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Hard work is the catalyst for the highest reward but what if it’s not paying off??

There's nothing more frustrating than putting the effort in and not seeing any progress!

If you've experienced this, keep reading. This happens all the time in fitness. 

 Even for the fully motivated, it's easy to give up when you are not seeing results. Whether your goal is to run a marathon or PR your back squat, the gains you make in training is what keeps you going. They make you excited to come back for more! 

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You Need To Know The Difference Between Game Day and Training Day!

Game Day vs. Training Day

What’s the difference?

  • Game day is when you put yourself to the test.  You find out what you’re made of by performing at your absolute highest level of output.  This could be sport related.  Relative to CF, Game Day could be a benchmark workout or maxout day.  If you are competitive then it is competition day.  
  • Training Day is what we do to prepare for Game Day.  Moreover, it is what we do to maintain optimum health.  It is what we do to achieve our goals.  

It is important not to confuse these two.  

Performing a 1 rep max on the back squat is NOT an effective training method.  The damage done to the CNS and muscular system surpasses the body’s ability to recover quick enough for a positive adaptation.  

So if it breaks us down that much, what is it good for and why would we do it?  Though it is not an effective training day, it is an excellent metric for maximum strength.  It is a quantifiable measurement in work capacity within the strength domain.  Furthermore, it gives us percentages to use that allow us to program accurate intensities.  This makes for effective training, thus providing great potential for improved performance when the next test day arrives.  The 1 rep max is game day.

Our bodies fluctuate between catabolic (breaking down)  and anabolic states (building up).  Exercising (stress) slightly tears muscle fibers and breaks us down putting our system in a catabolic state.  These physiological responses to stress placed on the body require rest and replenishment through proper nutrition in order to transition into the anabolic state.  Once that is achieved our bodies repair themselves and come back stronger.      

How can you tell if you are in a constant catabolic state:

  • Chronic soreness
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of strength

Confusing game day for training day is a surefire way to halt progress and may even send you on a backward trajectory.  If you are not allowing your body to positively respond to stress, your body will constantly play catch up.   

This belief seems reasonable; if something is good for me then more of it is better. This is a logical fallacy.  In some cases, more is damaging.  In others, more is just more.  No better, no worse.  Yes, of course occasionally you need more.

5 Ways to ensure recovery

  1. Sleep 6-8 hours
  2. Take rest days
  3. Eat anti inflammatory foods
  4. Hydrate
  5. Consume adequate amounts of protein, vegetables, and low GI carbs

In the Gym training  tips to maximize overall fitness and prevent overtraining 

  1. Warm-up and cool down with some stretches.  
  2. Do not exceed the programmed {d793bd461e48fb811f7c1bdf9a1875cfcb6108b65f23da832b2c752158b79391}. Remember: more does not = better.  These percentages are there for a reason.  They keep us at a high enough intensity to make gains but lower than max effort.  
  3. If you reach failure on a lift, stop. The percentages will not always toe the line perfectly.  In which case, just bail on the lift.  Prevent going to failure as much as possible.  If you hit failure once in a while, no big deal.  So long as you are not training in this fashion day after day.  
  4. Prioritize moving well before moving fast/heavy.  This is the most important performance and injury prevention advise their is.  Own this motto.  Live it.  Take pride in how well you are moving before slapping on the pounds and hitting the nitrous.  With compromised movement patterns and balls to the wall speed, your risk of injury is tenfold and your potential ceiling is much lower than it should be.  Simply put; do not go for speed at the expense of form.  

Above all, keep a clear mind on what is most important now.  As unseemly as it may seem, taking extra time to doing things correctly is the fastest most effecient path to results.

Train safe and get those PRs!
Keys to remember

*more does not = better

*avoid going to failure

*maxing out is a great measurement of strength, not a great training method.  Don’t go at it like that every day

*listen to your body for recovery

*prioritize  proficiency over intensity.  “move well then fast/heavy”

 

BEGINNING A NEW AND TERRIFYING FITNESS JOURNEY

If you have been doing crossfit for a while, you may have forgotten what your first experience felt like.  For most people, it was intimidating and difficult to get started.  Hear from one of our very own, Mike Young about his experience with crossfit and what his time at PECF has done for him.  It is interesting to learn from other people’s perspective.  When we do, there are usually “Wow, that sounds a lot like me” similarities that hit home.

Mike Young putting up some weights!

By Mike Young –

7PM February 6, 2017.  I am Sweating from my armpits, hands clammy, wondering what I am doing here. Had I just finished fifty burpees? No.  I hadn’t even started yet.  I was trying to convince myself that my first foray into crossfit culture was a good idea.

Apprehension, fear, uncertainty filled my gut that evening when I attended my first CrossFit Foundations class.  What was I getting into?  I didn’t want to look stupid.  My goals were simple and highly important.  I wanted to lose inches around my belly.  I wanted to walk up a flight of stairs at work and not be winded.  I wanted to feel stronger.  I wanted to add years to the end of my life.  So, I was willing to give it a shot.  Tentatively, I dipped a toe into the crossfit waters hoping it would get me what I wanted.

Now almost a year later the question is – was it worth it?  Would I do it again?

Resoundingly yes! (obviously or I wouldn’t be writing this).  What I found was a culture that has been welcoming to everyone.  All tiers are involved and I love it.  At any given class you will find dudes, chicks, bro’s, geriatrics, kids, pets, teenagers, Rx competitors, newbies, converts, and returnees.

