CFE Intramural Open: Just for the FUN

Some people like to compete. Other people like to play. This year CrossFit Enforce will be combining the two in an Intramural Open: It looks like competition but remains fun and approachable.

The Intramural Open is a way to have a great time in the community during the Open (read our Blog post about the Open). We will divide the gym into 3 teams. Each team has a designated fearless team captain, with the focus and objective of having fun. You do NOT need to be registered for the Open with CrossFit HQ to participate. Athletes of all levels will have a chance to earn points. The team with the most points at the end wins!

The winning team will be announced Friday, March 3rd at the CFE Friday Night Lights Potluck. We will provide the meat; feel free to bring a side dish to share and beverages of your choice! Friends and family are welcome.  

The Open workouts will be done during regular class times on Fridays and Saturdays, and they’re a great chance to see how you stack up against your peers, measure your progress, and identify skills to work on for the rest of the year. Workouts are announced on Thursday afternoons, and scores are due by 8 p.m. the following Monday.

Team Assignments 

Captains are responsible for participating in the team formation, coordinating team name/spirit, and leading their team towards greatness. Your captains are:

Coach Dimitri – Coach Griffin – Coach Ashley

Teams will be made on Feb 15th.  Athletes who are signed up for the CrossFit Open (Link to register) and have chosen CFE as their gym will be assigned a team.  Other members who wish to be part of a team can sign-up at the gym by Feb 14th.  If on Feb 17th you have bad FOMO just let a coach or captain know and we will assign you a team. 

How to Score Points for Your Team

Scoring points for your team is E- A – S – Y!!!!  You can only give your team more points by participating, you can’t lose points for your team.

Completing the WOD = 1 point/athlete/week who completes the Open WOD (even if you repeat it – you still get 1 point)…regardless of if you are registered, and yu don’t have to be judged.  Your team gets a point when you do the WOD on Friday.

CFE Social = 1 point/athlete/week for posting an Open relevant picture/video and tagging @crossfitenforce (must be different pictures/videos per post)

Judge = 1 point for each athlete you judge

CFE Pride = 1 point/athlete for wearing CFE apparel on Friday Feb 17th

Team Spirit = 1 point/athlete. Show your team spirit on Friday February 24th with a uniform, team theme, or any other way you can think of to show your team unity and awesomeness. 

(We reserve the right to create possible other point categories or weights once the Open WODS are released.)  

The winning team will be the one with the highest overall score at the conclusion of the Friday March 3rd heats.  They will win pride, bragging rights and their team’s name forever immortalized at CFE on the Intramural Open Plaque.

The Intramural Open is meant to be FUN and ENCOURAGING and you are ALL invited to participate. 

The Open is the most exciting time of year at CrossFit gyms around the World and at CFE! We are so excited for another year of COMMUNITY and FITNESS!

CrossFit Open is for Everyone

Open season is almost here!!!

The CrossFit Open is our favorite time of year, and it is right around the corner.  Here is the why and the how of the Open.

The Open is the first part of the overall CrossFit competition called The Games where the ultimate purpose is to find and crown the Fittest on Earth. To do that, the Open casts a wide net and attracts many people from around the world to participate on a level playing field at the start of the competition (games.crossfit.com/).

The Open (open.crossfit.com/) is a series of workouts spaced across three weeks starting February 16th and closing March 6th. Individuals can do the workouts from anywhere and there are several divisions for each workout, making it easy to find a place where you can be challenged yet not discouraged over the course of the three weeks. You don’t have to be at a particular fitness level to participate. All you need is a willingness to try, and the excitement and camaraderie of the Open will take care of the rest. Link to register

The options are:

  • Rx’d – Do the workouts as written.
  • Scaled – Not quite ready to tackle the workouts as written? No problem. The scaled division offers classic scaling options for many of CrossFit’s common gymnastics movements and includes lighter loading.
  • Foundations – Just started CrossFit or maybe this is your first Open? The foundations workouts are a great place to start.
  • Age Groups – There are nine age group divisions offering Rx’d and scaled versions of the workouts for teenage athletes aged 14-17 as well as masters athletes ages 35+.
  • Adaptive – The adaptive divisions offer equally challenging workouts modified for athletes with a significant, permanent impairment. These divisions include Upper Extremity, Lower Extremity, Seated with Hip Function, Neuromuscular, and more.

