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21
Apr

The Home Gym: What You Don’t Need

With the stay at home order coming down so quickly, hardly anyone was prepared to workout at home. Most people have no equipment because we have gym memberships and have never needed it. Some gyms rented out stuff so that you could stay fit during the crisis but what happens if this resurfaces in the fall and we are back at home? Or maybe you like working out at home a few days a week; you need some equipment.

I have said on just about every platform I have that I do not believe at-home fitness is sustainable, and most of us are feeling that to be true right now in week four of stay at home. But having some equipment available to you if needed is not a bad idea. Maybe even splitting your days at home and the gym when they reopen fitness centers.

Equipment manufacturers have garage gym packages that work, but I will be honest, most of these packages give you things you do not need.

Here are some things I think you should avoid purchasing for a home gym and why.

Barbell & Plates:
This is usually the first thing people want to purchase for their home gyms because it is such a staple in most commercial and micro/studio gyms like ours.
I don’t think that most people need this because everyday exercisers are not powerlifters or Olympic lifters. We do not need regular barbell work to maintain technique or to build absolute strength. Plus, bars and plates only have real functionality when put together.
They also take up a lot of room and require some decent storage space and are a pain in the ass to move.
If you have a gym membership but also want to have the ability to workout at home, plan to attend the gym on days that there is strength or skill work programmed. This way, you can get the strength work you need and focus on metcons at home.

Squat Rack & Bench:
They may have some functionality, but they are expensive, and when the gyms reopen will eventually be used to hang clothes on.
If you do not have a barbell or enough plates, the rack sometimes is pointless to have, and again if you are not training for absolute strength, which most of us are not, you can save yourself the money here.
Some racks have a pull-up bar attachment, which adds some functionality but not worth the purchase just for the pull-up bar. You can buy a wall-mounted pull-up bar for much cheaper.
Again, schedule the strength and skill days at the gym, and it leaves your metcon heavy days for home workouts.

Cardio Machines:
This one price-wise is pretty obvious. These are by far the most expensive purchases for home gyms with rowers costing around $900, bikes around $700, and ski ergs also in that price range.
Running is free, and let’s be honest; we can all be a bit better at running.
These machines take up lots of space, and yes, have some low impact workout value but are just not functional if you are maintaining your gym membership. Almost any gym owner will allow you to stay after and get some extra cardio on a machine of your choice as long as you do not disrupt the current class or use a machine the class is using.

The problem many people have with trying to train at home is that they think they can do it on their own. That they can find workouts and go for it, but for most, this isn’t possible. What you need, even at home, is coaching. You need a program that fits what you have and what you are capable of, rather than trying to purchase stuff so that you can do any program.

Once you have a coach, here is what you need to have a decent variety of equipment for tons of workout options, all for under the cost of one machine.

Plyo Box
Dumbbells (2 Pairs)
Kettlebells (2 Weights)
Slam Ball (20-30lbs)
Sandbag (40-60lbs)
Jump Rope
PowerBand (light resistance)

Look for weights that cost less than a dollar per pound, and you could have all of that for under $500—a much smaller investment than dropping over a grand on some of these garage gym packages you see online that are less practical than the list above.

The only way to stay diligent at home is to have a coach that is programming workouts with your equipment, workouts you are capable of and do not have to think of your scaling options, and most of all, KEEP YOU ACCOUNTABLE. As I am sure you all have discovered, it is really easy to stay on the couch rather than walk outside and get a workout in.

If you need any help with coaching or programming, shoot me an email!
[email protected]

Richard

6
Apr

Hang In There!

This week will make week three of no gym, and I am very impressed with everyone with their home workouts. I have written blogs and done videos on why home gyms do not work for CrossFit, and I stand by that. We see videos of people like Matt Fraser and Josh Bridges killing it in their garage, and we think we can do that too, but we forget that they are the fittest on earth and have a reason to wake up every day and ‘Pay the Man’ in their garage. All of us mortals exercise for general health, and not to be the fittest on earth.

