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8
Nov

Make You Better

I was watching a video with Greg Glassman, founder of CrossFit, the other day and he said something enlightening. (If you have watched at least one other video with him in it you will know this is not uncommon.) He said, “I know I am going to make you better.”

I wrote something similar to this a month or so ago, but I thought I would write a quick blog on this particular video because I feel it is something that everyone should understand.

When you come into our gym, our goal is to make you better. Better by definition is, “of a more excellent or effective type or quality.” Glassman elaborates, “Do functional movement at an intensity that’s a match for your psychological and physical tolerance, restrict your carbs, get adequate protein, enjoy fats, and see what happens. You’ll come out better.”

This is the exact prescription to getting better. The first part of that sentence talks about exercising. Multi-joint movements (functional) are just as effective in building muscle but provide a person with a higher calorie burn, coordination and movement efficiency as well as a cardio aspect that is missing from isolated movements. The cardio comes from the intensity that is applied to each day’s workout. Like I have said in videos and blogs before intensity is relative. Each person is going to have a different intensity level, and for some, this may take longer than others to find, but finding the one that works best for your mental and physical state is what drives results. Without intensity, you are only treading water.

The second half of that sentence talks about nutrition and explains it pretty well in only eight words. Restricting carbs could mean many things, but what I believe him to suggest is to not overeat carbs, avoid processed types and refined sugars. The American diet is full of ‘low-fat’ fad diets that force a lot of processed crap into our daily meals, as well as the need to indulge in too many sweets. Carbs are the primary fuel source for your muscles and body. Without them, daily function and exercising would be very difficult and results would suffer. Carbs are also the fuel source of many diseases and cancer so eating too many carbs increases your chances at these diseases. Learning which food sources to get your carbs from and when to eat your carbs is a valuable lesson and something we can teach at BayWay CrossFit.

Glassman finishes the sentence saying to eat enough protein and to enjoy fats. As I mentioned before too many food items now are ‘low-fat’ which usually means, ‘we added sugar to make this taste better.’ We know sugar is bad and causes disease so why do we keep eating these? Fats don’t make you fat, sugar does. Fats can be used as energy in your workouts, and they also help you feel full by slowing your digestion. Your body will digest processed carbs super fast leaving you feeling hungry soon after you have finished eating. A perfect example is a bowl of cereal.

Eating enough protein is one of the hardest things to do for most people. Most studies show that the average person needs between 60-80% of your body weight in grams of protein per day. Example, a person weighing 200 pounds would need between 120-160 grams of protein per day. That is about six regular sized chicken breast per day and is the reason so many people have trouble eating enough protein. Eating somewhere in that ballpark each day is almost necessary for anyone who works out on a regular basis and wants to see results in fat loss and strength. As I stated in a blog post I wrote, Plant-Based or Not, choosing the meats you eat is very important because certain meats or too much meat has been linked to some health issues as well.

Better is improving in an area. What is true about our program is that it will have you growing in any area of your life, in and out of the gym, if appropriately applied. Glassman says, “I know I am going to make you better. What do I mean by better? You get to decide.” Following the CrossFit program through the guidelines listed in that first sentence, you will be better. It doesn’t matter if you listed exercise, sport, being a better dad or employee. The program will make you better. And I agree.

 

 

 

Richard Andrews

CF-L2

 

 

25
Oct

How to Win Friends At The Gym

Recently I finished the book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It is a self-help book that I listened to on the way to work and back for the last couple of weeks. The book was published in 1936 but still has application today. Because this is a CrossFit blog, I will give you a few of my favorite points that may help you be a better person in your community and build better relationships with your classmates. There are plenty of thoughts in this book that could also help you in your professional career, so if you have not read (or listened) to it yet, I highly recommend it.

Let’s start with an easy one, a SMILE. Smiling is one of the easiest things you can do to build rapport with someone. Walking into a room with a smile on your face will completely change the way strangers perceive you. Smiling makes you more approachable and trustworthy. Imagine someone walking in for a class with a stern look on his or her face avoiding eye contact compared to someone who walks in with a smile. So do not be a Debbie Downer. Start smiling more!