Why register for the Open

The Open is a way to check in on your fitness, hold you accountable to moving forward and staying motivated for the upcoming year, accomplish personal goals, and celebrate with the community.  Officially signing up for the competition gives you a goal and paying to play creates an additional layer of commitment. It is akin to running in an organized 5K race.  You pay the fee to participate, run your best to challenge yourself, get your results recorded and have fun doing it.

The adrenaline rush is much different than just a typical class. It is healthy for us to be a little uncomfortable once in a while.  That’s where most of our greatest growth as individuals happens. You should compete because it’s a commitment, during which time you will train harder, you will eat better, and you will connect with your coaches and community in ways you may not even realize exist.  You should compete because you can, and it is also JUST PLAIN FUN!

The Open schedule at CFE

Wednesday before the WOD is released sign-up for your heat time which follows the typical class schedule.  This helps you from having to wait around and helps us plan to have sufficient judges.

Thursday the Open WOD is released by CrossFit HQ.  Most Thursday evenings a coach and a few daring members will give the WOD a go during Open Gym.

Friday we start running heats that follow the typical class schedule.  A coach will guide your through a warm-up and help you strategize for the WOD. If you are undecided, your coach will help you decide between Rx’d, Scaled or Foundations. Note: you don’t have to do all three weeks as Rx’d, Scaled or Foundations – you can mix it up each week!

Friday evening (aka Friday Night Lights) many members who went earlier in the day come back to cheer those who have yet to go.  It’s loud, very high energy, incredibly supportive and lots of laughs!

Saturday BBC is cancelled, and we run 1-3 heats.

Monday there are no official heats but you are welcome to (re)do the WOD during Open Gym but you must arrange for a judge.  By 8pm est you MUST enter your score into the CrossFit.com games site.

You are at the gym doing the workout anyway so why not submit your score online and see how you stack up to others in your age group/division around the globe.

Get out of your comfort zone and register NOW (link).

Want to help Judge?  Please take the judge’s course. Link

Want an official CrossFit Open shirt?  Buy a t-shirt or tank here.  CFE gets $5 for each shirt sold.

Want to look at the competition rules? CF Games 2023 Rule Book

Want to do more reading about why you should do the Open? Article: CrossFit: A Sport for Life

How Your Mindset Affects Performance

How Your Mindset Affects Performance

There is a lot going on when you step on to that lifting platform or competition floor. Some days you feel strong and focused. Others you can’t quite seem able to connect the dots. You feel slow and foggy or the weight feels heavy.

The mind and body are in constant fluctuation. Our thoughts can instantly change our physiology. Just think of a time when your were made or scared. Your muscles tensed, heart rate quickened, and pupils dilated ready to react.

And the converse is just as true. Our body influences our mental state and thoughts. Think about how chill and carefree you feel after a long walk in nature or how amped you get when exercising or dancing to your favorite song.

Controlling the stressors and other stimuli in your environment is essential when it comes to controlling your mind and body for performance. Stress can have significant impact on performance and can seriously get in the way of your competitive goals if you don’t have a strategy to manage it.

Let’s take a look at why stress is so damaging to performance and some key strategies to combat it…

The Cortisol/Testosterone Relationship

A study of 109 male olympic weightlifters was set up to determine the effects of cortisol as a moderator of the relationship between testosterone and performance in olympic lifting. The study measured pre and post levels of serum cortisol and testosterone to see if there was any effect on performance. It turns out that pre-competition levels of cortisol or testosterone had a significant effect on olympic weightlifting performance. The inverse relationship between testosterone and cortisol shows that the level of stress an athlete experiences before training or competition can significantly impact their testosterone levels and subsequent performance.

