FTW Indicium

Dec 2013

"Insert smart catchy phrase here"

I can't think of a catchy phrase for my monthly recap/opening statement, so if anyone has any ideas please let me know lol. And yes this will be very random thoughts

Man lots of work has gone into next door so far. I appreciate everyone's help so far. Giving up your Sundays to help me really means a lot to me. Only a few small things to finish up before I take the wall down and connect the two units. I tried and tried and others tried, but we just couldn't secure free turf for next door. So I am going to have to buy it =(. Anyways it will take a few weeks to get ordered and installed so we will be opening next door before turf is install much to my OCD dismay.

12 days of Christmas workouts return starting THIS friday for the next 3. I will have an easier workout up for the new people or the time crunched.

What we follow as our strength program goes like this-

  1. hard week 80% range
  2. harder week 85% range
  3. hardest week 90% range
  4. deload (easy) week 60% range

on the deloading week doing the strength isn't totally necessary because its lighter, its good to help get some extra form work and to maintain current "feel" for the movement.

Welcome to quite a few new members these past few weeks. Please go out of your way to say HI to a new person and make them feel welcome. Im sure you all remember how scary it was to be a new person. Thanks to all the new people for joining up and to everyone that is a current family member!!! We won't be the biggest in town but we will be the best and most caring.

Question-does everyone want to do a holiday party? Maybe a potluck at the gym or we rent out a space at a local restaurant and have our own party at a price per person?? Thoughts please tell me in person or email/FB.

There will be a new store for FTW clothing. Just getting some final designs and things together. Remember its so convent because you can buy online, they make it when the "store" closes and delivers it to the gym in a bag with your name on it. Look for info on that in the next few days.

Also remember while we do take cash and checks, credit cards are so much easier for me. If you HAVE pay cash I understand, if not please see me about getting your rebill onto a credit card. Thanks for your understanding

CrossFit Training vs CrossFit Sport by Chris Spealer

The more seminars I teach, emails I receive, and people I cross paths with the more I think there is a need for a “heart to heart” with the community. One of my main focuses at a Level 1 aside from presenting the best info possible in ways that everyone can clearly understand and relate to; is to emphasis how important it is for us as a community (especially those that run boxes or train at them) to identify the distinction between training CrossFit and CrossFit as a sport. The time has come that there is a clear difference.

One of the things I love about CrossFit that is communicated in our programming lecture and some of the other reading material that we see is that “Our needs don’t vary by kind, only by degree.” I whole heartedly agree with this statement. Essentially we are saying that everyone from the most deconditioned participant to the most elite athlete have the same needs. All of us will be required to squat, press, deadlift, push, pull, run, jump, etc. in different forms or fashions. The KEY that we need to recognize is that this vary’s tremendously by DEGREE. Particularly between those training CrossFit for what it’s truly designed for, and those that have chosen to seriously pursue CrossFit as their sport at an ELITE level. The difference between these two pursuits is going to be dictated by your goals. When you set goals you should be realistic but confident and depending on what they are it will require more or less sacrifice from yourself and even those around you. I think we can all fall into 3 basic categories.

1. Training CrossFit:

-This is who the vast majority of my clientele are and I absolutely love it. These are people that use CrossFit for what it is truly designed for and in many ways it’s a means to an end. They don’t just want to be good in the gym but outside those walls as well. They want to be better cyclists, skiers, hikers, parents, grandparents, athletes… you name it. They use CrossFit to increase their base level of GPP (general physical preparedness) and this correlates to better performance in their specific sport or life.

It doesn’t mean they are any less of an “athlete” than any one of us out there, but they have different goals. In my opinion people can train CrossFit like this for a lifetime. We can come in the gym once a day, follow a 3 on 1 off cycle, or a 3 on 1 off 2 on 1 off cycle of training and see results for years to come. With good varied programming we will get strong, increase our endurance, see improved times, etc. Our work capacity across broad times and modal domains will increase which is the goal regardless. Over time we may need to target some of our weaknesses to help “level out” our work capacity but realistically it could take years and years to get there if at all. For some of us that day may never come depending on what our previous athletic/training background may be.

The sacrifice here is minimal. In most cases these people may just be switching training programs and their time commitments and priorities won’t change. Likely we would see these athletes making sacrifices for other goals they may have if any (qualifying for the Boston Marathon, winning a local mtn bike series, working to become a pro surfer). Either way CrossFit is there to develop their base and if any sacrifices are made they would be due to other avenues.

2. CrossFit as a Recreational Sport:

-This is the person that has been introduced to CrossFit and enjoys the competition aspect of it. Maybe they enter a local competition and find themselves more attracted to this side of CrossFit. Team competitions, local throw downs possibly offering “scaled” divisions as well as “rx’d”, and CrossFit is starting to become more of a sport to them. These athletes may pay closer attention to targeting some of their weaknesses in order to “fast track” their fitness. This is a legitimate goal and one that I think a lot of people fall into.

Having specific and realistic goals here are going to be important to helping us define where we are along the line of the competition realm. A good association here is the difference between any recreational and professional sport. You may like to play tennis, golf, compete in a local soccer or softball club, go to swim meets, etc. but it’s a different demand and commitment than those that play those sports professionally.

