Category Archives for "Education"

Fastest Way To Achieve Your Goals

Do you have a coach?

If not, you are likely limiting your success.  Thats because good coaching brings out the best in you by teaching efficiency, identifying faults you cannot see, and building a structure of support and accountability.  Coaching can empower you to conquer levels of performance that perhaps were not possible on your own.  Simply stated, coaching can get you from A to B exponentially faster than you could on your own.  This saves time and frustration. 

People get in the mindset that they are going to tear it up because they read fitness articles and watch ‘how to’ videos on YouTube.  The immediate access to infinite information on an  infinite amount of topics pales in comparison to what you can learn from hands on training.

How it works?

Coaching helps you establish clear goals.  This is an invaluable first step.  Without a goal, what do you think you will achieve?  Coaching keeps you accountable to your endeavors and on track to success.  Just the support alone is a huge boost to motivation. 

How much value does that have?

Think of coaching as an investment in yourself, not an expense.  It will pay dividends in success and accomplishment.  There is nothing that makes us happier than the sense of true achievement. 

If you want to further your progress and increase satisfaction, hire a coach. 

Crossfit Is Scary!

CrossFit is scary!

I am always trying to overcome the initial fears people have of crossfit.  The intimidation is a huge barrier.  The vast majority of our members were apprehensive before starting because of how intimidating they perceived it to be.  Many considered trying it for a year or more before actually setting foot inside.

Why are so many people intimidated by crossfit??…. Because it is intimidating!!  I was intimidated before I started and I have been a Personal Trainer for 10 years and a fitness lover since high school.  I totally empathize with this sentiment.  Instead of denying that is intimidated, I embrace the fact that it is a little scary.  I have great respect for the people who come through our doors.  It demonstrates they have the courage it takes to be successful.

Why so scary?

Most of it is noise people hear from others who have never done crossfit.  We trust our peers and if they say its bad, then lets go with that.  It saves time and energy rather than trying it out firsthand and formulating personal opinion.

Crossfit is an unconventional form of fitness. There are a lot of barbell exercises unfamiliar to most gym goers.  The weights bang on the floor.  The music gets turned up.  We use terminology exclusive to crossfit like; WOD, met con, AMRAP, etc.  The ‘CrossFit Games’ on ESPN show cyborg looking humans running sub 5 minute miles, lifting 300 lb + over their heads, women who outfit most men at any gym along with various other displays of human potential.  It gives the idea this is what you will find at a CrossFit gym.  Freak specimens only.  In reality, there are people of all walks of life with varying fitness levels.  We have beginners and advanced with a program that accommodates both.

Woman are particularly prone to apprehension.  There is still an unfortunate cultural thought that weightlifting is not for women.  Girls should be girls and stay on the elliptical and let the men hit the weights.  Almost every other gym I have worked at or belonged to had an obvious divide of girls on the cardio and playing with the stability balls and men in the weight room.  A lot of women feel uncomfortable and feel like they are getting judged and starred at.  It’s not like that at CrossFit.

We are THE BEST GYM FOR WOMEN.  

I have seen the most profound changes in our female clients.  More than physical changes.  Confidence goes through the roof when women start seeing changes and realizing what they are truly capable of.  It is refreshing to shift the focus from what they weigh and their measurements to what they can do.  What people find is when their performance goes up, their bodies change!  Crossfit introduces an array of new movements including weightlifting and gymnastics.  Most people have not been exposed to these exercises and if they have it wasn’t with the level of training we provide.  The crossfit culture is one that does not judge people based on their current fitness level.  We are an encouraging community that understands the progression of things and takes great pride in personal improvement for ourselves and those around us.

Be brave and try something that is a little scary!