Whoop Dee Doo. But what does it all mean Basil?!

Getting stressed about before a competition or intense training session is a surefire way to negatively impact performance. There are several techniques you can utilize to prepare your mind making it an asset rather than a liability. Top athletes all develop their mental game through practices involving goal setting, visualization, and routines.

“The Ultimate Measure Of A Man Is Not Where He Stands In Moments Of Comfort And Convenience, But Where He Stands At Times Of Challenge And Controversy.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Goal Setting

Goal setting is essential to achieving any specific outcome you want in life. When you focus on a specific outcome your mind will constantly be searching for ways to bring the object of focus into being. That can be for the good or the bad. Say you are a weightlifter competing in your first meet. You should set a goal involving the successful completion of a lift at a weight you feel optimistic you can hit. When you set this metric for success you will be determined to achieve the outcome and take confident action towards achieving it. Odds are you will outperform your goal and be able to raise the bar for your next meet.

Visualization

Visualization is the formation of a mental image. As an athlete you want to visualize a successful outcome you desire. Picture yourself achieving your goals with as much detail as possible. From the clothes you are wearing to the sound of the crowd. The way you move, powerful and strong. The sweat on your brow and the heartbeat in your chest. When you get to gameday it will feel like you’ve been there before. Visualization of success also lends itself to positive self talk that will reinforce your mindset and confidence when it comes to competition.

Routines

Routines are extremely useful when it comes to athletes and performance. They help reduce decision fatigue and providing fewer distractions and less to think about on game day. Decide ahead of time your warmup, clothing, equipment, music, and anything else you would use in competition. Practice with it and make it comfortable and familiar. One important consideration with routines is not to get too superstitious or hung up on these items being responsible for your success. You and only you are responsible for your success. Not your lucky sneakers…

If you want to accomplish your goals working with a professional coach is one of the best ways to develop a strategy and system for results. If you want to work with someone to help you create a game plan for your fitness goals get in touch with one of our qualified coaches for a free consult and discussion on how we can help you!

Why you should love the Lunge

Lunges, split squats, and other unilateral leg movements are tremendous tools for building a strong, functional, and balanced body. Yet they tend to take a backseat to the more popular lower body exercises like squats and deadlifts. Let’s explore some of the benefits of lunges, common faults, and some popular variations so you never miss a lunge day again!

Lunges are a fundamental human movement pattern and take many different forms. The movement is generally defined as a split legged stance with one foot planted in front of the body and the other extended behind the body. From this position the athlete can raise or lower their body while stepping forward to the lead leg or returning to the rear leg. Lunges require leg strength, core strength, balance, and coordination. They can be performed as a bodyweight movement, under an external load, or explosively as a plyometric exercise. There are really an incredible number of ways to perform this exercise. Depending on your goals there are many ways that training lunges can be beneficial.

If you are looking to improve balance and coordination you could train lunges with a loading pattern that increased the demand for midline stability. Lunges performed with a barbell overhead or a single dumbbell or kettlebell loading one side of the body will achieve this. Due to the stabilization and core strength required to complete a lunge variation of this sort there is a huge transfer and application to sports and life. Ensure that the load demands don’t force you into a compromised position and that you have the necessary mobility to handle the movement pattern (AKA ask coach if you’re not sure)!

To develop greater strength and enhance muscle growth select lunge variations that allow for greater external loading. A reverse lunge is a popular option for this as it allows the weight to remain in the lead leg ensuring proper form and engagement of the posterior chain. Reverse lunges can be performed with dumbbells held at waist level or a barbell in the back rack position to go hard and heavy. A good rule of thumb is to keep the majority of the load in the front leg as you perform the movement. Select a load that allows for a controlled descent to the floor allowing the knee to kiss, not crash into, the ground.

