The Cardio Conundrum

While I was attending Clemson there was a middle aged guy that would consistently (2-3 times per day) show up to join in on cardio classes. After talking with him one day, I came to the conclusion that this guy must eat 10,000 calories of crap every day. Why did I think this? One reason was because he in no way, shape, or form had the type of body I aspired to get (thin legs and arms with a robust mid region). Yet the day we hopped on the bikes in my first, and only, ever spin class, he took me to town. This dude could move!!! The idea that someone could move for that long of a duration, yet have a shape that resembled a food pyramid with legs dumbfounded me for a long time. I chalked it up to nutrition and genes. The one thing I still didn’t understand though, was how bad could his nutrition be? I was 21 years old living off of 99 cent pizzas and Ramon Noodles (I’m not exaggerating when I say I would eat Bojangles 4 times a week and the rest of the week was spent buying shitty food so that I could afford my next Bojangles trip along with my weekend endeavors…). So back to my original question: why didn’t this dude look like a Greek God with his daily regimen of 3 hours of cardio?

The more interested I have become in working out and nutrition, the more I have been able to get a grip to my mind-boggling college day question. He didn’t do any resistance training.

Without going to in depth and revealing my nerdy side, I am going to quickly explain what was going on. Your body has 2 different fuel systems called the aerobic and anaerobic fuel pathways. The aerobic is fueled by oxygen while the anaerobic is fueled by different cycles in your body. The aerobic side can go on for a very long time (think of going for a walk), while the anaerobic side can only last for a few minutes at the most (think of a 400 m sprint). Which of these two exercises makes you breathe harder? If you’re doing it correctly, the 400 m sprint. Here’s where the cool part comes in! High intensity work (sprints, lifting heavy weight for multiple reps, etc…) makes our breathing increase rapidly. When we breathe heavily we deplete our muscles of oxygen. Once our muscles are depleted of oxygen, it may take a couple days to be able to fill them back up. This is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). What’s cool about EPOC is that is shoots our metabolism (the amount of calories we burn) up for possibly a couple days!

Aerobic Example: walk a mile you burn about 100 calories. Within minutes of finishing your walk, your body is burning the exact same amount of calories it was before your walk.

Anaerobic Example: 16 sprints of 100 m (this is a mile). You burn about 100 calories. Your body continues burning calories at a higher rate for possibly 2 more days.

In each example, the calories burnt during the workout were equal, but the calories burnt post-workout are much different.

So now comes in the strength training. Muscles require oxygen to work. The more muscles you have, the heavier you can lift. The heavier you lift, the more oxygen is required. The more oxygen required, the higher you boost your metabolism… You see the trend?

While it is not good for your body to go 100% all out every day, it is good for you to boost your intensity. Remember, intensity is something you can only do for a very short time (1-3 minutes). Running a marathon feels intense, but takes much longer than 1-3 minutes. If you are someone who believes it’s not working out unless you’re trying to kill yourself on a treadmill for 45 minutes how about taking a step back, look to see if you’re achieving your goals, and then go pick up some freaking weight. Mix your days up between cardio and weights and see what happens.

A couple of things to leave you with:

1.     The #1 indicator of how someone will age is not cardiovascular shape, flexibility, or balance as many people would believe. It is grip strength. So go pick up some weight!

2.     Don’t go home and breathe as fast and as hard as you can while sitting on the couch and think you will get shredded, you’ll pass out. The breathing must be driven by muscle contraction and elevated metabolic demands.

Everyone wants to look good naked. This is best done with a mix of both weight lifting and cardio. Focusing on one only is not the best solution!

Travis Kreuzberger

CrossFit Level One Trainer

Precision Nutrition Certified Coach

“Crossfit” One Word, Many Reactions

“I could never do that, it’s too hard”
“Oh… I’ve seen the women who do Crossfit, I don’t want to get bulky like that” 
“I want to get in shape and then I’ll try it out” 
“Crossfit makes you weak, they don’t even do real pull-ups”

The list could go on for days. These are just a few examples of negative reactions I have received when I have told people that I do Crossfit. The question that needs to be answered here is: What is Crossfit? 


Crossfit (constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity). So, what does this mean? It means that Crossfit, the workout style, has been around for a long time. The part of Crossfit that is new is simply the term. Before the term Crossfit was trademarked by founder Greg Glassman, many people partook in a style of workout that was referred to as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Why then, if one mentions HIIT, reactions and statements like those above are no longer used? In my opinion, it is because of a couple different reasons. 