Sacrifices may start to be required of those that are treating CrossFit more as a sport. Generally it’s going to be more time spent in the gym with either consistency or additional work. It may include some more specific programming outside of the regular class. We may need to pay closer attention to our diets and learn how to treat competitions and train for them as well as how to manage them. Overall it should still be FUN for us though. We can take it seriously but we also haven’t invested “all” of ourselves into an event so we SHOULD be having fun with the journey as well as the competitions along the way.

3. CrossFit as a Sport (Elite Level):

-Some may think it’s a stretch to call it professional but I disagree. Those that are at the top of the field these days generally make it a living to train. The sacrifices here are heavy and things are not always fun. It’s work, hard work and these athletes are willing to put it in regardless of the outcome and they risk the time invested. I know a number of Games athletes and almost ALL of them either train at a gym, own a gym, or simply compete and do nothing else. Their lifestyle allows them to focus primarily on training and this is what it takes to be at an ELITE level. Most of them have lengthy previous experience in athletics or some kind of strength and conditioning program. Having a base level of fitness and having good exposure to strength training is a plus and although not mandatory it is rare to see people competing at a high level without this. It just takes a whole lot of hard work, and that takes time.

This athlete is someone that can basically do every workout on crossfit.com as rx’d, no scaling necessary and posts competitive times/scores with top Regional (top 5 or so) athletes and Games competitors past and present. They may go to some of the more well known competitions and place well. Qualify for Regionals without specific training for the Open and are legitimate contenders for the Games (Top 5-7 in a Region). Truthfully it’s a small percentage of the population of our community. One that makes sacrifices just as any other athlete trying to reach the peak of their sport would. We may find them working through aches and pains, potential injuries, and having to pay close attention on their training programs as well as maintenance outside of the gym as well. Specific programming is often required in the area of the athletes weaknesses and they have to be ever evolving as the demands of these competitors continually increase. Volume will typically increase depending on the age of the athlete and most of them will either have a coach or a group of likeminded individuals at a similar level to train with.

The sacrifices that are made in the present for these athletes may or may not effect their overall well being in the future. Some of those aches and pains may turn into something more and the risk is worth the potential reward for these athletes. The goals they set in the near future can come at a high price.

So where do you fall? First thing is first. Have a real conversation with yourself on what your specific goals are and what you can achieve in a reasonable timeframe. A couple things to keep in mind when you are setting goals:

-Have short, medium, and long term goals. For me this typically falls into 3 month, 6 month, and 1 year blocks.
-Try to choose 3 goals for each time period.
-List 3 reasons WHY you have this goal.
-List 3 WAYS you will help reach this goal.
-Make your goals REALISTIC. This doesn’t mean we don’t push ourselves or challenge our traditional thought of what we think we can do. It does mean that we present ourselves with actions that we can take that will lead us to success. If we don’t reach the exact goal we should be remarkably close. Setting ourselves with goals that are too far out of reach is setting ourselves up for failure. It some cases you may not need to change the end state goal, just the timeline that you place it in.

Once you know what your goals are you can have a simple way to approach your training. Maybe you CrossFit to improve in another sport. I love it. Show up to the box consistently and make sure you have good varied programming throughout the weeks, months, years, etc. Chances are you won’t need to target anything specifically but rather find different cycles of how often you are in the gym during the week depending on your priorities and activity level outside the gym.
If you CrossFit and find yourself enjoying local competitions, want to improve a place in the Open, etc. you may find yourself doing a bit of targeting. Just working to improve your overall fitness, dialing in your diet more, all the things we mentioned above. Remember, be realistic and HAVE FUN!!! This isn’t your job and shouldn’t be treated that way.
You may see the potential that you have to be one of the elite. This may take years to achieve but you are committed. Either way you will have to ramp things up slowly.
Consistency, additional training methods, volume, etc. are all things that we can’t increase overnight. This is a long, slow trajectory to a distant horizon. It takes sacrifices that may or may not pay off in the long run. It’s a very, very small percentage of the CrossFit community and that is only getting smaller.

The goal of this is not to discourage anyone for shooting for their goals. If someone told me I “couldn’t do it” I would shrug them off and keep going. I also set realistic goals for myself and have chosen for the time being to compete in CrossFit. Even this is now a day to day decision for me. At my age and some of the things I have going with recovery and some of the nagging pains I have to take it a day at a time. If I’m feeling good come Regionals I will show up. If I’m broken and can’t compete at the level I want to then I won’t. I’m training, day by day as if I’m going to the Games, it is my sport. This is a very different place than training CrossFit. A part of me envies those that do it. It looks fun, balanced, MUCH less stressful and is something that could be done for a lifetime. I love our community for the support and heart that is poured out on a daily basis from people in boxes every day. Set your goals, make them realistic, and have some FUN throwing down.

I think my friend Pat Sherwood says it perfectly. “The goal is just to get fit, make it the best hour of your day, stay safe, turn up the music, high five some people, and blow off some steam. So remember that. RELAX. HAVE FUN. WORKOUT.

