The CrossFit Lingo


If you’ve been checking out our website, reading our blog, and emails and you are getting bombarded with “WODs”, “AMRAPs”, and other crazy language, then this email is for you!

This is a quick and easy study guide on some of the more common terms and acronyms you may hear around the gym. Sit back, relax, and get your learn on!


Common Terms

  • Box: Slang term that our community uses when referring to the gym, ie. “I’m heading down to the box”.
  • Scaling, Scalability, Scale: The ability to modify a workout to meet the ability of the athlete. All of our workouts are scalable. Workouts can be scaled up in order to make them harder, or scaled down in order to make them easier.
  • Rep: A single repetition of an exercise, ie. “perform 5 reps”.
  • Set: A total number of reps for the exercise, ie. “perform 5 sets of 10 pull- ups”.

Common Acronyms

  • AMRAP: As Many Reps as Possible
  • BW: Body Weight
  • MetCon: Metabolic Conditioning Workout
  • PR: Personal Record
  • KB: Kettlebell
  • RX’d: A workout performed without any modifications or prescribed
  • RM: Rep Max, i.e. your 3RM is the maximum weight that you can lift for three reps
  • ROM: Range of Motion
  • WOD: Workout of The Day
  • EMOM: Every Minute on The Minute perform a task

How To Outrun a Hippo


Outrun a hippo? Seriously?

When you think hippo, you probably think the huge, gray mammal that seems to slowly put one gigantic foot in front of the other meandering over to its next meal. Oh no, no, no, my friend… Hippos can move, and they can move really fast when they really want to! You can probably easily pass a tortoise, but perhaps outrunning a cheetah is currently out of reach. So let’s set our sights on the hippo! While you are working through your injury, keep that in the back of your mind.

So… what’s it gonna take for you to be able to outrun a hippo? You’ve been with us long enough to know that we are all about FULL-BODY FITNESS. We don’t take a day and concentrate solely on a single body part… there’s no “leg day” at our gym. Similarly, although you might equate running with working your legs, we know that the best runners develop their core and upper bodies as well as their legs.

In fact, that’s precisely what we want you to concentrate on: your legs, your core, and your upper body (essentially your entire body). We’ve made it easy for you by coming up with a few things you can do almost every day to make sure that you’re feeling ripped and ready to bounce back from that injury! (If your injury prevents you from doing one or more of these exercises, skip them and do the ones that you can accomplish safely.)


Leg Power – Lunge and Squat

Let’s start with working out the foundation of every compound movement – legs. Without strongly developed legs, all other movements suffer!

Lunge

One of the greatest movements that we can do to help prevent injury is the lunge. We love it because the lunge helps us build strength in a uniform fashion and work to identify any weaknesses we may have. While you may have completed the lunge many times, let’s take a few moments to review the makings of the PERFECT lunge. To execute a picture perfect lunge, make sure that your knee does not drift in front of your toe and make sure your knees are at 90-degree angles when you are in the bottom position. Simple!

Squat

In our box, you’ve probably done thousands of squats: front squats, back squats, air squats, a squat here, a squat there! While at home, you’ll probably have to stick with the air squat. Remember that as you descend into your squat, you’ll want to push your hips back first, and keep three points of contact in your foot (big toe, little toe, and heel). A little too easy for you? Try pausing in the bottom for 3-5 seconds, then exploding upwards!


Tight Core – Plank and Superman

The core of our bodies can often be overlooked when training, but remember that without a strong core, your arms and legs can never reach their full potential! Your coaches have probably recited over and over again, “Squeeze your butt and tighten your abs!” Guess what? There’s a reason for that!

Plank

The plank hold will certainly work to strengthen those abdominal muscles. In the push-up position, focus on maintaining a straight line from your shoulders to your heels. Give yourself a goal time (30, 60, 90 seconds) and work to keep the position until your time is up! If you get tired of your long hold, think about those stampeding hippos!

Superman

If you work one side of your body, you’ve got to work the opposite side as well! While the plank works on your stomach muscles, the superman will work on your back muscles. While lying on your stomach, raise your chest and thighs off the ground and pause in this “flying” position. Be sure not to flop, which occurs when athletes fling their arms and legs into the air and let them fall back down. Your Superman should be a controlled movement!