Myth/Fact

  1. CrossFit is intimidating.  Fact: it certainly can be.  However, like most fears, it is just an illusion.  Ask any of our members.  Most will admit to being reluctant and intimidated to start but found the community to be surprisingly gracious and accepting.
  2. CrossFit is dangerous.  Myth: sitting on your ass is dangerous!  The sedentary lifestyle is the number one cause of heart disease and many other killer ailments.  On the contrary, crossfit -above all- teaches proper movement and symmetry.  We focus on the quality of form, your mobility and core strength.  Listen to your coaches and take pride in doing things correctly then our program is not only safe, it is a life saver!
  3. Crossfit is too expensive. Myth: it is expensive but it is worth every penny.  You get what you pay for.  We are selling our training services and hard earned expertise.  It’s not just space for you to workout in.  Coaching and programming is what you pay for here and you actually get it at a low price.  Classes average out to be $10 if you are using the facility regularly.  Compare that to personal training, which can run $50 – $70 per session.
  4. Crossfit is for everyone!  Myth: NOPE.  It is NOT for everyone.  BUT it can be for anyone who wants to try it!  The program is totally adjustable to meet you where you are and make you better.  However, not everyone is going to like it.  You have to find what you enjoy but you will never know if you do not try!  It is definitely worth the try!

I chose to open a crossfit gym for several reasons.  First and foremost, I have found the model to have the greatest potential for life changing impact on people.  I want to spread my love for fitness to as many people as I can and crossfit is the best weapon I’ve found to do that.  It brings people together.  It teaches self belief, hard work, comradery, and of course how to take care of your body.  There’s nothing to be scared of.

Scale to Gain: Achieve More By Doing The Right Stuff

The key areas of scaling I am going to touch on include:
1. Weight
2. Movements
*Other important considerations: How well rested and nourished you are. Hitting it balls to the wall on day 5 is not intelligent training. At this point, scaling down would produce far better results. Taking the day off is probably the best choice.

Many of us are at different levels of fitness. We are all unique individuals with our own weaknesses and goals. Knowing that, does it make sense for everyone to follow one program? Not unless we tailor it to match our needs.

The crossfit model of strength and conditioning produces profound results across a broad spectrum of fitness but people fail to understand the importance of scaling and/or how to scale. So, many people do not get to experience these results.
Why do we us Rx and how do we come up with it

The Rx on the board does have utility when interpreted correctly. We prescribe the weights for a few reasons.
Most importantly, it gives us a reference point for what to use in our workouts. The Rx is a high standard of fitness and can make for a great goal to shoot for. We prescribe it based on what the fittest people can do efficiently in each category. For example, lets Rx an 8 minute AMRAP
8 Minute AMRAP
 8 Snatches
 8 Pullups
 8 toes to bar
RX is 115/75
The intent of the workout is to move efficiently with minimal rest between exercises. The movements are meant to go unbroken. We picked 115/75 pounds for the snatch because it is a weight that people who are efficient at that movement can do consistently with good form and not have to break up the reps. It is also a challenging weight for them to do in a met con workout.
We can scale it to our level by picking a weight that will challenge us but not force us to put the bar down during the set. Think not only about the weight but the other movements as well and how they can impact the snatch. Moving weight is one thing but moving weight with a heart rate 170 is entirely different.
I am not particularly good at the snatch. I can snatch well over 115 but I know better than to attack this WOD with 115 pounds.
The other use of the Rx is to standardize the workout so people may compete fairly. If Sally and Barbara do the same workout with the same standards, they can compare times/reps.
The prescribed scale is to provide a reference point for people who are not quite at the Rx level. Let’s use the same 8 minute AMRAP
8 Snatch 95/65
8 ring rows
8 knees to chest
Here we have modified each movement of the workout to give further reference for what to use. Pick the movements and weight that will give you the greatest challenge while still being able to do the workout as intended – unbroken. My workout would look like this
8 snatch 75/45
8 pullups
8 toes to bar
Notice I mixed Rx and Scale to match my needs. I’m not sure I would be efficient at 95 on the snatch, so I scaled it further. Do not read the board like Ron Burgundy reads the teleprompter! It does not have to be exactly as written. *if you don’t get that reference, watch Anchorman right now!
The competition prescribed scale is for the competitors. This scale is ridiculous! These are weights and movements for Rx competitors. This is a level beyond fitness. The scale is intended to represent the prescription they may see in competition or a little bit beyond for training purposes. Competition scale for our 8 minute AMRAP may look like this
8 snatch 135/85
8 chest to bar
8 toes to ring
Here we increased the snatch and advanced the pullup to chest to bar. In order to use this prescription you must be able to move fluidly throughout the duration. Competitors are not only strong enough to move heavy weight and perform high level gymnastics but they have incredible conditioning. If you are more than capable to do the prescription but bog down on the 2nd round, then you probably should have scaled because you missed the intent of the workout.
Scaling movements
This is just as important as adjusting load. Crossfit teaches us the best exercises in fitness from the very basic to the highly complex. There is an order of modifications and progressions we have to follow for optimum performance. An example: We have to learn the deadlift then the deadlift high pull and front rack before we learn the power clean. Learning the snatch cannot take place before learning the overhead squat and power clean.
If snatch is prescribed before you are decent at the power clean then you can either perform the snatch with the pvc (no heavier than the bar) or change the movement to power clean, so you can get better at that prerequisite.
The mistake people make is misinterpreting the prescriptions either by pride, competitive spirit or they just do not know how. More is most often not better; more is just…more. Just because Jethro did the competition scale does not mean you should. It is a detriment to your fitness if the higher demands cause you to move like crap and red-line your heart rate.
Movements executed at the highest standards rank far and above moving fast or heavy. Only when we are proficient with a movement do we advance the load/speed. Think of building a house with a faulty foundation. It is bound to collapse. That is what happens when people advance movements and load before their bodies are conditioned to handle it.
Read the workout as it is intended and scale to the most challenging options you can handle with exceptional movement. And always ask the coach if you have any questions!

