Surround yourself with people that believe in you. And never stop trying!
Workout for Friday, May 24
10 minutes of Kipping Practice
T2B, Kipping Swing and Positions
14 min AMRAP
20 Cal Row
Surround yourself with people that believe in you. And never stop trying!
Workout for Friday, May 24
10 minutes of Kipping Practice
T2B, Kipping Swing and Positions
14 min AMRAP
20 Cal Row
Well here’s a study that proves what most of us already know: Social media influencers give bad diet and fitness advice eight times out of nine, research reveals
“A study by a team at University of Glasgow found that just one out of nine leading UK bloggers making weight management claims actually provided accurate and trustworthy information.”
I feel like most of us in the CrossFit world can see through the fake stuff pretty easily, but it can be difficult to know who to trust for any advice online.
If you follow anyone, including this blog, you should always take time to read the full articles and maybe do a bit of your own research from time to time. It’s easy to just read the headlines or see the pictures, but if you’re not getting the full story it is very easy to misunderstand the message. Or, if you’re never doing some extra research you may not know if the information is even valid.
Make sure you know your sources and beware of any “influencers” that make things seem too good to be true - they probably are!
Workout for Thursday, May 23
10 Rounds for Time
7 Hang Power Cleans (95/65)
7 Front Squats
7 Shoulder to Overhead
Run 1 Lap
*25 min Time Cap
Happy Wednesday!!! A couple reminders for upcoming dates:
1) Memorial Day Murph is Monday, May 27th. There will be ONE CLASS at 8:30am. Please sign in ahead of time to give us a heads up for how many will be attending (there is no cap on this class, the more the merrier!).
2) Next Wednesday, May 29th, is Wednesday Friendsday! Bring a friend, family member, or co-worker to come try CrossFit for the first time. The workouts will always be great for regularly attending members and modifiable for beginners.
3) There will be no 7pm class on Thursday, May 30th! We will be having a coaches development meeting during that time to work on providing you the best workout experience possible through great coaching.
Workout for Wednesday, May 22
5X5 @ 60% to 70%
Run 1 Mile
There’s a reason (or reasons) we go through the same warm up every time we snatch and clean and jerk. Obviously we are working on the technique of the lifts themselves every time we warm up, but there’s some about a routine that matters when you are doing these technical movements.
Do you have a pre-lift routine? This could go for the snatch, clean, jerk, squat, deadlift, etc…
You should have some type of routine you go through before you take any lift so that every time you lift it is the same. You should have a mental checklist of the things you need to think about before the lift. These won’t be the same for everyone, but you should know what you need to concentrate on.
Every great athlete has a pre-whatever routine. Great basketball players take every free throw the same way, great kickers set up for every field goal the same, and great golfers do the same pre-shot routine.
Check out the post below that talks about Jack Nicklaus’ pre-shot routine and how sticking to his routine kept him calm and focused.
If you have never thought about your pre-lift set up, now is the time. Focus on breathing, bracing, the points of performance you need to hit. Take your time and go through your routine and see if your lifts don’t improve!
Workout for Tuesday, May 21
15 minutes of Handstand Practice
Handstand Push Ups
Here’s a great post about the science of “losing” your gains. As we approach the summer and people are taking more vacations, you may feel like you lose all your progress if you’re out of the gym for a week.
Luckily that’s not true. The research shows that strength, muscle growth, and endurance gains don’t disappear overnight. In fact, it takes 3-6 weeks for any real decrease in size or strength.
And even if your muscles look smaller after time off from training, it is probably because they’re storing less water and glycogen. But have no fear, those will return as you start training again!
Usually we all feel pretty rough during those first few workouts back from a vacation, but it’s not because you actually lost your strength and endurance. It’s most likely because you didn’t eat as well, traveled and sat a lot, and were in a different routine for a while. It takes a little time to readjust, but luckily all those gains you worked for didn’t disappear in a week, even if it might feel like it when you come back.
Workout for Monday, May 20
20 min AMRAP
5 Pull ups
10 Push Ups
15 Air Squats
Happy Friday everyone! I wanted to share this video of a new gymnastics routine I’ve been working on. Hopefully you’ll see it at the gym soon!
