5 Reasons Why You Should Attend the “All Things CrossFit Seminar” This Month

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Over the last couple years my role in the gym has shifted.  At one time my entire life was about coaching and sharing knowledge with each of you on a day to day basis. As things have developed at OCF  and other business ventures have taken up my time, my day to day involvement in your journeys has been reduced.
Although that may be how things are now, my passion and love for movement has not ceased, and I continue to be a student of CrossFit and movement in general.
Collectively, I see areas where all of us can be better. I want to share that with you and help you improve.
Here are some of the things the September 30th  will enlighten you on-
  1. Warming up Effectively
  2. Breathing during strength and conditioning pieces for better results
  3. Shoulders - Why they may not be working well and what you can do to make that a non issue.
  4. Hips, Knees & Ankles - Finally get the squat position you have been striving for
  5. Develop Body Awareness so you can listen to your body and use that information to be better.
I look forward to digging into these topic and many more during our time together; ultimately, my goal is to make your experience at OCF a great one.
Please sign up at the front desk and let’s start making the progress you deserve.

“The Only True Coach There Is”

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I write this blog from an athlete’s point-of-view.  Everyone has his or her ups and downs in training: Days when they are motivated, times when they are distracted, and many other ups and downs of training.
I have been giving my training a lot of self-reflection lately, and I have realized something:  In order for me to enjoy this ride, the first thing I need to do is be my own coach.  Sure, I have someone that writes my programming, and people around me to push me if I am working out with someone, but it really comes down to the little coach in my head.
My consciousness affects my training more than anyone else, and this aspect is the most liberating part of my training.  I have a solo dance in my head telling; wherein, I tell myself that I can get up at 5 and train and that I’m not tired, or telling myself that I can hit the snooze a few more times.  I’m sure there are many other thoughts, but that is the fresh one in my mind from this morning.
Although coaches are here to guide you and awaken you to your blind spots, at the end of the day your training is a solo dance.
What kind of Coach are you being to yourself?
Love yourself, pump yourself up, say good things to yourself, and you will become another person.
You have the power, we just keep you in your lane.
-Coach Angelo

Just Another Manic Monday

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First, let me offer a brief disclaimer:  I am not a dietician and my advice is purely narrative; however, I think my story will be applicable to many of you.   Until recently, if I was asked to rate my weekly workouts 1-6 in order of success and overall feel good factor, my Monday workout would be a perennial Uno.  The further I would get in the week the better I would feel; wherein, my lifts got stronger, and I moved a bit quicker.  My Monday workout, on the other hand, felt as if I had an Albatross upon my neck that weighed me down (“Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner” by Coleridge).  Often, it took me until Wednesday to start to feel like myself again.  This surmountable feeling was directly connected to my diet on Saturday and Sunday.  My reasoning was quite unsound:  I worked hard and dieted all week, so eating and drinking in abundance on the weekend shouldn’t be an issue.  Those of you who know our modus operandi on Saturday mornings are aware that we do a ton of volume.  The workouts are often long and grueling.  Unfortunately, I took this to mean I could eat and drink the equivalent of my efforts in pizza, burritos, Pinot Grigio etc.   Although I would do a light workout on Sunday, I would find myself snacking all day and eating three plus large meals.  I earned it right?  Without getting over scientific, overeating causes inflammation.  Your liver and stomach have to overwork to get your body back to neutral, and you feel it physically (http://dramyneuzil.com/the-11-factors-that-cause-inflammation/).  I would eat to the point of being overly full and go to sleep with a distended stomach from my day’s feasting.  Ultimately, I would show up to work out on Monday with a carbo-laden piano on my back, and my workouts SUCKED! The fix was simple: I stopped eating!  I am only kidding; your goal is to live your life feeling great, and you do deserve some treats here and there.  You can have your cake and eat it too.  What I started to do was plan my debauchery a little better. I didn’t change what I ate in so much as the timing and quantity. For instance, instead of have two cheat days, I scheduled two cheat meals (one savory, one sweet).  I know that I am going to get a good workout on Saturday, so I use my dinner on Friday as my cheat meal.  The rest of my meals on Friday are clean and portioned out.  I try to keep my cheat meal the equivalent to one plate full of whatever I am indulging in (not an exact science).  Further, my next meal isn’t until after my workout on Saturday morning; I am use the extra cheat calories for fuel.  My sweet meal is on Saturday and limited to an acceptable portion, I am look to be satisfied not full.   Again, all the rest of my meals on this day should be controlled.     As for Sunday, try to start your day immediately with a long walk, jog, or some movement.  Diet with your Monday morning workout in mind.  Go nuts on vegetables and keep your portion of mom’s pasta and meatballs to a single bowl in the afternoon.  Do not go to bed feeling like you just took your last bite of food.  My methods may not work for you, but I have ballooned enough to know what doesn’t work, and being a gluttonous, sedentary excuse for a human being is not an appropriate day of rest.  Take back your Mondays!         -Coach Dave

Reach

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Each week when I write workouts for classes, I look to create a stimulus appropriate to challenge each of you. I am looking for you to reach each time you exercise.
 
