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  • HOW SERIOUS ARE YOU ABOUT THE CROSSFIT OPEN? (1/21/2019)

    How Serious Are you About the CrossFit Open?

    The CrossFit Open is almost here. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the CrossFit Open, here is a quick overview. The CrossFit Open began in 2011 as an opportunity for the worldwide CrossFit community to compete together as one family. The event lasts five weeks and consists of one workout per week. Each one of these workouts is announced on Thursday night and must be completed (you must submit your score and have a judge’s signature) by 5PM Pacific time on the following Monday. These workouts are incredible tests of work capacity, strength, and skill – the top finishers in each region moving on for a chance at the CrossFit Games (until this year). Sounds like fun, right? It is!

    And despite CrossFit’s desire to program constantly varied functional movements, there are only so many movements that Dave Castro (CrossFit Games Director) can throw at us. Over the course of the past 8 years, only 19 movements in total have appeared in an Open workout (see the chart below). Which means we can prepare accordingly.


    Over the course of the next few weeks, you will see all of the above movements (and others) in our standard programming. However, the most complicated of these movements always require more practice time in order to achieve mastery. Think about adding a few minutes of double under practice, muscle-up drills, and/or olympic lifting to your daily routine. Improving these high-skill movements is sure to have a dramatic impact on your performance in the upcoming 2019 CrossFit Open. If you would like additional guidance, practice, and feedback on the Olympic lifts, snatch (appearing 100%) and clean (appearing 71.4%), please consider registering for my upcoming OlyOne series. In these classes, I will be able to dissect each lift and provided specific and individualized feedback for each lifter.

    So who’s ready to crush the 2019 CrossFit Open? I cannot wait to cheer you on (and maybe no-rep you if I’m your judge) in only 5 weeks. Good luck and happy CrossFitting!

    Sincerely,

    Ryan Barlow, CF-L2

  • Healthy Recipe Thursday: Vinagrette Salad Dressing in Seconds! (Video included!) (1/19/2019)

    Healthy Recipe Thursday

    … with Coach Noah

    Delicious 30 Second Vinaigrette

    Ingredients:
    1 Cup Olive oil
    1/2 Cup White Modena Vinegar
    1 tsp Salt
    1 tsp Black pepper
    1/2 tsp Garlic powder
    (Shake it up. Thats it. All ingredients from Trader Joe’s)

    It’s not to late to join in on the 4 week Nutrition On-ramp Challenge. See how powerful and enjoyable healthy eating can be.

     

  • What a Weekend! The Wildcat Winter Party and Three Teams+ Competed in The Granite Games! (1/18/2019)

    What a Weekend!
    The Wildcat Winter Party and Three Teams+ Competed in The Granite Games!

    On Friday Night ….. We Partied!  (After a FUN Partner workout at 5:30 PM!)

    Then We Sent our Teams into Battle!!!

    Teams were as follows:
    Team ‘SLA’: Coach Laurie Jackson, Sandra Garcia, Amelie Messingham

    Team ‘Triple Trouble’: Randy Garcia, Jesse Navarro, Andrew Hipps

    Team ‘Just Here for the Snatches’: Blair Rosado, Cole Brinkman, Brett Baca

    Team ‘Too Big to Fail’: Coach Ryan Barlow, Coach Zach Bubolz, Joshua Bubolz

     

    And We Cheered Them On!!!

    Our Teams Did Awesome!!!

    Great Job Guys, and Coach Laurie’s Team!!

     

    Credit to Kelsey Murphy and Ryan Barlow for many of these great photos!

    What a great team we make, Wildcats!

     

     

     

  • WHY WE SHOULD ALL BE PRACTICING THE OLYMPIC LIFTS (1/17/2019)

    Why We Should All Be Practicing The Olympic Lifts

    Let me begin with a brief history of the sport: weightlifting has been around for centuries, tracing its roots back to Ancient Greece and China. In fact, weightlifting was one of the original nine competitions in the first Olympic Games in 1896, spawning the previously unused term “Olympic Lifting”. The modern day sport of Olympic weightlifting consists of the most powerful, explosive, and athletic human beings ever to grace this planet. It is no coincidence that competitive Olympic weightlifters have some of the highest recorded vertical jumps in the world (even over professional basketball and football players).

    To put it simply, there is no better way to increase one’s physical strength and fitness than performing these explosive lifts. Beyond the three basic power lifts – the squat, deadlift, and press – Olympic weightlifting uniquely and simultaneously develops an athlete’s strength, power, coordination, agility, accuracy, flexibility, and balance. It is no secret that almost all professional athletes perform some type of Olympic lifting as part of their training regimen. Everyone from former Olympic Bobsledder and current CrossFit/fitness industry influencer, Ryan Fischer, to your mother can and will reap massive benefits from practicing these lifts, though perhaps at slightly different loads.

    Most able bodied citizens can enter the gym and execute the key points of performance of the deadlift with relative ease, however mastering the movement patterns and positions associated with the two Olympic lifts can take months, years, or more commonly, a lifetime. These lifts – the snatch and the clean and jerk – demand an uncommon level of coordination, accuracy, balance, and agility to be performed correctly. And that is precisely why the lifts are so valuable to practice. These essential domains of fitness, so easily dismissed as difficult and unnecessary, are exactly what keep us sharp and productive human beings. So whether your goal is to compete on the platform or stay out of the nursing home for a couple more decades, you should certainly be practicing your Olympic lifts.

    Sincerely,

    Ryan Barlow, CF-L2

     

     

    Sing up now for a spot in my upcoming Olympic Lifting Series: Oly One

  • Welcome Aboard, Coach Jeremiah! (1/15/2019)

     

    Jeremiah Parvin, Coach

    Meet Coach Jeremiah.

    Jeremiah started coaching CrossFit while stationed on Air Force bases overseas in Kuwait and Afghanistan. In addition to his Level 1 CrossFit Certification, Jeremiah has also participated in the CrossFit Weightlifting Cert. Before starting to coach at Wildcat in December 2018, Jeremiah also completed the rigorous 25 Hour Wildcat CrossFit Coaching Internship.
    Jeremiah has been crossfitting for over six years, with his first workout being the “Filthy 50.” He first heard about CrossFit from a buddy at work, after deciding to quit cycling for fitness due to safety concerns. “I wish I had found CrossFit earlier,” he said. “For me, coming to the box, having someone else program the workouts, with constant motivation from [my] fellow crossfitters has me hooked.”

    Because he travels for work, Jeremiah has had the opportunity to drop in at CrossFit gyms around the world, including at CrossFit Reykjavik, in Iceland. Despite often being the only person in class who doesn’t speak the language, the universality of CrossFit makes it easy to relate. “No matter the language spoken, everybody wants you to do your best and get a great workout,” Jeremiah explained.
    He and his wife, Vanessa, have been married for over 11 years, and have 4 kids ranging in age from six to 10 years.  As for his day job, Jeremiah is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force and an A-10C Evaluator Pilot at Davis-Monthan AFB.  “I routinely fly twice a week,” he said, “So there is a chance if you look up on any given day, it could be me flying!”

    Jeremiah coaches Wildcat group classes Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings at 5:30 am and 6:30 am. He is also available for one-on-one Personal Training. “I enjoy helping and encouraging all athletes to make small improvements in strength, conditioning and  mobility,” Jeremiah said.  “Nothing is better than celebrating PRs and ‘first times’!”

  • Why I LOVE Working with Kids by, Coach Baily (1/15/2019)

    Why I like love working with kids

    By: Coach Baily (Coach B)

    I LOVE KIDS! Ever since I can remember I’ve loved playing with kids and being around them, even when I was a kid myself! There is just something about their energy, silliness, and, my favorite:  their curiosity! I think that sometimes, as adults we get so caught up in the work and business of life that we forget to play and be curious. So, by being around kids as much as I can, they constantly remind me that I need to be curious and definitely not take myself so seriously.
    My love for kids led me to pursue teaching throughout my life. I taught in Sunday School, helped out in my mom’s classroom,  and became a “Big Sister” through the organization Big Brothers Big Sisters in high school. Later in life, I pursued teaching as a career. I began substitute teaching after I graduated college in the Fall of 2013 and started full time teaching shortly after that. I taught kindergarten, second grade, and two years in third grade before “retiring” to become a stay at home mom and a Wildkids’ Coach.
    My favorite part about teaching is how kids love to learn, and, like I said before, how they are so curious. Teaching exercise to kids is super fun because they have so much energy and are willing to try anything! They are eager to learn new moves, games, and exercises. In fact, they prefer to learn something new rather than to do the same thing again because they like getting out of their comfort zones and gaining knowledge. Every day is a new day to learn and grow in their eyes.
    It is such a blast being a Kid’s Coach!

  • Announcing our Teen Class Starts Feb. 5th (1/14/2019)

    Do you have a teen who needs a fun way to stay active? Wildcat Crossfit and Coach Baily are excited to announce our WildTeens series for teens aged 12-17! The series runs February 5th-28th, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30-6:30pm. Follow the link below to SIGN UP!

    Your teen will learn:
    – teamwork
    – focus
    – proper exercise form
    – to love exercise

  • Fancy Footwork during your Lifts, with Coach Ryan (1/13/2019)

    Fancy Footwork during your Lifts, with Coach Ryan

    by, Coach Jen

    Check out the latest video on the Wildcat YouTube Channel.

    In this video Coach Ryan shows two key foot positions to practice in order to improve your Olympic Lifts.

    One key to improving your Olympic Lifts (the Clean and Jerk and the Snatch) is to continue improving upon your rough form, through lots of practice. When you are first learning the lifts, however, the key is to learn to put your body parts in the right place, at the beginning, and all the way through the lift. In other words, the first thing you need to know is Where to put your body at the start of the lift.

    A Jumping Foot Position at the start of the lift gives you more power at the start of the lift, as your heels are pressing down and your hips are shooting forward.
    The ‘Air Squat’ foot position at the Catch (when you first catch the bar on your shoulders) gives you the stability you need to stand your body up, with weight on your shoulders.

    Start at the bottom, if you will.

    Interested in learning more?
    http://www.wildcatcrossfit.com/olyone-olympic-weightlifting-series-coming-to-wildcat-on-february-5th/

    Here is the sign up link for the OlyOne Olympic Lifting Series Starting Feb 5th:

    https://tinyurl.com/olyonesignup

     

  • MONDAY, JANUARY 14TH 2019 (1/13/2019)

    A) FUNCTIONAL BODYBUILDING (FOR WEIGHT):

    A1) Split Squat (5 reps each leg)
    Squatting with one leg elevated behind you.
    Same movements as last week, but try to add another 5-10%. After this week, we will be back on a 4 week program.

    SUPERSET WITH;

    A2) 10 Lateral Barbell Lunges
    *Pick this bar up off the ground and put it on your back. Take your time with the movement and get low. Keep your toes relatively straight (pointed out a little is ok). Left + Right = 1 rep. Start with the bar and build slow on these.

    Rest 2min. and repeat sets until the 20min. mark.

    Last week we did these movements for completion. This week we are doing them for weight. Obviously form is still paramount, but push hard on that final set and put up some (relatively) big weight!

    B) POWER METCON (FOR TIME):

    Every 4min x 4 Rounds:
    10 Hang Power Cleans (95/65)
    10 Toes-To-Bar
    10 Front Squats (95/65)
    10 Burpees Over The Bar

    This workout is meant to be performed at a near-sprint pace. We are working on power output. The weights should feel light and you should be going unbroken hopefully the entire 40 reps (a couple breaths between movements). If 95/65 seems relatively heavy for 10 reps, please scale down. Your score is your slowest time (be prepared to do a little bit of math since the clock will be counting down). Rest for whatever time you have remaining once you complete the last rep of each round.

    S1/MRx: (85/55); Hanging Knee Raises
    S2/MS: (45/35); Sit-Ups; Burpee-Bar-Step-Overs

  • Nutrition On-Ramp Challenge (1/13/2019)
  • MEET COACH RYAN (AGAIN!) (1/10/2019)

     

    Meet Coach Ryan (Again!)

    I am writing this post in spite of the fact that many of you know me reasonably well already. And yet there is always something more to learn. I believe that as humans, we are more similar than we are different. Hopefully, through this short bio, you can find some common ground or a shared experience that will let us connect on an even more personal level.

    It all started in the late summer of 1991. I was born Ryan Andrew Barlow at the Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, CT. I was the third child of my parents, Richard and Lynn, and the last one that they planned (a fact I like to remind my younger brother of when he gets on my nerves). I don’t remember much about my time in Connecticut, because before I could do much of anything useful my family relocated to a significantly warmer climate: Phoenix, Arizona.

    As a young child, I was never into sports. Despite my parents’ best efforts, I showed a complete lack of interest in most physical pursuits. I instead took to reading, playing with Legos, and solving puzzles. The first “sport” I played competitively was chess. By sixth grade I was highly ranked within my age group, competing at USA Nationals that year in Atlanta, GA. When middle school ended and I moved on to a large public high school I became acutely aware of how uncool my hobbies were (though I still regret giving up playing chess competitively). This was the first time I really worked hard to sow new relationships and step out of my comfort zone.

    My freshman year I joined the wrestling team and I am pretty sure that my mother has since destroyed every scrap of evidence. I was a woefully poor wrestler, completely unfit for the sport due to my very above-average height and, at that time, below average weight. However wrestling did teach me a few things; I learned how to better control my body, I became significantly more conditioned, and began to understand the advantages of physical strength. During my sophomore year I started hanging out with some boys that were on the Junior Varsity basketball team. The season was already underway, but they invited me to play at the park after school and on the weekends. Soon after, they told me that I should join their travelling club team. This was the first time I really loved playing a sport. I enjoyed every second of playing, learning how to shoot, dribble, and pass. It took a while for me to feel comfortable on the court, but I never gave up. By my senior year, I was playing varsity basketball on one of the best teams the state.

    Fast forward through college, where I spent the majority of my time studying or partying and abusing my body in a multitude of new and entertaining ways. I found myself working a lucrative, though mostly sedentary, desk job down in Tucson. My body was changing in a not so positive way. I was slower on and off the court; I was ready for a new routine. Enter Wildcat CrossFit. I had done only one CrossFit workout prior to walking through the doors of Wildcat at a small community center in Vernal, Utah. It had left an imprint on me though. It was devastatingly difficult, yet even more fun. After the workout, the best athletes in the class did not just pick up and leave, instead they stayed and cheered on the other athletes, congratulating them and giving them high-fives and fist bumps when they finished their last rep. It was a unique experience. It reminded me of the emotions felt at the end of a tough basketball practice, the team exhausted yet proud of what they had just accomplished. I LIVE for that feeling.

    I have now spent over three years as part of the CrossFit community chasing that same feeling after every workout. My life has become fuller and more rewarding with each passing day. In March of 2016 I took a leap of faith and completed the CrossFit Level One Certificate class, fully believing that I may never actually coach CrossFit. At the time my only intention was to make myself a more knowledgable athlete and better mover. It may have been the very best decision I have ever made. As I look back almost three years later, over 600 hours of coaching, countless workouts, dozens of friends, a few bumps and bruises, and an entirely new career, I am very proud of that decision. My life is better now than it has ever been.

    My new mission is to serve others and inspire them to live their best life. Fitness has a huge impact on all areas of life. Every time you walk into the gym, high-five your friend or your coach, move your body with conscious intent and intensity, and end up lying in a sweaty heap on the floor, you are improving your health and in turn your life. I may not be the most knowledgable coach in the world (yet), but I do care deeply for the wellbeing of each and every one of my athletes. I will go to almost any length to see them succeed simply because I get no greater pleasure in life than watching others overcome obstacles, learn about themselves, and grow as human beings.

    Part of executing that mission is to create and bring to you all of the knowledge and experience I currently possess in the form of special series classes here at Wildcat CrossFit. The first series, beginning next month, will cover the technical elements of both the snatch and clean and jerk. Participants will learn the finer points of the olympics lifts in a fun, friendly, and enlightening environment. Each class will cover a different portion of the lift culminating with classes where lifters will be challenged to perform the full movement with excellent technique at the highest load possible. Register now – classes start Tuesday, February 5th.

    -Ryan Barlow, CF-L2

  • WildKids Kids Fitness Classes, Starting Jan 8! (1/8/2019)

    WildKids Kids Fitness Classes, Starting Jan 8!

    There is a time and a place for kids to connect with their wild side. Wildcat CrossFit is the place and every Tuesday and Thursday at 4:30 is the time.

    Vigorous play and exercise is not only fun but necessary.

    What: WildKids Workout Series. Our 3 week, 6 class exercise program. For kids K-3rd grade.

    Where: Wildcat CrossFit 300 S. Park Ave

    When: Tuesday and Thursday at 4:30. Starts Tuesday Jan 8 and ends Thursday Jan 31st.

    Cost: 2x / week: $80, 1x/week: $50, Drop In (single class): $15

    This class program is ongoing. Registered for and attended by session.

    Register: Click Here!

    Kids that exercise are happier. Research shows that physical activity and sport has a positive impact on children’s social skills and self-esteem. Additionally, there are social benefits as a result of physical activity including increased confidence and peer acceptance, alongside a link to friendship.

    Kids that get vigorous exercise are better at math, reading and language than their peers who don’t participate in these programs.

    “As a parent, I can tell you that bedtime is much smoother at my house if my kids have had some good exercise,” says Coach Noah.

    Coach Baily Wellman is a CrossFit Certified Coach and a licensed elementary school teacher. Baily creates fun and safe workouts. Designed to challenge and increase your child’s physical ability in a cooperative, playful and supportive environment.

     


     

  • OlyOne Olympic Weightlifting Series coming to Wildcat on February 5th (1/8/2019)

    OlyOne Olympic Weightlifting Series, a unique Wildcat learning opportunity.

    by, Coach Ryan Barlow

    I’m super excited to announce our first Olympic Lifting series of 2019, coached by yours truly.

    This special series class, OLY ONE, will take place Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6:30-7:30PM. The series is 10 sessions long, 5 classes dedicated solely to Snatch technique and execution with the other 5 classes covering the Clean and Jerk.

    No matter what your current skill level or strength, there is information and practice drills provided in each and every class that will carry over to other movements in the gym.

    Get ready to greatly improve your Olympic Lifting technique and knowledge in a fun and friendly environment. I’ll make you feel like you’re ready for the platform!

    The series begins Tuesday, February 5th. More info to follow in the coming weeks.

    Limited spaces are available for the OlyOne Series. Click here to sign up now.

  • The 2019 “On Ramp Nutrition Challenge” (1/8/2019)

    The 2019 “On Ramp Nutrition Challenge”

    Weight loss, muscle gain, better digestion, higher energy levels- That’s what eating right can do for you.

    Join your Wildcat Family in doing the 2019 Nutrition Challenge-The On RampRelated image

    It includes:
    -A kick-off meeting detailing the program. I’ll offer you strategies for success and talk about the science behind it. (Meeting attendance is optional)
    -Baseline biometrics: weight, bodyfat percentage, measurements
    -A private FB group where I’ll share recipes, answer questions and provide support
    -End of challenge biometrics

    What is it? It’s a simple, but possibly challenging, 4 weeks of clean eating. It’s about eliminating the junk from your diet and providing the fuel and nutrition for optimal health and performance.

    We’ll eat meat, seafood, vegetables, fruit, nuts, eggs, and quality dairy. We wont eat sugar, gluten and bad oils. Thats it! Powerful and simple.

    When: Monday Jan.14th – Friday Feb. 8th (4 weeks)
    Who: Everyone who wants to get the most out of their training and enjoy better health
    Cost: $60
    Register Here

  • Meet Our Great WildKids Coach: Coach Baily!!! (1/8/2019)

    Meet Our Great WildKids Coach: Coach Baily!!!

    Lately we caught up with Coach Baily and we asked her a few questions about Kids, Exercise, and Why she loves helping kids to exercise.
    Here is what she had to say:

    Question: Why is exercise important for kids?

    Coach Baily:
    It is important for children to be active in order to promote healthy growth and development. Kids who establish a healthy habits, including exercise, at a young age will carry them through with them for the rest of their lives. 

    Question:  What made you want to be a Kids Coach?

    Coach Baily:
    I love working with kids! They are curious and full of energy. Every day and kid is different. It’s always an adventure! 

    Question:  What is the most fun thing about working with kids?

    Coach Baily:
    They teach you so much and make you laugh A TON!!! 

    Question:  What can kids learn from a cool fitness program like ours?

    Coach Baily:
    We will work on foundational movements, that will focus on their fine and gross motor skills which will be beneficial in other sports, activities, and school! We will work to pair all aspects of fitness with FUN! 


    Question: Tell us a little about yourself 🙂

    Coach Baily:
    I am married to my handsome husband and we are parents of a new baby boy! I have my B.A. in religious studies and business as well as an early childhood teaching certificate. I got my CrossFit Level 1 training certificate in January. I love CrossFit and I love coaching! 

    To Sign your Kids up for classes today, Click Here!

  • Sugar Free (1/6/2019)

    Sugar free

    By, Coach Noah

    Next week we’ll begin a 4 week Wildcat Nutrition Challenge. It’s called the On-Ramp because its foundational. It’s the basic practices that should be at the heart of any nutritional approach. A main component of the challenge is refraining from refined sugar for 4 weeks. This can be a major challenge for some people but breaking the sugar addiction will yield quick and powerful results. The presence of refined sugar is insidious. It’s in just about all packaged foods.

    In the long term, a high sugar diet can lead to type 2 diabetes and a slew of issues that are associated with that.

    Some of the more immediate consequences of a diet high in sugar are:

      • Weight gain or the inability to lose weight. Sugar spikes insulin and insulin is the fat storage hormone. That’s why low carb diets are so effective for weight loss. They keep insulin levels low.
      • Accelerated aging. Glucose metabolism creates large amounts of free radicals which lead to oxidative damage to skin and an increased in wrinkles
      • Depression. While there is a short term high from sugar intake as it stimulates the same receptors as cocaine, there is a subsequent drop in serotonin levels and studies have shown higher incidence of depression and other mood disorders in diets high in sugar.
      • Low Energy. The initial spike in energy from sugar is inevitably followed be an energy drop which is often accompanied by cloudy headedness.

     

    Dependably, after refraining from sugar for a while, the cravings dissipate and you’ll begin to experience the benefits of more stable energy, easier weight loss, more stable mood, and other foods will begin to taste better and be more satisfying.

    Join us for the 4 week Nutrition On-Ramp Challenge and see how powerful this change can be for you.

    Learn ore about the 4 Week Nutrition ON-Ramp Challenge

  • Here’s Why You Should Do the Hook Grip, with Coach Ryan (1/4/2019)

    Here’s Why You Should Do the Hook Grip.

    With Coach Ryan

    Have you heard about the Hook Grip, but haven’t tried it yet?
    Have you got a minute and 12 seconds?
    If your answer to either of the above questions is yes, you should check out this video

    .


    Coach Ryan is informative and succinct, and gives you some pretty great food for thought here.

    Have any questions for Coach Ryan? Let us know in the comments and he will answer them in subsequent posts!

    The OlyOne Olympic Lifting Special Series starts on February 5th. Limited spaces available. Click here to sign up.

  • 3 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD BE USING OLYMPIC LIFTING SHOES (1/3/2019)

    3 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD BE USING OLYMPIC LIFTING SHOES 

    by Ryan Barlow

     

    Throughout my years as a CrossFit and Olympic Lifting coach I have fielded the question, “do I really need lifting shoes, Coach?” dozens of times.

    I usually respond with, “do you clean, jerk, and snatch regularly?”

    The answer, at least in the CrossFit gym, is overwhelmingly, “yes, multiple times every week.”

    To which I reply, “yes, you most certainly need olympic lifting shoes!”

    Here are three reasons why:

    Reason #1: You can lift more weight!

    Honestly, I could probably stop right there. Do you need another reason? There are several reasons why this phenomenon occurs, but I’ll focus on just one for now: force transfer. The shoes you are wearing right now are probably made for running (please stop wearing them to the gym, unless the WOD is over 50% running) or possibly CrossFit (e.g. Nike Metcons, Reebok Nanos, NoBulls, etc…). While those CrossFit shoes are relatively stable and flat, they are still made to absorb and cushion impact so a certain degree. Olympic Lifters do just the opposite. They provide an extremely rigid base that does not allow your foot to slide side-to-side which greatly increases the percentage of force your body generates that gets transferred into the floor. Hence, more force down into the floor, more force up into the barbell, more power, and thus more weight lifted!

    Reason #2: They will improve your positions!

    Do you have limited ankle mobility? Do you have a hard time breaking parallel on your squat? Does your chest fall so much in a deep squat that you resemble a collapsed lawn chair? Not to worry, go get yourself a pair of lifting shoes. All olympic lifting shoes have a heel raise in them. The benefits of this are extreme! A heel raise means that for the same angle of ankle flexion, your knees can travel significantly further forward. When the knees move forward, so do the hips (unless you have elastic femurs), leading to a more vertical torso. A vertical torso decreases the force needed to maintain a strong front rack and overhead position. It also means that you no longer need to reach as far back to maintain stability in our overhead squat, an issue that causes shoulder pain and greatly reduces the chances of an athlete catching their snatch in a quality position. The image below illustrates what I have just stated. Which position looks more comfortable to you?


    Reason #3: You will look like a pro!

    This isn’t something to be taken lightly. There is a good reason why you wear a suit and tie when you go to an important business meeting or interview and you iron your button-down shirt before a hot date or a night out. And likewise there is a reason why you wear olympic lifting shoes when you are performing olympic lifts. Look good, feel good, perform better! It’s not just a saying, psychologists have proven it is a fact. Wearing lifting shoes does several things for an athlete. As soon as you slip them on you are mentally preparing yourself for what is ahead, some serious lifting. Your positions have improved due to the heel lift, your power output has increased due to the rigid structure, your style points have gone through the roof. You are ready to train like a professional. So go out and get yourself a pair. You deserve it!

    And don’t forget to bring those awesome shoes to my upcoming Olympic Lifting Series: OLY ONE

    Check out some of the most popular weightlifting shoe styles below.

    Reebok Legacy Lifter

    Nike Romaleo

    Adidas Adipower

  • The Day We Moved the Front Desk… And the boxes… And the wall balls… (1/2/2019)

    The Day We Moved the Front Desk… and the Boxes… and the Wall Balls…

    by, Coach Jen

    In December of last year, three coaches and a kid spent several hours rearranging the gym. Along the way, we took some video and more than a few photographs. Many of the photos were taken by Esther Rose, Coach Noah’s youngest. This video shows you a little about how the day went. Check it out!

     

  • Meet Betty – Wildcat Member since 2016 (12/30/2018)

    Meet Betty – Wildcat Member since 2016

    By, Coach Jen

     

    I got a chance to talk to Betty in early October during her quarterly Athlete Check In appointment.

    At that point, Betty’s proudest moments in her last two months of training were: 11 rep Back Squats at 200#,
    and 235# 1 Rep Max Back Squat. Dang, Betty! That’s pretty heavy!

    Betty recounted the day she got her Back Squat PRs. “There was a crowded class that day and I was scared. I’d seen some fails by then. Bailing is scary out of the bottom of a Back Squat. I was scared,” she remembered. “I just put myself together and said, ‘You can do this, You have been waiting for this moment… Nothing else matters when I have that bar on my back but getting down and up. And once I finished, I was shaking, I couldn’t believe I did it.”

    Her next goals are: 240 1RM Back Squat, and Pull-ups. Currently Betty uses the blue band to do Strict Pull-ups. She is working on kipping right now, and she also is looking forward to Rx-ing her Toes-to-Bar. “Pull-ups would be a huge deal,” Betty smiled.

    “When I first started at Wildcat, I had no goals,” Betty said. “I wasn’t competitive with myself. I just wanted to get fit, and not get fat,” she quipped. “I felt like I gained confidence here in a lot of things. For example, I never thought I was gonna get myself upside down. But I did it.”

    In the past two years since joining Wildcat, Betty has more than gotten upside down. She can now do Handstands against the wall, and Skin-the-Cats on the rings.
    “I’m in my 30s and I’m getting this,” Betty said, and then she smiles. “I’m not bragging, I’m proud of myself.”

    Betty says she’s been working on her Clean form using the “fast elbows” cue with herself and it has really been helping.

    Thanks Betty for all your great effort. Your consistency and focus are really paying off! Keep it up!

  • Holiday Schedule (12/23/2018)

  • Meet Jeremiah: Wildcat’s Coach-in-Training! (12/21/2018)


    Meet Jeremiah Parvin. Wildcat’s Newest Coach-in-Training!

    If you’ve been around the gym over the past couple of weeks, you may have seen a new face hanging around and helping out.
    Welcome to Wildcat Coach-in-Training, Jeremiah Parvin.

    Earlier this week, I sent Jeremiah a questionnaire to help us get to know him better.

    Let’s see what he has to say:

    Question: How long have you been doing CrossFit? How did you first hear about CrossFit and what was your first workout?
    Jeremiah: I have participated in CrossFit since September 2012, when a co-worker introduced me to the “Filthy-Fifty”.  It was one heck of an introduction to Functional Fitness.  I was completely gassed and hooked at the same time.  I continued CrossFit, without proper “coaching” for almost a year before I joined my first Box and have been a member of various Boxes in Virginia, Georgia, Missouri and Arizona.  For most of the past six years, I have been healthy and have worked out 5 days a week, making small gains every year.

    Q: What do you like most about CrossFit? 

    Jeremiah: First some background, after college in 2001, I did not workout routinely and my eating was poor.  Over my first 8 years in the Air Force, I struggled with passing my physical fitness tests and was on and off the “bad boy” list.  When I arrived in Tucson in 2009, I took up cycling, got my nutrition right, started passing my physical fitness test with no worries and it got me off the “bad boy” list, re-energized my Air Force career.  When I left Tucson in 2012, I had to stop biking due to safety concerns and my co-worker introduced my to Crossfit.

    For me, coming to the box and having someone else program the workouts, with constant motivation from your fellow Crossfitters has me hooked.  The competitive nature  and constant variation of the workouts have put me in the best shape of my life! I wish I had found Crossfit earlier. An added benefit are the many friends outside my normal routine.

    Another cool aspect is that CrossFit is universal.  The Air Force has given me the opportunity to “Drop In” to Boxes all over the country and world. No matter the language spoken, everybody wants you to do your best and get a great workout. 

    I would say one of the coolest Boxes I got to “Drop In” to was CrossFit Reykjavik, where Katrin and Annie started out.  The entire class was taught in Icelandic and during the natural pauses in instruction, the coach would look at me and ask in perfect English, “Do you have any questions?”  The only thing confusing was the pound to KG conversion, but that was short lived!

    Q: What coaching experience do you have already?What do you love most about coaching athletes?
    Jeremiah: Before I got my Level 1 certificate from CrossFit HQ, I ran classes while deployed in Kuwait for 6 months in 2015 and in Afghanistan for 3 months in early 2018.  More recently after I got my Level 1, I would routinely stay after class and help out my fellow CrossFitters with anything they wanted to work on.
    Outside of CrossFit, I have coached Little League baseball, and kids soccer.
    I enjoy helping and encouraging all athletes to make small improvements in strength, conditioning and  mobility.  Nothing is better than celebrating PRs and “first times”!