Workout for Friday, May 17
Build to 1RM Strict Press for Today (from floor)
Rest and Set Bar to Percentage of 1RM
5X5 Strict Press @ 60% to 70% of Today's 1RM
9 Bar Hop Burpees
9 Shoulder to Overhead
*S2O weight is 70% of 1RM Strict Press for today.
Here’s a good video from Catalyst Athletics showing the correct contact point with the thighs and bar in the clean. He gives some tips on how to get the bar to the correct spot and how to keep it close throughout the pull.
One of the most common mistakes we see with the clean (and snatch) is not keeping the bar close enough. There a lots of reasons why this can happen, but usually slowing down in the first pull (from the ground to above the knee) will help fix a lot of problems.
If you do not feel contact with the bar on your upper thigh during your cleans, reducing the weight you are lifting and taking your time off the floor will help you hit the right spots.
Remember, better technique will allow you to properly demonstrate your strength. Just being strong isn’t good enough. When you combine your strength with proper technique you will really start to see your true potential.
Workout for Thursday, May 16
1 Complex Every 3:00 for 30 min
Build Up to Heavy Complex
1 Power Clean
1 Front Squat
1 Squat Clean
1 Front Squat
*Reps do not have to be touch and go.
Just another reminder of what’s coming up at the gym!
No weightlifting classes this week! We just wrapped up a lifting cycle so we will take the week off and start a new cycle on Thursday, May 23.
Monday, May 27 - Memorial Day Murph - just one class at 8:30 am and we will all do the Hero WOD Murph. you can learn more about Lt. Michael Murphy and donate to his foundation here.
Wednesday, May 29 - Wednesday FriendsDay - Bring a friend to any class time to try CrossFit for the first time!
Thursday, May 30 - Gym closes at 7 pm for a coaches development meeting
Saturday, June 22 - MidSummer Meltdown - our annual competition open to anyone. Find a partner and sign up or volunteer to help make this event a success. Volunteer sign up is at the gym.
Workout for Wednesday, May 15
100 Pull Ups
100 Push Ups
100 Sit Ups
100 Air Squats
I came across this video of a celebrity trainer talking about how he gets actors in shape for movie roles. He trained men and women to be superheroes, soldiers, wrestlers and more, and while the training was specific to each role, you’ll notice a lot of similarities.
One of the things that jumped out at me is no matter the role or whether it was a man or woman, the training looked pretty similar - resistance training, lifting heavy, and pushing heavy sleds. Not a lot of long cardio we once believed was the secret to fat loss.
Getting stronger and adding some lean muscle mass helps you burn fat and look leaner. It also prepared them for the physicality of the roles they were playing. A lot of people are hesitant to lift heavy in fear of getting to bulky, but unless you are really eating to gain weight, you’ll find resistance training helps you lean out and really change your body composition.
Changing your appearance definitely starts with diet, but strength training and building/maintaining muscle mass is so important as we age to keep us injury free and moving well.
Check out how these actors trained and how their bodies changed with great nutrition and strength training.
Workout for Tuesday, May 14
Power Snatch Touch and Go Practice
*Increase Weight as Reps Decrease.
*Only Increase Weight if Touch and Go is Maintained.
5 Rounds for Time:
40 Double Unders
7 Power Snatches (95/65)
40 Double Unders
Layne Norton is a bodybuilder and bodybuilding coach, powerlifter and coach, and has a PhD in nutritional sciences. Basically, his life and work revolve around eating for performance and appearance. He knows his stuff and everything is backed by research.
This recent video from Layne discusses the theory of “starvation mode” that says if you are not eating enough you body will store fat. But is that really true?
He dives into what happens as you reduce calories to try to lose weight and how your body adjusts to getting less energy. Is there such a thing as starvation mode? Does your body make adaptations based on how much food you are getting? Watch the video to find out! It’s only 4 minutes and is well worth it.
Just in case you didn’t watch I’ll explain briefly. Your body does not store fat just because you cut calories. Your body is always seeking energy balance, so less food in means your body will shed weight and slow metabolism. But if you are cutting calories drastically and your body adapts to that, then you have a cheat meal you throw the whole process out of whack. You body then sees an excess of energy and will begin to store fat.