One: before Crossfit had a name, most people participating in a HIIT program did so because they wanted a good workout in a short period of time. Drop the time of rest between sets, super-set different movements (moving from one movement to another with little to no rest) and get in and out of the gym in about an hour feeling depleted and thoroughly worked out. However, these people simply stated that they liked to workout. They had no specific term for it (making it impossible for bystanders to have a negative feeling towards HIIT). 


Two: Greg Glassman turned Crossfit into a competition. This allowed people to watch this style of working out on TV, in a competition setting, by the top Crossfitters in the world. People saw the competition, but not the prep-work to get to the competition. This caused reactions to be negative towards different movements (most commonly body weight kipping movements such as the pull-up). Viewers immediately judged these athletes on a competition that lasted a few days, not on the training the athletes did for the other 360 days of the year. Think of any sport, is competition the exact same thing as practice? NO! Practice is about building a strong foundation, teaching core fundamentals, and briefly replicating what competition is like. To put this in perspective, while coaching football on a normal 2-hour practice day, I would have athletes spend most of the time working on skills specific to their position (blocking, running routes, catching the ball) and with about 20 minutes left the team would come together and have a small scrimmage. Crossfit works very similar. Typically, a Crossfit session spends the majority of the class working on fundamentals (squats, deadlifts, strict pull-ups, presses) the kinds of movements you would find people doing at any gym across the country. At the end of the class, there is usually a WOD (workout of the day), which is similar to a HIIT session. These WODs are scalable to any athlete at any level; from the in shape 20-year-old looking to compete at the highest level of Crossfit, to the mom constantly on the go with 3 children, all the way to the 65-year-old grandpa that simply wants to stay off medicine and be able to live outside of a nursing home. 
Because of these two reasons, people tend to pair the term “Crossfit” to a definition that is incorrect (an intense workout made only for the extremely in shape who are willing to sacrifice their body and health to do crazy ass looking pull-ups). So, to answer the questions from the beginning of this blog:
“I could never do that, it’s too hard” 
You are correct. You may never be able to do what you see on TV. Those people are less than .1% of the Crossfitters in the world. You can however do a workout that will push you to be a better version of who you currently are. 


“Oh… I’ve seen the women who do Crossfit, I don’t want to get bulky like that” 
Again, you are judging yourself to the top .1% of people. The women you are referring to that are bulky do 3 workouts a day and have committed their life to getting stronger. You’re not going to look like that a week into Crossfit, I promise. You will however change your body composition and find yourself getting more tone. 
“I want to get in shape and then I’ll try it out” 
Let’s be real with ourselves. You haven’t started working out on your own in the past however many years, it’s not gonna happen now either. If you wait to get in shape, 3 years from now you will be even more out of shape than you currently are. 
“Crossfit makes you weak, they don’t even do real pull-ups”
This is my all-time favorite (well a tie with women thinking they will bulk up in a matter of days). Yes, it is true that Crossfit does goofy kipping and butterfly pull-ups. It is also true that you will work strict pull-ups on a weekly basis. A kipping pull-up isn’t a strict pull-up. No Crossfitter will tell you it is. It is a way to overload the body (kind of like a body builder doing a set of heavy arm curls with a little swing on the way up so that they can overload their arms). After 3 years of Crossfit, I am stronger now than I have ever been (and I lifted heavy prior to Crossfit). The Crossfit makes you weak argument simply isn’t true. 

A Trip into the Much Talked about and Widely Misunderstood CrossFit Gym

Over 3 and half years ago, a good friend of mine joined a CrossFit gym (Crossfit Proverb). Within days I started hearing words and phrases which had been the brunt of middle school jokes, such as; clean and jerk, snatch, and thruster. He immediately started telling me all about this style of lifting and how I should come try it out. Being the globo-gym type of person myself, I was skeptical of this style of working out that made people look like they were having a seizure while trying to do a pull-up (I would soon come to find out that it is quite hard to mimic this movement). After about 3 weeks of pestering, I was finally convinced to try out this weird, unconventional, and foreign type of training.

