This could be the easiest blog that I post.

I am thankful.  Period.

I have the privilege of working with and training some amazing people.  The people I work with will give their all to me, as I give my all to them.  The way this thing works is simple, but not easy.

Both sides, the coach and the athlete, must put in equal effort.  Real progress takes place when both sides commit and put in a true, honest effort.  When coaches and athletes arrive at that special place, built on trust, where both are giving 100% without regard, magic can happen.

There’s a place that’s built between athlete and coach that cannot be easily described.  The parties involved just understand.  The coach may ask the athlete to go somewhere they’re not likely to go on their own, a place of true discomfort, a place that challenges their being.  An athlete may be willing to explore these places based solely on their relationship with the coach.  The athlete understands that the coach wants nothing but the best for them and for that, they will go.

I am fortunate enough to work with some athletes at this level and for that…I am thankful.

Most people don’t get enough exercise.  This we know.  Even those who do participate in regular exercise may not be getting enough.

The human body is designed to move.  We’re not designed to sit or lie around for the majority of the day.  I’m not sure how some people deal with their jobs.  Not in regard to the work they do, but more so the lack of work they’re exposed to.

In my opinion even some people who train in CrossFit should be considered sedentary.”

Working hard for an hour a day and not moving for the other twenty-three, simply isn’t good enough.  We need to be better.  We need to move more!  I understand that this might sound like a chore to some.  It’s not.  It’s something beautiful that you can create.  We call it play.

Play comes in many forms except most adults have long forgotten how to do it.  It isn’t difficult.  Think back to when you were younger.  Playing wasn’t about what you were doing, but about the fact that you were doing something.  That was play.  It’s the same now as it was then.  Play comes in the form of sport, yes, but also in the form of exploring and moving through our world.  Maybe it’s running around with your dog.  Maybe it’s goofing around dancing with our children.  Remember the important part isn’t what you do…just do something that makes you feel alive.

We always work on mechanics, then consistency, and only then, intensity.

You’ve undoubtedly heard a coach talking about this if you’re training in CrossFit.  But what exactly does it look like in practice?  How do we apply this to our training?  Simple, we chase virtuosity.

Virtuosity: to perform the common uncommonly well.

Here is how we put this into action at our gym.

The first thing we do with any movement is a triage of the athletes mechanics.  Working in order we first address anything that is detrimental to an athlete safety.  Next, we search for low hanging fruit, the biggest “bang-for-buck” fixes. We want our athletes to feel as much progress as soon as it’s appropriate.  Success is good for the mindset.  This is our process for teaching mechanics.  It’s also the reason you may see a coach correct one athlete on something, but not another.  The other athlete may have bigger fish to fry and their focus needs to remain there.

Once we’ve identified a fault with an athlete’s mechanics and provided some corrective actions we’ll ask the athlete to demonstrate consistency.  Does this mean we need to simply see a certain amount of reps before moving on?  Not at all.  What we’re looking for is confidence that the athlete has corrected the fault.  Sometimes this takes weeks to correct and other times athletes are able to demonstrate sound mechanics immediately.  The key is sound mechanics, that’s what we’re after.

Note for coaches:  With some years of coaching experience it’s easier to see whether something has stuck or not.  It’s a fun skill once you develop it.  This will prove difficult for the less experienced eye, but that’s ok!  If you’re a newer coach reading, keep in mind that you will have an athlete who seems to have something down…until you walkaway.  Try watching their faces, most athlete’s have a tell.

Once the athlete demonstrates sound mechanics, we need to move on.  It’s important to keep moving.

“If you’re not getting better you’re getting worse.” -Zach Evan Esh  

If there’s another clear fault to address that’s the direction we’ll head.  In the case where the movement looks good and we’re confident, our next step is to increase intensity.  It’s important to acknowledge why we’re increasing intensity.  It’s critical to avoid chasing numbers at this point.  We’re not trying to hit a new record.  The reason for the increased intensity is to expose the next fault or to challenge the most recent correction.  Methods for making this happen are, and need to be, varied.  Common strategies we utilize are the addition of reps, increase or add load, increase speed, have an athlete move while fatigued…the list goes on.  The important thing is we expose and correct as many faults as possible.  Finding weaknesses is a natural part of chasing virtuosity.

