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How to Measure Progress

How to Measure Progress

When you first start CrossFit, it is easy to see progress in the gym. Every day you have a new movement, a new chance to set a PR. After a year, or two, or three, it can be much harder to see progress from day to day. Here are a few ways we can measure progress.

How to Measure Progress

Use Sugarwod

For those of us who keep our entire lives on our phones, it only makes sense to keep our workout information there as well. Choose an app, we use Sugarwod, and record everything. The more notes the better, you will thank yourselves for the extra information when you are deciding between going for the same weight you used last time, or if you should jump 5 lbs.

Keep a “Workout Journal”

If you have the handwriting for it a workout journal is a really cool tool to track your progress as well. Pick a nice book, or a legal pad and use a page a day, per workout, or however else you want to organize it. The cool thing about a workout journal is that it is your own. You’ll know exactly where everything is recorded, and it will make sense to you. They also are a neat keepsake when you fill them up.

Go to a Baseline Class

Saturday, 8 am. We recommend you go to this class quarterly. You will get an InBody scan as well as our baseline workout. This will give you objective data. The coach will help you understand your results and how to proceed. Sign up now. Classes are capped at 5, you definatley don’t want to miss this opportunity.

Get an InBody Scan

Schedule an InBody scan with your primary coach, they will help you understand what all the numbers mean. In general, we want to see muscle mass go up, and body fat % go down. Bodyweight doesn’t tell the whole story. Don’t focus too much on that one number because it is often not the best picture of progress.

Progress is NOT Linear

There are so many variables that can make you feel like you are not making progress. Sleep, nutrition, mood, stress, work, kids and even attitude can have a direct effect on your daily workout. What are the odds that on any given day, you are going to come in perfectly prepared for a 1 rep max? If any one of those variables are even slightly off, you may not see all of your hard work in the form of a PR. This is where notes come in handy. So what, you didn’t hit that new weight. Put it in your notes. “Missed, less than 3 hours of sleep” and move on. Progress takes time, and if you don’t measure it in some way. It is easy to say there is none, because you don’t feel it on that day. If you zoom out and look at the big picture you will see that the overall trend is up.

 

Crushing Goals Together #FITFAM

Crushing Goals Together #FITFAM

One of the greatest joys that I have experienced as a result of my own fitness journey, and at times obsession, is the influence it has had on my family as a whole.

Reasons families that workout together CRUSH together:

  • When your family takes part in fitness the understanding of the importance of it in our lives becomes clear to everyone.
  • Setting a positive example for the people we love the most, is one of the best ways to motivate and encourage them.
  • Our children are like sponges, they always want to do what mom and dad are doing, especially the little ones.
  • Nutrition becomes much easier around the house when everyone is on board.
  • It’s motivating to have your kiddos want to be fit, and think its fun!  Because it is fun, even if we forget that sometimes.

In a lot of ways, we have to think about how our own selfishness can actually be a positive thing in the lives of the people that we love. I agree that taking time away from your children to work on your own health feels crappy sometimes. But the amount of quality that you are able to inject into your own life overflows into the lives of those that are closest to you. When that starts to happen people take notice.

All of a sudden your energy levels are higher, and climbing up the slide the wrong direction isn’t as hard to do, even if it is for the hundredth time. Your patience for that teenager who for some reasons finds it to be the end of the world that you would ask that they unload the dishwasher is a little better. The foods you eat and give to your family provide well-rounded nutrients that they need to feel good about themselves and be fit too.

Before you know it you’re a family of active, motivated, happy, and fit people!

The best part is that now those healthy habits have lead to a family that spends more time together. Whether it is at the gym or on the bike trail, your family is fit and the love and pride you have in each other’s accomplishments become a topic of regular conversation at that dinner table.

No one is perfect, and being tired is very much so going to be a thing still. But when you start to prioritize taking care of your self and your family does the same, it’s a good tired. The kind of tired that leads to a good night’s sleep and another day of crushing goals and achieving dreams!

4 Ways to Keep Summer Simple

4 Ways to Keep Summer Simple

The summer can sometimes be a roll of the nutrition dice.

You may have a summer full of travel, outdoor parties, and schedule inconsistencies. These types of summers are memorable but can make it hard to stay on track with nutrition. Or, you may have a summer with a lighter workload, no school commitments, and a lot of extra time to commit to fitness and nutrition.

Regardless of the type of summer you have, there is no reason to stray from your plan for an extended period of time. After all, you do not want to reverse all of the amazing progress you have made so far.