I was immediately taken aback when I arrived to the gym, box as many people call it in CrossFit terminology. As I’m walking into the gym with headphones in hand, I have the owner (Beau Bibb) and several members immediately come up to greet me. What the heck was this? I’d been at Gold’s Gym for over a year and knew the names of 2 people there. I had been at this gym (box) for 2 minutes and already met 5 or 6 people (first thought, I came here to lift heavy shit and blare loud Linkin Park into my ears, not talk to people). After a class led warm-up, we were told to work up to a heavy push press for the day (second thought, I am going to lift more than anyone in the class and show them CrossFit is dumb. There is no way I’m coming back here.) When we finished up the strength part it was time for the metcon (metabolic conditioning). I don’t remember the exact workout, but I do remember it had some presses and a 400m run (third thought, why the hell do these people mix running with lifting, that is DUMB. Fourth thought, why do these people run at all!)

I remember hearing the words 3,2,1 GO! I took off like a bat out of hell bound and determined that I was going to beat everyone in this workout. I got the presses knocked out and took off on the run. I was first out the door and crushing everyone… for 100m. The next 300m consisted of me coughing up a lung, feeling like a train hit me, and getting passed by a 90-year-old lady using a walker (Fifth thought, I’m out of shape!!!). a few rounds later and I was done. The people that finished before me cheered me on (Sixth thought, shouldn’t they be making fun of me? They beat me.) Tired, feeling sick, and humbled by what had just happened I made my way to my car to drive home. The next day I woke up excited for 4:30 so that I could leave work and go back to this gym that made me feeling defeated the day before.

In only one day I realized that I had found a gym that was a perfect fit for not just me, but anyone who wants something more in their life. I had found a place that welcomed people from all backgrounds, of all mind-sets, and of all shapes and sizes. Within a day, I made friends, got to compete with these people, was showed love and encouragement, and took a step forward in my journey to being more fit. I went from a CrossFit skeptic to someone that loved the atmosphere this type of gym gave me. Three and a half years later I am now a coach at the gym and have made it a goal of mine to give people the same experience I have had.

If you are reading this and wondering if CrossFit is for you, try it out! The best time to start your journey to a better you is yesterday, the second-best time is today. Going to the gym shouldn’t be something you force yourself to do, it should be something you want to do!

Training Days Versus Test Days

Training days versus Test days

 

The early CrossFit days looked a bit different than today. Back then the goal was, How much can we MESS you up today?

Not anymore. Yes, sometimes you will feel like you overdosed when you push yourself to the limit, but that feeling shouldn’t be the norm; it should be a once-in-a-blue moon occurrence—often when you accidentally misjudged a workout.

Think about this question for a minute: When you come to workout, are you conscious of whether it's a training day, a test day, or a play day?

You should be!

TRAINING

Training should make up close to 80 percent of your time at the gym. Training includes your long warm-up, your mobility work, your strength and skill work. Usually you’re working below your physical capacity here, and it’s where the gains are made!

Warm-up is there the gains are made?

Hells yeah! The often-boring, tedious tinkering to improve your ankle or shoulder flexibility, or the repetitive three-days-a-week squat program that has you asking, “Back squats again?” are absolutely where the biggest gains are made.

 

What about the conditioningthe reason 50% of you show up?

 

It’s important, but it’s not where the gains are made, per se. Think of conditioning as a chance to put your newfound strength and skill work to use.

 

What do you mean? Isnt conditioning the place I should ruin myself and end up in a heap of sweat and tears?

 

Not if you’re doing it right. If you’re conditioning in a way that’s helping you improve your overall fitness, then it should feel controlled and well-paced, just like your strength and skill work. If you feel like you might pass out, chances are you went out too hard, and will likely end up slower in the end.

 

One of the most well-respected coaches around, James FitzGerald, the owner of Opex Fitness in Arizona, explained that every workout should have an intended stimulus. This means, when you hear “3, 2, 1 Go,” it shouldn’t be a giant free-for-all chaotic experience, where people devastate their bodies and can’t recover for three hours. In fact, most of the time you shouldn’t even be going at a 100 percent effort.

 

What? I shouldnt try my hardest?

 

Think about this quote for a minute:

 

“CrossFit has been marketed as a sport where everyone’s so intense all the time, but the  best CrossFit athletes in the world are never going that hard,” - James FitzGerald.

 

The point is simply staying below your threshold on any given multi-modal workout will usually make you faster in the end. The concept is simple to understand when we’re talking about a single modality, such as running, rowing or swimming. Nobody is going to sprint the first 30 seconds of a 5-km run. But time and time again during multi-modal workouts we’ve never done before, people do the equivalent of the latter, making you slower in the end.