What mean by reach is the following: What is the just right amount of challenge for ability in a workout prescription? 
 
I hope to guide you to that exact point where ability and challenge can meet is the optimal place for growth. If you reach too far, you can be defeated resulting in over-training; howver, if you do not reach enough, there no progress. 
 
Some of the coaches have brought to my attention that the workouts could be a bit too tough, or “What are you thinking?” “Is that a typo?” This results in me explaining my thought process and everyone understanding it a bit more. 
 
However you define yourself (exerciser, athlete, etc), you are looking to improve in some form; otherwise, you would not be here.
 
Are you trying to reach? 
 
Are you accepting a challenge without fear of the result? 
 
Or are you just hoping that every day will be easy and you can skate by? 
 
I urge you to start reaching. Reaching because you’re worth it. Reach because the person next to you is reaching in their way. 
 
The “success” is the fact that you reached, not the result.  
 
Reach as much as you can, in all you do, without fear.

Time Under Tension

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Crossfit is a victim of its own success: Its existence simultaneously credits and discredits itself as an exercise methodology.  On the forefront of its success is its ability to bring variance, movement efficiency, and a broad scope of knowledge to masses of novice athletes.  Further, it fosters a community of people whose common goal is becoming better versions of themselves.   
CrossFit is absolutely golden to the promise of your health.  Unfortunately, even the most flawless of gems can render an imperfection when mishandled.
The issue with CrossFit is not in the science; rather, it is in the eye of the beholder.  I recently went to the CrossFit games which hosted the top 1% of the athletes in the sport.  It was attended by the other 99%, many of whom cannot distinguish between themselves and the participants.  There is nothing wrong with fantasizing; however, when one starts lying to him or herself, the outcomes are detrimental. 
The CrossFit Games and your CrossFit class may share similar movements, but they do not share the same principles.  Your goal each day in class is NOT to win the workout at all cost.  When the need to win becomes paramount, you will often “miscount” reps and move inefficiently. 
Make your new goal to be to spend maximum time under tension: You want to optimize the amount of time you are doing work.  It is in this time of physical strain that your body will evolve and work harder to adapt.  In this zone of work, you are burning fat and building muscle. 
So, move quickly, precisely, and efficiently in your workouts; wherein, you make each rep your very best.  The idea of shorting reps and movements is counter-intuitive:  You want to work harder and longer in order to look and feel better. 
The person finishing last in the workout and doing every rep perfectly is the real winner!   

1 More Session Can Make a Difference

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This is by no means a call to over-train or sell more unlimited memberships. It is merely a thought about what the difference one session would make to your training.
If you are currently training 3 days per week, you are getting 3 hours per week of training x 52 weeks, thus a total of 156 hours of training per year.  To stay that consistent is definitely an accomplishment in itself, but what if we added 1 more day (1 hour per week of training)?
4 sessions per week x 52 weeks = 208 hours.  Consider what an extra 56 hours of training would mean over time for your improvements: fat loss, mobility, rehab, and endurance or any other goal would be that much more attainable.
This could be any form of training: CrossFit, Yoga, Bodybuilding, or marital arts. Any extra time would make all the difference in the world over time.
Think about making this change and watch how the improvements happen. It will take patience and dedication, but the results will come.
-Coach Angelo

