The Dance That is Scaling
Scaling a workout is necessary sometimes; however, it DOES NOT mean you are not good enough, not capable, or a failure.
Consider that each workout is written to provide a certain feeling or stimulus. Certain time domains, loading parameters, and movement selections are catalysts a programmer uses to develop a certain stimulus in every workout they write.
How does this play into class? If a workout calls for five minutes of grueling work, focus on that goal versus the perceived inadequacies you are feeling about scaling a workout. Doing a workout RX or scaled is erroneous if the workout achieves the necessary reaction within your physical and mental state.
That is and was the beauty of CrossFit. We all can “go there” together; even though, we have different abilities.
Scaling is like a dance, you need to know the steps and who your partner is. If a coach asks you to scale, they are simply asking you to adjust a couple steps in the dance; they are not saying you are not able to dance.
Understand that everything is about getting a certain feeling, and focus on how your role in the dance can be done perfectly relative to your abilities and goals.
Manifest Your Want
Over the past year I have become a lot more aware of my choices. The reason being is because, although it took me nearly 28 years to figure out, I finally realized that everything in this life is a choice.
There is pizza in front of me. Do I HAVE to eat it? No, that’s a choice.
I’m out with friends. Do I HAVE to drink too? No, this is a choice.
I’m super-stressed about work, do I HAVE to take on another project? Nope, guess what? You can say no.
I am in a stressful relationship, whether it be with a friend or romantic, do I HAVE to stay in it? No, this is a choice.
So when you evaluate what things are important to you, and what you SAY is important to you, consider what choices you’re making. Are you putting yourself first? Are you putting your health up there too?
What you WANT is out there - you just have to make the choices to manifest those things you want into a reality. WANT and DO are two very different things. Few people DO what they WANT.
Are you one of those people? Are your expectations in line with your actions?
If not, do not fret. Simply adjust your expectations and be happy with where you are rather than always wanting to be somewhere else. If that doesn’t sound like a place you want to be, then do something about it.
Joy and depression cannot reside in the same place. Pick the life you want, or find a way to be happy with the life you have chosen for yourself.
Why Skipping Breakfast is Hindering your Weight Loss…
So before I get yelled at by the world wide web,
Can you only eat 1-3 meals per day and lose fat? Yes, of course you can.
Can you eat 4-8 meals a day and lose fat? Definitely.
BUT, most people just don’t deal well with hunger and restriction. Typically, the big issues with people’s diet adherence is hunger and/or getting in the right amount of food. Going a long time without food simply does not work for many people because:
- People cannot control cravings (I mean…chocolate).
- People are unable to experience hunger without obsessing over it (because well, it’s hard - you’re hangry).
- People typically overeat when they do finally get food after being hungry for a long time period (and that overeating ain’t of chicken and broccoli).
So how do we help stick to our diets? That’s right, eat more frequently!
If you struggle with going long periods without food - then don’t! Eating before you are super hungry, AKA every couple of hours, can keep you from reaching into that box of donuts at the work party, or over-eating at a meal because you haven’t eaten in 5 hours. So instead of trying to fit all of your calories into a few meals, spread them out throughout the day and I bet you’d be able to get the necessary calories a LOT easier, and you won’t be constantly obsessing over your next meal.
I have no shame in the fact that I eat 7-9 times a day. They are all small meals, but they keep me from ever feeling super hungry or light-headed, they keep me from getting hangry and moody, and it keeps me from binging when I do eat.
So don’t think that your day has to be Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner and that’s it to lose weight. Maybe eating Meal #1-7 is a better approach that will keep you from becoming insatiable next time you’re in your kitchen.
The KEY to a Successful Diet
If you’re looking for a pill, a 3-day fix, or even a month-fix, that is not what I’m going to be talking about here, because, well…it doesn’t exist. They say it does, but the number one thing I tell my clients is if something so easy and quick truly worked (and had lasting results), everyone would be doing it.
No, the key to a successful diet isn’t a food or a drink, it’s a mindset. For whatever reason, nutrition is the one area of life that people refuse to accept that gains must come from sacrifice.
We work hard in our jobs to advance, we know to get strong in the gym we must work at it day in and day out, but for some reason, nutrition seems to fall outside of that logic. Perhaps it’s because we are a society of instant gratification and hunger is ever apparent in our daily lives, but to be successful in a diet, you have to be ready to struggle.
