4 Fitness Models That Don’t Make Sense

Think about your workout. How does it help you achieve your goals? What is the “theory” behind what you do? Exercise makes intuitive sense (I think we can all agree on this) – if we are more active, we will burn more calories and our bodies will adapt to the increased workload, etc.

However, there are a number of fitness models that claim to maximize general physical preparedness (GPP) training but have faulty logic. They don’t make sense. I’d like to break them down:

  1. Color Based Training: Some gyms tell you that wearing a heartrate monitor and keeping your pulse in a particular zone – some mystical tangerine-colored place in between red and yellow – will lead to optimizing your fitness. While this sounds catchy (and their marketing is fantastic) – does it really make sense that “working hard, but not too hard” is the best way to optimize fitness?
  2. Duration Based Training: Others suggest that the only way to get results is by slowing down your movement – claiming that duration and “time under tension” are the only metrics that you need to worry about. Actually, they aren’t completely wrong. Incorporating tempo into your movements can make them much more challenging.But think about this in practical terms: if you lift 50 pounds one time (really slowly) or 100 pounds 3 times (really fast) which one do you think will help you develop more strength, cardiovascular capacity, or power?
  3. Competing-Models Based Training: Then there are gyms that claim the best way to get in shape is to pick two DIFFERENT models – like yoga and interval training – and slap them together. Let’s break this down:Each fitness modality has a unique goal. And each goal requires you to fine-tune your body in a specific way to get there. It’s like simultaneously trying to make your car fast, and capable of going off-road. The goals are inherently at odds with each other.Many would argue that CrossFit does this: borrows elements from different fitness methodologies and puts them together. And they are correct. The difference is that CrossFit’s methodologies line up with it’s goals. I’ll explain more later.
  4. The “We Don’t Have A Model” Based Training: At least the training methodologies listed above tell you SOMETHING. Because you also have these big globo-gyms that don’t tell you how to get in shape at all… Literally, does their marketing say ANYTHING about how to get in shape?Go to any homepage or ad for a big gym and look at the language that is used. It will talk about: 1) How cheap their membership options are 2) The sheer size & number of amenities their facility has 3) Some limited-time deal they are offering that has a lot of fine print.This is akin to taking you child to the playground and just dropping them off. You walk in and are staring at a million different gym equipment options, but have no idea what specifically you should be doing to reach your fitness goals. If you want to lose weight, would it be better to run on the treadmill for 30 minutes, do 3-minute intervals on the elliptical, or do a combination of burpees and squats in the corner? If you are trying to build muscle, do you use dumbbells, machines, or barbells? What movements/rep-schemes should you do to maximize your results?

Southpaw’s Fitness Model

At Southpaw we believe that fitness is primal. Our bodies are designed to move. It doesn’t have to be complex, and it doesn’t require fancy technology. In fact, it’s pretty simple: the more work you can do, and the faster you can do it, the better your outcome is going to be.

But just because it’s not complex, doesn’t mean that it is easy. For years we have been hunched over at desks, looking down at our phones, and slouching at the table. We have ingrained a number of unhealthy movement patterns into our bodies and we need to unlearn these bad habits while we develop new ones.

Our coaches are experts in the field. They have boiled down all of the exercise science and competing theories to find the ones that actually work. They have helped hundreds of people get out of pain and into the best shape of their life by using functional full-body movements and guiding them through a variety of different workouts that are designed to maximize results. People become faster, stronger, leaner, and more confident in their lives.

If you don’t remember anything else, remember this: pick a gym based on the results it will help you achieve – not because of some fancy theory or shiny object. So, when you are ready to start a program that is built around results, click the link below to schedule a Free Phone Consultation and learn about the benefits of professional coaching, effective workouts, and an encouraging atmosphere!

**Note: ANY fitness program is better than a sedentary lifestyle. And most of the gyms mentioned above have good intentions. However, we believe that the model we have crafted at Southpaw is the best model for well-rounded fitness and general physical preparedness that leads directly to the transformations people need!

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Schedule your Free Phone Consultation today by clicking here!

Get Fit, For A Change…

If you have ever tried to start a new healthy habit or perhaps eliminate an old one you know difficult change can be.

Our bodies are adaptation machines however and will adapt to the stimulus they experience most frequently. One way to prime your body for change is to exercise. Exercise causes a whole host of changes in your physiology that can make learning a new habit or skill easier. It is also a great replacement for bad habits you are trying to eliminate. Whatever your goal may be fitness can play a huge role in your transformation. The most important part of change is starting, taking action towards your goal. Even if you slip and fall it is way better than never having tried at all.

“Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly” -G.K. Chesterton

That’s why if you are interested in pursuing a new career, relationship, or habit you should make it a priority to dedicate time each week to rigorous physical exercise. Exercise has numerous physical benefits but it goes beyond that. The way you eat and the way you move your body has a direct impact on the way you think, your mood, and how you make decisions.

Improving cognitive function can give you the energy and mental stamina to make other great changes in your life. Numerous studies have shown significant brain benefits as a result of both cardiovascular and resistance training routines. Exercise has been proven to increase the release of the neurotransmitter serotonin and other neurohormones like the endorphin dopamine. These act on the opiate receptors in our brain to reduce pain and boost pleasure.

“Nothing will work unless you do.”John Wooden

Exercise has also been shown to stimulate the growth of the hippocampus, synapses, and glial cells in your brain. The hippocampus is responsible for memory and individuals who exercise are able to better recall information.

Synapses are the junctions where our cells communicate with one another, sending signals throughout the body that guide our actions. Exercise stimulates the growth of synapses which helps reinforce learning. The stronger we develop neural pathways through our synapses the stronger we reinforce the pattern. If you are trying to learn a new routine or information exercise can help.

Glial cells provide support and protection for cells in the brain and central nervous system. Exercises stimulates the growth of these cells helping you literally build a bigger brain. It is believed that a bigger brain leads to enhanced cognitive function.

Exercise also increases blood flow, improves our hormonal balance, and aids digestion and insulin sensitivity. These are all tremendous factors in our ability to be alert and energetic. If you are looking for the attitude, attention, and focus to make positive changes in your life then exercise will help you.

If you don’t know where to begin when it comes to fitness or any other change you want to make in your life get in touch with a coach who can help you. A coach will help you evaluate your situation and come up with a plan that fits your needs and lifestyle. A community that is focused on fitness and self-improvement will also help you stay dedicated to your goals.

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If you are new to fitness or if you have done CrossFit before, learn more about CrossFit Southpaw by clicking here!

5 Health Metrics That Are More Important Than Weight

For some strange reason, American’s have chosen the scale as their favorite way to track progress around their health. People derive their sense of self-worth based on the number facing up at them from between their feet. If you’re someone who draws any sort of emotional reaction, positive or negative, from the scale then you may want to self reflect and consider if there are better options out there. 

The funny part is that weight is such an inconsequential and ambiguous predictor of substance. Just consider this. If you have three avocados-one freshly picked and hard as a rock, one brown soft and ooze, and one firm ripe and tender-which one are you going to slice open to make your guacamole with? It shouldn’t matter if they all weigh 170 grams…

What you are made of, how you feel, and what you are able to produce are all factors of way greater significance than your weight. 

What you weigh is going to constantly fluctuate. You may lose weight and be less healthy. You may be well hydrated one day and performing well then get totally thrown off because your weight went up a pound or two. This number doesn’t say who you are as a person or how healthy and fit you may be. It’s just an arbitrary number. Stop letting the pounds run your life and change the way you feel about yourself. Instead, try one of these alternative ways that measure success off the scale!

Body Fat Percentage

Body fat percentage is an alternative way to track your progress and provides much more actionable information than just your weight in pounds. This takes into account your lean muscle mass. In this way you can actually gain weight in muscle which would consequently reduce your percentage of body fat. This is a clear example of how gaining weight would make you healthier. Plus as you add more muscle to your frame you will burn more calories at rest. The fat will disappear faster and faster on it’s own!

Measurements

Taking specific measurements is a great way to achieve the goals around the way you want to look. Measuring neck, arm, waist, hips, thigh, and calf circumference can help you transform your body without ever worrying about the scale. Losing two inches off your waist will make you look and feel like a whole new person!

Habit Tracking

One of the best replacements for weighing yourself is to instead track daily health habits. If you track metrics like sleep, hydration, servings of vegetables, daily walking, and other relevant habits you can focus on the right behaviors to make you look and feel great in the long run. This takes discipline but it is essential to long-lasting transformation.

Performance Metrics

Switching your focus to the weight on the bar is a great alternative to the scale. People will often train harder and longer in pursuit of strength and performance goals (objective) than solely for aesthetic purposes (subjective). Coincidentally, this is how we measure progress when you get started at a CrossFit gym! If you push yourself more in training the results will speak for themselves!

