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8
Apr

Is Your Protein Doing Anything?

After reading this, do not be upset, but the protein you are taking is probably doing nothing more than checking the box on your daily macro intake.

The supplement industry has become such a lucrative business over the last 20 years with the fitness industry’s growth. Anyone who was into fitness 10+ years ago knows how excellent supplements were. From fat-burning supplements to post-workout supplements, we use to have the best products available. Since then, more regulations have been placed on the industry, so these companies’ profit margins have also been affected. Like any other business, they have learned to cut costs in different places, and protein powders and ready-to-drink (RTD) proteins have taken an enormous hit.

We take protein powders or RTDs post-workout because of the branch chain amino acids (BCAA’s) that they contain. Our body uses these to repair the damage that we caused our muscles during our exercise. Of all the BCAA’s, there is one amino acid that is more important to building muscle than all the others, and that is Leucine.

As regulations on supplements started, this amino acid has begun to be cut more and more from protein powders and RTDs. More and more companies are sourcing their protein from cheaper sources and losing a lot of its potency. Their only goal is to trick people into thinking that the protein is good because of its grams.

For most people, we need just over 3 grams of Leucine for every protein intake, including our post-workout shakes. (the more muscle mass you have or bigger you are, the more Leucine you need.) If you took the purest protein source, one that has not lost any of its potency, in 25 grams of protein, it would contain 2.5g of Leucine. So in most cases, the purest forms of protein do not have enough Leucine to support muscle growth in the everyday person. So imagine how little Leucine you are receiving from lower-grade protein powders and RTDs.

My suggestion is to check the labels of all your protein supplements. Look to see if they list the amount of BCAA’s on their label. Most likely, if they do not, you’re looking at a supplement to your macros and not your recovery. Sometimes protein powders and RTDs will have a proprietary blend of BCAA’s. This means they can list the number of grams it contains for all BCAA’s but avoid listing how much of each. Most likely, they cut corners here as well, but better than not listing at all. The best protein powders will detail precisely how much each they have. If no additional Leucine is added, you’ll have 2.5g of Leucine for every 25g of protein on the label. This means you will need to supplement with additional Leucine, which is not a big deal; it is a cheap supplement that you can buy on amazon. Depending on how much protein you eat with each meal, you may need additional Leucine supplementation with every meal.

Do your research, buy quality products, and be price-conscious, but buy products that help you meet your goals.

I hope this helped!
Richard

6
Apr

Jamie N. – Athlete Spotlight

Questionnaire:

Jamie N.

Baytown, TX

Age: 40

Occupation: Teacher

When did you start CrossFit?
Summer 2015

When did you start at BayWay CrossFit?
October 2017

What are your favorite movements or workouts?
My favorite movements would be deadlift and push press.

What are your least favorite movements or workouts?
My least favorite movements are thrusters!

Tell us about your sports & fitness background?
I have no background in sports. I have never been involved in any athletic event. I was a member at a gym as an adult. However, I never used the weight room.

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD…what was it, and how did it feel?
I don’t remember my first wod exactly, but I remember what I felt like. I was so intimidated at first, even to walk in. It left me worn out but so challenged. I fell in love with the community!

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health, and fitness since starting CrossFit?
I have gained so much strength! My overall confidence in what I can accomplish has grown. I have gained knowledge that will help me maintain a healthy lifestyle.

What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected?
I was not expecting to find a new family. I just wanted a good workout, but CrossFit gives you so much more. Some of the best people I have ever met have been the athletes working out next to me.

Please share with us any favorite CrossFit/BayWay CrossFit Moments?
Anytime we get together for a big workout or event!

Any advice for people just getting started?
Just start. Walk in the door. Pick up the weight and do it!

Want to try us out???? Sign up for a free class here: https://baywaycrossfit.com/get-started/

9
Mar

Fitness = Health

How many times have you had a friend tell you, “I can’t tomorrow. I have a doctor’s appointment.” Or maybe they are taking a parent to the doctor. What about the person at work who is always missing because they have to go to the doctor or are sick.

Too many times, I have received an email saying, “Hey Rich, I need to start on something asap. The regular gym has never worked for me, but I need to get going now; at my yearly physical, the doctor told me my XYZ’s were all out of whack, and if I continue down this path, it won’t be good.”