Here are 4 ways to enjoy your summer and events, while still maintaining your progress and building healthy habits.

  1. Continue to track in MyFitnessPal:  People who track are more likely to stay on track. Don’t avoid entering meals if you “went over.” That’s okay! Have your treat and move on, but be aware of where you are.
  2. Eat vegetables first: For every meal, continue to fill up on vegetables first. By doing this, you consume fewer calories in the long run.
  3. Plan ahead for travel meals: If you are traveling, think about meals ahead of time. Pack non-perishable snacks such as RX Bars, turkey jerky, and whey protein. Make sure you always have a quick snack for when you are hungry.
  4. Monitor your alcohol intake: Keep an eye on the amount of sugar in your drinks. Avoid sugary, premixed drinks and stick to clear liquors or wine. This will help cut your sugar and calorie intake.

If your summer means a shift in your routine, use it to your advantage. How can you use this opportunity to build good habits?

Movement with TRAPS: A coach’s perspective

Movement with TRAPS: A coach’s perspective

Its been a long day and the competition has been fierce. 5 works outs in, they have tested you in every conceivable way. The final work out is announced, its the last and final opportunity to lay it all on the line, give it your all, and walk away feeling proud of the efforts you’ve put forth. Sometimes the body has a different idea.

It was in this final workout that my shoulder decided it would have no more and slipped out and under the ring on that last muscle up. The damage I did while not devastating was done. Thus began my road to recovery, filled with:
1. doubt
2. anger
3. fear
4. MOST IMPORTANTLY GROWTH! (both physically and mentally)

When I first approached Coach Jordan regarding my injury I had spent the previous 3 months:

Month #1: pretending that there was nothing wrong and that I could grit my way through the pain.
Month #2: attempting every bit of PT, Chiropractic, Massage, and yoga that I could think of without result.
Month #3: taking More IBUPROFEN then one’s liver is meant to handle, Got a MRI and offered Cortisol Shots on numerous occasions

It was at the discussion of my MRI results that it became clear I had 2 choices. Continue to do the same things expecting different results. Humble myself and ask for help.

I am happy to say I choose the latter. Thank God I did!

Coach Jordan took me through his process of assessment, planning, support, evaluation, and revaluation like a true pro.

If this is sounding like it was so easy to get going with a new plan, dedicate myself to it and truly believe that the results would follow. If you are reading this blog that way, truly I am sorry because it was not that easy, and I am glad it was not.

There were plenty of moments where me and Coach had to sit down and talk about the value of trying things a new way, not allowing my ego and pride take over and dismiss the progress I was making no matter how slow it felt to me. Let me not forget that heated conversation regarding the approach we take towards the goals we want to achieve.

“Change the approach you take to your training, to one of belief in the process, and change the outcome for the positive” Coach Jordan.

Not only did we change the way we approached my training which affected the way I felt about the outcomes for the better. We also put and emphasis on the abilities I still possessed at the highest level. As a Result I saw improvements far beyond making my shoulder better and more stable.

1. increase in core strength
2. my engine saw a dramatic improvement
3. my squat numbers and the health of my knees improved
4. I accepted and acknowledged that my ability to perform in the gym does not define me as a human being!

Its hard to trust someone else with your success, and even more so your health. As people we want to think that we have the answers and that we are in control. But an outside perspective, one that has altruistic intentions and at its core wants to support you and see you be happy, is worth taking a chance on.

I truly regret nothing, not the all out effort I put forth in that competition leading me down this path, not the up hill battle I have spent the last 6 months trudging, and certainly not the idea to ask for help.

Coach Jordan AKA TRAPS AKA BABY TRAPS AKA BABY FACE COACH AKA my colleague, my Friend, and a man I trust and respect fully lead me on the path to sustainable recovery. He did it in ways that challenged me and helped me to grow in ways that I didn’t even know that I needed to.

I truly am grateful for him and for the expertise in movement he brought into my life.

If this blog spoke to you at all and your in pain, it does not have to be that way, ask for help.

Coach Skeds’ Summer Reads

Coach Skeds’ Summer Reads

It’s no secret that I am a pretty active reader. I’ve been studying professional development and leadership since I was in high school.  

There’s something about summer that gets me super excited to reread some of my favorites.  I grab a chair outside with some coffee and the pups and somehow find new wisdom in pages that I’ve looked at many times.