 

By Clay Henderson, CSCS

Owner of Performance Edge Crossfit

Almost Paleo cupcake recipes

Almost Paleo…gingerbread cupcakes with marscarpone frosting – by Isabella Fuentes

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Almost a year ago, my partner got serious about his rock climbing and mountaineering training and adopted a “paleo” diet. As a lover of bread, French fries, and all things dessert, I was not immediately on board. However, I was mindful in the kitchen when preparing meals we could both enjoy. We began to evaluate more closely the source and quality of our ingredients, but being a full time graduate student means I have limited time and money to spend in the kitchen. As a result, we often eat simply (seasoned ground beef, sautéed/roasted/fresh vegetables, and eggs), but the scientist in me is always down to experiment. I want to share with you paleo-friendly recipes that my trusty crew of taste-testers have deemed winners. Try something new and enjoy!

—i.m.f.

 

One of my favorite people had a birthday this week and I made cupcakes to celebrate. When I heard she had a late-night barf fest after eating her weight in cake on her actual birthday (no judgment; we were all 6 years old once), I wanted to make her a party treat that was free of grains, refined sugars, and industrial seed oils; something her dad, a good friend of ours, would eat. I decided on my paleo-fied Laura Ingalls Wilder gingerbread cupcakes with sugar-free marscarpone frosting. Mouthwatering descriptions of warm country cooking were some of my favorite passages from Wilder’s Little House series; recipes for which were published in The Laura Ingalls Wilder Country Cookbook. I’ve made a few tweaks to the recipe and paired it with a marscarpone frosting, rather than the boiled chocolate icing she suggests.

These cupcakes topped with a simple chocolate buttercream (butter, powered sugar, vanilla extract, and cocoa powder…not paleo) were well received around the holidays, especially when paired with an ice-cold glass of whole milk or a white Russian. However, my trusty taste-testers thought a cream cheese frosting would pair better with the gingerbread than chocolate, so this time around I experimented with a marscarpone frosting. Marscarpone is a soft Italian cheese used in tiramisu and I think it adds a little sophistication to this country gingerbread. I’ve also included a simple paleo-friendly buttercream frosting. The tasters liked both frostings, but the marcarparone was the crowd favorite. For a spicy twist, add ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the dry ingredients and top with a dark chocolate ganache.

This recipe makes one 8” square or 9” round cake or 13 cupcakes (yes, 13).

I used organic ingredients when I could, but every ingredient was simple with no added preservatives or artificial flavors.

Ingredients:

Gingerbread

  • 3 cups paleo-friendly flour (recipe below)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • ½ cup coconut oil, softened at room temperature (I used Spectrum brand)
  • 1 cup blackstrap molasses (must be blackstrap! It has a strong flavor and it’s lower carb, rich in minerals, and easy on digestion; I used Brer Rabbit brand)
  • ½ cup coconut sugar (I used organic, Hy-Vee brand)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 eggs, beaten (organic, pasture raised; purchased from a farmer friend)