This paragraph is a mash-up of a few of Carnegie’s points, and for word count sake it is necessary.

Take an interest in someone else’s’ interests, even if it is just briefly, and listen to them. Listening is something people my age (millennials) have a hard time doing. We can absorb information instantly because of our connection to the technology so having to listen to someone talk for three minutes about their workout yesterday is hard, and most of the time when we do listen, we are just waiting for our chance to tell them about our workout and not listening at all. Let the other person do the talking and allow them to keep talking by asking them questions but DO NOT ARGUE. Being genuinely interested in what the other person is saying and avoiding arguments is one of the best ways to earn someone’s friendship.

Carnegie talks about criticism, praise, encouragement and how all of these play a factor in your relationships and all of his points are fantastic ones. Many of these are more applicable in a professional career and are something most should read. Again, to save word count, I am going to skip those and encourage you to read the book.

The final point I am going to put in is to Live Your Life With Integrity. It is an indirect point made in the book, but something that I took away from a journal article I read almost eight years ago called, The Deeper Side of Coaching. One of the main ways of keeping integrity is to AVOID GOSSIP, even though sometimes it is easy to get caught up in it. Not only is gossiping wrong but what you are telling people is that you are going to talk behind their backs when they are not around as well. Make it a general practice to defend someone who is not present. As awkward as this may be, you will build greater trust that way than continuing to gossip. Integrity is also built by never overpromising and not being afraid to say no. If you are unable to do something, do not lead on as if you can. If you cannot make it somewhere or are unsure if you can do something, do not be afraid to say no. People will be more hurt by you canceling last minute or not showing up than they will be by you saying no. Although, if you say no to everything at some point people will stop asking. Lastly, be known as the person who holds the door for someone, doesn’t drive like a jerk, dresses nice, tips well at restaurants and the person who supports everyone. Being the person who is liked because you are genuinely a good person and not because you are a good exerciser is more rewarding and lasting.

The key to enjoying your time with your community is having a good relationship with EVERYONE in your community. Ultimately, remember that when you are dealing with people, you are not dealing with creatures of logic but with creatures of emotion. Approach each conversation with a smile and listen with intent and interest. Live a life of integrity and be seen as a good person and your life will be much better for it.

 

Richard Andrews

CF-L2

16
Oct

Athlete Spotlight: Linda B.

Athlete Spotlight: Linda B.

As I put in Linda’s answers I realize that I have made a huge mistake of not sharing her story sooner. Linda has been a member with us for over FIVE YEARS! She could run circles around most of the people in this town and is twice the age of most ladies at our gym. She is a motivation to anyone that meets her. If you have ever done a class with Linda you know that she makes you feel like you can do better, not only through her constant cheering but the amount of effort she puts into each workout. Linda is a fighter. If you’ve met her you see a soft-spoken super sweet lady and you would not get ‘fighter’ as your first impression, but read her backstory and watch her workout and you’ll understand there are not many people in this world who can fight like Linda. She has fought cancer, been through a heart transplant with her husband and now they are in another fight again as her husband Mike battles cancer. Religious or not Linda and her family need your PRAYERS, positive thoughts or good vibes as they move forward with this fight. Click here to read more about Linda and Mike’s fight as well as help them out. From everyone at BayWay CrossFit, We Love You Linda 🙂

-Richard

 

First Name & Last Initial

Linda B

 

Home Town
Baytown

 

Age
65

 

Occupation
Business Owner – Embroidery

 

When did you first start CrossFitting?
3/28/2013

 

When did you first start training at BayWay CrossFit?
Started here 🙂

 

Favorite WOD

Anything with the rowing machine, jump rope or deadlifts. 

 

Least Favorite WOD
Anything with BURPEES or the ASSAULT BIKE!

 

Tell us about your sports & fitness background?
When I was in high school, there were not many girls sports, and I was not involved in any. After graduating, I got a job at a women’s only gym. (men and women did not work out together then) We had to wear black tights and a body suit. (my how times have changed) I became the manager eventually. I was in and out of the gym for many years after that when my children were growing up. I started back on a regular basis after they were grown. I had to stop when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After my surgery, chemo,k, and radiation I was told I should not exercise because I had developed lymphedema. I tried to follow doctors orders but missed exercising so much; I started back. I was doing very good, lymphedema disappeared and was getting back in shape when my husband became very sick and had to have a heart transplant. I again had to quit to take care of him. As he started getting better, I found myself missing the gym and getting bigger and bigger. Then I found CrossFit, and I have been hooked since.