Why Lifting Heavy Makes You Skinny

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I sort of hate myself for writing this title, but I figured it’d get more people to read it and then we can FINALLY debunk the theory that lifting heavy makes you “bulky”.   I know this is a discussion that has gone on for some time now, but I want to cover it here, on a personal level.   As a female, and I know that most males feel the same, we want to have that “toned, shaped, fit” look, but not build a ton of muscle.  Right?  Well here’s the hard part.  That’s impossible, because being toned and shaped means you have muscle.  You must build muscle to have this look.   So all of those magazines out there that state you should do lots of reps at lighter weights to “tone your muscles” without making them bigger is a myth.  If you do not use enough weight to challenge your muscles, they will not grow.  If they don’t grow, they won’t look any better than they currently do, EVEN if you lose weight.  This means if you continue to lift the same weight for months and months, your muscles will most likely look the same.  If you are doing a heavy triple, you should not be using the same weight as when you do 8-10 reps on a set.  CHALLENGE your muscles.  They will thank you.   The claims that state certain exercises and forms of strength training make “long and lean” muscles vs. other ones result in “big and bulky” muscles are actually pretty bogus (drugs make muscles big and bulky, not weight lifting).  Whether you do pilates, yoga, or weight-training, your muscles will come out the same.  The difference is that weight-training grows your muscles much faster than most other methods (aka quicker results!).   So the bottom line is don’t fear lifting heavy, embrace it!  Listen to your body, push yourself, and the results will come.  Take it from an ex-big girl.  Over the past 5 years of CrossFIt, the more weight I lift and the stronger I get, the smaller and leaner I become.  I can’t quite seem to think this is a coincidence (and there’s research to back me up too!).   -Coach Becca

The Convenient Truth

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Often times we try to find convenience in a world of struggle.  We never really want to hear the truth because, let’s face it, the truth hurts sometimes.  Every day it becomes easier to make yet another excuse.  “Well, I don’t drink that much,” “There are people way worse than me!” 
Eventually we believe our own falsehoods; we become that thing we detest the most.  Exercise will not solve your problems; however, it will certainly give you the clarity to realize them.
Those of you that know me, know that I do not like to present myself publically, but some things need to be said.  For instance, I see miracles every day of my life.  Those of you who come into the gym every day and try, try, and try again to be better than you were the day before…. that is a testament to the human spirit.  It is pure strength.  CrossFit is an exercise methodology; wherein, you are asked to step outside of your normal realm of comfort.  Is it a cult? 
Well, I suppose that depends on your definition of a cult.  In its most convenient connotative meaning it is a group of like-minded individuals who believe in a concept.  If our concept is to live longer and feel better than I will worship that shrine and polish that golden calf until my last day. 
There is no contrary to the need to appreciate every second of every day.  Life is a temporary privilege that consistently being expended; we are meant to work and improve upon ourselves daily.  Evolution is not a preliminary concept that highlighted under Darwinism, it is perpetual; it is innate.   Keep working hard; ultimately, it is what we were made for! 
-Coach Dave

Do you suffer from “Mom Guilt”?

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There is something I struggle with daily. It causes a lot of self- doubt and insecurity. I have mom guilt; and after all these years it has not gone away. I strongly believe that a person must be selfish sometimes and set aside time for themselves to make their health and fitness a priority so they can better serve their family and children. After all It sets a good example and there is a plethora of mental and emotional health benefits to working out.   But what good does it do if you are struggling with the feeling that you are not being the best mom you can be? What if your kids resent the time you spend away? What if people think you’re a negligent mother?  What about all the little moments you miss out on? The overwhelming feeling that your kids must be top priority always can be quite daunting and can be made worse because of cultural and societal expectations.  I still deal with this even though my daughters are teens!   The truth is that those feelings might never go away but you have to remember why you started working out and watching your nutrition to begin with.  I can guarantee being healthy for your children and family is at the top of your priorities.  When you feel the mom guilt know that it is as much for them as it is for you. Being a healthy mom is being a good mom and years from now when you’re still able to enjoy quality time with your much older kids you’ll know that it was worth it.   -Coach Susie

Intensity: Your Limiting Factor

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People have so many types of fitness goals:
Fat loss
Weight loss
Body Composition Changes
Strength Gains (Including Gymnastics) 
Endurance Gains
Anaerobic Threshold 
Now that we have listed out the ideal results we can dive further into the reasons for not achieving them. 
In order to achieve results you need intensity.  
Here is the definition as it pertains to physics - magnitude, as of energy or a force per unit of area, volume,time, etc.
So how is this the reason you are are not getting results? 
You may currently be working with intensity less than 1-2 times per week. I am not saying you should have high intensity workouts every session; however, pushing yourself more often will yield greater results.  Not every session requires maximum intensity; however, not every session requires you to workout within your comfort zone.  You must push out of this zone and get acclimated to the discomfort.  
By NO means do I think you should be at full intensity every session, for that would be a recipe for burnout and injury.  however, choosing two sessions out the week say to allow yourself to have a bit more intensity whether that be loading or speed will help you get your results faster.
If you training is merely a check in the box or a check-in on Facebook, you are in for futile journey. Be present and constantly strive to push your limit at the appropriate time.