Beach Body – Push-Up and Inverted Row

Who doesn’t want a beach body? Even with an injury, we still want to look good! Of course, our arms and backs do a lot of pushing and pulling, and therefore it is in our best interest to build a rock solid foundation for these parts of our bodies!

Push-Up

The push-up is very similar to the plank hold. Again, you need to make sure your body is keeping a straight line – no flopping around like a seal! Your butt and hips should not be any higher or any lower than your shoulders. If you need to make the push-up more difficult, try moving your hands closer together or completing hand-release push-ups, which relieves the tension in the bottom of the push-up.

Inverted Row

Out of all of these movements, the inverted row might be the most difficult to set up at home, but put your thinking cap on and figure out a bar that will be steady. The inverted row is just the opposite of the push-up, so instead of pushing, you’re pulling yourself up in the same type of movement. Be careful with this one – look at your set-up and think about the worst-case scenario – we don’t need you injured any more than you already are!

If you’re on board with these movements, check out this WOD and see what you can do!


“The Hippo WOD”

3 Rounds:

Air Squat – 1×10

Lunge – 1×10

Plank – 1×30 Seconds

Superman – 1×10

Push-Up – 1×10

Inverted Row – 1×10

Keep up with your training, and soon you’ll be completely recovered from your injury AND you’ll be able to outrun a hippo!

Let us know if you have any question. We look forward to having you back with us!

When It Comes to Nutrition Keep it Simple


The nutrition world is inundated with diets, meal plans, false information, misleading advertising, and to be blunt, garbage we put in our bodies. So what do we do about it? We need to focus on the basics and KEEP IT SIMPLE. When we are in a bind, stressed, or short on time it makes it easy to think simple. There is no silver bullet or perfect plan, the one thing or plan, what to eat or not eat that will be the ultimate answer. Well, unfortunately, silver bullets and perfection is mostly a figment of your imagination. With that said, you should 100% be striving for it. This is how you start – make small decisions that are in your best interest over a period of time. Continuously doing it will lead to big results and a healthier lifestyle. As time passes decisions will get easier and easier and leave room for more improvement. Nutrition isn’t a quick fix, strive for perfection by making good decisions and seeking constant improvement.

Here are a few habits you can put in place.

Don’t drink your calories

A coffee from the coffee shop might as well be a giant slab of cake… a venti size frappuccino with whipped cream at Starbucks can have as many as 600 (!) calories. Booze is all empty calories (meaning you get no nutritional value) plus consuming alcohol in excess can cause you to make poor food choices. Fruit juice, while natural, is liquid sugar! Water or unsweetened tea is your best bet.

Drink water with every meal

Hunger can often masquerade as thirst. You may feel that you are still hungry, but really you just need some water, so drink a tall glass with every meal. If you can’t decide if you need a snack or not, drink a glass of water and wait 20 minutes before going for the snack. If plain water is too boring, try infusing your water with fruit. Use a shaker bottle, add a few pieces of frozen fruit and you have a cold, lower sugar, flavorful drink.

Eat veggies with every meal

Mom said veggies are good for you and turns out she was right. Not only are you getting a boatload of nutrients and vitamins, but the water and fiber content of the veggies keeps you feeling fuller for longer. Try sautéing vegetables, like zucchini and onions, and seasoning with salt and pepper and fresh herbs like chopped thyme or tarragon. When in a pinch grab a bag of baby carrots, snap peas, or green beans. Almost all supermarkets have washed and packaged snack or smaller size portions of fresh veggies.

Make calculated indulgences

Nobody said, never indulge! Just plan and indulge smarter. A failure to plan is a plan for failure! If you know you’re going out for dinner and you’ll want to order dessert, make smart food choices leading up to your meal out and there’s no need to feel guilty about the creme brule. Ordering the dessert is a planned indulgence. Now, if you find yourself eating junk food from a vending machine because you didn’t plan ahead to bring your own food, you’ve indulged, but you probably haven’t enjoyed it one bit. Plan ahead and eat well most of the time so you can eat something not so healthy but feels truly worth it guilt-free. There are non perishable food items you can stash for snacks; almonds are a great option.

