
WHAT IT IS
The CrossFit Games is the Olympics of CrossFit. It’s a yearly competition among international CrossFitters to see who is the “Fittest on Earth”. The title stems from the notion that CrossFit training produces well-rounded athletes who are ready for any physical challenge that CrossFit, or life, may throw at them. This year’s games will be held at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles, California on the weekend of July 29-31.
The pool of competitors begins in the tens of thousands, and gets narrowed down to dozens who compete in one of five divisions – Men, Women, Men Masters (50+), Women Masters (50+), and Affiliate Team.
For athletes, the first round of competition begins on March 15th, when the first workout of the ‘sectional’ competition is announced. Athletes around the world then have 4 days to complete the workout and either capture their performance on video or do it with other athletes and judges at a sanctioned affiliate gym. The next week, the same thing happens. This goes on for six weeks!
After an individual completes those 6 workouts, the pool of competitors is narrowed down to hundreds. These athletes compete at a regional event (usually 3-4 workouts in the course of a weekend) in the spring ( place and date TBD, but Justin and I will be going to watch, if anyone is interested in joining!). A select number of athletes is then chosen to compete in California in July.
Live coverage of the Games is available online, so every CrossFitter can watch the best in the sport compete against one another to determine who is the Fittest on Earth. This year, Reebok is the main sponsor of the Games and has donated a $1 million dollar purse for the winners, with the winning male and female each receiving $250,000.
Think you’ve got what it takes to compete?
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE ABOUT IT
1. It’s fun to watch other people perform incredible feats of strength, power and stamina.
2. It reminds you that you are part of something much larger than what goes on within the walls of your gym.
3. It’s an opportunity to show your family and friends that you do the same training regimen as some of the fittest people on earth.
4. Watching others compete will motivate you to try even harder in the gym, and do things that you never thought possible.
5. The Games is CrossFit’s chance to show the world that our athletes are doing some truly amazing things on a regular basis, and that working out doesn’t have to be boring.
6. You’ll know who we’re talking about when Justin and I mention names like “Khalipa, Speal, Heather Bergeron, Kristan Clever, Iceland Annie” and more. Join in the conversation!
Here are a few pictures from the 2010 CrossFit Games. Archived coverage of the entire event is available online at live.crossfit.comNews & Events | 2 Comments January 24, 2011
Jack LaLanne, the “Godfather of Fitness”, passed away at age 96 on Sunday, January 23rd. He was a pioneer in the fitness industry, encouraging those around him to engage in regular exercise at a time when exercise was not fashionable. He was also a public advocate of eating real foods, and has been quoted ”If man made it, don’t eat it”. Sound familiar?
The progress you have made, or are about to make, as well as the relationships and bonds you’ll soon form with fellow CrossFitters is due in part to Jack LaLanne’s work in the fields of exercise and diet. He paved the way for fitness greats after him, and the core concepts of CrossFit are based on many of the same notions that he held in such high regard in his own fitness regemin.
Here are some of his feats of strength, iron will, and endurance:
Jack LaLanne accomplished all of these, OVER THE AGE OF 40.
- 1954 (age 40): swam the entire length of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, underwater, with 140 pounds (64 kg; 10 st) of equipment, including two air tanks. A world record.
- 1955 (age 41): swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco while handcuffed. When interviewed afterwards he was quoted as saying that the worst thing about the ordeal was being handcuffed, which reduced his chance to Star Jump significantly.
- 1956 (age 42): set a world record of 1,033 push-ups in 23 minutes on You Asked For It, a television program with Art Baker.
- 1957 (age 43): swam the Golden Gate channel while towing a 2,500-pound (1,100 kg; 180 st) cabin cruiser. The swift ocean currents turned this one-mile (1.6 km) swim into a swimming distance of 6.5 miles (10.5 km).
- 1958 (age 44): maneuvered a paddleboard nonstop from Farallon Islands to the San Francisco shore. The 30-mile (48 km) trip took 9.5 hours.
- 1959 (age 45): did 1,000 star jumps and 1,000 chin-ups in 1 hour, 22 minutes and The Jack LaLanne Show went nationwide.
- 1974 (age 60): For the second time, he swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf. Again, he was handcuffed, but this time he was also shackled and towed a 1,000-pound (450 kg; 71 st) boat.
- 1975 (age 61): Repeating his performance of 21 years earlier, he again swam the entire length of the Golden Gate Bridge, underwater and handcuffed, but this time he was shackled and towed a 1,000-pound (450 kg; 71 st) boat.
