Friday, October 19

Guest blog from Michelle Whitford!

The above pictures are of me descending after an acclimatization hike to 20,000 ft with snow up to my thighs. The other is Torres del Paine, one of my favorite places in the world. I’ve traveled to 5:7 continents and I will get to all 7. I mostly put these on here to get everyone’s attention, lol.

The coaches asked me a while ago if I wanted to write a WOD blog. I’ve thought about it quite a bit since I’m pretty private and have a hard time trusting people with what I consider personal stuff unless I feel it can really help them. That plus never feeling like I fit in anywhere. Bear with me, this will be a little long-winded (even after several drafts) and hard for me to do. This might set the record for the longest WOD blog ever. ;)

I’ve been aware for quite awhile that I haven’t been living my best life. I have cut back significantly on my hours but I need to do more. This means making some hard decisions, including letting go of the relationship I’ve been in for almost 2.5 years. In some ways it’d be easier to stay, but I’m pretty low maintenance and he hasn’t met a very basic set of things that keep me happy in months. I need to be patted on the head once in awhile and told that I’m pretty. Taken out once in awhile to get outside of my own head. And a travel partner who wants to explore the world with me. Part of me is afraid I’ll wind up alone forever because who wants a burned out, 40 year old ER physician? But that’s self-defeating talk and I’m quite the catch for the right person. I only bring this up because I might be doing more frowning for awhile. I’ll be ok though, I’m tough and have never not taken the harder path when it’s the right thing to do.

On the surface, I’m an ER physician. I flew Aeromed for awhile. I’ve lived quite a few places and have seen a lot in my 4 decades, but as far as where I’m at in life, it’s more like late 20’s-early 30’s since I spent my 20’s in school and training. Despite living a full life, some aspects of being an adult are in development. Most things got put on hold for 11 years while I went through training. I’ve had lots of jobs; I’ve worked in a chemistry lab, done organometallic research, was a bartender and waitress, taught English as a second language, worked dietary, did landscaping, watered the plants around campus, and was a cashier at Meijer.

Let’s dig a little deeper. You might have noticed that I like to workout. Athletic endeavors don’t come naturally to me. I was held back from kindergarten because I had significant gross motor skill deficits. For instance, I had trouble sitting up and eating at the same time. I couldn’t pass the physical screening tests even if my brain was ahead. Plus I was painfully shy. I’ve had to work really hard to be sort of athletic. I walked onto a division 3 soccer team in college (I wasn’t very good) and I did clock a 5:45 mile running a 1600m when they asked me to try a season of track. Training is my primary coping mechanism for stress and anxiety, of which I have lots.

I’ve wanted to be a doctor since age 5 but the path hasn’t always been smooth. I’ve battled body dysmorphia and issues with food since I was 14 because the physician doing my sports physical told me I was overweight even though I wasn’t much shorter or lighter than I am now (5’4.5”, 126.5 lbs back then), compounded by a very petite sister who has a much more typical Asian build. And what mutant Korean genes are responsible for my tatas, I would like to know, haha.

I was fit though, after lifting weights with the JV and varsity team plus practices. We also did a lot of manual labor growing up. You’d think since the doctor was a bodybuilder and has just complimented me on how fit I was, would know better. I was devastated though. I used to eat less than 25 gm of fat a day and up until doing Christian’s program, I restricted my calories, severely at times. I got down to a size 0 and 112 pounds at my lightest during residency. That happened after my house burned down at the end of second year of residency and I lost everything, including my three best friends a.k.a. my kitties. It wasn’t until Christian finally convinced me to slowly go up on my calories last winter that I started to see changes in my body. I’m up to 2400 calories (as of today) and I don’t weigh myself anymore either.