 

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 how I found out about BayWay CrossFit. I remember making an appointment with Coach Richard to see if he thought I would be able to do it. Little did I know at the time that it would not have mattered how bad I did on the evaluation, he would have said, “Yes you can do it.” Thank you, Richard!!! I don’t’ remember what my first WOD was, but I remember loving it!

 

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health, and fitness since starting CrossFit? (before/after)
I have lost 35 pounds since I started CrossFit. I have learned so much about nutrition, and that has helped me stay on track with my weight. When I first started, I could not even use a rope to jump rope. I just pretended to hold one….lol. I can now do MANY jumps with a rope. Also, I was so out of breath and could only walk a short distance and run a short distance. Everyone was so encouraging, and I kept on, and now I can run 3 miles without stopping! I have much more energy and feel great!

 

What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were unexpected?
I have osteopenia from the cancer drugs. My numbers have improved since beginning CrossFit. I do not have to take any drugs, and I attribute that to CrossFit. I can also keep up with my ten grandchildren! I love to play basketball with them. (even if I am not good at it) I have much more stamina and sleep better than ever.

 

Please share with us any favorite CrossFit/BayWay CrossFit moments?
I loved the 2018 CrossFit Games Open. It was so awesome how encouraging everyone was. I love the family feel of the members. Even though I don’t see and know everyone, through our family facebook page, I feel like I know them and are connected to them.

 

Any advice for people just getting started?
Don’t be intimidated. The coaches are the best and will make sure you are safe no matter what the age or condition and that you know how to do each move. Be determined to do your best each WOD, and you will improve with time. It doesn’t happen overnight, but I promise you will improve. I love the saying at the gym, “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” Sometimes it is good to leave your comfort zone.
Thank you to all the coaches and fellow athletes that have encouraged me to keep at it. It is not easy sometimes as we get older, but I see others my age that is struggling physically, and I thank God I found CrossFit. I know that I am not going to do what the young ladies do, but I know that I am doing MY best to keep fit.

 

What are your hobbies, interests, and talents outside of CrossFit?

I love spending time with my family, working in my flower beds, crafts, and swimming.

 

5
Oct

Being Better At Exercise

One of the most commonly asked questions I receive is, “When can I expect to see results?” Of all the questions I receive, this is one of the most reasonable questions. Unfortunately, there is no real answer to it. I say this because I have had people lose 30-40 pounds in a couple of months and then I have had people lose 10 pounds in a year. There are things like diet and genetics that play a role outside of exercise that affect how much or when you will start to lose the weight. But here are a few things that everyone should focus on to speed up those results!

The first suggestion is YOUR DIET. Following the CrossFit’s suggested diet of: “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat,” will help you speed up those results right away. If we were to look at those two sentences the first says to avoid processed foods and stick to whole foods. Limit your fruit and avoid refined sugars and EAT YOUR VEGGIES! If you just stuck to this, results would happen. You would lose weight, tone up and improve your workouts.

If you wanted to take this to the next level, sentence two is even more critical. This sentence is telling you that you need to eat enough calories that your body repairs itself after your workouts rather than break down further. The goal is to be lean and not look like a smaller version of a fatter you. To do this, you have to weigh and measure your foods and also time certain meals. These are all things we do FOR FREE with any membership. Like anything else in exercise, some people may start this diet and lose 20 pounds in a month and others may take 2-3 months, but this is the most essential step to getting on the fast track to results.

The second suggestion that I would make is to “enjoy the process.” This is something I have talked about in a couple of posts and videos, but it is something I genuinely believe to be vital to everyone’s success. In this particular example, what I am trying to say is that there is a lot to learn when you start our program. We have more movements that we implement into workouts than any other exercise program and learning those movements take time. Learning is the fun part, and it is what keeps people coming back. There are so many movements in CrossFit that you could learn something new a couple times each week and never get bored with the monotony of routine.

