Category Archives: Getting Started

That Was Unexpected

That was Unexpected.

Charlie Sims

I walked into my office to find an actual newspaper sitting on my desk yesterday. I don’t know who left it there, but it was a section of the Wall Street Journal called “What Your Workout Says About You”, by Rachel Bachman. I found it online as well.  You can read it HERE.

I found myself reading through it expecting to see something about how the traditional “Globo Gyms” are struggling due to the growth of small community clubs and gyms like ours. I was wrong. It is true that these small gyms are growing in popularity, but my assumption wasn’t.

“Boutique fitness has made huge gains in recent years as people seek out more specialized, personalized workouts. Despite that popularity, though, many people keep joining traditional health clubs. Gym-goers represent 88% of new fitness-center members in the Cardlytics sample, up from 86% a year earlier.” – Rachel Bachman

Granted, her article was an observation on spending habits of people involved in differing fitness traditions, but I found it very noteworthy. Here’s my interpretation of her conclusions.

We’re winning.

More people are doing some kind of exercise. The arrow is pointing up. Health is on the rise.

I opened a CrossFit gym because I truly believe that CrossFit is the most effective, and most fun way to get fit and stay healthy. I wanted to help people. I still do. I’m not necessarily on any kind of vendetta against Globo Gym. I just want more people to be fit, healthy, and happy. If they choose to go to Spin class, that’s their call. I think it’s boring, but Spin class is substantially better than the couch.

CrossFitters are notorious for “Sneezing” to use Seth Godin’s term for people who spread the “idea-virus” to others. We can’t shut up about CrossFit. I don’t really see this with other fitness traditions. It may be that I don’t run in those circles anymore, so I don’t see it, or it may be that it’s really not there. Similar to how I don’t know more than a handful of people who see Donald Trump as a legitimate option for President. Apparently, they’re out there, I just don’t know them…

Here’s what I do know: CrossFit is expensive and Globo Gym isn’t.

If most people are like me, they think they can figure it out on their own, so they’ll piddle around in a less-than-ideal environment until they realize that they want the real thing.

More people are interested in getting in shape than last year. This is good news. Perhaps it is a shift in our culture. I like to think that I had something to do with this. Who knows for sure? I just hope that they don’t waste too much time piddling.

Have You Had Your Heart Attack Yet?

Have You Had Your Heart Attack Yet?

Charlie Sims

I was away from my toothbrush one morning during a camp out with a few of my buddies. My mouth tasted like sleep, and I was kicking myself for being in such a hurry trying to leave the day before. But we had breakfast, drank some coffee, and started piddling with the fire so I soon forgot about the fact that I hadn’t brushed my teeth. In fact, I didn’t think about it again until I got home later that evening.

Surprisingly, contrary to what my dentist and mother always told me; forgetting to brush my teeth didn’t result in a cavity. Maybe I dodged a bullet, or maybe it was something else.

Are you familiar with the idea of a lagging indicator?

Some things have immediate consequences and tend to render immediate behavior changes. If I touch a hot stove, my body will reflexively respond even before it registers with my mind. Whoa!!! Bad idea. Don’t do it.

The immediacy of many of these consequences are motivating enough for us to permanently alter our behavior. The association of negative or positive feedback is so linked to the experience that Pavlov’s Dog comes to mind.

This is where things get complicated. Often times, we do something with a negative and catastrophic consequence, but get zero immediate feedback. Or worse, we’ll get an immediate positive response with behavior that will result in an ultimately negative consequence. This is called a Lagging Indicator.

I don’t get the cavity immediately after forgetting to brush my teeth.
I don’t get lung cancer after my first cigarette.
My car didn’t break down immediately after the “Check Engine” light came on.
I don’t get fat after sitting on the couch for a day.
I don’t have a heart attack after my first doughnut.

But if I keep it up, I will.

Maybe you’re a special case, maybe you just dodged the bullet, or maybe it just hasn’t hit yet.

Sometimes the consequences are immediate, other times they don’t show up for months or years after the fact. By then, it may be too late. We’ve seen enough data to conclude a clear association between certain behaviors and their consequences.

What if the immediate feedback is unpleasant, but the ultimate consequence (read: payoff) is a jackpot?

I don’t get a six pack immediately after eating my first veggie and doing a sit-up.
I don’t get strong immediately after doing one squat.
I don’t get fit after one workout

But if I keep it up, I will.

The Return of the Hare!

The Return of the Hare!

Charlie Sims

Yesterday we talked about the Tortoise and the Hare. We focused all of our attention on the moral of the story: Slow and Steady wins the race.

But who likes that? It’s only true sometimes.

Who really thinks that the turtle would really win the RACE? He was simply the beneficiary of the hare’s foolishness. If that rabbit hadn’t decided to stop for a nap, or to flirt with the bunnies, it wouldn’t have even been close.image

If I’m in a race, I want speed!! I’m putting my money on the rabbit. And more than that, I’m gonna do everything in my power to ensure that he stays focused on the task at hand. Go ahead and win the race first, then take your nap or enjoy the bunnies. Stay focused Hare!

Let’s talk about optimization.

In the past 10 years or so we’ve developed an entire sub-culture of people who are “Life-Hackers”, or “Optimization Experts”. They’re looking for legitimate short-cuts to accomplishing some goal. Why waste effort, time, energy, focus, money, etc. when you could be playing tennis with the bunnies?

Let’s talk about Fitness.

We define Fitness as work capacity across a broad range of time and modal domains. There’s a conspicuous absence of anything related to body-composition.

It’s all about performance.

If my work capacity is increasing, that means I’m getting more: strong, fast, agile, coordinated, balanced, powerful, endurance, and so on. The by product of this improved fitness is body-composition, health, and overall abilities! So, instead of chasing fat-loss at the potential expense of everything else; let me recommend chasing performance!

CrossFit is the (Fully Motivated) Hare. Sorry Tortoise, you don’t stand a chance! Do you want Fitness? There is no more effective method than CrossFit done right. That “done right” is pretty important. We’re on the sharp tip of the spear. Experts, Scientists, and simple Social Proof are all realizing that very fact. Why else would Globo gyms be adding “x-fit” to their menu? The word “functional” is now as common in our vernacular as the bench press, and everybody does “Murph” on Memorial Day.

Imitation is the best form of flattery.

Do you want to get stronger? CrossFit.
Do you want to get faster? CrossFit.
Do you want better endurance? CrossFit.
Do you want to look better naked? CrossFit.
Do you want long-term health and vitality? CrossFit.

Let’s kill 30 birds with 1 stone. Talk about a short-cut!

It’s your choice. You can keep trudging along slow and steady with less than optimal methods for reaching your goals, or you can capitalize on the Health and Fitness Hack that more and more of your friends are starting to discover.

We have multiple options for getting started. I could care less which door you choose as long as you walk in.