In residency and my first year as an attending in Detroit, we saw messed up shit. I still do, though not as often. My residency was one of the last of the old-school style programs. (I learned I could fall asleep standing up.) I’m not going into details but it was the closest to being in a war zone as you can get without being military. We had a few shootings in the ER and lots of death threats too. Security would beg to drive me to my car after some shifts. We had murders all around the outside of the hospital. Gang shootouts would come in and the ED would go on lockdown. I got in trouble once because my shift had ended but I couldn’t leave because of the above. I left anyways because I quite frankly, I didn’t care if I didn’t make it to the next shift. I just wanted to go home. (Also, I had to help code my uncle a few years ago and then pronounce him.) I live in a different world and I suppose that’s why I tend to mostly date and hang around with ER/EMS people, or spend time alone. (I’ve dated quite a few firemen and paramedics, lol.) It can be hard for me to find things to talk about outside of this bubble. What I do is a big part of who I am, but I need to diversify and get out more.

I was diagnosed with PTSD in the past but feel like I’m through the worst of it and am well into the recovery phase. I rarely have moments and it’s pretty common in my specialty to have a degree of it. I also had something bad happen to me in medical school, so combined with the above, that’s what I ended up with. What everything has taught me is resiliency. I’ve always been stubborn but I’ve also become really tough. I’ve been knocked down so many times but I always find my feet. Maybe that’s why I like cats so much! 

Anyhow, I know I need more balance in my life and it’s an ongoing battle. I’ve cut back on my hours substantially. Even going out for my birthday, I couldn’t help but think “Gosh, it’s nice to be out with friends. I need to get out more.” That was between beers and Manhattans, lol. I used to play piano, violin, and some guitar. Pottery. I love to cook for other people and dote on my friends and family. I like to fish, climb mountains, rock climb, and scuba dive. I sew and knit too. I like being kind and generous but I have a mischievous and adventurous streak. I LOVE to travel and am a huge Anthony Bourdain fan. I like UFC fights and most things martial arts. I rewatch ‘Battlestar Galactica’ not infrequently. I’m also a Tolkien nerd. I’ve also been known to try and climb up things while drinking. ;)

So there it is, a lot about me. I am unique as is my story, but my struggles are not. I had a boyfriend tell me that they didn’t just break the mold when I was made, they shattered it. My dad tells me I have always had my own drummer. As I’ve gotten older, I have learned to embrace my eccentricities even if I don’t fit in. I decided to go against the grain and tell part of my story because it might help someone else. I suspect I’m not the only one at the gym who has similar stories or if something comes up, I’m always available to listen. I get it.

Workout for Friday, October 19
Jump Rope Progressions

5 Round Test
30 sec Max Single Unders @ 150 to 180 RPM
30 sec Rest

For Time:
Deadlifts (245/165)
Box Jumps (24/20)
*Mandatory Step Down!

CrossFit 616
Thursday, October 18

Don’t forget that the kids classes start this Saturday! There’s still time to get your kids signed up. Just let us know by emailing!

Workout for Thursday, October 18
Pull Up Progressions or Ring Muscle Up Practice

For Time
Front Rack Barbell Lunges Alternating Legs (115/85)
Cash Out with 42 Burpees

CrossFit 616
Wednesday, October 17

Here are a couple of dates to put on your calendar!

Saturday, November 3 - Altitude Trampoline outing! This one is for the whole family. Bring your kids and spouses and join us for some next level burpees, box jumps and more. Just kidding, no burpees required, but we’re going to have some fun at the trampoline park. We will do this following the Saturday morning classes at 11:00 am. We will close the gym at 10:30 and head over. We do not have kids classes scheduled on this day and there will be no Extra Credit.

Friday, December 14 - Grand Rapids Griffins Game - We’re going as a group to a hockey game! This is a Friday night game ($2 beers and $2 hot dogs!) so we will be closing a little early to get downtown to the arena. The game starts at 7 pm so we will close at 6 pm - last class at 5 pm!

Final pricing for these events depends on how many people sign up, but we will get you an idea as soon as possible.

Save these dates and join us for some fun outside of the gym!

Workout for Wednesday, October 17
Clean and Jerk Technique Practice and Build Up

1 Clean and Jerk
- Rest 1 min - Decrease Weight if Needed
2 Touch and Go Clean and Jerks
- Rest 1 min - Decrease Weight if Needed
3 Touch and Go Clean and Jerks
- Rest 1 min - Decrease Weight if Needed
4 Touch and Go Clean and Jerks

CrossFit 616
Tuesday, October 16

Thank you to everyone that supported the Inaugural Birdies for Boobies golf outing. We raised $715 for Barbells for Boobs and had a lot of fun!

