Category Archives for "fitness"

Save the joints and Burn more calories

Of all the things we do in our program, rowing may come with the most value to your overall fitness.

“Ugh! I hate rowing” Maybe you share this sentiment, but if you knew what it does for your fitness, your feelings may lighten up.

So why is rowing such a common piece of our strength and conditioning program and what are the benefits?

1. It is a full body output movement. This simply means you are using legs, core, and upper body. Rowing uses FAR more of your body’s musculature than other cardio modalities.
2. Rowing burns the calories! Wanting to shed some layers after the holidays? Hop on a rower for some HITT training. It can be a powerful tool for leaning out.
3. It is low impact. Running is also a great exercise for overall fitness, especially the cardio- respiratory system, but it comes with some pounding on the joints, consequently requiring more maintenance to keep the machine healthy.
4. It is for everyone. Immediately. Anyone can hop on a rower and move efficiently with a little coaching.

Enough said. Rowing is an amazing tool for conditioning. Next time you mope over to the rower dreading the pain, just remember it will make you a better person in life.

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. 

Triple Threat Endurance!

Join us this Saturday as Performance Edge CrossFit hosts its first Endurance Event – Triple Threat Endurance.  It is open to the community for all fitness levels.  It is an endurance event that consists of: 2k row, jump rope (400 singles OR 200 doubles) and a 2k run.  There will also be a scaled version.

We will have coffee and donuts for everyone.  There will also be prizes for winners!  Come out, challenge yourself and have some fun!

When: Saturday Oct. 15, 2016

Where: Performance Edge CrossFit/Bootcamp 640 Haines Drive suite 300. Liberty, MO 64068

Start time: 9AM

How Much: $15

How do I register: Click here! Or come early and register the day of

PECF members – please note there will not be a class this Saturday.  Class is canceled for the Triple Threat Endurance.

Please contact Clay@performanceEdgeCF.com for more details

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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

Performance Edge Crossfit

I thought CrossFit was stupid… Then I tried it.

I thought CrossFit was stupid. Then I tried it…
My first impression of CF was it was ridiculous. It seemed random and too intense. I watched videos of epic CrossFit fails and from there formed a negative opinion. I saw inexperienced people doing highly technical movements with too much weight moving too fast with terrible form. Most of my colleagues shared my sentiment. The problem with this opinion (like most) was that it was formed without any firsthand experience with CrossFit. I just thought it was stupid and of course I knew best because I was the personal trainer and certified strength and conditioning specialist. I knew it all.
I did not try CF until 2013 when a friend challenged me to do the ‘300 workout’ with me. After completing the workout, I was floored. I loved it. It introduced crazy new fitness potential that I did not know existed. I was both humbled and inspired by the experience as I laid on the floor gasping for air. The workout was intense but it was also highly engaging and almost fun. I did not know it was a CF workout until my friend told me afterwards. I don’t know about you but I hate talking shit then having to eat it.
Reluctant to admit my opinions of CF may have been wrong, I began researching the program and doing the workouts on my own. In the next month and a half my total fitness level soared to new heights. I PRd on all major lifts among many other moves like hitting 30 strict pullups unbroken and 75 chest to floor pushups. For the first time ever I recorded a 5k time under 22 minutes, which for me is really good. My energy was at an all-time high. Best of all, I was enjoying my new routines. I looked forward to every day’s workout.
The first few months of my CF journey were done on my own and the results were phenomenal. Then I joined a CF gym and my progress accelerated even more. I was immediately humbled by the level of coaching I received and their standards on quality of movement. It was pointed out that my form on major movements needed a lot work and I received excellent training that lead to vast improvement in a short amount of time. I learned that in a good crossfit gym (there are bad ones, just like anything else), mobility is just as, if not more, important than strength and power. Their motto was ‘move well then move fast’. I have adopted it and relayed that message to every client since. Learning the basics and learning them very-very well creates a foundation that you can build on for forever. Going balls out with a mediocre foundation is recipe for collapse. The point is, get proper coaching and take pride in doing thing right. It will save you a lot of pain and setbacks.
The best part of the experience from the gym was being a part of an awesome community. No where will you find a place that is more supportive of your goals than you will in a good crossfit gym. People go to regular gyms with their ear buds on and walk around with serious faces, interacting with no one but the machines they use. In a crossfit gym, members are constantly interacting. They actually smile and genuinely care about your health and wellbeing. It is hardwired in to the culture of crossfit to cheer on the people around you. It is a truly inspiring atmosphere. It is the combination of excellent programming, coaching and most importantly the supportive environment that crossfit is the most successful fitness program in terms of getting insane results across the board.
I have made a career of using my knowledge and passion for fitness to help others improve the quality of their lives and achieve their fitness goals. Being a part of my client’s success is an empowering feeling. It is the kind of satisfaction that makes my job the best job in the world. My experience with crossfit made me realize that I could help 10x as many people as I was before. By being involved and eventually owning a crossfit gym, I could help an entire member base and anyone in the surrounding community to try us out.
I encourage everyone to try crossfit. Most people feel that it is too intense for them and say things like “I don’t care about being super strong or having a six pack, I just want to be healthier”… to that I say “ok, what’s your point?” If your goal is to be healthier, how do you measure it? And if you achieve this ‘healthier’ goal and become stronger and leaner in the process, are you going to pissed about it? I don’t think so. What if you do something you never thought possible? Would you be upset over that? My guess is no. Some try to belittle the community of crossfit, calling a cult or fitness for elitist. These are titles from outsiders who are thinking without any firsthand knowledge of what we are all about. Hey, no judgement from me, I was guilty of the same thing! The truth is, crossfit can be for anyone. It is a scalable program that allows for all skill levels to work side by side. The level of growth I have seen people achieve from crossfit is insane! I am not just talking about changes with their body. I am talking about their confidence and how they feel about themselves. In my experience, Crossfit is the best thing to happen to fitness industry, for both fitness professionals and customers wanting to improve their health.
Most people are scared to try things outside of their comfort zone even when those are the only things that will get them what they want. To avoid facing fear, they rationalize giving up by denying the importance of the goals they want but are too afraid to go after.
Crossfit is scary to the outsider. It looks too intense. It is different than anything they have seen before. The reality is it is the exact opposite. It is a scalable program for all levels. It is a supportive community that fosters personal growth. I have yet to find anything like it and encourage everyone to give it a shot. There really isn’t anything to lose.

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