Category Archives: Updates

The Tortoise and the Hare

The Tortoise and the Hare

We’ve all heard the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare. It’s the story of a rabbit, full of talent and hubris, racing against the dumpy and slow turtle.

Knowing the story, we’re supposed to see the rabbit as foolish and the turtle as determined, and this is true. But like all fables, this one has a moral.

“Slow and steady wins the race.”

As flawed as the logic of the story is, this moral stands outside the reality of the “Tortoise and the Hare”.  I mean who honestly thinks the turtle was better suited to win a race?!  But I digress…  The moral of the story is a principle for life.  As a coach, I guess the best and most obvious example of this principle can be found in the thousands of different options available for people to choose between in the hopes of losing weight.

How many times have you lost 10 pounds in 2 weeks following a “quick fix” diet? How did week 3 go? Did your progress stall out? Were you able to keep your “progress” going? How long did it take for you to throw in the towel? And how long did it take for you to gain those 10 pounds right back?

My friend Mark was a quick-fix junkie, and he used to say, “I’ve been losing the same 10 pounds for the last 20 years”.

There’s a better way.

Slow and steady wins the race.

It’s likely that it took you years to gain your weight. Subtle gain over time, maybe 2-5 pounds per year. That may be a bit slower than you’re interested in, but that kind of change is real, and it’s quite a bit healthier for your body.

I recommend that people aim to lose around half a pound per week. And do this by developing healthy habits in a slow and methodical manner. Begin by cutting down (not cutting out completely) on the “junk”. What is junk? Junk is basically anything you can buy at the gas station. Make those things a treat instead of a staple.

Then start to replace the junk with smarter alternatives. Perfection isn’t the target. Just better. How about picking the sweet potato with real butter instead of french fries? Try having eggs for breakfast instead of cereal. Black coffee instead of the energy drink. Etc…

Finally, over time seek to prioritize adding more protein and veggies into your normal routine. It may be just a little at first, but eventually your goal will be to have a good protein choice with each meal, and a couple servings of veggies at least a couple times per day.

The problem with the quick-fix option is that it usually “works” really well… At first… And then, because it is unsustainable, unrealistic, or ultimately unproductive, we give up.

Or worse, we keep going with more and more extreme adjustments…

Our bodies want homeostasis and will fight changes, therefore dramatic changes will normally result in a loss of primarily water weight. Hopefully, that’s it! Sometimes, the change will be a result of a loss in muscle-mass.

Let’s be like the Tortoise! Slow and Steady wins the race.

CrossFitters Walk Different

CrossFitters Walk Different

By Charlie Sims

I had been doing CrossFit for a little over 6 months. My buddies and I were meeting in Caleb’s garage that we had outfitted with a few pieces of gear. We were, at this point, just doing random CrossFit workouts that we found on YouTube or, and we were slowly becoming obsessed.

I was trying to get a masters degree in Theology at the time, and spent about a zillion hours every week at various coffee shops trying to read books, and write papers. But my new obsession with CrossFit was a bit distracting. So I’d take “study breaks” to read CrossFit Journal articles, or watch coaching videos.

Have you ever heard of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon? It’s a brain trick that kicks in when you discover something new or notice something for the first time, and all of the sudden begin to notice it everywhere you go. I never saw Honda Elements (you know, the toaster shaped SUV’s made by Honda) until I bought one. My son Asa named them “Cruck’s” because they’re kinda like a car-truck. But now we see them everywhere! We liked ours so much, we ended up buying a second one for my wife when her car finally died. Why Honda decided to discontinue their production will always be a mystery to me.

Back to Baader-Meinhof. I had worked in fitness for a long time, and I hadn’t ever noticed this new thing known as CrossFit. It was right there all along, but I was blind to it; distracted by other methods. But, wow! Once I discovered it for the first time, I started to see it everywhere!

So, during one of my, likely extended, study breaks at the Starbucks; I noticed a CrossFitter out of the corner of my eye.

Major note of emphasis: This was early 2011. Louisville might have had 300 CrossFitters in the whole city. This was before Reebok. The wave hadn’t hit Louisville yet.

Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Confidence. I saw a guy walking in with a purpose, and approachability. He didn’t come off as arrogant or off-putting like you get a lot of the time when you run into “Gym Guy“, but in a way that Jason Bourne knew that the guy at the bar weights 215 pounds and knows how to handle himself, I could tell that the guy walking in was one of my people.

So, I had to ask. I couldn’t just sit there wondering.

Ha! He was a coach at one of only two CrossFit gyms in the whole city. We talked for 5 minutes or so, and he gave me his card and invited me and my buddies to come do a couple classes at his gym.

A lot of time has passed since this day, and the number of CrossFitters in Louisville has multiplied exponentially, but I still notice the walk. It happens after an athlete has been drinking the CrossFit kool-aid for about a 2 years. Their capabilities in the gym translate into a humble confidence that comes out in their walk.

