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Inspiration

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Where Have You Been?

While it certainly is easier to catch yourself before things start sliding out of control, even with a lengthy absence, it’s never too late to come back.

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Don't Call It a Resolution

by Geoff Rand

So it’s that time again when the New Year brings out the sense in many of us that we need to make lists of all the things we want to change or achieve in the coming months.  It’s so cliché.  Sorry to blast a hole in your balloon, but if you approach your resolutions like most people do, you are probably going to fail to achieve your lofty goals for 2018.

Unfortunately, many resolutions fail.  Some don’t even make it through January.  The reasons are many.  Some resolutions are too general.  Instead of “I want to lose weight,” you need a numerical marker to hit like a number of pounds, or even better, inches, you’d like to lose per month or by a certain date. 

Other resolutions have no structured plan.  “I want to quit smoking” is a great goal, but without breaking down the idea into a meaningful plan, you are unlikely to stick with it and achieve the goal.

For your goals to be achieved, you need to want to achieve them.  It should be something you are passionate about and are motivated to work towards.  My father was recently diagnosed with diabetes.  He used that to light a fire under his ass and totally gave up sugar and revamped his whole diet.  It’s only a few months later and he has lost a ton of weight and is actually starting to wean off many of his medications under the advice and approval of his doctor.

Have some more easily achievable goals to go along with your more challenging ones.  It’s important to see some progress and achievement in your journey.  If none of your goals are being met, it’s easy to get discouraged and then abandon the whole idea.

Try to refrain from calling it a Resolution.  I’m not sure what it is, but the term Resolution just seems to have a sense of temporariness to it to me.  Your goals should be ongoing to the point they develop into healthy habits that become part of your regular routine.  That is how you avoid starting off 2019 with the same goals you failed to achieve in 2018.

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With that in mind, here are some ideas for a Lifestyle Tune Up, if you will.

1.  Bring a friend.  Introduce a friend to CrossFit.  Your friend benefits by getting to experience the same great workouts you already know about in an easier-to-get-started manner since they know you.  You benefit by getting 50% off your next month’s membership.  You also will sound less weird to at least one person the next time you brag about your snatch on Facebook.  You both benefit by having a workout partner that can keep you motivated and attending regularly.

2.  Sign up for a race.  Signing up for a race or other significant physical challenge (like the fast-approaching CrossFit Open) is a great way to stay motivated past the initial idea phase.  Having a date set and a monetary expenditure makes you more likely to want to work towards the goal of getting ready for the challenge.  Increase your chances of success by signing up with friends.

3.  Make sleep a priority.  I’ve done some recent blog posts on sleep.  The short of it is lack of sleep is literally killing you.  If you are not getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night regularly, you are shaving years off your life, making it harder for you to recover from workouts and injuries, inhibiting your gains, making yourself more prone to developing illnesses, diseases, and cancers, and a laundry list of other maladies.  Find time in your schedule for sleep.  Schedule sleep first and the rest of your day around it if you have to.

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4.  Make small changes over time.  Especially if weight loss is your goal, you’re going to be more successful if you break your goals down into smaller chunks.  A friend of mine was trying to improve his diet and chose to cut out one bad item per week.  Ranch dressing, then soda, and on and on.  Each week, he ate a little healthier.

If you need a little help with your meal planning, try Territory’s foods that are delivered right to the Box.  Your food delivery even gives you an added incentive to come into the Box to pick it up.  Win-win.   

Stay tuned for details on the next healthy eating challenge.  The Numbers Don’t Lie Challenge will be starting soon and is a great way to tune up your food intake with a program monitored by a coach, a detailed meal plan, measurements to track your progress, and a large support community of like-minded members going through it with you.  It’s a great way to try healthy eating for the first time or get back on track if you’ve strayed.

5.  Get a yearly physical.  No one wants to go to the doctor, but regular check ups and physicals with blood work are your best chance of catching an ailment early when it can be addressed, before it becomes a serious problem.

6.  Don’t forget a mental tune-up.  Finding ways to organize, de-clutter, or downsize can have huge benefits to your mental health.  When your life is less cluttered, stress is reduced, and you can become a healthier, more productive you.  Marie Kondo’s book has been used by thousands to streamline their lives by getting rid of what they don’t need. 

 

Good luck to you with whatever you call it and here’s to a safe, prosperous, and productive 2018!

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No Shirt, No Shoes, No Barbell…No Problem

by Geoff Rand

With vacation season soon approaching, many of us are thinking of spending it someplace full of sun and sand, possibly with a drink in our hand.  But just because you are away from the Box, it doesn’t mean you need to abandon your workouts.  In fact, with the tendency we all have to overindulge on our time off, it might be more important than ever to get that blood pumping and burn some calories.  Plus, we’ve all experienced that first day back at the Box after a long absence.  It sucks.  Staying active on your vacation can help minimize the pain upon your return.