Eating out when you are trying to stick to a nutrition plan can be one of the hardest things to negotiate. You really have to do your homework and ask lots of questions. Of course, the easiest thing to do is minimize the amount of meals you’re eating at restaurants. But we know we will find ourselves out to eat at some point, so how do we handle it?

Menu Minefield from the CrossFit Journal details how restaurant menus can be misleading and lack most of the important information needed to make good choices.

However, there are some tips on how to best order, what to avoid and what questions to ask. Also, there are some great recipes for making some of your restaurant favorites at home!

Which is a healthier restaurant choice, Brussels sprouts or taquitos?

If you're at the Cheesecake Factory, the answer might not be what you think.

Filed under "small plates and snacks," the Cheesecake Factory's crispy Brussels sprouts pack in 69 grams of fat, 45 grams of carbohydrates (22 grams of sugar) and 10 grams of protein—840 calories. By comparison, the chicken taquitos have 22 grams of fat, 31 grams of carbohydrates (5 grams of sugar) and 16 grams of protein, for 390 total calories.

Workout for Tuesday, October 16
12 min AMRAP
Row 400m
16 Plate Twists (45/25)
12 Ball Slams
- Rest 5 min -
7 min AMRAP
Row 200m
8 Burpees to the Plate

CrossFit 616
Monday, October 15

A teacher I follow makes her students fill in the blanks in this phrase at the end of each week:
”This week I’m feeling good about ________ and this week I want to work on ________.”

Having a practice like this at the end of the week or day gives you a chance to reflect on the good things happening to us and prepare for some self improvement down the road.

No one is perfect and you can’t fix everything at once, so pick one thing and put your effort there.

This sentence applies really well to the gym setting too. Feel good about your workout from Tuesday or your pull up progress, and think about one thing you want to work on.

But make sure you aren’t just focusing on the thing you need to work on. It’s ok to take some time to be happy about your effort or accomplishments too.

Some people say three good things at the end of each day or a prayer before bed. It doesn’t matter exactly what you do, but take some time for yourself and be thankful for the good things and ready for new challenges!

Workout for Monday, October 15
Snatch Practice
1 Snatch + 1 Overhead Squat
- Rest 1 min, increase weight -
1 Snatch + 1 Overhead Squat
- Rest 1 min, increase weight -
1 Snatch + 1 Overhead Squat

For Time
Overhead Squats (95/65)

CrossFit 616
Friday, October 12

LOTS of people competing this weekend in Lansing and Holland. Lake State CrossFit in Lansing is hosting the Fittest of the Fall and we have a bunch of teams headed that way. And we have at least a couple of people competing at the Festivus Games at CrossFit Flight in Holland. I’m sure they’d love your support if you can go cheer them on!

Progressions, progressions, progressions. Break down the movement into pieces and positions then put it together and add speed. Whether its a snatch, handstand, or muscle up, starting with the basic positions will give you better results. And going back to the basics, even if you feel like you’re good at the movement, will make you that much better.

Try this drill for building ring muscle up strength:

Workout for Friday, October 12
Pull Up Progressions

20 min AMRAP
7 Power Cleans (185/125)
3 Shoulder to Overhead
Run 400m

CrossFit 616
Thursday, October 11

Kids classes are starting soon! Get your kid signed up for the Fall session of 616 kids!

This session starts Saturday, October 20 and the younger kids (5-9) class is at 9:30 am and the older kids (10-13) is at 10:30 am. The session is just $99.

The kids classes are on the following dates:
Saturday, Oct. 20
Saturday, Oct. 27
Saturday, Nov. 10
Saturday, Nov. 17

Email us at to get your kid signed up today!