 

For those of you who like the pain: Don’t worry, you will still feel pain during conditioning workouts, but try to save it for the final quarter of the conditioning workout—the big sprint finish! If you’re in pain in the first half of the workout you’re in trouble.

 

Going back to FitGerald’s point: His overarching argument is that sticking with an 80 percent effort in both training and competition will likely lead to the best overall performances. This doesn’t mean you’re not working at improving your fitness; after all, if your 80 percent effort keeps getting better and better, then so does your 100 percent effort.

 

TEST DAYS

 

Testing should make up about 10 to 15 percent of your time in the gym.

 

It’s essentially the sport aspect of what we do—the game day. Everyday can’t be a test day, but remembering to test yourself here and there can go a long way in keeping you motivated as an athlete, as well as giving you moments of both fear and satisfaction. Test day is the time it’s acceptable to flirt with the line of going out too hard and overdosing yourself a bit, as doing this is a great way to learn about where you’re fitness level is at.

 

THAT BEING SAID, even when you put yourself out there—either in the gym or at a competition—as FitzGerald pointed out, this still doesn’t mean you’re overdosing yourself to a place that takes its toll on your performance recovery. It’s still best off knowing your fitness level, having a plan of attack, and avoiding going out too hard and fading by the third round of a five round workout.

 

Test days are important, but smart testing, as opposed to blindly jumping in without a plan, is always best.

 

PLAY DAYS

We don't talk about playing too much, but we think it’s important to give yourself the license to play from time-to-time. Maybe 5 percent of the time.

 

Playing might involve working on some gymnastics skills on the monkey bars at the park, or maybe it involves flipping tires or throwing heavy stones around. Maybe it means picking up a new sport, or going hiking or surfing. Playing can be dangerous if you're fooling around with movements you're not ready to do, but if you've been putting in the training work everyday, and testing yourself periodically, you generally will develop a pretty good body awareness, and overall sense of what you're capable of.

Celebrate the Quiet Personal Bests

Celebrate the Quiet Personal Bests

 

I want to get a pull-up.

 

My goal is to be able to do a muscle-up.

 

When it comes to gymnastics, theres no question getting your first pull-up and your first muscle-up are incredibly rewarding moments.

 

But sometimes by putting so much emphasis on such tangible milestones, we forget to celebrate the smaller personal bestsand the equally as important milestonesalong the way.

 

Think about your pulling strengthyour eventual road to a pull-up and muscle-up as being on a 100-step staircase. In this way, pull-ups and a muscle-up are simply just two other steps on the staircase, no less, or no more important, than the step before or the step after.

 

Using this analogy, lets say a ring row with a perfectly horizontal body is step 25 on the staircase, while a pull-up is step 50, and a muscle-up is step 75.

 

The pulling strength you gain going from step 49 to step 50 is equivalent to the strength gained moving from step 50 to 51 (where step 51 might mean you can do 2 consecutive pull-ups), yet were more likely to celebrate reaching step 50 than 51. I ask why. Why is getting a pull-up somehow more important than being able to do two consecutive pull-ups?

 

It comes down to ego and our perception of what is important.

 

But if you change the way you think about your pulling gainsand your fitness in generalto being a staircase where no one step is more important than any other, you will have way more to celebrate along the way. You also wont get as frustrated and impatient waiting to reach step 50 because youll also get enjoyment reaching step 46, 47, 48, and 49, too. 

 

My challenge to you:

 

Set 5 small goals along the way to your ultimate goal, and remember to pat yourself on the back when you reach them.

 

Because, gains are gains!

It doesn't always have to HURT...

Are you pacing yourself properly?

One of the biggest mistakes athletes makeespecially inexperienced onesis mis-pacing their conditioning workouts. They go out too hard and hit a wall. Fly and die. Its painful for the athlete, and almost as painful for the coach to watch.  

 

It occurred to me recently that many athletes dont even realize how much they mis-pace a workout. They just chalk it up to: That workout crushed me.

 

Listen up: It doesnt have to crush you that much! 

 

And in fact, if youre in a lot of pain in the first half of any given conditioning workout, then youve probably done something wrong. In other words, a perfectly-paced workout is usually less painful than an improperly paced one. And on top of that, your final time will likely be faster when you execute a pacing strategy thats appropriate for your fitness level. 

 

What does a well-paced workout look like?

