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The Intensity of CrossFit and Why It Is Misunderstand

The Intensity of CrossFit and Why It Is Misunderstand

CrossFit by definition is functional movements performed at high intensity across broad time and modal domains. Broken down this means: Functional Movement- You are not strapped into a machine. You must use your entire body and all your physical attributes to accomplish the movement. These are the movements that prepare us for everyday life and makes us healthier, stronger humans. High Intensity- CrossFit has the reputation of being “too hard” or “too intense.” But there are different levels of intensity and those need to be understand by the coaches and the athletes. More on this in a second. Broad  Time- We like to train all different time variables.  From :30 to 30 minutes and everywhere in between (Sometimes even longer) Modal Domain- This is whatever you are doing that day. Could be gymnastics, weightlifting, running, biking, or swimming. Or it can be all three. Now that we cleared up the definition of CrossFit I want to focus on one aspect. High Intensity. There is a word missing from the definition that needs to be understood. Ready? It is a game changer…. RELATIVE High Intensity. This needs to be understood from day one. CrossFit is in fact FOR EVERYONE. Everyone can do it and everyone can benefit from it. The issue is that most people think that CrossFit is too intense for them or they have to be in shape before even trying out CrossFit.   Intensity is an important part of the program. Constantly varied functional movements performed at a relative high intensity. This is where the results are made.  But intensity is like a powerful drug. You want to... read more
What’s All the Hype About Fish Oil Anyways?

What’s All the Hype About Fish Oil Anyways?

  I am sure that at one point or another myself or someone else has encouraged you to take fish oil. You’ve probably been told that it “helps with inflammation”.  I think that people here this and they assume it is just like any other supplement and therefore they don’t take the recommendation too seriously.  I will say, however, that fish oil (or algae oil if you don’t eat fish) is probably the #1 supplement you should be adding to your diet.    I do not recommend very many supplements for a couple of reasons. The main being that most people simply don’t need them. I think of most supplements as fun. To me periodically going to Vitamin Shoppe and trying out something new is like getting a new pair of workout pants. Not necessary for my fitness, but sometimes it just makes you feel good and makes you WANT to workout. But all in all, *most* supplements do little to no actual good. They make grand claims that they can’t actually back up and for the majority of people they would do the best saving their money and just eating real, whole foods.  The other reason I don’t recommend them often is that without blood work you really don’t really know if you need them. Magnesium is a big buzz in the fitness world and while it may not harm you supplementing with it you really have no idea if you need it or not without getting blood work done. It has been likened to trying to fix someones deadlift without ever actually seeing them deadlift. You can... read more
Midline Stabilization

Midline Stabilization

Way cooler than 6-Pack Abs   I know I get it, abs are sexy. Everyone is judged in our society by how flat their stomach is or how many abs they have. Well, I am calling bullshit on it. Who cares what you look like if your body can’t function and perform the way you want it to. CrossFitters come into the box to perform and accomplish some extraordinary feats of strength that the regular everyday person just wouldn’t understand. Are we all ripped out of our minds with an 6 pack under our shirts? Nope, definitely not. A 6 pack does not mean a strong core.  In reality “core strength” means spinal stability, and this goes far beyond our abs.   Midline stability relies not only on your core musculature but on your body’s prime movers too. These include the muscles in your hips, glutes, hamstrings and spinal erectors. Midline stability refers to the capacity to maintain a neutral spine under load through a full range of motion. It takes awareness and control of all these muscles to keep the spine stiff and stable, from the top of the head to the base of the sacrum. The ability to maintain a stable midline goes the other way too; it allows you to utilize the prime movers more efficiently.   In CrossFit, we don’t “Do Abs.” We are training our midline daily through everything we do. Some of the most basic movements will develop your core. Take the farmers walk for example. Pick up a weight and carry it from point A to point B. Walk with a tall... read more
World Class Fitness In 100 words