    Q: Tell us a little about your family and your day job.
    Jeremiah: My wife, Vanessa, and I have been married for over 11 years. We have 4 kids ranging in age from 10 to 6, we do have “Irish Triplets”!  For my day job, I am a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force and A-10C Evaluator Pilot at Davis-Monthan AFB.  I routinely fly twice a week, so there is a chance if you look up on any given day, it could be me flying!

  • Get Your Body in Shape this Holiday Season with 4 Key Ingredients. (12/20/2018)

    Seasons Greetings!!!

    You Can Get in shape for the holidays!
    You can Stay in shape through the holidays!
    Yes, I said it. And It is possible!

    But there is only one week left ‘till Christmas, you say.
    But there are only two weeks left until New Years, you say.
    How could I possibly ‘get in shape’ for the holidays?
    I’d have to be a Superhero!

     

    No you don’t, I say.
    The reason you can – and should – start getting in shape right now is this:

    Getting in shape is an ongoing process! (So why not start … now!)

    Ongoing includes … the holidays!
    People who work out tomorrow are getting in shape… again tomorrow.
    Consistent athletes are on the road to peak fitness. The road just keeps going.
    And ideally, so do you;-)

    If you want to get your body into peak condition, you just need to get on the road and start heading in that direction.
    Why not get on the road, today?

    What are the benefits to coming in to exercise right now? Today?
    Let’s talk about some of the main things your human body needs to operate correctly on a daily basis:

    In order to operate correctly, your body needs good food, with good ingredients your body can use to build muscle cells and other important cells and molecules.
    Your body needs rest, at least several hours every night. During this time your body does important work: It repairs damaged tissues best during this time. Your body also uses this time to pull energy out of our food. This means no all-nighters. I get it, you’re busy. Everybody’s busy. Leave something unfinished and : go to bed.

    Your body needs water. Want to know why water is so important? We use water to regulate our body temp – this is a major function of sweating, to cool our bodies off. And it works particularly great down here in the desert! We also use water to do nearly every single biochemical reaction inside the body. Water keeps our blood flowing and helps us get rid of wastes (via both sweating and peeing). Coffee is not water. Drink some water also.

    And your body needs exercise. Exercise greases the wheels. When you move your muscles you squeeze waste molecules out of them into the blood stream. Increased circulation (thanks increased heart rate!) helps your body transport wastes to the kidneys where they then get flushed out of your body more easily. Faster blood flow also helps transport nutrients throughout the body more easily to the cells that need them.

    Exercise releases hormones that make you happy. It also helps you to fall asleep easier and rest more deeply. It helps you drink more water and makes your body crave healthier food.

    What’s more, exercise gives you that happy feeling of accomplishment for the whole rest of the day. That gift you give yourself … the gift that nobody else can give you.

    This is what the kids these days are calling —> Self Care.

    Wildcat Coach-in-Training Jeremiah leads the morning crew in some rotator cuff (shoulder) stretches.

    Self Care is not just massages and bubble baths.

    It means really doing the things you need to do to take care of your body: Water, Nutritious Food, Rest, Exercise. All are equally important ingredients for good health.

    Also remember this: If you don’t have a lot of time, a compact one-hour full-body CrossFit workout will get you where you need to go, faster.

    Faster results are good. They keep things interesting.

    So, burn off that extra sugar you had today at the office party…
    Sweat a little. Breathe deep. Feel your muscles…
    Get a break from your busy mind…
    Laugh. Smile and connect to other human beings…
    That’s what it means to ‘get in shape.’ And you can do it.

    Do it today.

    I look forward to sweating it out next to you very soon!

    Yours,
    Coach Jen, RN

     

     

  • Cheesy Primal Biscuits (12/17/2018)

    Most of us grew up with bread as a staple. And breads—or, more likely, rolls and biscuits—at the holidays took on a special significance. Maybe a certain person in the family always made the best kind. Perhaps it was a long-time family recipe. Whatever the case, passing the breadbasket at the holiday table holds meaning for us still, even when we’ve forgone grains for the sake of better health.

    All this said, there are ways to enjoy these “traditional” foods when it means the most to us. These cheesy keto biscuits are one such recipe. Hint: make a double batch—because you’ll be competing with the non-keto eaters for these goodies.

    Servings: 5 larger biscuits

    Time: 25 minutes

    Ingredients:

    • 8 eggs
    • 1/2 cup butter or ghee, melted
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2/3 cup coconut flour
    • 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
    • 1 cup sharp cheddar or asiago cheese, shredded

    Instructions:

    Preheat oven to 400ºF/204 ºC.

    Whisk together eggs, butter, and salt.

    In separate bowl, mix coconut flour with baking powder. Whisk dry ingredients into egg mixture. Stir in cheese.

    Drop by tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

    Nutritional Info (per serving 3 biscuits):

    • Calories: 444
    • Carbs: 5.4
    • Fat: 36
    • Protein: 17
  • Thanks, Wildcat. Your friend, Michael Walden (12/15/2018)

    Here’s a lovely little appreciation we received from a great former Wildcat member, Michael Walden, just before he left the US to go study overseas…


    “I visited other CrossFit gyms in Tucson, but the location of Wildcat was the best for me. Laurie was the coach in the first classes I visited. She was so energetic and friendly that it was a forgone decision for me to join Wildcat.
    Because of my time at Wildcat Crossfit, I’ve drastically increased my fitness in almost everything. My lifts are up more than I ever thought they could go a year ago. I love walking into the gym more than ever. Perhaps the coolest part is that I know so much more about fitness, and myself, than I did before I joined.
    My goals are pretty much unchanged from when I first came in. They always were: 2xBW Back Squat; 2.5xBW Deadlift; 1.5x BW Bench Press; 36 inch vertical (that might be impossible, genetically); and a 5 minute mile. I do have vague, as yet unformed goals about agility and proprioception. But I think I have one new goal worth sharing, and it’s simple: Move More.
    Definitely my favorite part of the Wildcat experience was learning. It’s cool to get in shape – it feels even better to learn the skills, knowledge, and abilities to take charge of your own journey in fitness. Classes and the gym were a great motivator and I never stopped coming in; but I also started stretching and power lifting outside of class using what I had learned, in ways that would compliment what I was doing at Wildcat.
    You guys really helped me in my journey towards fitness! Noah and Jen own a community; they embody it, encourage it, and help people become the people they hope to be. From my point of view, you are blessed with your instructors: Ryan was a patient instructor who always had an eye on form and helped me get down basics. Laurie made me fall in love with the place and always encouraged me. I learned an incredible amount.  I miss you all and wish you the best.”

    Thanks so much Michael for your awesome words and fantastic attitude. So glad that your time at Wildcat helped you develop an appreciation for movement! Keep it up!!

  • Welcome to Gym Class… Coach Jen remembers elementary school PE Class: Good times and Nightmares Included! (12/11/2018)

    Welcome to Gym Class… a walk down memory lane and other reflections, with Coach Jen.

    I’ve been thinking lately about the other humans who have influenced me greatly throughout my life. The best PE teacher I ever had was my very first one, Mrs. L.

    I had her for only three years: Kindergarten through second grade. I wasn’t the only one who loved her. This lady made her mark on a generation of kids in my town.

    Seriously, there is a Facebook group set up for people that grew up in our town and in several threads people recount their memories of great times in Mrs. L’s gym class. This lady was creative. Her activities were imaginative, and cooperative; they helped each individual to stretch their abilities, and they were fun.

    Years later, I remember the feeling of surprise as we walked into the gym and saw all sorts of gymnastics equipment set up in around the room. We did an extensive gymnastics unit. I remember doing a back bridge in her class on a set of low parallel bars… and some kind of flipping dismount off the uneven parallel bars. On a different day, the whole class played together with a giant parachute.

    One time, Mrs. L set up a maze of cones all around the entire gym floor. The cones snaked around the gym floor in a path that was exactly 1/8 of a mile in length. Our job this day was to run a mile. A Mile. To make sure we did eight full laps, we had to pass Mrs. L at the starting line every lap and tell her our last name and the lap number. And she would tally them off on her clipboard, for every kid. There was a chance there would be a bottleneck at some point while everyone was running. Mrs.L pantomimed standing around versus active jogging. She told us that the kids who kept jogging in place (instead of just standing still) would get a star next to their names along with their time. In this way, Mrs. L let us decide if we wanted to just work hard, or if we wanted to take it to the next level.

    To this day I still clearly recall crossing the finish line at the end of that running day, and happily saying the words, “Wirth, Eight!” I was so proud of myself for running a mile. I was seven years old and I felt so accomplished. Thanks to the wonders of social media, people like me who had this same gym teacher *years ago* have posted all sorts of memories of ourselves and the cool gym activities we remember.

    Here’s one other cool thing about Mrs. L: She always had her camera on her. She took black and white photos of every kid, and when they were developed and printed she would send us home with them. Mrs. L took of her students, myself included:

    I sometimes think about what the rest of elementary school would have been like for me had Mrs. L not retired and gotten replaced by Mr. P.

    Mr. P. He actually had us call him that, “Mr. P.” I’m not just trying to protect his identity in the age of the internet, like I am with Mrs. L.

    This guy was a meathead of a guy. He did that trick of flexing his pec muscles one at a time. … Sorry my eyes rolled back in my head for a second there. Look, aside from that being kind of a gross trick, here is a great example of a gym teacher who shows off. It’s never about what the teacher can do…. it’s about what they can get *you* to do. If their expectations are low, or if they don’t care, then their athletes aren’t going to perform. I know this in my bones.

    Mrs. L was a dynamo of a lady, who worked hard to keep things fresh and fun. She wanted us to really enjoy movement and the things that our bodies could do. Her replacement was lazy and my memories of his classes are much different.

    He didn’t get to know kids’ names.

    Instead of cool activities, we started having the most athletic kids getting assigned team captains every time. These kids would get to pick teams and, surprise, the least athletic kids got picked last, all the time.

    News alert: That’s no fun and it’s not encouraging. Mr. P didn’t spend much time building up the weaker members of the class, or making fitness fun for us.

    Here’s one more personal anecdote I can clearly remember from a real bummer of a game of Dodgeball in Mr. P’s class.

    I was o.k. at the ‘dodge’ part of the game, but I didn’t hit people often when I threw, and I didn’t know how to catch the ball. In our rules, if you caught a ball, then you could get the rest of your team out of the penalty box.

    One time, it was just me on one side, and ten kids on the other side, throwing balls at me. They weren’t throwing lightly, I felt the wind of the balls whizzing past. I was supposed to try to catch one of these balls. I’d never done that before. And my team was on the sideline yelling at me, “Just. Catch. The. Ball!” as I jumped out of the way of one flying projectile after another. I felt singled out, terrified, and ashamed.

    Mr. P, that jackelope, sat watching this happen for a couple of minutes. Then he had mercy on me, finally, and called it off. I was probably eight or nine.

    You know how it goes in education when you’re a kid: Sometimes you have an awesome teacher who lghts the fire of excitement and exploration inside of you… and sometimes you have a teacher who carelessly douses the flame. It’s interesting that I had the best and worst gym teachers of my life back to back. Good examples of what I strive to be in my career vs. what I try to avoid. I need to also acknowledge the great gift I had of having a great teacher like Mrs. L for any period of time during my life. She gave me the gift of knowing what it is like to have fun moving my body. Some people only get Mr. P’s. Some people have never had a good time in gym class.

    This is what has got to change. And this is why it is my mission to create a friendly place for all people to work out. Especially people who have had a tough time doing so in the past. Why? Because I’m one of those people too.

    It may seem obvious, but let me say this anyway: It’s easier to do hard things when you’re having fun at the same time. It’s also easier to have fun when you feel like your Coach is on your team.

    When I work with personal training clients, or when I coach a class, I try to meet my athletes where they are, and to help them to have fun moving their bodies more than anything else. As a nurse, I have come to fully understand the deep connection that exists between regular exercise and long term health. This is how I protect the health of my athletes in the future, by helping to motivate to exercise regularly Now.

    This is why we spend time creating a welcoming, non-threatening environment at Wildcat, because some people out there have had nothing but Mr. P’s as gym teachers for your whole lives so far! If all your gym teachers have been Mr. Ps; Or if that dodgeball story of mine rang a bell; Or if you want to get in shape for once and really enjoy doing it; Come check out a friendly environment and have a good time for once. That is the way we roll.

  • It’s Personal (12/3/2018)

    It’s Personal
    by Noah Providence

    The study of nutrition has been a fascination- a passion of mine for a long, long time. There’s a very personal component to my interest, beyond my own health. It goes back more than 30 years to a health crisis my grandfather had. One that eventually led to his passing. His doctors determined that he had a partial blockage of the carotid arteries. These are the main blood vessels in the neck that supply blood to the brain. This type of blockage can lead to stroke, which other men in his family had suffered. They encouraged a risky surgery to clear the blockage. It was not successful and left him impaired. He did recover some over time, but never got back to his previous vigor and clarity.

    This experience had a lasting impact on me. The blockages in his blood vessels were caused by diet, his doctor said. The prevailing wisdom at the time suggested that high cholesterol was the culprit. This sent me on a journey of trying to find out what was possible with food choices to protect us from disease. I became a student of nutrition and metabolism. I had a background in teaching in the medical field, so interpreting and dissecting research papers was something I was already used to doing. Most of the research at the time, supported this low-fat approach. So, off into a decade of veganism I went. I sprouted, fermented, slow cooked, ate a lifetime supply of soy products, and lived the vegan lifestyle. Coming from the standard american diet, this approach had some benefits-initially. But then, I got thinner, and thinner. I began to lose muscle mass, my skin became dry, my joints began to hurt, my energy level was low and I had miserable seasonal allergies. This experience is common but rarely talked about among long-term vegans/vegetarians.

    During this time, research data and clinical experience began to suggest that going low-fat to solve the heart disease/vascular blockage epidemic was a vast oversimplification. In fact, it was often counterproductive. So, I integrated the latest research and results from my own 10 year experiment into a new approach for myself. I began integrating some animal fats and protein back into my diet. Adopting a nutritional philosophy/approach that was more consistent with our evolutionary history. More consistent with my deeper understanding of biochemistry and metabolism. My health and vitality immediately began to improve.

    My nutritional approach can be characterized as Paleo. Paleo nutrition is simple and inclusive. Eat foods that have high nutritional value while avoiding food toxins and gut irritants. It’s that simple. Many people have the misconception that eating paleo means eating large quantities of meat, and while it certainly could, it doesn’t have to. It’s simply healthy, whole foods. The last 10 years of Paleo eating has had just the opposite effects of the vegan decade. I’m now more muscular, stronger and feel better than ever. My success with this approach is not unique and over the years I’ve helped hundreds of people adopt a healthier, more sustainable eating plan. Around the world, millions of people have lost weight, improved their energy levels and reversed disease by returning to this natural diet. You can do it too.

    I’m ready to help you implement an eating plan to support the body and life you want. If you’re ready to start or would like to discuss the possibilities, schedule a free consultation.

    Schedule Appointment

  • On Ramp Rationale – The Wildcat Approach (11/30/2018)

     

    On Ramp Rationale – The Wildcat Approach

    by, Coach Jen

    How did you get started in CrossFit?

    Like many CrossFit boxes on the planet, at Wildcat we have done a variety of different programs to get people started.

    If you’ve done CrossFit for awhile, you know it’s not easy. If you’ve only been coming for a year or more, you have made big strides in your understanding of your muscle groups and how to use them for increasing levels of strength, coordination, and efficiency. I wish I could give the prospective athletes I talk to each week a little taste of what it feels like inside your body after you’ve been doing CrossFit for a year or more…after you’ve become a crossfitter. If I could give people a snapshot of this *feeling,* I think, they would understand that It. Is. Worth. It. Like way more worth it than you realized a year ago, right?

    I’m a poster child of this phenomenon. When I started CrossFit, I was hoping to “tone up and see my abs.” Literally that’s all I thought I wanted back then.
    Now, nearly 10 years later, I’m so passionate about CrossFit because it is the first kind of exercise I ever did in my life that has kept my interest for over two years. Not only has performing our workouts made me stronger (so much stronger!), it made me love my body because of what it could do, not despise it for all of its flaws. CrossFit helped me to start celebrating my successes in the gym rather than admonishing myself for a slower than normal treadmill 5K. CrossFit made me start looking forward to working out with my buddies, even though the workouts still make me nervous when I look at them ahead of time.

    But it takes time for these changes to happen. There’s no way to fast forward your progress and some people are starting from scratch. This is not a negative, it’s just a fact.
    Some people come into Wildcat having never worked out before (or after a long spell of inactivity) – we can’t just toss these people into the deep end when so many of our members are already performing at a pretty high level of technical ability. Believe it or not, after you’ve been doing CrossFit for a year, you are a little intimidating to the new people. They think they’re never going to catch up with you.

    What new athletes need is a connection to a Coach who spends time training them one-on-one, lets them know what to do, and gives them feedback so they know that they are doing movements safely and correctly.

    This is where the Wildcat On Ramp comes in.
    The Wildcat On Ramp, a series of five (5) 30-minute one-on-one Personal Training sessions, focuses on developing comfort with the main barbell movements that are found in our workouts. Remember, some people come into Wildcat having never touched a barbell! As our members know, we have various weights of barbells so that people of all levels can participate. Our heaviest barbells weight 45#. We also have 35#, 15# and 3 oz PVC Pipe. Everybody can lift one of these bars. 🙂
    We also spend time discussing some of the science behind CrossFit, and why the workouts we do are so effective. We talk about nutrition and how to start nourishing your body more effectively so it will be ready for the demands of the gym. At the end of each 30 minute session, the athlete does a short 6-8 min workout to hammer home some of the movements learned that day. We give them a comprehensive tour of the gym, including, of course, our famous aquarium. 🙂 The athlete ends the On Ramp learning about our workout tracking app: Train Heroic and gaining entry into Wildcat social media circles.

    In short, we do everything we can to make our new athletes as sure to be successful in the group CrossFit classes as we can.

    We just want you to get in the habit of regular exercise. You do that, and our mission is accomplished!

     

  • Healthy Recipe Thursday! Today’s Recipe: Waffles! (11/29/2018)

    Healthy Recipe Thursday!

    Today’s Recipe: Waffles!

    Waffles for breakfast. Waffles for lunch. Chicken and Waffles for dinner.

    When you use this recipe, there’s no wrong time for waffles!

    Hey gang, ready for a new great Wildcat YouTube video?

    This one is for an awesome healthy waffle recipe. Hi protein, zero grain. Watch the video or just check out the recipe below and make it happen.

    Delicious Grain-Free Waffles
    Ingredients:
    8 Eggs, beaten together
    1 ripe banana, mashed
    1/2 cup coconut milk
    1/4 cup coconut oil mix together
    1/2 cup coconut flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    optional: cinnamon and nutmeg
    Pour into a waffle iron and cook!
    Yummy!

    Have a great day.

  • A note of gratitude… (11/28/2018)

    A Note of Gratitude…

    by Coach Jen, RN

    I meant to send this out over the holiday weekend (aka on time), but I got a bad chest cold and am just now getting back on track. Thanks, as always, for your indulgence.
    I’ve started thinking about Small Business Saturday in a different way over the past several years. I’m a third generation small business owner on my dad’s side. My dad was a pharmacist and I spent a fair amount of my youth Saturdays working in his store.
    Despite the fact that it got progressively harder and harder to stay in business as an independent pharmacy, my dad made it happen, until he lost his battle with cancer nearly 17 years ago at age 55.
    Now my brother, the pharmacist, works the counter and our mom works in the office. Together, they kept my dad’s store open and running, after all the other independent pharmacies in the city have closed.
    My grandfather, my dad’s father, was an upholsterer by trade. Over the years, he managed to scrape together the down payments on a few small apartment buildings in Queens… and he maintained all the apartments himself until the year he died at age 80.
    Apparently, we’re not much for retirement on the small business side of the family 😉 I’m hoping for a different outcome in this department, but we’ll see… I like what I’m doing too much to give it up without a fight… and I’m trying to be in good shape in my later years… Anyway, we’ll see.
    Despite having a history behind me, the new economy and the type of business I’m in have made my learning curve as a small business owner over the last (nearly) 9 years pretty steep.
    A small business is not a self-perpetuating event.
    It takes effort.
    Sometimes it’s like pushing a rock.
    Nothing just happens, you know?
    Sometimes I make mistakes.
    It’s nerve-wracking and humbling.
    But this is also the best job I’ve absolutely ever had. I get to develop all sorts of communication skills and coach others to make fitness a regular part of their lives. If my mission is successful, many people that I know will have lasting good health, strength, and vitality. This means that if I’m successful in my life’s work, my friends, family, and community will live longer, and stronger, and more independently. Pretty selfish of me, actually.
    I love my small business for giving me the opportunity to realize my life’s mission. And I thank each of you for patronizing my small business to help me do this work.
    Speaking of small businesses, recently, many businesses around the country celebrated “Small Business Saturday.”
    Here are a few facts about them and suggestions for how you can help support them year round. Want to double your impact? Double the number of small businesses you support 😉
    Here’s why Small Businesses are important:
       •   64% of new jobs in the U.S. come from small business. The trend is rising.
       •   Your kid will probably work for a local entrepreneur, or become an entrepreneur themselves.
       •   Local entrepreneurs give more to local charities.
       •   Local entrepreneurs support other local entrepreneurs, creating a cascading effect.
       •   Small businesses pay more in local taxes than you do.
       •   Small business owners pay their staff far more than they pay themselves.
       •   Small business pulls money INTO your city. Big business pulls it OUT.
       •   Small business creates sixteen TIMES more patents than large business does. That means more innovation, more future security, and more jobs.
    In many ways, the city our kids will inherit, and the opportunities presented to them, depend on the success of our local small businesses.
    Here’s how you can help support Small Businesses year round:
       •   Choose to support local service industries. Signing up for local services, like gyms and dentists and lawyers, makes a huge difference. Franchisees are local too–you don’t have to stop visiting In-N-Out, but corporate-owned stores like Starbucks pull money out of town.
       •   Tip their staff REALLY well. One of the hardest parts of owning a business is creating meaningful careers for your staff. When people like their jobs and earn enough money, they stay. They keep their kids in local schools and local sports; drive better cars; keep their yards clean. Be nice to the front-line worker.
       •   Decline their discounts. Most small-business owners will surrender a discount if you ask for one. Don’t. They’ll discount themselves to death, because they think they’re helping a friend. If you ask for a discount, you’re not being a friend; you’re taking advantage. I challenge you to go in the other direction and decline a discount when it’s offered.
       •   Forgive their mistakes. Big companies screw up all the time, but they make their mistakes in other cities, and then teach their staff how to avoid making the same mistake in the future. Local entrepreneurs have to make all of their mistakes on local people. A personalized experience means you’re dealing with a person. And people screw up. But people can also make it up to you.
       •   Tell your friends. Small businesses depend on referrals for growth.
       •   Take them a coffee. They need it.
    In the age of Amazon and the Big Box with their phenomenal staff and ad budgets, Small Business owners aren’t asking for charity, they’re just there, with their shoulders to the grindstone.
    Some businesses deserve to be successful, and some don’t. But there’s a lot on the line these days.
    We’re grateful to all our members, current and former, who have kept our small business going throughout the past (almost) nine years. We couldn’t have done it without you.
    Yours,
    Coach Jen
  • Wildcat YouTube Channel: It’s Not Just Squat Demos, Friends. (10/30/2018)

    The Wildcat YouTube Channel…

    A Wide, Wide, Wide Variety of videos:

    Exercise Demos!

    Healthy Recipe and How-To Cooking Videos!

    Health and Wellness Tips!

    And More!

    Here’s our latest:

     

    Think that’s great? Want to see something else you won’t believe?

    Here’s Coach Noah dunking himself in Ice Water:

    And we have Top Notch Nutrition Content as well … with complete Recipes and How To’s.

    Check out this delicious 100% Healthy No Bake Dessert / Snack!

    It’s Truffles!

     

    Subscribe to the Wildcat CrossFit YouTube Channel! You’ll be a healthier, happier human for it!

  • The Wildcat Fall Party 2018 – A Super Fun Time Had By All! (10/30/2018)

    WILDCAT FALL PARTY – A SUPER-FUN EVENT!

    Check out cool photos from the Wildcat Fall Party below!

     

  • A Big Fat Lie (10/16/2018)

    A Big Fat Lie

    by Noah Providence

    Saturated fat causes heart disease.

    “If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.” This quote is from nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

    I know, I know, invoke the nazi’s and lose the argument, states “Godwins Law” of internet debate. But I’ll take that risk. That’s how strongly I feel about public health authorities that knowingly distort and misrepresent health information for financial gain. And this lie has led to immeasurable suffering…. and profit.

    The US govt. food guidelines tell us that saturated fat is so dangerous we should limit it to less than 10% of our diet. So why do I have a problem with that? What’s the big deal with limiting saturated fat intake? Is that dangerous? No, not in and of itself. But calories have to come from somewhere and we only have 3 choices of macronutrients- fats, proteins and carbohydrates. If we radically limit our fat intake, we have to make up the difference with the other macronutrients. We can only digest a finite amount of protein a day, so that leaves the balance to come from carbohydrates.

    Following the official US dietary guidelines to eat a high carbohydrate diet has lead more than 42% of American adults into obesity. Worse yet, type II diabetes and coronary artery disease are caused by the very diet the US govt. encourages us to eat.

    Could it be that the dietary “powers that be” are just being cautious in integrating new and relatively scant information? No, the research is not that new and is overwhelming. A search of “is heart disease caused by saturated fats” will return page after page of peer reviewed studies exonerating saturated fat and implicating its replacement-carbohydrate as the risk.

    The journal “Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism” published findings in 2017 that:

    “For decades, the consumption of long-chain saturated fatty acids (SAFA; containing 12-18 carbon atoms) was thought to undermine cardiovascular health. However, recent meta-analyses of prospective observational studies [1, 2] reported that SAFA intake was associated with neither coronary heart disease (CHD) nor stroke mortality nor myocardial infarction

    One of the biggest and most relevant controlled studies including 59,000 people found no benefit to reducing saturated fat intake. PubMed Cochrane et al. 2015

    The forces committed to the flawed research and bad policy are powerful and have deep pockets. They include the corn industry (if you’re not familiar with the incredible reach of this industry watch the documentary King Corn), and the pharmaceutical industry. Pfizer, the manufacturer of Lipitor, a cholesterol lowering drug, averaged more than 10 billion dollars a year from 2003-2017. Pfizer and other pharmaceutical companies have a vested interest in propping up the idea that by simply lowering cholesterol you’ll prevent heart disease. Well, its not that simple, but it is that profitable. And if dietary saturated fat/heart disease myth fell, it would erode their market position.

    In the culinary perspective, fat is where the flavor is. It’s what makes foods savory and satisfying. So when we remove the fat from our foods, they lose flavor. But no worries, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to the rescue. A huge low-fat food industry has emerged, powered by HFCS. Those same low fat foods could be accurately called high sugar foods, but… that doesn’t have the same marketing appeal.

    You might say..but Noah, you can still find studies linking heart disease to saturated fat intake. Sure, a few, but those studies can be sourced to the same usual suspects pushing the same discredited hypothesis and conducting the same flawed experiments to prop it up. It has begun to sound like the research tobacco attorneys were citing before their “scientific” studies were totally discredited.

    We should be able to rely on official dietary authorities to provide reliable, accurate information. Unfortunately, at this point we cannot. So even if you’re not ready to accept saturated fat as a health food, current research clearly demonstrates that you can eat your delicious steaks, pork chops, turkey and other fat containing foods without worrying about clogging your arteries.

    (Future posts: What is the Ketogenic diet?/How low carbohydrate diets causes weight loss-the mechanisms/What is intermittent fast and how to start/Are carbohydrates needed for high performance?/Fats and brain health)

  • If you could do just one thing. (10/8/2018)

    If you could do just one thing.
    By Noah Providence

     

     

     

     

     

    Root causes

    CrossFit training philosophy places nutrition at the base of the fitness pyramid. That means it’s the foundation, the base upon which health and performance capacities are built. But what’s the best practice when it comes to eating. There’s so much profit driven conflicting information out there. But if you dig deep, look at all the available research, and study those who have been most successful, you can come away with a few clear directives. ONE directive stands out above the rest. If you do this one thing, you’ll get pretty far.

     

    First, let’s look back at how all the nutrition nonsense began. More than 60 years ago, in 1958,  a charismatic doctor by the name or Ancel Keys launched a project called the Seven Countries Study. It was research on the relationship between dietary pattern and the prevalence of coronary heart disease in Greece, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Japan, and Finland. It led to what’s become known as the “lipid hypothesis”. What he documented and presented to the world was that dietary fat consumption appeared to be directly linked to heart disease. It wasn’t long before recommendations from US government to eat less fat and more grains were made.

     

    But… in the years that followed, a closer review of the data revealed that Keys’ conclusion was based on data that he had cherry-picked to support his existing hypothesis that dietary fat causes heart disease.  His study had actually collected data from 20 countries, not just 7, and when the numbers were looked at in total, the correlation between dietary fat consumption and heart disease disappeared.

     

    Unfortunately, by this time his “lipid hypothesis” had become medical dogma. Although there were scientific dissenters from the very start that knew fat wasn’t the culprit, his theory and the new dietary recommendations became entrenched government dietary policy and medical conventional wisdom.

     

    It seems logical. Arteries get clogged with fatty deposits, so reducing how much fat you eat should help, right? Wrong. The metabolic processes that lead to clogged arteries are much more complicated than that.  

     

    So now, after more than 50 years of Americans following the government recommendations of eating less fat and more carbohydrate, we have the growing type 2 diabetes and obesity epidemics, and heart disease continues to be the number one cause of death in America. So if the culprit isn’t fat, what is the root cause of heart disease and many other conditions?

     

    It’s sugar!

     

    If you could only one thing to improve your long term health, the most important change you can make is to eliminate simple sugar completely and greatly reduce or eliminate other non-nutritive sugars like those in grains.

     

    We’ve known for a long time that a low carb diet was effective for weight loss, but this practical application of carbohydrate reduction wasn’t fully appreciated for its health benefits until more recently. In fact, Dr Atkins, who’s low carb Atkins diet became instantly popular when released in 1972, as people lost weight easily and quickly with no calorie restriction, was broadly criticized for being dangerous because of its high fat intake. And while the Atkins diet had its shortcomings, it was a step up from the US govt  food guidelines, which, if followed will lead to 60-70% of your calories coming from carbohydrate.

     

    Ok, so low carb (read sugar) can help you lose weight, but what ARE the other health benefits. A vast body of research shows that insulin resistance, and the inflammation that follows are the root cause of MOST common chronic diseases, and can be avoided by limiting carbohydrate intake.

    Insulin resistance begins when our blood sugar levels frequently spike from a diet high in carbohydrate. Our body responds to this high level of blood glucose (sugar) by releasing insulin to metabolize the sugar. This is the normal and healthy response to ingesting carbohydrate. But over time, persistently high levels of blood glucose and subsequent insulin levels cause the our cells to become “resistant” to the insulin signaling. This is a slow, long developing problem. By the time someone is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in their 40s or 50s, the problem has often been developing for 20 years or more, and by then the problem is much harder to fix. Typically, weight has become very difficult to manage, blood pressure has elevated, and most dangerously the arteries have become inelastic and irritated from the chronically high insulin levels and inflammatory processes it causes.

    Despite the evidence that this is the pathway of most chronic disease, the US govt continues to recommend a diet that will lead to weight gain, insulin resistance and ultimately, chronic disease.