You have to learn these movements before you can see real results. I would even venture to say that you will need some mastery of these movements before the ultimate rewards are gained. Although, that being said, I do not think you need to have an understanding of exercise or lifting weights to see results quickly because I would say about 90% of our members either did not exercise or had never lifted weights before they started. What I am saying may be easier explained with an example. When your kid wants to play baseball, you do not take them to the batting cages and put them in the cage with the machine that throws the hardest. You start them with a tee and teach them the fundamentals. Then you move up to some soft toss and then to some slow pitches, and eventually, they will step up to the big dog machine. This process takes time (a lot longer than learning exercises) but by the time they get to the big dog machine, they will be able to smoke each pitch, and then translate that to a live pitcher where they will have success (hopefully).

The point is that as you learn and master these movements, the intensity that you can apply to each one will be much higher. Meaning that your workouts will result in higher reps or faster times. When you are finishing workouts faster or finishing workouts with more rounds and reps than you were a month ago, you are doing more work, and more work means better workouts, and better workouts mean better results!

So the point here is taking the time to learn and master these new movements and DO NOT RUSH IT! I know our society has us conditioned to, “Give me my results and give them to me now!” But we have to understand that working on eating better and making our workouts better is the only way that you will see results! For some, this could take a month, and for some, this could take 6 months or longer, but enjoy your time learning and exercising and love the results that are sure to come with this!

 

Richard Andrews

CF-L2

13
Aug

Who Do You Blame?

From time to time I will start writing a blog and then abandon it. I just run out of gas. However, every once in a while I will come back and finish it. This is one of those times.

Initially, I had written this blog a month or so ago after the NBA Finals and the constant talk of Lebron James but could not figure out how to link it back to exercise or CrossFit, but yesterday Rich Froning, who is the Michael Jordan of CrossFit, posted this on Instagram.

Those that do not follow the CrossFit Games as closely as I do may not understand why he posted this. Rich and his team took second place last year. Rich has won every CrossFit competition he has competed in since 2011, and last year was his first time in six years to not finish on top. Rich took responsibility for this and vowed to come back with his team stronger than ever. He did not BLAME his teammates. Instead, he decided to figure out how to make himself and his team better.

This year they finished in first place.

The original write up was about Lebron James and his teammates. The constant talk over Lebron is that he carries his team to the NBA Finals every year, but when he loses in the finals, which he does more often than he wins, it is the team’s fault, and to me, that is unfair to his teammates and coaches.

Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

I am sure there is a professional facebook sports analyst that will hit me with Lebron’s playoff stats and say, “He cannot do anything else!”  To me, Lebron is one of the most successful players of all time. Nine Finals appearances (eight in a row) and three championships all while racking up multiple postseason all-time stats, makes him one of the greatest players ever, if not the greatest.

Lebron makes it to the finals every year because he knows how to use the TOOLS that he is given. He takes a max contract, and the team is built around him. With these TOOLS he is able to HELP his team win. He is not the only reason they make it to the finals, AND his teammates and coaches are not the only reason why they lose in the finals.

Lebron puts in the work every offseason just like Rich Froning. They make their teams better, and they do everything they can to HELP their team win. In the end, they win as a team, and they lose as a team. They do not blame anyone but look to themselves to make their team better, and it is a big reason why they are successful as individuals on and off the court.

Exercise is about taking responsibility for what you have in front of you. This could be someone who is a mother of three squeezing in workouts before work, a competitive CrossFit athlete who trains every year for regionals or your younger brother who is an All-American basketball player. Everyone is given a set of tools to use to be successful. How you use those tools is up to you.

Sure there are people out there who have a God given talent that no matter how hard you work you won’t be on their level, but everyone can show up, give effort, commit and help others. If you do those things, you will make a change in your life and others in a positive way.

Do not blame the people around you, do not blame your job, do not blame your program, do not blame your kids or family, do not blame work. These are all excuses, and those that blame someone else for their failures most likely will not be successful in the long run.

Having a great supporting cast around you makes things easier, just ask Steph Curry, but just because you do not have the best player in the world on your team does not mean you cannot be successful. Work hard, apply yourself, commit to something and help others.