So what does all that mean? It’s all about consistency. If you want to lose weight/fat, you need to be consistent with your reduced caloric intake for a while. So even if you have foods that aren’t on your plan, you should try to stay within your calories for the day.
Hopefully the video makes sense, but please let us know if you have questions!
Workout for Monday, May 13
3X3 @ 70% to 80%
2X2 @ 80% to 85%
15 min Clock
Buy in With 800m Run, then AMRAP of:
5 Strict Pull Ups
5 Push Ups
15 Wall Balls (20# to 10' / 14# to 9')
Here’s a great video sent to me by Sarah P called Stop Stopping and Start Starting!
This is an interview on Fox 17 with Dr. Eddie O’Connor, who is a sports psychologist here in Grand Rapids. They discuss the idea of focusing on what TO do rather than what NOT to do.
We’ve talked about this before with nutrition - focus on adding veggies to each meal rather than focusing on what you can’t eat. But this applies to everything in the gym and out.
In a workout you can focus on holding a particular pace or getting one more rep, or you can focus on the negative, like thinking about how much it hurts or when you can take your next break. If you can stay positive mentally, the physical will follow.
Don’t think about what could go wrong, but focus on what positives could happen from starting something new. Try to apply this positive approach to everything in your life and see if your days get a little more enjoyable!
Workout for Friday, May 10
4 Rounds For Time:
5 Power Cleans (205/135)
20 Pull Ups
30 Air Squats
We talk about keeping a stable foundation in the squat a lot. Hopefully you’ve heard us talk about foot position by now, but maybe you didn’t quite get what we were saying. The video below does a great job of showing what a stable foot in the squat should look like.
If you create the “tripod foot” you will have a better aligned knee and stable hip in your squat. Better alignment and stability means you’ll be safer and stronger in the movement.
This is what we mean when we talk about “screwing” the feet into the ground and maintaining a strong arch. Like the video says, try it with your shoes off to see what your feet are doing. And if you have flat feet, this becomes even more important so you can strengthen the bottom of your foot and build more stability.
Check it out and give this a try!
Workout for Thursday, May 9
20 min AMRAP
Row 500m or Ride 1.0km
10 Burpee Box Jump Overs
This short video below explains what happens to your body and brain once you start losing weight. Understanding how you feel when you attempting to lose weight can help control cravings and keep you on track.
Plus, new research shows that losing weight may help improve brain function too!
Workout for Wednesday, May 8
30 min Not For Time
Accumulate 10 Rope Climbs
5 Rounds of 1 minute Max Double Unders
*Or Double Under attempts and practice!
5X5 Heavy Object Squats
Accumulate 100 Push Ups in as Few Sets as Possible
It’s impossible to have a positive outlook all of the time, but if you find yourself focusing on the negative more than the positive, there are things you can do to help. And a positive outlook can help improve depression, anxiety, and more.
A recent study looked at a group of people who were caregivers for a loved one with dementia. This is an extremely stressful job, especially when you are taking care of someone you care about. But they were able to improve their outlook through a series of skills that can help you cope and stay positive.
This article from NPR details the five-week course to learn the skills that help develop a positive outlook even in the most stressed-out scenarios.
No one is saying you can’t be sad or upset, but there are things you can do to help you manage the tough times in your life. The participants in this study used eight skills to help them change their outlook, including identifying one positive in each day, keeping a gratitude journal, setting a daily goal, and reframing a stressful event. Read the article for info on each of these and the other skills they learned.
Also check out It’s All Good Here. This website is designed to help you work on having a more positive outlook. You CAN train your brain to be more positive!
“Research shows that when people are in a "positive brain" state they are 31% more productive, 3 times more creative, 37% more successful at sales, and among doctors, 19% faster and more accurate in medical diagnoses, than if they are in "a negative, neutral or stressed brain" state.” - It’s All Good Here, from the book The Happiness Advantage
A Native American legend tells of an old Cherokee Indian who teaches his grandson that inside all people, a battle goes on that is symbolized by two fighting wolves. One wolf represents negativity, anger, sadness, stress, guilt, shame, worry, fear, embarrassment and hate. The other wolf represents positivity, joy, gratitude, peace, hope, fun, inspiration, awe, and most importantly, love.