Dieting to lose weight is hard because it is a state of deprivation. Expect it to be uncomfortable. Expect it to be challenging to figure out what is in foods and how much of those foods you need to eat, and expect that it is the exact work that NEEDS to be done to see results.
Here is the silver lining: although losing weight may not seem very sustainable, maintaining weight can be! You just have to be willing to put in the work to get to your goal weight. Maintaining a body weight can be much more of a comfortable lifestyle, but just ask yourself whether or not you are one of the few that has the mindset to get there…
How to Lose Weight FAST!
Do I have your attention now?!? I promise it wasn’t a complete ploy to get you to read this.
Sooo many of us want to lose those extra 5 pesky pounds, but what if the solution was something we totally didn’t suspect. Like removing something from the diet that was even considered “healthy” for us to be eating?
The main reason I wanted to write about this was because I wanted to express how important it is to LISTEN to your body! It talks to us all the time, we just have to pay attention. I was ignoring mine for too long and I finally decided to TRY to listen to it and was blown away by what it told me.
Long story short is I LOVVEEE brussel sprouts. Like, legit love them. I have, no joke, been eating them almost every day for the past 2-3 years. Although - I have also noticed that I can tend to be very gassy/bloated sometimes. I refused to accept that it was the brussel sprouts because they are delicious AND they are a vegetable - aka HEALTHY for me, right?!?! Well, although they may be nutritious and healthy, they may not be RIGHT for my body.
So I decided to remove them for just 2-3 days, and it was in a time when I was trying to lean out a little bit, but my weight seemed to be stuck. So surprisingly, after 3 days of no brussel sprouts (and everything else staying the same!) I had dropped 3 pounds almost. Of pure water-weight/bloating I’m pretty sure. I felt better, I looked less puffy, and I was happy I finally listened to my body.
So bottom line is, pay attention to the things you eat and how they make you feel. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t! Try to remove a food, but keep everything else constant (hello science class experiments!) and see how your body feels without it, then try reintroducing it. I bet you will be surprised what you find out J
Learn to LOVE the things you HATE
In a fitness space, we often come across a list of things that we hate doing. Some of those can be simple, like hopping on a rower for a distance or calorie mark, or something more complex as string together a long unbroken set of wall balls. All the things that you hate doing, you probably hate because you are not that good at them.
Coming from experience, and currently having to relearn just about everything, there were so many things that I dreaded in work outs. I would check the website, see something that I knew would slow me down to a snail’s pace in a work out and skip that day with some excuse for needing rest or having to wash my hair.
I hate pull ups, my arms are long, I do not have a lot of upper body strength and I just do not like them. But guess what, I love pullups. I love them because it is constant and immediate feedback for something that I know I need to work on. If I can do several strict or string together a decent size of kipping pull ups, I am improving.
You need to love the things you hate because those things are going to give you the feedback that you crave. Your ability to overhead squat more, your ability to push it harder on the assault bike, your ability to run faster in a 300; all of that is your feedback for improvement that only you can feel and see.
Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better
“Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better”
It’s okay to have a bad day, a bad workout, heck - even a bad week worth of workouts.
I recently had a member come up to me after one of the Open workouts with the heavy snatches (in which I failed more reps than I made at the 155# bar) and told me that it was inspiring to watch me fail over and over and keep trying. At first glance, this could probably be taken the wrong way - but then I realized how truly REAL it is to fail. And how many people think that us, as coaches, are good at everything (HAH!).
I would honestly say, from personal experience, that I have a GREAT workout once every maybe...5-7 sessions. Most of my sessions go okay in one area, not so great in another, and maybe one movement feels pretty good that day. I don’t always feel strong, I don’t always feel fast under a bar or in my gymnastics, and sometimes my conditioning feels like I’m trying to row at 20,000 ft elevation.
I’m never in my comfort zone, and I’m ALWAYS failing movements. I spent MONTHS struggling through double unders in workouts with whip marks all over my arms and legs.
I spent YEARS trying to get a muscle up and failing over, and over, and over again.
I see in classes all the time when people shy away from movements and exercises because they think they aren’t good enough to do them in a workout.
If we do not become more comfortable with the uncomfortable, the uncomfortable of taking a little bit longer than someone else, or even failing a few times, then how can we truly expect progress in those areas?
So next time you want to try double unders in a workout, or strict pull-ups, or toes to bar, or whatever it may be, but you don’t think you can do all of the reps - reach out to the coach and ask how it can be modified to keep intensity and stimulus of the workout, but allow you to work on those weaknesses. I bet you’ll surprise yourself with what you truly are capable of.