We do this to ourselves. We eat like crap and never set foot into a gym. We complain that CrossFit is too hard on our body as we put more trash into our mouths, sit around more, drink more, smoke more, and sleep less.

There is never a doctor that goes, “Well, sir, it looks like you have bad knees, and that is what led to your heart disease.” We constantly use excuses to find a reason not to do something, especially exercise.

Last week I wrote a blog about stopping time through fitness by improving workouts in the gym. I used examples like running a faster mile time each year or lifting more weight than you did last year. No matter how much or how little you improve, an improvement stops time.

People get too caught up in what the scales say and not enough about what the doctor says. I have known many people in my life that looked like they could be on the cover of a magazine but have more internal health issues than I can count.

Aesthetics doesn’t mean health. Stop focusing so much on what you look like on the outside and start focusing on what’s going on inside your body. Each year you should see things improving like blood pressure or bone density. More often than not, if we are becoming healthier on the inside, our physical appearance will change for the better as well.

If you are struggling with getting your fitness journey started, do not go sign up for the $30/month place where you are left to yourself to figure out how to improve your fitness. Hire a trainer or join a CrossFit gym. Yes, it’s more expensive, but I can promise you the doctor bills that come with being sick will cost you a lot more.

FITNESS IS A LONG GAME. This isn’t something that is going to happen overnight, or in the next couple of months, or even next year. It could be a long time before you see serious, LASTING results. It takes time, but it will be worth it. Invest in yourself.

See you tomorrow,

Richard

4
Mar

Stopping Time

We all start exercising to make ourselves better, but at some point, we get tired.

Some people are just motivated to exercise because they want to. Others need a reason. I use to be one of those people that just could not wait to get to the gym, but since I have stopped competing in CrossFit and weightlifting competitively, I just haven’t had the want like I used to. So lately, I have been trying to do more competitions so that I have a reason to hit a workout each day.

Some do not want to compete, so they need another reason to show up to the gym each day.

The main reason anyone should workout is their health, but even with a global pandemic, people still do not care about their own health all that much. It is common to think that taking supplements or following gimmicky diets is going to make us healthy. Right now during the pandemic, there are tons of misleading information on how to defend yourself against COVID. The best way to fight off COVID, besides the vaccine, is having a robust immune system, a healthy body, and lungs are really the best defense. All are strengthened through exercise!

If you have loved ones, your health is essential. The longevity and quality of your life means more to them than it does to you. You should choose to be healthy for them more than for you. They may need you forty years from now; you need to be there for them.

The first step is getting into the gym and being consistent. Consistency is key. It is more important than anything else.

I have a member of about six years, and he is one of the most consistent people I have. He is almost 50 but does more than the people half his age at the gym. The reason, he shows up, and he shows up often. He does his thing every day, we do things that he can do, and he tries to just take one step forward each day. He told me a couple years ago that he doesn’t care about his scores, weights, or anything else. What he cares about is stopping time.

To him, his age increases each year, but his body isn’t. If this year he lifts 200 pounds and next year he lifts about the same, to him, he is stopping time. If this year he runs an 8:00 mile and next year runs about the same, he stops time.

By staying fit, he can keep up with his family and be there for them for as long as they need him, essentially stopping time.

Don’t just do it for you, do it for your loved ones.

Richard

25
Feb

The Open: HOLD THE STANDARD

We are two weeks away from the start of the open! 

In CrossFit, these workouts are some of the toughest, both mentally and physically, that most of us will do. Every single one is memorable, and every single one will test you in ways that you haven’t been tested before.

The open is a global competition that takes place in CrossFit gyms all around the world. It is the first stage in the process of qualifying for the CrossFit Games. 

In years past, the games’ qualification went through three-stages: the open, regionals, and the games. The second and third stage were some of the most exclusive competitions in the CrossFit community. Regionals only qualified the top .001% of all participants from the open, and the games qualified the top .15% from regionals. Qualifying past the open meant you were one of the fittest people in the world. 

To qualify for the second stage, you had to do every workout at a CrossFit Affiliate and submit your score on the CrossFit Games website. Then the owner of the gym would validate your score. The gym owner is supposed to ensure the score’s validity and make sure they were judged appropriately and all standards are met. Keeping the standard to each workout ensures that the competition fair for everyone, not just the second stage qualifiers. Many people use the open to gauge if their fitness is improving from year to year. 

