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How To Use HR Monitor

Often when I hear people talk about their workouts, somewhere in there, they talk about how many calories they burned, and many people judge their workouts on that number. What if I told you that the calories you read from your Apple Watch or FitBit are just guesses?

Everyone knows I love fitness trackers and think that they are great and should be worn. The problem is that people only look at one metric nowadays, and that is calories burned, and even the most accurate fitness trackers could be a minimum of 30% off. It is crazy to judge the validity of your workout on something that is just guessing. 

During your workout, you need to watch your heart rate more than the calories. Bottom line is you have to understand your workout zones to get any real feed back from a heart rate tracker. 

For most people, the goal of each workout is to increase fitness and burn fat. Burning fat is actually what people are thinking is happening when they look at calories burned. 

The problem is fat burning doesn’t take place right away. Your workout usually starts by burning carbohydrate calories first. This is generally done by burning the immediate energy source, which is blood sugar (glucose) followed by carbs that are stored in the muscles called glycogen. After these fuel sources are used up, your body will switch over to fatty acids.

Your body cannot immediately jump right to fatty acids, it has to get warmed up first. Think of the burning of the carb calories as it prepping to burn fat. Fat is only burned when there is enough oxygen in the bloodstream to tap into the fat storages our bodies have. The key to staying in this fat-burning zone is going at a pace that allows for consistent movement and consistent breathing. 

Using a fitness tracker for this is vital. We want to warm up to burning fat, and the way we do this is by watching our heart rate at the start of a workout. If very quickly (inside of 3-4 minutes on workouts that are meant to be mid-range or longer) you are 90% or higher in a workout, your body is likely never to make it to the fat-burning zone because there is not enough oxygen in the bloodstream.

The CrossFit program is not like other programs that use fitness tracking like Orange Theory or Running. Because of the combination of high-intensity functional exercises as well as regular resistance training, watching the heart rate could be a bit misleading. The reason why CrossFit has been so successful is because of the constantly varied workouts. We have short, medium, and long workouts. We use different pieces of equipment as well as various movements every single day. We focus on relative intensity, and this is what drives results. This also causes fluctuations in the heart rate and makes tracking heart rate a little different in a CrossFit class than in an Orange Theory class. 

If you run at a single pace for 5:00, you will see a gradual increase in heart rate. Compared to a CrossFit workout where inside 5:00, you may run 200m (1:00) followed by 15 Back Squats at your body weight (1:30), then into 15 Burpees (1:00), and then in the remaining time (1:30) as many Kettlebell swings as you can, your heart rate will alter four different times. This is also why the CrossFit program has such a long residual burn of calories post-workout compared to other programs. 

So the natural question is, “How do I maximize fat burning time in a CrossFit workout if my heart rate isn’t allowed for a gradual increase through a single modality?” The answer is simple. Warm-up hard and start your wods out easy. The people who gas out more often than not are those who “sandbag” or skip the warm-ups in general. The best looking and fittest athletes are never the ones that are doing this. There is a reason. At our gym, our warm-ups are very similar to our workouts. The movements may not be the same, but the motor patterns and stimulus are. With a proper warm-up, your body is prepped and ready to move into the fat-burning zone. Then, if the wod allows, ease into it and finish it hard!

This exact concept is why CrossFit Games athletes look the way they do. The difference between them and us is that they can control their heart rates even with high-intensity multi-modal workouts. Our goal is to continually increase our fitness so that when we are easing into workouts that allow it, we are still moving quickly, and finishing workouts fast. 

Having a heart rate monitor will enable us to track this. Looking up and seeing what zone you are in by seeing a color gives you immediate feedback on what you need to do. If you are two minutes into a fifteen-minute workout and are showing red, you know you need to slow down and spend some time at a lower heart rate. There is no guessing, its immediate. This will allow you to build your capacity in a way this is unlike the prevailing thought of the CrossFit method of beating yourself down. 

If you have plateaued or continually feeling beat up from workouts, proper heart rate tracking could be the key. If you are interested in more information on heart rate tracking, send me an email!

[email protected]



Harry V. – Work Schedule

Everyone knows Harry! He is the party in each class and I don’t think he has ever met a stranger. Harry works some crazy hours but still finds time to make it to the gym. Find out what he says in this video!