I always tell my personal story from when I was a member of a CrossFit Deer Park back in 2011. I didn’t have much money and was paying the monthly membership for classes, but I thought I could do it on my own. I bought just over two thousand dollars worth of equipment for the house, quit the gym, and started working out alone in my garage. I was just getting into competitive CrossFit, and at the time, the modern CrossFit programs didn’t exist. Your CrossFit gym only had CrossFit classes, and most of the time, the workout was written up the day before and put on the whiteboard by the 5 am coach. You would have to go onto the CrossFit discussion board and search for a program posted by Coach B if you wanted to get better at lifting.

It was about week three that I realized the gym was more to me than a place to work out, and my motivation to exercise didn’t come from my crazy desire to be fit, but the community and atmosphere that the classes brought. I looked forward to my 7:00 pm CrossFit class.

I thought about the workout all day and planned my strategy. I planned my meals throughout the day based on when I was going to be at the gym. I had my pre-workout drink timed to perfection so that it would hit right as the warm-up started. I would rush to the gym, even changing there when I lived less than a mile away, so I could get there a little early to hang out and shoot the shit. I stayed a little late to help the coach clean up; he was a good friend of mine. Often a group of us would grab some food or drinks after class. I missed that, and it was only week three by myself.

I had over two grand worth of equipment and a desire to be the fittest person I knew but no motivation to workout because, frankly, I missed my community. Before the end of the month, I was a member again and used my home gym solely for strength building when I had time.

It was also that same moment in my garage where I realized that not only did I miss that community but that I wanted to be engulfed in that type of community daily. I soon signed up for my CrossFit Level 1, and now almost ten years later, I am exactly where I wanted to be.

Y’all I understand how hard it is to find the motivation to keep fitness as a part of your daily routine, but it is a must now more than ever. Our physical health in the future could be the difference between life and death from this invisible assailant.

We need to prioritize the things that we can control with this ongoing battle against something that makes the future for everyone very uncertain. Everyone’s WHY right now should be to be able to fight. To be ready to fight against this enemy when the time comes and know that you have prepared your mind and body for whatever it attempts to throw at you. Stay strong and get your butt out there and get a workout in!

As always, reach out to me with any questions!

Stay moving my friends,
Richard

31
Mar

CrossFitters are Staying Fit

Here in Texas, we are going into our second week of “Stay At Home,” and its clear most of us are going a little stir crazy. Many of us use the gym as a get-away or stress relief, even if going to the gym means twenty minutes on a cardio machine and aimless wondering for the next forty.

Most people are trying to get into running to stay fit, and I respect that, but it isn’t something that many of us would look forward to daily.

Others are searching social media for at-home workouts posted by influencers, but its week two or three of bodyweight squats, pushups, situps, and we are bored.

Most everyone has to change their style of exercise to stay fit, but not CrossFitters.

A good CrossFit gym is keeping its members fit by staying in constant contact with their members and keeping them engaged, customizing workouts, providing a variety of workouts, and even renting out equipment to those that do not have any.

CrossFitters are staying fit by merely having a base on the philosophical side of the program. CrossFit is composed of three definitive elements: constantly varied, functional movements, executed at a high intensity.

Functional movements to us are seen as ‘natural’ movements. Meaning they can be translated into the real world. An example would be a deadlift compared to picking up a heavy box. Functional movements also mean ‘compound movements,’ and those are ones that involve multiple joints and work multiple muscle groups, like the deadlift. The reason many people at Globo gyms avoid functional compound movements is that they are much more complicated than isolation movements, and require technique to execute them properly. Most of the time, these need to be taught to someone by a coach and not a youtube video.

Following the philosophical definition of CrossFit, we vary our movements daily. Most people at Globo gyms have been stuck in the same routine for years, and now that they cannot go to the gym, they are lost. CrossFitters are prepared for workouts that are not typical of routine. Using the deadlift again as an example, in our CrossFit classes, we have done deadlifts with a barbell, kettlebell or two kettlebells, dumbbells, med balls, sandbags, and plates, to name a few. We have done different styles of deadlifts like sumo, single-leg, tempo, and elevated. CrossFitters are already armed with the options and the technique on how to do these. So when limited on equipment, it’s not a problem to work in a different movement.