To prevent injuries, increase range of motion, and correct imbalances the Bulgarian split squat or Bulgarian lunge is an excellent choice. This exercise is performed by working one lead leg at a time with the rear foot elevated on a platform 4-6 inches higher than the lead working leg. This movement optimizes the hinge position of the hips and is greater for activating the gluteus muscles. A popular loading pattern for this lunge is with dumbbells held in suitcase fashion. Make sure to select the appropriate box height to elevate the rear leg to prevent the spine from hyperextending at the end range of motion. Take care to stabilize the lead leg and focus on balance to reap the benefits of this killer lunge variation.

If you want to learn more about the best training movements be sure to discuss your goals with one of our coaches!

Why High-Intensity Training (HIT) Is Good For You

Today there are so many fitness programs and classes available it can be overwhelming to decide how to train. If you are researching training programs you have probably heard of High Intensity Training (HIT) or High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIT is incorporated into many classes and has grown in popularity due to its ability to produce fast and effective results. But what exactly is it…and more importantly how do you decide if it’s right for you?!

Lets answer your top 5 questions about High Intensity Training so you can feel confident in finding a gym, personal trainer, or other fitness option in your local area.

Your top 5 High Intensity Training Questions:

 

  • What exactly is HIT?
  • Is HIT a good fit for me?
  • What does a HIT workout look like?
  • What types of movements are in a HIT workout?
  • What are the benefits of HIT?

 

1.What exactly is HIT?

High intensity refers to a level of intensity that is measured by a high power output or a high rate of perceived exertion. This will be unique to every individual.

A high intensity strength workout will cause high motor unit recruitment. This means it activates a majority of the muscles in your body and generally requires loads >80% of your 1 rep maximum to achieve the desired stimulus.

Near maximal exertion for aerobic work or “cardio” this would be performing exercises at a pace that elevates heart rate and gets you sweating and breathing heavy. You would work at a pace that would be unsustainable for more than a few minutes at a time. These workouts are often set up in an interval fashion where you go hard for a short period of time and then rest. This allows you to repeat the effort several times until the desired training stimulus is achieved. As you train in this way you will improve your ability to train hard for longer periods of time and delay the “burning” feeling commonly associated with HIT.

2. Is HIT a good fit for me?

High Intensity Training is a great fit for anyone looking to get fast results. The key is determining what the definition of “Intensity” is for you. Jumping into a class workout performing movements you haven’t mastered and loads your body is not ready for is a big no-no.

Working with a coach who has experience scaling workouts to meet your needs and abilities is the key to having long term success with HIT training. They will help you choose the exercises, weights, frequency, and duration of your training session to ensure your body gets the stimulus you need with risk of injury or burnout.

Be weary of anyone who promises vomiting or intense pain from their workouts. It’s not an effective way to get the results you want!

3. What does a HIT workout look like?

For a high intensity strength training workout you will be using heavy loads. Ideally greater than 80% of your 1RM as this is the ideal load for gaining strength, building muscle, and improving body composition.

Often times performing multiple exercises back to back at moderate intensity (60-80%) can produce a similar training result. It is important that the movements are carefully selected to ensure that form is not compromised and that the rest time is adequate enough to allow for repeated effort.

If you aren’t familiar with exercises, weightlifting, or just aren’t sure of what your body is capable of then you will benefit from working with a certified and highly qualified trainer or coach. They will analyze your movement and help you develop the motor control and stability to prepare your body for more high intensity forms of exercise.

4. What types of movements are in a HIT workout?

Any type of movement can be incorporated into a HIT workout. Resistance training with barbells, dumbbells, or kettlebells are all great tools. You can incorporate resistance bands, chains, battle ropes or medicine balls. Gymnastics implements like pullup bars or rings. Even simple bodyweight movements and plyometrics can be used.