The big hurdle to overcome with travelling and working out is the lack of programming.  While I’m sure Amanda would love for you to take her with you to the islands, that’s probably not realistic.  But have no fear, that trail has already been blazed for you.  Here are two links to help you out.  The first is 75 primarily body weight WODs, and the second is a website devoted to travel WODs.  Both feature WODs requiring no or minimal equipment.

Alternatively, you could take a deck of cards with you (or download a deck of cards app) and do the core centric version (burpees, mountain climbers, flutter kicks, situps, and jokers are 400m sprint), or substitute an exercise for any equipment you may have available.

Another option is to rediscover some of the CrossFit Girls.  Many of them require minimal or no equipment.

Angie (100 each of pullups, pushups, situps and squats – for time)

Barbara (20 pullups, 30 pushups, 40 situps, 50 squats – 5 rounds for time, with 3 minutes rest between rounds)

Cindy (5 pullups, 10 pushups, 15 squats – max rounds in 20 minutes)

Mary (5 handstand pushups, 10 pistols, 15 pullups – max rounds in 20 minutes)

Don’t forget your warm up.  You wouldn’t jump right into a WOD without warming up here, so why would travelling be different?  Pack your jump rope and twist off the bristles from a broom, and throw in some inch worms or push ups, and you’ve got all you need to be plenty loosened up for any travel WOD.  And, don’t forget to stretch afterward.

One final option when on the road is to drop in to a local Box.  This is a great way to get your sweat on and it can be fun to experience the nuances of different coaches and vibes of different Boxes.  Here are some tips if you are thinking of hitting a new box while travelling.

·      Research the local Box’s policies regarding prior registration, cost, paperwork, drop in requirements, etc.  Some may require online registration and actually limit the number of attendees for a given WOD.  It’s always a good idea to call or email ahead of time and let them know who you are and when you are coming.

·      Arrive early to fill out waivers, pay, meet the coaches, and figure out how the Box works.  Take notice of whether or not weights are dropped, equipment is wiped down after the WOD, etc.  Introduce yourself and ask questions if you are unsure of anything.

·      Be Open Minded.  Coaching varies from place to place and you may be shown an alternate way to do an exercise that you might not be familiar with.  Now is not the time to say, “Well, we do it this way.”  They might actually be telling you the same thing CFF does, just in other words.

·      Communicate any injuries or exercises you’re uncomfortable with.

While your normal routine is interrupted, being away from CFF is no excuse for not working out while on vacation.  With the simpler, body weight workouts you might be doing on your own, it might even be a good time to involve other family members and workout together.  Also, if you’re like me, my day starts with my workout and I just feel better and get more done if my workout has been knocked out early on.  Finally, if you are looking for an escape from your travel companions, whomever they might be, a travel WOD or drop in is a great excuse for a little time to yourself to clear your mind.  It may keep you from ripping someone’s head off later.

If you happen to workout or travel someplace cool, send Amanda a photo.  Bonus points if you’re doing a handstand hold on the beach or back squatting a family member or friend with the Grand Canyon or some other neat place in the background.  We’ll feature your photos in a future blog article or on the CFF FB page.

 

Sources:

https://breakingmuscle.com/learn/4-tips-for-visiting-a-crossfit-gym-while-traveling

http://www.tabatatimes.com/crossfit-traveling/

 

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Forging New Habits

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by Geoff Rand

With the healthy eating challenge over, I took notice of some of the comments people were making in the Box and on Facebook in reference to their successes and failures they experienced.  I was happy to see a good number of people were happy with their experience and plan to continue on with the program and build upon the good habits they developed.

It’s no secret that making healthy changes part of your daily routine is the way to stay on track to a lifetime of health and fitness, but just how long does it take to make a new way of doing something become habit?

You may have heard the saying that it takes 21 days to develop something into habit. Unfortunately, this isn’t completely accurate and it seems over time, the original meaning was lost.  Here’s how it happened.

In the 1950s, plastic surgeon Dr. Maxwell Maltz noticed there was an adjustment period for his patients to become accustomed to their new look.   He commented that “These, and many other commonly observed phenomena tend to show that it requires a minimum of 21 days for an old mental image to dissolve and a new one to jell. ”

That quote, and Dr. Maltz’s other thoughts on behavior change were published in 1960 in his book Psycho-Cybernetics.  The book went on to sell 30 million copies and suddenly every self-help guru and their mother was quoting Maltz.  Over time, the minimum part of the 21 days was dropped, and 3 weeks became the standard for developing something into habit.  The problem with Maltz’s observation was that it was nothing more than an observation he made, not a tested fact.  But, with his misquoted statement being repeated over and over again, it became the accepted truth.