Workout for Thursday, October 11
T2B Practice
- Kipping Swing + High Knees
- Single Reps
- Swinging Kip
- Strung Together with Kip

For Time
T2B + Front Rack Lunges (95/65)
Hang Power Snatches (95/65) + Burpees Over the Bar

CrossFit 616
Wednesday, October 10

I have to remind myself a lot that I live in a health and fitness bubble. I am surrounded by people that care about what they eat and how they exercise most of the time, so it’s easy to forget that there is a world out there that does not pay attention to this stuff.

Luckily, I get to go on vacation every once in a while and see the other world that’s out there, and it’s a nice reminder that we have a lot of work to do to continue spreading the knowledge of a healthy diet and exercise routine.

This video popped up on Youtube the other day and I liked it because it’s not from a personal trainer, coach or nutrition expert. It is just normal people that decided to quit sugar for 30 days.

They give a good, honest assessment of what it is like to quit sugar and how they felt throughout the process. It’s not easy to quit cold-turkey, and you’re probably going to feel bad for some of the early days, but it is worth it.

Doing an experiment like this doesn’t mean you can never have sugar again, but it will help you see how much added sugar is in all of the processed foods out there. And, once again, it’s about having the knowledge to combat the food industry that is trying to get you addicted to their foods.

Workout for Wednesday, October 10
Back Squat
4X2 @ 80% to 90%

For Time:
Row 1000m
40 Russian KB Swings (53/35)

- Rest 1 min -

Row 750m
30 Russian KB Swings

- Rest 1 min -

Row 500m
20 Russian KB Swings

- Rest 1 min -

Row 250m
10 Russian KB Swings

CrossFit 616
Tuesday, October 9

Do you track your workouts? If you are not tracking your workouts and keeping a record of how much you lifted in strength work, how do you know if you’re progressing?

We encourage everyone to track workouts using a notebook, app or whatever else works for you. But you need to have this data written down so you know that your numbers are going up and your times are getting faster. It should never be a guessing game as to how much weight you put on the bar or whether or not you did a benchmark workout faster than last time.

The same goes for your food. If you are not tracking what you eat, you are missing out on performance, whether it be performance in the gym or the performance of weight/fat loss.

These two videos from CrossFit explain how proper nutrition starts with food quality and then we refine that by weighing and measuring to get next level results. It’s just like working out - you can get fitter by doing random workouts every day, but once you start tracking and following real progressions you can see even better results.

“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.” - Coach Greg Glassman, CrossFit Founder and CEO

This quote starts with food quality and then addresses quantity. It’s the CrossFit mantra of proper nutrition and it is the base of our fitness and wellness. Don’t overcomplicate it. Eat real food and not too much and track what you are doing so you can measure your progress along the way.

P.S. If you didn’t read yesterday’s blog, please do. We know it’s not easy or simple for everyone and we are here to support you no matter what. This post is trying to simplify healthy eating as much as possible, but simple does not always mean easy.

Workout for Tuesday, October 9
25 min NFT
Accumulate 5 min of Heavy Object Hold
5X7 Banded Twists Each Side
Accumulate 5 min of Barbell Lockout Hold (45/33)

Bike Sprint 9/7 Calories

CrossFit 616
Monday, October 8

“For decades, the medical community has ignored mountains of evidence to wage a cruel and futile war on fat people, poisoning public perception and ruining millions of lives.”

I am stealing this post from 616 member Chelsea Jackle, who is a registered dietician nutritionist, and runs a pretty great blog called Chelsea Dishes. If you are not following her, start now!

Please read her thoughts on the article. I agree with Chelsea that we need to start treating everyone with more respect and dignity. The best part about this article for me is that you hear real stories from real people and you can better understand what the individual is going through.

It’s very easy for us to say “eat better and exercise more.” I am sure I have said that a lot over the years. But when you hear the stories from the individuals in the article, you realize it’s not always that simple. I hope I can do a better job of understanding what people are going through and help find real, effective solutions to their problems. But it starts with caring about the person, and hopefully we can all get better at that.

One last thought - I think the article hits medical doctors pretty hard, I know there are some great ones out there trying to help, but unfortunately, the stories outlined in the article are too common. Hopefully the medical community can work better with the dieticians and nutritionists going forward.