Because of the exclusivity of the second and third stages in the past many gym owners and managers allowed for very lax judging standards, using the justification of, “No one is going to regionals or the games, so why worry about it.” Anyone who knows me, and my competitiveness, knows how I feel about that line right there.

The principle of the matter should be a good enough reason, especially as a business owner. To allow someone to submit an official score with poorly held standards is below the quality that CrossFit sets for us all. It is also a poor reflection of you and your business. 

But this year, the saying, “No one is going to the games,” doesn’t work. Yes, at the end of it all, the top .000001% of all athletes signed up for the open will compete for the fittest on earth at the CrossFit Games, but the second stage will now include the top 10%. This is a huge change and makes qualifying for the second stage of the process more of a reality for the everyday CrossFitter. No longer do you have to dedicate 3-4 hours of training to qualify for the second stage; you show up five days a week, eat right, sleep right and work hard, and you have a chance. 

That is if all our fellow CrossFit gym owners, managers, and coaches do their job and hold all of their athletes (AND SADLY, THEMSELVES) to the standards given by CrossFit HQ! By allowing yourself or your members to input official scores that were not to standard, not judged, or just not right, it will now affect a vast population of our community rather than the .001%. 

Do these three things, and your gym will be okay. Members of other gyms, make sure your owners, managers, and coaches are following this guideline!

  1. A JUDGE – It’s crazy how many people do the open workouts without judges and submit official scores. I have even seen gym owners do the open workout alone and post a video of it. It’s sad; this is an essential thing. Judges are not just counters; they are judges. They are there to uphold the standard of each movement and the validity of the workout. Owners make sure anyone who is judging is briefed on what they are looking for and test them. They are an essential piece to valid scores!
  2. EACH ATHLETE HAS A SUPERB UNDERSTANDING OF THE MOVEMENT STANDARDS. – Each athlete, like the judges, should have a great understanding of the movement standards, and there should be no surprises when they are no repped for something. Send out the CrossFit videos and score sheets with the standards, and before you allow athletes to complete the workout, brief them and their judges one final time. 
  3. HAVE FUN – The open is a chance for everyone to put to the test their training. This year there are three divisions outside of the adaptive division so that everyone can participate. Your goal is to get an overall placing and beat it next year!

Ultimately, do what is right. This year more people have a chance at participating in the second stage. DON’T CHEAT! If your gym owners and coaches are doing something shady for themselves or their close friends that are members with something as simple as ensuring that the standards are held, imagine what they are willing to do to you as the customer. 

Richard

8
Feb

FIRST DAY MEMORIES

One thing that makes good CrossFit gyms different is the memories.

I can tell you one memory that almost every CrossFit person has: their first class. For most, it is virtually always “One of the hardest workouts they’ve done.” They’re tired and probably, sweaty and happy.

But for those that truly fall in love with the program, the methodology and the lifestyle remember more than just how tired they were.

I remember my first CrossFit workout at an actual CrossFit gym. I had been doing CrossFit-ish workouts on my own for a while, cherry-picking workouts from the main site and a few other places, but one day a buddy of mine invited me to work out gym he coached at. I remember the people there, and I remember the workout, I remember the smell, I remember the conversations. I loved it.

My second first class was at the first CrossFit gym I was a member of. I showed up for my first day a week or two after I moved home from college. It was one other person and me. The workout had pullups, box jumps, and kettlebell swings. It was a long AMRAP, and I remember the coach and how he was there with us two for the entire time—coaching, helping, cheering all of it. I remember the next class showing up a little early for their class and introducing themselves to me; to this day, I still talk to those people.

I joined that day, I didn’t have a job yet, but I knew I needed that place, and it honestly was the best decision I ever made.

I was talking to some people after class today, and they were telling me the same thing. They remember their first class, who was in it, and the movements. It was a memory that they would never forget, and it got me thinking about my first memories in a CrossFit gym.

It also got me thinking about how many people I have met on their first days. How many people have I given a great first day to, and then how many I probably did not give a great first day to.

CrossFit is one of the greatest things that has ever come into my life. The people and the lifestyle have given me a life that I love. It has taught me so many things and brought some pretty awesome people into my life.

If you have been to BWCF and did not have a good first memory, give me a second chance to make you a great memory. I have grown a lot as a trainer and an owner over the last nine years in business. I have multiple 8+ year members that have been here that long for a reason. We have an average length of membership of 3 years. That’s a crazy long time for a CrossFit gym.