Later, scientific studies showed that the time period varies from person to person in how long it takes something to become habit.  On average, it takes 66 days for someone to develop a new behavior into his or her routine, however, this time can be obviously longer or shorter depending on a variety of factors.

Bringing all this back to our healthy eating challenge, the challenge was 8 weeks or 56 days.  We’re a little short of the average time it takes to turn those changes we made into habits.  One could surmise that those who had success during the challenge were quicker to adapt these changes into their daily routines, and those who weren’t as successful maybe just needed some more time to develop those same habits.

It doesn’t matter if the change you’re looking to make is eating better, drinking more water, attending more CFF classes, or stopping the biting of your nails, the path to change follows the same guidelines.

Know your why.  Have a clear reason for making the change.  It could be as simple as wanting to look good for a reunion, or as serious as a doctor’s ultimatum.

Take one day at a time.  Instead of being overwhelmed by a long journey to change, look at what you can do today and tomorrow to better yourself.

Take small bites.  Look at small changes you can implement.  I have a friend who decided to eat better and to work towards that goal, he would eliminate one poor food choice and replace it with a healthy one each week.  One week, he’d cut out ranch dressing, the next, breads.  He continued on like this until his nutrition was nearly optimal, and his performance in the gym was greatly improved.  Breaking your trek up into smaller, more achievable goals helps keep you motivated and moving in the right direction.

Don’t sweat small setbacks.  It’s inevitable that you will experience failures during your quest for change.  Whether it is because of work, family, or other events, things don’t always go to plan.  Don’t let a day of poor eating choices, or schedule conflicts make you totally abandon your goal.  Get through the day and get back on track tomorrow.

Make it easy.  Set that water bottle out where you’ll remember to drink it.  Schedule reminders on your phone.  Put a Post-It note on your steering wheel.  Do whatever works for you to keep that good behavior in sight.

Stay accountable.  Having a partner or even a whole family working towards the same goal as you is a huge motivational booster.  Commit to attending class, prepping foods, etc. and expect your partner will do the same.  Call each other out on social media to keep each other honest if that works for you.

Don’t wait for the perfect time to start.  Life is full of obstacles and putting off starting to make a change because of upcoming holidays, family or work events, vacations, etc. will just delay you reaching your goal.  Start today and stay with it.  In time, your newly developed habits will allow you to roll right over these barriers and get on with your life.

Above all, be patient.  It would be great if we could flick a switch and make instant changes stick, but it doesn’t work that way.  You’ve likely been reinforcing the bad habit for years so don’t expect change overnight.  Give it time and the new practices will begin to set and become part of your daily routine.

 

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-clear/forming-new-habits_b_5104807.html

http://examinedexistence.com/how-long-does-it-take-for-something-to-become-a-habit/

http://derbycitycf.com/goals-new-habits-for-2017/

http://www.crossfitcatonsville.com/3-steps-to-creating-habits-that-stick/

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Fight Adaptation

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by Geoff Rand

Whenever I’m watching TV these days, the same commercial keeps coming on, the one for the Simply Fit board.  If you’re fortunate enough to not be familiar, this device looks like someone left a skateboard in hot car and it got all warped.  You’re supposed to balance on this thing and twist your way to a fitter you.  You can watch the ridiculousness here.

Like many commercials for exercise equipment, the statements in the ad seem to be in contradiction with reality.  One of the testimonial users says, “It’s so fun I don’t feel like I’m working out.”  And the financial backer, Lori Greiner of Shark Tank says, “I like being toned, but I’m not big into working out or sweating.”  If it doesn’t make you feel like you’re working out, you probably aren’t.  My initial reaction was that this is just another piece of junk fitness equipment praying on the false hopes of the uninformed.

Now I’m not going to knock the efforts of someone who is going from sitting on the couch all day to doing some kind, any kind, of activity.  Perhaps that sedentary person would see some results from the Simply Fit board, just like they would from any increase in their level of activity.  However, they can only expect to see positive changes for a limited time with a device like that because the body will eventually adapt to the new stresses being placed upon it.

One of the reasons the CrossFit formula works is that it involves constant change.  Changes in type of exercise, duration, tempo, and load all keep the body from getting used to any one thing.  Our coaches take care of the programming for us, so we don’t need to think about it, only show up.

We do need to be a little more mindful of the workout when it comes to the strength portion where the loads are up to us to choose.  We all have certain loads that we are comfortable with as it pertains to various lifts, but you want to avoid being comfortable.  If you routinely grab a bar at the same load, say for hang power cleans, eventually your body is going to adapt to that weight, and you will stop seeing gains because your body is no longer being challenged.