     

    So if you could do just one thing to improve your health, say goodbye to sugar.

     

    (Future posts: Saturated Fats: the current research/What is the Ketogenic diet?/Why low carbohydrate diets cause weight loss, the mechanisms/What is intermittent fasting and how to start/Are carbohydrates needed for high performance?/Fats and brain health)

     

  • 3-2-1-Go! (9/23/2018)

    3-2-1- GO!
    By Noah Providence

    We hear it before every WOD. We’ve trained ourselves through repetition that this countdown means we’re about to do something difficult. And then we do it!

    If you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it. 

    Author Mel Robbins expounds on this concept in her book The 5 Second Rule. She explains how she transformed her habits and behavior and in doing so, her life, by applying this concept. As CrossFitters we have a huge jump-start in using this powerful technique because we’ve already conditioned ourselves to respond to this cue for workouts. It’s easy for us to apply it to any task or activity. Here’s how to do it.

    The moment you feel an instinct or a desire to act on a goal or a commitment, use the Rule.  When you feel yourself hesitate before doing something that you know you should do, count 3-2-1-GO and move towards action. There is a window that exists between the moment you have an instinct to change and your mind killing it. It’s a 5 second window. And it exists for everyone. If you do not take action on your instinct to change, you will stay stagnant. You will not change. But if you do one simple thing, you can prevent your mind from working against you. You can start the momentum before the barrage of thoughts and excuses hit you at full force.

    What do you do?

    Just start counting backwards to yourself: 3-2-1.

    The counting will focus you on the goal or commitment and distract you from the worries, thoughts, and excuses in your mind. As soon as you reach “1” – push yourself to move. This is how you push yourself to do the hard stuff – the work that you don’t feel like doing, or you’re scared of doing, or you’re avoiding. That’s it. 5 seconds is all it takes. If you don’t act on an instinct within that 5 second window, that’s it. You’re not doing it.   

    Here are the mechanics of the Rule:

    First: “The moment you have an instinct…”

    Let’s make sure you understand what kind of instinct I am talking about. An instinct is not buying everybody in the bar a round of shots. An instinct is not a rash, irreversible decision. It’s not destructive, illegal, or harmful behavior.

    I define an instinct as any urge, impulse, pull, or knowing that you should or should not do something because you can feel it in your heart and gut. These are instincts of the heart. They are moments when your heart speaks to you. We all have our own unique brand of wisdom, made up of our experiences, intuition, and DNA. In those small, 5 second moments, this wisdom bubbles up inside of you. Your instincts are these urges. They are the “knowing” that you should do something even if you don’t “feel” like doing it.

    Second: “To act on a goal…”

    The second element of the Rule that is critical for you to understand is that it’s not just about acting on any instinct, it’s an instinct that’s tied to a goal. For example, you might have an instinct to get off of the couch and go for a workout.

    In this case, if you act on this instinct, you bring yourself one step closer to your dream of transforming your health.

    A lot of people think instincts are stupid and meaningless. I disagree. Research has shown that our gut is our “second brain.” Do you ever get a feeling in your gut telling you what to do? We get these “gut feelings” when our hearts and minds are trying to tell us something. And usually, these gut impulses are tied to greater goals.

    It’s easy for us to list what we want. We want a great job, to be financially free, to be healthy, happy, and have amazing people in our lives. Even though we have these greater goals, it’s so simple to brush off the actions that will lead us toward achieving these things.

    If you have a gut instinct to call a friend, then you should do it. You already know how much you value your friends. When you get that gut feeling to speak up in a meeting, you should act on it. Same goes with any instinct tied to a goal.

    I’ve found that knowing where to start on a goal is difficult. Do you know what you can do? First, start identifying those gut instincts that will lead you towards your goal. You will start to notice gut feelings related to these goals throughout the day. But, how do you act on them? That’s where the next element comes in:

    Third: “You must push yourself…

    The third element of the 5 Second Rule is that you must push yourself. The Rule is about pushing yourself even when you don’t want to. It’s about taking control of your own life, one push at a time.

    I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy. You’re comfortable. You’re doing the same old thing you always do, even if you want to transform your life. The moment comes. You feel the instinct. You know it’s tied to a goal. Right now. It’s a window. A window of opportunity. Your brain wants to shut this instinct down. It’s going to do it. But, in this moment, you can take control. You know what you need to do. You know that you want to change your life and move towards your goals.

    The 5 Second Rule is simple. But it is not easy.

    It’s hard to push yourself. If you want to change, it’s something you MUST do. And the Rule makes it easier. Just start your countdown. Push yourself to start, 3-2-1. Just start counting. That’s it!

    Countdown, 3 – 2 – 1 – GO.

    In her book, Mel Robbins includes plenty of neuroscience explaining why and how it works. In a nutshell, it’s all about activating  your brain’s prefrontal cortex. For now, don’t worry about WHY the Rule works. Trust me for now. It really does.

    Fourth: “To move within 5 seconds…”

    Physical movement is key. Just so you understand, this doesn’t mean you have to jump up and start doing squats. All you need to do is move in the direction of your instinct. If you do not take physical action WITHIN 5 SECONDS, your brain will kill the instinct.

    You do your countdown. And then you GO. You take action.

    This could mean a number of things. It means saying something you’ve been holding back. Speaking up at a meeting. Putting on your workout shoes. Grabbing that healthy snack. Holding your tongue instead of saying something mean to your partner. Sending that email to a potential client or mentor. Even getting out of bed instead of hitting the snooze. Anything that’s related to your goal.

    These 5 second windows,  are the critical moments between you changing your life and your brain stopping you. You might be thinking, “Why 5 seconds?  The answer is 5 seconds is a rule of thumb that can work for everyone. But obviously, this can be personalized. Personally, I find that the longer I wait between my initial instinct to act and physically moving, the harder it is to force myself to move. If you can do 3 seconds, do it. 2 seconds? Even better. As little time as possible before you MOVE to action. Remember, the system inside your brain that kills your dreams operates at lightning speed.

    Which brings me to the fifth element of the Rule:

    Fifth: “Or your brain will kill it.”

    If you don’t physically move within 5 seconds, your mind WILL kill your dreams. Your brain is like an overprotective, irrational, “helicopter” parent. It thinks it’s keeping you safe when in fact it is keeping you from growing as a person, stretching yourself in your business, and fully experiencing life.

    You see, your brain has 3 basic jobs. It narrates your life as you live it and catalogs your memories. It operates your body’s functions. And it protects you from danger.

    When you stop and think, when you hesitate, and when you feel uncertain, you are signaling to your brain that something’s wrong. Your brain automatically goes into overdrive to protect you. How does it protect you? By keeping you from doing anything that feels scary, hard, or uncertain. You know that there’s nothing dangerous about making a call or taking a walk or pursuing your dreams. But your brain doesn’t know that, and it tries to sabotage you. The 5 Second Rule is a way to outsmart your brain by changing hesitation into ACTION.

    Before you doubt it, try it out. It’s a tool that creates massive change. Those 5 second windows add up, I promise. It changed my life and it changed the lives of over 100,000 who have written to Mel Robins about the awesome effects the Rule has created in their own lives.

    In almost any situation, there’s an application for the Rule. 3-2-1-Go!

    Try it yourself.

  • Setting Goals = Planning for Success (9/20/2018)

    Setting Yourself up for Success

    By, Coach Jen and Coach Noah

    I want to lose weight
    I want to be healthy
    I want to run my first 5K, or my first Obstacle Course Race
    I want to do a Muscle-Up
    I want to walk on my hands
    I want to go to the CrossFit Games

    These are all goals, decently defined ones at that.
    People sometimes ask me how some athletes get to be so successful.

    Hint: It’s more than just natural talent. You can have all the natural, genetic advantages, but without shooting for something specific, you’re not going to do much…specific.
    So what are successful athletes doing that’s different from what you’re doing?

    What successful athletes do differently is this:
    They set very specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound GOALS. Once those are set, successful athletes consistently put one foot in front of the other to achieve them.

    This is an important point, so it bears repeating in another way:
    1. Successful Athletes set SMART goals
    2. They are consistent in working towards them every. single. day.

    Up at the top of the post, I carefully chose my words, “these are all goals, decently defined ones at that.”

    I did this to draw attention to the fact that while those do seem like well thought out goals, they really serve more as a starting point than an end. Goals can, and should, be much more clearly defined.

    The thing about Goals is they have to have six components to really be effective. The Acronym we’ll be using here as a mnemonic device is: SMART.
    S – Specific (ex: If you want to “be healthy”, what does that mean?)
    M – Measureable (ex: 
If you want to lose weight, how much do you want to lose?)
    A – Attainable (ex: saying you want to be an Olympic swimmer when you can’t even swim means it probably ain’t in the cards for ya…)
    R – Relevant (ex: if you’re training to be a soccer player, there’s no need to practice throwing a baseball)
    T – Time bound (ex: WHEN will you achieve this goal? Not “in a few months”…what day specifically?)

    You may be wondering where the sixth component of Goals is.
    Here’s it is: You need to have an emotional attachment to your Goal.
    This means your Goal is something that gets you riled up, stirs passion from deep within to keep you going when the going gets tough. This piece makes sure you have “skin in the game”, that its something worth fighting for, something that is for YOU.

    Sounds simple, right? Wrong.

    You might be saying, “I hear you. I’m motivated, I want to do things…but I don’t always get them done in a timely manner. And some things just aren’t happening.”

    So then, What to do?

    The hardest part is taking regular action in the direction of your goals.

    Regular, ongoing action. Several times a week, consciously taking actions to get you going in a certain direction, to achieve a particular goal.

    Here’s the reality though – everyone, even CrossFit Games competitors come across “life” that threatens to derail them. What do I mean by life?

    Sick Kids
    Holiday Parties
    Holidays
    Surprise family visits
    Eating out
    Lack of money
    Gym being closed
    Moving homes
    Wreck slowing down your morning commute
    Long days at the office
    Being tired
    Death in the family
    Bad breakup
    Work got in the way
    Genetics
    TV shows
    Bad luck
    Travel
    Not getting enough sleep
    Feeling lazy
    Feeling defeated
    Lacking confidence
    Scared of the workout
    Lack of time

    You know what I mean, right? All these things that people use as an excuses for why they aren’t getting what they want in life – reasons why they can’t make it to the gym, or eat well.
    All that stuff is … Life.

    And all that stuff is a part of everyone’s life!
    The people who are the most successful in the world, who achieve their goals, who capture their dreams, are no different than you or I. They just don’t let any of that stuff, “Life,” get in the way of them getting what they want. They know its just part of the journey…and they’re prepared to deal with those things when they do pop up. They have a plan!

    It all boils down to one simple question: How badly do you want it (your goal)?

    Achieving the goals you set for yourself won’t be easy.

    Are you willing to make the sacrifices that are necessary to achieve your goals?

    Noah and I have a plan. Our plan is to help you come up with your goals and an action plan for achieving them.

    Don’t fret – your goals don’t need to be lofty performance ones, or weight loss ones, or muscle gain ones…those are all great and cool and fun…but only if they are relevant to YOU; that’s what matters!

    We’re going to make this real easy – We’re going to lead by example and show you how its done.
    1. First, we establish our SMART goal: To meet with each and every member we have for a 30-minute goal setting session by the end of October 2018.
    2. Next, how will we achieve it? We put the link to our schedules so that each of you can book your private appointment with one of us for a time that is convenient for you. (Click Here to book your private 30 minute Athlete Check In appointment.)

    3. Lastly, how do we know when we’ve achieved our goal? Simple: We’ve put a check mark next to every Wildcat member’s name.

    But wait a minute, what about the emotional part…what’s in this for us? Well that’s easy – We get to help each of you set out on a path to  achieve your goals.
    You guys, we love seeing people achieving their Goals. That’s what makes us tick!

    Finally, the follow-up: Accountability is a huge thing. When more people, other than just you, know that you’re gunning for something special, a funny thing will happen: they’ll rally in your corner and they will keep you going.
    In addition to the check-ins, when we see you in class, or out and about, we promise you this: every three months, you’ll be hearing from us to come and sit down again to see how you’re getting along.
    We’ll evaluate how your plan is coming together, tweak anything that needs it, and keep you moving forward.
    So…what does all this cost? Only your most valuable asset: time.
    Will you make the time?

    Yours,

    Jen and Noah

  • Member Profile: Selim Ben Mrad (9/13/2018)

    Member Profile: Selim Ben Mrad

    One member who has really grown since joining the gym is Selim Ben Mrad, known around Wildcat as Ben. Ben joined the gym last year and has gradually built both muscle and friendships within Wildcat’s walls. Recently I emailed Ben a few questions about his experience at Wildcat. Here are his responses.

    1.) What brought you to Wildcat in the first place?

    I have not planned to practice CrossFit specifically. My CrossFit journey started with pure hazard. I was tired from doing always the same gym routine alone, so I have decided to start checking out some alternative. I have started visited some martial arts gym and other types of workouts. Then, I have decided to join Wildcat CrossFit based on an emotional decision, mainly because I have liked the atmosphere, and the gym location. I cannot provide more details, I remember just that the decision was emotional, not rational.

    2.) How has your experience at Wildcat effected your life so far?

    I strongly consider that going to Wildcat CrossFit helped me to improve many area of my life. Obviously I am more fit physically and mentally, as a direct consequence of practicing moderate to high level consistent workouts.

    Unexpectedly, I was also able to develop my interpersonal skills interacting with other people at that location. My self-esteem raised because I was able to make some physical progress, so I had more confidence to apply it to other area of my life like education and personal development.

    Based on my experience, having more energy and workout consistently increased a lot my life quality, I am able to focus more, eat more and socialize more.

    I think anyone will be able to benefit from regular moderate physical activities and decent nutrition. I would highly recommend a healthier lifestyle. There is direct correlation between happiness and health.

    I think also even financially it was a beneficial decision. Assume I do not go to the gym, then I will go to a café or to a bar every afternoon or engage in other social activities. It will probably cost me on average 10 dollar a day *30, which will be a minimum of 300 dollar a month. Following this logic, having this regular activity help me to save money and make a better use of my time and money.

    3.) What are your new goals?

    I do not have any specific fitness goal. My fitness goal was to be just healthy and to start attending the advanced class in a two year period and to do some push up and pull up, I have achieved that in 6 or 7 months. I would say attending some amateur CrossFit competition will be a good future experience.

    As personal goals, I would like to become vegetarian and improve my diet, but more for spiritual reason. Finishing my education, and embrace a career that I like would be my biggest personal goal for the next years.

    My goals is just to be healthy to have a good life quality. Anyway, I would like to thank all the coaches and gym owners, they were supportive, polite, respectful, encouraging and nice with me. All the member also have a great behavior and they were also supportive. I feel pretty comfortable in that gym. I would say the gym atmosphere in general helped me to do some progress in fitness.

     

  • Labor Day Class Schedule! (8/28/2018)

    Hey Wildcat Family,

    Labor Day weekend is upon us. Hopefully most of you will have the day off to relax, but don’t forget to come in and get your daily dose of fitness and fun! Our Labor Day class schedule is as follows:

     

    6:30AM WOD with Coach Nick

    11:00AM Ladies Hour/Open Gym with Coach Laurie

    Noon WOD with Coach Laurie

    4:30PM WOD with Coach Ryan

     

    Have a happy and safe Labor Day Weekend!

    -Your Wildcat Coaches and staff members

  • Wildcats Top the Podium at the Granite Games on Aug 18! (8/24/2018)

    Wildcat Coaches top the Podium at the August 2018 Granite Games!

    by, Coach Ryan Barlow

    On Saturday, August 18, three Wildcat Coaches competed in a local competition… and they won! Wildcat Coaches Ryan Barlow, Nick Wyss, and Zach Bubolz finished the competition in First Place. CrossFit Purgatory hosted the local competition where 60 teams competed.

    The competition was based on three person (MMM/FFF) teams competing against one-another in a variety of classic CrossFit style workouts. There were a total of four workouts or events over the course of a single day. However, this competition was unique in that it used a “waterfall” style event schedule where workouts #1 and #2 were separated by only 5 minutes!

    Athletes were then given approximately a two hour break to rest, recover, and refuel before workouts #3 and #4, which were again only spaced 5 minutes apart. Luckily with a three-man (or woman) team there is a fair amount of rest within each workout so each athlete can work at their very limit for short intervals and rest while their teammates are working.

    In this competition, teammates would complete a block of work, then immediately “tag” in one of their partners to replace them. Only one athlete was allowed to work at a time, with the other two resting. The one exception to this rule was the synchronized burpees in workout #1 which required two out the three athletes to work while only the third rested.

    In order to prepare for this competition, we practiced a lot! We had three practice days leading up to the event. Each time we got together, we practiced each workout twice. About six weeks before the event we got together and practiced workouts #1 and #3 (at this time we did not yet know how the event would be structured). A week or two after that, we practiced workouts #2 and #4. This gave us a good idea of how we would need to break up our reps and what our team goals should be for each event.

    On the Saturday one week prior to the competition, after the structure was released, we decided to do a “mock” competition on our own. With a running clock, we practiced all the events in the same way we would see them in competition. We took only five minute breaks in between the paired workouts with about an hour long break in between the two pairs. This was a way to better understand the “stimulus” we would be feeling on the day of the competition. All I can say is that paid major dividends, both in helping us understand how we would attack each workout, and how our bodies would feel during game-day.

    I have to say that we did a great job planning. We all went in knowing which workouts favored which of our strengths. Nick was our go-to guy for any gymnastic movements: toes-to-bar, burpees, and chest-to-bar pull-ups. I used my long frame and size to row hard and help move some weight. Zach was our most well-rounded athlete and a true work-horse. He filled in the gaps that Nick and I left and then some. We were “no-repped” (when you do the movement, but miss a standard e.g. doing a wall-ball but coming short of the target or not hitting full depth in your squat) several times, however we stayed calm and kept moving. Our mindset was strong going in and winning event after event only helped confirm that we were on the right path. So to be completely honest, our plans never really went “out the window.” We were able to execute our game-plan from start to finish.

    ‘Once I started moving, all the nerves went away and it was just “Execute. Execute. Execute.”‘

    Before the competition, I was nervous about how my body would feel. I was nervous about performing well for my family who drove down from Phoenix to watch me compete. I was nervous about messing up or being “no-repped” and hurting our team standings. However, in the end, I was able to calm myself down and just enjoy the moment. I think I had a smile on my face almost the whole day, except perhaps when I was on the floor working at my threshold. Once I started moving, all the nerves went away and it was just “Execute. Execute. Execute.”

    The entire competition was inspiring. I love watching groups of athletes working to their limits surrounded by their friends and family. Nothing is better than seeing someone break through a mental barrier and leave it all out on the floor for their teammates. The competition floor is both a humbling and very awe-inspriring setting.

    On a personal note, it was very helpful for me to have not only my family and friends, but many of the Wildcat members come out to support. Their presence made us all push even harder, never wanting to give-up or show any signs of weakness in front of the people we coach and train with on a daily basis.

    I have competed several times prior to this. In fact, since I’ve started CrossFit, I’ve competed in similar events at least a couple times each year. However, this was a very unique and rewarding experience. I had never done a team-of-three competition and I had never practiced so much prior to the event. Usually it was sign up and hope for the best (not a great strategy haha). It was also amazing to work with such awesome athletes and teammates, fellow Wildcat coaches Zach Bubolz, and Nick Wyss. They really pushed me to practice more and push harder even when I wanted to quit.

    We had a strategy going into each workout and we all knew we had to execute our individual work in order for our team to have the best chance of success. Of course, this was the first competition I won, or even placed on the podium for, for that matter. My fitness has definitely increased with each month at Wildcat, but I truly believe our biggest advantage was our team chemistry. We loved working out alongside one another and we levied our own individual skill sets to make the team better.

    I would strongly encourage anyone and everyone to compete in not only the Granite Games, but any of the other local throw downs. Working with a team or a partner in a competitive setting is like nothing else. It will truly bring out the best in you as an athlete. It forces you to be intelligent about each workout and let you and your partner capitalize on your individual strengths.

    And for those thinking, “I’m not fit enough to compete,” you need to push that thought out of your mind. Almost every competition these days has two or more divisions where athletes of ALL skill levels can compete at their own RELATIVE intensity. Trust me, nobody out here is going to shame you for scaling your burpees or having to do ring-rows instead of pull-ups. 

    These competitions bring positive, like-minded athletes and gym-members together from all over our community. It is a safe place to work hard and feel welcome. Effort and attitude are the biggest players here. If you work hard and treat others with respect, I can promise you that you will be greeted by nothing other than high-fives, hugs, and smiles from everyone around you. So what are you waiting for?

     

  • Set yourself up for winning the day. (8/24/2018)

    I wake before sunrise, walk to the kitchen, fill a glass of water and add a pinch of sea salt and drink it down. This is the first thing I do every day and has been for the past year and a half. The glass of water is actually the first thing in a series of actions that I call my morning ritual. I’m not the first one to discover the unexpected and powerful benefits of committing 10-15 minutes every morning to getting right. Tony Robbins calls it “priming”. Tim Ferris, Oprah Winfrey, Jocko Willink (author of Extreme Ownership) and many other high performers swear by the necessity and value of having a regular morning routine. My routine takes around 10-15min and goes like this.

    1. Big glass of water

    2. Breathing exercises

    3. Gratitude practice

    4. Visualize my day

     

     

    In addition to the 4 practices above, I’ve also found it helpful to refrain from any news, emails, social media, texts etc until after my practice. And of course, lay your workout clothes out the night before.

    In my next post I’ll go into detail about the Wim Hof Method breathing exercises I practice. Subsequent posts will detail other daily practices that have brought me more clarity, energy and improved health. Until then, I encourage you to get started. Create your morning ritual. Customize it. Then do it every day.

  • Happy Anniversary, Yvonne! One Year at Wildcat CrossFit! (7/19/2018)

    Happy Anniversary, Yvonne! One Year at Wildcat CrossFit!!

    ‘What a difference a year makes!’

    by, Yvonne Moreno

    What a difference a year makes!  Saturday June 23, 2018 marked my one year anniversary at Wildcat CrossFit.

    It marks the first time ever that I’ve stuck to something for longer than 3 months.  The first time that I’ve completely devoted myself to anything that had to do with getting healthy and staying healthy.

    In one year, CrossFit changed my life in so many ways. I haven’t had an amazing physical transformation and lost 100 pounds, but I have changed the way I live my life.  The way I think, the way I look at myself, and most importantly, my attitude have changed.

    I have lost some weight, but the important part is that I’ve gained strength.  Strength in my arms, my legs, my back, and my soul.  My soul is stronger because it believes in me when a year ago no part of me believed in myself.  A year ago nothing I did to get healthier made me feel like I feel about myself today.  I look in the mirror and see my body changing in ways I never imagined.  This is what one year of CrossFit has done for me.

    It was Friday June 23, 2017 when I sat in my car outside of Wildcat CrossFit for a full 20 minutes contemplating leaving and never look back.  That would have been one of the biggest mistakes of my life.

    It’s been a year of ups and downs, but I wouldn’t have changed one single moment of it, (Okay, maybe I would totally eliminate bear crawls from history and never speak of them again. Alas, we can’t turn back time and therefore we must do what we have to do to get through those bear crawls.)

    I’ve tried and failed at many things, but I’ve tried them and that’s my win.  I’ve learned a lot about my body and what I am capable of, and what I still need to work at.  I’ve learned that my strength is in my legs and thighs.  I’ve learned that these arms of mine can do more than just write, they can lift dumbbells and kettlebells high in the air, they can hold me up in a plank and lift me to the ring when doing ring rows.  I’ve learned my core is stronger than I ever thought it could be and somewhere under all that mushy stuff are muscle waiting to see the light.

    I started at 318 pounds.  Yes, you read that number right.  I weighed over 300 pounds and couldn’t lift more then 35 pounds over my head.  I couldn’t run more than a few feet, if that.  I couldn’t jump high enough to get the rope under my feet to jump rope.  I couldn’t step up higher than a basic green box, which I believe is around 12 inches high.  I couldn’t row more than 200 meters before stopping to catch my breath.  There’s a lot of “I couldn’ts” that I didn’t mention, but the list of things I can do now is far greater than the list of things I couldn’t do then.

    “I can jump, run, row, lift, and most of all I can feel proud of myself each and every time I walk out of the gym.”

    I now weigh in at 287 pounds.  Not a big weight loss, but I’ve gained so much muscle that I don’t give that number any importance.  I can back squat 200 pounds.  My front Squat is at 120 pounds and probably more now.  My dead lift PR is at 180 pounds.  I can run a consistent 200 meters without stopping and 400 meters with minimal walking breaks.  I can jump rope, go back and read that again, I CAN JUMP ROPE!

    I can row 1000 meters without stopping. I had to do it, that’s how I know.  I can carry two 26 pound kettle bells on a 400 meter farmers carry.  I can power clean 75 pounds (when I started I used an empty bar).  I can jump, run, row, lift, and most of all I can feel proud of myself each and every time I walk out of the gym.

    I am doing what most people are afraid to try.  I am a CrossFit athlete.  I will forever be grateful for this opportunity and the chance to work with such a beautiful, determined, and over all bad ass group of people.  We truly hold each other up.

    My very first WOD was the following;

    5 Rounds
    3 Overhead Squats
    5 T-Spine Rotations
    10 PVC PassThrus

    21,15,9 For Time

    Double KB Front Squat
    Wall Balls
    100 DU

    The first day I walked in,  they had me doing an overhead squat and I almost ran out the door.  I grabbed a training bar and two 10’s and gave it a whirl.  It was so heavy, but I didn’t give up. It took me a good while to keep that bar overhead without losing my arm strength.  I’m sure from the outside looking in, I was a mess and my squats were barely a bend in the knee, but the point is that I stuck with it.

    For the first time in my life, I was doing something way out of my comfort zone.  I used 8k KB for my front squat and I remember feeling like I was going to pass out.  I ended up with a decent time coming in at 10:30.  I left that day knowing that I would be back.  I didn’t know how long it would last and never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would still be here a year later, but I knew I’d be back.

    I want to thank everyone at Wildcat CrossFit for being a part of my journey.  From the owners, to the coaches to the great many friends I’ve made at the gym, there is no other place I’d rather be then squatting, snatching and running with you.

    My journey is far from over.  It’s a lifetime commitment to myself and my body.  I smile when I walk in and I smile when I leave.  The gym is my safe place where I can win and I can fail and there is no judgement and there’s always someone to fist bump me on a job well done.  I’m not anywhere near being done.  It’s the first year of many more to come.  Thank you for coming on this ride with me.  I appreciate all the love and support I’ve received from everyone.

    Much love and respect, Yvonne.

  • WOD Programming (7/13/2018)

    Hi Wildcat CrossFitters,

    We have started the next era in programming at Wildcat. As most of you have experienced this past week, the programming has changed subtly. We are moving back toward more traditional CrossFit method programming. This means a larger variety of movements and frequently, a distinct strength. component followed by a metcon. You’ll begin to periodically see the named, benchmark workouts like “Fran”, “Cindy”, “Helen” and occasionally a “Hero” workout. If these names don’t mean anything to you, stay tuned, they will. This programming will be fun, comprehensive, challenging and as always, scalable.

    Schedule change note:
    In addition to the changes to programming we are discontinuing the Advanced Training class. Our regular WODs will be “programmed for the best, and scaled for the rest” and we anticipate the advanced athletes will be challenged by this programming.

  • Right Here, Right Now. (7/8/2018)

    Right here, right Now.

    by, Coach Jen, RN

    The year was 1999. The air was crisp; it was Fall. The time was around 11 pm.

    I’d just gotten home from hanging out with my friend, Adam. My dog, Lucy, needed a walk. I grabbed the leash and took Lucy for a spin around the block. A few minutes later, I was the subject of a drive-by shooting.

    I was living in a lovely west side neighborhood that I’d move back to again in a heartbeat. But this story is about the time I almost died there. And it does relate broadly to CrossFit, in case you are wondering. Bear with me.

    As I said, it was late. It was dark. It happened fast. I saw the pickup truck stop at the corner up ahead of me. I saw the gun barrel come out of the open passenger window. I saw a spark flash at the mouth of the barrel.

    I hit the dirt and rolled sideways behind a nearby bush, still holding onto the handle of Lucy’s retractable leash. She was all the way at the end of her tether, around 15 feet in front of me. I counted 4 shots. I stayed down. The truck turned north and peeled away.

    I was alone on the street, in the dirt, behind the bush.

    I got up. No bullet holes in me. Whew. Checked Lucy…no bullet holes.

    This was before cell phones. I was more bewildered than scared right after. I dusted myself off a little more and walked home with Lucy. Then I called Adam on my land line to tell him what had happened to me since I saw him last. Adam’s the one who told me to call the cops. Oh yeah, why didn’t I think of that?

    At the moment of the shooting, for some reason I can’t explain, I was in the moment. And as it turned out, I reacted perfectly, appropriately, doing exactly what I needed to do with my body in space and time. My instincts took over thank God I went with them.

    The shock set in an hour or so after the cop left my doorstep, having shown me the four bullet casings he found at the scene. I started shaking when I realized how close I’d come to dying.

    I was jumpy on our walks after that. Every time a car drove by, I’d tense up and start. I’d turn towards the car, wherever it was, and make sure there were no guns coming out the windows.

    I walked in this state of hyper-vigilance for about two days. Then, on one afternoon stroll, while jumpily glancing over my shoulder to check a passing car for guns, I stepped off a tall curb without looking and came down hard on my ankle. I crumbled to the ground in pain. The station wagon I’d been suspicious of drove harmlessly by.

    I sat on that curbside for 20 minutes. Lucy waited patiently for me to get up and limp us gingerly home. Sitting there, I realized that by preoccupying myself with what might happen, I’d lost track of what was going on right in front of me.

    I was walking around on autopilot; worrying about something rare maybe happening to me again, at the same time I was blind to the danger right in front of me. I was pretty annoyed with myself, I must say, but also I had to laugh. I’d survived a shooting, and now I’d almost killed myself walking. Ok, that’s hyperbole, but my ankle did hurt really bad right then.

    Worrying is imagining something bad happening.

    Worrying is imagining something bad happening. What saved me on the night of the drive-by was not my imagination. That night I was relaxed, walking my dog; more or less paying attention to what was going on around me. Or as I like to call it, Enjoying the night.

    This relaxed state of mind, and a stranger’s bad aim, probably saved my life.

    Staying in the moment has always been a challenge for me, but I know from experience that that’s when I’m the safest and most effective, in general. It’s hard to remember this when life gets crazy and I feel like I’m never going to catch up. “I’ll live in the moment when I’m done with my To Do list! For crying out loud, I don’t have time to live in the moment.”

    I wasn’t doing CrossFit back when this all took place, but when I started the sport 10 years later, I found a way to get back into this moment on a regular basis.

    During a workout, I can feel every single muscle hollering out. Pain is the moment and I am inside the moment. I focus on my form, on each move as it is happens. I stop thinking about the laundry and the vacuuming and life’s other trivialities. I’m right there. In by body, working out.

    Then the workout ends, the pain dissipates, and I’m still inside the moment for a while longer. I’m not stressed. I’m loose. I can take it as it comes. And I don’t have to nearly die or break my ankle again (*knocks wood) to appreciate the benefits of this mindset. That’s when I’m at my safest. That’s when I’m at my best.