How You “Feel”

Based on appearances this may be harder to measure than the others: “How do I know if I’m feeling better?” However, you will find that when you focus on your daily habits and performance metrics that you will, without a doubt, begin feeling better. There is still another way to measure this that you need to experience to believe: what other people say. When you get started with CrossFit, you will be shocked by what other people say after even a few short weeks of training. “Have you been doing something different recently, you seem to glow!”, “You seem so much happier” or “I don’t know what you are doing but keep doing it. I wish I felt like that!” (click here to read how this metric helped give birth to Southpaw!)

Conclusion

Is it “bad” or “wrong” to track weight? Absolutely not. It is part of your journey. But as we approach a new year – after a chaotic 2020 – it is important that we recalibrate how we measure and view success. What we have found at CrossFit Southpaw is that focusing on these 5 metrics allows you to feel happier, experience success, and build the life of your dreams.

Interested in getting started? Click here to schedule your Free 15 Minute Phone Consultation today!

Is Boutique Fitness Right for Me?

 

If you’re ready for results it’s time to ditch the health club…

There was a time when we got all the exercise we require from our daily activities. But as hunting and gathering lead to farming and eventually the industrialized world we live in today the need for human “labor” has been nearly eradicated. Now that we work desk jobs, eat our meals from the hot bar at Whole Foods, and enjoy a generally sedentary lifestyle we are required to reintroduce this missing physical activity. For some reason, the question of how to add physical activity, or work, back into our lives is one that has proven to be puzzling, controversial, and difficult terrain to navigate.

In response to the demands of the market the fitness industry has grown tremendously, particularly in North America where an estimated $28 billion was spent in 2015. Much of this industry is dominated by health clubs and large gym franchises that offer a sampling of strength equipment, cardio machines, TV’s, massage chairs, and minimal staffing. Granted how many staff members do you need when your members don’t actually attend the club? In a study done by students at UC Berkeley found 67% of gym memberships are never used in the population they surveyed.

“If you are not going to the gym, you are actually the gym’s best customer.” -Stacey Vanek Smith, NPR

The savvy marketers at big box gyms know how to target their marketing towards individuals who won’t actually come to the facility. As humans, we often get a rush of excitement by a new fitness undertaking. “This is it, the time I actually change, no looking back,” you say. The challenge is that the health club has made zero commitment to you. They don’t care if you show up or not. Luckily there is someone out there who does.

Boutique fitness is the alternative to the traditional health club model. Boutique gyms offer specialized classes based on the expertise of the owners, teachers, or coaches. CrossFit boxes, Barre studios, Bikram yoga, parkour facilities, spin classes are all great examples of the boutique fitness model.

These communities succeed when all parts are working together; the owner, staff, and clientele all succeed when they each meet their goals. This synergistic effect leads to faster results and more satisfaction from all parties. As a client you have a team of coaches and fellow members who are all rooting for you, teaching you, and most importantly holding you accountable. Becoming fit doesn’t have to be a chore, a challenge, or a pain point. In fact, it can even be fun!

Boutique gyms have been seen rapid growth in the past decade as clients recognize that when it comes to fitness, not all gyms are created equal. Some of the most common excuses sound like:

  • “I have a hard time sticking to a routine”
  • “I’m just too busy to exercise”
  • “I get bored with going to the gym, it always feels like work”
  • “I don’t know how to lift weights/choose a routine/eat the right food”

These are great excuses, but since you’re ready to make a change it’s time to ditch the excuses and focus on RESULTS. By implementing a system that counters your excuses you’ll be left with the only option, the results that you want to achieve.

If you struggle with sticking to a routine you will benefit from the coaches, friends, and community members that you’ll meet at each class. A group of people that will ask you about your day, learn about your goals and life, and most importantly encourage you to show up consistently to your workouts.

If you claim to be too busy then you should sign up for classes ahead of time. The wide variety of classes that are available each day at time frames that are consistent with your schedule make it easy to squeeze in an hour-long workout.

If boredom is your challenge then a workout that changes every day is exactly what you need. Not only that but the different coaching styles and friends you’ll make at different times of the day make each class a totally unique experience.

If information is the enemy then relax, because that’s already been taken care of for you. Your coach has put a lot of thought into a training program that will improve your fitness and will be by your side to instruct you on form, breathing, and what weights to use. Keep an eye out for group nutrition challenges to boot!

To get the results you want sometimes you need to try a new approach. If that trip to the gym feels more daunting than Frodo walking the ring to Mordor then it’s time to see what a boutique gym has in store for you!

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If this piqued your curiosity, consider joining hundreds of others who have made the switch! Click Here to book a free 15-minute phone consultation to learn more today!