Better At Running

During the stay at home order to break up the monotony of the day, I would randomly go for a run. I would just set a timer and run in one direction; when the timer went off, I would turn around and run back. No goals just wanted something to do fitness-wise that killed some time.

Running is a great workout, not my favorite workout, but its something just about everyone can do—no equipment needed, only some shoes and a little will power.

When we reopened, I found myself still wanting to run, even though I hate running, or so I thought. So I started to write up a running program that I could do.

When I say a program that “I could do,” what I am saying is I wanted a program that I can stick to. My two main complaints about running are how boring it is and my knees. When running, it is just you and your thoughts, and sometimes that can be a good thing or a bad thing. For me, I usually start to have some knee pain, and then my thoughts are solely focused on that for the remainder of the run.

I am the type of person that needs something to train for. So I decided to sign up for the Houston Marathon in January. With something in the future to train for, I know I will stick to my running routine and probably never miss a workout. That alone will prepare me for the 26.2 miles.

For my running program, I wanted to do two days of speed training and one day of long slow running.

This isn’t the usual way of training for a marathon that most people do. Most are trying to get miles in each week so that they can be prepared for the volume of a marathon, but I think I can train a little differently and still get great results.

First, I am going to continue to train CrossFit each week. High intensity, constantly varied, functional movements across broad time domains is the key to building general fitness. I will have my running for the specific fitness goal for the marathon.

Second, my running training during the week will be one day of interval sprint work and one day of moderate distance intervals. These intervals have to be run at a precise pace to prepare me for 26.2 miles because even on a longer interval day, I am probably only putting in 3-4 miles worth of intervals, and to make up for the lack of volume the intensity of the pacing will prepare me.

I tested two runs for my intervals. I tested my 400m run and my mile to get my paces. Depending on the length of the intervals I have written for the day will depend on the relative speed based on those time trials. In short, I am not just running 3 x 800m runs. I am running 3 x 800m runs at 10 seconds faster than my mile time.

In theory, I am training for speed on these days while getting some running volume in. What this means is I am training myself to be faster rather than always just running at a comfortable pace. My third day of running will be my long and slow day.

My first long and slow day I ran a time trial 5k, and each week I have used that pace to dictate my longer runs. My first run after the 5k, I did five miles at a minute slower per mile pace than my 5k, and each week I have tried to add a mile or two while keeping that pace or a bit faster. For the most part, this has been successful, and in 5 weeks, I have added 4 miles and taken off 20 seconds per mile.

I believe that this type of structure can be good for anyone that is looking to get better at running or wants a program they can do at home. I have logged every run that I have done so far and plan to continue to do so throughout my 28 weeks of training for the Houston Marathon. If you are interested in following my program, send me an email. On days that are not running, I have included some at home High-Intensity workouts that you can do at home to mix up your training as well. This is a total of five workouts each week, all with written and video instruction.

If you are looking to be a better runner or just some fun at home workouts, let me know!



We All Need This Right Now

Exercise and nutrition are some of the most important things you can be doing to help you in the fight against COVID.

With no vaccine, we have to begin to prepare our bodies to fight as well as continue to practice all the social distancing and mask-wearing.

Physical preparedness is only one addition to the game, but mentally preparing yourself is something that is often overlooked when designing a plan against COVID.

The time right now is challenging for everyone. Even some of the coolest people I know have done complete personality 180’s to who they were in March. Being stuck at home with so much uncertainty about if life is going to return to normal is weighing heavily on people in ways that we never expected. Staying at home is not suitable for our mental states and contributes to the feeling of loneliness, but one of the most powerful therapeutic methods is activity.

We all need an outlet, a place to be ourselves, to have a release, and honestly to be with others. The times in my life when I have felt the worst or the loneliest, exercise, and sports have always been there for me.

To me, being lonely doesn’t mean that you are by yourself; it means that you are missing something or need to fill a void, having a feeling of emptiness.

I feel that many people right now are missing something, and it shows. One of the main things that are linked to chronic disease is inflammation found throughout the body. The feeling of loneliness causes stress on the body in the form of cortisol. Higher cortisol levels are at the root of many chronic diseases. Studies show that you are six times more likely to be hospitalized by COVID and twelve times more likely to die from COVID with common chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and chronic lung disease.