    Ah, look at the time. Looks like it’s time I get my shoes tied and get my butt to the gym.

    See you there.

     

  • Fourth of July Schedule (7/2/2018)

    We will be having our 7:30am class only on the Fourth of July. Go grill something!

  • Meet Jared, our new Facilities Maintenance Manager! (6/21/2018)

      What’s New at Wildcat? Meet Jared Wellman, our new Facilities Maintenance Manager!

    Meet Jared! Wildcat’s newest staff addition! Jared is currently working a few hours each week at Wildcat as our Facilities Maintenance Manager. Over the next several months, he will be working closely with Coach Noah and learning the Ins and Outs of caring for and maintaining our historic, unique gym space.

    Just this last week, Jared cleaned the aquarium, made sure the rowers were ready to go on last Friday’s heavy Row day…and sorted out our Kettlebells once and for all!

    You might be thinking, Hey, this guy looks familiar!

    You’re right!

    Jared is a longtime Wildcat member along with his wife, Coach Baily! Welcome aboard, Jared!

  • Kids Summer Camps (5/30/2018)
  • Adventures in CrossFit, March 19-22, 2018 (5/25/2018)

    More Adventures in CrossFit, March 19-22, 2018
    by, Yvonne Moreno

    Monday March 19, 2018

    Today was all about block work using dumbbells.  I’m guessing that the purpose of these blocks is to get us to pace ourselves and make sure that we maintain the same time or within the same range.  This has been the theme as of late.  Today’s WOD consisted of the following:

    3 Blocks of 8 Rounds with 2 minutes rest between each block
    First Block
    8 Rounds
    30 seconds Max Rep DB Hang Power Cleans
    30 seconds Rest

    Second Round
    8 Rounds
    30 seconds Max Rep DB Push Jerks
    30 seconds Rest

    Third Round
    8 Rounds
    30 seconds Max Rep DB Thrusters
    30 seconds Rest

    Ok, so after completing this WOD, tired wasn’t the right word.  I did not think that I would be exhausted and that my arms would be that sore.  I felt it all through my shoulders and biceps.  I pushed myself with each block and maintained about the same reps on each block.

    I tend to be working on my form more and more each class.  I used want to be faster and now I appreciate proper form.  My Power Cleans can get heavier and my Push Jerk could use some work, but I completed with a decent time coming in at 196 reps.  It was nice to see that I’m getting better and better each day.  I’m slowly learning to appreciate what my body is capable of.

    Tuesday March 20, 2018

    Holy Bouncing High Pull Batman!  Today I learned how to bruise my hips, but in a good way.  I’d never worked on bouncing Power Cleans or High Pulls before so when I saw these listed I had to go watch a video to better inform myself.  It looked sort of the way I do some Power Cleans sometimes when I’m getting fatigued. Imagine my surprise when I heard it was an actual thing.  Today’s WOD consisted of the following;

    B. Every Minute for 8 Minutes
    3 Bar to Hip Bouncing High Pull Ups
    3 Bouncing Hang Power Cleans

    C. Bouncing Power Cleans  5X3

    D. 8 Minute AMRAP
    5x Hang Power Cleans
    4x Push Jerks
    3x Bar Facing Burpees

    Ok, so to explain the bouncing Power Clean, you start at a Hang Power Clean and bounce it off your hips every time you complete one.  You are sort of launching the bar back up into a Clean.  I really liked these and found that they were fairly easy to do, not in a high quantity, but it’s nice to know that I can do these.  I ended up at 6 reps for the AMRAP, which I think wasn’t too bad as it looks like the range was from 6-10 reps.

    March 22, 2018

    The Grind seems to be the pattern lately.  Today we worked on Power Snatches.  The Power Snatch is when you snatch the bar overhead.  You have to get under the bar quickly and for these your grip on the bar has to be wide.  You have to use less weight then you are used to because these can get a bit tricky.  If you find that you’re losing your balance when snatching you need to use lower weight, which is what happened in my case.
    We also worked on pull ups and box jumps.  I’ve started using a regular box a while back. My box jump is a step up and not a jump, but it’s progress.  Today’s workout was the following;

    3 Ten Minute grinds with 5 minutes rest between

    3x Power Snatch
    6x Pull Ups/Ring Rows
    9x Box Jumps

    Ok, so as I said before, if you are losing your balance you need to reduce the weight.
    I had trouble remembering that I needed to have a wider grip on the bar.  I think I got the hang of it by the second grind.  It was a hard one because after the first grind, those five minutes were almost too much. My body was thinking, “We’re done!”
    We weren’t done and in the end I was truly exhausted.  I thought I knew what exhausted was before, but boy was I wrong.  I’ve got to say that I really do enjoy grinds however 10 minute ones snatching weight over your head was a bit much!  I did it though!

    Listen folks I’m coming up on my 41st birthday and never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would be a crossfitter at any age much less at this age.  Boy am I glad I listened to Jen that one day back in June when she said, “Hey why don’t you come to my gym?”  Here’s to another 41, at the very least!!

  • EatSmart: Profiles in Awesomeness (Pt. 1) (5/3/2018)

    How did the EatSmart Challenge Team do?
    EatSmart Profiles in Awesomeness (Pt. 1)

    by, Coach Jen, RN

    Results are coming in from EatSmart Challenge Team #1. As expected, people are seeing improvements. This week, we’re spotlighting awesome team member, Raelene.

    “I realized in week two that I was changing my lifestyle,” Raelene reflects. With an initial goal of weight loss, the challenge has been an ongoing success. Since Raelene started the challenge, the scale has changed in the right direction by nearly 12 pounds, and she’s lost 5 inches in total body measurements. She has also noticed an increase in her energy level. “I don’t need naps like I used to,” she says.

    Most nutrition programs expect individuals to make several dietary changes from day one. This can seem drastic and stressful to many people. The EatSmart program is geared towards helping you build a lasting healthy pattern into your life.

    “The gradual approach was perfect,” Raelene says, describing the EatSmart Nutrition program. “There wasn’t so much pressure. You only had to focus on one thing at a time.”

    Are you interested? Eat Smart Group Challenges are run a few times per year. But you can participate in the challenge on your own. Dialing in your nutrition is by far the best way of getting you heading in the direction of your goals, whatever they are. Click here to make an appointment for a Nutrition consult and find out how Wildcat nutrition coaches can support you in reaching your goals even faster.

  • Congratulations to the very first EatSmart Challenge Team! (4/20/2018)

    We are so proud of our very first EatSmart Challenge Team! This group did fantastic !

    They approached each weekly challenge with an open mind and supported on another along the way! Our goal is to help people learn to feed themselves in the best possible way to reach their health, asthetic, and performance goals. We teach you how to choose foods that will feed your body, and we take it one step at a time so that the changes you make are gradual, and sustainable, over time.

    Check out the great foods that the EatSmart Team has been uploading to our private Facebook page throughout the 5 Week Challenge! Tasty!!!

  • Yvonne’s EatSmart 5 Week Challenge Update: (4/20/2018)

    April 17, 2018

    Yvonne’s EatSmart 5 Week Challenge Update:

    by, Yvonne Moreno

    I’ve been participating in the EatSmart Challenge here at Wildcat CrossFit.  We are in our last week, and I’ve learned a few things about myself during these past five weeks.   Some of these things I sort of knew, but wasn’t sure about. Others are completely new to me. 

    In terms of nutrition, I’ve learned to embrace foods that have always been taboo to me.  Things like butter!  The real stuff, not the $0.99 tub of the I Can’t Believe stuff.  Real butter is delicious and as it turns out, I can eat as much as I want.  I’ve learned to love veggies in every way possible.  Cauliflower garlic bread is now a staple in my home.  I cleaned out the Safeway of riced cauliflower in a bag!

    I’ve also learned a lot about myself and my attitude towards food.  It should come as no big surprise that my relationship with food is not a healthy one as I am “obese”, which is a word I hate but it’s the clinical term for me or rather, people that weigh as much as I do.  That is my box, the one marked OBESE.. 

    This is where the emotional side of what I’ve learned about myself comes in.  I’ve always known that I was an emotional eater, and have always been able to turn it off, or so I thought.  These weeks I’ve learned that with all the support I’ve received from my fellow group members, come awesome results.  I’ve been super excited to make these awesome healthy meals and then post them online along with everyone else. 

    It’s so great to see that everyone is trying their best. 

    Then come weeks like these past two…

    I’ve kept on course, but I’ve realized that I’m itching like a junkie for a hamburger. After I had a day where my boss basically called me an idiot for something that was completely out of my control, all I want to do was cry and eat everything that makes me feel better.  I wanted the comfort of a hamburger and fries and a piece of chocolate cake… because those things are delicious and if they are delicious then they will make me happy and happy is lot better than sad and angry. 

    There is no one there to comfort me because I keep all those thoughts to myself because I am the obese one and that is what society expects to come out of my mouth.  You see where I am going here?  I have not yet learned the real lesson. 

    I know the lesson, I can talk to someone about the lesson, but I myself have not learned it.  On the outside I am a girl trying to right wrongs that have been wrong for a long time. On the inside, I am playing a dangerous game of tug of war.  I guess I am learning a little bit since like any other addict, I know what the problem is. 

    This challenge has helped me realize that while fixing what I am putting into my body is a first step, the next step is fixing what I am feeling about my body.  If it wasn’t for these last five weeks and the endless support from my fellow group mates, I would have just continued on my path and never would have stopped to listen to my inner self.  A work in progress I continue to be. 

     

     

  • Yvonne’s Adventures in CrossFit 3/17-3/22/18 (4/5/2018)

    Yvonne’s Adventures in CrossFit 3/17-3/22/18

    The end is always sad but in our case the end of the CrossFit Open brought us together to enjoy and celebrate the awesome athletes that endured five weeks of badass WODs.  Saturday marked the end of the open and Wildcat Crossfit celebrated by having a potluck.  I wasn’t able to attend but I did come into the gym early to watch some folks complete 18.5.  I am always amazed at the strength of my peers and made a promise to myself that I will be one of these incredible athletes next year! 

    Saturday March 17, 2018

    Wildcat CrossFit’s Eat Smart Challenge

    I decided to join this challenge because I’ve taken a big step in the right direction coming into the gym regularly and now I want to add to that by learning how to eat healthy.  It’s really hard to unlearn a lifetime of bad habits but when you have a group of people who are willing to offer the support, already I’m winning.  The way this challenge will work is each week we will be given a challenge to change something in our diets.  The goal is to feel what each change does to our bodies.  Jenny Providence, Jen Wirth, and Noah Providence will be our coaches throughout the challenge.

    Week One

    The first challenge was to incorporate more animal fats into our diets.  This blew my mind because I’ve always been told that butter was bad for you however Jen Providence talked about the good fats to add to our diets, like butter, coconut oil and olive oil.  We also discussed what fats to stay away from, canola, vegetable and hydrogenated oils being among the worst ones.  Our coaches took our measurements and body weight stats and released out into the world a little bit wiser and with a Facebook page to support us in our quest to start changing our lives.

    I now eat a lot more butter and embrace bacon wholeheartedly.  There was a lot of information and I soaked it all in.  I love the support I’ve gotten, not only by our coaches but also from my other peers in the class.  Here’s the great part about this group, we come from all different shapes, sizes and walks of life; All working towards the same goal.  No judgement just real people, leaning to eat real food.  This challenge is going to save my life by teaching me to eat healthy one week at a time.  One week at a time sounds slow but in the grand scheme of things, slow and steady always wins the race.

    Here is a picture from of one of the recipe videos that has been released as part of the 5 Week Challenge. Eating healthy doesn’t mean your food can’t be tasty!  Click this link to see the video

    Monday March 19, 2018

    Today was all about block work using dumbbells.  I’m guessing that the purpose of these blocks is to get us to pace ourselves and make sure that we maintain the same time or within the same range.  This has been the theme lately.  Today’s WOD consisted of the following;

    3 Blocks of 8 Rounds with 2 minutes rest between each block

    First Block
    8 Rounds
    30 seconds Max Rep DB Hang Power Cleans
    30 seconds Rest

    Second Block
    8 Rounds
    30 seconds Max Rep DB Push Jerks
    30 seconds Rest

    Third Block
    8 Rounds
    30 seconds Max Rep DB Thrusters
    30 seconds Rest

    Ok so after completing this WOD, tired wasn’t the right word.  I did not think that I would be that exhausted and that my arms would be that sore. I felt it all through my shoulders and biceps. I pushed myself with each block and maintained about the same reps on each block.

    I tend to be working on my form more and more each class.  I used want to be faster and now I appreciate proper form.  My Power Cleans can get heavier and my Push Jerk could use some work, but I completed with a decent time coming in at 196 reps.  It was nice to see that I’m getting better and better each day.  I’m slowly learning to appreciate what my body is capable of.

    Tuesday March 20, 2018

    Holy Bouncing High Pull Batman!  Today I learned how to bruise my hips, but in a good way.  I’d never worked on bouncing Power Cleans or high pulls before so when I saw these listed I had to go watch a video to better inform myself.

    It looked sort of the way I do Power Cleans when I’m getting fatigued. Imagine my surprise when I heard it was an actual thing.  Today’s WOD consisted of the following;

    B.            Every Minute for 8 Minutes
    3 Bar to Hip Bouncing High Pull Ups
    3 Bouncing Hang Power Cleans

    C.            Bouncing Power Cleans  5X3

    D.            8 Minute AMRAP
    5x Hang Power Cleans
    4x Push Jerks
    3x Bar Facing Burpees

    Ok so to explain the bouncing Power Clean, you start at a Hang Power Clean and bounce it off your hips every time you complete one.  You are sort of launching the bar back up into a Clean.
    I really liked these and found that they were fairly easy to do, not in a high quantity, but it’s nice to know that I can do these.  I ended up at 6 rounds for the AMRAP, which I think wasn’t too bad as it looks like the range was from 6-10 rounds.

    March 22, 2018

    The Grind seems to be part of the pattern lately.  Today we worked on Power Snatches.  The Power Snatch is when you snatch the bar overhead.  You have to get under the bar quickly and for these your grip on the bar has to be wide.  You also have to use less weight then you are used to because these can get a bit tricky.  If you find that you’re losing your balance when snatching you need to use lower weight, which is what happened in my case.

    We also worked on Pull Ups and Box Jumps.  I started using a regular box a while back. My Box Jump is a step up and not a jump, but it’s progress.

    Today’s workout was the following;

    3 Ten Minute grinds with 5 minutes rest between

    3x Power Snatch
    6x Pull Ups/Ring Rows
    9x Box Jumps

    As I said before, if you are losing your balance, you need to reduce the weight on your bar.  I was also having trouble remembering that I needed to have a wide grip on the bar for Snatches. But I think I got the hang of it by the second grind.

    It was a hard one because after the first grind, those five minutes were almost too much. My body was telling me, “We’re done!”  But we weren’t done.

    In the end I was truly exhausted.  I thought I knew what exhausted was before, but boy was I wrong.  I’ve got to say that I really do enjoy grinds however 10 minute ones snatching weight over your head was a bit much!  I did it though!

    Listen folks I’m coming up on my 41st birthday and never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would be a crossfitter at any age much less at this age.  Boy am I glad I listened to Jen that one day back in June when she said, “Hey why don’t you come to my gym?”  Here’s to another 41, at the very least!!

     

     

  • Yvonne’s Adventures in CrossFit 2/26 – 3/1/18 (4/3/2018)

    More Adventures in CrossFit with Yvonne!

    2/26-3/1/18

    Monday February 26, 2018

    I am still in recovery mode from the nasty flu that tore through my house, but I’m here and ready for whatever Jen has in store for us.
    I’ve been hearing that 18.1 was tough and I was glad to see so many of my friends on the gym’s leaderboard.  I’m thinking that I might just attempt The Open next year.  I still have a lot to learn and a lot to change before I can even think about competing with my peers.  I am very proud of those of you who did sign up and I will be cheering you on!

    Today’s focus was speed and included Double Unders, Burpees and Iron Mikes.  I was excited to get to use my work around on lunges.  I’m at my heaviest around my mid-section which is why I have the issue with getting down to the floor and coming back up.  My poor knees have endured a lot and are not as strong as I’d like them to be.

    A while back Noah took me aside and showed me a simple way to do a lunge all the way to the floor and getting back up.  My work around is taking the rings and setting them up high around face length and holding myself while lowering my body down into a proper floor lunge and then using my upper body strength to pull myself up.

    Man, I can’t tell you how good it feels to be able to just lunge to the floor and not wonder how the hell I’m going to get back up.  I’m getting my form right and using that back foot to help me up.  Today’s WOD consisted of the following;

    3 Rounds

    30 sec Max Double Unders
    15 sec rest
    30 sec Max Burpees
    15 sec rest
    30 sec max Iron Mikes (I did lunges)
    15 sec Rest
    400 meter sprint

    Followed by a 10 minute Grind

    20 Hanging Leg Raises
    Down & Back Bear Crawl
    5x Single Arm KB Cleans

    Today was exhausting to say the least.  It looks like a lot of resting periods, but when doing MAX reps you need that rest time to catch your breath.
    The running slowed me down, but I am quicker at doing the other stuff, so it sort of evens things out.  I know I’ll get to the point where the running won’t be an issue anymore and something else will be my kryptonite.  I am praying for that day to come!
    I felt good after this workout, but it’s always about an hour after that that the soreness and exhaustion starts kicking in for me.  I ended up completing the cycle in a little over 21 minutes which is pretty good!

    Tuesday February 27, 2018 

    The Power Clean, oh how I love to hate thee.  It’s a move that I haven’t quite mastered yet.  I’ve gone so far as to to watch videos to make sure that I am doing it correctly.  It looks so easy when someone else is doing it…
    The cycling warm up consisted of 2 rounds of Power Cleans using 40% of our 1 rep max.  My 1 RM is 85 pounds, but it’s the ugliest most uncoordinated Power Clean in the history of the Power Cleans, IMO.
    I started with 55 pounds even though 40% of the RM was 34 pounds.  The following was on today’s menu:

    I completed part B with 55 pounds, which is why I started part C at 55 pounds.  I kept adding weight and got up to 70 pounds.  It was nice to be able to get the extra practice that Drew gave us today.  He spent time breaking it down which I found really helpful.

    When it was time to start part D, Drew suggested that I use 75 pounds for the Clean and Jerk and I did what I always do, I said, “Sure, ok.”  I always tend to want to try a new weight just to get it out the way.  If I can do it, I keep the weight, if I can’t then I just go back to my original weight.  I trust that my coaches know what’s best for me and they haven’t let me down yet.  I completed the WOD, and I think I have a better grasp on the Power Clean. 

    Thursday March 1, 2018

    Welcome to my Birthday Month!  I will be 41 at the end of March and I plan on crushing every WOD this month to prove that 40 is the new 30!! 

    The Bench Press was the focus today.  It was my first time bench pressing and I was kind of worried because I didn’t know if my upper body strength was good enough for this move.  We partnered up and ran right through the WOD.  On the menu today was the following; 

    I started the Bench Press with a standard for me: 55 pounds.  It’s basically the women’s 35# bar with tens on it.  I always start something new with this weight because it easier for me to gauge where I’m at.

    The 55 pounds was easy enough to do the 5 Bench Presses unbroken and it felt easy enough to where I could add more weight.  I decided to add 10 pounds each round which took me up to 75 pounds.  At this weight I can do 4 unbroken with minimal struggle. 

    During part B1 I added an additional 5 pounds and, believe it or not, that extra five pounds was a bit too much.  I did 3 unbroken before I needed help from my partner. 

     So something awesome happened today and it’s only awesome because it’s very unlikely that I am ever doing something the way it’s supposed to look.  I either have a work around, or I have the ugliest posture. But today I was asked to demonstrate what a T-Plank Rotation is supposed to look like. And I did. And it was awesome. 

    Today was also a good day for me because someone came up to me and basically told me I was looking good.  I am so hard on myself that I look in the mirror every day and don’t see any progress. It’s very nice to hear that other people see it.

    Thanks for coming on this journey with me. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Adventures in CrossFit, Special 2018 CF Open Edition (3/29/2018)

    Special CrossFit Open Blog

    By, Yvonne Moreno

    Hey guys it’s been a while.  I’ve been busy working, raising a small human, and of course working out.

    I’ve got to tell you that it’s super cool that people I haven’t seen in a while look at me and say how great I am looking.  I’m so humbled by the support I receive.  I’m getting ready to start the nutrition program here at Wildcat CrossFit and I can’t wait to bring you on that ride with me. 

    We are in the thick of the CrossFit Open!  I first learned about the open this past December when someone asked if I was going to register.  I had no idea what the Open was and what all the hype was, so I did what I always do when I don’t understand something, I put my research hat on and dug in.

    The CrossFit Games first started in 2007 on a ranch in Aromas, California.  At first, participation was open to anyone who showed up to the location.  A few years later in 2011, the CrossFit Open was born.  It became the first step to participate in The Games.

    The Open allows anyone to participate and is held over a five week period.  During these five weeks a new workout is announced – one each week on Thursdays  – and competitors have until Monday evening to complete the WOD for judging.

    Each competitor is placed in one of the 18 regions according to your box location.  You compete against everyone in your region and the top 10-30 competitors in each region then advances to Regionals.  The top athletes moving on from the Regionals advance to the CrossFit Games, which are held over three days in the summer.

    This is my first year crossfitting during the Open and the excitement is contagious.  We all gather around the monitor on Thursday nights to hear what the next WOD will be.  People stand around guessing and making bets and then the announcement is made and work mode starts.  You can hear the murmurs of how each person thinks they are going to score.  It’s super exciting and I love the vibes that everyone has.

    We are on week 4 and already our athletes are killing it.  Here’s the thing with CrossFit, even if you complete the scaled version of the WOD, it’s badass!

    You have to have tried CrossFit to know how bad ass it is. And to know that somewhere across the world someone is completing against you and trying their very best to just not give up, that’s pretty bad ass too.

    You have to have put in the work week in and week out to know what these athletes go through.  I am in awe of my peers and I can’t wait to register next year and share in the excitement.  I am so proud of everyone participating in the Open and all I can say it, watch out for me next year.  The following are the first three weeks of Open WODs.  Try it, I dare you!

    18.1

    20 Minute AMRAP
    8 Toes to Bar
    10 Dumbell Hang Clean & Jerks (Men 50lb/Women 35lb)
    14 Calorie Row

    18.2

    1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 Reps for time
    Dumbell Squats (Men 50lb/Women 35lb)
    Bar-Facing Burpees

    18.2a

    1 Rep Max Clean
    12 Minutes to complete both 18.1 & 18.1a

    18.3

    2 Rounds for Time
    100 Double-unders
    20 Overhead Squats
    100 Double-unders
    12 Ring Muscle Ups
    100 Double-unders
    20 Dumbbell Snatches
    100 Double-unders
    12 Bar Muscle-ups

     

     

  • Adventures in CrossFit – Back from the Flu Feb19-22, 2018 (3/26/2018)

    Yvonne’s Adventures in CrossFit Feb 19-22, 2018

    Back from the Flu

    So I’m coming out of a cloud of sickness that had plagued my household, It was nasty and I thought I was going to die! 

    But I lived and now I’m back at the gym trying to get myself back to 100%.  If there is one thing that I’ve realized it’s that keeping your mind and your body healthy is super important. 

    I wasn’t feeling 100% when I walked in here today, but I can honestly say that working out has definitely helped me get over the sickness.  I am happy to report that I’m also keeping a food log to help me get healthy. 

    Jen and Noah are both very good at looking at your diet and helping you tweak it to make sure that you are getting all the right nutrition.  I’m starting off the week on the right track, which is what I tell myself every week, but I’ve realized that you have to take it day by day to make you that you’re living the best life you can live. 

    Monday February 19, 2018

    Warm up was followed by barbell cycling as follows;

    12x Touch-and-Go (TAG) Deadlifts
    60 Sec Rest
    10x TAG Hang Squat Cleans
    60 Sec Rest
    8x TAG Squat Cleans

    Then…


    Yes this was as confusing as it looked but that was my bad because I didn’t ask for clarification.  I just worked until I saw someone stop, and then I stopped.  I got up to 175 reps.  I got up to the second set of Squat Cleans and did 10 of those.

    My biggest issue today was that I was still struggling with my sinuses.  I didn’t do that bad though.  I’m getting the hang of the Squat Cleans. I’m using lighter weight because I’ve learned by experience that If I try to add weight before I get the technique down, I always fail.  So my advice is to make sure you’ve got the move down before trying to add more weight and risk getting hurt.

    Tuesday February 20, 2018

    Oh how I love BURBEES, said no one EVER!!  Today was just work, work, work.  It wasn’t hard work as far as the movements, but it was consistent.  I must say that I wouldn’t make the following statement when I first started CrossFit, but I can now say that I like WODs like these because I am beginning to know what my body is good at and what I need to work on.  Today in particular, I have work-arounds for burpees and pull-ups. I am getting quicker at completing these now and therefore I can get more rounds in. 

    Like I said, it wasn’t hard, but it was consistent.  I was so sore after this WOD because of the upper body I used.  Here’s the thing with these types of WODs, I love to hate them.  I love that I know exactly what I am doing.  These are all moves that I’ve done before many times and there was no question on the sequence. I hate them because they remind me of how far I still need to go before I can properly do a burpee or a pull up.

    I’m glad that I do have work-arounds for both burpees and pull-ups, but I feel like I’m cheating a little because I’m not hitting the floor with those burpees.  I mean if I try to hit the floor, floor would probably hit back and that would be the end of my CrossFit career. lol

    Thursday February 22, 2018

    So I came in today to find that we were doing a recovery WOD and I didn’t quite understand what these were and the purpose, so I did a little research. 

    As it turns out recovery WODs are designed to give your muscles and connective tissues a chance to recover between heavy training sessions.  Basically, these are designed to keep us coming in instead of taking a rest day, which I can understand.  Today’s WOD was a cycle between nonstructural activity, like running and core work, like lunges.  Giving us the option to change the order but still keeping in sequence the WOD looked like the following;

    800 meter jog
    90 yard walking lunge
    500 meter row
    5 minute 1 arm KB clean and jerk
    500 meter ski
    20x Turkish Get Ups
    30 Cal Bike
    100x Kettlebell Swings

    We were given a time cap of 30 minutes and when I heard this, I thought there would be no chance that I would make that cap.

    I decided to follow the WOD as written and, as always, the jog slowed me down.  I am currently not able to run the entire length and have to stop and walk part of the way. It’s time consuming.  I ended up coming in just below the 30 minute cap. I took short 30 second breaks between sessions, and I kept working. 

    I was super proud of myself and I absolutely believe that recovery WODs are necessary to be able to keep the body moving.  Remember that your body continues to work even after you’ve worked out, so regardless of the type of WOD always give it your all.

  • Wildcat CrossFit Open Leaderboard (2/25/2018)

    [LINK]Wildcat CrossFit’s Team on the Worldwide CrossFit Leaderboard

    22 Wildcat Athletes have Registered for the Open. Many more Wildcats perform the workouts each week. Here are some photos from 18.1 and 18.2. Check back for new Wildcat Open photos weekly!

  • Yvonne’s Adventures in CrossFit: 1/23-1/25/18 (2/21/2018)

    By, Yvonne Moreno

    Tuesday January 23, 2018

    Another week another story!  So I walk into the box yesterday ready take all my frustrations out on some good ole Deadlifts, and I had to walk right out.  On Mondays, I come straight to the gym from work, and it’s usually the day I enjoy the most because I just give it all I have.  I walk in with my bag ready to go, and it turns out I have one sneaker and no shirt!  So unless my confidence level suddenly increased 300% and I was going to work out in my sports bra, barefoot and compression pants. My a$$ was out of there with a quickness.  I looked like The Flash, in and out!!  LOL. Anyway, I digress.

    Today worked on Front Squats, as follows;

    I have to say that I like this new way of recording our progress because it takes the math work out of the whole WOD.  If you keep up with entering your information, you will not have to calculate anything. The TrainHeroic app does it for you.  My 75% of my one rep max was at 75 pounds and today I did 5 times at 95 pounds.

    The Accessory Circuit is what got me today.  First my walking, talking conscience, named Drew, made me jump, actually jump, up onto a box.

    It was the green baby box, but both my feet jumped off the floor and landed on the box.  Here I am thinking I was a bad ass because I had graduated to the slightly higher box to do step ups and Drew pulled me back to the green box and made me jump with both feet!

    I’m not afraid or intimidated of Drew, but when he asks me to do something, for some reason I have to do it.  He made me hang from a bar today too.  I mean granted I didn’t hang for much long but my feet left the box I was standing on for a bit!!  There are these bad asses that never let me get comfortable, they are the coaches and each and every one of them will hold you accountable and sometimes that is what you need!

    Wednesday January 24, 2018

    Running!  Today was brought to you by RUNNING!  Today we ran, and ran, and in between we did some lovely  kettlebell activity.  I must say that I don’t really hate these running or “endurance” days as much as I used to.  They are very tiring, and I don’t think I curse as much on other days as I do on these days, but it’s nice to know that I don’t give up.  It’s easy. You just have to run, or in my case run, and walk, and walk-run.

    Check it out! Today we not only ran, but kettle-belled too!

     

     

    I finished at a respectable 27:41 minutes. The hardest part about this was the Kettlebell carry.  The first round doesn’t hurt as much because you’re coming off a long run and you welcome that walk. However that second, third, and fourth round hurt.  

    ‘For those of us that carry the weight of the world on our shoulders, today was exactly what we needed to strengthen those shoulders.’                      –  Yvonne Moreno.

    My hands were getting numb, and I was cursing up a storm on those carries.  Another reason I love these WOD’s is that in my wee little mind I keep thinking that I’m gonna die and that I won’t finish and I’ll be the only one without a time on the leaderboard and it’s such an awesome feeling when I do finish.  I’m all about small victories nowadays. 

    Thursday January 25, 2018

    For those of us that carry the weight of the world on our shoulders, today was exactly what we needed to strengthen those shoulders. 

    We worked on a variety of activities today that all centered around our shoulder strength. Plus, anytime I get to work out with Lauryn is always a big plus.  I just love her!!  Lauryn is one of those people that brightens your day with her smile and is as genuine as they come, her bad ass sense of humor is rad too. 

    On today’s menu we had the following:

    I think my shoulder work needs work.  I’m not pressing as much weight as I thought I could. Still doing five reps at 65 pounds was pretty good work for those shoulders.  I’ve notice my issue is that I get into a comfort zone and stay there for tea!  I mean I get comfortable and bask in the glory of even being there at all and I tend to forget that it’s just another step on that latter.  So I’m going to focus on getting out of that comfort zone.    The 5×5 may not seem like a lot, but when you are adding weight and doing these unbroken, it sure does add up. 

    I got the chance to work with a new crossfitter today.  I asked if I could blog about him and he said yes, but asked me not to say his name. 

    I love meeting new people and asking what their situation in life is.  This guy said he wanted to get stronger. His words were, “Hopefully, I can make coming here a habit.” 

    I assured him that it was a good habit to get into.  He asked me about my CrossFit experience. I simply told him that starting CrossFit was the smartest thing I’ve done in a LONG while.  I encouraged him to stick with it and told him not to come in expecting results right away, rather come in, do the work and change your fitness life one day at a time.  Trust me, I know!