The most important factor when choosing movements is that you have technical proficiency with the movement and can perform multiple reps at a given load with exceptional form. If your form tends to break down when you are fatigued or you have mobility issues that alter your technique then that movement is not a good choice for the high intensity training session.

5. What are the benefits of HIT?

There are numerous benefits that come from High Intensity Training.

The lactic acid produced from properly executed high intensity training will stimulate the release of growth hormone stimulating sugar and fat metabolism. It also increases protein synthesis which means you will build more lean muscle. HIT training also elevates your metabolism helping you burn more calories both during your training session and for many hours after you’re done.

You also tend to accomplish more work in less time with HIT training. This makes it a great way to train for busy folks who can only train 20-30 minutes 2 or 3 days per week. Just remember that training is only half of the equation. Adequate sleep and proper nutrition make sure that your body recovers from and adapts to the training stimulus, giving you the results you want.

There you have it. Answer to your Top 5 questions about HIT training. If you’re ready to talk to a coach to see if High Intensity Training is right for YOU then get in touch with one of our coaches today for a free consult!

8 Delicious and Functional Fall Foods

With Halloween right around the corner and Thanksgiving and Christmas following close behind it’s a great time to start thinking about the change of the season. The last 3 months of the year present a great time to come together with friends and loved ones. The pinnacle of these gatherings is often the food and treats that are shared.

For some folks, the buffet of rich foods and desserts can be a real challenge. Know that it’s okay to indulge in some of your favorite treats. Just focus on filling up with delicious foods that also have health benefits first and staying active. Let’s fork up 8 Delicious and Functional Fall Foods that you should focus on eating!

Turkey
Pumpkin
Squash
Apples
Cranberries
Pecans
Brussel Sprouts
Beets

Turkey
Turkey is a very rich source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6 and the amino acid tryptophan. It also contains zinc, selenium, and vitamin B12. The skinless white meat of turkey is low on fat and is an excellent source of protein. Don’t be afraid to double down on turkey if you’re missing out on other healthy options at the table.

Pumpkin
Pumpkin is rich in potassium and vitamins A, C, and E. A serving of pumpkin also contains more than 20% of your daily recommended intake of fiber. This fun fall food can be prepared in a variety of ways so try to keep this dish simple and not too sweet by doctoring it up with freshly ground cinnamon and a little sea salt. And no, a pumpkin spice latte does not count!

Squash
Squash a tremendous source of beta carotene, manganese, and antioxidants like vitamin C. It’s also a great source of potassium that is associated with lowering blood pressure. A roasted acorn squash with a little grass fed butter and some lean protein can be a simple and delicious harvest dinner!

Apples
Apples are a fan favorite when it comes to fall foods and a fun fall activity. They are a great source of Vitamin K, potassium and immune-boosting Vitamin C. “You also get plenty of dietary fiber (pectin) from this delicious fruit that can help you feel satiated. Eat this fruit whole, add it to a salad, or make it the foundation of a healthy dessert. Bonus points if you pick your own!

Cranberries
Cranberries are a fall superfood high in vitamins, fiber, minerals and antioxidants. They are also correlated with reducing the incidence of urinary tract infection and contain immune boosting properties to boot! Rather than buying pre packaged cranberry sauce try making your own with fresh squeezed orange juice for a healthier alternative.

Pecans
Pecans are a great source of Vitamin E (which is both immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory) as well as B-vitamins and magnesium which are essential for a healthy heart and muscle function. A handful of pecans make a great snack but some pecan themed desserts can be loaded with sugar so proceed with caution.

Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable that contain potassium, iron, and heart-protective B vitamins—including B6 and thiamin. Brussel sprouts also contain prebiotic which feed the healthy bacteria in your gut. You can’t get enough of this crispy crunchy veggie!

Beets
Beets are a go-to fall food when it comes to fiber, iron, potassium and folic acids. This superfood can be prepared in a variety of ways from roasted beets and beet chips to a nice cold glass of beet juice to help you detox.