CrossFit gyms can run one-hour classes because our workouts are based on intensity. If you have read any of my blogs about intensity, you know that I believe it to be “relative.” Meaning that my intensity level is different than yours, but the goal of each workout is to push yourself, get sweaty, get your heart rate up and get a good workout. This is the perfect combination for when you are forced to work out at home.

CrossFitters are staying fit because they have been taught how to properly do compound movements, have an arsenal of variations they can do, and, most importantly, they still have a coach that is helping them along the way.

Do yourself a favor. Lookup a CrossFit gym near you, send them an email, and schedule a free trial with them for the first week they are back open!

Stay moving my friends,
Richard

27
Mar

Wrapping Up the Week

So its Friday, and it doesn’t feel like Friday. Most weeks end with relief and some congregation, but not this Friday. This Friday, we will all be homebodies, and we will all Netflix and Chill.

My sister has been staying with us through this ‘stay at home order.’ As I am sure, you have seen in my videos. One thing that our mom taught us both to do was cook. She made home-cooked meals regularly and had us help her often. Katy is a great cook and makes most of her meals off the top of her head. Yesterday she said she was going to make eggs on avocado toast, so we filmed it. Here’s the video, enjoy!

Monday, I am going to be adding to our current online program that we are offering. Right now, you have the CrossFit program as well as the HOME program. Both we have been posting videos on and providing tons of modifications.

We will continue to do that, but now on the wodify app, there will be a “Kids Speed & Strength” section. I have had a lot of questions on what kids should be doing, so I put this together. It will be a five-day program that will have movements for the kids to do that will help them develop sport-specific training—meaning speed and agility drills, as well as some explosive work. I will attach youtube videos on all movements so that you can show them. There will be lateral movements, so unless you feel that you are athletic enough to do them, please let the kids do the kids program. Lateral movements on older bodies are not a good combination lol.

I will also be reaching out to the people who put that they were looking for customized programs and one on one coaching outside of what we are already doing.

Anyone who wants to join our online nutrition work as well needs to send me an email. I have already received a couple of emails from people who have lost weight during this following our guidelines!

As always, reach out to me if you need help with anything!

Stay moving my friends,
Richard

Now my rant if you made it this far:
This situation that we are in right now is more significant than any one person. Take care of yourself so that you can take care of your family. If something happens to you, who is going to take care of them? Let your health be your motivator; let your family’s health be your motivator. Stop eating crap, and don’t skip workouts. Even if you are not putting full effort into the workout, you are doing something that is going to be beneficial to your health.
And lastly, we all know we need to social distance. It’s basically the dieting of 2020. We know we should be doing it, and some will and some won’t. We know what can happen when we don’t diet, and we know what could happen when we don’t social distance. What we don’t need is people planning their best, “I told you so’s,” for when this is all over. No one cares if you were the first to post on social media about it. If you are thinking of only you, how this plays into politics, how you can be right or virtue signaling, YOU ARE DOING HUMAN WRONG.

Rant over.

26
Mar

My Routine

So in my life before coronavirus, I had a rigorous routine. I would wake up at the same time every day and go to bed at the same time. I coached the same classes and had my hours blocked out throughout the entire day around my coaching ours. I even time block my workout time, and if I didn’t finish, then I didn’t finish. Each day was time blocked out for different tasks that I wanted to accomplish during that day.

Now I am stuck at home, and finding a routine to get into has been pretty tough. I found a resource online and made my time block “At HOME” day based on the last day or two. This may change if they lower some of the restrictions, and I try to get back out and do house calls, but for now, this is how I am structuring my day. This is about 90% correct on my day, the other 10% that is missing is me on the phone or computer communicating with people, motivating, or answering questions.

With my wife home from work for the last couple of days, I have been using the HOUSEWORK section to go for a run. I hate being stuck behind a desk, and in the house, so I go for a run to get out. Yesterday I even ran to the store to get a few things, but the stuff in my backpack, and ran home.