  • Wildcat Competitors Represent at the 2018 Granite Games! (2/17/2018)

    Wildcat Athletes Represent at the 2018 Granite Games

    Two teams of Wildcat athletes participated in the 2018 Granite Games at CrossFit Lanista today, and one team came in First Place! This grueling 4 workout competition was no joke and every athlete who participated did their absolute best.

    One Wildcat team consisted of members Carly Quinn and Becki Major. This pair did fantastic. They were in 4th place after the second workout and finished the competition in 6th place overall.

     

     

    The other team, “Beast Mode then Feast Mode” consisted of Wildcat Coach, Zach Bubolz and his brother, Josh, who flew in from LA to compete. This pair did fantastic, coming in First place. Wow. Nice job guys.

  • 3 Simple things you can do to help your body burn fat. (2/3/2018)

    Topic: Body Composition

    These 3 Mistakes might be Keeping You from Fat Loss

    tl;dr; You can control how much fat your body stores by changing what you eat! Sign up for a Free 15-Min Nutrition Consult Now!

    by, Coach Jen, RN

    Have you been trying to change your body composition? Would you like to turn some of that fat into muscle? If this is your goal, fantastic! You are probably already exercising and trying to eat well, but there are a few mistakes you might be making that could be setting you back and keeping you from making progress towards your goal.

     

    Mistake #1 The wrong type of Exercise: Too much cardio

    This is me running. lol. hahaha. 😛

    Working out for a long period of time is great. And workouts that don’t put a lot of stress on your body are awesome. You know what is great: Moving around every day. But if you want to burn fat and build muscle, then you need to do some kind of high intensity exercise. I do CrossFit. But there are other types of HIIT Workouts: Boot Camps, PT sessions, etc.

    Lifting weight is important too (it’s good for your bones!), and it puts your muscles under stress. This stress helps your muscles grow. Growing muscles need more energy, if there is fat nearby your growing muscles, then your muscles will burn some this fat to grow! *Note: Please consult with your doctor before starting any exercise plan, and make sure you choose a gym where the trainers focus on good form coaching. And remember: Technique before intensity, always.

    Mistake #2 Nutrition : Too many carbs

    If you are serious about losing body fat, you need to focus on your nutrition also. This means focusing on the macro-nutrients you are getting the bulk of your energy from. Humans can get their energy from two macro-nutrients: Carbs and Fats.

    Most of us in the modern world were taught that carbs were the way to go (bottom of the food pyramid). Many of us were also taught that Fats were the evil and started eating “Low Fat” diets. And as a result we have had a terrible time trying to lose fat.

    In order for your body to start burning fat, you need to eat fat as part of your diet (good, saturated fats) and you need to limit the amount of carbs you take in. If you are not sure where to start, a consultation with a Nutrition Coach is something you might want to do.

     Mistake #3: Not enough Sleep

    Most people don’t sleep nearly enough. When you can only get 3 or 4 hours of sleep a night your body is under stress. Just from that. When our bodies are under stress, it becomes more difficult for us to burn fat. If you think you might not be getting enough sleep (6-8 hours per night are recommended), start out by keeping track of what time you go to bed and wake up. How much sleep are you actually getting? Devices like FitBit and Apps like SleepCycle can track how much sleep you get…and it’s a fun way to motivate yourself to turn in a little earlier!

    Other side effects of getting more sleep: More Energy, Better Mood. You Make Better Choices. And You Have More Motivation to take you towards your goals!

     

    Are you ready to take your Nutrition to the next level? Sign up now for a Free 15-Min Nutrition Consult!

  • Happy New Year – Yvonne’s Adventures Jan 2-4, 2018 – Wildcat Newbie Blog (1/22/2018)

    Happy New Year – Yvonne’s Adventures Jan 2-4, 2018

    by, Yvonne Moreno

    Happy New Year!!

    I hope that everyone enjoyed their holidays as much as I did!  So with the new year comes new resolutions.  As always, the most popular ones are getting fit and eating better.  I myself have made these promises a few years in row, however this year my promise to myself is that I would continue to work on my health.  The real resolution for me was when I walked into Wildcat CrossFit on June 20, 2017.  It’s never too late to make a change and you don’t have to wait until Monday to start eating healthy or going to the gym much less until January 1st.  Make the choice to get stronger, healthier and feel great today, on a plain old Tuesday! 

    Tuesday January 2, 2018

    Today Drew took us through the new app for your cell phone that will help you track your progression.  It’s called TrainHeroic and honestly if you don’t have it yet go get it!  It shows you your stats in relation to the other Crossfitters, it lets you track your PR’s and it even has little video clips to help you understand that movement of certain exercises.  So my advice, and that of Drew: GO GET IT!! (ps. It’s free.)

    Today’s WOD concentrated on the Back Squat and finished off with core work. 

     I was glad to be able to work on my PR for my Back Squat.  I always start off at a comfortable weight, which for me has been 75 pound lately.  I start adding 20 pounds at a time and when it starts to get hard I head over to the baby weights and start with those.  I got up to 130 pounds which was a new PR for me. 

    So get this guys, as you can see a box jump was part of the CORE workout.  I can’t jump that high so I’ve always just used the small green boxes floating around the gym.  I’d say they are about a foot high but no higher than a foot and a half. However, today I didn’t have time to look for one of those and I spotted a regular albeit still not that high brown box.  Now on the green box I step up and down and just get it done with the newer more higher box I really had to STEP up!!  I mean I had to work!  I was proud of myself because when faced with a rush of time instead of stopping to get what was comfortable I stepped out of that comfort zone!

    Today’s milestone was using an actual box and I don’t care that it’s not the tall one, it’s brown and not green!  Hope you have an awesome year!

    Wednesday January 3, 2018

    Ahhh how I love to RUN!  (Can you read the sarcasm in that sentence??)

    Today’s WOD consisted of two of the things that I love to hate.  Running and Power Cleans.  I don’t like running because I can’t do it very well yet.  Notice I used the word YET. Because one of these days I’ll be able to get my body to do wonderful things like running!!  And last, but not least, the Power Clean!  I just can’t get that move down and I watch videos and like a creeper I watch others in the gym and I still can’t get that clean movements.  I’m trying though and that’s another thing that I’ll get my body to do well, one of these days!

     

    I have to admit that I used a low weight for my Power Cleans, but that’s because I want to do them well and not struggle.  I was at 55 pounds and that is a comfortable weight for me.  The running is what really slowed me down. That, and stopping to watch Trace Camacho crush it!  I mean that boy is super-fast, but anyway I digress.  I finished off at a perfectly reasonable time, in my mind at least.  37:31 was the time and let me just say that this looked way easier than it was!  Oh well let keep on keeping on folks!

    Thursday January 4, 2018

    Some of the things I really don’t like to encounter in this world of mine are bears in the woods while camping and bear crawls, especially ones that involve dumbbell’s!!

    Take a look at the madness they came up with. And by they, I mean DREW because this has his name written all over it!

    Now let me point out some things for you before I go off on my rant.  I was about 15 minutes early and I sat and watched as some of the most bad asses of all bad asses in my world struggle!  I almost wanted to get in my car and roll, but I stayed, and boy am I sore.

    I have to say that I’m a little glad I didn’t take off because I wanted to work on the Push Press.  It’s not one that I’ve done a whole lot, but I know that I’m getting stronger and I want to see how far I can push myself.  I was working with Renee as my partner and she’s a little bitty thing, but I think we worked well together because I pushed her to try heavier weight.  She got up to 60 pounds and she told me that the bar on its own was all she’s ever done!  I got up to 80 pounds, but I know that if I take some time, maybe at Open Gym, I can get higher.

    And then came the torture…I mean come on!  The 12 minute mini grind was tough but I think these are the most rewarding because you’re not going for time, you’re working hard for 12 minutes regardless if my bear crawl looked more like a bear who’s been shot and is seeking shelter rather than a bear crawling leisurely across the forest!  I mean, come on, but you know what, I got through it. And it was hard and I’m sore, but I did it!!

    It’s the end of the week and I really do hope to see you all at the next WOD!!!

     

  • Yvonne’s Adventures in CrossFit. ~ The Journey Continues ~ Dec 4-7, 2017 (1/15/2018)

    Yvonne’s Adventures in CrossFit. ~ The Journey Continues ~ Dec 4-7, 2017

    So this week, in addition to telling you all about my CrossFit experience, I’m going to write about something that happened to me.

    It’s not something that happened per say, it’s something that I saw. And it upset me in a way I wasn’t expecting. Jessica, our wonderful Front Desk Manager, & photo taker extraordinaire took some pictures of the 5 pm class practicing the Hang Squat Clean.

    First of all, let me start by saying that I love that she and others in the box take pictures. I don’t always have my phone handy, and it’s nice to be able to see me in action.  Today I looked at these pictures and all I saw was fat!  Fat everywhere!  Unhealthy, big legs, big belly and ugly!  I actually cried and didn’t understand how anyone wanted to see pictures of all this.

     

     

    I went home and frantically Googled, “Fat Girls Crossfit.”Yes, I most certainly did and I didn’t see one picture that looks like this one.  Not one picture that showed anyone that looks like they have my body shape or type.  I was devastated because I kept thinking, “what the hell am I doing in the box looking like I belong at a weight loss facility undergoing some kind of testing.”

    A few pictures and all of my badassness went away, just like that with the click of a mouse.  I found a couple of blogs of plus sized women trying CrossFit, but the biggest girl I saw was a size 18 with no belly and arm fat hanging.  I’m sorry if it’s too graphic for you, but those of you that CrossFit with me see it every day and those that don’t know me, well this is what I deal with. This is what I see in the mirror.

    I’ve always been a big girl and I’ve always been confident in myself.  Even through all the bullying in school and even in public places, I’ve always been able to ignore it and move on with my life. However it’s days like today, and seeing that picture that break down all those walls that I’ve carefully constructed.  As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words and today all those words were negative, mean and nasty.  A picture bullied me into crying and thinking that I didn’t belong with my CrossFit family.

    The truth is that I don’t belong in a box trying to make my fitness dreams come true, I belong in a box to make sure that those pictures serve as notice to anyone, that ALL and I mean ALL things are possible whether you’re 100 pounds or 300 pounds.

    I step into that box at the very least 3 times a week and sometimes I make a complete fool of myself but I do it; All 290 pounds of me!  I run during the warm ups, I try my very best when it comes to inch worms, I try everything at least once and I even fall on my ass when trying to Clean and Jerk, but I get up and show my face. I breathe hard and sweat more than most.

    My hands, my back, my knees, my legs and my ego hurt every single day but I high five my coach and collect my things and I leave every day knowing that I am a part of the 4 million CrossFitters worldwide with only 19% of that in my age democratic.  It may not mean much to you, but to be a part of this CrossFit family has become one of the few things in my life that I control.  I can control whether I chose to be a part of a box or not.  I think I’ve chosen wisely.

    I have a long journey and a lot of changes that need to be made but I’m committed to the process.  I’m crushing it one day at a time and I’m ok with that!

    Monday December 4, 2017

    The 30 minute chipper!  I initially came in early to work on my Power Cleans, because I really need to get that movement down.  I think I’m using too much weight and I’m losing the entire point so I wanted to work on it.  When I saw that Jen was coaching the WOD and saw that it consisted of some lifting I decided to join the 4pm class.  On the board today was the following;

    30 Minute Chipper

    1 mile run

    AMRAP
    100 double unders
    80 air squats
    60 pull ups
    40 box jumps
    20 clean and jerks
    10 handstand push ups

    I fell on my ass trying to do my first Clean and Jerk!!  Yes folks this is how this WOD started!!!  With a little help from Jen I was able to pull the rest off without my butt meeting the floor.  I chose to run instead of rowing, because I like that I can.

    When I walked in here almost 6 months ago I couldn’t run and now I can, I like that.  I didn’t run the entire mile as I am still not that skilled, but I took short 30 second walk breaks like Drew suggested and I did it!  In 30 minutes I managed to do one complete round plus 12 single unders.  Not bad for falling on my ass!

    Tuesday December 5, 2017

    Ahhh…today was at the same time rough and easy.  Please read the start of this blog for the rough part.  The actual day was super easy in skill, but it sure did work me out.  The Hang Squat Clean is not easy by any means, but today we got to spend more time than usual making sure we worked on our form.  On the menu today was the following:

    20 minute to max Hang Squat Clean

    8 minute AMRAP

    10 Toes to Bar or Leg raises

    15 push-ups (hand release)

    The 20 minute work on the Hang Squat Clean gave me a great opportunity to work on form.  I’ve been watching videos on these moves and I want to work on raising the bar level and not rounding.  I think I got it a few times today which really made me happy.  I was also working with a low weight and worked up to 65 pounds.  It was the lowest in the class, but my box mates have been doing this a lot longer than I have and are in way better shape than I am.  I managed to finish the day with 6 rounds plus 20, which made me feel AWESOME.  

    Thursday December 7, 2017

    The ladder again, only this time it’s for one of my favorites, the Back Squat!  I have to admit that I although I didn’t check out the website for the WOD today, I did see all the pictures online and I knew that the Back Squat was involved.  My current PR is 115 pounds.   

    We started with a few warms ups, concentrating on squatting.  Coach Ryan mentioned that my mobility had improved.  He’s right.  I was able to squat lower than I ever had before.  It’s nice when your hard work is noticed. As I told Ryan, it’s thanks to all the ass kicking that my coaches at Wildcat give me.  I appreciate each and everyone of them!

    Today’s Menu was:

    The Back Squat Ladder

    10 Reps @ 30% 1RM (one rep max)
    9 Reps @35%
    8 Reps @40%
    7 Reps @ 45%
    6 Reps @ 50%
    5 Reps @ 55%
    4 Reps @ 60%
    3 Reps @ 65%
    2 Reps @ 70%
    1 Reps @ 75%
    1 Rep @ 80%
    3 Reps @ 85%

    So this athlete right here PR’ed again!  Yes, that’s right I am up to a 120 Back Squat!  Man, I was so high off that WOD that nothing could bring me down.  I love pushing myself and getting to where I need to be was never so much fun!  I seriously walked out with so much pride that I was beaming!! 

    It was an emotional week for me, but a successful one.  I’ve learned a little more about my ability to do all things.   I just have to remember that great things take time and not to let one little picture set me back.  I’m stronger then I was 5 months ago, my mobility is a lot better, and my confidence is higher than it’s ever been.  Thanks for coming on this journey with me!

  • “I love climbing ladders…” Yvonne’s Adventures in CrossFit 11.25-12.1 (1/10/2018)

    “I love climbing ladders…” Yvonne’s Adventures in CrossFit 11.25-12.1.17

    Monday, November 25, 2017

    “1775” I didn’t know the meaning of this date. After a few Google searches, it turns out that it’s more significant than I thought. It’s the birth-year of the U.S. Army. It seems fitting that we should honor this day around the holidays. So here’s the deal, when I walked in and just skimmed the board, I almost had a heart attack. Seriously, I saw 75 pull-ups and I almost walked out.

    I mean, I almost freaked out. But I put my big girl compression shorts on and just plowed through it!

    Today’s WOD consisted of the following:

    I stood there in front of the board for a good while trying to wrap my head around this. What got me was the quantity of pull-ups more than anything else.

    I mean, I almost freaked out. But I put my big girl compression shorts on and just plowed through it! I did ring rows instead of pull-ups and my scaled version of burpees, but I finished at 23 minutes and 43 seconds.  Not bad if you ask me!

    So this is what I came home learning about myself today: There will always be something crazy scary on the white board at the gym. However, all you can do is try. And you never know, you might surprise yourself and finish.

    Thanks to all who are serving, have served or will be serving. My dad is a veteran of the US Army and today I finished “1775” is his honor.

    Tuesday, November 28, 2017

    And I’m back and extremely sore from yesterday. Man, I didn’t think that I would be hurting as much as I am, but it’s a good pain. It reminds me that I pushed myself to the max.

    So today when I came in and saw what was on the menu, I didn’t think it was going to be as tough as it was, mostly because it’s all stuff I’ve done before and there’s a break in between each round however it can be pretty deceiving when it’s on the heel of yesterday’s WOD.

    On the menu today was;

    3, 6, 9 Minute AMRAPS
    5x Box Jumps
    5x Deadlifts
    5x Burpee Box Jumps
    10x Hang Power Cleans
    5x Burpee Box Jump Overs
    15x Thrusters

    I finished at 23 reps the first 3 minutes, 46 reps the next 6 and 63 reps for the last 9 minutes.  That was pretty decent however the last round was brutal.  My hang power cleans felt awful. I almost lost the bar a few times. I think my issue was that I should have gone lighter for those.  I need to work on my power cleans because I think they are my sloppiest move.  I went home and watched videos and I definitely think I need more help on these.  I think next week I’ll dedicate some open gym time to power cleans.

    Thursday, November 30, 2017

    Today was one of my favorites! I love climbing ladders, literally and figuratively. I’m not afraid of heights and I’m not afraid of hard work and dedication.
    Today I got to climb the best kind of ladder. The Deadlift ladder!! I’ve got be honest and say that I think this is my best lift. I like it when I see Deadlifts on the board and on days like today that’s all there was.

    Today’s WOD:

    The Deadlift Ladder
    10 Reps @ 30% 1RM (one rep max)
    9 Reps @35%
    8 Reps @40%
    7 Reps @ 45%
    6 Reps @ 50%
    5 Reps @ 55%
    4 Reps @ 60%
    3 Reps @ 65%
    2 Reps @ 70%
    1 Reps @ 75%
    1 Rep @ 80%
    3 Reps @ 85%

    Core/Durability 400 meter farmer’s carry

    Ok, so I know this looks like a lot of math, but I just took my past heaviest Deadlift, which was 150 pounds, and worked from there.  I completed the ladder, but I thought that maybe I’d add 5 more pounds and see if my PR game was strong. And guess what???  I PR’ed at 155 pounds!!!  Ryan was my witness and he even had to count my weights to make sure because he didn’t believe me!  I think he was more proud of me than anything.  It was heavy, but I did it and I was damn proud of myself. 

     We finished off the night with the Farmers Carry. I had my son walk with me, so that made it easier.  He asked me why I was walking with weights and I had to explain to him that, “Mama wants to be stronger and healthier,” and he said, “Why mama?”  I had no other answer but the truth, “Because mama wants to be around for you for a long time!”

    Friday December 1, 2017

     Happy Holiday’s

     

     

  • Holiday Schedule (12/24/2017)

    Christmas Day CrossFit at 9am

    Tuesday schedule is;
    10:30 and Noon classes only.

    Wednesday our normal schedule resumes.

  • Turkish Get-Ups, Curtis-P’s and Front Squat PRs – More Adventures in CrossFit, Nov 13-17 With Newbie Blogger Yvonne! (12/19/2017)

    Turkish Get-Ups, Curtis-P’s and Front Squat PRs – More Adventures in CrossFit, Nov 13-17 With Newbie Blogger Yvonne!

    by, Yvonne Moreno

    Monday November 13, 2017

    Last week just about killed me both mentally and physically, so I am starting this week on a positive note. I decided that whatever this week brings, I will smile and try my hardest.  Today, I met my old friend, the Overhead Squat.  The last time I did these I wasn’t putting that much weight on the bar. Lately, I’ve been making sure that I push myself.

    Today’s WOD included Thrusters and Overhead Squats, and it was a long one.  On the menu today was the following:

    For Time:

    10x Overhead Squats
    10x Burpee Box Jump Overs
    10x Thrusters
    10x Toes to Bar (or leg raises)
    10x Deadlifts
    10x Toes to Bar (or leg raises)
    10x Thrusters
    10x Burpee Box Jump Overs
    10x Overhead Squats

    Ok guys, today was hard.  It doesn’t seem like it’s hard, but by the time you hit the Deadlifts, man it gets hard.  I was at 85lbs for the Squats and Thrusters and I used the work around for my burpees. I was exhausted after it was all over, but I finished.

    Remember guys, if there is something you can’t do there is always a work around.  My work around for the burpees are to use a bench to do a vertical push up with a jump.  The movements themselves are not hard, it’s the more of quantity of rounds. My movements may not be pretty and sometimes it worries me that I might not be benefiting from the movement because I am just trying to finish. This is something that I have to work on.  I mean, at times I really don’t care if I finish in a decent time frame, but sometimes that competitiveness that we all have gets the better of me!!! Lol  

    Tuesday November 14, 2017

    Turkish Get Ups Anyone???  I don’t think that I’ve ever heard anyone say, “Turkish Get Ups are my favorite!!”  You’ll never hear me say it, that’s for sure, but let me tell you why.  I am a big girl and trying to get up off the floor without using some kind of support is nearly impossible, and then you want me to do it with a kettlebell in one hand?  Are you NUTS??? 

    Ok for those of you that need a picture painted, here you go…

     turkish getup

    Image source: https://www.ahealthiermichigan.org/2011/01/06/turkish-get-up/Today’s WOD consisted of:

    5 Rounds for time of:
    3 TGU
    30 KB Swings
     

    4 Rounds
    10 V Ups
    1 minute plank

     To start, I did what I always do when I can’t quite do what is asked of me, Turkish Get Ups for example; I told Drew, “No, just no!”   He promised he’d help me when it came to it, and help me he did.  He suggested I use some dumb bells to help me up off the floor and he assured me that it was ok to use my hand to help me.  Having something to hold on to made it possible for me to do the GET UP  part of the TGU.  Drew had faith in me when I didn’t have it in myself.  I was all ready to not do the TGU, but he wasn’t having it.  It was ugly and it was cheating a little, but I got through it and someday soon I’ll be able to do these without the extra help!  I promise you that!!

    Thursday November 16, 2017

    Another day, another new experience for me.  The Curtis P!  I’ve seen it before, but I don’t think I’ve ever done this one.  It’s a series of movements starting with a Hang Squat Clean, Lunge one leg, then the other, and then a Push Press.  Coach Ryan took us through the process, step by step, which was really helpful because, separately, all of these movements are easy, but when you have to put them all together it can get kind of hard.

    Today’s WOD:

     

    I got through these rounds fairly well, but I was so tired in the end.  At first, the 2 minute rest between was awesome. I almost thought it was too much time, but nope it wasn’t. By the last round, the rest was very welcomed.  When I see a long rest in between I always tend to think it’s almost too much, because the last thing I want is for my body to rest. I’ve learned, these coaches know what they are doing, because by the time it’s over, man, you’re are definitely feeling every bit of the workout. 

    It always a good day here, but when you get to learn something new it’s an extra good day!!! 

    Friday November 17, 2017

    Happy Fri-yay!!  Are you ready for some Front Squats???  Because today we have a whole lot of them!  Last time I did these I think I got to 100 pounds.  Not bad!!  Today’s WOD was:

    I started off with a nice little  Front Squat practice and I went to 100 pounds, which was pretty hard.  I did 110 pounds. It was almost too much, but I just wanted to push it, and tried another five pounds. And I made it almost all the way down, but had to come back up before got totally to the bottom.  Now, I don’t consider this a PR, because it was barely a squat, but according to Ryan and Jen it was, so there you have it.  I did the WOD at 85 pounds which is of course 85% of my awesome 100 pound squat. 

    It was a nice way to end my work week.  I did really well tonight, it’s a lot that I need to work on. That list keeps getting longer, but that just means I have to work harder.  Lots of changes, but good positive changes.  I hope everyone reading this gives CrossFit a try, because it’s a life changer!  Extra special thanks to the coaches this week.  I came in saying, “No, I can’t,” and left here saying, “absolutely, I can!”

  • ‘Clean Up, Power Up’ – My experiences cleaning up my eating. (11/27/2017)

    ‘Clean Up, Power Up’
    Recent experiences with cleaning up my eating.

    by, Coach Jen Wirth

    I’d been on a sugar roller coaster for months. I knew I needed to get off, but man I was dreading the process. Right around the time I started getting realistic about stopping the insanity and tamping down on my daily sucrose overdose, Jenny Providence, of City Acupuncture (and wife of Wildcat Owner Noah Providence) started running one of the most comprehensive and informative nutrition classes (in my opinion) available (to lay people) anywhere, right here at Wildcat CrossFit. I knew I needed help, so I jumped in to check it out.

    Eight weeks later, I’ve all but stopped consuming soda, candy bars, ‘freshly baked’ pies, and even alcohol. The whole while I’ve never felt deprived or stressed out because I wasn’t sure what I could eat. I’ve never felt ‘hangry.’ And I’ve rarely felt hungry at all. It’s been by far the most effective, gentle and gradual way I have ever shifted my eating habits…and because of this I think the changes I’ve made will be sustainable without external support for quite some time.

    I used to eat most of the Cheese-its
    out of the Wildcat vending machine.
    Not for the last month though,
    and that’s quite something.

    I’ve been a very healthy eater before, maintaining a low carb diet that was heavy on vegetables periodically for years at a time. This year my diet got way out of wack. Several months ago I sustained a major injury and, as a result, I experienced a serious amount of chronic pain and discomfort during the months-long healing process.

    Here’s that story in a nutshell: While I was making coffee one morning, the kettle slipped out of my hand and hot water splashed across my tummy. A nice swath of my stomach felt like it was on fire for a good two or three weeks. And then there was the itching that accompanies the healing of a burn. I’d wake up at night, scratching my healing skin back open. I had to sleep sitting up for months, and usually just for a couple hours at a time.

    “I was on a sugar rush roller coaster to the point where it was a normal thing for me. I was dreading, absolutely dreading, weaning myself off sugar.”

    The fog of pain, sleep loss, and continuous discomfort I was living through for those couple of months made me focus most of my waking hours on bare survival. When that’s your reality, it’s hard to make sure you’re eating your vegetables, at least it is for me. As it was the only comfort available, comfort food became a big part of my life. And after my burn healed … nothing changed in that department.

    A couple months ago, I was still really struggling with these same bad eating habits I’d picked back up after my injury. I was eating sugary foods, ice cream, pie, candy bars, and drinking soda, with reckless abandon. I knew the way I was eating was unsustainable long term. High blood sugar levels on a regular basis lead to the formation of blood clots and increase your chances of heart attacks and strokes. Not to mention Type 2 Diabetes and just generally feeling like crapola. I knew that I had to make a change, but I was dreading, absolutely dreading, the symptoms of sugar withdrawal.

    I’d detoxed myself off sugar before, and I wasn’t looking forward to doing it again. My sugar detox symptoms typically include headaches, crabbiness, moodiness, tiredness, and I can get pretty grumpy and blue. Usually it has taken a week or two before the cravings go away and I start feeling like a happy human being on the inside again.

    To complicate matters, I’m also a survivor of 30 years of obsessive dieting that included both food and caloric restriction. I finally stopped this behavior several years ago (thanks in large part to CrossFit:). Because of my history with food and eating, it is difficult for me to radically change my eating patterns quickly without stress.

    I highly recommend you let Jenny tell you a story or two about the comparative digestive pathways of sugars and fats. It will change the way you look at your plate.

    Even though it’s very healthy for most people to do eating programs like ‘The Whole 30.’ For me, limiting the number of foods I am ‘allowed’ to eat for a certain ‘time period’ really pushes my buttons and stresses me out. I don’t like doing it, and I know from experience that don’t usually stick with ‘eating clean’ for long after those 30 days are over. This time, if I was going to go to the trouble of starting to eat right, I wanted to be able to keep eating right.

    I needed to get my diet back in check, and I wasn’t sure I could do it alone. Jenny’s class provided alternative healthy recipes and support. And thank goodness for that, it turns out I needed it.

    Jenny’s nutrition class, which was framed as the ‘Clean Up – Power Up 6 Week Challenge’ helped me shift my eating off of sugars and grain-based carbs in the most gradual and gently way I’d ever experienced. Shifting my eating gradually, the way our small group of participants did during the 6 Week Challenge, was very effective for me.

    Week 1: We increased our ‘good’ fat intake and eliminated ‘bad’ fats, such as vegetable oil, corn oil, safflower oil, and cottonseed oil. Instead of these, we focused on eating more butter, avocados, coconut oil, and animal fats. We also focused on getting more sleep and eliminating alcohol for the duration of the challenge.

    It turns out that when you understand how a certain food will impact your body, it’s easier to turn down most of the bad choices.

    Week 2: We eliminated processed sugars and carbohydrates. Guess what? You can still eat sweet things if you do this! You just eat sweet things that also contain fiber…like fresh fruit and berries…or sweet potatoes (soooooo sweet!) and you can add butter too … and salt … and it’s got that salty, sweet, creamy delicious texture as it warmly rolls across your tongue and down your throat.. mmm mmm mmm! Highly recommend.

    I really appreciated Jenny’s encouragement and her comprehensive, yet understandable, explanations of what roles different organs and hormones play in the digestive process. It turns out that when you understand how a certain food will impact your body, it’s easier to turn down most of the bad choices. Also, Jenny explained why choosing low sugar/grain foods is one of the the most important factors in determining whether or not your body will be able to easily burn body fat as an energy source. If you’re wondering why you have trouble losing weight no matter how few calories you eat, I highly recommend you let Jenny tell you a story or two about the comparative digestive pathways of sugars and fats. It will change the way you look at your plate.

    Lasting effects, trending towards a healthier plate.

    Because most of us have built up a tolerance to junky modern foods high in carbs (sugars) and sugars, it takes time to get your body used to performing the way it’s designed to perform. In order to make it do so, you kind of have to lay off of the junky modern food (and beverages) for awhile…for me three weeks was just long enough for me to start really feeling a difference, and that was about 4 weeks ago.

    I’ve made a few non-ideal food choices since the Clean Up Power Up challenge ended: sips of soda, a donut hole or two; but I am in no way as dependent on a regular sugar fix as I had been prior to the challenge. I was able to minimize wheat and other grains in my diet, as well as sugar, soda, and most processed foods. I used to eat most of the Cheese-its out of the Wildcat vending machine. Not for the last month though, and that’s quite something.

    I haven’t been able to start incorporating
    [intermittent fasting] yet, but as far
    as I’ve been able to take this challenge,
    it has really changed the way I feel for the better.

    As the class progressed (a total of 6 Saturdays), the challenges got a little harder for me to do. It turns out, part of eating well is spending a decent amount of time each day not eating.

    Intermittent fasting, or limiting the number of hours per day you eat to 8 or 10 and increasing the amount of time between dinner and breakfast up to 16 hours was one of Jenny’s final challenges to us. I haven’t been able to start incorporating this practice yet, but as far as I’ve been able to take this challenge, it has really changed the way I feel for the better.

    My general stress level is lower than it was before. My life is pretty much rolling along the same as it was, yet I feel much less stressed out than I did before starting this challenge.

    Even though I wasn’t able to complete all of the nutrition challenges, during the ‘Clean Up, Power Up – 6 Week Challenge,’ I’m happy with what I accomplished. Also, I know Jenny will be offering another nutrition challenge at Wildcat CrossFit starting in early 2018, so I can get a tune-up then and see if I can take my nutrition to an even higher level.  I also know that (for me) the best way to have great nutrition for life is to ease into new behaviors. Continuously striving to do a little bit better, and keeping with the general trend of making healthier eating choices more often, that’s what works for me.

    It feels good to feel good. If you’re interested in changing your eating habits for the better, and you don’t want to make a whole bunch of changes all at once, I definitely recommend taking advantage of Jenny Providence’s nutrition expertise the next time she offers a nutrition class at Wildcat CrossFit. The information she shares is powerful, and experiencing gradual, noticeable change in the way your body feels as you start to feed it differently. I can tell you, from experience, that experience is very cool.