And please read the full article here.

Workout for Monday, October 8
3 Rds for Time
18 Thrusters (95/65)
18 Pull ups
Run 1 Lap

*5 Burpee Penalty anytime Thrusters are Broken

CrossFit 616
Thursday, October 4

This is probably the third bog post on this topic in the last couple of weeks, so I obviously think it is important for you all to understand. Big Food is out to get us!

Ben Bergeron discusses this in his latest podcast - Don't Get Bamboozled by Big Food. He details how the processed food industry spends TRILLIONS of dollars to convince us that their foods are good for us. Their so-called health foods are full of sugar and fat, but creative marketing and labeling makes them appear healthy.

If you are not armed with information it will be very hard to win this battle. Make sure you know what you are up against!

Workout for Thursday, October 4
Triple 3
3,000m Row
300 Double Unders (600 Single Unders)
3 Mile Run

CrossFit 616
Wednesday, October 3

I’ve posted stuff from Dr. Andy Galpin before, and I get that some of you may not be interested in the science of exercise and muscle, but he is leading the way on research in this field. The more we can understand how the body responds to the different stimuli we feed it, the more efficient and effective we can be with our training.

Here, Dr. Galpin gives a five-minute physiology lesson on muscle fiber types. We have known about slow and fast-twitch muscle fibers for a long time, but we are learning now that it’s not that simple. These fibers can change and become hybrids of slow and fast. We can make these fibers move from the hybrid to fast twitch by the way we train.

Some of us we have just been lumped in the slow twitch category and think we will never be fast, but now we’re finding that we have more control than we previously thought.

The fact is, if you train something like speed, your body will adapt and get faster. So, if you just think you were born a certain way and that’s that, you are mistaken. You can get faster, stronger or better at endurance by training it.

I’ve written about the fixed vs. growth mindset a lot, and now it applies to the physiological realm as well. Go after whatever it is you want and your body will respond!

Workout for Wednesday, October 3
Min 1) Single Arm DB Press - 7 on Right then 7 on Left
Min 2) 40 Sec Hollow Rock or Hold
Min 3) 7 Deadlifts (225/155)
Min 4) 40 sec Heavy Object Hold
Min 5) Max Double Unders or Double Under Practice
Min 6) Rest

CrossFit 616
Tuesday, October 2

The inaugural 616 golf outing Birdies for Boobies to benefit Barbells for Boobs is coming up on Sunday, October 14! If you signed up you’ll be seeing the team assignments soon. I know a few of you have already offered up extra clubs and equipment for people to use - thank you for that and we’re looking forward to a great day on the links!

Also, we have a team set up for the Row Raiser and we need nine more people to fill those spots. The Row Raiser benefits Special Olympics of Michigan and is a fun event in which teams of 10 row a marathon - 42,195 meters. This is not a competitive event and is a great way to get involved in the local CrossFit community and support a great cause.

The Row Raiser is Saturday morning on October 27 at CrossFit Lake Effect in Holland. It’s Halloween themed so costumes are encouraged! Also, we need a good team name if anyone has suggestions. Get signed up and start raising money for a great cause today!

Workout for Tuesday, October 2
Mullet Squats
4X1 @ 80% of Front Squat Max
1 Set = 2 Front Squats + 5 Back Squats

Beginner Strength
Front Squat
5X5 @ 105/75 or +10lb from last session

For Time
DB Thrusters (50/35)
DB Facing Burpees

CrossFit 616
Monday, October 1

Big Food’s Poisonous Propaganda

Here’s another article describing how the processed food industry uses propaganda to make us think we need sugar in our diet. It is true that our bodies need glucose to run, and even if you don’t eat sugar, your body will produce its own glucose for certain functions.

What we don’t need is the tons of fructose and other sugars that are added to almost all processed foods. Those sugars are as (or more) addictive as cocaine and are causing all sorts of health problems around the world.

Don’t let the industry propaganda fool you. Yes, it’s hard to get off the sugar and it is hard to change your diet, but it is worth it!