The reason is I have learned what works best for our people, and we do more of that and less of what doesn’t.

Give me a chance to make you a CrossFit first memory!

Richard

21
Jan

Good Coach Does not Mean Good Athlete

To be a good coach, you do not have to be a good athlete—end of story.

I think ego holds many people back in the sports world, and especially in the fitness. Many athletes will turn their nose up at a coach that is not as fit as them. Ego prevents them from an opportunity to learn from someone. It puts them at a disadvantage.

I think there is some validity to being fit and coaching CrossFit. I think it shows the people you are training and putting yourself through the same challenging workouts. You should be a good example of what the program can do for your clients.

But by no means does someone have to top the leaderboard to give quality coaching. In fact, the most fit person I’ve ever trained with regularly, could do everything well, better than almost anyone, but had a very hard time transferring that into instruction for an every day CrossFitter.

There are plenty of Super Bowl-winning NFL coaches who do not hold a flame to a candle when it comes to the aesthetics or athleticism of the players they coach. Knowing how to make someone better doesn’t require either of those things.

The difference between being a CrossFit coach and an NFL coach is the people you are working with. At our gym, 99.9% of the people who come care less about their workout time and more about what their body looks like. They look to you as the coach as an example. They want to see you doing the workouts, and they want to see their future aesthetics in you. So as CrossFit coaches, we have a bit more of “Walk the talk” that has to happen than Andy Reid does.

But even with that, I still believe to be a good coach and to help athletes of all levels; you do not have to be the best athlete.

So pay attention in class. Learn from people who coach every day and from people who can make you better, and if you genuinely believe the people who are coaching you, find another gym.

13
Jan

It’s Easy to Let Yourself Down

It’s been a while since I have posted a blog. Sorry about that.

Yesterday my Grandpa received his first COVID vaccination shot and, on his way home, stopped by the gym to say hello. I was coaching class at the time, so it was a quick visit, but when I finished and got back to class, I ranted a bit and decided that the rant was worth posting. So here I am with blog number one of 2021.

I am one of the lucky people in this world who got to grow up with my grandparents. Many people never had the opportunity to, and even more, take them for granted. (I will make my point, so please don’t be offended and continue reading.)

My Grandpa is 92 and has lived a long life with his family. He is a wonderful person and maybe one of the nicest and caring men in this world.

Grandpa has seven grandkids and four great-grandkids, with two more on the way, one to be here soon! All of us were involved in extracurriculars as kids, and he came to everything he could. Four of us played collegiate sports, and he made trips all over the state to watch us play.

Grandpa played basketball his whole life, in high school, in the army, and a little in college. He coached high school basketball in the Houston area for more than thirty years. He loves it! I remembered 5-6 years ago, he was still getting out on the driveway with us and shooting hoops, showing off his two-handed jump shot and his classic no-look reverse layup.

Okay, I am done bragging about my Grandpa, but I tell you all this because Grandpa has stayed active his whole life, and I believe it was how active he has been that allowed him to live the life that he has, and how he has been able to be so involved in all of our lives.

Was he an exerciser? No, but he was an athlete his entire life. My mom told me that he would go to the park after work when she was in high school and play pick-up basketball games with the kids there. He played golf daily up until a few years ago, and for years he lived on land in the country and was always busy fixing or doing something.

We need to stay active in our lives so that we can LIVE OUR LIVES. Too many people get older and get sedentary. Sedentary lives bleed us of our strength, and unfortunately, in 2021, the sedentary life is happening at 35 instead of 65.

It happens because IT IS EASY TO LET OURSELVES DOWN.

I told you about my Grandpa because he was always there for us. For me, it was sports, and I can give you countless lessons he taught me, some I carry with me today in the real world. If he said he was going to be there, he was there. He never let me down.

I do not have children, but I would want to spend every moment of my life with them if I did, and with my grandkids when I am blessed with them.

I do not want my health or strength to ever hold me back from doing something with them.

I am sure that letting my kid down or grandkid down will hurt a lot more than letting myself down. I imagine the hurt on my kid’s face if I miss their ball game will hurt a lot more than the feeling of missing the gym for the third week in a row.

I lead a healthy life for my future children and my grandchildren. I live a healthy life because when I am 92, I want to stop by my grandson’s business and tell him I love him, and I am proud of him.