  • “Just call me the PR queen” – Yvonne’s Adventures in CrossFit, Newbie Blog Nov 6-10, 2017 (11/17/2017)

    Newbie Blog: Yvonne’s Adventures in CrossFit –
    November 6-10, 2017 “Just call me the PR queen.”

    by, Yvonne Moreno

    Monday November 6, 2017

    Holy Front Squats Batman!!!

    After being off for a week, I came back to an awesome WOD.  I was super excited to see that we were working on squats today. I PR’d my back squats a couple of weeks ago and I was wanting to get another PR today.

    Today’s WOD consisted of the following;

    5 Rounds (resting completely between each round) of:
    2X Front Squats at 85% of heavy (10 minutes before start to determine heavy)
    10X Lunge + T Spine Rotation

    Then finishing off with;

    6 Minute Grind:

    5X Renegade Rows
    5X Kneeling DB Press
    5X Toes to bar or leg raises

    “I know I have more in me and
    I can’t wait to see what this body can do.”

    Just call me the PR queen because my PR today I got a 115 pound Front Squat!  Now I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but when I started CrossFit in June, I would use the ladies bar with no weights and was super done by the end of the WOD.  I know I have more in me and I can’t wait to see what this body can do.  Yes, I am overweight, and my journey is long, but if I keep winning at every step, it’s going to be one hell of a journey!

    Tuesday November 7, 2017

    Another day, another squat WOD!!

    Again with the squats! Interestingly, today’s exercise was one that I’ve never done before. It’s the Squat Clean. I must admit that I peeked online last night so I knew what was coming. I did what I always do when I see something I’ve never seen before, I went on YouTube to check out a video. 

    Drew took us through this particular squat in stages, which helped because my squats rock but my cleans, not so much. Today’s WOD was the following;

    10 Minute Squat Clean Practice

    Every 2 minutes for 10 rounds:

    1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 Squat Cleans
    10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 Chest to Bar Pull Ups (or in my case ring rows)

    I know it looks confusing, but it’s basically 1 Squat Clean and then 10 Ring Rows… in the first two minutes, 2 Squat Cleans and 9 Ring Rows the next two minutes, and so on and so forth. It easy at first, because the hard part of these two movements is the Squat Clean. Towards the end, however, I was dying. The very last round I could barely do the one Ring Row. 

    I liked that I tried something I hadn’t tried before. I remember this movement from Foundations. Now that I’ve hit some PRs, it’s very satisfying personally. They are small PRs, but for me it means a lot. I am getting stronger. I would have never been able to deadlift 115 pounds when I walked in here back in June. I’ve come a long way and still have longer to go. Stay with me as the fun continues.

    Friday, November 10, 2017

    I had an interesting thing happen to me today and I wasn’t going to dwell on it, but nonetheless I am dwelling just a little.  This morning I had my annual work health assessment blood draw which is administered by a registered nurse.  So I go in the room and smiled and said my good mornings and sat down.  The nurse looked at me and before returning the sentiment or even before verifying that it was me by asking my name, she looked me strait in the eyes and ask, “Have you thought about having the gastric bypass surgery?”

    Ok so for those who know me well, even for those who don’t but have been around me enough, I am not a little wall flower, shy girl, NOPE not me. Yet her question rendered me speechless. 

    “Now that I’ve hit some PRs, it’s very satisfying personally. They are small PRs,
    but for me it means a lot.
    I am getting stronger.
    I would never have been able to deadlift 115#
    when I walked in here back in June.”

    I’ve been a big girl all my life. As a child, and in my teen years, being bullied because of my weight was a regular occurrence.  As a matter of fact, if kids weren’t making fun of me, I wondered why. What were they up to? However, I’m a grown ass adult now. And I have never had another grown ass adult be so rude to me before. 

    I mean, yes, I am fat. However, I would think that a nurse would be trained to ask sensitive questions like those. I mean, if she’d said, “Good Morning and your name is?…” and then asked me, it would have been fine. But she didn’t. 

    She saw me the way the rest of the world sees overweight people. She saw someone that is clearly in need of help. I don’t know if she intended to be rude, or if she makes a commission with a local surgeon and just saw her opportunity, but it shook me up nonetheless.

    This experience was an eye opener. Here I thought I was making progress. No worries though. I will work harder. I am actually hoping and praying that when she comes in next year the results of my hard work will be obvious, and I can show her that hard work is far better than what a surgery can ever produce. There, I’ve stood on my soapbox now it’s time to jump over it!!

    Today’s WOD consisted of working with my old friend, the rower.  I used to love the rower because it got me out of running. Until the day I just ran instead of rowing, and I haven’t looked back since.

    On today’s menu;

    4 rounds of 3 minutes each
    10 calorie row/ski/assault bike
    10 deadlifts

    6 minute grind:

    10 V ups
    15 second left side plank
    10 Supermans
    15 Second right side plank

    I wasn’t on my game tonight. I was still reacting to my earlier encounter with the medical professional from hell. Yet I was here and I gave it my all. That’s something that you have to remember, there will always be someone trying to tear you down, whether it be in fitness or in personal life situations. Under no circumstances has anyone walked in your shoes. So, keep your chest up, look forward, keep the bar close to your body, and lift.

    Thanks for coming on this journey with me.

  • More Adventures in CrossFit with Yvonne! – Wildcat CrossFit Newbie Blog : Oct 23rd – Oct 27th (11/14/2017)

     More Adventures in CrossFit with Yvonne!
    Wildcat CrossFit Newbie Blog : Oct 23rd – Oct 27th

    by, Yvonne Moreno

    Monday October23, 2017

    Last week was awesome and so here I am again.  I’m ready to start a new week with a new purpose and that’s to do my absolute best.  So I come in thinking that today I was going to “crush it” as Drew likes to say.

    The almighty board says that today we are working on a EMOM (every minute on the minute) WOD along with pistol practice.  I didn’t think it was going to be as hard as it was.  The following was today’s WOD:

    10 minute Pistol Practice

    EMOM (until 50 reps of Thrusters):

    5x Pushups
    10x Double Unders
    Max reps of Thrusters

    Ok, so I started off doing overhead hanging cleans instead of Thrusters; we practiced these earlier, and I guess I got a little confused.  Ryan quickly corrected me, but like anything when you start off wrong, it seems like it’s not going to end right.

    To be honest, this was probably the hardest workout I’ve had to do in a long time.  A combination of issues happened to me today.  First, I started off with the wrong move, then I should have gone lower on the weight. I wasn’t feeling well as I am fighting a nasty cold and lastly and, more importantly, I was the last one to complete the EMOM.  I hate being the center of attention, it makes me nervous and what happened?  Everyone finished way before me.  I ended up finishing up at 11 minutes and 57 seconds.

    I was tired, shaking and upset.  I was upset because it was one of those days that I knew I needed to scale it back, but my ego got the best of me.  There’s that word again, EGO.  I was feeling so good about my progress that I pushed it, and then I went home feeling miserable and embarrassed.

    I thought about it though, and I realized that I’m as human as everyone else.  A couple of weeks ago this guy who always comes in and is in excellent shape fell off the assault bike out of exhaustion. He over did it. It happens. This guy who’s goal is to get back into the military and is a superb athlete was just plain tired and probably shouldn’t have been working so hard.  Today was a bad day and I and I over did it.  It will pass and tomorrow is another day.

    Tuesday October 24, 2017

    So a couple of weeks ago, when we had a WOD that consisted of running, and more running, with a side of running, Drew mentioned that he would maybe publish a WOD online and then list a different one on the board.  Well kids, today was the day.  I don’t usually check the workout online ahead of time, however my friend, Anneth, noticed immediately that the WOD wasn’t what had been published. I just smiled and shook my head.  Trickster McTrickerson, aka Drew, just smiled when I reminded him that I was there when he thought up this maniacal plan.

    On the board today was the following:

    1 mile run (3 minute rest)
    800 Meter run (rest)
    400 Meter run (rest)
    200 Meter Run (rest)
    100 Meter Run
    30 minute cap

    What was published online was:

    15 Minute AMRAP
    10x Push Press
    10x Front Rack Lunges
    200 Meter Run

    Let me tell you, we had a LOT more people at this running WOD than we’ve had on the last couple running WODs, so apparently Drew’s plan worked!  I did take him aside and asked him if he thought it was better if I rowed instead of the running, because I can’t run a full mile unbroken.

    Drew told me he’d rather I run, but he said to take 30 seconds breaks when I couldn’t run anymore.  He said you can walk the 30 seconds or rest but you have to run, and so I ran.  I ran until I couldn’t, and took my 30 second breaks walking at a rapid speed.

    Let me tell you that when I came in at 29:01 minutes, I was tired!  I ALSO made it under the 30 minute mark!  I was super proud of myself and so was Drew for that matter!!  The latter made me smile, because for a super badass, Drew can be a softy sometimes!!!

    Thursday October 26, 2017

    Happy Birthday Drew!!  My son and I decided that we would make some cupcakes for Coach Drew since we missed his birthday yesterday.  After our little birthday fun, I braved the walk to check out what he had us doing today.  It’s another chic!

    Today’s workout was ‘Kelly,’ one of the ‘Girls,’ that group of the CrossFit workouts that helps you measure your progress.  I’ve never done ‘Kelly’ before, so I was excited to see what I would score on this one.  ‘Kelly’ consists of the following;

    5 rounds for time:

    400 meter run
    30 box jumps
    30 wall balls

    “By the 3rd round I was feeling really tired, but I didn’t want to give up.”

    I’ve been taking Drew’s advice when it comes to the running, and taking my time to make sure that my endurance stays level. Because of this, I’m getting a little faster at these timed WODs.

    My box jumps are still at the step up level.  I’ve tried to do the jump, but I’m just not strong enough to make that jump.  I’m working on it though.

    I decided to break up my wall balls into sets of 10 because those can get really hard.  By the 3rd round I was feeling really tired, but I didn’t want to give up.  I ended up finishing at 37:02.  Last as always, but as least I finished.  That’s my new motto, “at least I finished.”

    “My legs were shaking, and I could feel my hamstrings protesting.  Another PR in the books!”

    Friday October 27, 2017

    Happy Friday Folks!  After yesterday’s ‘Kelly’ I was hoping to take it easy today, but that went out the window when I saw we are working on Deadlifts today.  I was super excited because I wanted to PR … today!

    This was one of those slow WODs, which I like. I allows me to add weight to the bar slowly and reach my potential at my own pace.  Today’s WOD consisted of the following;

    Deadlift sets:

    5-5-4-4-3-3-2-1-1

    Completing each set at the heaviest weight possible

    Rest as needed between sets

    I started at 65lbs for the first set of five.  I added 10 pounds at each round.  My last PR was 115 pounds, which I reached on my first set of 3.  In the end, I wound up with a new PR of 155 pounds.  My legs were shaking, and I could feel my hamstrings protesting.  Another PR in the books!  Another very productive week in the books.  I’m feeling better and better as the days go by!!!

     

     

     

     

     

  • Adventures in CrossFit, with Newbie Blogger Yvonne, October 16-19, 2017 (11/2/2017)

    Adventures in CrossFit with Yvonne!

    by, Yvonne Moreno

    Monday October 16, 2017

    Today folks I made CINDY my B!tch!!! Sorry for being so vulgar, but I was just so excited when I came in the gym to see her name on the board for today’s workout. Just a little reminder for those of you that don’t know what the heck I’m talking about: In Crossfit they use a certain group of WOD’s to measure your progress. Some of them are named after women and don’t ask me why. I have my own opinion about why this is, but I will not submit you to it.

    Here is what was written on the board:

    ‘CINDY’
    20 Minute AMRAP

    5X Pull Ups
    10X Push Ups
    15X Squats

    Core 4 Rounds

    10X 1 Arm KB Swings
    8X Russian Twist/Side
    6X Strict Toes to Bar or Leg Raises

    Last time I did Cindy was in July or August and I managed 10 complete rounds. Folks, today I completed 15 complete rounds, plus 5 pull ups, and 10 push ups. This, for me, is a significant increase in my strength and durability. These moves are simple moves, nothing special, but you put a time cap and ask someone to so as many and they can in that time, it gets pretty difficult. I was so proud of myself and I was beaming as I walked out the door. I mean my smile could not get any wider.

    Tuesday October 17, 2017

    I was still riding that high from yesterday’s WOD until I read the board today! On today’s menu we had burpees with a side of running.

    I swear that I think Drew is trying to kill me! I laugh and bitch and moan, but I’m still here!!

    Today’s WOD consisted of the two things that I think are my least favorite: Burpees and Running! We also worked on handstands, which I think will take me a long time to even get off the ground, but I work at it just like everything else.

    “I was so proud of myself and I was beaming as I walked out the door. I mean my smile could not get any wider.”

    10 minutes of Skill work on:
    Handstands

    then:

    6 Rounds:
    15X Burpees
    200m Sprint

    Needless to say, I was tired. Yet I completed it in about 19 minutes. I don’t know if I’m expressing myself right when I say that I am getting more durable. Is that correct? I mean I am not running the whole time as it’s a lot of sprinting, but I’m moving fast and I run as much as I can. I’m completing these running WODs in last place every time, but the key word is that I’m completing them! I’m feeling better about myself each and every time I walk into the door. Try it, I dare you.

    Thursday October 19, 2017

    Today was another one of those days that makes all of these worth it. I’m telling you that this week was one of those weeks that proved to me that I am getting better, stronger and healthier.

    Check this out…

    8 Rounds:
    3X Back Squat
    All reps at a 3,2,1 tempo (3 seconds down, 2 seconds pause, 1 second at top)

    Now let me tell you that I’ve had issues with the Back Squat before. It used to be super painful to place the bar on my back. I definitely was doing something wrong and I talked to Jen about it. She corrected my form as I was placing the bar to high up on my neck and my arms weren’t hold it right. She also showed me a couple of things I can do to stretch and strengthen my back and shoulders.

    “I’m feeling better about myself each and every time
    I walk into the door. Try it, I dare you.”

    The highest weight I’ve ever done on a Back Squat was 75 pounds and on that it was one and I was done. Today I started at 75lbs for my first two rounds and that was easy. I added a little more weight and took it to 85lbs for the next three rounds. I added a little more weight and completed one round at 95 lbs. This was hard but I said to myself, “What’s another 5 pounds?”
    I added my two baby plates to take me to 100 lbs. I did my first round and I couldn’t believe it. It was hard and very heavy, but I did it and then I did it again!!! My back squat PR is now at 100lbs. Can you believe that? I still can’t, and it brought tears to my eyes later on as I was driving home.

    Here’s where I get sentimental and you can stop reading if it gets too sappy, I won’t mind. This week was major for me because I judge my progress not by the scale, but by my ability to do things that I wasn’t able to do before.

    My back squat PR is now at 100lbs.
    Can you believe that?
    I still can’t, and it brought tears to my eyes
    later on as I was driving home.

    I come in every time with a clean slate and take full advantage of what the coaches are trying to teach me. I don’t know many things in life, but I do know when people care and whether their approach is hard and unassuming or friendly and super encouraging, I know that they care.
    The hard ass coach only wants to make sure that I do things correctly so I can take full advantage of the WOD and sometimes some words of encouragements come out and I secretly love that they do, because I know he hasn’t forgotten that I’m in that class.
    The easy going and more talkative coaches see me and know that I am trying the best I can and are always there to make sure I’m working hard and cheer me on.  I know all the coaches care because they take time to correct me, encourage me, to ask questions and to listen.  Never in my life have I had this kind of encouragement in my health and well being; not by any doctor, not by any coach.  It was a powerful week for me.

    Until next time…

  • Halloween Schedule (10/31/2017)

    No 6pm classes today.

  • Update: Where is Coach Taylor and What Has She Been Up To Lately? (10/23/2017)

    Update: Where is Coach Taylor and What Has She Been Up To Lately?

    by, Coach Jen

    Since leaving Tucson at the end of July, former Wildcat Coach Taylor Hill has definitely been missed. Not a week goes by where a Wildcat athlete doesn’t ask me, “Hey, where’s Coach Taylor been?”

    When she left Tucson at the end of July, Taylor’s plan was to finish school up in the Phoenix area to save money and be closer to family. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I was able to check in with Coach Taylor this week to see how things are going with her these days.

    Currently, Taylor is still working to finish her Bachelors’ degree at the U of A, by taking community college classes that apply towards her degree. She is scheduled to graduate in May ’18 from the U of A, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Sports Management. “I’m still not sure what I’ll do when I graduate. Still working on figuring all that out!” Taylor said.

    Taylor is currently working out and she’s still Coach Taylor, coaching at Tusk CrossFit, In Phoenix. “Coaching at [Tusk CrossFit]  has been great! I love my box and the community has been amazing,” she said.

    Speaking of CrossFit, Taylor has also competed – and placed- in a few big competitions since leaving Wildcat. She competed for the first time as an Individual at the Legion of Beasts Games, a 3-day competition from Sept 2-4, at Scottsdale’s Westworld Arena. No surprise to any Wildcats, Taylor took Second Place! Right on!

    Competing as an individual was very different and I loved every bit of it. It was fun to see how all of the work in training has paid off,” Taylor reflected. “A lot of times we don’t see that progress day to day, but all of those days and those little things add up! It was cool to compete in such a big arena too!”

    A few weeks later, on September 23rd, Taylor and competition partner, Steven Cesare took 4th Place in the Lanista Primus Competition at Old Pueblo CrossFit, here in Tucson.

    When she’s not studying, coaching, working out, or sleeping, Taylor says she likes to spend her time hanging out with friends and babysitting her 2-year old niece. “Living closer to family definitely makes it easier,” Taylor said.

    I asked Taylor if she has any advice for Wildcat athletes. She replied, “I would say, spend time working on those weaknesses and don’t avoid movements you don’t like or that are difficult for you! That has been so key for me these last few months. If you see a workout that you don’t wanna do, that probably means you should most definitely do it.”

     

  • ‘The Big 3’ – Wildcat’s New Powerlifting Class – Is Awesome. (10/22/2017)

    ‘The Big 3’ – Powerlifting Wildcat Style

    As you may already know, we pride ourselves on the variety of specialty classes we offer at Wildcat CrossFit. Recently, thanks to the enthusiasm of Wildcat Athlete, Marion Matos, we decided to add a new class focused totally on Powerlifting. Since ‘The Big 3’ started, the class and Coach Marion, have taken Friday evenings by storm! Every athlete who tries this class walks down the ramp raving about it when it is over.

    [Quick note: The photos that accompany this article are from a different evening of ‘The Big 3,’ a night when the class was working on Deadlifts, not Bench Press.]

    Recently, we had Wildcat Athlete Jessica Stewart attend a session of ‘The Big 3’ and share her experiences. This is what she had to say:

    Jessica Stewart: Well….first off ‘The Big 3’ is amazing! I am moving my schedule around so I can make it to this class more often.

    Question: Wow, that’s awesome! Who would you recommend this class to?

    J.S.: I recommend this class to anyone, especially beginners. Because different muscle groups are isolated, targeted and worked, you get to really feel where your different muscles are. You also really learn to engage your core, this is key for beginners.

    Coach Marion also explains why you’re practicing certain movements and is very hands on. She shows you exactly what she wants to see and corrects your form if you are doing a something improperly. Marion really pays attention and makes sure you’re not going to get hurt. And you can tell she cares that you’re truly getting the most out of the knowledge she is providing.

    Q: That’s great! Let’s back up though, what’s covered in ‘The Big 3’ class?

    J.S.: The class, “The Big 3,” itself focuses on the three main Powerlifts: Bench Press, Deadlifts, and Squats.

    The day I attended, Marion was teaching Bench Press. I was excited because I learned to lift in high school (my dad was the football coach and he used to program weight training class), but I hadn’t really done any Powerlifting since then.

    I had forgotten a lot, but as The Big 3 class went by, it started to come back.

    Q: Tell us something about the Bench Press…

    J.S.: In the Powerlifting world, setting up for the Bench Press is a two step process. You start by getting your body in the proper position. This includes making sure your shoulders are activated and your legs are sturdy; glutes tightened; core tightened. Next, you make sure your grip on the bar is where you like it and make sure your hands are evenly spaced.

    Marion helped me make a great adjustment to my grip. I started off placing my hands a few fingers outside the groove of the bar. Marion corrected me a few times, telling me my grip was uneven. I decided to narrow my grip so that my fingers were on the bar groove itself. This felt more natural to me, and I didn’t have to worry about my hand position anymore. Totally cool.

    Q: What other exercises did you do during ‘The Big 3’ to help improve your Bench Press?

    J.S.: Marion had us working our all of the accessory muscles that are helpful during the Bench Press. These included Banded Tricep Pull-downs, as well as Dumbbell Pull-overs..
    Marion had me alternate these two movements so I wouldn’t quickly fatigue my muscles. It worked and I kept going for much longer than I thought I could! My muscles felt super duper weak by the end of this class!

    Cool fact about the Dumbbell Pull-over: It’s a movement that Arnold Schwarzenegger has boasted about. Arnold found this movement benfical to many different muscle groups; from the bottom of your pecs, to the abs, lats and triceps. And wouldn’t you know it, when I did the the exercise, I felt it in all of those places too!?

    I laid my shoulders on a bench, lifted my hips up squeezing those booty cheeks and made my abs super tight. That helped stablize my body; especially when working on my breathing, which needed some work. Marion handed me a dumbbell, a good heavy one. Marion had me pull the dumbbell back behind me, extending towards the ground; I felt that stretch in my lats and triceps. When bringing the weight up from behind me, I isolated my chest and pressed the weight as hard as I could towards my rib cage.

    How did you feel when the class was over?

    J.S.: First of all, Wow. I haven’t felt my body get a “pump” in such a long time. Seriously, it’s been years! For those who don’t know, the “pump” is a tight feeling you get when blood that is carrying oxygen & nutrients is circulating in the muscles being worked; very important for muscle growth. Your muscles can get up to 4x bigger than normal due to the influx of blood flow. It is a crazy feeling! Marion said she actually saw the pump happening in my chest while I was doing the movements.

    Q: Crazy. Is there anything else you got out of the class that you want other athletes to know about?
    J.S.: Well, after a while all that focus on tightening and engaging specific muscles, and carefully controllin g your breathing, you begin to mentally prepare yourself for one movement or rep at a time. And this is a really cool feeling, you know? You will get there, you will achieve your goal. It just takes time and concentration.

    Needless to say, I am in love with this class. Come check it out for yourself!

  • Adventures in CrossFit with Yvonne, Oct 2 – 6, 2017 (10/20/2017)

    Adventures in CrossFit, Wildcat CrossFit Newbie Blog

    by, Yvonne Moreno

    Monday October 2, 2017

    Today we worked on wall balls, running, and burpees. I have yet to master any of these exercises, so it was kind of a difficult one for me. Luckily, I’ve got determination, because if not I would have turned around and walked right out the gym door! LOL

    20 Minute AMRAP

    Whenever I see a long AMRAP, I know that it’s going to be exhausting. Today’s AMRAP was exactly that as it consisted of the following:

    5 Burpee Pull Ups (that’s right a burpee and then a pull up :\)
    200 meter run w/ball
    10 wall balls

    Oh my goodness, guys. I was wiped after this one. Anytime you add a run to an AMRAP, holy hell it takes the most out of me! But you know what I love about it and what keeps me coming back? It’s the freakin’ support that I get from EVERYONE. I mean, people see me barely moving on those 200 meter runs and they give me encouragement as they are running. It’s the “you got this” and the “almost there” that keep me going. I got home, crashed, and took a little nap!

    Tuesday October 3, 2017

    Today we ran…yup that’s all we did, we just RAN!!!!

    So I think that when Drew was deciding what to do for this lovely Tuesday he decided that Yvonne just needed to run because she doesn’t like to run!!! Oh my God dude there was so much running today!

    5 Rounds
    400 meter run
    1 minute rest
    100 meter sprint
    2 minute rest

    And then…

    6 minute Accessory
    5x single leg DL per side
    5x single arm KB swings per side
    5 Half kneeling KB press per side

    I was done by the end of the first round!! I didn’t finish the entire thing because we had a 30 minute cap, however I did get within one round of finishing, so I think that’s acceptable. At least Drew said that it was, and anytime Drew tells me that I did good, I believe him wholeheartly, because he’s a bad ass!!!

    But you know what I love about it and what keeps me coming back? It’s the freakin’ support that I get from EVERYONE.

    Here’s the thing about me and not giving up: All these coaches haven’t given up on me yet. No one in this gym has, as a matter of fact. My body is not conditioned for all this crazy exercise, but it’s getting there with the help of everyone I encounter on a daily basis. I went home super tired, but feeling proud of my progress!!

    Thursday, October 5, 2017

    And the torture continues…because why should today be any different from Monday & Tuesday!

    Today’s WOD was:

    400 Meter Farmers Carry (I used 2 20 pound DB)
    15 Power Cleans
    15 Pull-ups

    Yes, folks this was my worst nightmare. The running from a couple of days ago was just exhausting but if you would ask me what my least favorite exercises are, I would rattle off, “Farmers Carry!!” straight off the bat.

    After the first 400 meters, I came in for the Power Cleans and I couldn’t grip the bar. And I had to do 15 of those. I was in so much pain, but not the ouch I’m hurt pain. It was a “this burns and I’m getting stronger” pain, but it was pain nonetheless! It’s funny, because at one point I walked with the new girl Amanda, and she was telling me about how she grew up on the farm and she should be used to doing Farmers Carries, but you never get used to it. Good Time today folks!

    Friday October 6, 2017

    Here we are at the end of a hard week. Every day was hard, but I survived and now here we are and when I look at the board, all I see are push presses. After this last week I don’t think my arms can handle it. But like Nick explained, these will be easy well controlled slow and with plenty of time. He was right. The time allowed us to get control of these and make sure our form was right. Today we worked on 8 rounds of 3 Push Presses followed by 2 clapping push ups.

    Like I said before the time allowed us to make sure that our form was correct. I increased the weight slowly and got up to 75 pounds which is my PR. Nick took the time to correct some issues which felt better on my arms. We finished off with a 12 minute grind of 10 alternating Z press, 10 KB Plank Pull Thrus and 10 V-ups.

    It was a good week to test my overall physical health. I can absolutely tell you that 2 months ago I would have been rowing and not running. I wouldn’t have shown up for the ‘All Running All the Time’ WOD and my DB for the farmers carry would have been 10s instead of 20s.

    I’ve come a long way, but there’s still whole lot of road still left to travel. After this week I think I made some coaches proud of me. My success is totally their success. Thanks guys for another great week at Wildcat CrossFit.

  • Yvonne’s Adventures in CrossFit, Sept 25 – 29, 2017 (10/16/2017)

    Yvonne’s Adventures in CrossFit, Sept 25 – 29, 2017

    by, Yvonne Moreno

    Monday September 25, 2017

    On this beautiful Monday afternoon, I found myself wondering why in the heck didn’t I stay home today. The answer came to me with a quickness. Because I love this place!! There you have it. It all came down to this, I love coming here and busting my ass. Because in the end it’s all worth it.

    Today though I wasn’t too sure. I came in early and saw part of the previous hour’s WOD. Holy Hell what is going on here! I saw Coach Ryan participating and he was red faced and working really hard! LOL, don’t tell him I said that. So listen to what was on the board:

    8 Rounds:
    3x Front Squat (increasing of course)
    2x Box Jump

    12 minute Grind:
    5x Renegade Rows
    Floor Length DUMBELL bear crawl (yikes)
    5x L Press (you sit on the floor legs out in front of you and press DB up)
    Floor Length DUMBELL bear crawl (yikes)

    Ok, here’s the thing, I can do bear crawls, the ugliest you’ll ever witness at a CrossFit gym, but nonetheless it’s a bear crawl, but today I had to add dumbbells!! Holy mother of hell!! Man though, today I saw people who have these amazing strong bodies struggling, and it put things into perspective for me.

    “EVERYONE struggles, not just me.”

    You walk into a CrossFit gym and see all these people in great shape and developing and shaping their bodies. Well, these workouts are not easy for them either. EVERYONE struggles, not just me. I love knowing that. It makes me want to be in this box with these awesome athletes even more then before!!

    Tuesday September 26, 2017

    So you know how the saying goes, “you learn from your mistakes”? Well, today I learned from my mistakes. I decided that today, since I had time in the early morning, I’d come in and workout with Laurie. Now, let me add this before I start my whining: If I could, I would workout early in the morning every day. I just think that for me, since I’m a morning person it would workout better, but I can’t so I’m usually an afternooner.

    Having said that, I worked out Monday evening and then came right back 12 hours later and worked out in the morning. OMG I am in so much pain because today after all those squats last night and crawling on the floor I had to do Deadlifts and Burpees!!! Yes you read right Deadlifts and Burpees!!!

    “Sore doesn’t even do what I’m feeling justice, but lets not talk about that right now…”

    The positive thing about today is that Laurie introduced me to an alternative to a Burpee that really works for me. Before I would go down to the floor, attempt a push up, walk my hands back up, stand and jump and I really didn’t feel like that worked for me. Laurie taught me a new way that I love and feel working a lot better. I grab a bench, lean forward, put my hands on the bench, walk my legs back in a inclined position. And then I jump forward towards the bench, then stand and jump. This, by the way, looks better then what I used to do, too. Thanks Laurie!!!

    Thursday September 28, 2017

    Sore doesn’t even do what I’m feeling justice, but lets not talk about that right now because I have some good news today.

    I don’t usually weigh myself because I just don’t think that the scale really proves your progress. For me, the gauge of my progress has been my ability to do activities that I hadn’t been able to do before, like run or jump rope.  However, today we had to weight ourselves at work for a wellness competition that I had reluctantly joined some time ago. Check out these results:

    Today I am 26 pounds down from when I started this lifetime commitment to myself.  That 26 pounds that I will never see again!!!

    Ok enough with the sappiness, did I mention that I am SORE!?!?! Today’s board revealed that this workout wasn’t gonna be any easier. Check it out:

    A. 10 minute Pistol Practice

    B. 21-15-9 with a 15 minute cap:
    Burpees (I got to practice my new way)
    Pistols
    Pull Ups/Ring Rows

    I came in at 9:10 minutes. Not bad. I think that hardest part about this WOD was the pistols. I don’t have the best knees, but Ryan showed us some pretty good alternatives using the ropes, the rings and the pillars. I ending up using the pillar and the rope to hold myself up and found that it was easier and I could get lower then before. We finished up with some awesome stretching because, did I mention that I was SORE. I told Ryan as much when he asked. Apparently I wasn’t the only one!

    By the way, Welcome to Wildcat CrossFit, Amanda!!!

    Friday September 29, 2017

    A great end to a great month…until I saw that we would be running a lot today! LOL!!!

    Listen I want to explain myself. When I walked into this place I couldn’t run five feet to save my life. I worked at it. Now I can run 100 meters, take a short break and run another 100 meters!

    So when the WOD calls for 400 meters, I only run the 200. First of all, I know I can, and I’d rather run 200 meters, than run-walk. So I’m sorry if you only see me running 200 meters instead of 400 meters. Believe me when I tell you that one day I will run to the end of that street with you, I promise!

    Today’s WOD

    5 Rounds:

    10x Handstand Push Up (or in my case inverted push up by help of a workout bench, legs on the bench, arms down on the floor)
    15x Air Squats
    400 Meter Run (or in my case 200 meter run)

    This one wasn’t hard, but it was exhausting. I was tired and I think I hurt my knee during the warm up so I was tired and in pain. 🙁 I wasn’t as sore from the week anymore, but I was tired.