Only now, it’s confirmed without the conversation by the Nano’s and Rogue hoodie.

Are You Ready? – Part 2

Are you Ready? – Part 2

Charlie Sims

Yesterday we talked through why I love the Open, and asked the question “Are you Ready?” We went over how it fits into the overall big picture of what we do as a gym, and how our training is organized.

I want to take this opportunity today to dig a little more into some specific tactics that you can utilize to maximize your performance at this year’s Open.

We already know the schedule for the Open. That’s one of the very few things that we actually know with certainty, so we want to be wise about how we prepare.

We, along with the whole CrossFit world will find out the workout together on Thursdays at 8:00pm when Dave Castro and the “Demonstration Throwdown” reveal it to us. We have our own Throwdown afterward, and if you’re one of the lucky few each week who have this privilege, push everything back one day.

But your opportunities to do the workout will be as follows, so plan accordingly. Friday Night Lights will start at 6:00pm, and will go until everyone has had a chance to do the workout. Saturday morning we’ll do the same thing starting at 9:00am. And we’ll have a last-chance opportunity on Monday’s between 2-4. If you need an additional time, we’ll schedule that as a discounted personal training session of $35.

With that as our schedule, choose wisely when you’d like to do the workout, and work backward. Monday and Tuesday, should be no issue for you to train as hard as you can with little to no effect on your Open performance, but if you’re planning on doing the workout on Friday night, it may be a good idea to avoid doing something that will leave you sore.

3 Days out: Sleep an hour extra (if possible). Train normally.

2 Days out: Sleep an hour extra (if possible). Avoid training in a way that will cause you to be overly sore, or fatigued. It’s ok to train hard. We’ve done that all year. You just don’t want to max out your deadlift, or do 500 lunges or something like that.

The Day Before: Sleep an hour extra (if possible). Sensing a pattern? If you don’t know the workout; do a lazy 3k-5k row at a significantly slower pace than you usually do. It’s not a bad idea to mix in a few (maybe 1 every 500 meters) 15-20 second bursts of all out max effort. This will help stretch your lungs out a little without causing you to get too fatigued. Afterward, spend some good quality time with the foam roller or relaxed stretching.

If you do know the workout; you can do the same as above, but I’d recommend doing an abbreviated version of the workout so you can better prepare yourself for your problem spots. For example, if it’s Overhead Squats and Pullups like last year, it’s good to know what your heart rate will do when you’re switching back to your second set of Overhead Squats. Do not over do it on this. This is just for testing purposes, and shouldn’t be hard at all. Put together a strategy. If you need help with this, come talk to us. Then go home.

The Day of: Again, eat normally. Prepare for this workout just like you do every other workout we do. If you take a pre-workout, do it. If you don’t usually take a pre-workout, today isn’t the day to start. Warm-up just like you usually do. This means that you probably don’t want to judge someone during the heat before yours. Use that time to get warmed up. It’s likely that you’ll feel like crap. Don’t worry, that’s just your mind playing tricks on you. You’re as primed as you possibly could be.

Doing the Workout
Don’t let the pressure and excitement throw you off your game. Remember, this is just like any other workout. You have a plan. Work your plan. So, don’t go out like a cannon blast. Settle into a pace that pushes you, but is one that you can maintain. You’ll want to push it really hard by the time the workout is almost over, so leave a little gas in the tank for that.

Immediately, before you do anything else get your phone, and submit your score to the games site. Do. Not. Forget. This! Before you do anything. Before you go pee. Before you make your sweat-angel. Before you judge the next heat. Before you post your selfie on Instagram. Submit your score. This happened too many times last year and people who “earned” a spot in Regionals Lite were disqualified because they forgot to submit their score.

This one is fairly simple. Don’t change anything from what you’ve been doing for the past few months. Your body has grown accustomed to these habits, so no matter what anyone tells you, it’s not a good idea to experiment with a new meal plan during your competition. Even if it’s not the textbook ideal, at least it’s predictable.

Did you come just short of a goal? Did you scale it when you should have RX’d? Did you RX when you should have scaled? Was it just a bad day? You’re free to re-do the workout if you want. (Unless it’s a re-do of 14.3 or something like it)… But that’s the purpose of the last chance opportunity on Monday afternoon between 2-4pm. Learn from your mistakes, and make adjustments. The re-do is a zero pressure opportunity to improve your score. If you fail, no problem, you still have a score from before.

Ok. That’s about enough. I hope this helps you guys succeed! Remember, the Open is a time every year when the whole CrossFit Community comes together around one singular event. It’s purpose is to identify the fittest on earth, but it’s effect is a fun and engaging opportunity to connect and to thrive. Thrive-on!