The grandson thinks about this for a minute, then asks his grandfather, "Which wolf wins?"
The grandfather replies, "The one you feed."
Workout for Tuesday, May 7
15 min to Build to Heavy Complex
2 Push Press + 2 Push Jerks
*Working out of a rack.
Burpees Over the Barbell
I’m stealing this post from my sister-in-law, who is a productivity genius! These are pages from the book Rework, which is a business book on productivity in the workplace.
These pages jumped out at me because I get caught in this trap all of the time. We have to estimate how much time it will take to do each part of a 60-minute class here and sometime I get it right, and sometimes I don’t. Turns out, no one is that great at estimating.
But what this says is that I shouldn’t be trying to estimate the big picture, I need to break it down into small chunks. And I know that’s right because when I do that, and I think about each small part of class - whiteboard meeting, warm up, mobility, workout (and each part of that), and a bathroom break (most important) - I do a much better job of finishing on time.
Thing is, we always plan for best case scenarios and that rarely happens. There are equipment malfunctions, someone needs to go to the bathroom (again), there are questions about scaling, modifications for injuries, arguments about whether cereal is a soup, etc, etc, etc… If we don’t add extra time for other things we will be late.
How are you as an estimator? Do you plan your day, work, and travel based on best case scenarios? Do you think about how long each individual segment may take, or do you try to guess how long the whole project will take?
I think we can learn from how we approach workouts and start to apply that to our daily lives. If the workout is 50 wall balls, row 1000 meters, then 50 pull ups, I am going to think about how long each segment will take me. I will plan strategic breaks in the wall balls and pull ups and I will know what kind of pace I can hold on the rower. Then I should have a very good estimate of how long that workout will take. But I had to break it up into pieces first.
I want to start applying that kind of thinking to my out-of-the-gym life. I think I can be more efficient running errands, doing housework, and having more free time if I can better estimate how long tasks will take me.
Hopefully you can find a way to use this info too. Whether it’s at work, at home, or at the gym, remember to break it up into pieces so you can better accomplish the whole project!
Scroll through the Instagram post to read more!
Workout for Monday, May 6
Good Form Running Review
3 Rounds for Time
21 American KB Swings (53/35)
12 Pull Ups
I write a lot of blogs about diet and nutrition and most of the time those are geared towards people that want to lose body fat or weight. But what if you want to gain weight? What if you want to get as strong and as big as you can be? Obviously, your diet would look different than those trying to lose.
Blaine Sumner is a powerlifter who squats more than 1,000 pounds. You need to be really big and really strong to do that, even if there is gear that helps you reach those numbers. So, what does Blaine eat?
Here’s an article from Barbend detailing his diet and the famous (or infamous) “Chicken Shake.” (see video below)
Now, I’m not saying it’s good or bad to eat this much and get this big, but he has performance goals and the only way to get there is to eat lots of calories. I’m not sure it’s healthy at all, but that’s another story.
My point is that you need to know what your goals are in order to eat, sleep, and train to get there. Do you want to lose weight, gain weight, squat a certain number, and/or do a pull up? All of those things may require changes to your lifestyle and those changes won’t be the same for everyone.
Figure out what you want to achieve and go after it! And if you try the Chicken Shake, let me know!
Workout for Friday, May 3
MIn 1: 5 Strict Pull Ups+ 7 Push Ups + 9 Air Squats
Min 2: 7 Deadlifts + 5 Hang Power Cleans + 3 Push Jerks
Min 3: Rest
*Barbell Weight is 155/105
Here’s a story from NPR called The Biology of Weight Loss. There are 5 points they make that can help you understand how weight loss works and how to keep the weight off once you lose it.
I’ll post all 5 points, but the first one is important to remember: Weight loss is not easy!
Biology makes it hard to lose weight, so don't beat yourself up.
Metabolism slows down when you lose weight.
Hormonal changes that come with weight loss make you hungrier.
What you eat is more important than how much you exercise.
Exercise seems to play a big role in maintaining weight and preventing further gain.
While most of these points probably seem like common sense to those of us that workout regularly and think about our diet, it doesn’t make it any easier to stick with a nutrition plan.