If you’ve chosen to seriously choose CrossFit as a sport at an elite level, buckle up. It’s quite the ride.

Kathy has really stepped up her focus and effort the past few months. Proving to herself that it isn't a fluke she is also inspiring others to try harder. She is modest and won't tell us exactly how much she has changed on the scale but everyone has noticed her new found fitness level and effort. Pushing herself, pushing others, always smiling, learning new things, and getting better is what she is about. We are proud to have her represent FTW as the Stud of the month!! Great job Kathy

Three reasons why getting old sucks by Skipp Hill

Masters level bodybuilders and weight trainers over forty make up a huge percentage of people in gyms every day all over the world. They also sport quite a bit of muscle and are putting impressive physiques on stage at bodybuilding competitions. Though some picked up weight training in their thirties and have only been training for five to ten years, there are many guys who started during what I consider the golden era of bodybuilding in the eighties and have been training for twenty and thirty years. Being forty-three myself, it is crucial to be smart about your training and diet because when you fall off the wagon at this age, it’s much harder to get back on than it was in your twenties.

If you plan on training into your forties and beyond and want to remain injury free and in the best condition possible, there are three important factors that you’ll need to understand and embrace.

1. Forty-something joints aren’t twenty-something joints.

Many bodybuilders can continue to train relatively heavy as they age, but the joints and everything that connects the muscle to the bone aren’t in the same shape that they were years ago. Warm-up sessions need to be methodical and routine, and there isn’t any room for error. The muscles being trained must be properly warmed up before hitting the heavy stuff. If that means taking longer to warm up the muscle that you’re going to train than actually training it, so be it.

Accept that there will be exercises you shouldn’t be doing if you’re having issues with a certain joint or if you’ve had past injuries. Being big and strong is important, but it won’t do you any good if you won’t be able to train because you need three months off to heal from an injury. There isn’t any single exercise that makes you big or strong, so if you struggle to do leg presses because of knee or back pain get rid of that exercise. There are many different exercises that you can use to still hit that muscle hard and heavy with less risk of injury.

The more years you accumulate under your weight belt, the more tweaks and nagging pains you’ll have. If we took time off from the gym every time that we felt a ping, we would likely never get any training done. If you’ve trained for years, you should know your body well enough to know when to push through and when not to. Training hard is important, but training smart keeps you injury free and in the gym training.

2. You have a forty-something metabolism, not a twenty-something metabolism.

You might still eat the same foods as you did when you were younger, but the carbs and calories will almost always have to come down. As we age, our metabolisms slow even if we remain relatively active. Just because you’ve spent twenty years in the gym doesn’t mean that your metabolism will be what it was twenty years ago. We’re different hormonally than when we were younger, and our testosterone and growth hormone levels are considerably lower. In my opinion, aging is due in large part to declining hormone levels.

Many people become more sedentary as they age, especially when it comes to their daily work schedule. While you may have been running all over and on your feet quite a bit in your twenties, many of us are now supervising others from behind a desk or in meetings on our asses all day making decisions. Clearly, weeks and months and years of this will cause most people to carry more body fat.

Gaining body fat as we age is two-fold—you’ll find your body fat creeping up because you aren’t as active and because of the changes in your hormones over the years. To maintain the same level of leanness now as you had in your twenties, you’ll need to work quite a bit harder than you did previously. You’ll likely need more cardio to keep your body fat lower, which will also depend on how active you are during the day. Keep in mind that thirty minutes of cardio a day will have a considerably different impact on someone who sits at a desk all day compared to someone who is on his feet working in an emergency room for twelve-hour shifts.

3. You’ll carry and store body fat differently as a forty-something.

This is important to note whether you compete as a bodybuilder or just want to be in the best condition possible. I don’t make any excuses as I age, but the reality is we carry our body fat differently than when we were younger. Even if you’re able to keep your body fat low, you’ll find that your waist will get larger as you age. In most people, their faces get bigger, their necks get bigger, and so on.

As a bodybuilding competitor, I’ve found it harder and harder to get into great condition for a show. I now have more body fat in areas that I never used to have to worry about like my glutes and hips. I can be ready for a show from the front but still need to drop another eight to ten pounds to be ready from the back. I still get into great condition, but it takes a lot more effort with the diet and much more cardio.

It certainly doesn’t get any easier as you age in this quasi sport of ours. I guess the alternative is to throw up your hands, sit on the couch eating Cheetos while drinking a few beers every night, and tell your kids that you “used to have muscles.” As hard as it sometimes seems, I know I would rather fight the good fight and do what it takes to stay in great shape. Yea, there are aches and pains and sometimes you feel like you’re fighting even to maintain your muscle and low body fat levels, but we’re all a little nuts and we’ll all continue to do it as long as we can. Accepting these inevitable changes is a big part of keeping yourself in great shape and in the gym training hard into your fifties and sixties.

Yup watch out- she works here now =). Very excited to bring Courtney onto the staff. Courtney brings 5 years of experience in CrossFit and will be an excellent addition. I have full confidence in her abilities, so make sure you ask her some questions to help her get her coaching groove.