Benefits of Learning & Using the Olympic Lifts in Your Fitness

When we consider weightlifting, it can be frightening because it is a totally new experience. However, if you want to tone your body, increase your stamina, and strengthen your muscles, incorporating strength training, specifically Olympic lifting, into your fitness program is a way to do this quickly and efficiently.


What is Olympic Lifting?

Olympic lifting precludes exerting maximum effort for a few bursts of rapid, precise, and intense force. Olympic weightlifting is categorized into two types of lifts: clean & jerk and snatch. Both are lifts that require a full range of motion and the goal is to use a barbell to lift the most weight at the fastest possible speed.

Clean & Jerk

It consists of two parts: the clean, which involves lifting the barbell from the floor to the shoulders, and the jerk, which involves moving the bar from the shoulders to overhead.

Snatch

The barbell is lifted from the floor to overhead in a single, continuous and explosive movement. The lifter is allowed to move their feet or squat under the barbell as they lift it before returning to a standing position.

Why Olympic Lifting?

It involves the integration of strength, power, speed, and mobility with highly technical movements performed at a rapid pace. Thus, it is more advanced than the usual powerlifting which fixates only on strength in three main lifts: the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Power lifts, while beneficial, do not offer the speed, mobility, and muscle recruitment that olympic lifting does.

 

Why should you include Olympic lifts in your fitness program? Let’s take a look at the potential benefits

  • Involve the entire range of motion. Olympic lifts are beneficial to more than just your core as they also work your back, arms, shoulders and extremely effective at assisting individuals in utilizing multiple muscle groups simultaneously because involving several large muscle groups in a short timeframe results in the highest caloric expenditure. Therefore, muscle contraction requires the formation and breakdown of ATP on a regular basis.  The energy released from the breakdown of ATP fuels skeletal muscle contraction, increasing the body’s energy requirements and increasing caloric expenditure.
  • Establish Dynamic Stability. According to a study, short-term core stability training improved dynamic balance and trunk muscle endurance in weightlifters learning Olympic lifts. Since the core is the foundation to the strength of the body and Olympic lifting involves a lot of core stability and strength, it helps to keep the body upright and gives a source of balance. 
  • Improves Endurance & Enhance Coordination. These are full-body movements that involve exact coordination, rhythm, and timing. Therefore, incorporating a snatch or a clean and jerk session into your routine will help you improve your high-intensity exercise endurance. You’ll be able to recover faster and complete more hard exercises and intense sessions as time go on. It increases an individual’s longevity by increasing their muscle threshold.
  • Increase Lean Muscle Mass. To build muscle mass, it is required to lift heavy weights with few reps as this helps the person develop the capacity to lift in a short period of time as it is a great way to decrease body fat. 

 

Olympic lifting has many huge benefits but cannot do so in isolation. Research and anecdotal evidence shows a strong correlation between the introduction of the Olympic Lifts into a fitness regime and decreased body fat and increased lean muscle mass.

At CrossFit Southpaw, our experienced coaches teach you how to perform these lifts safely and incorporate them into a well balanced fitness program that helps working professionals get in the best shape of their lives without needing to spend extra time at the gym!


Want to learn more? Contact one of our coaches today to schedule your Free Consultation and see if CrossFit can help you become your strongest, leanest, and happiest self! Click here to reach out today!

How To Optimize Your Warmup And Cooldown Routines

Warmups and cooldowns are an essential part of training and should be given as much thought and effort as the workout itself. In fact if you’re short on time you might be better off going through a proper warmup, mobilization, and stretching session than to try to get a quick workout in while skipping those other components. Let’s take a look at why these components of training and see why each one is so important and how you can optimize it.

  • Warmup
  • Mobilization
  • Cooldown
  • Stretching

Warmup

Your warmup prepares your body and mind for that day’s training. Not every day is the same and your warmup is specific to that. When planning and executing the warmup you need to consider which energy system your body will be utilizing. A max rep back squat requires very different preparation than a conditioning session with double-unders and wall balls. The warmup helps to elevate heart rate, stimulate the nervous system, and optimize the function of the tissues and motor patterns you will be training that day. This will reduce your injury risk and optimize your ability to perform. 