Avoid your “trigger” foods

Can you think of any foods that once you start eating them you just can’t seem to stop? The package of crunchy, salty, sugary, fatty whatever-it-is that you just need to keep snacking on until it’s gone? Any food that triggers a binge, that is, a food you cannot eat in moderation, you should just simply steer clear of. Remove the temptation. If it is in your house get rid of it and replace it with a healthier option.

It all goes back to keep it simple. If it is to hard to follow it is a recipe for failure and frustration.

Take the tips above focus on them and then start building upon them.

The Power of Community Spirit


The CrossFit community is unique.

It seems like every CrossFit affiliate I have ever been to (while all have their differences) are similar in that they all foster a positive community, where people talk to each other, are welcoming to newbies, cheer each other on and in the end become friends. In the typical “globo gym” (a CrossFitters term for the conventional gym) members don’t communicate, except for the occasional “can I get a spot” or “are you still using that bench.”

In a CrossFit gym, however, as soon as you walk in you are bombarded with people trying to get to know you. Where are you from? What do you do? How long have you been CrossFitting?

So why does a CrossFit gym experience have this unique characteristic of community? And why is it important?


The Why

The workout of the day is the same for everybody, no matter what skill level. When you do the same thing as the person next to you, you know exactly how they are suffering. When you suffer together, there is a natural bond. Whoever finishes first in the workout knows exactly what everybody else is going through and the type of encouragement they will need to get through it.

With the coach-led, group classes, participation and attention levels are higher than at a globo gym.

Athletes at a CrossFit gym can’t put in headphones and zone out, otherwise they will miss the entire purpose of having a coach. When you are “forced” to pay attention and participate during class, you tend to be more aware of the people around you!

And finally – people who work out a CrossFit gym tend to have similar interests and/or personalities.  Let’s face it, CrossFit isn’t for everybody. The people that stick around a CrossFit gym have a lot more in common than they may realize it, which is why it makes it so easy to talk to each other, go out for beers on the weekend, etc, etc.


The Community

Provides support! It provides support during a workout, after a workout and throughout your entire journey into becoming a more fit human being. We link fitness to intensity. Without people cheering you on while you finish a workout, you probably wouldn’t finish the workout as strongly as you started it. Your intensity would decrease and you wouldn’t get as much out of the workout as possible. After the workout, having people come up to you and give you a high five along with some encouraging words reinforces that what you just went through was really worth it, and tomorrow will be just as satisfying. And finally, when you feel part of a community, you tend to stick to that community a lot longer. Fitness isn’t something you can just find in a month and then revisit every once in awhile. It is a lifelong journey of changing habits to become as healthy as possible, and we all need a support system to help us through it.

I’ll challenge everybody out there to remember the following when in a CrossFit gym:

  1. When you walk into the gym each day, say hi to as many people as possible, especially the new people! We were all new at one point and scared out of our minds. Go share some CrossFit stories with someone you don’t know!
  2. If you get done first, you should be the first one cheering everybody else on. Clap, yell, help countdown the final reps.
  3. Do not put away your equipment until everybody is done! You may not realize it while doing it, but think about how deflating that can be to someone still trying to finish the workout.
  4. At the end of class, go give everybody a high five, even the coaches!

First Five Minutes of Your Day


How about this, I’m going to tell you that the first five minutes of your day will determine whether it will be successful or not. You might be thinking, This is BS; I’m not a morning person, my mornings are always horrible, and I get to throw down my workouts at 5PM after work and that is when I feel accomplished and successful. I’m sure I could list another fifty situations or events that are preconceptions of when your day is allowed to be successful or not. But that would be ridiculous and who wants to be so negative!?


This is what I’m going to tell you: LIFE IS SHORT!

It is absolutely necessary for us to make a decision every day, every morning (hence the first five minutes) to set ourselves up for success and to be successful. There is no negotiating! Do you really think you should waste a single hour of a single day?

ABSOLUTELY NOT!

We aren’t going to tell you how to set your alarm clock or when you should press the snooze button. We are all mature enough to realize we actually need to wake up to start the day! However, once you are awake, we have a script for the first five minutes. It is a combination of yoga, meditation, exercise, and task accomplishment. Don’t fall off the wagon or shy away just because it is out of the normal. Do it every morning for two weeks; you will get in the flow, have a sense of accomplishment every day, and maximize your success. It is a win, win, win!