Having a supportive community like ours and a place to retreat to for stress relief and congregation is one of the best things you can do for your body and mind. Exercise not only helps you fight stress, but it releases mood-boosting endorphins at the same time. Combining an excellent workout with a good group of people seems like a great way to take a step forward.

A good group of people is those who are going to push you to be better. A place like BWCF will allow you to have real interactions in a positive way, instead of the online negativity commonly found on social media. It can give you the social interactions that we are missing in real-time rather than becoming the digital Leonidas. Studies show that we millennials are projected to die sooner than our Gen X counterparts, and many believe that it could be from our lack of real socialization. Depression and anxiety are some common traits in my age group and are both ones that have been linked to loneliness.

Working on mental strength is something that takes practice and honestly is not something that many people want to recognize. CrossFit is a program that can help those who struggle with this to learn how not to. In some early journal articles from CrossFit, I remember reading about Cognitive Diffusion, which is defined as letting thoughts come and go rather than holding on to them.

Through an exercise program like CrossFit, one’s ability to develop this technique is worked daily. When your physical exertion rises where you are mainly using your phosphagen and glycolytic metabolic pathways, the response that you usually have is a negative one. Think doing a couple of sets of twenty-second sprints on the air bike followed by forty seconds of thrusters. A great workout but usually will be a little painful and often will trigger some negative thoughts, but with proper coaching and guidance, we can get through the workout. Thoughts of hopelessness or feelings of being overwhelmed are beaten, and a sort of cognitive restructuring happens. You learn that if I keep going, I will finish, I will get through this, and the feeling of finishing is the greatest reward.

The CDC now has a page dedicated to the warning of mental health from COVID and what to expect. Most people refer to them when talking about COVID, and I think this should be a red flag to us all when they have an entire page dedicated to it. We need our interactions, but we need to do them safely and follow the guidelines set in place. We are doing everything we can to provide that space for our members. We have asked everyone to follow the instructions set in place at our facility and have implemented even more rigorous cleaning methods to ensure our member’s safety. But still working out at a gym might be something that you are not ready for, and that is ok, but that doesn’t mean you have an excuse, not to workout.

You do not need to “feel like” working out to work out, and I know many of us are motivated by going to the gym, but if you do not want to go to the gym yet, you have to stay on plan and get moving. Many times in my life, when I haven’t felt like working out, I know that all I need to do get started. Once I am in the middle of a workout or a run, I am happy to be there, and re-energized, and motived. So instead of kicking off your shoes and getting on the couch after work, put on your workout shoes and hit the road for a good sweat. Let the negative thoughts come and go, and stay on plan. (Cognitive Diffusion) If you need workout ideas, hit me up!

Fitness is more than just a way to build strength in your body, but it builds your mind as well. A challenging program like CrossFit will develop your mental fortitude more than you could ever expect; it most certainly has for me. But if you find the right place like BWCF, I promise you won’t feel lonely for long.


Lind E, Welch AS, and Ekkekakis P. Do “mind over muscle” strategies work? Examining the effects of attentional association and dissociation on exertional, affective and physiological responses to exercise. Sports Med., 39(9): 743-764, 2009.

Vecchiet L, Vecchiet J, Bellomo R, and Giamberardino, MA. Muscle pain from physical exercise. Journal of Musculoskeletal Pain, 7(1): 43-53, 1999.


Masks or Health

Today if you log onto Facebook, I can almost guarantee that you will run across a 20+ comment post about face-coverings. I hate myself for it, but I am one of those people who get sucked into reading a 54 comment thread of people pointlessly arguing with others.

Not to try and create a viral thread myself, but I wanted to write a blog post about masks and give my opinion on what we should be doing.

Studies do show that wearing face coverings helps slow the spread of the coronavirus. I wear a face-covering every day in public and have it on me at the gym too, but I am not religious about it like some. I do not feel the need to stand behind my podium and preach to the congregation about wearing a mask, but I understand that wearing it could help prevent me from spreading the virus if I was contagious. I know that there are studies out there also showing the opposite, but I chose to wear it anyways.