If you are someone who enjoys chatting during the warmup or never quite breaks a sweat then I want to challenge you to dial it up a notch. Give your warmup 100% of your effort next class and see what I mean. If you are giving your best effort in the general and specific warm-up drills you will notice a huge difference in your ability to recruit and activate muscles. This will allow you to move with better form. The efficiency of moving with better form allows to lift more weight and improve your fitness. Isn’t that why we’re all here in the first place…

Mobilization

Human movement patterns can be broken down into a few broad and overarching groups like squat, lunge, hinge, push, pull, rotate and walk. When you mobilize before a workout you are addressing 
Sometimes you will accomplish mobilization through a dynamic warm-up. Taking your joints through an increasing range of motion in order to prepare them for the rigors of the workout. Sometimes you will slow down and target specific tissues through foam rolling, flossing, or distraction techniques with a band. 
Let’s say the day’s workout is to build up to a heavy single deadlift. The first step is to consider what movement patterns will be involved. In this case, the deadlift involves a hinge as the primary movement pattern. You want to make sure that your back, hips, glutes, and hamstrings are well oiled and firing before you start touching a barbell. 

Cooldown

The cooldown can and should involve more than making sweat angels on the floor. The goal is to ensure continuous blood flow to remove the toxins and metabolites that have built up during your training session. By continuing to move after a workout you are actually improving your recovery and setting the tone for your next training session. Hopping on a bike or rower for 10:00 minutes and moving at an easy conversational pace can be a total game-changer in the way you feel the next day. This habit can be hard to do at first. Instead of laying on the floor until you crush your protein shake and head out the door you will develop mental toughness by challenging your body to keep moving. There are huge dividends to this and you will notice improvements in your recovery each day and reduced soreness.

Stretching

After your cooldown incorporating stretching and additional mobilization techniques into your routine is essential to optimize recovery and performance in your next workout. When you perform an exercise your body is in “fight or flight” mode. There is a huge shift that occurs during your stretching and rolling session where your body switches back into a parasympathetic or “rest and digest” state. Stretching muscles has been shown to temporarily improved range of motion and will help you when you go to tie your shoes the next morning. By focusing on breathing and moving your tight and sore muscles you are helping to establish homeostasis and you will feel much better for the rest of the day. This is a great practice to repeat again later in the day before bed, especially if you are someone who has trouble shutting off at night and unwinding.

Today we looked at why it is so important to optimize the warmup, mobilization, cooldown, and stretching. We all love to go hard in the workout, but by focusing on improving in these areas is really how you will start to see results!

How To Increase Accountability

Do you accept accountability for your actions, or do you get defensive and start pointing fingers?

Being accountable isn’t always easy, but it’s necessary and valuable. Accountability fosters teamwork, builds trust, and enables you to DO something about the problem!

“Accountability doesn’t happen just by chance. It has to be implemented.”

What is Accountability?

Accountability is the willingness to accept responsibility and embrace the consequences for one’s actions, decisions, and choices. You take ownership of situations that you’re involved in.

The Accountability Ladder is based on Roger Connors; Tom Smith; and Craig Hickman’s bookThe Oz Principle – Getting Results Through Individual and Organizational Accountability“, which is a fantastic tool for learning about being accountable.

This ladder depicts a spectral range of behaviors from the least accountable (level 1) to the most accountable (level 8).

Level 1: Being unaware. This represents someone who is completely unaware that there is a goal to achieve.

Level 2: Blaming others. This represents someone who is informed but refuses to accept accountability for anything and instead blames it on someone else.

Level 3: Rationalize things. This represents someone who will defend himself for not being accountable.

Level 4: Stand by. This represents someone who chooses not to act, hoping that the issue will be resolved by itself.

Level 5: Acceptance. This represents someone who admits that there is a problem and that action must be taken.

Level 6: Recognizing the role. This represents someone who is not only embracing whatever needs to happen, but also willing to accept their part in it.

Level 7: Look for solutions. This represents someone who seeks solutions to problems.

Level 8: Take action.  This represents someone who takes all appropriate measures to accomplish the work.

How To Improve Accountability? 

Here are some pointers to help you build accountability!

  • Establish Realistic Expectations. 