There you have it. 8 delicious and functional fall foods that you should aim to incorporate into your diet this season. Have more questions on how to get in the groove with healthy dietary choices this fall? Get in touch with one of our coaches and we’d be happy to help!

The Top 3 Hacks For Healthy Eating

Not every “fit” person follows a diet.

Not every person who struggles with their body composition lacks self control.

Finding the right foods, ratios, and quantities to optimize the way you look and feel is an ever evolving process. Your body is in a constant state of change. Cells are dying and regenerating. The body we live in today is a result of many past choices. How we look and feel will be influenced by our food choices, age, gender, hormones, activities, sleep, and stress. There’s no one right answer.

There are however some areas we can focus on in our journey to looking and feeling great. Here are the top 3 hacks for healthy eating!

  1. Pick your fats
  2. Eat more vegetables
  3. Protein is the foundation of every meal

1. Pick your fats
Fats stick with you. Not just figuratively, they actually make up the cell wall in every cell in your body. This affects the way cells communicate with one another as well as your body’s inflammatory response. That’s why the types and the quality of fats you choose to eat is such an important factor.

Fat Types
Polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats can help provide your body with a sustainable energy source, decrease inflammation, and improve mental performance. These types of fats are found in foods such as salmon, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds.

Saturated fats should be consumed sparingly. They are not all bad but high consumption of saturated fat may be linked to increased risk of heart disease.

Fat Quality
Each meal should include a healthy fat option that supports your goals. Fat quality in animal products can vary greatly depending on the conditions the animal was raised in and what they were. You are eating what the animal ate! Focus on humanely raised animal products, grass finished, and wild fish versus farm raised.

Fat amounts
Working with an experienced nutritionist is a great way to calculate your fat needs for the day. This can vary based on your body type, genetics, and goals. Try to avoid high fat meals before or after exercise to avoid any digestive issues around training.

2. Eat more vegetables
Seems like a no-brainer but when you think about your meals over the past few days how many of those contained a full serving of veggies?

Vegetables are a great source of fiber, essential nutrients, and prebiotics to support gut health. They are also always going to be your best alternative when it comes to snacking. Most of us are not going to do any sort of damage by stuffing our face with broccoli and carrots!

3. Protein is the foundation of every meal

Humans need protein. There’s no way around it. The amino acids that make up proteins (plant or animal) are the building blocks for our muscles. Without sufficient protein in the diet our bodies will start breaking down muscle, diverting amino acids to perform other critical functions in the body.

So how much do you need? This again will vary a ton based on your goals, body composition, and genetics. Once you have your protein goal determined for the day. Set a protein goal for each meal by dividing that total daily amount by the number of meals you generally eat. Don’t forget to factor in your post workout shake!

For example, if you are shooting to consume 150 grams of protein per day and typically eat 5 times a day you would aim for about 30 grams of protein at each meal. Once you figure out your numbers it becomes easy to know what foods support that quantity of protein.

There you have it, the top 3 hacks for healthy eating! If you’re trying to clean up your nutrition and fitness regiment let us know how we can best help!

4 Tips To Help You Get Started

Most of us have no problem once we’re at the gym, on the trail, or biting into a salad. An object in motion tends to stay in motion. But getting to that point. Doing the “healthy thing” or the “hard thing” that we know will benefit us. That can be a bit trickier.

There is a certain amount of activation energy we must muster anytime we want to break out of our normal habit patterns. It’s hard to make will power override the status quo every time we need to make a decision though. If you’re someone who finds themselves frequently running into barriers when it comes to healthy habits then this article is for you!

Here are 4 Tips to help you get started on your healthy habits!

1. Define your task.
2. Make it as easy as possible to begin.
3. Find a way to make it more fun or interesting.
4. Stop publicly sharing your goals.