 

Think of it like a 1-mile run. Youd  never go out at a full sprint in the first 200 meters of a 1-mile run. More likely, youd pick a steady pace and try to hold onto it throughout the course of the mile. The same is true of what we do: Each round of a 5-round workout, or a 10-minute workout where youre trying to do as many repetitions as possible, for example, should be completed at a consistent speed.

 

3 Tips to a Perfect Pace

 1. Go into each workout with a plan:

 Before each workout, take a moment to examine what you’re about to do, and then predict how fast, or how many rounds, you think you will be able to complete.

Many athletes just wait for the 3, 2, 1 Go, and then start moving aimlessly without a clue how long theyll be conditioning for. How do you know how fast to move, or how hard to go, when you have no idea if youll be working out for 7 minutes or 20 minutes?

The more you practice assessing how your body will react to different types of movements and time domainshow youll break up the reps and the sets and how much you need to restthe better youll get at properly predicting your perfect pace.

 

2. Break things up early:

Going unbroken’—glamorous as it might seemisnt always the best way to move the fastest, or the most consistently over the course of a workout.

Lets say the workout is Grace30 clean and jerks for time.

Many people are determined to bust out a big set off the top because theyre fresh, but often this just means the second half of Grace takes three times as long as the first.

Dont do 10 reps unbroken in your first set, for example, unless you plan to hold 3 sets of 10 at a consistent pace. In other words, if you bust out 10 reps really quickly, but then you have to move to singles, you probably went out too hard. Ive seen people complete a workout like Grace faster doing singles the entire time than someone else who did a set of 15 off the top and then 15 slow, sloppy, painful-looking singles to complete the workout. 

 

3. Keep track of your scores:

 Keeping track of your numbers goes a long way in helping you figure out your pace. The more data you know about your fitness level, the easier it will be to apply this data even to workouts you’ve never done before.

 For example, lets say youre doing something like 100 pull-ups for time and you know last week you did a workout with 50 pull-ups and found yourself doing singles and doubles by the end. Remembering how those 50 pull-ups went will allow you to come up with a plan of attack for 100 pull-ups for timehow to break them up, how much to rest etc

 

These arent foolproof tips, of course. Sometimes youll still get your pacing wrong. But the more you practice calculated pacing, the more you pay attention to your body and your scores, the easier it will be to perfectly pace a workout, so when a five-round workout like Kelly comes up, your first and fifth round will take you virtually the same amount of time. And youll probably end up with a better score, too!

3 Reasons to Come Train with US!!!

3 Reasons to Come Train with us!

 

The fitness business is a competitive market!

 

But were confident tooting our own horn because we know were doing things better than most. Heres why you should come train with us:

 

3. The Best General Physical Preparedness for Life

Lets compare what we do to some of the other popular fitness options out there

Yoga:

 Yoga is great. For some things. Namely for mobility. And there’s nothing wrong with a glorified stretching workout. The older you get, the harder it is to maintain functional mobility, so if yoga helps you do that, thats cool. But thats all it is: Stretching and balance. Maybe a bit of coordination, although youre probably moving too slow to truly challenge coordination. Yoga doesnt get you strong (Yogis like to think it does, but 90 percent of the yoga enthusiasts we have worked with cant do a proper push-up, let alone pull-up, let alone lift any kind of heavy weight). And yoga doesnt improve your cardiovascular endurance, speed, stamina or power.

 

Running and Cycling? 

They get an A + for cardiovascular endurance and stamina, but score poorly when considering strength (especially upper body strength), power, speed, coordination, flexibility etc One dimensional is what running and cycling are. Not only that, running is a recipe for overuse injuriesoften in the IT-Bands, knees, calves, achillesyou name it!

 

What we do better

We will provide you with broad, useful fitness for life. We want carrying four bags of groceries up three flights of stairs to be a piece of cake. We care about helping you maintain your mobility as you age, and about ensuring you can go skiing or hiking for an entire day when youre 20 and 65. We want you to be the fittest person on your hockey team at 40, and the person whose still living independently at 85.

With us, you will improve all the skills needed to live a long, fit, healthy life: Strength, speed, power, cardiovascular endurance, stamina, flexibility, coordination, agility, stamina and balance.

 

2. Coach for life!

We dont throw our new clients right into the fire. We meet you where youre at and work with you on your individual strengths and weaknesses to keep you safe and injury-free so you can continuously become more fit and healthy.

With us, you will have a personal coach for life to manage your health and wellness. These coaches not only care about seeing you succeed in the gym, but in life as well. They are here to help you through any obstacle that comes your way. 