Accountability gaps are created by a lack of clarity and unrealistic expectations. The first step is to understand your role. You’ll need to know what your responsibilities are and what you’re accountable for. The expectations must be clearly defined in order to achieve your goals and objectives.

  • Recognize Mistakes. 

If you make a mistake, admit it, set aside your pride, and demonstrate what you are willing to do to make things right. Most of us must find it difficult to admit being wrong, but it’s a necessary step toward learning, growing, and improving ourselves.

  • Include Someone in the Goal-Setting Process. 

Engaging others in the work is an important part of accountability and contributes to a healthy, positive work environment. It does not imply having someone take on the responsibility, but rather having someone provide feedback on your progress and areas where you can still improve to achieve the goal.

In conclusion

Accountability must be practiced. It begins with awareness and ownership. It begins with you. When there is a clear and consistent strategy for implementation and validation, it will have a significant impact on performance and results.

 

What To Look For in a Good CrossFit Coach

 

The great thing about CrossFit is that everyone is encouraged and challenged to improve themselves in a safe environment: achieving more than they thought possible and recognizing their full potential. Having a coach is important because they can allow you to feel challenged, supported, and competent in your ability, and they can assist you in reaching your fitness goals. 

As the saying goes, “Great coaches produce great outcomes”.

So what makes a great CrossFit coach?

1.They break down goals into achievable pieces.

Athletes of varying skill levels are frequently present in the same classes at the same time, so coaches must be able to adapt their coaching to the specific individuals in class. Breaking down your goals into actionable steps is the key to actually achieving them. These steps don’t have to be extremely complicated; in some cases, simplicity is the best approach. A successful goal-setting strategy must include long-term, medium-term, and short-term goals. Breaking down your goals will ensure that you are taking consistent steps toward achieving success.

2. They communicate effectively. 

A person may be extremely gifted athlete, but that won’t necessarily make them a good coach if they are unable to communicate. Great communication begins with connection. Being able to communicate effectively with your coach, and knowing your coach can reciprocate, will increase the liklihood of success and create a more enjoyable experience overall. Relationship skills will enable the coach to manage people and deal with potential problems in a dynamic environment. Coaches who interact and communicate effectively with their athletes can provide positive feedback and constructive criticism in ways that have a significant impact on their athletes’ performance.

3. They emphasize the basics and appropriate progression.

To put learning into action, the coach must be able to apply knowledge in the appropriate manner and at the appropriate time. An emphasis on the foundational principles also indicates that when training athletes, a coach adheres to proper progressions. This includes maintaining proper form at all times, insisting on proper scaling, and focusing on the fundamentals in order to protect everyone’s health and keep them injury-free. Some athletes want to step right into the most complex moves, such as snatches without learning the basic movement patterns first first. So one of the core tasks of a coach is to improve the skill level of their athletes based on their capabilities, which will allow them to ramp up gradually.

4. They coach the person, not the athlete.

The most effective coaches take the time to know the athlete as a person. Getting to know what makes people “tick” improves the coach’s ability to communicate, the athlete’s buy-in, and elevates the overall experience everyone is having.

5. They never stop learning. 

The acquisition of knowledge is the starting point for the coach’s journey. It is the responsibility of the coach to fulfill their athletes’ expectations and to study, experiment, and offer as many solutions as possible in order to see progress in their path. Coaches should be learning from their athletes, from their peers, and from other coaching resources regardless of how many certifications or how many years of experience they have. The pursuit of knowledge is never-ending.

“Coaches are not people who failed at being athletes themselves. They are the ones who have the guts to create many more athletes than just themselves.”

Athletes and coaches who have genuine relationships generate more trust, better communication, and a winning attitude. So finding a great coach will result in an effective and successful Coach-Team Relationship.

 

If you would like to achieve your fitness goals and have amazing coaches, contact us today to set up a time to talk with one of our awesome coaches!

Should I Add Protein To My Diet?

Most people associate proteins with bodybuilders, who eat more meat and drink protein shakes to improve their physique. However, protein is not only beneficial to them, but it is valuable to everyone, whether you are an athlete, runner, hiker, gym-goer, or simply enjoy playing or doing other forms of daily activities.