 

Richard Andrews

CF-L2

 

9
Aug

Athlete Spotlight: Trenton H.

Athlete Spotlight

Trenton has been a member with us for about two years now and has seen some awesome results. He makes time for the gym three or four days a week at least, all while working shift work as an operator. He is young but he knows what hard work is and it is paying off for him big time. Congrats on everything Trenton! Keep up the good work!

-Richard

 

First Name & Last Initial

Trenton H

 

Home Town
Mont Belvieu

 

Age
23

 

Occupation
Operator

 

When did you first start CrossFitting?
July 2016

 

When did you first start training at BayWay CrossFit?
July 2016

 

Favorite WOD

Anything with Double Unders or Box Jumps

 

Least Favorite WOD
Thrusters or Wallballs

 

Tell us about your sports & fitness background?
I Played Little League Baseball when I was younger, and then in High School, I did Marching Band.

 

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD…what was it, and how did it feel?
I got exposed to CrossFit by way of my older Brother and Coach Jamie T. They brought me to my first WOD and although I don’t remember what was in the WOD I do remember I was pretty much dead afterward.

 

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health, and fitness since starting CrossFit? (before/after)
I lost a good amount of weight after joining CrossFit and with that my energy levels have gone up, I don’t get as winded as I used to do tasks

 

What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were unexpected?
One of the biggest for me was how much I started enjoying going to the gym before CrossFit I never wanted to step foot in one and even after I started I didn’t exactly think I was going to stay, but it really has become like an addiction that I look forward to every time I come in!

 

Please share with us any favorite CrossFit/BayWay CrossFit moments?
My favorite moments with Bayway have to be when we do group WODs or group parties! The sense of community you get at Bayway is amazing you do become a family with the other gym members!

 

Any advice for people just getting started?
Stick with it! It’s going to be hard, and I promise it does get easier and it becomes fun! The more your body starts to change and the movements you learn, your workouts become more fun and exciting.

 

What are your hobbies, interests, and talents outside of CrossFit?

The main hobby I do outside of CrossFit is Travel. It is one of the most amazing things to do. Get out and see as much as you can!

 

25
Jul

Plant Based or Not?

Over the last few months, I have seen significant growth in the number of people in my life making a switch to a plant-based diet. Two people close to me made a switch because of some health issues, and it has been really good for them, life-saving even. Some of the basic concepts of a plant-based diet is eating whole foods like vegetables, fruits, and grains while avoiding meat and highly processed foods. By doing this, you reduce inflammation in the body by detoxing it from a cellular level. In many cases, this is the reason people switch to a plant-based diet. However, is this a diet for someone who does not need it for significant health, medical or moral reasons?

 

Self admittedly, I did not know much about the Plant-Based diet before this, and the desire to know more is the reason for this blog. As I read more, I realized that it is not much different than what I practice for myself along with hundreds of thousands of other CrossFitters around the world. Greg Glassman, CEO, and founder of CrossFit puts that your diet should consist of, “Meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keeping intake levels that support exercise but not body fat.” If we were to remove the first word from that sentence it would be what I have come to learn is the “Plant-Based Diet.”

 

So if the main reason for eating plant-based is to reduce inflammation and the only difference between plant based and the “CrossFit” diet is meat, then meat must be the common denominator when it comes to inflammation in the body?

 

So from here, I needed to do some more research on meat and its inflammation properties. What I found was that red meat (beef, pork), as well as processed meats (cold cuts, sausage), were the main meats that caused the majority of inflammation. I also read that too much animal products can cause inflammation, but there is not an exact measurement for what is “too much,” and someone would have to have their blood tested after consuming an amount of animal product to see if it metabolized into arachidonic acid (inflammation causer). However, referring back to what Greg Glassman said, “Keep intake levels that support exercise but not body fat” should be a useful measurement of how much animal products you should be consuming each day.