    It was a great week full of great things. And there are more awesome things to come, so stay tuned!

  • Yvonne’s CrossFit Journal – Special Edition – Two Weeks of Workouts! (9/11/2017)

    Yvonne’s CrossFit Journal – Special Edition – Two Weeks of Workouts!

    Week A: August 28 – September 1, 2017

    Monday August 28, 2017

    Hey kids, it’s time for another week of my adventures. Today we start the week on a good note because I got to bring my son to the gym with me. He told me that he likes to see his mama work out. He actually loves coming to the gym with me! I think he’s secretly in love with Jen! LOL!!

     I told Lauryn that I couldn’t do pull ups and, being the hard ass that she is, she insisted that I get on a box and try a jumping Pull-up.

    Today we started with a quick warm up and got into the workout immediately. We got into the AMRAP with a quick set up to make sure we knew what every movement consisted of. The set included 5 handstand push up or regular push ups, 10 box jumps, 5 ring dips, 10 lunges (per side), 5 pull ups or jumping pull ups and 10 air squats. I was ok with everything except the pull ups. I told Lauryn that I couldn’t do pull ups and being the hard ass that she is, she insisted that I get on a box and try a jumping pull up.

    This is what I love about coming to this gym. My very comfortable limits are pushed daily. My success in here is due to the fact that no one is letting me get comfortable. I’ve never even stood on a box higher then the little baby foot high boxes and today I stood up on a big girl box and reached up and touched that dreaded bar. I put my hands around that bar and jumped up to get my head above that bar and I wasn’t scared! Thanks for pushing me Lauryn!!

    Needless to say, I crushed that AMRAP. My son joined me for the 400 meter Farmers Carry and we talked about his day and he kept asking me why I was walking with the “heavy things.” All I could I tell him was that I wanted to get healthy so I can watch him grow up to be the great man I know he will be. The perfect end to an awesome day!

    Wednesday August 30, 2017

    Rounding off the awesome Monday is today’s even more awesome Wednesday.

    Today’s WOD is called “Death by Triplet.” Yes that’s right, the word Death is in the title. Oh my God I’m gonna die!!! LOL The set was 1 burpee, 5 double unders (jump rope) and 1 thruster. Here’s the kicker, you do these in a minute then at the start of the second minute you start and add a burpee, 5 double unders, and a thruster. You do this at every minute adding to each set, until the minute you can’t complete the set. I lasted 4 minutes, but those were the toughest 4 minutes ever!

    So here’s today’s high. Noah and Zach were coaching. Zach is new and is learning the ropes of coaching. Noah hadn’t seen me jump rope yet. As you can probably recall, Jumping Rope was one of last week’s big deals.

    When we were practicing before the start of the set he saw me jumping rope and was so excited for me that my light was beaming brighter then the sun! Zach asked why I was celebrating and I told him that when I started CrossFit two months ago I couldn’t jump high enough off the ground to get the rope under me and now I can get about 20 jumps without stopping. It’s the little things!!

    We finished the workout off with a mini 10 minute grind of 5 single arm KB swings, 5 overhead stationary lunges, 5 single arm renegade rows. It was another great day at the gym and another great day on my fitness journey.

    Thursday August 31, 2017

    Last day of the month folks and here we are at it again! I came in early today and had time to chat with Jen about my progress. We talked about my goals and I didn’t have one. I mean I’m still riding high on my jump rope ability, but Jen’s right I need to start on my next goal. Jen suggested I work on my deadlifts. My max deadlift so far is 95lbs. So this will be my next goal!! Hold me accountable folks.

    Today’s set was a 15 minute AMRAP of 10 hang power cleans, 10 box jump overs, 10 American KB Swings and 10 burpee broad jumps. Today’s high: Thinking that a light kettlebell would be ok to use and having Lauryn push me out of my comfort zone and made me use a heaver one … and finding out that I am stronger then I thought I was!

    Friday September 1, 2017

    So I came in today to a WOD which would push me to work on my next goal. I was just talking to Jen about Deadlifts yesterday and lo and behold: today’s focus is Deadlifts!!

    The WOD today was a 21, 15, 9, 15, 21 set, which is horrible! I mean who would want to do this to us on a Friday? LOL!!

    Considering the fact that today we have to do a total of 81 deadlifts, I decided that 95lbs would suffice.

    I tried to go heavier then my 95lb max, and tapped out at 105 lbs. I did a couple of reps at this weight, but considering the fact that today we have to do a total of 81 deadlifts, I decided that 95lbs would suffice. Oh I almost forgot that in between these sets you have to take off and run for 400 meters. I scaled that down to 200 meters, because I can run that far.
    Let me tell you that I was dying at the end of this WOD. However I joined the Yoga class because as I like to say, “on Friday’s we do Yoga!”

    The deep stretch and awesome conversation is just what I needed to end another great week. Oh, and by the way, I’m down another pant size!! Boom!!!!

    BONUS BLOG! Another Whole Week of Workouts:

    Week B: September 5 – 8, 2017

    Tuesday September 5, 2017

    Death by Back Squats!

    Today I learned a little bit more about my abilities in the squat category. My air squats are awesome, but all other squats need a lot of help!

    Today’s WOD was a real eye opener for me. It consisted of 5 rounds of 5 back squats (increasing in weight) and 3 iron mikes (jumping lunges).

    I told Jen that the Back Squats were hurting my back. She checked my form and saw that I was carrying the bar right behind my neck instead of lower down on the backs of my shoulders. The right way to hold the bar for a Back Squat is to make sure that your elbows are pushing back and up, holding the bar across the upper back.

    Here’s where my mobility got in the way: My elbows weren’t cooperating. Jen showed me an exercise to help me with this issue. She put a band over the pull up bar and pulled one loop through the other. Then she grabbed the band with both hands and backed away from the Pull-up bar. Facing the Pull-up bar she extended her arms forward and then pulled her elbows back so that her hands pulled the band towards her shoulders/collar bone, squeezing her shoulder blades together.

    Jen explained that if I work with a resistance band this way it might help me increase my mobility. Believe it or not, this helped my form a whole lot because it made me more conscious of my movement. As I was completing my rounds I become determined to stop trying to muddle through and start making sure that I am working on my form. I’d rather take the extra time on the form and befit from the movement.

    Today was one of those days that forced me to stop and reflect on my goal. My goal is to make sure that I am getting the most from every workout. Sometimes we are in such a rush to get through, we lose the benefits of the movements. Take a step back and work on your form folks, believe me you will feel it and when you feel it, it means it’s working!!

    Wednesday September 6, 2017

    So with yesterday’s revelation I decided that today I was going to use Open Gym to work on my barbell moves. So I set up my rack and my barbell and weights in the back gym. I started off with a quick run to loosen up and then got started.

    I set up to work on Deadlifts, Back Squats and Front Squats. My Deadlifts need work too, so this is as good a time as any to get that work in. I started with the Deadlifts and got up to my all time high of 120 lbs. I could have probably gone heavier, but after doing 5 sets of 5 I wanted to work on Squats and didn’t want to exhaust myself on Deadlifts.

    I practiced my Back Squats with 65 pounds. My goal is to make sure I get these right before I start adding more weight. I did another 5 x 5 set on each Back Squats and Front Squats. I put in a solid 40 minutes of work, took another 200 meter run, and I was done!!

    Open Gym but it was super beneficial because I was on my own at my own pace and I made sure I was using correct form.

    Thursday September 7, 2017

    Today was another lesson on thinking I can’t do something and finding out that I can.

    The WOD today started off with 5 rounds of 5 Curtis P’s, 7 pull ups or ring rows, and a 200 meter run. The Curtis P is when you Power Clean the bar, lunge on each side and Push Press. Again, I think that I’ve got the Power Clean down with little tweaks here and there. However, I can’t get all the way down on the lunges, so I do what I call a ‘Baby Lunge’, I still feel it. I’m hoping that with time that mobility will come.

    We finished off with weakness work on muscle ups and Pull-up work. Here is where I learned my lesson. Drew and Lauryn demonstrated the move we needed to work on. The move starts with hanging from the rings with your feet on the ground and body bent back paralleled to the ground, legs tuck under your butt; pulling yourself up to standing, crouching forward keeping your arms tucked tight to your side and pushing up.

    So I saw this and thought there is no way I would be able to do this. I tried and got to the bottom position, but I couldn’t pull myself up because essentially you’re pulling your own body weight. Coach Drew saw me and suggested I start from further back so as to help with my weight distribution.

    I tried it and I DID IT! Man that was so satisfying! Here again was a example of me not thinking I could do something because of my weight and a coach pushing me (this time it was Drew). So I have to say, Drew that you’re the man! You pushed me and I thank you for that! You’re my favorite this week!

    Friday September 8, 2017

    Today I was so tired by the end of the workout that I called Drew, Ryan and Lauryn, Jen! I’m so sorry guys, but I came in thinking that this WOD was going to be a piece of chocolate cake. Boy was I wrong!!!

    Nick was coaching two of us today and I must say that I like it when it’s a small class. We warmed up with some lunges and a few other back and forth moves to get the blood pumping. Today’s EMOM (every minute on the minute) was a 15 minute scale to fit one minute exercise. Basically, you have one minute to complete the round however you want to complete it, as soon as possible because you get to rest for the time not used.

    On the board, the set consisted of 5 pull ups or in my case ring rows, 10 push ups and 15 air squats. Because you have to allow some time for rest between sets you can scale it to have at least 10 seconds of rest and, believe me, you need every second of rest you can get! I ended up scaling it back to 8 push ups and 10 squats and this barely gave me those ten seconds.

    Oh wait there’s more…

    After the 15 minute session we rested for two minutes and then started what I am now calling The Burpee Torture or TBT for short! After a very short 2 minute rest we started a 5 MINUTE MAX BURPEE set.

    Yes I said that correctly, 5 minutes of continuous burpees!!! OH MY GAWD!! I WAS DYING, but guess what? I did it and yes, it was hard and yes I was tired but I took my time and kept moving and just got it down.

    No one is going to stop me from getting my health on, even Drew, who I am convinced sits in a dark room every night tapping his fingers thinking of new ways to kill me when he puts the WOD’s together.

    We finished up with a Tabata (a session of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest) of V ups or in my case leg raises. I don’t know who I was much less who anyone else was when I walked out of the gym which is why I called Drew, Ryan and Lauryn, Jen!!!

     

  • Improve Your Lifts (& So Much More) With the Hook Grip (9/11/2017)

    Improve Your Lifts
    (& So Much More)
    with the Hook Grip

    Or, How I finally tried Hook Grip after I lost a bunch of natural strength recovering from a serious injury…

    By, Coach Jen Wirth

    Several times over the years people, fellow athletes, other trainers, and coaches have talked to me and around me about using the Hook Grip on certain lifts. I heard the chatter at the time, and I remember trying the Hook Grip one or two times. I remember it hurt. And I remember shrugging and thinking, “What’s the point of it anyway?” and going back to holding the bar the way I had been, the normal way. With my thumb wrapping around the bar and around the outside of my fingers.

    I had been holding the barbell this way for years, and until just a couple of years ago I was one of the strongest people at the gym … not women … people. The gains I’ve made in CrossFit over the years have been phenomenal for me. I could talk about them to you all day. Don’t worry, I won’t take up too much of your time.

    Want to know what never gets old?
    Doing Pullups.

    Here’s the thing: I don’t think I’m a lazy athlete, particularly. I don’t think I’m consciously resting on my laurels, I’m just still riding the high of being able to throw over 100# over my head, doing handstands and handstand pushups, double unders, doing PULLUPS. Ahhh, pullups. I’m still riding the high from that one 8 years later. Want to know what never gets old? Doing Pullups & Feeling Strong.

    Nothing anyone said could convince me to try the Hook Grip, until I was ready to be convinced; until the knowledge was something I really needed. And that time finally came for yours truly. Since I started CrossFit I had always gotten consistently stronger over time, for almost nine years my strength was going in one direction and I had no complaints. Only recently did I feel what it was like to lose strength, which is what happened after I injured myself and had to take a minimum of 2 months off from working out.

    Now I’m coming back from that injury and I’m nowhere near as strong as I used to be… Here’s an example: 65# Snatches used to be no big deal at all, no problemo, you know? Nowadays, 65# is a total no go for me … with a regular grip. Good news though: I recently discovered that with a Hook Grip its a totally different story.

    What is the Hook Grip, you ask?

    Hook Grip is a way of holding the barbell (or Kettlebell, dumbbell, or anything, for that matter, that you don’t want to drop). You pin the first knuckle of your thumb (your thumbnail) to the bar underneath your pointer finger and your middle finger. Most people’s thumbs are only that long. The ring finger and the pinkie grab directly onto the bar.

    Online all the major Oly lifting coaches I checked with know about and encourage the use of the Hook Grip, but no one seems to know where it started or who it was that thought to use it first.

    This made me think, ‘Really, who did the first Clean? For that matter, Who did the first Push-Up? Who invented the Squat?’ As I’ve started to use the Hook Grip, it has struck me that it is another natural functional movement that people have probably been using since the dawn of time, because it’s useful. And for some, like yours truly, the dawn of time was just a couple months ago.

    I felt like I’d been walking around
    with my head in a bucket.
    Scott Simonson made me feel better.

    At Wildcat CrossFit, it turns out, I am way late to the Hook Grip party. Pretty much every experienced athlete I talked to since I started writing this article has been using the Hook Grip for at least a year. When I realized this I felt like I’d been walking around with my head in a bucket. Scott Simonson made me feel better.

    “I was late coming to that party too.” Scott said. “I see a difference more in Oly lifts than with Deadlifts, but I notice it really helps me keep my back straight for the whole lift and it is a good reminder to keep my shoulders active.”

    Right on, Scott. This is what I experienced too.

    Most athletes who use the Hook Grip use it for the portion of Olympic lifts that take place between the floor (or the hang position) and the shoulders for the Clean; and between the floor (or the hang) to overhead, for the Snatch. Some athletes, like Scott, also use it for Deadlifts.

    It is also handy for bar hangs, and Farmers Carries. While trudging along with my Kettlebells on a 200m Farmers Carry recently, I struck up a conversation with Carly Quinn. I asked if she had ever used the Hook Grip for Farmers Carries. Carly said, “Yeah I started using Hook Grip for Farmers Carries about a year ago.”Right on Carly.

    This Farmer’s Carry was turning out to be a bear. I usually never have to put the weights down, and so far I’d rested 3 times. I put my Kettlebells down and re-gripped them with the Hook Grip. Let me tell you, the Hook Grip really helped me get back to the bay door without putting those weights down again.

    The Hook Grip and Olympic Lifts

    One of the first workouts I ever used Hook Grip during Oly Lifts was a 10 minute EMOM during a HAM Squad workout back in mid-June (EMOM for 10 min of: 2 Clean Shrugs, 1 Power Clean (from floor) and 1 Hang Power Clean). I was afraid to commit to too much weight for 10 minutes.

    I said to myself, “The heck with it. I’m going to try the Hook Grip for this workout and see what happens.
    I’m curious.”

    In the past 95# would not have been out of bounds for me on movements like this, but on that day, I decided to start at 65 and just see how things were going in this new body of mine.

    I remembered in the back of my mind someone saying something about ‘Hook Grip’ and ‘makes your lifts stronger.’

    I’m not sure why, but I said to myself, “The heck with it. I’m going to try the Hook Grip for this workout and see what happens. I’m curious.”

    While the Hook Grip was slightly uncomfortable, it wasn’t unbearable. The first thing I noticed was that just because of the grip change, I could feel my shoulder blades pulling together behind my back. My posture during the lift was better, and the bar stayed nice and close to my torso after popping my hips and shrugging my shoulder. Just holding the bar this way reminded me to shrug my shoulders harder during the lifts. I was totally surprised at how easily the 65# bar flew up onto my shoulders!

    Well, after I got over my surprise, I wound up adding 5# to each side during the Workout because I wanted the extra challenge (75# total). It was a surprisingly awesome turn of events. It had been awhile since I had felt like pushing it in the gym. It had been awhile since I’d felt like a badass. An extra bonus: No Boo-boos during this WOD: During and right after the workout my thumbs and webbing were pretty red, but I didn’t lose any skin or blister.

    With the Hook Grip I shrugged way harder on the Power Cleans and Hang Power Cleans than I usually do. When I lifted in the past, I usually relied most heavily on my strong hips to get the job done. Fast hips were the key to my past lifting technique, no question about it. The shoulder shrug was a weak part of the lift for me, but as I keep saying, my lifts were already so strong.

    The Hook Grip gave me the ‘strength’ to perform movements with weight that I just couldn’t manage with a regular grip. It gave me back some of my confidence in my athletic ability, and I am looking forward to continuing to use it as I continue to get stronger again. Now that I’ve tried it, I plan to keep using it.

    Getting comfortable with Hook Grip can help you hold onto something securely. In an unpredictable universe, you never know when you might need it.

    I talked to a couple of Wildcat Coaches who know a thing or two about lifting and have been using the Hook Grip for years.

    I asked Marion Matos, personal trainer, seasoned powerlifter, and the Coach of Wildcat’s new powerlifting class: The Big 3, if she uses the Hook Grip for powerlifting.
    “I don’t use it for powerlifting Marion said. “I use it for Olympic lifting and it does help, but it doesn’t help me for powerlifting at all.”

    Coach Drew Hammond told me he uses Hook Grip whenever he does Cleans and Snatches. In an interesting caveat, Drew said he releases the Hook Grip and reverts to the regular grip somewhere mid-lift. “At some point while the bar is in the air, I release the Hook (Grip) so that by the time I catch a Clean or lock out a Snatch, I’m holding the bar with a regular grip at that point.”

    In conclusion, the Hook Grip is another way of holding onto a bar that can have big impacts on your Oly lifting form. Hook Grip also makes your grip on the bar (or a rope, or anything else) strong and secure.
    Getting comfortable with Hook Grip can help you hold onto something securely. In an unpredictable universe, you never know when you might need it. If you are looking for another highly useful tool for your tool belt, try the Hook Grip! Who knows, you might like it too!

     

     

  • Yvonne’s CrossFit Journal: August 21-24, 2017 (9/2/2017)

    Yvonne’s CrossFit Journal : Aug. 21-24, 2017

    By, Yvonne Moreno

    08/21/2017

    Hey guys…it’s Monday and I came into the gym so excited to get this week started. I had a great week last week, even though I wasn’t able to make in every day as I’d hoped, I still did my steady three days. I feel like I’m cheating when I don’t work out every day, but as long I make it in 3 times I guess I’m ok.

    So I walk in on a Monday high and then I look at the board!!! Dude, big mistake! I just kept staring at it wishing it to go away! I tried to wipe it clean, but Ryan was right there and I couldn’t bypass him! Happy Belated Birthday Ryan, 26 years young…ahhh to be that young again! Anyway, I digress because I don’t want to talk about the WOD today … much less tell you how much it sucked!!

    Today Coach Drew decided that everyone was going to run and run we did! Get this. Today was a 12 minute AMRAP of a 200 meter run and a KB chain (swing, snatch, clean and press), adding one rep with each new round. I was dying!! I ended up doing 5 rounds, which is pretty good. We finished off the day with a 8 minute grind of 8 half kneeling KB press, 6 renegade rows, and 4 strict toes 2 bar. For the toes to bar, I modified it by doing leg raises (laying down and raising both legs up at a time towards your head.)

    It was a good workout and it really didn’t kill me as much as I thought it would. I just think about getting through it instead of worrying about it. I’ve found this method to be most helpful in CrossFit when the exercise is not hard, but requires a lot of cardio. Just run until you can’t, right?

    8/22/2017

    Big day today folks!! Let me start by saying that the very first time I came in to do my very first WOD on June 29, 2017 the first item on the warm up was a 20 second jump rope. I couldn’t jump high enough off the ground to get the rope under my feet, so I put the rope away and continued with my go to work around: small toe jumps.

    From that day, I’ve always just done this movement whenever single or double unders were on the whiteboard. Jumping rope is one of those activities that I had put in the “Someday” column, along with running.

    Well, I’ve been running for a few weeks now. I’m not a very good runner and I probably make runners cry when they see how I run, but I try, and I move, and I just do it.

    Today, the workout included 50 double unders and so Jen asked me about jumping rope. I told her that I just do the work around and left it there, but I thank God that Jen didn’t leave it there. She said, “Well maybe someday soon you’ll be able to jump rope. Do you want me to show you how to choose the correct size?”

    “Sure,” I said humoring her. She proceeded to tell me that in order to size a jump rope correctly, you step on the rope with one foot and pull the ends of the rope towards your armpits. The rope, not the handles, should come up to your armpits. As it happened, the first rope I chose was the right length.

    “Try it,” Jen said.

    In my head I was thinking, “If you build it, they will come.” And then …

    I FREAKING JUMPED ROPE!!!

    I can’t do Double-unders, but I can do about 20 singles at a time. That damn rope goes under and over and I am jumping high enough to get it done!!!

    Yes, you read that right, I can jump high enough to get that rope under and over!!! Man, I almost cried!! Baby steps folks!!

    Jumping rope might seem like a pretty small thing to you, but for me, I hadn’t jumped a rope since I was in elementary school. This Is Huge.

    Yes, you read that right,
    I can jump high enough to get that rope
    under and over!!! Man, I almost cried!!

    Today was one of those days that make all of this worth it. The small victories are much sweeter than any double chocolate cake with chocolate frosting will ever be!

    Well hot damn…I can jump!!!!

    8/23/2017

    Ok, so yesterday I was so excited about JUMPING ROPE that I jumped until I couldn’t jump anymore! I am so so sore, and I swear that last night I heard my feet saying, ‘WTF?!?’

    Today, we started off the workout with two rounds of a 200 meter run and lunges. It was raining and Lauryn made us run anyway. She’s relentless!! Its true that I now run a little, but I’m still not used to running a whole lot, and those runs wore me out, but as always I just got it done. This is my mentality lately: Get It Done! Running is not my favorite, but I get it done!

    This is my mentality lately: Get It Done!
    Running is not my favorite, but I get it done!

    We continued on to work on Deadlifts and Box Jumps. This workout consisted of 5 rounds of 5 Deadlifts (increasing) and 3 Box Jumps. I’m still substituting the Box Jumps with step up onto a low box. I tried for one two feet jump, but I’m still not there yet. I like these workouts because I’m working at my own pace and I can take it slow. I ended up at 95 pounds, which I believe is my max at Deadlifts.

    For durability we did 4 rounds of 10 leg raises, 10 KB Russian Twist and a 30 second plank. My core was screaming at me to stop! The original workout required hanging leg raises. As this is not something I can do, I did leg raises and I think achieved the same result: TO BE SORE AS ALL HECK, am I right? The 30 second plank was on point for the first 2 rounds, however the last two were broken into 10 second bursts. Today wasn’t hard as far as movements, but it was very effective at leaving me feeling like I worked out for five hours instead of just one!!

    8/24/2017

    Barbell Hour!

    I came in early today and joined this awesome class. I’m all about learning lifting technique and this is the class for that.

    Today we worked on Deadlifts, Power Cleans, and Front Squats. I wanted to come to Barbell Hour because I realize that I need work on my form. I stayed on one weight even thought the workout was written as increasing weight each round. Noah agreed that working on my form is a-ok in this class.

    When working with weights, you have to make sure that you are doing so correctly so as to avoid getting hurt. I love that I can come to class and say, “I need to work on this or that,” and there’s always someone there to help me. I’m getting better day by day and it’s thanks the wonderful coaches who have worked with me to make sure that my form is good and helping me to push myself to my full potential.

    Have a great weekend and hope to see you at the gym!!!

     

  • Yvonne’s CrossFit Journal – August 14 – 17, 2017 (8/28/2017)

    Yvonne’s CrossFit Journal – August 14 – 17, 2017

    By, Yvonne Moreno

    August 14, 2017

    Hey guys, I’m at it again! Today was one of those days that the angry Gods of Running descended on me. I didn’t look at the WOD ahead of time, but maybe I should have! Today’s workout consisted of a lot of running, and the lovely Lauryn. Remember I previously told you about her? She’s the one that so super sweet and nice, however when she’s coaching you she’s really good at pushing you to do the best you can.

    We worked on clean and jerks for the first part of class. I always get a little apprehensive when I see five rounds of anything, but today I was pretty sure that I wasn’t going to pass out. I’ve started figuring out that some workouts are a little easier for me than others. Today, I knew that it would be a good workout, and that I probably wasn’t going to be dying after.

    Not to say that I find any of this easy, but I’ve learned to love some activities more then others. Today it was 5 rounds of 10 clean and jerks, 10 box jumps, and a 200 meter run. I have to note that this class was smaller then most which means that Lauryn was able to work with us individually to perfect our clean and jerks. I like that individual time with the coach because the last thing I want to do is not get the most from an activity.

    Today’s 8 minute grind took me to the floor for the entire time. The grind included 8 hanging leg raises (which I can’t do so I did 8 leg raises from the floor), 8 Russian Twists, and a 30 second hollow hold. The hollow hold starts off with laying flat on the follow and raising your legs and chest and arms up off the floor and holding. I’ve done a lot of yoga before, so I’ve done a lot of these, but holding them for 30 seconds sort of sucks!!

    In better news…I’m down a pants size!!! That’s right, so now that I’m not spending money on unhealthy food and habits, I’m gonna be buying a new pair of pants!!!

    August 15, 2017

    So I’m adding another name to the list of girl names I am not fond of. Second on the list is CINDY first on the list is ROXANNE!!!

    Today I was introduced to this Bi*#h named CINDY. Ok, so for those of you who are new to CrossFit, there are certain workouts the CrossFit world named after women. I’m thinking that it’s because these are a bitch to get through, and so far, I’m right on that one. After doing some research, I found out that the workouts with the girl names like Cindy, Helen, or Fran are different types of workouts not repeated often, but are designed to track your progress. For instance, if you did 10 rounds of CINDY last time, you should be doing more than that this time.

    I did a CINDY today!! This means that I did a 20 minute AMRAP of 5 pull ups or ring rows, 10 push ups, and 15 air squats. I pulled off 10 rounds plus 10 push ups. Oh my goodness guys, I hate CINDY. If any of you have a daughter named Cynthia Roxanne, I’m sorry, but I hate that name!!!

    I’m proud of my progress, and I can guarantee that I wouldn’t have done that many rounds a month ago! Progress people; I love progress!!!

    August 16, 2017

    Forgot my sneakers, so I couldn’t break a sweat today.

    August 17, 2017

    Ok, so today was one of those days that I almost passed out!!

    The lovely Lauryn took us through a warm up and then hit us with the good stuff.

    Five three minute rounds of 5 explosive burpees, 50 double unders, and 5 deadlifts. I worked up to 75lbs on the deadlift, so there’s that, but the burpees and double unders almost killed me.

    The fun part of the day was trying to do a handstand. Needless to say I can’t do a handstand, but Lauryn took us through easy practice moves to get us started. For me, I started at the downward dog position lifting one leg at a time hopping up each time. We practiced for about 15 minutes and then we did some arm stretches. I love working with Lauryn because she takes us through yoga poses that can be incorporated with our CrossFit workouts, this makes mastering the moves easier.

    Once again, thanks for coming on this adventure with me. I appreciate all the encouragement I get from ya’ll! See you at the gym!!

  • Yvonne’s CrossFit Journal – August 8 – 11, 2017 (8/18/2017)

    Yvonne’s CrossFit Journal – August 8 – 11, 2017

    Wildcat CrossFit’s Weekly Newbie Blog

    By, Yvonne Moreno

    Iron Yoga

    Namaste!

    This week, I tried yoga at Wildcat for the first time. It wasn’t my first time to the yoga rodeo, but I wanted to try it out here at this gym too. Man, let me tell you that the basic yoga class I usually attend has nothing on this!! I know most of the basics, but this class turned it up a notch and I loved it!! My form isn’t that great, but I do have a lot of flexibility, so some positions come easier to me.

    It was a small class of 3 which allowed us the time to come into each position correctly. Yoga definitely helped with my sore muscles after a tough week. I also love the mindfulness and peaceful feeling that come with practicing yoga. Yoga has always been one of favorite things to do. I absolutely believe that you should try yoga at least once. You might be surprised!!

    I know most of the basics,
    but this class turned it up
    a notch and I loved it!!

    Monday August 8, 2017

    Happy Monday!! So I know I’ve said this before about checking the WOD online before coming to the gym, some people say: Don’t. I say, Sure why not.

    I checked the WOD online and saw that today we had a seven minute row!! Seven minutes of rowing!!! Omg I was seriously thinking of maybe sitting this one out, but what’s the fun in that, right!? I walked my happy butt into the gym and I find out that Ryan is coaching this rowing workout too! (Read my earlier blog post here about another memorable workout on the rower where Ryan really helped me to ‘dig deep’). As soon as I saw Ryan, I knew then I should have stayed home, just kidding, (but not really)!!

    The last time Ryan coached me he was at me to row harder. I did. And I had my overall best score on that round, but man, was I in pain the next day! Ryan pushes me to give everything I have to give in my workouts, and when he pushes I never disappoint! Today wasn’t any different.

    …a maniacal smile crept over Ryan’s face as he told us that we had to beat our pace boat and row for SEVEN MINUTES…!

    Ryan mixed up the warm up today by sending us off into the neighborhood to run the block stopping at every corner to so lunges and squats. What did I do? I took off and half ran and half walked my ass around the block to do squats and lunges! OMG I was done after that.

    But, alas I wasn’t done. The next thing I knew, a maniacal smile crept over Ryan’s face as he told us that we had to beat our pace boat and row for SEVEN MINUTES! I won’t lie. I was intimidated. Thank goodness this happened before class:

    I ran into Anneth, a lady I met a while back and she gave me some great advice. Anneth told me to keep a steady pace and don’t try to over do it. This way it doesn’t become too much, and that just what I did.

    Ryan put us on the rowers for 30 seconds to establish our pace and then we were off! I sat down and rowed like my life depended on it and ,in the end, I did a great job! I rowed 1237 meters. Ryan did say that the 2000 m for men and 1750 m for women goal is for the best athletes in the gym and that only two other men and one woman had reached that goal. So, in the grand scheme of things, I did a great job. We did put Ryan to the test after class that he did an awesome job coming at 2025 meters. Good Job Ryan!!

    Tuesday 08/08/2017

    I thought that after yesterday’s row extravaganza I would be a lot more sore then what I’m feeling today. I didn’t look at today’s WOD in advance, but when I was in the gym and I approached the whiteboard I almost had a heart attack!

    Yes, that says an AMRAP of 100 meters and Dumb Bell Thrusters (increasing at each round by one). Ok, so if you’ve been keeping up with me, I recently was able to reach my goal of running at a very slow pace the 200 meter run so today is pushing me to not only run 200 meters but to do that multiple times.

    To start, Drew made us star in our own comedy show by making us do bear crawls with a foam roller on our backs. Mind you, if you drop the roller you have to get up and do burpees. Needless to say, we were all giggling at every crawl. I couldn’t even get to two crawls before losing the roller. Drew finally had mercy on me let me just crawl sans roller. It was very entertaining. He wanted us to complete a few rounds of these, however I had to giggle again when I heard him say, “Ok, just one round will be enough.”

    I’ve learned that when it’s something that I’m really nervous about doing,
    I just have to jump in and do it; not sit and think.