- 1976 (age 62): To commemorate the “Spirit of ’76″, United States Bicentennial, he swam one mile (1.6 km) in Long Beach Harbor. He was handcuffed and shackled, and he towed 13 boats (representing the 13 original colonies) containing 76 people.
- 1979 (age 65): towed 65 boats in Lake Ashinoko, near Tokyo, Japan. He was handcuffed and shackled, and the boats were filled with 6,500 pounds (2,900 kg; 460 st) of Louisiana Pacific wood pulp.
- 1980 (age 66): towed 10 boats in North Miami, Florida. The boats carried 77 people, and he towed them for over one mile (1.6 km) in less than one hour.
- 1984 (age 70): Handcuffed, shackled and fighting strong winds and currents, towed 70 rowboats, one with several guests, from the Queen’s Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary, 1 mile.
Jack showed us that regular activity and eating real foods can make a drastic difference in the vitality and physical capabilities of a person, even well into their later years.
”The only way you can hurt the body is not use it,” he said.”Inactivity is the killer and, remember, it’s never too late.”
Take a moment today to reflect on how exercise and eating habits are starting to shape your lifestyle, and how they affect your mood, vitality, relationships, family, and social life. How will exercise and diet help your future? Your lifespan? Your self-sufficiency as you age?Posted in News & Events | 3 Comments January 19, 2011
Tony Schwartz wrote an article for the Harvard Business Review that summarized the “6 Keys to Being Excellent at Anything”
Below is the list of 6 key factors that he believes can create an exceptional performer at any task.
This reminds us a lot of the type of practice that goes into becoming a CrossFit athlete….
- Pursue what you love. Passion is an incredible motivator. It fuels focus, resilience, and perseverance.
- Do the hardest work first. We all move instinctively toward pleasure and away from pain. Most great performers, Ericsson and others have found, delay gratification and take on the difficult work of practice in the mornings, before they do anything else. That’s when most of us have the most energy and the fewest distractions.
- Practice intensely, without interruption for short periods of no longer than 90 minutes and then take a break. Ninety minutes appears to be the maximum amount of time that we can bring the highest level of focus to any given activity.
- Seek expert feedback, in intermittent doses. The simpler and more precise the feedback, the more equipped you are to make adjustments. Too much feedback, too continuously, however, can create cognitive overload, increase anxiety, and interfere with learning.
- Take regular renewal breaks. Relaxing after intense effort not only provides an opportunity to rejuvenate, but also to metabolize and embed learning. It’s also during rest that the right hemisphere becomes more dominant, which can lead to creative breakthroughs.
- Ritualize practice. Will and discipline are wildly overrated. As the researcher Roy Baumeister has found, none of us have very much of it. The best way to insure you’ll take on difficult tasks is to ritualize them — build specific, inviolable times at which you do them, so that over time you do them without having to squander energy thinking about them.
Do these 6 key factors apply to the way you pursue your fitness goals? If not, what could you change to make sure that you continue to make linear progress and avoid plateaus?
Keep this list in mind over the course of the year as you continue to make progress in the sport of fitness.
An expert CrossFitter values all six.Posted in News & Events | Leave a comment January 13, 2011
If someone asked you today “Who are you?”, what would you say?
Would you say that you are a devoted spouse, a loving child, a motivated employee, an exceptional parent, a good friend?
Would you say that you are an athlete?
It might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it’s certainly true. Why? Because…
Athletes have focused goals.
Athletes have teammates and camraderie.
Athletes train hard, even when they don’t feel like it.
Athletes sometimes feel sore, broken down, and come back for more.
Athletes don’t make excuses.
Athletes compete against one another, and against themselves.
Athletes track their progress.
Athletes have coaches to guide and correct them.
Athletes understand what they are doing, and why they are doing it.
Athletes know the value of nutrition, recovery and sleep.
Athletes have an emotional connection to their sport; they feel anxious, scared, excited, happy, proud and sometimes defeated.
Athletes (the good ones) try their hardest at every practice and in every game.
Athletes are never satisfied. They can always be stronger, faster, better.
You are an athlete.
CrossFit is your sport.
Show up to your next class ready to work hard and prove yourself to your team, your coach, and most importantly, to yourself.Posted in News & Events | Leave a comment January 11, 2011
Both Wednesday morning classes will be canceled due to severe weather and slippery roads.
Stay safe! We’ll post the WOD at the normal time on Wednesday morning. Feel free to work out at home if you have the equipment, or join us for the 6pm class.Posted in News & Events | Leave a comment ← Older posts Newer posts →