 

1. Community-based

Were not just a gym. Were close friends who socialize together, both in and out of the gym. Its a perfect community in which to raise your kidswhere they grow up witnessing people who care about being fit and healthy for life. (And if youre single, theres a good chance youll have better luck here than on the dating website youre currently spending too much time on).

 

In other words, corny as it might sound, youll have fun.

3 Reasons to REMEMBER your numbers!

3 Reasons to REMEMBER your numbers!

As coaches, we can’t help but get a little heavy-hearted when we ask a client a question such as, ‘What’s your 1RM clean?’ and we are met with a blank stare. Worse still is a confused look followed by, ‘Which one’s the clean again?’

Let me reiterate: WE DO NOT care what your numbers are. And we don’t even particularly care how you go about remembering your numbers—whether your write it down with a pen and paper, whether you keep a spreadsheet on your computer, or whether you log it into wodify.  The important thing is that you DO remember your numbers—no matter what fitness level you’re at!

Why?

3. For the sake of your fitness!

Being aware of how much you can back squat, front squat, shoulder press and snatch is going to help you continuously make strength gains in the gym. 

Let’s say, for example, tomorrow’s lifting session is 3 sets of 8 back squats at 50-60% of your 1 RM, and you have no idea what a heavy back squat is for you—let alone a 1RM—then you’ll essentially be playing the guessing game during your strength session. You might end up going too heavy, or too light, or wasting valuable time figuring out how heavy you should be lifting that you might even run our of time to finish your working sets. Bottom line: You will not get the most bang for your buck if you don’t have a good understanding of what your body can do. 

Similarly, when it comes to the conditioning workout, if you know, for example, exactly how many pull-ups you can do when you’re fresh, or what your best power snatch is, it will allow the coach to help you scale the workout properly so you’re able to preserve the intended stimulus of the day.
What’s the intended stimulus of the day, you ask?

By this, I mean each workout we do has a specific intention. Fran (21-15-9 thrusters and pull-ups), for example, is meant to be a sprint. If done correctly, Fran should challenge your lungs, and maybe your pull-up muscular endurance. If Fran takes you longer than 7 minutes to complete, it isn’t going to do this. In other words, a 15-minute Fran is more of a test of strength than anything, which is fine; however, if tomorrow’s workout is also a strength workout, then you will not reap the benefits of this week’s aerobic capacity threshold test if you don’t scale Fran properly.

To help you scale Fran properly, it’s imperative you know your numbers and skill level: You need to be aware of what a heavy front squat, thruster and press is for you, as well as where you’re pulling strength is at.

In short, knowing your fitness numbers will ensure your fitness is always improving!

 

2. For the sake of your happiness!

PRs do two things: 

They drive people nuts on social media when you constantly post about your #gainz
They make you feel warm and fuzzy inside

Let’s focus on the latter…

It’s human nature to be excited about tangible achievements. 

There’s nothing like the feeling of doing something you didn’t think you’d ever be able to do, whether this means getting your first pull-up or muscle-up, or hitting a back squat personal best.

Our clients who are in tune with their bodies and their improvements are the ones who are the most likely to continue to commit to a fitness plan month after month, year after year.

Further, once you’ve been training for a while, PRs happen less and less frequently. But even if you’re plateau-ing in one area, you’re probably still improving somewhere else. And being in touch with where you’re at will help you appreciate wherever you’re improving.

If you have no clue where you’re at, and you show up everyday like a blank slate, you’re essentially stripping yourself of many of the joys that go along with working hard on your fitness.

1. For the sake of your coach!

When an entire group class of 20 athletes knows their numbers, the entire class will benefit from better coaching.

One person in the class oblivious to what’s going on has the potential to interrupt the class and essentially hijack the coach’s time, leaving 19 others to their own devices. Meanwhile, when the coach doesn’t have to spend time talking about scaling and helping people figure out how much weight they should put on the bar, it frees him up to give ‘higher level’ coaching cues, be it strategic or technical. 

So at the very least, even if you’re not sold on keeping track of your numbers for the sake of your fitness or your happiness, do it for your coach!

Today’s takeaway: Write your scores down after each training session and set up a system that helps you easily refer back to your numbers. It’ll mean the next time you show up and you’re working with 80% of your 3 RM back squat, instead of feeling and looking perplexed, you can smile at your coach and confidently tell him how much weight you’re about to put on the bar. It will make his day. 

Why do you have a coach for life?