 

Reading more about inflammation, I learned that meat is not the only cause of inflammation in the body based on typical food consumption. Most people experience inflammation from sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and wheat (gluten) because these are consumed more often and in higher amounts than animal products in a regular diet. Add in other commonly consumed foods that cause inflammation like lectin protein (beans, legumes), lactose (dairy) and alcohol then there are more inflammation causes in our other foods we eat than the animal protein we consume. So is the bulk of our bodies inflammation caused by animal protein or is it the other foods we are consuming?

 

I think with a five-minute scan of a few articles on plant-based dieting and meat causing inflammation one could assume that both could cause your body to have an abnormal amount of inflammation.

 

So from an exercise standpoint, can you eat enough protein on a plant-based diet to support exercise? The short answer is no. While a plant-based diet can help with weight loss and total body inflammation, it is very tough to get enough protein.

 

If you are exercising on a regular basis, lifting weights and cardio or “CrossFit” you need at the very least sixty percent of your body weight in grams of protein. (a 100lb person needs 60g of protein). This ensures that your body will keep itself from eating your current muscles instead of fat. To build muscle, you would need to eat at least your body weight in grams of protein each day. There are some alternatives that you can resort to on the plant-based diet, but most are processed foods or supplements, and no matter what plant-based alternatives you are eating for protein, none will have the proper amino acid profiles you need. Processed foods are defeating the “anti-inflammatory” part of the diet and supplements are designed to “supplement” your current diet not be a staple of it.

Protein is the staple of a diet that is going to allow you to burn fat, recover from workouts, and build lean muscle. Without enough of it, you are merely wasting workouts. I am sure there are examples of high-level athletes that are on “plant-based,” but those are few and far between (and probably have someone making their meals). Most likely they were not always that way and developed a base while eating animal protein.

 

So after my light research, I still plan to consume animal proteins to maintain my goals and lifestyle. My suggestion to anyone who also consumes animal protein is to buy quality products while avoiding red meat and processed meats. Grass-fed, free-range or fish products not from a package or caught by you are the best possible choices when making your selection. These do cost more, but if they are helping you reach your goals then do it! How much you should eat of them should follow along with the prescription given by Coach Greg Glassman.
If you do plant-based dieting for major health issues or moral reasons I am all for it. Again, I have seen how it has helped people in my family, but I do believe if you are a healthy, exercising individual maintaining the CrossFit diet will help you as well if not more. 
I think you can keep your body’s inflammation low with this type of dieting while maintaining a low body fat percentage and also recover from tough workouts. By eating enough protein you will allow your body to recover and look like Maurice Greene rather than Roger Bannister. Both are great and many would take either but in my opinion, one is more desirable than the other. 
Richard Andrews
CF-L2
11
Jul

Athlete Spotlight: Miriany H.

Athlete Spotlight:

 

First Name & Last Initial:

Miriany H.

 

Home Town:

Beach City, TX

 

 

Age:

38

 

Occupation:

Real estate management/investor

 

When did you first start CrossFitting?

March 23, 2016

 

When did you first start training at BayWay CrossFit?

March 23, 2016

 

Favorite WOD:

It’s hard to narrow that down but if I had to chose I would say handstand push-ups, burpees, anything shoulder to overhead.

 

Least Favorite WOD:

Double Unders!! I have a love-hate relationship with the jump rope.

 

Tell us about your sports & fitness background?

I didn’t have the luxury of playing sports growing up, but I did play volleyball through HS. My love for fitness started with running and being just a regular gym rat. I used to run 13 miles at a time without a problem and would spend about 2 hours at the gym not getting much out of it.

 

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD…what was it, and how did it feel?

I decided to give Crossfit a chance when my regular gym routine became boring and not challenging enough. I dropped in for a class in March of 2016 the WOD was five rounds of 50 DU, 25KBS, & 20 v-ups I’m pretty sure this was when that love/hate relationship with the jump rope started. I remember it was tough, It hurt, but it was exactly what I needed to challenge me! I was hooked from that day on!

 

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health, and fitness since starting CrossFit?

I’ll start by saying that at my age I am without a doubt in the best shape of my life thanks to Crossfit! I have so much more energy; I’m stronger and more toned! It’s amazing to see what your body is capable of doing with a little work. Crossfit is also great therapy for the mind. It’s my sweet escape.

 

What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were unexpected?