Because of my personality, I know if I can stick to this routine, I can still be productive and keep everyone engaged and bring BWCF back stronger than ever.

Take a few minutes and put together a routine for you. I promise it will help your day pass and feel like you did something.

I hope it helps!
Richard

25
Mar

Coaching, I miss it.

Coaching is more than explaining workouts and making sure your athletes are safe. This is why at our gym, we call our instructors Coaches and not Trainers. We are more than a trainer, and because I am a coach, I realize I am so incredibly lucky.

I’m trying to find a silver lining here, but it’s hard. What I do know is I love coaching, and any small gym business guru would tell me, “Richard, you need to stop working in your business and work on it.” And I get that, I’m pretty savvy to the game, but man, I can’t pull myself away from it.

I miss it so bad right now. I know I am only a couple of days removed, but I realize how addicted to it I am. I love seeing people smile when it clicks, coaching people to move better and, most of all, the community. The little talks or horseplay throughout the day are some of the brightest parts of my week, and I freaking miss it. I am relearning something that honestly, at times I’ve thought I lost it, and that’s passion. I am one of the few people who wake up every day and get to do what they love and be surrounded by awesome people who love being at BWCF. I miss all of you terribly, and I can’t wait for this to be over.

Much Love,
Richard

19
Mar

Home Coaching, Training, Nutrition

Hey Everyone!

So in almost all of my recent emails, I have mentioned coaching you from your home while you’re forced to take time away from the gym. I have received a lot of questions on this, so I want to try and give out some information on what I want to do to help you.

First off, as long as you are a member of BWCF, you will be able to receive the “HOME” workouts through Wodify. I am working on getting some videos for you each day so that you can get some insight into the workouts that you are doing.

I have been training athletes remotely since 2017. It is something that I have become quite good at and understand what it takes to keep my athletes engaged, encouraged, and fit.

I currently have five athletes that I train remotely, and before we moved to the new gym, I had over ten spread out through three different states. I also helped train three athletes to high-level competitions, all just missing qualifications to the CrossFit Games via Regionals, RIP. We were able to qualify for regionals and other major competitions throughout the country through systematic programming. I have developed a system of ‘template’ creation, which allows me to customize each athlete’s needs, wants, and workouts. I have already created a template for personalized at home Corona training, and I am ready to take on whoever needs it or wants it.

I only say this because I have experience with this, and programming for any of you remotely would not be new to me as it will be for many other gym owners and coaches.

As a member of BWCF, if you are planning to stay home or if we are forced to close, I will provide personalized home workouts for you if you want them for the same number of days you are paying for the gym. To fill in the other days, you can use the HOME workouts, and you can I can remain in contact with me via text or email to make sure you have the right modifications for those!

Right now, I have sandbags, boxes, and some barbells that I can lend out to members, but if we were forced to close, I would be renting out everything if you wanted it.

Workouts will be built around your goals, fitness level, and equipment you have. Yes, you can do the free stuff, but at some point, you are going to get bored with doing different variations of squats, pushups, situps, and lunges. That is where I come in.

I will provide you each day with a multi-part workout, including a warm-up and your metcon, but also options for additional cardio, strength, skill work, and core and finishers. It will be built in a structured program to ensure that you are getting the most out of your at-home training.

The next step is nutrition coaching. This is something that is just as important as fitness but now more than ever. If you have been stuck at home, I am sure you have already suffered the ‘grazing’ day. These are days that you eat only one or two meals but snack all day. This is terrible! A quick google search of ‘graze eating’ will show articles on articles of how in just a couple weeks you can put on 10-20 pounds. You are going to put on unwanted weight asap. I will help you structure a day and make sure that you are staying satiated so that you don’t graze.

I am currently in talks with MyFitnessPal on getting a discount on their premium subscription. I will provide you with goals to input in the app, and with the premium, you will be able to do it exactly as I say. Then I will add you to the gyms profile and check-in with you daily to help you modify your day and keep you accountable.

From there, its about scheduling your day. Having a multi-part workout means that you can split your day up around your workout(s). I have already put together a preliminary day, and I will help you set up yours. Keeping busy is crucial, and I think I have a good schedule to help you!

