Category Archives: Getting Started

A Better Way

A Better Way

Charlie Sims

New Years is only a couple days away; and every year, as the calendar graduates into another setting, we see it as a time to reset, to take inventory, and to make changes to our lives that we hope will benefit us throughout the next year. We call these New Year’s Resolutions. And they have a stinky stigma, especially in the fitness world.

“This is the year that I get it together!”

“I’m going to lose weight!”

“I’m going to eat healthy!”

“I’m going to join the gym!”

The story tends to go like this. We spend the last quarter of the year indulging in all the pleasures of the holidays, and limp into New Year’s feeling gross, fed up, and ready for a change. We make big, sweeping statements called “resolutions” in the hopes that our boldness will result in additional motivation to stay on course. And then we set out on January 1st with a plan, fire under our butts, and great intentions. Then gyms all over America are filled to bursting capacity for January and occasionally a few weeks into February. And eventually… We forget. We get distracted. We get frustrated. We get other priorities. We give up. And the cycle continues.

I want to offer an alternative story. Stick with it, and you may never look back.

I think that the flaw of New Year’s Resolutions is that at this point, it’s assumed that you are going to fail. They’re like a last second “Hail Mary”, or a close your eyes and swing as hard as you can, or a full court buzzer beater. Occasionally, the miracle works, and you’re a hero, but it’s not scientifically proven. It’s luck. It’s accidental.

Your life and mine are too important to leave to an accident.

I am here to propose a Challenge based lifestyle, complete with specific targets, leverage, and a timeline.

The year can be broken down into four, ninety day challenges. Ninety Days is a short enough time frame to minimize the fear and risk in our minds of wasting our effort on something that won’t work, but long enough to see real results from our investment. Companies have used these “Quarters” to gauge success markers forever. Why should we try and use years instead?

Specific Targets
“I will get in shape” is almost completely meaningless. It’s subjective and therefore un motivating. It creates outcomes that consist of words like “maybe” and “kinda”. As Americans, we believe in the power or wins and losses. We love to win and hate to lose.

Greg Glassman famously said that “A man will die for a point.” It’s incredibly motivating. This is why we create specific targets. They’re not based on feelings, but instead come down to facts. We’re looking for YES or NO, never Maybe. Maybe is the weak person’s way of saying “no” without feeling like a failure.

The Chicago Cubs are the best team in major league baseball. There is no maybe. They won the World Series. And it will be theirs until someone else wins it. Clear Target with a Measurable Outcome.

Examples of Specific Targets.
“I will do CrossFit at least 3 days per week (36 times) between 1/1 & 3/31.”
“I will train for and run the Papa John’s 10 miler on 4/1 with a time under 80 minutes.”
“I will drink at least 75 green smoothies before 4/1.”

These are specific targets that mean something. At the end of 90 days, it will be clear whether you’ve won or lost. They’re measurable, trackable, and attainable.

What will happen if you lose, quit, or come up short? This is the leverage necessary to keep the fire of motivation raging. The relative pain of continuing must be less than that of quitting. Leave yourself no alternative. The decision must already be made for you even when you’re not motivated, even when you’re anti-motivated. You will do the work necessary to hit your target or you will die trying because that penalty is unacceptable.

Examples of leverage.
“I will…. OR I will donate $1000 dollars to the Communists.”
“I will…. OR for one month, I will change my facebook profile picture to one of me without a shirt on.”
“For every deviation from the plan, I lose a week of coffee.”

Finally, you have to get a team of Supporters who will hold you ACCOUNTABLE. These trusted individuals will commit to ask you the hard questions. They know your outcomes, and your leverages. They have that shirtless picture of you, or your $1000 check written out to the communists, and a commitment to be on your team when things get tough. It will help if these people have similar Targets as well.

I’m committed to seeing you succeed. Consider this my invitation to you to come check out CrossFit Regeneration. We have years of experience helping people hit those Targets!  To Schedule your Free 20 minute consultation click HERE.

The Ropes and Rules of CrossFit Regeneration

The Ropes and Rules of CrossFit Regeneration

It has come to my attention that CrossFit Regeneration is the “Relaxed Gym”. It’s the place to go and do whatever you want. In some ways, I like this. I’m a relaxed person. But in other ways, it needs to be fixed.