I’ve experienced a huge change in my mental game. Crossfit has allowed me to find a way to push my limits like I never have before. We often don’t realize that we give in mentally long before the body does. I’ve learned that it’s always YOU vs. YOU. I’ve learned to get out of my way and just do it! You’ll never know what you’re capable of unless you try.

 

Please share with us any favorite CrossFit/BayWay CrossFit moments?

There are so many awesome memories But one of my favorite times was the 2018 Crossfit open! To see everyone come together the way they did was pretty awesome!! Oh, and when the ladies schooled the guys in volleyball… that was a pretty sweet moment too 😉

 

Any advice for people just getting started?

Do it!! We all started somewhere! Yes it LOOKS intimidating, yes it’s a little intense, but I promise it’s so worth it! Not only is it the best workout you can get, but it’s also just an awesome place to be with some pretty awesome people!

 

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?

My hobbies outside of Crossfit are spent hanging out with the family, traveling all over the US watching my kids play ball, Love my Astros! ⚾🔥And eating cake… JS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

27
Jun

ENJOY THE RIDE!

CrossFit attracts a particular type of person. They are usually self-motivated, goal oriented and a hard worker. These are all traits of successful people, and working with 125+ generally successful people usually means you have a gym full of people who are used to excelling at things, but what happens when they don’t?

CrossFit is a fitness program that combines aspects from all fitness regimens. Some of these include simple movements like running or biking, but it also includes complicated Olympic level movements like the snatch, handstands and ring work. All of these movements (including the simple ones) require practice and a lot of it. Malcolm Gladwell wrote in his book, Outliers, that “exceptional expertise requires at least 10,000 hours of practice.”

That is a lot of practice!

As an example in the CrossFit world let’s use butterfly pull-ups for Gladwell’s rule. If you only came to the class that had pull-ups in the workout each week, it would take you almost 200 years to create “exceptional expertise” at that movement.

That is an extreme example, but it shows you that it takes time to master something. I would think that in CrossFit instead of 10,000 hours, maybe the 10,000 rep rule would be a better metric for learning a movement.

Schedule a private session with a coach with some one-on-one time where they can show you progressions, and give you a game plan for developing that movement properly.

Again, CrossFit is a combination of ALL FITNESS PROGRAMS, and we have countless varieties of movements and their combinations. Below I have listed a few categories.

Here are the nine fundamental movements of CrossFit:

  • Air Squat
  • Front Squat
  • Overhead Squat
  • Shoulder Press
  • Push Press
  • Push Jerk
  • Deadlift
  • Sumo Deadlift High Pull
  • Medicine Ball Clean

 

Here are some typical “cardio” type movements we use:

  • Running
  • Rowing
  • Biking
  • Skiing
  • Jump Rope
  • Burpees

 

Here are some “gymnastic” type movements we use:

  • Pull-ups
  • Muscle-ups
  • Handstand Push-Ups
  • Ring Dips
  • Handstand Walks

 

Here are some “explosive” and “barbell” movements we use:

  • Power Cleans
  • Box Jumps
  • Broad Jumps
  • Thrusters
  • Snatches

That is just a general list of movements. We could use dumbbells, kettlebells or sandbags for these movements as well. Think of CrossFit like school. You did not walk into calculus class on the first day and then not show up again until test day and expect to pass. You had to go to class each week and learn so that you could pass the test. CrossFit is the same way. Show up to class, learn the movements and then test them in your workouts. It takes time.

However, as most of you know, the more time something takes, the more people fall off. So how do you keep from falling off? You have to change your mindset. You need to stop trying to accomplish it all at once. Whether that is your fifty-pound weight loss goal or your goal to RX every workout, you need to ENJOY THE RIDE. Like Steve Gilliland says in his book, Enjoy the Ride: How to Experience the True Joy of Life, “There is no destination…” So for 99.9999999999999% of us that are not CrossFit Games athletes, this is the truth. There is no destination. Once we have learned one movement, we move on to the next, and the cycle repeats over and over.

We have to celebrate the little victories. Don’t just celebrate when you do the workouts RX’d, celebrate when you use more weight, do jumping pull-ups instead of ring rows or when you run 200m without stopping. Learn to be happy with what you did and not what you couldn’t!