You should be tracking the amount of weight you’ve done in your lifts along with the number of reps and any other variables in your day-to-day workouts.  Use that information to know where to start and strive to increase load once you’ve been successful in a given movement, in proper form, at that load.  Failing a lift is actually a good thing.  It tells you what your limitations are and gives you a target to work towards.

Strap on a vest or become pregnant to make your workouts more challenging.

Strap on a vest or become pregnant to make your workouts more challenging.

One of the benefits of strength training is that the body continues to burn calories at rest to maintain that muscle.  Having muscle also helps replace our jiggly areas with firmness. 

I know some people have concerns about becoming too big or too muscular from lifting heavy, and I’ll tell you this.  I have a co-worker whom I’ve worked with a long time who competes in physique competitions.  In between competitions, she maintains a strong, fit look, nothing too crazy.  When she gets into preparation mode for an upcoming competition, she changes her diet to a precisely calculated and timed number of meals, calories, and nutrients, and adds a daily intake of supplements she hauls around in a divided container that rivals some fishing tackle boxes I’ve seen.  She also takes time off from work and works out more frequently under close supervision from her trainer, focusing on nothing other than preparation until the competition .  The result is she does look pretty muscular during this preparation time, but once the competition is over and she goes back to her normal eating and workout routine, she returns to her lean, yet somewhat muscular, more normal look.  Her competition physique is just not something that's easy to maintain.  So know that if you are worried about turning into Arnold Schwarzenegger from lifting too heavy, unless you are following a super strict fitness and diet regimen, you won’t.

So continue to challenge yourself in your lifts.  Get used to being uncomfortable.  Strive to hit failure.  Don’t let your body adapt.  And know that we'll always make the workout fun, but we will never let you feel like you’re not working out.

 

Sources:

http://greatist.com/move/when-to-lift-more-weight

http://www.menshealth.com.au/article/fitness/what-happens-when-you-lift-same-weight

http://www.builtlean.com/2013/09/17/muscles-grow/

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CFF July Running Challenge

Have you been wanting to work on your endurance but lack the motivation? Well, during the month of July we are offering a fun and FREE way for members to improve their running/cardio.

Here's the deal:

Four weeks. Three running divisions. Prizes every week for those who complete the weekly goals. Three grand prize drawings for those who complete their running goals EVERY week during the month. 

Divisions:
Beginner = 10 miles a week
Intermediate = 15 miles a week
Advanced = 20 miles a week

Week runs are Saturday through Friday.

Cut and paste template form below (scroll down) and fill it out with your running miles for the week. Then email that form to Marcy and be entered for a chance to win the weekly drawing. Marcy and Craig will draw a name after the 9 am Saturday class. 

*Members do not need to be present at the 9am Saturday class to win. But we'd love it if you were ;). Just make sure you are READY to get your photo taken with your awesome PRIZE!!!

*Members can pick whichever division they want. Members may also change divisions per week, if needed*

Prize pool will put all names, regardless of division, into one pot. Weekly prizes are based on the previous weeks goals met, however the grand prize will only be for those who complete all 4 weeks goals.

Week 1: July 1-July 8th (Ohhh snap, you guys get one extra day this week)
Week 2: July 9-July 15th
Week 3: July 16th- July 22nd
Week 4: July 23rd- July 29th

Rules:

You may NOT:

NOT: count miles walked/run while doing every day life tasks (aka- tracking you distance you walk while out with your kids or at the grocery store or walking around the office)

NOT: Row. Running or Walking ONLY.

******We are doing this challenge to encourage extra running to what you may already be doing. This means, we want to see a designated time allotted to running*****

You MAY ONLY count a maximum of 2 miles, cumulative, per week, from Crossfit WODs. This means if Monday has a 400m, Tuesday does 1 mile, Wednesday has 6x 800m and Friday does Murph, you can ONLY count 2 of those miles toward your weeks' goal.

Get your friends in class and let's have some fun! Finish up your daily WOD and hit the road for a few more!

Questions?!! Email or see Coach Craig or Coach Marcy.

Running Challenge Form

Cut and paste template below and email to Coach Marcy at Marcy.Kopp@gmail.com . The deadlines to submit your running forms will be each Friday by midnight on July 8th, 15th, 22nd and the 29th.

Subject line: Running Challenge

Running Challenge Form

Name: 

Week number: {Week 1? Week 2.... Ect}

Division: {Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced}

Saturday: {how many miles/partial miles}

Sunday:

Monday:

Tuesday: 

Wednesday: 

Thursday:

Friday:

Running during a WOD (Max possible = 2 miles): {It can NOT exceed 2 miles}

Total miles: 

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