In the sport of Boxing, there’s freedom for the boxer to go anywhere he or she wants within the realm of the ring, but, there’s a limit to that freedom. The boxer is disqualified anytime they leave the confines of the Ropes or the Rules of Boxing. Inside the ring, is a sport called boxing, and that sport has a list of rules that govern the game. The Ropes represent the outer limits of acceptable travel within the scope of the boxing game, and the Rules constitute what defines acceptable and unacceptable behavior while inside the Ring. Within these parameters, there is complete freedom.

In a similar way, being a member or coach at CrossFit Regeneration means that you and I willfully embrace the responsibility to play by the Rules and to stay inside the Ropes.

We’re convinced that if you Feel Safe, doing something you think is Fun, with People you Enjoy, under the Care and Guidance of Experts, then there will be no goal, accomplishment, or personal reality that will fall outside of your reach. We exist to transform your life. In other words, we’re here to help you Regenerate. And we’re very good at that.

The Ropes

By joining our community, you’ll experience three expectations that will serve as boundaries of acceptable travel. Within these boundaries, there exists complete freedom.

I will make this my priority.
In order to succeed, you will have to become self-focused. This does not mean selfish. Nobody likes selfish people. But you will have to take personal responsibility to show up and do the work. Come to class, and do what you’re told. Get feedback. Be safe, and push yourself beyond what’s comfortable. Strive for improvement every day. Then go home and do what’s best for your 90 year old self. Pay attention to your nutrition and get plenty of sleep. Focus on quality. We don’t expect you to do any of this perfectly. But try. Your aim should be to turn your life into your own personal science experiment. Try things. See what works and what doesn’t, then apply wisdom. Always seek ways of improving your recovery.

I will be a good Teammate.
We’re seeking to establish a culture of success built around positivity, encouragement, helpfulness, and accountability. Our expectation is that you would contribute to that culture. The success of each individual within our community will, to some degree, be a result of all of us coming together to make that happen. And one bad domino can ruin the whole thing for everyone else. This means that complaining will be kept to a minimum. We all have bad days, but you know when you’re being a jerk. Don’t do that. Don’t talk bad about people behind their backs, don’t hold grudges, etc… Instead, seek to help out. Consider ways that you can make someone’s day better. If you need to vent to a listening and caring ear, we’re here for you. After all, we’re all in this together.

If I am having any problems, I will talk to my coach.
In order for us to be able to help you, it’s important that the communication lines are open and honest. We don’t know that you only slept 3 hours last night if you don’t tell us. We don’t know that your knee hurts during box jumps unless you tell us. We don’t know about your history of bulging disks unless you tell us. These things and others are crucial information that will enable us to give you educated and appropriate coaching.

The Rules

Again, just like in the sport of Boxing, there are rules that govern acceptable and unacceptable behavior within the ring. We have a few of our own. It is the responsibility of each and every member to uphold these rules, and it is the responsibility of the coaching staff to enforce them.

Be Early
If you’re not early, you’re late. Leave no doubt. We structure our classes to include warm-ups, technical advice and other important keys. It’s potentially dangerous, and not to mention rude to try and jump in to a class that’s already going. So, plan ahead. Get to the gym with enough time to change clothes, use the restroom if you need to, and cut up with your coach and classmates a minute or two before starting the warmup.

The Class always takes precedence over Open Gym.
The needs of the many supersede the preferences of the few. This means that if you’re utilizing open gym during a time when a class is scheduled, you will discuss what you’re doing with the coach and gain permission from them to do your thing. If they say No, you’re free to join the class, or to come back another time. If they say Yes, you will remain out of the way (read, in a different area of the gym or outside), and quiet. The class gets priority on the equipment, the clocks, and the sound. Additionally, we have almost 1000 square feet available to hang out and enjoy your friends in the 3rd place. Instead of hanging out in the gym where you could become a potential distraction to those in class, please enjoy the the comfort of our couches.

Respect the Equipment.
Never drop an empty Barbell or Kettlebell. Dropping a heavy barbell is totally cool and there for your safety, but, if you just have a 10 or a 15 pound plate on it, please make an effort to put the bar down instead of dropping it. Those skinny plates break pretty easily. Don’t sit on Med-balls. Our equipment was expensive, and the more we have to replace it, the more we’re going to have to charge you.