“Propaganda has been essential to sustaining mass addiction. Since at least 1954, food-industry executives have known that excess sugar consumption causes health problems. Using the same tricks as tobacco companies – and in some cases, the same people – they covered up the evidence and doubled down. They funded shoddy science, co-opted researchers and critics, shifted blame, advocated for weaker government oversight, and even marketed their products to children (as with Tony the Tiger, breakfast cereal’s equivalent of Big Tobacco’s Joe Camel).”

Read the full article here.

Workout for Monday, October 1
Handstand Skill Practice
- Bear Crawls
- Tripods and Donkey Kicks
- Wall Walks
- Handstands on Wall
- Handstand Push Ups
- Freestanding Handstands
- Handstand Walking

13 min AMRAP
Run 1 Lap
15 Russian Swings (70/53)
9 C2B Pull Ups

CrossFit 616
Friday, September 28

Here are some great tips from CrossFit gymnastics on getting better at all kinds of pull up variations. Remember, there are progressions for every movement and trying to skip ahead just makes everything take that much longer to master. Work on pulling strength, develop a solid kip, transfer that kip into a pull up, progress that into a kipping chest-to-bar pull up, then work on the butterfly kip.

That list is a simplified progression of movements and there may be more work you need to put in elsewhere, but it’s still important to stick with the right progression for you and not try to skip steps.

Check out the following videos and figure out where you are in the pull up progressions and hopefully some of these tips will help. Remember, there’s no substitute for being strong enough to pull yourself over the bar!

Workout for Friday, September 28
For Time:
Run 400m
21 Thrusters (95/65)
21 Pull UpsRun 400m
15 Thrusters
15 Pull UpsRun
9 Thrusters
9 Pull Ups

CrossFit 616
Thursday, September 27

We’re focusing on the snatch today and you’ll get a chance to work on the technique of the full lift and build some strength in the movement. We do this kind of workout in the weightlifting class each week - slowing things down so we can focus on technique and not worry about speed or intensity so much.

I saw this post from CrossFit Weightlifting and think this movement could be helpful for a lot of us to get better at pulling under the bar, whether it is a snatch or a clean.

Remember, the pull under is an active, aggressive movement - not just a drop. You use the barbell to pull yourself under into a strong receiving position.

As the post says, “Whether it be a snatch or clean, confidence moving under a barbell seems to, universally, be one of the biggest challenges for people learning the Olympic lifts.”

Watch the video and read the full caption to more details on how you can improve your speed and pull under the bar. Yes, the video shows the clean, but the same thing applies to the snatch!

“The purpose of this movement is to take away any and all leg drive so that the athlete REALLY has to feel just how much tension and aggression goes into pulling down and around the bar. It is not a passive move... it’s an all or nothing move.”

View this post on Instagram

This week’s #burgenerwaychallenge is the Tall Clean! . “Whether it be a snatch or clean, confidence moving under a barbell seems to, universally, be one of the biggest challenges for people learning the Olympic lifts. . There is something about jumping FAST, down into a squat that brings peoples’ deep seeded commitment issues to the surface...whether they’re ready to face them or not! . Tall snatches and tall cleans (and potentially a few sessions with a therapist) are a GREAT prescription for this. . A tall snatch/clean is when an athlete holds a barbell at the high hang position. The athlete then raises up onto their toes, recreating the position that their body is in at the very end of their jump (triple extension). . From there, the athlete simply (not simple at all) shrugs and pulls their body down and around the bar. . The purpose of this movement is to take away any and all leg drive so that the athlete REALLY has to feel just how much tension and aggression goes into pulling down and around the bar. It is not a passive move... it’s an all or nothing move. . These don’t have to be performed with heavy weight! A little resistance is great so that one can really USE the bar to move around, but too much weight will create a slow movement.”- @sageburgener. . Athlete: @sophiekavanaghpt. . Tag us and a friend in your video with the hashtag #theburgenerwaychallenge! Keep your technique #theburgenerway for a chance to be featured on our page! . #burgenerstrength. . @mikeburgener @beauburgener @sageburgener

A post shared by CrossFit Weightlifting Course (@crossfit_weightlifting) on

Workout for Thursday, September 27
Snatch Practice
20 minutes to Complete
7X2 Full Snatches
*Building to Heavy Double, NOT TOUCH AND GO!