That being said, I know a few people who have come down with COVID and all but one are avid mask wearers, and studies now are showing that the chances of you getting COVID at some point within the next year are increasing each day exponentially.

So what happens WHEN you get COVID? Not IF you get COVID.

The answer is, you hope your body can fight off the virus, and that you do not need to be hospitalized. Wearing a face-covering will lower your chances of getting or giving COVID, but how do you prepare your body to fight it when you do get it? That is the question most people should be asking.

Caring is crucial, and it is “caring for others” that is pushed so hard by most avid mask wearers, but what about SELF-CARE? Self-care is something that I think many of us in the United States lack. On average, our population is 40% more obese than the average person around the world. Heart disease and other chronic diseases account for almost 2 million deaths annually in our country, and now, adults are passing this trend to their kids with more people under the age of twenty being diagnosed with diabetes annually than ever before. Its no wonder a respiratory virus is killing so many of our fellow countrymen and women.

Self-care and healthy habits should be at the forefront of everyone’s priority list. We need to create healthy eating and exercise habits asap! I am not talking about a complete overhaul of your nutritional habits, simply eat a little better. Start by removing the things in a standard diet that causes inflammation to occur in the body. Sugar, refined carbohydrates (grains), trans fat (fries), processed meat (deli meat), and excessive alcohol are things most of us are eating and could eliminate today and lower our body’s inflammation significantly within a few weeks. From there, add vegetables to every meal and consume lean meats, and your body will be well fueled for the fight against COVID that is sure to come.

That way of eating is the simplest form of eating for health, but it will take some practice. Something even more effective at preparing your body to fight COVID is exercise! Exercising 3-5 times a week has been shown to increase your immune system and the immune cells that your body uses to fight off the bad things. Exercise does more than builds your strength and endurance; it builds your body’s resilience as well. Someone who pushes their body daily prepares it for stress, and when you are sick, your body becomes stressed. Someone who does an exercise program like CrossFit prepares themselves mentally and physically to be put under stress and succeed. Both are things you need to be prepared to fight off COVID.

I am not saying drop everything and start training for a marathon, but you need to be doing something. If you are not sure what to do and you have made it this far into this blog, call me, I can help you!

We need to change our current state. We need to be healthier and stronger. We can do this through diet and exercise, and I am here to help you. Combine a healthy routine like this with proper social distancing and mask-wearing, and you are putting yourself in the best position to make it through this crisis on the right side.

Is this a cure-all to the current situation? NO, but it will help, and those that genuinely care about others should be pushing diet and exercise right now and not chastising everyone who isn’t wearing a mask.



The Internet

One of my favorite songs is by Post Malone, the modern-day Frank Sinatra is called, “The Internet.”

It has almost no relation to the internet in the way that I am referring to it, but he talks about how the internet is freaking people out and how people put some much worth into their social media profiles.

There was a time where I thought I was going to be a professional exerciser and posted almost every workout to the webs. Still, slowly I drifted away from posting because no one ever had anything good to say. It didn’t make me happy to post, and I didn’t feel that I was helping anyone.

A year or so later, I started our youtube page and began to make videos that were instructional and informative. I finally felt that creating content was worth it, and I thought I was helping people with their fitness and not just posting about how fit I was.

I get on social media, and I feel that most people are trying to sell themselves with information that is incorrect or flat out lies.

As I said before on a post a few days ago, fitness is my lane, and I am only talking about fitness posts!

To many people take fitness tips from people on the web because they look good, and they have the body that they want. Just because someone knows what to do when they walk in the gym doesn’t mean they are capable of helping you.

A good example is best used with professional sports. Would you choose Bill Belicheck to coach your team or Travis Kelce? One looks way better than the other, one is way more fit and capable of playing the sport, but one is way more experienced and understands the game on a different level.

That’s the difference between taking advice from someone who looks good on the internet or from the guy at the dumbbell rack with 20-inch biceps. Just because they look the part doesn’t mean they know how to coach you.

I am not taking away anything from someone being able to help, but helping on an Instagram post and helping someone in person is a whole different ball game.