 

Aside from water and fat, almost every cell in the body is made up of protein. Proteins are large, complex molecules that play numerous roles in the human body. They are necessary for the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs, and they perform the majority of the work in cells. It is also a key macronutrient that the body uses as a building block.

 

So, yes, protein is necessary to include in your diet!

 

Where do we get proteins?

Meat, dairy products, nuts, and certain grains and beans provide protein in our diet.  Animal products, such as meat, eggs, and milk, are complete proteins. This means that they supply all of the amino acids that the body is unable to produce on its own, thus this provides the highest-quality protein sources. 

 

On the other hand, most plant proteins are incomplete, which means they lack at least one essential amino acid. To get all of the amino acids your body requires, you should eat a variety of plant proteins every day if you are not going to eat animal products.

 

Why is it important?

If you exercise but have low energy or do not feel like you are building muscle, it could be due to a lack of protein in your diet.  

 

Anyone who engages in any form of exercise will undoubtedly require more protein than anyone who does not. This is due to the fact that when you exercise, you are effectively tearing and breaking muscle fibers apart, which then requires repair by the body – necessarily involving the use of protein.

 

According to a study published in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, high-protein diets are commonly associated with muscle hypertrophy and strength, but they’ve also been recommended for weight loss and recovery from strenuous exercise or injuries.

 

Protein is the primary component of muscles, bones, organs, skin, and nails. And muscles are approximately 80% protein, excluding water, making this nutrient particularly important for athletes or people who exercise.

 

Consumption of high-protein foods has significant benefits, including lowering the risk of several diseases, building lean muscle,improving post-exercise recovery, weight control as well as suppressing hunger.

 

How much protein do I need?

The amount you require is determined by your age, gender, health, and level of physical activity. The average person needs about .7-1 grams of protein every day per pound of lean body weight (talk to one of our coaches if you want to know what this number is, specifically, for you!). Though protein is found in an abundance of foods, many people still fail to get enough. 

 

Athletes who eat enough protein tend to supplement their nutrition with healthy protein shakes as a way of increasing the amount of high-quality complex protein that their body receives. They also try to ensure that every meal has a healthy serving of protein in it to help spread the daily needs out throughout the day.

 

Keep in mind that our body needs protein to stay healthy and work the way it should, so make sure to include protein in every meal. A healthy diet is essential for good health!

 

If you would like to learn more about individual nutrition coaching through Southpaw Nutrition Coaching, please contact us today and indicate your interest in learning about nutrition!

Benefits of Macrotracking for Fitness and Physique

Most individuals believe that fitness consists solely of working out and adhering to a diet plan. We frequently assume that calorie counting is the greatest way to achieve the physique we’ve always desired, to reduce weight, and build muscle. However, counting calories doesn’t show how balanced your diet is but only establishing a calorie deficit. Few recognize that the best approach to get a high nutritional status is to grasp the benefits of macro tracking and include it into our diet plan. 

 

What is a ‘Macro?’

Most people have heard the term macro at some point in their lives.  In terms of nutrition, it is short for “Macronutrients”– or the building blocks of food that contribute to dietary energy intake. These are made up of three components: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Accordingly, an increase in the proportion of one macronutrient for a given calorie intake implies a reduction in the proportion of one or more other macronutrients. 

 

Why Should We Track Macronutrients?

Here are some of the benefits of monitoring your macronutrients for fitness and physique!

Prevent chronic disease risk

An increasing body of data suggests that a significant imbalance in the relative proportions of macronutrients might raise the risk of chronic illness and may have an adverse effect on micronutrient intake. Micronutrients, referred to as vitamins and minerals, our body requires in little amounts to be functional and to digest these macronutrients.

In adults and children, the AMDR for carbohydrate consumption suggested is 45–65% of dietary energy intake. The intakes were based on the assessment that high carbohydrate intakes (>65%) increase the risk of CHD and low carbohydrate, high-fat intakes (45%) increase the risk of obesity.

Essential in bodybuilding

When gaining muscle, it is important to determine the necessary macronutrient ratios as varied macronutrients have different effects on muscle development and preservation. According to a study, in order to gain muscle mass, diets should consist of 55-60% carbohydrate, 25-30% protein, and 15-20% fat for bodybuilder composition. It is beneficial to have a positive energy balance so that additional energy is accessible for muscle metabolism. 