World Class Fitness In 100 words

World Class Fitness In 100 words Why It Comes Down To Only 4   “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports.” ~Greg Glassman- Founder of CrossFit   We have all decided that we want to live a healthier and happier life. That is why 99% of us started CrossFit. I can probably bump that up to 100% because even the elite athletes probably started CrossFit for this exact reason. CrossFit is not about spending countless hours in the gym. It is about increasing your fitness so you can do all the things you love and desire with ease. Doing CrossFit will lead to a healthy and happier life but you still have to live it.   This is why the last sentence of Glassman’s description of world class fitness is the most important….   “Regularly learn and play new sports.”   Look past the word sport. Do not take it in a literal sense. Peel back these 4 words…   Play. Learn. New. Regularly.   Here is the key to a happier and healthy life. No... read more
Tips for combating sugar cravings

Tips for combating sugar cravings

    Two weeks ago we spoke about why you shouldn’t always be looking to replace your favorite foods with sugar free options. For some of you, though, it’s not simple enough to say “I’m going to stop eating so much sugar” as sugar is so addictive and helps many people get through their afternoon hump or is their go-to after a long stressful day.  Why is this? Sugar creates a surge of energy and feel-good brain chemicals. Like a drug, your body craves that initial high more and more.    How can you work towards eating less? Start by looking for patterns. A lot of people tend to have certain times of day when they crave it more. Maybe it’s at 2 in the afternoon as you’re starting to need a pick me up or maybe it’s at night when you’re sitting in front of the TV. Whatever it may be, you must first understand when it’s happening to understand the underlying cause.   If you NEED sugar or an unhealthy snack to get your through your afternoon, chances are you’re either not eating regularly enough or you’re not eating enough nutrients. Be sure to eat every 2-3 hours and aim to eat 1-2 serving of vegetables at every meal. This will help make sure your blood sugar stays stable throughout the day and you never have that feeling of ‘I need to eat NOW’ which often leads to making poor food choices.  If you tend to eat large amounts of snack foods during times of mindless activity (watching tv, driving in the car etc) part of the... read more
You’re going on a diet!

You’re going on a diet!

You’re going on a diet. Immediately the cravings hit and you want to go for your favorite snack or soda. Not wanting to break your diet you notice some sugar free options are available that will give you your fix without killing your progress. But are they really worth it? Consider this thought before you head for the sugar free food. I could launch in to the potential long term risks that eating sugar free foods could lead to, but I assume most of you know this already. If you don’t, perhaps you could do some research. Instead I’m going to talk about how they affect your taste buds and future progress. If you have a lot troubles with consuming too many simple carbs (white breads, pasta, cereal etc) and too much sugar, you likely have a bit of a sugar addiction. Sugar is highly addictive. That’s why when we go on a diet your automatic reaction is to try to replace it with something equally as sweet. Maybe the sugar free options don’t have the same caloric affect, but the affect on the addiction is just as (if not more) damaging. Sugar free foods feed in to your sweet tooth and soon the foods you eat need to taste sweeter and sweeter to satisfy your craving. I know quite a few people who go on big calorie cuts and do so by loading up on sugar free foods. They lose the weight, but as soon as they’re done they go right back in to the bad eating habits they had previously (sometimes even worse than before). Why? Because... read more
The Fittest Community on Earth

The Fittest Community on Earth

The Fittest Community on Earth “The CrossFit Games are the world’s premier test to find the Fittest on Earth™. They are world-renowned as a grueling test for the toughest athletes on Earth as well as a thrilling experience for spectators. Since its inception in 2007, the CrossFit Games have become “one of the fastest growing sports in America,” according to Forbes. The Games were created to fill a void—no other true test of fitness existed. From Ironman triathlons to the NFL, all other athletic events neglected to accurately test fitness. Even decathlons, while testing a relatively wide range of abilities, missed vital components of physical fitness. The CrossFit Games events are made up of a broad range of functional movements. Functional movements move large loads, long distances, quickly. These movements also form the basis of our exercise program. Make no mistake—the CrossFit Games are designed to test, not train, fitness. The goal is to find the fittest athletes, not to produce an easily replicable workout program.” This is what the CrossFit Games are on paper but they are so much more than just a test of fitness. They highlight the true community of CrossFit. Thousands and thousands of CrossFit members and fitness fanatics gather every summer to watch the fittest athletes in the world compete. There is no bigger gathering of like minded individuals then the CrossFit Games. A community of people with one general understanding of being the best possible human being you can be. There is no other sport in the world where the last place finisher receives the loudest cheers and their fellow competitors come over... read more
CrossFit is one big mental game