But remember, you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. So good food choices come first when you want to lose (or gain) weight. And once you start losing weight your body will start making lots of changes to your metabolism and hormones, so you’ll have to stick with it to teach your body the new weight is where it wants to be.
That means it’s very important to make food choices that you can live with for a long time. If you hate your diet (what you eat daily) then you are less likely to stick with it, and being unhappy will make changes even harder to come by.
Listen to the whole story below, and hopefully having a better understanding of the biology of weight loss will help you make better choices and not beat yourself up if you’re not getting fast results.
Workout for Thursday, May 2
6X3 @ 65% to 75%
20 min Not For Time Work
Front Rack Barbell Walking Lunge
5 sets of 8 Forward Traveling Steps
*Alternating Legs. Bring Feet together at top.
5 Sets of 5 Strict T2B
Accumulate 5 minutes of Heavy Object Holds
There are a few schedule updates we want you to be aware of. Please make note of the following:
The Tuesday morning Elements class is moving to Tuesday evening beginning May 7. There will still be open gym at 8:30 am on Tuesdays, but the Elements class will now be Tuesday evening at 7 pm. This will help the majority of Elements members get through the eight classes a little faster and join the regular CrossFit classes.
We are hosting another BIRTHFIT Postpartum series in May. These classes will be on the following dates from 6-7:15 pm:
May 6/8 (Mon/Wed)
May 13/15 (Mon/Wed)
May 20/22 (Mon/Wed)
May 28/29 (Tues/Wed)
Memorial Day Murph - We will have one class on Monday, May 27 to do Murph! The class will be at 8:30 am.
We will not have the 7 pm class on Thursday, May 30. We have a coaches development meeting at 7 pm that evening. The gym will close at 7 pm.
Workout for Wednesday, May 1
15 min of Practice and Build Up
45 Thrusters (75/55)
I read this article from Eat to Perform and think it’s worth sharing: Cheat Meals have a HIGH likelihood of harming your view of food (or worse)
Actually, from the headline, I thought the article was going to go in a different direction, but they make some valid points.
If you are regularly looking forward to cheat meals, your day-to-day diet might be off. There’s a good chance you are looking forward to binge days because you are not eating enough regularly. And while that’s not everyone’s problem, it is easy to fall into the over-dieting trap.
Also, if you hate every other day of eating besides the cheat day, you don’t have a healthy, sustainable relationship with food that can last a lifetime.
This isn’t saying you can’t have a cheat meal or day from time to time, but you do need to consider the role those meals play in your everyday diet. And think about how you view those meals compared to your everyday meals.
Also remember that crushing a whole pizza and a pint of ice cream on your cheat day is reinforcing poor diet behaviors. If you want to have a meal with foods outside of your normal nutrition plan, you still need to practice eating a normal amount and not overdo it.
A lot of this comes down to mindset and how you approach food. This is different for everyone, but you need to enjoy the food you eat every day or it will be very difficult to stick to your diet plan. It can also make you miserable if you hate what you are eating all of the time.
If you have questions on how to eat healthy and enjoy it, please let us know and hopefully we can figure out what will work for you!
Workout for Tuesday, April 30
Pull Up Progressions
Min 1) 5 Ring Or Bar Muscle Ups
Min 2) 14 Alternating DB Snatches (50/35)
Min 3) 15 Push Ups + Max Reps Double Unders
Min 4) Rest
You guys know I love nasal breathing for lots of reasons - cleaning/filtering the air, warming/cooling the air, and keeping the diaphragm working properly so you take more efficient breaths, which leads to better performance.
Here’s an article from the NY Times Magazine that details even more reasons why we should be nose breathers, especially when we’re not exercising.
“Scientists link habitual mouth breathing to a host of medical issues, including sleep problems, learning disorders, tooth decay, bad breath and jaw deformities in children.”
The article also discusses a new study from Japan that showed brain cell development in rats slowed down when they were forced into mouth breathing only.
Start paying attention to how you are breathing when you’re at work, at home, and throughout the day. And don’t be a mouth breather!
Workout for Monday, April 27
Buy in with 1,000m Row
10 rounds of
12 DB Hang Clean and Jerks (50/35)
12 Pistol Squats Alternating Legs
Cash Out with 1,000m Row
*DB Hang Clean and Jerks: 6 on Right, then 6 on Left