Clean up, and put your toys away.
If you get something out, please put it away (where it goes). If you don’t know, ask your coach or one of the veteran members. If, for some reason you; bleed, pee, or puke, clean up your DNA. We’re happy to help, but don’t just leave it on the bar or floor. Also, I hate that this has to be said, but never spit on the floor. That is an inconsiderate jerk move. We’ll all judge you for that… Additionally, if you bring stuff into the gym, please take it out with you. This includes your own personal gear. Shoes, collars, jump ropes, towels, wrist wraps, belts, clothes, etc all become ours if you decide to make a donation by leaving them laying around. Finally, throw away all your own trash. Toss your water bottles, thumb and wrist tape, gum, and paper towels in the trash on your way out.

Check your ego at the door.
This is one of those rules that would be smart to apply everywhere, but it’s especially true in the gym. Somewhere, someone is warming up with your Personal Records. So don’t let a stall in your gains ruin an otherwise great day. Also, please, to the best of your ability don’t cheat. I know we’re not in a competition, and it really doesn’t matter, but your integrity is something that is worth protecting. If you can physically do a legitimate full range of motion rep, do it, even if it’s hard. (Especially if it’s hard!) And don’t skip work by using the excuse that you lost count. After all, how you do anything tends to be how you do everything. This is functional fitness isn’t it?!

Take Personal Ownership of this Gym.
You invest a lot of yourself in this gym. From Time to Money, to Social capital, you’ve put a lot on the line here. Be a contributor, not a leech. It’s clear that we have quite a bit going on and a growing community of people flooding in and out of our doors on a daily basis. We expect that you will do your part to ensure that this gym provides an enjoyable experience for everyone while they’re here. For parents, please take responsibility for your children. Keep them under control and relatively quiet. If they need to go into the kids room, take them there.

Finally, If you have input, whether positive or constructive, my door is alway open. I love you all, and I love this gym.

We have a podcast episode where we discuss this content further.  Please take a listen here.

Fail-safe Plan To Success

Fail-safe Plan To Success

Charlie Sims

I had a Dentist appointment in my calendar from 6 months ago. My reminders started going off 2 weeks out, and started getting more frequent as it grew closer. And the day before my appointment, I got a phone call asking if I’d be there. I didn’t miss the appointment.

In fact, I had plenty of opportunities to schedule other appointments on Tuesday at 9:30am. And each opportunity would have been a far more enjoyable experience than that. But because healthy teeth is something that’s important to me, I kept my appointment.

If it were up to me to just decide to show up to the Dentist office when I felt like it, or when it is convenient to me, I’d never go. I would always find an excuse to wait till next week. I already know that I’m going again in September.

If you’re reading this as a member of my gym, you’ve probably heard me say on multiple occasions that the key to succeeding with your goals is to simply show up. We’ve done all the hard thinking and organizing so as to make your experience as simple as possible. And we’re really good at our job.

So your job is to just come in and let us do ours. But I have so many conversations with people who complain about how difficult it is for them to find the time to get into the gym. About how something always comes up.

Here’s the secret to success. Listen closely. This is the secret the “Pro’s” don’t want you to know.


Life happens as a habit. We all settle into routines that are harder and harder to break once they’re set. So, simply put; set a habit around showing up to the gym.

The key is to organize your schedule in a way that makes your trip to the gym the expectation, rather than the exception. Do you want to come at your lunch break? Make the appointments in your calendar, and keep your appointments. Don’t stand me up. That’s rude. Schedule other things around your trip to the gym. It’s an unbreakable appointment, as important as keeping your Dentist appointment… Multiple times per week…

Are you someone who needs to come after work? Set the appointment. Don’t go home first. That couch can become a trap. Don’t assume that you’ll have the motivation. You’ll be wrong. Just come in. You’ll be glad you did. Don’t just come when you’re motivated. Sometimes you wont be motivated, but you still need to show up.

Do you need to come before work? Kill the snooze button, and get out of bed. Make the appointment, and keep it. No exceptions.

The point is to set your rhythm and to have accountability. Set up your calendar. Put in your gym appointments. Tell your coach, a couple friends, and a few of your classmates.

Keep your appointments.

It may be a little difficult at first, but before long you’ll be accidentally walking through our doors and well on your way to that six pack.