It is important to note that these percentages should be specifically prescribed based on your health history, lifestyle, and goals – talk to one of our coaches today if you’d like a personalized nutrition program!

Control your body’s metabolism

The macronutrients not only impact your weight via food intake but also how calories are burned. Metabolism is the method through which your body transforms into energy everything you consume. Calories in foods and drinks interact with oxygen during this complex process to release energy for your body. Humans regulate their energy intake in terms of the protein consumed, including consuming more when required to maintain protein balance. Proteins are reported to have the greatest impact on the increase of basal metabolism by around 15-30%, followed by carbohydrates for about 5-10% and fat by 0-3%.

In conclusion

We already know that macronutrients are the most important nutrients in big quantities to provide the energy needed to sustain the body’s function and carry out everyday tasks. Hence, it’s critical to recognize and acquire excellent eating habits, as well as making sure you’re including macronutrients in your meals, depending on how active a person you are and your fitness objectives are. So the key to achieving fitness is a mix of effective workouts and good nutritional habits!

If you would like to learn more about how you can build a healthy nutrition program contact us today to set up a time to talk with one of our awesome coaches!

How CrossFit Can Help Runners

 

If you are a runner, you’ve probably heard some of your running buddies talking about using CrossFit to improve their performance. You’ve also probably seen people vehemently disagree with their assertion. CrossFit and running have been a hot, debated topic over the past few years.

The beliefs of the endurance community and fitness enthusiasts collide when this matter arises.

Can CrossFit improve your running performance?

Can it make you a stronger, better, faster runner?

To answer these questions, let’s dive into the world of CrossFit!

What is CrossFit?

CrossFit, in the simplest definition, is fitness training.

The movements in CrossFit are different from traditional gym exercises because they have multi-joint (functional) movement patterns. The exercises use multiple joints, such as knees, hips, and shoulders, to perform compound movements. These are executed at a much higher intensity than typical cross-training programs.

CrossFit workouts can be performed safely by anyone of any age or fitness level (though we recommend learning from a qualified coach!). The movements and workouts can be modified to suit anyone.

People who do CrossFit care a lot about their health and fitness. Hence, getting stronger each day is one of their goals.

How Does CrossFit Affect a Runner’s Performance?

If you are a runner, you may love CrossFit too!

Crossfit combines powerlifting, weightlifting, strength training, and gymnastics training. These benefit the slow-twitch muscles used for long-distance and fast-twitch muscles used for sprinting.

The main problem encountered by many runners is running only works one part of the body – the legs. Over time, the repetitive one-movement pattern of running can cause an imbalance in the rest of the body which can lead to any number of injuries. If you have been in running circles long enough – chances are you have seen or experienced this first hand!

CrossFit exercises, on the other hand, involve the whole body & varying movement patterns rather than isolated muscle groups and singular modality movement patterns.

Working the entire body will help runners lose overall body fat, which will increase endurance and speed. Being lighter and stronger will also diminish the amount of impact that runners experience in each foot strike – lowering the chances of injury.

Can CrossFit make you a faster, better runner?

If you’re looking for a cross-training option, CrossFit is a great fit!

The functional exercises that CrossFit utilizes help build strength, improve the range of motion, and make everyday tasks easier to do.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) improves strength and endurance which are essential factors in good running. In a blog post by Anurag Shahi M.D., mixing up your running with high-intensity workouts like CrossFit will lower your risk of injury and improve your overall fitness levels.

If you are wondering whether CrossFit can help you become a better runner, the best way to begin is by asking a coach for help. They can guide you along the way!

With hard work, determination, and discipline, you’ll be well on your way to a new PR!

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If you’d like to learn more about how CrossFit can help prepare you to be a better runner please schedule a time to talk with one of our amazing coaches by visiting crossfitsouthpaw.com/get-started today!

Quick Study on Macronutrients: Protein, Carbs, and Fat

A Consumer’s guide to Fat, Carbs, and Protein…

Nutrition is a highly individual journey and no one answer is true or right for everyone. The simple fact of the matter is that when it comes down to it, you have to figure out what works best for you. However there are some overarching philosophies that can channel your approach to healthy eating. When you figure out a style and frequency in your relationship with food that works well you will notice improvements in energy levels, weight loss/gain, focus, mood, and of course physical performance.