I put together a list of the 4 books that I plan on tackling between now and Labor Day.  I encourage you to read my summaries and pick one that speaks to you.

Here they are… in no particular order…

Tribe by Sebastian Junger

The Joe Rogan Experience with Sebastian Junger

The main argument of Tribe is that humans are tribal animals and societies flurish under shared hardship.  There’s a lot of psychology that’s described via storytelling and strongly resonated with me. I didn’t realize how far out of alignment I was living until I read this book.  I was surrounded by people, had a success in my career, but some big piece (close human connection) was missing. Luckily, I found it and have been pursuing it, through both deep internal work and being more brave outwardly, ever since.

“Human beings need three basic things in order to be content: they need to feel competent at what they do; they need to feel authentic in their lives; and they need to feel connected to others. These values are considered “intrinsic” to human happiness and far outweigh “extrinsic” values such as beauty, money and status.”

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Super Soul Sunday with Paulo Coelho

This is a textbook allegory, and it’s so well written that I didn’t realize it until I finished reading it the first time.  This book is a laundry list of deep universal truths dressed up as a wonderfully detailed story of a shepherd who embarks on his personal destiny.  I could constantly reread this book and it would speak to me in different ways every time.

“What you still need to know is this: before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way.  It does not because it is evil, but so we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which most people give up.  It’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.’”

12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson

Jocko Podcast with Jordan B. Peterson

This book is a collection of essays written by Jordan B. Peterson.  He put them together in this book to give a framework of how to balance life’s chaos and order.  Jordan has vast and broad knowledge. He weaves all kinds of stories from all kinds of sources into psychology and sociology fundamentals, and is designed to build better humans to build better communities and ultimately a better world.  I considered each chapter a separate book and that was a pretty great way to allow me to take my time. There’s a lot of information, and the stories are super compeling. It’s a great read, just be sure to take your time with it.

“Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping”

Team of Teams by Chris Fussell, David Silverman, Stanley A. McChrystal, and Tantum Collins

Stanley McChrystal Interview with Tim Ferriss

This book speaks to the deep organizational improvement nerd in me.  It’s filled with stories from both a military and civilian application of the same tools.  I found it at just the right time; I’d just spent time supporting the task force that GEN McChrystal had transformed and seeing how the changes were made was pretty amazing.  The lessons in this book are universal in their application, and completely changed my perspective of what is possible.

“Without trust, SEAL teams would just be a collection of fit soldiers.”

 

I Gave Up Coffee…Here’s Why

I Gave Up Coffee…Here’s Why

If you have been to one of my classes at some point you know my coffee cup was never very far away.  I’ve read the blogs and listened to the podcasts that say “a coach should never be drinking coffee during class.”  I thought that was cute, coffee is life…well was life.

It Just Happened

I woke up on a Monday, looked at my partner, and said “I’m done with coffee.”  You can imagine the shock, we have a coffee pot, French press and Nespresso in our 5’ x 6’ kitchen.  We have a small space and prioritize coffee.  I would usually have a coffee with a shot of espresso in the morning and then another coffee or latte in the afternoon.  Sunday’s were a day of caffeination, I would drink coffee pretty much all day.  It was magical!

A Little Bit Nerdy

Coffee, at roughly 200mg of caffeine for 10 oz, can keep cortisol levels elevated.  Cortisol is a hormone that helps our body respond to stress. If your cortisol levels stay elevated, meaning you stay stressed, it can have very negative effects on weight training, body composition and recovery.  Long story short high cortisol levels mess with your gainz, no good!

Saying Goodbye

If you’ve been anywhere in the United States you know, it was a Long winter.  I was living on coffee.  We made some changes at work, I have been doing some really deep emotional work and it was cold, like really cold, I was in a full stress spiral.  I went three full months with very little sleep, two colds, two flus and I was a wreck.  It was time to control the things I could and that meant no more added stress, coffee had to go.  I needed to give myself the best chance I could to sleep, to restore, to let my body and spirit breathe.

Life After Coffee

For the most part, my life has been caffeine free.  I will have a matcha or a green tea from time to time and with a drastically reduced caffeine intake I can sleep.  I woke up the second morning and told my partner “if this is what sleep is like, I’ll give up coffee forever.”  I’m still working hard on the other ways to manage stress and do the work I love.  I’m also working with Coach Anna on my nutrition and it’s been a game changer, check her out!!  If you find yourself in a stress spiral, check in with yourself, what are the things you need to do to help yourself out?