The First Minute: The Merge

When the alarm goes off or you wake up, stay in bed, but roll onto your stomach, pull your knees to your chest, and position yourself in Child’s Pose.

Child’s Pose – In the kneeling position, pull your chest down to your thighs and place your forehead on the bed. Reach with your arms over your head and place them on the bed. Slowly inhale through your nose and as you exhale, allow your butt to move closer to your heels. Take 7 breaths: 4-second inhale, 1-second pause, 4-second exhale. As you are breathing, do a body scan. Start at your feet and work up to the top of your head. How is everything feeling?

The intent is to encourage mindful breathing, introduce simple, gentle movement, and figure out how you feel. You are merging, relaxing, and focusing on the day ahead.


Minute One – Two: Accomplishment 1

You are getting out of bed now! We’ve had a brief moment extending relaxation, now let’s accomplish something! MAKE YOUR DAMN BED! Yes, growing up our parents told us a million times to make our beds. Why – who knows – but it was probably because they thought it was the right thing to do. Turns out they were correct! When you make your bed first thing in the morning, you start the accomplishment thought process, and you start setting yourself up for success! If everything in your day falls to pieces after minute 2, you can get home and see your bed made. You’ll know you started this day right and now you are going to finish it right. It seems ridiculous but it works! After minute 2 is up, you will have already accomplished a task.


Minute Two – Three: Getting Big

We’ve merged into the day, accomplished a task, and now it’s time to get big. We are going to do a Standing Forward Bend.

Standing Forward Bend – Start with your feet under your hips and slightly bent knees. Hinge forward at the hip, allowing your arms and upper body to hang. Relax the head and neck. As you inhale, think about your spine and back, then as you exhale, slowly move your head closer to your feet. If you are lacking tension in your lower back and hamstrings, you can begin to straighten your legs. Use the same breathing scheme as your first minute. Take 7 breaths: 4-second inhale, 1-second pause, 4-second exhale. While breathing, start focusing on the day ahead. What does it bring?

The Standing Forward Bend is lengthening muscles and your spine. It feels slightly awkward and your hamstrings will not be happy. The amazing thing is after the movement when you stand up, you will feel taller! Physically you didn’t just grow an inch, but mentally you are bigger and that means a lot! Another accomplishment notch to start the day!


Minute Three – Four: Decision Time

This involves a little prep from the night before. You need a notebook and pen next to your bed! Organization is a trained skill, not an inherited gift. During the last minute you started thinking about what the day will bring, and in this minute you are going to write down three things. This is a rapid organization of your day. Wow, three minutes out of bed and you’re already being decisive. Yes, absolutely!

  1. What is the most important task for me to accomplish today?
  2. What is a secondary task?
  3. How do you feel?

Remember you’ve got 60 seconds; that means intuition and action are key. You aren’t writing a novel! Use a percentage-based assessment on your feeling. You’ve done a body scan and have been awake a few minutes. Don’t get hung up in details, but it is important to have a quantifiable evaluation of your body.

Example:

  1. Write the blog post “The First Five Minutes”
  2. Cut the grass
  3. I feel 90%

Minute Four – Five: Shot Out of a Cannon

It is workout time! You read correctly: it is time to do the world’s shortest WOD!

1 Minute – As Many Reps as Possible:

2 – Air Squats

2 – Push-Ups

A simple one-minute workout is guaranteed to shake off the overnight lag, increase blood flow, and provide a quick shot of energy to start the day. You did a 4-minute warm-up, and after this minute it is like being shot out of a cannon.

Five minutes is up and you are set up and ready for the day! The last thing you need to do is smile and say to yourself:

I’m going to control my day, my mindset, and my success! Today will be a good day and I’m thankful for everything I have and the opportunities in front of me.  

Well, that is a big explanation and script for the first five minutes of your day. Like we said, it is a blend of quite a few things in five minutes, but the end result is helping you to be a better person! Try it and let us know how you feel!

Diary of a Confused Gym Goer


I’m motivated and excited to get in the gym for a killer workout. It’s been a few days because I’ve been so busy! First, it will be twenty minutes on the treadmill, then about twenty-five minutes of lower body exercises, and I’ll finish with a solid fifteen minutes of core work.