1.Define your task.
Specificity is your friend when it comes to taking action. The more focused and detailed your pursuit is, the more likely you will be to get it done. Just think about the following 3 statements:

  • “I’m going to eat healthy today.”
  • “I’m going to have a salad for lunch.”
  • “I’m going to eat a vegetable and lean protein with each meal and avoid eating sugar today.”

Which person do you think is going to have the most success with their healthy eating today?

Ding ding ding! If you said person number three you are absolutely correct. This person took an approach that set them up for success in their meal choices for the day. Notice that they didn’t have to do anything special to make this happen. The short amount of time it takes to plan how you will attack your healthy habit will pay tremendous dividends in the end!

2. Make it as easy as possible to begin.
As we talked about before, there is always a certain amount of activation energy required to start a new habit or task. If we can reduce the amount of activation energy it will be easier to get started.

That’s science right? Boom!

So how do we actually apply this concept? There are a ton of ways. Let’s say the habit is to go to the gym at 6am tomorrow morning. What are all the things that could make your trip to the gym happen successfully? You could:

  • Set your alarm so that you have enough time to wake up, get ready, and drive to the gym with 10-15 minutes to spare.
  • Set up your morning coffee and a simple breakfast so it’s ready to go.
  • Set a bedtime alarm reminding you to shut down the tech and get ready for bed at a desirable time.
  • Pick out your gym clothes and anything else you need to start your day off as a success.
  • RSVP/Sign up for the class.
  • Coordinate with a friend to carpool together to class. (This is a great way to stay accountable!)

The less you have to do in any given moment the easier it will be to take action. Try to eliminate as many barriers as possible that would present as an obstacle to your goal.

3. Find a way to make it more fun or interesting.
If you struggle to prepare healthy meals or don’t really like to exercise maybe you just haven’t found the approach that works for you. Trying a group fitness class, small group session, or personal training appointment might help you figure out the right environment and type of support you need to make going to the gym “not so bad” 🙂

If cooking and eating healthy is a struggle try to come up with a ritual that makes meal prep more fun. Invite a friend over, crank up some tunes, or binge watch one of your favorite shows while you chop veggies and cook up your meals for the week!

4. Stop publicly sharing your goals.
Studies have shown that people who publicly announce their goals or intentions are actually less likely to follow through on them. When you tell someone “I’m going to lose 10 lbs” or “I’m going to hit the gym 5 days a week” it feels good at the moment. According to the study, that sense of completeness you feel will make you less effective than if you were to keep the goals to yourself.

So what should you do instead? Write down the goals you have or some of the changes you want to make. Discuss a plan of action with an experienced coach who can tell you what it takes to get there. Keep it secret. Keep it safe. Get it done.

There you have it, 4 tips to help you get started towards your wellness goals.

When you hear that alarm go off in the morning and your first instinct is to hit that snooze button remember this maxim from Marcus Aurelius, “Is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?” Remember it is human nature to seek comfort. But it is our most basic desire that we are satisfied in the process. Hold yourself to that higher standard. The delayed gratification of getting out of bed for a walk or to hit the gym will improve your life and fulfillment in the long run. The warm bed feels good in the moment, but you’ll sleep easier knowing your actions are aligned with your words.

Trust the Prescription

You know that little 5 minute speech that the coach gives at the beginning of class? When they talk about the workout and how it should feel. That’s a pretty important part of planning out your workout for the day and will help you select the weights you use, reps you shoot for, and how to pace yourself in conditioning pieces. If you’ve ever felt a bit lost during this portion of class then this article is for you!

Let’s dive into how to approach some different types of workouts to better understand how the stimulus of each workout should feel so you scale appropriately for you. Of course, our coaches are always available to answer your questions!

One of the simplest ways to look at each workout is based on the energy system involved.

The 3 main energy systems in our body are:

  • Phosphocreatine System
  • Glycolytic System
  • Aerobic System

The differences between these systems are based on the source of energy or “fuel” for the activity. These systems are always functioning in our bodies at all times, but depending on the type of activity we’re doing one energy system may be the predominant fuel source.

