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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

OCF Member of the Month – July 2017

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July 2017

Detty has been a member since our 21 for $21 program and has taken advantage of a lot of what OCF has to offer.  Detty has stepped out of her comfort zone and has grown completely as an athlete and individual.   She is a regular 5:15 am #dawnpatrol member and her dedication has not wavered since she became part of the morning mamacitas crew! Detty has taken part in the Lifestyle Nutrition program where she saw great success with losing weight, feeling better, and performing better in the gym.  She also took a big leap by signing up for the In-House Competition where her team got second place!   We love seeing her smiling face in the morning and she always brings positive energy to have around.  Congratulations Detty, well deserved!

Get to know Detty! 1. When did you start CrossFit and why? I started with the 21 for 21 group last September. I had seen how O’Hare CrossFit member motivated each other in the Trek for Rec 5k at Leyden Township in previous years and it made an impact on how they helped each other out throughout the race. 2. What time of day do you come in? I usually come early in the morning, Dawn Patrol at 5:15 am. 3. What is one type of movement you hate and one you love? I still dislike box jumps. I’ve working on getting over the hurdle of thinking about the movement and just getting it done. I love back squats, and deadlifts. 4. Any big goal(s) set for the next year? A baby goal is climbing the rope and a bigger goal is strict pull up. And continue to improve and become a better athlete. 5. Name an athlete that inspires you and why.  (Does not have to be a CrossFitter) Growing up I didn’t get to be inspired by women athletes, especially in my community it’s mostly driven by men. I hope these changes in the near years. I do get inspired by my peers and member of the gym who get better and better. 6. Tell us one fun fact about you. I’m in the board for Thunder Soccer in Franklin Park and I sometimes coach. I like helping motivate kids in the area and helping them reach their potential. Grades from pre-k through 8th grade. 7. You were left on a deserted island.  What one food and thing (i.e. book, music player, etc...) would you want to be left with you? I will take unlimited amount of tacos and boom box to keep me entertained since I can either dance or sing. 8. How has CrossFit helped you in sports? Life? CrossFit has helped be more confident in all aspects of my life. 9. How have workouts changed for you over the years? I have always workout at gyms on my own. I noticed my routines would be repetitive and I would work the same muscles. And I would often get bored. I also would try to get a friend with me to join the gym but often my friends would not continue. I would also hit plateaus and it was frustrating. At OCF, I have built relations with people to motivate and encourage each other. Now, I recently did the 3-month nutrition challenge and I learn a lot, I lost 20 pounds and my body-fat percentage went down. My body feels stronger and I will continue to work with my nutrition and practice the skills learn from the program. 10. Rate the following on a scale of 1 to 10:

Check in for Charity – August 2017

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We started Check-In for Charity to help support the many local charitable organizations that are near and dear to our members. We want to be able to give back and get the entire community involved in the process. Our community is the backbone of O'Hare CrossFit and we are here to support you! How It Works Each month we will select a new local charity based on a member recommendation. Members then need to check-in to OCF on Facebook at every visit. We will then donate $1 for every check-in to a different local charity each month. (Donations will be limited to $500 per month) Charity for August 2017 Member - Natalie Kempa The cause hits close to home because two very important women in my life have been victims of domestic violence. It is a horrible thing to live through, but they are living proof that there is a way out and that there are inspiring survivor success stories out there. I joined this team because many women feel that they are stuck, or are too afraid to leave, and by raising money I hope it helps more women seek out help and realize they deserve better. Run Domestic Violence Out of Town is a group of runners that supports 10 domestic violence agencies and shelters in the Chicagoland area. Their goal is to raise money and awareness. All money raised is used by the agencies for domestic violence prevention and supportive services for its survivors and their families. I will be running with the team on September 24, 2017. For more information or to recommend a charitable organization, contact Rocio at

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

OCF Monthly Newsletter – July 2017

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Gym Closed - Saturday, August 5th and Sunday, August 6th for CrossFit Games!

NO CLASSES on Saturday August, 5th and Sunday, August 6th!