Snatch Deadlifts
5X5 @ 110%+ of 1RM Snatch
*Focus is on hitting positions of a snatch with a slow tempo.

CrossFit 616
Wednesday, September 26

Since it’s Wednesday FriendsDay, I thought this post could be valuable for some of you to convince your friends and family to try CrossFit.

“How do you get your grandmother, coworker, dad, etc. to try CrossFit? Bring them to the box. Or have them try a highly scaled WOD at home. 

Admittedly, this can be challenging. There are a lot of misconceptions about CrossFit. So here’s a guide to debunking those common myths.”

Click here to read the full article and hopefully you will be able to put people at ease that think CrossFit is dangerous or crazy. And hopefully we will see you with a friend here Wednesday!

Workout for Wednesday, September 26
5 Rounds, 1 Round Every 5 Minutes
Run 1 Lap
10 Burpees
15 KB Swings
20 Air Squats

CrossFit 616
Tuesday, September 25

This Wednesday is Wednesday FriendsDay! Bring a friend to any class time throughout the day to try CrossFit for the first time!

There’s this famous social experiment where they give kids a marshmallow and told them they could eat it if they wanted to, but if they wait a certain amount of time without eating it, they can get two marshmallows instead. This experiment has been used as an example of our limited willpower and ability to delay gratification. The idea being that kids that could resist the immediate reward and wait for more were going to be more successful later in life. Watch the video below for the full explanation.

But, as the creator of the marshmallow test explains, this is completely wrong. The test gets used to say we are born with specific traits and you either choose instant or delayed gratification based on your fixed traits. However, the test was actually used to show how flexible we are. (You may remember other blog posts about fixed vs. growth mindsets!)

Even the smallest suggestion could change the way kids behaved in this study. By simply reframing the situation, kids were able to resist instant gratification and wait for the extra marshmallow.

I think this applies to what we do at the gym too. If you picture yourself as “not good” at certain things, or approach workouts with a negative mindset, you are hurting your performance. A positive mindset plays a huge role in how successful you can be. I know it is difficult, but you CAN make physical improvements just by having a positive mental approach.

So, next time you are approaching a workout that makes you a little nervous, try reframing the situation in your mind. Tell yourself that you ARE going to get that pull up, and you ARE going to do that set of wall balls unbroken. I promise that your workouts will be more enjoyable and your physical adaptations will come easier.

Workout for Tuesday, September 25
30 min Clock
Run 1 Mile, then
AMRAP in Remaining Time of
10 Sit Ups
20 Slam Ball Twists (30/20)
Row 400m
Run 1 Lap

CrossFit 616
Monday, September 24

Watch the TED Talk below. Most of us are using some kind of social media, all of us are using new technology, and all of those things are competing for your attention. And they’re not just hoping you choose their platform, the companies are spending billions of dollars to hook you and keep you using their product.

Whether it’s Facebook, Youtube, Netflix or some other app or website, you are being influenced by the design and information these things are putting in front of you.

If you don’t think your decision making is affected by the design these technologies use, you are wrong.

Tristan Harris worked at the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University (yes, there are scientists studying exactly how to persuade us to do what they want) and his TED talk explains how these companies use design to influence our time and decision making.

It’s not that these things are inherently bad, but you do need to know what is happening so you can at least try to fight against it. From Youtube autoplay to Snapchat Snap Streaks, these companies are fighting for screen time and your attention.

As adults that may not have grown up with these things, it may be easier to resist. But the next generation is up for a serious fight. We need to arm ourselves with information so we can attempt to make the best decisions for our real lives, not the virtual ones that are so easy to get caught up in.

Workout for Monday, September 24
Clean Complex
Every 3 min for 15 min
1 Squat Clean + 4 Front Squats
*Build Up in Weight

10 min AMRAP
4 Strict Pull Ups
8 Push Ups
12 DB Snatches Alternating Arms (50/35)

CrossFit 616