Fats

Paleo, Ketogenic, and Atkins diet have helped change many of the negative perceptions of fat in the diet. As Americans, a far bigger threat to our health is a diet that contain high sugar and processed foods.

Fats are actually an essential source of fuel and micronutrients that make us healthy. However, it’s important to choose the right types and amounts of fats in your diet that let you operate at your best.

The chemical structure of a fat or fatty acid determines what role it will play in our bodies. Based on this structure we are able to classify fats in certain classes that share similar characteristics. Fats can be divided into saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats.

  • Saturated fats are found in red meat and coconuts and up until recently have gotten a bad rap as culprits of heart disease.
  • Monounsaturated fats are found in plant foods like nuts, avocado, and olive oil.
  • Polyunsaturated fats include Omega-3’s and Omega-6’s which can be found in fatty fish, flax seeds, and walnuts and are associated with a variety of health benefits.

Fats are essential for energy requirements, hormone production, and make up the wall of every cell in your body. They are also directly related to our immune system and having the right ratio of fats is very important for a healthy inflammation response.

When you think about fats, in a broad sense, think: “Eating the right amount of fats lets my body store energy, regulate hormones, and stay healthy”

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are found across a wide variety of foods and depending on the structure of the molecule our body will respond to eating carbs in very different ways. Carbohydrates have a direct relationship with the glucose levels or blood sugar in our bodies. When our blood glucose levels become elevated our body releases a hormone called insulin to store this extra energy for later when we might have a greater need for it. This glucose is stored in the muscle and liver in long chains known as glycogen or the glucose can be stored in adipose tissue to be utilized later (aka fat storage).

Your goal should be to optimize the amount of carbs that are being stored as glycogen and minimizing excess carbs that would contribute to fat stores. Selecting the right types of foods like vegetables are beneficial because they contain fiber, vitamins, minerals and have a low glycemic index. The glycemic index measures how much a food increases our bodies glucose after consumption. High GI foods include white bread, white rice, and cereals. These foods can be very bad for your waistline, because if your body is not prepared to receive fuel and store it as glycogen they will immediately be stored as fat.

Our bodies can become insulin resistant and requires higher and higher amounts of insulin to store the glucose. Resistance training however, can increase our insulin sensitivity. That means that our cells are highly responsive to storing glucose when insulin is present. Focus on consuming low glycemic carbohydrates that provide key nutrients and avoid high sugar or refined ingredients.

When you think about carbohydrates, in a broad sense, think: “Eating the right amount of carbohydrates lets my body create energy”

Protein

Protein is found in and comprises most of the cells in our body. It is found in a variety of animal and plant sources. Protein is important because it contains amino acids, tiny molecules that are the building blocks of muscle and also used for the synthesis of hormones and neurotransmitters. Some of these amino acids are considered essential meaning they must be provided from a dietary source. Without these essential amino acids we will not be able to repair our tissues and certain vital processes will cease to happen.

Since protein helps us recover from and perform optimally during our workouts it is important to consume after a workout for muscle repair. Real food sources of protein include beef, chicken, eggs, and fish. Try to include these foods as staples in your diet. These foods have amino acid content that is similar to what our human body requires for repair. This is also known as the biological value of the protein. Vegetable sources of protein have a lower biological value and may lack one of the essential amino acids needed by humans. These foods must be strategically combined by vegans or vegetarians so they consume all the amino acids needed for tissue repair. As a vegan athlete it can be challenging to meet your needs without supplementation and can be difficult to get a full spectrum of key micronutrients.

Try to consume 1.0 to 1.5 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight. For a 200 pound man (90 kg) that means 90 grams to 135 grams of protein per day. This will provide enough amino acids for your bodies daily needs. Unfortunately eating more protein doesn’t mean it automatically turns into muscle. Unused protein will be broken down and utilized as a fuel source by the body.