Personally, the results have been off the charts.  I won’t bore you with my personal successes but I am really looking forward to 2018 at PECF and a year of new PRs in the various lifts and workouts.

If you know ANYONE who has ever mentioned an interest in crossfit or just bettering their fitness please show them this post and tell them about Clay’s Foundations class which is where it all began for me. 

Thank you to Clay, Britany, Drew, Kat, Brent, Chris, Torey, and Teresa for not letting me quit.  Thank you to Brian, Christ F, John, Carl, Shanna, Jenna, JT, Todd and other crossfitters that hung in there with me in the heat of July and the frigid winter.

One key that has stuck with me is this PECF motto, ‘Move well, then move fast’.  This has been instrumental in keeping me safe and progressing.  

Michael Young

Thanks Mike for sharing your story!  More often than not, the beginning of any big endeavor is preceded with fear and apprehension.  It is only when we finally give it a go, we realize these fears are irrational.  Think of what you would accomplish if you just gave it a try.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started” – Mark Twain

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.

Increase Performance Instantly!

 Clay Henderson, CSCS Coach

 

 

 

Before the sun rises or after a long day, you drag yourself to the gym no matter your mood – excited or grumpy.  You have this discipline because fitness is a priority and missing a workout (aside from rest days) always hurts more than suffering through a doozy of a session.  Once you arrive you are ready to getter’ done with no time to spare.  Under a time crunch you feel something has to give.  Unfortunately, this is usually the warm-up.  Big mistake!  Just by doing a warm-up you can greatly improve performance each session.  Better performance over time = better gainz!

Learn why and what it does it for you 

It is hard to have the drive to do something if we do not see the benefits.  So, lets dive in and give you a reason to never skip the warm-up again. Like grandma always said, “breakfast is the most improvement meal of the day”, the warm-up is the most important part of the workout.

  1. Physiologically prepares us for greater demand on the body
  2. Raises core temperature
  3. Elevates heart rate
  4. Gets the joints loose and the muscles ready to fire
  5. Prepares our mind for a great session.
  6. Prevents injury

The two main reasons to emphasize warming up are injury prevention and increased performance, which go hand-in-hand.

How to properly warm-up

Start with a general warm-up to elevate the heart and get the blood going.  Run an 800 or go through 5 minutes of dynamic stretches.  There are countless things you can do.  The purpose is simple; get moving.

After you get the blood flow, then you can stretch to gain mobility.  Remember that order – movement then stretch.  Stretching cold muscles is a bad idea that could even lead to injury.  To get any positive effect from stretching, the muscles have to be warmed up.

Now we are warmed up and mobilized it is time to go into a specific warm-up relative to the exercises in your workout.  If todays big move is deadlifting start with good-mornings to activate the posterior chain, then start your deadlifts slowly progressing the load.

Take the time to warm-up.  Your body will thank you and I doubt you’ll mind the gains!

 

Build Powerful Legs With The Reverse Lunge

The reverse lunge is one of the top three overall lower body exercise there is!  4 Reasons you have to have this in your routine.  Incorporate this move to:

  1. build killer legs
  2. correct muscular imbalance
  3. improve your power and olympic lifts
  4. prevent injury.

It is kind on the knees and puts a lot of load on the hips making it great for glute development.  There are varies ways to load this movement but my favorite is the front rack.  Placing the bar in the front rack demands a lot of core activation with less compression on the spine than the back rack.  A win-win.  The back rack is a fine option as well as it allows for a little more iron on the bar, which makes it a great strength move.  Get this movement in your routine!

When we only workout with bilateral moves, the dominant side will usually fire a little more which consequently creates muscular imbalances and those can lead to injury (if nothing else, they will hold us back).  Unilateral training is important to keep both sides of the body in symmetry.

Pistol Squat strength progression

The pistol squat gives a lot people a hard time.  It is a unilateral exercise that is great or correcting imbalances between the two legs.  It is also a phenomenal strength exercise.  There are many progression exercises to help achieve this advanced movement.  Here is one that focuses on developing the strength required to pull it off.

 

building strength

04182016 WOD

4/18/2016
Strength: Back squats Every 2:30 for 12:30
3 squats. Set 1 @ 70{d793bd461e48fb811f7c1bdf9a1875cfcb6108b65f23da832b2c752158b79391}. Set 5 @ 80-85{d793bd461e48fb811f7c1bdf9a1875cfcb6108b65f23da832b2c752158b79391}. Small
increments.

3 rounds
2 Hang cleans Rx185/115 comp 225/135.
4 bar muscle-up
8 handstand pushups.
buyout 100 double/200 singles and
50 Situps
Scale this workout to where you can move through the movements unbroken for at least the first round.
*scale muscle up to chest to bar. Scale 2 pullups
*inverted pushups for handstand pushups

02202016

2/20/2016 Endurance WOD

Can’t miss! Bring a friend for Free tomorrow and
get your Saturday off to a great start.

It begins with an 800 meter Medball Indian Run

WOD – station intervals
Intervals 1 minute ON :30 OFF x 9

station 1 – Jump rope (doubles if you can)
station 2 – Tire Flip + jump over
station 3 – 40 meter sprint x 3

rest 2 minutes

1 mile run for time!

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