Why do you have your own coach?

When you first started training at Proverb Fitness, the first thing that happened was you were given your own personal coach.

Maybe you realized at the time—or maybe you didn’t—but having your own personal coach is a fairly unique concept in our broader community. Talk to your friends who CrossFit at another gym in a different city, and chances are they probably don’t have a personal coach in their corner.

But have you ever thought about why we do it this way? 

Why we think it’s best for you to have a consistent coach for the duration of your time with us? 

I can assure you it wasn’t an arbitrary decision. We do it this way because we think it’s the best way to help you be successful with your long term fitness plan. 

Let me sidetrack for a moment here and say this: 

The fitness industry is a mess!

Part of the messiness is because most people who become personal trainers, or bootcamp, or spin class, or yoga, or CrossFit instructors do it for an average of one to three years and then they quit and move on to something else because they realize they’ll never make a living in the fitness industry. 

Truth is, there are very few full-time, career fitness coaches today (let alone professional coaches). Most fitness instructors have other jobs, and they coach on the side (sometimes just to get a free membership in exchange for their coaching services). I have even had to do this as the gym owner just to support my family. 

For the client, this means one of two things: 

The part-time coaches at your gym just aren’t that invested in you
Just as you get to know and develop rapport with you a trainer or coach, he leaves!

We’re part of a movement that’s changing this. We have found a way to help coaches become career coaches able to make a professional living in the fitness industry. And because of this, coaches stick around are are able to offer you more coaching security by providing you with an invested coach for life.

Our hope with the coach for life concept is for you to have someone to manage your health and wellness for years to come—the same way you have a family doctor, accountant, lawyer, and maybe even hairdresser for the duration of your entire life.

This doesn’t mean you can’t work with other coaches, of course. It just means your personal coach—the one who put you through your first day experience at our gym, who trained you during personal training, and who probably still coaches many of the classes you attend—is invested in your progress, and he isn’t leaving next month! 

And if you ever want more personal training, or an individual program to work on specific weaknesses, or you find yourself needing to rehab from an injury at some point, or you want some diet advice, or just need someone to vent about life, you have a personal coach to turn to. 

Not all gyms or coaches are created equal. We are the path to create the best gym and the most professional coaches around. If you want to get on board with that we have room... 

Prescription for a Great Life

Prescription for a Great Life

When we opened CrossFit Proverb, our purpose wasn’t about producing elite athletes to compete at the CrossFit Games.

And it still isn’t.

Yes, we want you improving your fitness and hitting PRs regularly, but our mission is so much bigger than that.

Our intention has, and always will be, to help others achieve lifelong fitness. To help the 40-year-old feel confident and fit enough to join a basketball league. Or to help the overweight woman in her 50s get to a point that carrying four bags of groceries up three flights of stairs is no big deal. And to help the 65-year-old improve her fitness so she can go on a 4-hour hike with her grandchildren, or move a couch with her husband.

Fitness was never supposed to be about how much you could clean and jerk, per se; it’s about helping ordinary people gain fitness, eat well, and become healthier.

  Not that a 225 lb. snatch wouldn  ’  t be pretty cool  …    

Not that a 225 lb. snatch wouldnt be pretty cool

 

This means our hope for all of you is that fitness doesn’t take over your life. We hope it has become an important part of your life, but that you also take the time to appreciate your newfound fitness IN LIFE.

Here are the 5 things that we think if you do then your life will be the best it has ever been.

Prescription for a Great Life

1.     Follow the Code for Fitness 2 to 3 times a week:

Show up to the gym 2 or 3 (or maybe even 4 or 5 times a week if it works for your life). Train with your coach or attend group classes to improve your flexibility, strength, speed, power, cardiovascular endurance, stamina, accuracy, balance, coordination and agility.

Keep track of your numbers, know your strengths and weaknesses, socialize with those around you, have fun and celebrate your gains.

 

  Lifting weights is just part of the puzzle for a great life    

Lifting weights is just part of the puzzle for a great life

 

2. Clean Eating (90% of the time):

Although diets will differ from person to person depending on your wants and needs, we believe for optimal health, your diet should consist mostly of whole, unprocessed foods—90% of the time. The other 10% simply means it’s OK—emotionally healthy even—to have a beer or a piece of cake from time to time.

3. Play Sports

Join a hockey or basketball league in the winter, or a beach volleyball team in the summer: The important thing is to put your fitness to use. You work hard in the gym; playing sports is your chance to enjoy your newfound fitness.