As I approach the treadmill, I’m immediately disappointed…

There is only one left open and it is between two people running at 90 mph. Frustrated and feeling uncomfortable jogging lightly on a treadmill between two gazelles, I head off to the bikes – not what I wanted to do but it works. Ten minutes into the bike I’m bored because I wanted to be on the treadmill, so I bag it and head for the lower body area. Perfect- All of the equipment is open so I’m going to get my squats done. I read the brief description on the squat machine and start with a light weight ten times. As I finish rep 9, I feel like somebody’s watching me. I glance over my shoulder and sure enough, someone is watching me.

Ugh.

Well, this is awkward. I’m just going to finish and pretend he isn’t watching me. As I rack the bar he starts walking over.

Oh no, what is he going to say?

“You know you’re doing that all wrong, right?”

“Thank you”

I know what I’m doing, right? Wait, is he right? Should I be doing something different?

Maybe he is wrong; how does he know?

He walks away so I decide to do another set, but I feel like I’m being watched, and yep, he is totally still watching me!

This is uncomfortable; I’m just going to skip legs and finish my core work at home. I lasted twenty minutes in the gym today… disappointed.


Obviously, this is an experience no one should ever have.

We takes great pride in creating an environment where everyone, regardless of skill level, is comfortable, motivated, and excited to train. We take the guesswork out: you are going to come in the gym and get in a solid hour of phenomenal training everyday. The only people watching you are our highly skilled coaches and they are not only watching, but also correcting, improving, and empowering you to be better.

We can say this without hesitation: we have the best atmosphere and environment to allow you to feel comfortable, self-assured, and ready to hit the gym as often as possible. We can’t wait to see you!

9 Reasons why you should sign up for the OPEN


Next week, Dave Castro the director of the CrossFIt Games will begin to awkwardly announce the first of five Open WODS. For the next month we will hold our breath as he describes each workout with indecipherable  detail.

Despite the weirdly dramatic pauses of Castro, I’d like every single one of you – even if you just started last week – to sign up for the open this year. Here’s why:

  1. It’s a great way to meet new folks at the box – Since last years open we’ve added a few fresh faces. Sometimes the new athletes in the morning never have the pleasure of working out with the vets in the evening, and vice versa.
  2. Standards – Yes the OPEN has strict movement standards. As had as we try and keep you guys honest all year round somtimes in a giant class things fall threw. In the open however you’ll have a judge making sure your every rep is on point. We’ll go over the WODs in detail but it will be up to you to follow the standards that Castro puts out.
  3. No rep NAZI – As i mentioned in #2 you’ll have a judge making sure you perform every rep to the letter of the law. Hearing someone say no rep will no doubt push you out of your comfort zone. This is an opportunity to strengthen your mindset and overcome some adversity. No reps don’t kill you they only make you stronger!!!
  4. It’s fun!! – Just think how fun an in house comp is, go ahead an multiply by ten. The juice you get for an open workout is unique to any other. Bloods pumping harder than ever, your firends are all yelling “one more one more!! All you need is two more reps to beat (fill in the blank)!!!
  5. Victory and Defeat – You don’t win sometimes. When that loss moment happens you’ll be able to look over at the dude/chick that just beat your butt and be happy for them. I know it sounds corny but seeing your boxmate crush it is a great feeling.
  6. Scaled – There is a scaled division. Just like in class if there is a movement you haven’t mastered yet they will supply us with an alternative WOD. This means no excuses. everyone should be on board at this point.
  7. You will PR – Everyone PRs something in the OPEN. The pressure and excitement will no doubt spur you on to something you have yet to accomplish. Whether its a new move or more reps in a minute. by the end of the OPEN you will be a better CrossFitter.
  8. Global leaderboard – You’ll get the chance to measure and see where you stack up globally. Competitors from across the globe will see how they are stacking up. You’ll only know where you are if you’re in the fight.
  9. It’s our holiday – Lets be real, CrossFit is a religious experience for some. Whether you’re an ultra fan of the sport or a non-interested observer. This time of year is like our Christmas. and who doesn’t love getting presents or in this case fun WODs.

In closing this next few weeks will be an exciting, anxiety filled, roller coaster ride of fitness. If you join us you’ll not soon regret it.

-Grant C.