Sugar-free marscarpone frosting

  • 16 oz marcarpone cheese (or cream cheese; I used BelGioioso brand marscarpone; gluten free, hormone free)
  • 1 tsp non-bitter, liquid stevia (I used NuNaturals brand Clear NuStevia)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract (I used Simply Organic brand)
  • ½ cup whole milk or cream (I used Shatto brand)

-OR-

Paleo-friendly buttercream frosting

  • 1 cup coconut butter (or coconut oil, but frosting will be quite soft) (or grass-fed, unsalted butter; I used Kerrygold brand)
  • 2 Tbs raw honey (purchased from a bee keeper friend)
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour/starch (I used Trang brand from my local Asian market)

How-to:

  1. Preheat oven to 3500F and prepare your baking vessel; grease lightly with coconut oil or line with paper cups.
  2. Into a large bowl, sift together the flour, spices, and salt.
    1. The paleo flour can be very dense. Sifting the dry ingredients yields a fluffier texture.
  3. Combine the coconut oil and molasses before creaming in the coconut sugar.
    1. The coconut sugar will not dissolve like brown sugar would. Just be sure there aren’t any dry pockets of sugar.
  4. 1/3 at a time, fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
    1. Batter will be really stiff. Fold enough times that the wet and dry ingredients look evenly distributed.
  5. Dissolve baking soda in hot water and add to the batter. Fold the batter repeatedly until the water is absorbed.
  6. Fold beaten eggs into the batter until just combined.
    1. Don’t over mix, or you’ll end up with a dense cake.
  7. Pour your batter into your prepared baking vessel.
    1. I chose a muffin tin. I filled each well with 2-3 tablespoons of batter; basically to the top.

    cupcake2

  8. Bake the gingerbread for 40-45 minutes for cakes or 20-25 minutes for cupcakes.
      1. A toothpick should come out clea
  9. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for at least 5-10 minutes before removing. For cakes, cool completely.
    1. These cakes will be really soft until they have cooled completely.
  10. While the gingerbread is baking and cooling, whip your frosting ingredients together. Store in the fridge until you need it.
    Transfer frosting to a piping bag or a disposable storage bag with the tip cut off (my go-to method).!
  11. When the gingerbread has cooled completely, decorate as you wish!

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cupcake8

Makes 20 ¼ cup servings. Nutrition per serving: 150 kcal, 8 g total fat (2.4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 30 mg sodium, 72 mg potassium, 16 g total carbs (6.6 g dietary fiber, 1.2 g sugars), and 4.8 g protein.
I used organic, Hy-Vee brand almond and coconut flowers and Bob’s Red Mill brand arrowroot starch.

cupcake 9

Nutrition per serving: 325.8 kcal, 16.8 g total fat (9.8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 258.6 mg sodium, 630 mg potassium, 38.2 g total carbs (6.1 g dietary fiber, 19.7 g sugars), and 6.6 g protein.

cup cake 10

Nutrition per serving: 178.5 kcal, 17.8 g total fat (10.8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 15.4 mg sodium, 9.2 mg potassium, 0.6 g total carbs (0 g dietary fiber, 0 g sugars), and 1.2 g protein.

cupcake11

Nutritional per serving using Kerrygold, unsalted butter: 143.1 kcal, 14.8 g total fat (9.8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 0 mg sodium, 0 mg potassium, 5.4 g total carbs (0 g dietary fiber, 2.5 g sugars), and 0 g protein.

 

Isabella Fuentes

isamarfue@gmail.com

Kids Fitness Class

We have an excellent kids fitness program, taught by fitness enthusiasts who are teachers by trade with years of experience with kids.  The kids that participate love the program.  It is important to get kids involved in physical activity and to build healthy active bodies.  Establishing exercise as a valued part of life at an early age does wonders for self-esteem and health.

kids fitness class

Too many kids are sedentary these days – plugged in to electronics for entertainment.  The obesity rate is higher in children now more than every.  Type II diabetes is now showing up in children as young 10 years old because they are moving far less.  Inactivity reeks havoc on the body and causes many unnecessary health problems.  The longer children go without physical activity in their lives, the harder it becomes to introduce.  It.

This program captures their attention and keeps the kids engaged with fun games mixed with great exercises taught the correct way.  The first class is Free.

Classes are Tuesday and Thursday nights at 7 P.M.  The cost is $30 per Month for 1 class a week – $60 per Month for both classes – or $75 for a 10 class punch card.

 

 

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