How you look at certain situations can drastically change your emotional state with those. Take a step back and enjoy how far you have come not how far you have to go.

 

Add-On:

A couple of days ago (a week after I wrote this post) I found an old external hard drive that I used in college. I was going through the files and found a few videos of my first competition from January or February 2011. The video, my movement, my grunts and the cheering is absolute gold. I had been doing CrossFit with my friend Asa for about five or six months at this point. We taught ourselves everything by watching youtube! To those that laugh because my movement is terrible, remember I was new to this type of exercise and I was in competition. To those that look at this and think, “wow I have been doing CrossFit for three years and I still can’t do a muscle up.” Understand that I started CrossFit the day after my last collegiate soccer game. I was a high-level athlete that made a transition to another program.

I figured I would add this video to this blog before I actually posted it because I want you to see that it is a progression. I have done three to six CrossFit workouts every week since this competition. That is pushing 2,000 workouts! Not all of these were one-hour classes some were two and three-hour sessions but the point is I have put in a lot of work to get where I am today, and I have enjoyed every second of it……for the most part.

The reason CrossFit has kept my interest for so long and why I am still so passionate about it is because of the challenge and the results. There is so much to learn and when you think you have learned it all something else pops up. Once you think you have a movement down you then need to refine that movement to make it perfect. You can see yourself grow! That is the best part! In this video, I clean and jerk 225 pounds. My best clean and jerk now is 335 pounds! I struggle doing muscle ups but now I can do twenty in a row!

To look back on this video and see how far I have come makes me really happy and makes me excited to workout today!

 

 

18
Jun

Working Your “Butt” Off

Let’s talk about the glorious and powerful booty… other than being the easiest way to distract someone, the booty is often underdeveloped, undertrained, and underutilized. The glutes, (glute medius, minimus, and maximus) are the largest and strongest muscles of the body that are used together to abduct, rotate, and extend the hips. But let’s face it, most people just do not know how to use those all-powerful buns. Many people cannot even correctly fire their glutes without first undergoing some teaching or simple activation. Many people who spend the majority of their day sitting down do not utilize those muscles.

So why are our posteriors so inactive?

There are numerous reasons but quite simply put; it is because people do not use them due to their lifestyles (IE sitting down for most of the day) or just inactive due to poor mechanics.

So what made you make a blog about the tooshy?

Recently I listened to a podcast by the world-renowned Glute Guy AKA Bret Contreras. Bret has a Ph.D. in making a strong booty…No this is not an exaggeration; He has a Ph.D. in sports sciences, a CSCS, inventor of the HIP thruster, creator of the Glute Lab, several published articles about the glutes and hip thrusts and the list goes on and on and on. In his podcast, he talks about the importance of having a strong rear not just for aesthetics but for performance and for proper motor control.

So why glutes?

Well, speaking from personal experience, if you do not have strong glutes, your entire lower body alignment may fall out of balance causing several problems such as shin splints, runners knee, valgus knee, IT band Syndrome, etc.. When the glutes are not strong enough to do their job of extending the hips and pushing the body forward, the body has to compensate using muscles that are not as well designed for such things.

The glute maximus produces an enormous amount of power and is the PF flyers of the muscles; you can run faster, jump higher, be agiler, and be stronger with having this muscle well developed. Having a strong glute group makes deadlifts and squat numbers rise!!

The glutes also support the back. As crossfitters, we are guilty of not adequately preparing the glutes for exercise, and when we have the high volume of squatting, our low back tends to hurt; this is because of weak firing glutes or inefficient glute activation. Not all back pain can be attributed to glute activation, but it could be a contributing factor.

So how do I make my money maker stronger?    

Here are a few exercises you can do to get that caboose strong

Glute Bridge- 3 sets of 10-20 reps – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bbE64NuDTU

Barbell Hip Thrust- 3 sets of 6-8 reps – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETqwCnOf6Ls

Clamshell-3 sets of 10-15 reps each side- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EG5_gXcfozw

Give these exercises a go when you are warming up or at home to build that donk and keep yourself healthy and strong!!

 

Matt Neid

CF-L1, MS