And if you’re feeling bold, try new sports when the opportunity arrises—be it golf, tennis or surfing.

 

  Ever tried Spike Ball?    

Ever tried Spike Ball?

 

4. Get out in Nature at Least Once a Week

Breathing fresh air in nature is known to be therapeutic to the soul. Rock climbing, hiking, camping, skiing or surfing are all great options.

5. Embark on an Adventure at Least Once a Year

Does adventure to you mean doing something relaxing and fun, or something scary and challenging?

Choose your own adventure, but definitely choose adventure!

What Makes Us Different?

If you have been coming for some time now then you know that we

 

If you have been around for some time then you know that we changed our entire business about a year ago. We saw a need for better trained coaches, clients, and more individual attention. To help with this we joined a business group by the name of "The Madlab Group". So what being a MadLab Group member means to you—the client. 

The MadLab Group is a worldwide network of gyms, who have worked together to figure out best practices. In other words, to figure out how to run a gym that best maximizes success for the clients, the coaches and the business.

5 MadLab Group Features that Pertain to YOU—the client
5. Fundamentals/Personal Training

When you started training with us, you most likely went through a one-on-one introductory session with a coach, and then 10-20 personal training sessions with this same coach, where he/she worked with you on your strengths and weaknesses and got you prepared for classes at a speed that was comfortable for you. And before you were graduated to group classes, you had to reach a certain fitness level before qualifying. 

If we’re doing it right, then you probably developed a relationship with this coach and feel like you have someone in your corner helping you reach your health and fitness goals.

Can you imagine what your gym life would look like without having gone through personal training? If you had been thrown right into the fire of group classes on day 1? If you would have been asked to snatch on day 2? It probably wouldn’t have gone all that well for you, right?

Many gyms do just that: They throw you directly into the fire of group classes, or they put you through a 12-person group fundamentals program and you never learn the movements properly because you don’t receive enough one-on-one attention. Best case scenario, you get by because you happen to move well and be athletic. Worst case scenario, you get injured or overwhelmed and quit. Through it all, you never get the chance to really get to know your coach. In fact, you probably are never even given the option to have a personal coach.

A one-on-one intro day, followed by 10-20 personal training sessions, is part of the MadLab prescription. It’s what we have discovered is best for performance, for health and safety, and for longevity at the gym.

4. Coach for Life

We’re not interested in New Year’s revolutionist clients. We’re interested in clients who are looking for a coach and fitness program to keep them healthy and fit for life.

The same way most of us have a family doctor our entire lives, and likely an accountant and maybe even a lawyer, our hope is that your MadLab coach becomes your fitness, health and wellness, and nutrition coach for life—someone you turn to to help you when you’re 20, when you’re 40 and when you’re 85 years old. 

Believe it or not, this is RARE in the fitness industry today. What is more common are personal trainers or CrossFit coaches who stick around for just a couple years. The reason they leave the industry is because they can’t make a living coaching. For the client this means the gym you’re at is often marred by a constant revolving door of coaches.

MadLab’s biggest goal is to professionalize the industry so its coaches can earn professional wages and become career coaches—meaning they stick around for years, even decades.

For YOU, this means you won’t have a constant revolving door of coaches; you’ll have someone in your corner for life.

3. MadLab-trained Coaches

Let’s be honest: The fitness industry is somewhat F-ed up. Anyone can call himself a personal trainer, whether he took a weekend course or did a four-year educational program.

MadLab coaches have all been through a two-year apprentice coach diploma program (the MadLab PCDP—professional coach diploma program) (More on the details of PCDP in an upcoming post).

In short, your coach knows what he’s talking about—how to keep you working toward you goals, and how to keep you injury-free.

2. Hybrid Memberships

Maybe you have taken advantage of our hybrid membership options, and maybe you have not. 

But one of the features of a MadLab Group gym is you always have the option to do extra one-on-one personal training on top of your group classes—even if you’re a five-year veteran—with your coach to work on any specific weaknesses or skills you want to improve upon. Another option is to talk to your coach about getting an individual program. 

 1. Worldwide Network of Gyms

If you travel—for work or pleasure—there are MadLab gym’s all around the world. (Stay tuned for a map of all 180-plus MadLab facilities coming soon). 

When you show up at a MadLab gym in another city and tell them where you’re from, not only will you have the piece of mind that you’re in good hands, you’ll get the royal treatment from the MadLab family.