And just to end with a corny “fail motivational quote” - remember:
“Don’t fear failure. Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.”
Our summer series of workouts are slowly creeping into the programming. The weather is getting nicer and nicer week by week, the garage door is open and that cool breeze is starting to creep in. Before we know it, the walls are going to be just as sweaty as we are and the temperature will be hotter inside than it is in the desert.
Something for us to think about moving forward. Not every work out, but most of the workouts, will have a running piece to them. When we run, especially with movements that require hamstring usage or calf usage (think box jumps or deadlifts), our lower half is going to be hit a tad bit harder than normal.
This is the time, in late April and early May, to start developing a simple lower half activation and mobility routine to get your legs ready for those conditioning sessions. Listed below are a couple of things to think about doing….
Calf Stretch – place your heel on the floor and get all, or the most, of the ball of your foot on a stable surface. Keeping that leg locked out, slowly pull your upper body towards the stable surface and release the tension. Think of doing maybe 12-15 reps per leg.
Toes Out + Toes In Walk – taking roughly 20-30 steps per leg, walk forward with our toes pointed outwards one way and your toes pointed inwards the other way. These will make you look and feel silly, but they are an excellent way to loosen up and activate your shins.
Dead Walk – this movement requires more mental acuity than actual difficulty. Take a small step forward, having your front leg’s heel of your foot even up with our trail leg’s toe. Keep that front leg locked out and bend the trail leg’s knee. In a sweeping and scooping motion, push your butt back and bring your arms towards the floor and stand back up. Take 12-15 steps per leg.
Walking Goose Steps – walk from one end of the gym to the other, with each step creating a large sweeping swinging motion. You should aim to kick your leg up, getting your toe even with your nose. While kicking that leg up, contact your opposite arm’s hand. Think that you kick with our left leg to hit your right hand.
Preparing your legs to run is equally as important as preparing your body to deadlift or squat. Each day that you see the workout, try your best to get simple routine going that can help loosen up your legs a bit more. Each of these movements can be completed in under 6 to 7 minutes. Let’s get ready to attack this warm weather, and show off what we’ve worked for this winter!!!
Now that the seasons are changing, the weather is slowly starting to level itself out, and days are damper than in times past. How this will affect your training sessions and how this will affect your daily routines can be noticeable, and noticeably apparent with some of us. I think the most important thing that we can start paying attention to is our daily patterns and routines.
Without getting super scientific and turning this into a research paper with several sources, internal citations, and a works cited page; I need to confess something. I have been extremely worried that I am going to gain weight, but in a weird way. I know that I am losing weight right now, the number on the scale is going down. The weight gain that I have been worried about has been fat, meaning I am losing muscle and getting a bit plumper in certain areas.
I am a male, who is extremely self-conscious of how he looks and is constantly criticizing himself. After hurting my knee, and subsequently needing surgery, I began to think of all of things that were going to change. Having to reteach motor patterns, squatting to a parallel position for months to come, learning how to run with proper form all over again. Above all, having to worry about getting skinny fat, a term that cannot be taken lightly.
Being the nerd that I am, I’ve researched and researched things to expect. What these medications are going to do to my gut bacteria, how the internal trauma created by a surgical procedure and low levels of anesthesia are going to affect my nervous systems ability to cope with future pain under positive stress measures, and above all what can I control now that I am in this rebuilding phase.
Because the seasons are changing, because it is now brighter longer throughout the day, now is the time to create a simple and realistic routine to follow every day. “Even a single night of total sleep deprivation can influence energy expenditure and metabolism; in subjects with 24 h wakefulness, resting and postprandial energy expenditure were decreased; morning plasma ghrelin, nocturnal and daytime circulating thyrotropin, cortisol, and norepinephrine concentrations were increased” (Kim, Jeong, and Hong). In simpler terms, one night of bad sleep can significantly affect how your body performs the following day, and couple of days after that.
I encourage all of you to start taking a better tally of your daily routines, and this is not just from a nutritional stand point. Some of us probably could do a better job of getting into a rhythm with our schedule, and understanding that getting into bed every night at the same time plays such a vital role in our ability to function the next day.
Kim, Tae Won, Jong-Hyun Jeong, and Seung-Chul Hong. “The Impact of Sleep and Circadian Disturbance on Hormones and Metabolism.” International Journal of Endocrinology 2015 (2015): 591729. PMC. Web. 11 Apr. 2017.