Training these energy systems improve our ability to use fuel more efficiently, recover more quickly, and improve our overall health as a side effect. It’s important to know what the result you are trying to achieve is for each workout. This makes sure that you get the most out of your efforts without burning yourself out!

The Phosphocreatine system is associated with short intense efforts, usually lasting 10-12 seconds or less. Most dedicated power and strength pieces fall into this category.

An example of a workout item that targets this energy system could look like:
Build to a 3 Rep Max Back Squat with 2:00-3:00 rest between.

Another example could be:
Every 2:00 for 5 sets perform :10 second max effort assault bike sprint.

Notice how in the second prescription we chose a time domain rather a set number of calories on the bike. If the assignment was 10 calories every 2:00 you might see very different time domains based on the athlete. It might take one person :08 seconds to complete 10 calories and another person :30 seconds. This would change the energy system being trained, the rest interval, and totally change the dose response of the workout.

The glycolytic system is associated with medium to high intensity efforts that can last from :30 – :180 seconds and will taper off drastically based on how well trained an individual is. These usually show up as higher rep weightlifting sets or interval style workouts. Efforts in this energy system rely on glucose (blood sugar) to fuel the effort. They also generate lactate that the body works to clear in order to continue the effort. Adjusting the amount of time you rest.

One example of an interval workout would be:
4 sets of 10-12 reps of Bench Press with a 40X0 tempo followed by :90 seconds of rest.

Another example would be
Every Minute On The Minute for 8 rounds perform :40 seconds of Russian Kettlebell Swings.

Aerobic workouts cover the broad spectrum of workouts remaining. Most efforts lasting longer than 3 minutes will put you in an aerobic state. If you’ve ever “come out too hot” in a workout you have probably approached the workout as a glycolytic piece and when your body could no longer sustain the effort you switched to an aerobic approach.

A classic benchmark workout that require an aerobic effort would be:
Cindy, Complete as many rounds as possible in 20:00 minutes of
-5 Pullup
-10 Pushup
-15 Air Squat

If you are not able to sustain that number of reps or continue completing the movement safely for 20 minutes at a steady pace then you can explore scaling the movements, repetition numbers, or shortening the time domain.

Each day’s class might contain one or more elements of these types of training. There may also be a skill component to a workout that may not be targeting a response from any of these energy systems and is instead geared towards improving movement patterns and transferability of key skills.

Questions about scaling? You know where to find us!

How Athletes Win The Day

If you’re training a lot, chances are it feels like life is a bit chaotic. You may feel like you don’t have enough time for most things in life. While you’re definitely busy getting better at the gym or on the field or court, you may be missing out on some key routines that could change the way you feel about your day.

“The first hour of the morning is the rudder of the day.” -Henry Ward Beecher

Healthy Breakfast 

Having a routine to start your morning is just like having a pregame ritual or a set up ritual before you attempt an olympic lift. Starting your morning off with consistency will help you stay more focused throughout the day and improve your mental attitude which we know is important for athletic performance. A great beverage for the morning is hot water with lemon and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and cinnamon. 

Stretching or Movement Practice

Getting blood flow allows for a smooth transition into your morning. Bringing awareness to your body will allow you to address any issues that may be surfacing before you get to the weight room. Mobilitywod.com has some great videos on how to stretch and release some of your most pressing aches and pains. Deep belly breathing is highly encouraged during this part of your morning routine.

Review your goals and visualize your ultimate success

You’re training for something right? Visualizing yourself every morning accomplishing your goal is one of the most powerful things you can do for your training. You create important neural connections and your mind and body become aligned to opportunities that will encourage the realization of your goals.

Take a look at your schedule and be one step ahead of it

Being late to train or practice is never a good feeling. Missing appointments and meetings at work or home can cause undue stress to your situation too. By confronting your schedule head-on in the morning, you’re committing to integrity which translates directly to your training habits.

There you have it, a great way for any athlete to start the day!