Again, if you are BWCF members and want to stay home right now and then at some point, if we are all forced to stay home, I will provide you with this service if you want it. Your monthly membership will provide the cost for it, workouts programmed will be equal to the number of days you pay for, but the nutritional guiding will be included entirely as well as the HOME workouts.

If you are someone reading this and are not a member of BWCF but would like this same help, the price I charge for this service is $250/month, with the first three months paid upfront. It’s a high dollar service I know, but it is worth every penny when it comes to your health, fitness, and sanity.

I am trying to plan everything out so that I can keep everyone fit and healthy through all of this and keep this community together!

As always, if you have questions, let me know!

Richard

11
Mar

FIND EASY DIET PLAN

I can’t believe we are already halfway through humpday! This week is flying by, and I hope your week has been great so far!

Nutrition is always a topic of discussion in the fitness world because everyone has an opinion on it. It doesn’t matter if you are an everyday member or a fitness expert. Everyone has “something that they do.”

This is validation that there is no “one size fits all” plan for nutrition that will solve everyone’s issues. For the most part, when trying to find something that works for you, there are only a couple things you can try.

The first, of course, is can this new diet or plan fits your lifestyle. For me, I work crazy long days, and a simple diet plan of, “eat this much” doesn’t work for me, and it is why intermittent fasting works great for me. But it doesn’t work for people who work out in the evening or maybe work alternating shift work. Whatever your schedule is, or whatever type of lifestyle you have, your diet needs to work with that, or you will ultimately fail.

Start a nutrition plan or diet because you want to, not because of someone else goals or because of their success on something, if you’re going to be healthier than eat cleaner. Don’t jump onto the bandwagon of fad diets because it is the popular thing to do. The hardest thing to do is diet, and you make it even harder on yourself by doing something that you do not believe in.

The easy part of being healthy is working out. Ask anyone who has tried both, and they will tell you that showing up to the gym is way easier than sticking to a diet. So if you start a nutrition plan or diet, it has to support your exercise, not the other way around. When things get tough, it will be your diet that falls off, not your exercise. More often then not, people chose a diet plan that puts them at such a calorie deficit they start to get burnt out on exercising, not realizing that they do not have any energy to burn by the time they get to the gym. Chose a diet that helps you burn the unwanted fat but still provides your body with the energy you need to push through tough workouts so that you can get all the gainz!!!

Nutrition is the hard part of fitness. If you decide to do something, STICK WITH IT! Good things don’t happen overnight, and you need some consistency with nutrition and diets for them to work. Put sixty days on the calendar and fight hard to stay on your plan. You will see the results!

Richard

26
Feb

1/2 Marathon – NO RUNNING

When this posts, I will be three sleeps away from running my first half-marathon at Baytown’s “Jail Break Run.” Signing up for it was, at first, a participation thing because so many of our gym members are doing it, and at first, I just wanted to complete it. But now I want to finish it with a decent time.

I opened Google and searched, “What is a good half-marathon time?” What came up was that runners with some racing experience set a common goal of under two hours. I have zero experience running races but think that two hours is a great goal to shoot for.

I kept rolling through articles on half marathons. I found ones on just about everything you could need to know about running a race, but almost all had some running programs to help you prep. I cannot just run for my exercise; I need variance. This is why CrossFit has kept my interest for over ten years, so doing one of these running programs was not going to work for me.

The question is, does a group fitness program like CrossFit provides the training needed to run a sub 9:00 mile for 13.1 miles?

I am a believer in the CrossFit program, so my answer is YES, and I am confident that with our program, I am fit enough to do it. Still, I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t nervous about the length of this race.

I looked back at the last 30 workouts that I have completed, and the longest workout I’d done was a 35:00 AMRAP. Which is essentially an hour and a half shorter than what I am trying to run on Saturday. However, even with that, I still feel like my fitness level is high enough for the sub 9:00 pace.