Having someone have eyes on you daily is the only way that you can get better at fitness. And if you are getting better at fitness, you are probably changing your body in the right way. With time your elevated fitness will require an elevated diet, and that is when you will start to change your body and aesthetics truly.

Don’t fall for the, “Get Fit Fast” schemes played by social media fitness influencers. Fitness is a long game. Your body will change with time, but only time and commitment will change it.

Get off the internet and into the gym!

Stay moving my friends,


Add a Greater Level Of Fitness

BayWay CrossFit continues to prove that it is the premier fitness program when it comes to creating a general level of physical preparedness for the everyday person in the Baytown area.

Each day we make our members better in a new area. When explaining our program to someone new, I use the belt system in martial arts. Everyone starts as a white belt, and with time you will ‘level up.’ You do not go from a white belt to a black belt in a year; it takes time. You help your advancement by doing extra classes or additional workouts, and even at times, competing. Fitness as sports very similar.

I have been an avid supporter of competing in the sport for as long as I can remember. Signing up for a competition gives you a reason to get into the gym. It is harder to le yourself skip whenever you know you have to perform in a few months.

Many times people start practicing pull-ups or doing some extra lifting, and that is great, and exactly how you start. But with the time, you will need a more structured program that fits with your general fitness (CrossFit class) program you are already following.

We have been offering this specific program as an add on to our everyday CrossFit classes for a while now but never had the space to do allow participation for it. That is no longer the case. Although the elements can sometimes be a factor, our outdoor area provides for training for those that are wanting to do our extra work during designated hours.

Our extra work is $6.50 extra a month to your CrossFit membership. It is broken into two parts – A. Extra Conditioning and B. Extra Strength & Skill Work. If done straight through, you are looking at about 30-60 minutes of extra work. Time can be a factor, but if you are looking to excel at certain things, additional time is what you need.

Many of our athletes that follow it only do the Strength & Skill part to help with time constraints, and push it real hard during the class workouts! I usually do the extra conditioning and skip the extra strength work. Either way works to fit what you want or need to do.

Our outdoor area is designated for us only by the people who have our extra work. We understand that there are many programs out there for people to do, but they do not line up with our CrossFit program. Our extra work coincides with the daily programming to make sure that we do not use the equipment being used by the main classes and so that our athletes do not over train.

That being said, if you are not ready for all the volume of our extra work, I would be willing to provide you with a purchased program. I have a bunch of programs, from strength to cardio and gymnastics!

If you are interested in any of this, please send me an email!
[email protected]

Stay moving my friends,


Love Not Hate

I had the majority of this post ready for Monday morning, but in light of the add on to the situation brought on by the CEO of CrossFit, I felt I needed a small edit and to post it early.

If you haven’t seen what was posted, a quick google search will help you find out what he said. Know that we do not condone or support any of the comments made by Greg Glassman. Speaking in this way only creates more division and less inclusivity.

Inclusivity is a common subject in many of my blogs and videos. I mention it often because it is something that our BayWay CrossFit community has always been about. Every person is welcome. Hate is not.

Everything I post is about the gym and Fitness because that is what I know. Talking outside of my “expert” knowledge is not something I often do.

BWCF has been in business for almost eight years, and not once do I recall a moment of real hate, in any way, but especially not in a racial way.

Inside BWCF, people share the common bond of sweat and hard work. The common issue in our gym is about who is cutting reps and not hateful actions or rhetoric.

I have always wanted BWCF to be a place for someone to get away from their daily struggles. To be a happy place that you can come and feel included. Leave your troubles at the door and clear your mind and build your body for an hour.

When you show up to a class at BWCF, you are part of a diverse group that is ready to work together, train together, and party together.

It doesn’t matter where you came from, what you look like, or how you live. When you walk through the door, you are a BWCF member and part of the best community in Baytown.

We do not tolerate hate in any way, especially racism. We are a community of people who bring each other up and help each other become better versions of ourselves every day.

Stay moving my friends,



Someone asked me what a good Murph time was for an elite athlete. This is a picture of the leaderboard from the CrossFit Games when they did Murph Unpartitioned. This was five years ago, but I believe their times would not vary much now. I post these for a couple of reasons.