“Unlike risk and originality, virtuosity is elusive, supremely elusive. It is, however, readily recognized by audience as well as coach and athlete. There is a compelling tendency among novices developing any skill or art, whether learning to play the violin, write poetry, or compete in gymnastics, to quickly move past the fundamentals and on to more elaborate, more sophisticated movements, skills, or techniques.” -Greg Glassman

Try to be the best you, you can be, and everything will be ok.

If you decide a workout will take you forever…it’s probably going to take you forever.

You walk into the gym and check out the workout that’s written on the board.  You see running, burpees, or some other movement that you dread and immediately declare “This is going to take me forever!” 

This is the wrong mindset.  You’ve done one of two things at this point:

  1. You’ve surrendered.
  2. You’ve built in an excuse to not try.

If you’re choosing to surrender, that’s fine, but keep it to yourself.  Don’t say it out loud.  Don’t bring negative energy to the group.  One of the reasons CrossFit makes us feel good is that everyone attempts to bring out the best in others.  Adding negative thoughts and energy is felt by all and takes away from what we’re trying to accomplish as a whole.  Instead rely on the positive energy that someone else is bringing!  Latch onto someone and let them pull you along.  You’ll feel better at the end because you didn’t surrender and they’ll feel better because they inspired you.  That, is where the magic of CrossFit can be found.

If you’re building an excuse into your training then find a coach.  Something is off and we can help.  If you truly feel like you’re unable to be successful, to the point of not trying, then you need to change something.  I will promise you this…every single person on the face of the planet CAN do CrossFit, but not everyone WILL.  

Get your mind right.

“I don’t come to bow.  I come to conquer.” ~Bob Marley

I’ve seen it with my own eyes!

I hear this all the time.  All about this “one friend” who can mysteriously eat whatever they want and not gain a pound.  They’ve been known to destroy entire pizzas, donuts by the dozen, and rumor has it they were once escorted out of an all-you-can-eat buffet.  So what gives?

Here’s what’s most likely going on…

This person is simply not eating throughout the day.  Your body cannot consume tons of extra calories without weight gain.  That’s not a thing.  When you see this person they’re probably so hungry that they’re going nuts on whatever they can get.

You have three possible states.  You can be eating at a caloric surplus which causes weight gain.  You could be eating at a caloric deficit which causes weight loss.  Or, you could be eating the right amount of calories to support your current weight.  If it takes someone 2500 calories per day to maintain whether they choose to eat that in one sitting or 5 doesn’t matter much.  Don’t do that though.  It’s much healthier to eat some meals through your day and not binge.

If you need help, let us know!

Think back…

to day one at the gym.  You stroll through the door, most likely nervous, but you’re there.  The workout is explained and you’re led through a warm up.  The other people were smiling up until this point.  Now they also seem a bit unnerved.

The time comes to start the clock and you’re questioning yourself.  You’re not entirely sure you can do this.  The clock starts even though you’ve wished for some sort of malfunction.  Everyone starts moving, you start to move too.  You look across the room and watch as a woman weighing no more than a buck-ten grabs a bar and throws it overhead with ease.  How is she doing that?  Rep after rep people are flying around the room.  A short time later you finish.  As you take a knee to catch your breath, everyone comes over to give you a high-five.  You’re exhausted, but satisfied.  You feel accomplished.

Fast forward to now.  You’re part of the group heading over to high-five the new person.  If you ever think you aren’t making progress think back to day one.  Think about how far you’ve come.  None of this happens overnight and none of it is easy.  It’s work and hard work at that.

CrossFit & Student Athletes

The CrossFit methodology delivers general physical preparedness (GPP) which means we aim to elevate all ten physical skills.  Cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy are all a focus of our training.

Some programs aim to increase only select skills, such as strength and speed.  There’s nothing wrong with this, but we  provide athletes with broader foundations to then later build specialization upon.  From what I see this is especially important in the case of the student athlete.  We want to give an athlete that expansive base and then narrow focus as we progress.  Not the other way around.

Athletes who train in this manner will be stronger, faster, more efficient, and less likely to become injured.  Those are the things we can measure.  The things we aren’t able to measure, but still observe, are things like confidence and overall happiness.  Also very important things to consider.