CrossFit uses functional movements as its base for exercise. Functional movements are ones that are “natural,” which means they are done outside of the gym like squatting, running, jumping, and picking things up. They are more effective and produce results faster. In our workouts, we are racing the clock in some way. Using the clock in our workouts allows us to bring intensity to each one. We measure intensity by how fast you get work done.

The intensity in each workout is the reason why I believe that CrossFit has prepared me to run this race in under two hours. My theory on improving fitness is, “I can teach Usain Bolt (fastest sprinter in the world) to slow down and run for distance, but I cannot teach Mo Farah (best distance runner) to sprint.” I also would much rather have Usain’s body over Mo Farahs. (I am not saying that Mo Farah isn’t fast or doesn’t train with intensity I am merely using the two types of races in a comparison.)

My goal is to hold between an 8-9:00 mile up until we have to cross the bridge. After that, I am hoping to be able to pick it up on the back end of the race. If using my fitness theory of sprinter vs. long-distance, and using functional movements to build muscle endurance, I should be able to do this.

Intensity isn’t just beneficial for performance and aesthetics. It also has so many health benefits like improving blood pressure, fat loss, bone density, lowering triglycerides, cholesterol, and improving muscle mass. Most of these long and slow exercises will do most of these but will have slower results and will need longer workouts to accomplish them.

Training with the purpose of getting work done fast while using functional movements is fun and effective, and hopefully will be the reason I meet my goal this weekend of a sub-two-hour half-marathon!

Richard

12
Feb

Exercise Is Freedom

All-day, our brains work hard, sometimes thinking almost 80,000 thoughts in a day. At what point in our day do we step back and clear our minds and be free?

This is a subject that frankly is not my forte. I am not the guy to talk about clearing your mind and becoming one with your self, but the subject was brought up in a conversation between a friend and I. The thought of giving your brain a break seems like one that we could all use. Still, most of us are not going to go to the lengths of meditating or practicing some other form of calmness. Those practices are a niche group that is much smaller than the daily exercisers like me. (side note: there is nothing wrong with that.)

Daily challenging exercise can achieve all of these same things for our minds and more.

I mean, challenging in two ways. The first being physically challenging, and the second being mental. Physically, we can test ourselves in almost any exercise activity, but mentally challenging yourself in a workout is much tougher.

Exercise boosts dopamine, which improves mood and feelings of wellness and jump-starts the attention system. Dopamine is a beautiful thing in that it helps provide a sense of satisfaction. With exercise, your brain will store more dopamine in it, which means you have a feel-good storage on tap. Exercise alone provides your brain with endorphins and helps regulate all the neurotransmitters as well. One neurotransmitter, norepinephrine, can work as an antidepressant in that it wakes up the brain and improves self-esteem.

When you exercise, your brain will work better and create more energy for itself. Exercise also allows for the better creation of serotonin, which is the hormone that puts you in a better mood and allows for the production of melatonin when its time for bed.

Getting yourself breathing hard, sweating, and pushing your physical limits has a more significant effect on your brain than most people realize. Without it, we can become not only weak in our body, but our minds as well.

Let’s be honest; life is challenging. You are going to be hit with multiple different stressors throughout your day from your kids and wife to your boss, your computer, your car, other drivers, the list goes on and on. Each of these provides you with a different stress, but its all stress. Your mind has a different reaction to all of these, and so does your body.

Challenging yourself mentally through exercise can help prepare you for these stressors. Again, mentally challenging is different than physically challenging. Setting out on a linear path for your exercise plan daily using something like running, rowing, biking, etc., can be made physically demanding but usually will only provide one stressor. As you progress in this field, your brain has to do less to combat that stressor.

Putting yourself through constantly varied functional exercises performed at relatively high intensity will force your body to adapt to new stressors daily, all while gaining the aerobic exercise needed to produce the good stuff that your brain and body need to be healthy.

Anyone who has read my posts or watched my videos knows I believe that any exercise is good exercise. You know I don’t let people say, “I only did X today,” when logging scores because people, “Only sat on the couch today.” Mindset is a big part of life because, again, life is challenging. Having something to fall back on to help relieve stress and prepare you for the constantly varied daily stressors is how you work to having true freedom.

Richard