Stop living just for your pleasure. Put down the unhealthy options and find something better for yourself. Take a couple of hours a week and hit the gym. Your family needs you today, and they need you in thirty years. Please give them the opportunity. Take care of yourself.

Richard

19
Nov

Competition Recap

This weekend, we hosted an in-house fitness competition, and it was amazing!

I have been doing CrossFit competitions since I pretty much got into CrossFit. It is a different approach to fitness than the daily workouts we do. You learn to strategize and plan workouts out. You have a different mindset and need to be willing to push yourself as you have never done before.

Many people think that you have to be the top guy or girl in the gym to compete, you don’t. Most competitions will have various skill levels that you can pick from to fit what you can do. Some don’t want to lose or look “silly” but understand that there will always be a first-place finisher and a last-place finisher; someone must fill both of those spots.

The great thing about a fitness competition is that you either can win or you cant. You are not going to wake up the day of the competition and be exponentially fitter. There are no bad passes you could throw or a team member blow an easy catch that could cost you the game. It’s just you and your fitness. In a way, even though you are competing against others, you are not competing with anyone but you.

Competitions allow for learning and adjustments in training. It gives you the motivation to get in the gym. Not only leading up to the competition but after it. If you struggled on a workout where you had to carry something, you’d get back in the gym and practice carrying. Or, if you struggled in a strength event, you’ll make sure you do not miss another strength day. After a little time tackling newly found weaknesses, it’s time to test your fitness again with another competition. With a fitness competition, it is never a loss, only a learning experience.

Because I have done so many competitions, I have never wanted to take on the stress that comes with planning and running one. Our competition was on a small scale for multiple reasons, including COVID restrictions and safety precautions, but it was possible because of our community and the help they all provided. I asked for help several times from everyone leading up to the day, and someone always came through. I asked for help judging, and we had twenty-three people sign up to help.

Competitions are only as good as their volunteers. Ours were top of the line. I provided several videos for each judge and asked them all to watch each video so that they were prepared. Everyone knew the workouts, knew the standards, and were prepared to judge. It’s because of their hard work that we had a well run and fair competition. Thank you to everyone who helped this weekend. I could not have done it without you.

Our athletes competed well, and I was super proud of every single one. No one ever gave up, and many pushed beyond what they thought they were capable of. I hope that everyone learned something this weekend and is prepared to get back in the gym this week and work hard to increase their fitness for the next one!

Richard

19
Oct

Eating For Performance

This is going to be a short but to the point. If you want to be good at anything that involves physical fitness (sport or exercise), you have to eat enough.

Being good can mean several things. It could mean being stronger and faster or even looking better. Eating enough can be just as important as the actual physical work being put in. In many cases eating enough post-workout could determine if your workout even meant anything.

Understand that eating to be good at something can differ depending on what your goals are. For example, if you want to be a good weightlifter, CrossFitter, or Football player, your diet will look far different from someone who wants to be good at Bodybuilding or aesthetics. Both types still require enough calories but what those calories are made up of is where it differs.

The CrossFit way of looking at caloric intake is simple, “Eat enough to support exercise but not fat.” In simplest terms, you need to eat at least what you are burning, but make sure that it’s not all in cupcakes and dingdongs. The cleaner your diet is, the better you will look aesthetically, but your performance will ultimately suffer if you are not eating enough.

Many people believe that they need to eat less to look good; this is false. Although eating at a caloric deficit is a quick way to drop pounds, it isn’t always the way to looking good. Most of us would rather be lean than skinny, but I understand that there are also people who want to lose weight, and a caloric deficit is the way to go. This blog is specifically talking about performance.

If you are eating enough to perform well, results will start to happen. Take a look at the top 2-3 men and women on your gym’s leaderboard daily. What do they look like? Most likely, they look good. It is unlikely that the fittest people at your gym or on your team do not look the best as well. When you can fuel your body to perform at a higher level, your body’s aesthetics will change along with it.

A great example is Michael Phelps; he ate 12,000 calories a day and still had a six-pack and long, lean muscles. He ate for performance and then performed well daily in all aspects of his training. Yes, he is the greatest Olympian of all time, but just an example.

If you are interested in seeing how much you should be eating and possibly putting together some caloric goals, send me an email, and we can set something up!

Richard

[email protected]

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