I’ve talked to a couple of people who felt very discouraged about their Murph times. You shouldn’t be, no matter how you did. Participating in Murph in any way is an accomplishment. We are doing it to do our best, but we are doing it for a more significant reason as well. Each year, we shoot to improve from the year before. It doesn’t have to be a vast improvement. Just look to have one. Go from elevated pushups to knee pushups. Or banded pullups to regular pullups. Or no vest to vest. Once you are there, then worry about your times. No one should be discouraged. Look at the times these men and women are putting up.

Understand that these people spend/spent 4-5 hours a day training for these events. They were in the heat of 40 people of the same fitness level to push them. Some of them can even do 100 pullups unbroken, and most of them still took almost an hour to complete it. Therefore, if you are upset with yourself because you needed two hours or because you did half Murph, don’t be. Make it a goal to improve for next year. Use it to make you better. If it was the running that slowed you down, take one day a week and just run for 20:00, and each week try to run a little further. If it was the pullups that slowed you down, each week spend a day practicing either your kip or strength on pullups. Pushups, we all can practice anytime, give yourself a daily pushup goal, and hit it! And the squats?… well, show up to CrossFit class, and those will get better!

Another reason to post the leaderboards is for those that asked for an elite time on the workout. Some of us are fueled by competition, and knowing these times can help us get better. It can show us what is possible with the application of CrossFit in the appropriate way. Now I am not saying that by coming to our CrossFit classes, you will be able to do a 40:00 Murph. These are the best of the best, and these times are pretty untouchable to us non-games athletes, but it allows us to have something to chase, and for many of us, that is all we need.

We did Murph as a gym on Monday, and I am very proud of the effort that everyone gave. We socially distanced everyone during the workout and kept our capacity in-check inside of the gym the entire time. We had stations that athletes moved through as they finished each movement, and we had staff come through, and clean/sanitize those stations immediately and then after each heat.

There are many people out there that do not want us open. That will look at what we did Monday and turn their noses up. But if you were a part of this community and you were here on Monday, you would know. We look out for each other. We help each other. We build each other up. And most of all, we keep each other SAFE.

Staying fit is a great defense against any ailment, not just COVID, so places like BWCF and other facilities like ours keep pushing on. Keep your people healthy and safe and allow them to do the same for each other. We are all adults; we all know what is safe and what is not. Go somewhere that makes you feel safe. If you are not ready to be back in a gym, stay at home and workout. Hit me up, and I will help you!

Stay moving my friends!


Ready to hit the beach?

Outdoor activities are some of the safest things to do right now, so hitting the beach has got to be on the top of your list, so its time to get beach body ready!

Everyone wants to hit the beach looking like they’ve been at the gym, but we have been missing it for the last 6-8 weeks. With summer here already, we need to get into a program that will help you get your body ready fast.

Our program is a combination of resistance training and cardio. We use your typical weights like barbells and dumbbells but also add in other resistance movements like pullups and pushups—cardio wise we can do anything from biking and running to rowing. There are endless combinations of movements that we can combine to create some pretty killer workouts.

This is important because repeating the same routine weekly doesn’t yield consistent results. Having a variety of time domains and movements keeps your body guessing and produces some serious gains. This is the fastest way to start burning some of that unwanted COVID pounds that might have been gained during the stay at home, and getting your body closer to being ready for the beach!

The theoretical part of our program is simple, but the application is where it gets a little tricky. You can always throw together different movements you find from the internet with some random rep schemes, but what’s missing is structure. What makes our program successful is the attack of different energy systems.

Your body uses three metabolic pathways broken down into two cardiovascular systems: anaerobic and aerobic. Knowing how to reach into these is essential to building fitness. You have to vary your workouts so that you are hitting all of these pathways. By doing that, you are no longer specializing and can reach different levels of fitness. This means you will be burning more fat and building more lean muscle and getting beach muscles ready!

The last part of getting beach ready is having someone help you do it. Having a good trainer that makes sure you are doing all exercises correctly is key to getting the most out of all the workouts. Not only for safety but for the effectiveness of workouts. Learning new movements is fun, and we can teach you how to do them all!

If you are looking to be beach ready quick, we are the place! Follow this link to sign up for a free class!

Stay moving my friends!