CrossFit is one big mental game

CrossFit is one big mental game. There’s so many factors that contribute to our successes and/or failures. The big ones are obvious: Nutrition, mechanics, consistency, dedication… but some of the smaller ones can get overlooked because we don’t see how they relate to our athletic ability. One of those is your attitude. CrossFit is competitive. It’s hard. It’s taxing. But why did we all stick with it? Because despite all of that it was FUN! We loved the people working out next to us, we loved the coach yelling at us to push out one more rep and then collapsing on the floor feeling accomplished. But then, somewhere along the way, maybe you stopped having fun. Maybe you have a nagging injury, maybe your progress isn’t moving as fast as it was, maybe someone new is becoming better than you. And slowly but surely you start dreading coming to the gym. You look at the WOD and your immediate thoughts are “that’s going to suck”, “so-and-so is going to beat me in this so why should I even try”… and next thing you know you’re going through the motions and the only thing keeping you coming back is knowing that you should workout because it’s good for you. If you’re walking in to the door with those thoughts you’ve already set yourself up for failure. Your ATTITUDE is everything. If you walk in to work with a feeling of dread and the only thing keeping you going to work is the need to keep a roof over your head, you’re going to accomplish the bear minimum (and even that... read more
Stress, Diet, Sleep…Optimize these and say goodbye to pain   

Stress, Diet, Sleep…Optimize these and say goodbye to pain  

Stress, Diet, Sleep…Optimize these and say goodbye to pain         We all started our fitness journey for very similar reasons. We all work our asses off daily to try and reach our goals but for whatever reason some of us fall short no matter how are we try. Well the answer could be the lowest hanging fruit possible. This pyramid is something all CrossFitters should know, memorize, and live by. If you do not have the foundation of the pyramid then the top parts mean nothing! It’s a popular saying that you can’t out train a bad diet and that is 110% accurate. You also can’t recover properly. Now I am not going to go into the Diet aspect of this because we have a world class nutritionist  on staff who will discuss this further in other blog posts (Shout out to Chloe). I will however talk about Stress and Sleep. I know we all live very busy lives and some of you have kids so getting a full 8 hours of sleep is nearly impossible. If you honestly look at your schedule and life, is there an opportunity to get more sleep? I am going to go ahead and say yes. Start a schedule. Stick to the schedule. Do not stay up late binge watching Game of Thrones or Orange Is The New Black. Why? Because you busted your ass in the gym today and your muscles need time to recover. That happens when you are sleeping! Get on a schedule and make it a priority to stick with it. Fall off a day or... read more
WHY YOU SHOULD DITCH THE WEIGHT BELT

WHY YOU SHOULD DITCH THE WEIGHT BELT

WHY YOU SHOULD DITCH THE WEIGHT BELT And the Knee Sleeves, Lifters, and Wrist Wraps Before I get into this I first want to clear something up. If you have a pre existing injury that requires you to use accessory gear to safely lift then this post is not directed towards you. This is directed towards the athlete who has no history of injuries and is capable of hitting all positions. With that being said let me begin. Today’s programming calls for a 1 rep max. Any lift. Front Squat, Deadlift, Clean, Snatch, Overhead Squat. Awesome. Athletes love to lift heavy and often. It looks cool, you can brag about it, and you can post it on Instagram. The problem is everyone wants to go heavy but they don’t really want to spend the time to develop strength. Are you someone that always puts knee sleeves on, wrist wraps, lifters, and a belt on to perform certain movements in the gym? At what point do you put them on? Warm ups? 60%? 80%? 90%? PR Attempt? If they go on before 90% then you need to consider spending time without them all together. Can you perform all of the movements you want too without them? Maybe. Maybe not. Ditch them all. For now. This will mean having to take a step back from maybe setting a PR or lifting as heavy as you used to and that can get frustrating but your long term health will thank you. You will spend your time focusing on movement quality, staying engaged and slowly but surely your weights will go back up,... read more

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