The CrossFit Games is the biggest event in CrossFit every year, but usually they are held in California. Not this year! They will be in Madison, WI - just a few hours away! All of our coaches will be heading up the Games on Saturday and Sunday, so we will have no classes that weekend. We will have normal hours on Friday, August 4th and normal hours starting again on Monday, August 7th. If you plan to head up to the games, make sure the coaches know so we can meet up and see everyone! If you need a workout, we will be posting a couple of at home workouts you can do or get out in nature and enjoy the summer weather!

Thank You For Coming to the Boat Party!!

We were fortunate to have the most amazing weather for our Summer OCF Boat Party, but we were even more fortunate to have the amazing company of everyone that came out!

We hope you guys enjoyed yourself as much as we did! Keep your eyes peeled for an end of the summer event in September that will be more local!!

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

This Week at OCF – 7/10

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Boat Party THIS Weekend!

We are sailing the Lake Michigan together and we want you to come! Here are the details::
  • Date: Saturday, July 15th
  • Time: 4:30 pm (board) 5-7pm (Sail, Dinner, Drinks, Dancing)
  • Location: Navy Pier (If you drive, try to park in the East Garage and use door 10)
  • Cost: $95/person (includes dinner, boat ticket, and a great time - Cash Bar not included in price)
  • How to sign up: Get your name on the sign-up sheet at the front desk!!

Driven Nutrition is here to stay!!

You guy have given us GREAT feedback on the new supplements, and it seems like you love them!! We are glad they taste good, but here’s a quick rundown of WHY they’re going to benefit you pre or post-workout! Driven GrassFed Whey Protein -
  • Vital to build and maintain lean muscle mass
  • Ideal for helping you meet your daily protein requirements
  • No additives or fillers
  • When to take it? Post workout is best!
Driven PreWOD PreWorkout -
  • Designed to increase energy for workout
  • Delivers maximum blood flow, oxygenation and nutrient delivery to working muscle tissue
  • When to take it? PreWorkout only!
Driven AMINO -
  • Blend of BCAA’s and Glutamine for lean muscle growth and recovery
  • BCAAs are metabolized directly in the muscle, and are considered “essential” because the body cannot build them from other compounds
  • When to take it? You can take it anytime of day, but it’s great pre-workout if you don’t want the caffeine included in PreWOD
Driven Casein -
  • Premium, slow-absorption protein designed to feed muscles during extended time periods without food, such as between meals and overnight
  • When to take it? Nighttime - having it before bed can give you a sweet treat AND help you recover while you sleep!

Front Area Renovations

We hope you like all of our new front area changes!

The last installation will be new cubbies, and our design is intended to make what you need as easily accessible as possible. Now the supplements, apparel, and all of our other products are right at your fingertips so hopefully you can take advantage of them! Thank you for your patience during the updates!

5 Things Every Member Should be Doing Every Class

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This article is by no means a set of demands nor are these rules you must abide by to be accepted or loved at O’Hare CrossFit.  These are merely some suggestions to give yourself and the entire community the best experience possible.
  1. Stay Until the last person finishes the workout: We know life has things on sometimes, but no one is busy every day. The support of a fellow member cheering you on during a hard workout can be the difference between you finishing stronger than you could of. Please try to be that person
  2. Talking to another member while the coach is talking. For some of you older members, performance or fitness group, we realize that we program two groups and some movements do not necessarily pertain to you that day, but we are all always learning, and we would never want to be the reason someone doesn’t know what they should be doing.  We want everyone to execute to the best of his or her ability. This goes for the group that finishes a class and is hanging out while the coach is briefing the next class (inside voices please)
  3. Be on Time. We get it, life happens sometimes, working late, trains, family etc. But, please try to be on time. This has the potential to throw off an entire class flow, especially if it is a bigger group. Please respect your time, the coaches time, and the athletes as well.
  4. Give your best.  This is the one hour out of your day that failing is accepted, applauded, and admired. Lay it all out there. 
  5. Leave your negativity at home. We all have bad days, we hate burpees, running long distances, or heavy thrusters, but please realize the power of your words. Not only for the athletes in your class but for your own mental health. 
The culture & community is defined by the athletes, how we interact with each other, the coaches, and how classes get done. Add to the greater good and see how much benefit you will reap for yourself as well.