When you think about protein, in a broad sense, think: “Eating the right amount of protein lets my body repair, renew, and recover”


Hopefully knowing a little bit more about each of the macronutrients and how they act in your body will help you to make more informed decisions. Depending on your specific goals, lifestyle, and health history, you may require a different ratio of protein, carbs, and fat than other people. If you have questions about how much (and what) you should be eating, please contact us today!

The Importance of Stress For Your Health

 

 

Did you know that a little bit of stress can actually maximize your performance?

IF you’ve ever been in a flow state and totally lost track of time immersed in the task at hand – then you know know how astounding it can be to snap out of it. You were so focused that you couldn’t worry about your bills, external relationships, and the little worries in life.

It turns out that time spent in a flow state is one of the highest corollaries to a fulfilling life. The more time you spend in flow the happier you are. It also turns out that flow is the best way to get good at a particular skill– assuming the activity meets some key criteria.

The Yerkes Dodson Law examines how as arousal increases so does performance. Being pushed slightly beyond your comfort zone you get hooked. Locked in flow you will continue to push yourself, just barely keeping up with the challenge that is inches from your grasp. They even assigned a specific value to the degree of difficulty. If the level of the challenge is approximately 4% greater than your current skill you will be most likely to get into a flow state.

If you think about great athletes, musicians, artists and other high performing individuals you will see countless examples of them rising to the occasion. Completing the game winning drive as they march their team down the field and scoring with just seconds left on the clock. Playing a guitar lick faster and faster immersed in sweat and the roar of the crowd. These folks are locked into what they are doing to a place that is beyond what conscious mind and ego can interfere with. They are fully present and immersed in the task at hand.

It is important to find the thresholds in your life where you can push yourself and grow. If you feel like a task is too easy you will quickly lose interest and find yourself bored. If it is too difficult, you will feel like it’s hopeless and not actually give your best effort. Find the challenge that is engaging and challenging yet attainable if you truly want to get the most out of yourself.

If you want to find a gym that will meet you where you are at – and help challenge you to become better – feel free to reach out and schedule a Free Consultation with on of our coaches!

CrossFit: Sport vs Exercise Program

CrossFit has exploded in popularity as a fun and effective way to get fit.

It’s popularity has evolved because it works for everyday folks who need to maintain their health but is also extremely popular as a competitive event.

Sometimes it is tough for the outside world to see the differences between the sport of CrossFit that they see on TV and the training methodology they would experience in a local gym. Let’s look at some of the key differences between the sport and the training style so you can make an educated decision on adopting CrossFit into your life.

CrossFit in any form without a doubt incorporates functional movement. Using natural human movement patterns like squatting, hinging, and pressing overhead you will experience these patterns. What varies between competition and class is the technical requirements or difficulty, and the loads used in competition.

CrossFit as a Sport vs. CrossFit as an Exercise Program

The best athletes in the world compete in the “CrossFit Games” that you see on TV. This is the “Sport” side of CrossFit. In order to truly differentiate the fittest men and women, they must be tested by the most extreme workouts. They perform weightlifting, gymnastics, and cardiovascular workouts but at much higher intensities and volume than a coach would ever ask you to perform in your local gym.

“Intensity is the independent variable most commonly associated with maximizing favorable adaptation to exercise,” -Greg Glassman

The cool thing about the sport of CrossFit, is that you get to watch your favorite athletes being pushed and tested in the same style of workouts that you perform at the gym everyday. Everyone is safely pushed and challenged to improve themselves. Reaching just a little bit further and tapping into their true potential.

If you want to try a high-intensity functional fitness workout like CrossFit you might be surprised by how friendly and welcoming the community is. You will not be the biggest or smallest, the oldest or youngest, or even the least experienced.

Training for the sport of CrossFit looks very different from the training that takes place in a regular CrossFit class. The workouts in a CrossFit class are designed to elicit health & longevity rather than as a competitive sport. Each workout will then be modified to fit your specific needs & current fitness level. Your coach will modify the weights or movements in a way that encourages you to perform the movements safely rather than push you into doing something that is dangerous or painful.

This style of training has gained popularity because people are able to experience long term growth in a fun and supportive environment. If you’re ready to join a like-minded community of motivated individuals then come check us out!


If you’d like to give CrossFit a try, click here and fill out a contact form so you can try out a free class!