    After the hilarious warm up, we moved on to the 12 minute AMRAP. I didn’t even think about it when I chose my dumb bells and jumped out the bay door to get started. I’ve learned that when it’s something that I’m really nervous to do, I just have to jump into it and not sit and think. I took off for my first round. I ran the first 100 meters and completed the first thruster however the second 100 meter got a little tougher but I ran it. By the 4th and 5th round I was walking/running the meters but still doing the best I could. I ended up with 7 rounds with a 50 meter run into the 8th.

    To finish off today, we did a 400 meter farmer’s carry…oh but it wasn’t just any farmer’s carry. To start, we had to do an overhead kettle bell carry, when that got to be too much we could drop them down to a front rack position and when that got be too much we could lower them to the regular farmer’s carry, but if you put those suckers down on the ground, you had to start all over again with the over head carry. LONGEST 400 METERS IN MY LIFE!!

    Drew did mention that his classes always work harder and I have to say that he’s right! Thanks for the push Drew!

    Wednesday 8/9/17

    Today I came in a little earlier then usual and joined the 4pm WOD, which I might say is my favorite time to come. It was my first time training with Noah and I was also super sore from yesterday’s cardio explosion.

    We talked a little about how I’ve been doing and he mentioned that part of the Wildcat membership includes a nutrition evaluation and nutrition coaching. I totally want to set some time aside to meet with him. Let’s not forget that a big part of being healthy is eating healthy in addition to working out.

    We worked on cardio and arms and I got on the bike for the first time since Foundations. Man is it hard to get to 10 calories! The workout was an AMRAP of 10 calories on the bike or 14 on the row, 10 kettlebell swings, and 10 pull ups. The bike slowed me down, but I ended up doing three rounds and a row, which I think was pretty good.

    We did a lot of work on our arms today, which is what I needed because I was very sore in that area. It’s nice to have trained with Noah, because I like knowing what to expect from each coach. Noah is really good at showing me how to correct my form and how to make each movement easier for me. He made me get on that damn bike and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

    Thanks for the advice and the help Noah! Look forward to working with you again!

    Thursday 8/10/2017 & Friday 8/11/2017

    Hey Kids! So yesterday was a big day for me. When I walked into this gym over a month ago I wasn’t at a healthy weight … and I’m still not a healthy weight. However, yesterday I stepped on a scale and found out that I’ve reached a very significant goal! I’m out of a range that I’ve been in for a long time. I mean I like four pounds out of that range.

    I am so damn proud of myself,
    I was riding that high
    all day yesterday.

    Listen folks, all this happened by doing two things; walking into a scary CrossFit gym over a month ago, and changing my nutrition.

    CrossFit has completely changed me in ways I never thought possible. Now, when someone says run, I know for sure that I can for a certain distance. When someone says get on the row machine, I know the damage I can do in 7 minutes. When I see that we are working with weight, I know what my max is and I know how far to push it.

    I can do so much in the gym that I could have never imagined I could and that’s all because of the people around me that have helped me and have cheered me along the way. Ryan, Lauryn, Taylor, Nick, Drew Noah, and Jen have been there to help me reach this goal and I have no doubt in my mind that they will be there to help me reach my next goal! Thanks so much guys!!

    Ok enough of the sappy!! Yesterday I was introduced to the Turkish Get Up’s. These are now my least favorite and I choose to block them from my memory from now on. We started with 5 rounds of 3 push press at 85% max. For me, this was 55lbs. And 5 bottom-up kettle bell presses on each side. We used a low weight for the bottom-up and it didn’t seem like it was going to be hard, but once I hit the 5th round I was feeling that weight. It was nice getting back on the barbell after a couple of weeks.

    We finished with 3 rounds of the those damn Turkish Get Up’s on each side and an over head carry down and back. Man! Trying to get up off the floor with a kettle bell in the air is hard! I mean, I managed to get my ass off the floor, but OMG These Were DIFFICULT.

    Ok, so the movement goes like this: … Bear with me, because there really is no way to explain this in writing, but I’ll do my best. You lay on the floor with your arm extended in the air with the kettle bell, same side leg bent, and then you have to get up off the floor with that arm still extended in the air, then you have to come back down to the floor. Ok, I know that wasn’t a good explanation, so here’s a picture for you. Go ahead and try it!! I dare you!! LOL

    Let’s just say that today I am going to end the week with a big ol’ NAMASTE and do some yoga to reward my awesomeness.

    Have a good one people, and I hope to see you at the gym!

     

     

     

     

     

  • Another Week in the Life; More Adventures of a Newbie CrossFitter (8/10/2017)

    Newbie Blogger Yvonne:

    Another Week in the Life; More Adventures of a Newbie CrossFitter

    By, Yvonne Moreno

    August 1, 2017

    A good start to a new month! I ran again! For some reason I was thinking that my 200 meter run (a big milestone I reached last week) was all in my head, that it didn’t really happen. But it wasn’t! And it did! Not only did I run 200 meters to warm up, I took another 200 meters after class. Damn was I tired, however I love the fact that I can do it!

    Today’s WOD was a little tricky for me because it required movements that I couldn’t quite do. But, as I always do, I modified, and still got in a great workout.

    Drew took us through a rigorous warm up and row competition. First team to 50 calories was declared the winner of The Thunderdome … just kidding, but that does sound exciting! Anyway, my team lost by like 3 calories. I’m not a strong rower, so I felt kind of bad, but it’s all in fun, right?

    Not only did I run 200 meters to warm up,
    I took another 200 meters after class.

    Our workout today was a 10 minute AMRAP of 15 wall balls, 10 walking lunges (20 total) and 5 calories on the bike or row. I’m getting better on the wall balls. I almost made it to the line on most of those throws. My lunges need a little work, but I still did ten on each leg. In the end I did a total 3 rounds, which Drew reminded me was better then two rounds! His humor kills me!!

    To finish off, we did a 6 minute grind. This is where I had to modify because today for this grind we needed to do 5 stair steppers and a down and back overhead KB carry. The stair steppers required me to handle two kettlebells in front rack position, go down on one knee and get back up. I tried twice but once I had to get up I just couldn’t do it without dropping the weights. So I just replaced these with squats with my KBs. The walking over head carry looks easy, but after a few of these walks you really feel it! The 6 minutes felt like 20, but I took as few breaks as I could and pushed through the exhaustion.

    We finished off with a nice stretch. I’m a yoga girl, so I know that stretching is very important for the body. Make sure that you don’t skip this part!! Happy August 1st  & I hope to see you at the gym!

    August 2, 2017

    I want to first say welcome to Ray who finished his Foundations and did his first WOD today! Yay!
    I’m so happy I get to see someone completing their first WOD. It takes me back to about a month ago when I was in his shoes! This WOD was a hard one too and Ray did a great job!

    I am so sore today because yesterday’s WOD kicked my butt! Plus, I ran twice and my body seems to be punishing me for that!! Anyway, let me give you a piece of advice, when someone tells you that today’s WOD is a tough one, believe it!

    I know I keep mentioning my 200m runs,
    but sometimes I still can’t believe it!

    Today’s WOD started with a 400 meter run and I ran 200 meters … because I can now! I know I keep mentioning my 200m runs, but sometimes I still can’t believe it! So then comes the fun stuff. Today we practiced muscle ups, handstand push ups and pistol squats. HANDSTANDS!!! I saw that word and almost bolted!!! Lauryn calmed me down and then showed me and alternative way of accomplishing this move. She explained that if we take a box and place our legs on the box and our hands on the floor and do a push up this is almost the same. Basically you’re planking off a box and doing a push up. This move was still extremely difficult but if you can’t hand stand it works as a work around.

    Then came the real workout. Six rounds for time! We started off with 4 bar muscle ups or ring muscle ups, 6 handstand push ups or box push ups and 8 pistols, four on each side. OMG guys, being sore from the day before and add this to the mix, oh boy was I feeling it. I was so proud of Ray for finishing this WOD because I barely did!

    Good Job everyone and I hope to see you at the gym!!

    August 3, 2017

    Ok guys I’m here again! I can barely move but I’m here. I’ve had been coming in every other day, but this week I made the decision to come in everyday if possible. My body has noticed.. and is protesting this decision with every move I make.
    I had to really stretch today. I came in 15 minutes early and used some of my yoga knowledge. I made sure that I stretched my legs and arms to make sure that today’s WOD didn’t kill me.

    Let me tell you a short story about how in a just a few minutes I learned to hate a song that I used to like! You know that song “Roxanne” by The Police? Well I now hate that song. I hate it with a passion! The story starts with lovely Lauryn saying, just as sweet as possible, “When I turn on the song, start running around the gym. And every time they say “Roxanne,” drop and give me a burpee!”

    Do you know how many times they say
    the word “Roxanne” in that damn song?

    Do you know how many times they say the word “Roxanne” in that damn song? Twenty-six times!!! Yes, you read that right, not only did I have to run for 3 minutes and 12 seconds, I had to drop and do 26 burpees during these 3:12!!! The longest three minutes of my life. I will hate you forever “Roxanne” the song!

    Then the dreaded 30-20-10!! Yes folks after the “Roxanne” torture I had to do 30 burpees, 30 calories on the row, and then 20, and then 10 for time. I thought I was going to kill the lovely Lauryn! My time wasn’t bad at 14:57. We ended things with kettlebell 1 arm swings and down & back waiter carries with 12 pounders.


    Man, was I tired today! But listen when I tell you, after all the soreness and sweat and tears, I feel damn good! This week after three consecutive days doing CrossFit and eating a healthy diet, I’ve lost 3 pounds and gained a whole lot of confidence!

     

    Tonight I’m giving yoga a try. Have a great weekend people! If you are interested, go ahead and give this CrossFit a try, you won’t regret it!!

  • Not Such a Newbie Anymore: Happy 1-Month CrossFit Anniversary, Yvonne! (8/2/2017)

    Not Such a Newbie Anymore: Yvonne’s 1 -Month CrossFit Anniversary; A Running Milestone Reached(!) & Another Week of Workouts

    by, Yvonne Moreno

    Barbell Hour

    This class was great! I got to handle the barbell a lot more then I am used to, hence the name of the class. I did go home with aching hands, but OMG I loved it!

    Today our Coach was Lauryn. I love this chic; she is awesome!! The Barbell Hour class is basically structured like your regular WOD. You have a warm up, the workout, and then the cool down. Today we worked on Front Squats, working to heavy sets of 3, as well as a new exercise that I hadn’t done before: the Pistol Squat.

    For a quick warm up, we started off with two rounds of 5 front squats, 5 push ups, 10 pvc pass thrus and 10 walking lunges with a twist. Then we went into 4 rounds of 3 front squats at 85% max weight, 3 box jumps and 3 pistol squats. I haven’t yet been able to master the box jumps so I keep it simple and safe for me and I do step ups instead. We ended with a quick 200 meter run, 5 push ups, 5 SL & DL per side and 5 Slashers AMRAP for 15 minutes.

    I recommend this class at least once if you’re new to CrossFit. It’s small and it gives you an opportunity to get practice handling a barbell.

    Monday July 24, 2017

    Ok kids I’m back!! Last week I was in the gym once for the barbell hour then then the very next day I fell In the mud! Don’t laugh…ok, you can laugh a little, but I did fall in the mud and the entire left side of my body hurt. :'(

    But guess what? I’m back this week!! And I’m happy to report that I started off my Monday with an awesome workout!

    We started off with a warm up, and then went straight into what we call a “Mixed Helen” which consisted of 12 Pull Ups, a 400 meter run, and 21 KB swings. Yes, you are reading that right. And we did it 3 rounds for time. My time: 16:31. We finished up with a nice cool down using the foam roller to work on our lats and traps.

    So it’s coming up on about a month since I started this journey. I’ve already noticed that I am physically stronger. My energy levels are awesome, and I have to say that my confidence is 100% times better then when I walked in that first day.

    Today when the Coach said take a run, I made a quick decision and jumped out the bay door… And I Ran!

     

    Tuesday July 25, 2017

    Today was the day folks! Those of you that follow me know that I don’t run because I physically can’t. However. Today when the Coach said take a run, I made a quick decision and jumped out the bay door… And I Ran! I RAN A WHOLE 200 METERS WITHOUT STOPPING! I mean it was a slow run, and my lungs were cussing me out, but I FREAKING RAN!!

    Take that you nay-sayers! I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t run the 400 meter as suggested, but I ran half of that, which is more than I could do before! This is a big day for me, kids, because I hadn’t been able to run more then 100 meters before without stopping and walking the rest of the way. CrossFit did this for me!!!

    Ok, now as I sit on my couch I don’t feel quite so badass, mainly because I’m so tired. You see, today I almost died. Let me just lay it out for you:

    Today on the friendly little whiteboard it stated that we had to do 6 rounds of a 2 minute row, with 3 minutes of rest in between, and then finish it up with a nice 400 meter farmers carry.

    The only reason I pushed myself so hard was because Coach Ryan was right there, cheering me on.

    Now, when I saw 6 rounds of a 2 minute row and a 3 minute rest I thought, “Ahh, come on, that’s easy!” Um no.

    I think I died a couple of times between rows! OMG guys, my body was telling me to get the hell up off that rower and run in the direction of home! Check this out: my highest meter row was 407m, and this was on my last row. The only reason I pushed myself so hard is because Coach Ryan was right there, cheering me on. He stood next to me and made sure that I gave it my all and he didn’t let me quit. This support is why I keep coming back and don’t follow my urge to run in the other direction!

    This week marked my one month CrossFit anniversary.

    CrossFit has already changed my life and has made me be more accountable for my health and well-being. Thanks Wildcat CrossFit! I’ll see you next week as my kid and I are outta here a for a few days and will be enjoying ourselves in the beautiful San Diego weather!

     

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  • Newbie Blogger Yvonne: Another Week in the (Wildcat CrossFit) Life! (7/31/2017)

    Another Week in the (Wildcat CrossFit) Life!

    Monday July 10, 2017

    Hey Kids, it’s a brand new week and I am still on this ride! I’ve got to say that I didn’t think I would last this long because, just when you think you are getting used to the WODs … bam! they make you do something different that makes you think twice about your thought process. That being said, I attended the Community Class yesterday, and here I am the very next day, I’m a rebel!!

    Today’s 5 pm class was a largest I’ve seen thus far. We split up into two groups for today’s WOD. The first group started with the strength portion. Today we did a push press rotation of 4-3-2-1-4-4. The last time I did this rotation my max was at 70 lbs. I pushed it up to this weight today and toyed with adding a little more weight, but I didn’t think it was time. I will vow to push it next time though.

    The second half of the WOD was a METCON, 5 rounds of 15 cal row/bike/ski machine, down and back front rack kettlebell walk and 10 front rack kettlebell squats. Ok, so let me explain today’s METCON (or as I called it…METDEATH!!!) in detail:

    Oh my gawd, I was about to keel over after this one. I did like a million squats. Ok, it was only 50, but that’s 50 squats holding kettlebells!!! Ok, so the clock starts, and I did first 15 cal on the rower, then took my wobbly legs and picked up two 16kg kettlebells and walked up and down the length of the gym 4 times with those kettlebells tucked in the crook of my bent arms. Then you stop and hit 10 squats with those little suckers. And then guess what kids? I did that 4 more times! My time was 16 min 41 seconds. Not bad for a kid from the wrong side of being fit!! LOL

    Wednesday July 12th

    Today was another hard one. We worked on power cleans and push press. I definitely have to work on my form with these because of my coordination. Finding the correct way to clean that barbell to your collar is my problem. Also, I think it’s the effort that you put into these moves that makes you successful, and today I wasn’t very energetic. I did not want to be there I wanted to be at home with my tub of Blue Bunny. But, alas, my ass is not in any shape to be at home partaking in any Blue Bunny action. I digress. Moving on…

    Capacity wanted to kill me today, if capacity was a mass murderer. Today the white board had the nerve to say that today we were going to do 4 two minute AMRAP of 2 Power Clean + Push Press and 6 Burpee bar hops. They wanted me to jump the bar. Lol, not today. Needless to say, I can’t jump that high, so I did my modified burpee which is just like a real burpee except when I go into push up position I don’t go down to the floor. I hold that plank and then walk my hands back to my feet, stand up, and jump.

    You guys, the bane of my existence was our cool down. The 400 meter kettle bell walk or the Farmer Carry. When I tell you that everyone suffers with this one please believe me!! I mean EVERYONE!!!

    Listen guys, not everyday is going to be the best day. I learned that when I come in with a bad attitude, my results will be affected. We all have our good and bad days, but make sure that when you walk in the door of any workout program, that you do it with a positive attitude and I can assure you that it will help. We are human and we will have bad days, but you can’t give up and the process of making yourself better!!

    Friday July 14. 2017

    I was called an athlete today. For the first time in my life that word defined me and damn if that didn’t feel good!

    So I figured something out today…every coach has his or her own style of teaching. You can have the hard ass that tells you that you need to work on your core and to check your ego when trying to lift more weight then you’re used to. Then there’s the coach who cheers you often and praises your every attempt. Here’s why I’ve learned to love both coaching styles: The hard ass makes me try harder, squat deeper, they make we want to build that strong foundation. And the cheerleaders who see me in the gym and yell from accross the room, telling me that I’m doing a good job, and to keep it up, are setting that foundation. These coaches are the glue that hold me together and allow me to walk out of every session with my head held high.

    We worked on overhead squats today. These are kind of hard when you keep adding weight. Coach Laurie had us start with just the PVC pipes to correct our forms. Laurie is a stickler for form. I like that she takes the time to correct us and lets us know when we need to scale the weight down in order to do a correct overhead squat.

    In conclusion, this week was hard not entirely because of the work out, but also because of everyday life. Like I said earlier in the week, I have to remember to stay positive and take every little bit of praise and constructive criticism and use those things to build a stronger me. I’m going to try to make it to different classes next week. Maybe go to the barbell class and work on that form. Until then, thanks for coming on this wild ride with me! Leave me a comment, ask me a question or just say HI!!

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  • Newbie Blogger Week 4: Featuring Women’s CrossFit (aka ‘MomWOD’) and our Free Sunday Community Class (7/14/2017)

    This is my fourth week at Wildcat CrossFit.  I’m feeling so good about myself and that’s where it starts people!

    July 3, 2017 MomWOD

    OMG, these Moms are no joke!  So I had a day off on Monday and decided to join an earlier class.  MomWOD offered childcare so my son and I headed into the gym.  Once I got my son settled, I walked over to start the class and our coach Laurie knew who I was right away.  The one thing she did say to me was that some say that Mom WOD is a little bit tougher then a regular class and I am not going to disagree with her.

    Today’s warm up consisted of a nice 400 meter run or 400 meter row, bear crawls, inch worms, lunges, knee hugs, quad pulls, Frankenstein’s and burpees.  Boy was I warmed up!!  Laurie was right there with me as I stumbled through all these.

    “…today I managed to push my limits.”

    Strength was a tough one today. Not because of the set which was 6,4,2,1,6,6, but because today I managed to push my limits.  Thanks to Laurie I pushed myself to 70 lbs for my set of one.  I also let the training bar go today and started using the ‘ladies’ 35# bar.

    Laurie made sure that I wrote all this down.  I’ve seen people writing their stats down around the gym, but I never thought it was important to me.  Folks, writing all your stats down is really important.  It’s important because you need to know what your limits are today so you can push those tomorrow, within reason of course.  So today I pushed my limits and I was so damn proud of myself!

    The MetCon today was 4 rounds of 200 meter run, 15 push press and 15 back squats.  I did my 200 meters on the row machine which was a little bit easier for me, and it ensured that I actually kept my body moving. You see, when I “run” I have to make frequent stops to catch my breath.  Man, I woke up so very sore from those Back Squats!  I think it’s because it was my first time using the heavier bar.

    Laurie was awesome and I wish I was available to take more classes with her.  My son Jason loved coming with me to the gym and I’m glad that he got to see what Mom does when she goes to the gym to workout.  His favorite part was the giant goldfish in the Wildcat Aquarium.

    1. aquarium clip


    July 5, 2017

    So remember the last time I told you that we did a Kettlebell 400 meter walk and I felt like I could have used heavier weights?  Today’s ‘Core’ portion of the WOD was my chance to walk with heavier weights. I chose 16kg; that’s 35.2 lbs!!!  All I have to say is that I’ve found a new thing I love to hate!!

    The warm up today was nice 400 meter row some lunges and inch worms.  I can’t even believe that I’m saying this but I’m getting used to the warms ups.  They sure make me remember how out of shape I am, however they also make me strive to complete them.

    I do have to say that I’ve had a lot of people tell me what I good job I’m doing even though I know I am miles behind the curve.  I stay humble and I appreciate the support, but inside I am smiling like a idiot!

    Strength and Capacity today focused on Deadlifts, Power Cleans, and Push Presses.  As of Monday, I’ve started using the ladies 35# barbell.  I was using the 15# training bar up until then.  For Strength I hit the 65lb mark but scaled it down to 55lbs for Capacity.  Drew had to work a little with me on my form, but I had done these movements before so there wasn’t much I needed to correct.

    I didn’t finish all 5 rounds of capacity, but I got through four and a half in 12 minutes.  I was, however, the last one to come back from that 400 m Kettlebell walk with what felt like 100 lb weights.  Oh well you win some, you lose some, but you keep coming back, right?

    Community Class

    Sunday July 9, 2017

    So I convinced my sister and my cousin to come in with me and give this thing called CrossFit a try.

    Today, Laurie took us through a 20 minute AMRAP of 100 meter run, 10 box jumps, 10 sit ups, 10 push ups and 10 pull ups! Just a little workout for a Sunday morning!! That’s what I told myself when I saw the board.

    We warmed up with a 100 meter run some lunges, some Frankensteins, and some stretching.

    I ended up doing almost four rounds of the AMRAP.  I enjoyed the class but missed the normal WOD.  I followed up with my sister who has a regular gym membership, and she was tired or as she put it, “dead!”  I’m glad that she came to see what I’m so excited about.  I work hard and I may not complete as many rounds as most people, but one thing is for sure, I work as hard as I can.

    I would recommend that you give this Free Community Class a try.  It’s not like anything you have done before, and I can almost guarantee that you will feel like you really worked out after one of these classes.

    This is my fourth week at Wildcat CrossFit.  I’m feeling so good about myself and that’s where it starts people!  You have to let everyone’s opinions go and believe in yourself and not be afraid because your body is lot stronger then you think.  Listen, I am not the strongest or the most coordinated or the best at anything but everyone at Wildcat has helped correct my form and has been there to cheer me on at every hurdle.  Thanks for that! And for joining me on my CrossFit journey!  Until next time.

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  • Newbie Blogger Post #3: A Week of WODs (7/12/2017)

    by, Yvonne Moreno

    “So today I walk in and I’m ready to do this again….”

    Don’t look now, but I think that’s a baby bicep!!  I think I’m losing weight just by the sweat alone!  So the adventure continues, like I’ve said before I’ve committed to three times a week. However, if I can get in here more than that I definitely will!

    Let me take you through my week:

    Monday June 26, 2017

    All soreness from my last class is gone and I miss it!  Ok just kidding I don’t miss it at all! Even still, I’m here and ready to go through it all over again.  Taylor was today’s coach.  As expected, this session was different from my last class.  I like that every coach has a different approach because it makes me ask questions.  Taylor started the class explaining the workout and the next thing I know she said, “take a 200 meter run.”  I was barely getting over the “run” word when everyone was passing me by to take their run.  I quickly took off at a run/walk pace.  As usual, everyone passed me by, but I didn’t let that discourage me.  By the time I got back, everyone was already doing lunges across the room.  This was my fear.  The last thing I wanted to do is slow the class down, but everyone waited for me.  I was the last one to finish the warm up, and no one was complaining.

    For the strength portion she has us do a Push Press rotation of 8,5,4,2,8,8.  Yes that’s 6 sets each of 8,5,4,2,8,8!  I know it sounds kind of odd but you add a little weight at each rotation and by the time you’re doing your last 8 you can really feel it on your arms.  The Push Press was a little hard to do, but Taylor was right there with me helping me work through it.  Basically you start with the barbell at your collar and you push it up over your head.  I got up to 40lbs on this one.

    The Metcon (Metabolic Conditioning) Portion was my favorite today.  It was four, two minute rounds with 1 minute break in-between AMRAP (As Many Rep As Possible); 15x Double-unders (jump rope) or 40 singles (which is what I did), and 5x Power Cleans.  I managed to do 3 rounds the first time, and 2 and a half the next three rounds.  Considering that fact that I carry a lot of weight, I think it was a good start.  My Power Cleans need a little work, but I’ll get there.  I ending up doing these at 35lbs.

    I went home feeling like a boss. Ok, maybe just like a manager, but feeling great nonetheless.  Thanks Taylor for an awesome workout!  You made me run but it wasn’t that scary this time!  Thanks to all my workout partners today.  I’m sorry I was slow, but you got to see me in all my messy glory and you can go home and tell people you worked out with someone who didn’t give up even when she could have!

    …my muscles are saying, “why the hell are you working us so hard!”  I just tell them to shut up and deal with it because I plan to live a long time and this means pain, sweat, and tears! 

    Wednesday June 28, 2017

    I’ve been feeling Monday’s workout in my shoulders and sides.  I think my muscles are saying, “why the hell are you working us so hard!”  I just tell them to shut up and deal with it because I plan to live a long time and this means pain, sweat, and tears!  People must think I’m crazy when they see me at a red light talking to my arm!!

    So today I walk in and I’m ready to do this again.  I’ve lost all apprehension and now it’s like I can’t wait to see if they are going to make me run today!  I also met Noah today, he owns the gym along with Jen.  We chatted and he asked if I was here to do the WOD. I casually answered that, yes, in fact I was and was excited about it. Then Noah said four words that scared me a little…ok they scared me a lot:  “It’s a tough one today!”

    Listen guys, for me every WOD so far has been a “tough one.” I remembered that I’ve made it through every other time, so I relaxed a little.  That was my bad because OMG, I was literally asking myself WHY at every point of this WOD.

    We started off with a nice 400 meter run!  I say nice, but what I really mean is: “What the hell am I doing trying to run? I’m just going to walk really fast and try not to die… &^$%# 400 meter run!”  After the run, we followed up with a few stretching moves with the PVC’s and went on to practice our Power Cleans and Push Press with the PVC.  Then we grabbed our barbells and practiced, adding weight to get to our max.  So far I’m doing good.  I ended up at 45lbs, which is better then last week, when I was lifting 35lbs.  I was thinking, ‘No problem, this is cake,’ until the Work Capacity portion of the day started…

    So get this, the lovely Lauryn explained that for this portion of the WOD we were doing 4 rounds of 4 minutes each continuous movement with one minute rest in between.  In one minute we needed to do 2 Power Cleans plus Push Press and then drop and finish the minute with burpees … BURPEES!!!  We did this every minute for 4 minutes, rested, and then continued until the 4 rounds were completed.  OH MY GAWD!!!

    “Needless to say I did it
    because I’m a rock star!
    My burpees were messy and
    on my knees, but I sure did it.”

    By the end of the first round, that’s four minutes of lifting and dropping and jumping, I WAS DONE!!  That was the shortest 1 minute rest of my life and then I had to do it again!  Needless to say I did it because I’m a rock star!  My burpees were messy and on my knees, but I sure did it.  I thought I was dead by the end of the four rounds, but I still completed them!  This, my friends, was a tough one!

    After we put our stuff up, the incredibly cute and sweet Lauryn told us to get some kettlebells and take another 400 meters!!  I grabbed some 9 pounders and politely asked her what she meant by “take another 400 meters.” She smiled and said, “Walk to the 400 meter mark outside with the weight taking as little rest breaks as possible.”

    Lauryn’s so cute. I love her because she could be telling you to go flip the car over with your bare hands and no help … but she’s so sweet that you’d be like, “Ok, I’ll be right back,” smile and go do what she asks!  This cool down didn’t seem that hard…at first. But after the ‘16 minutes of Hell’ (as I am calling it), walking with extra weight, any extra weight, is going to be a little difficult.  In hindsight, I could have grabbed some heavier weight, but the 18 extra pounds still did me in.

    I got home and thanked the heavens above that I love my CrossFit family, because I was cussing everyone out today (in my head of course), but I’ll be back on Friday!

    Friday June 31, 2017

    I’m feeling pretty good today, I had a little ache in my back from Wednesday’s torture class, er I mean Wednesday’s WOD.  I’m feeling even better because a couple of people came up to me and introduced themselves.  They mentioned that they read my blog and, man that felt good!  I met and got along really well with Anneth, who told me that she enjoyed reading it and, well this one is dedicated to you, my friend!  Enjoy!!

    The lovely Taylor was our coach today and she said my most dreaded words…”let’s start with a 400 meter run!”  Even though the board stated it was a 200 meter run, this cute little lady said 400 meters!!  So I ran/walk, and hated every minute of it!!  Do you see a pattern?

    I’ve never done Overhead Squats with weight before, so I was looking forward to trying these and guess what?  I crushed it.

    Today’s strength portion was 4 rounds of 4 Overhead Squats, increasing the weight each round, 5 T-Spine Rotations and 10 PVC pipe pass-thrus.  I’ve never done Overhead Squats with weight before, so I was looking forward to trying these and guess what?  I crushed it.  My new friends, Anneth and Marion also did that Overhead Squat justice!  My technique was a little wonky, but Taylor set me strait and I corrected it.  Below are some pictures of the girls and myself.

    Today’s work capacity was intense.  I don’t think I’ll ever get used to these 9-15-21 sets.  For these sets we did Deadlifts and dumbbell Thrusters.

    With the Deadlifts, you start with the barbell on the ground with your back straight you lift straight up to your hip, then bend down straight, and back to the floor.  The Thrusters are done by using two dumbbells starting on the floor, back straight bend over grab them and put them to your shoulders, elbows tucked in, squat and thrust your arms up when you’re at standing position.

    At 20 I told myself,
    “What’s one more?”
    And guess what? I did it.
    I planned on giving up, but I didn’t.

    The first set of nine were easy and I kept telling myself that I got this, but I so didn’t have this.  When I hit the middle of the 15 set, I was thinking that I was going to fall over.  My thighs burned, my shoulders burned, my hands ached.  On the last set I was thinking that if I did 15 I would be fine.  I broke it down and did these in fives with a small pause in between.  When I got to 15 I told myself that it was just 5 more and I’d be ok doing 20.  At 20 I told myself, “what’s one more?” And guess what? I did it.  I planned on giving up, but I didn’t.  My time was not the best, but coming in at 10:03 minutes I was smiling pretty big!!

    After I rocked at the capacity, I was chatting a little with Taylor and told her a little about me and my concerns. She assured me that I was doing an awesome job.

    You guys you have to give this CrossFit thing a try.  Every class this week has been different and has pushed me beyond what I thought my limits were. 

    I’ve met some awesome people and I’ve never felt this great about myself.  My first full week and it won’t be my last!  Come in and check out this wild, intense and awesome ride I’m on!  You can check out all the class schedules online, hope to see you guys at the gym! Have a great weekend!

     

  • BodWod…surprisingly tough, makes you feel great, and so totally useful. (6/29/2017)

     For some reason I still thought BodWod would be easy… I was mistaken…

    by, Coach Jen

    Welcome to BodWod.

    Last week I had the opportunity to attend my first BodWod Class, and I must confess, it was surprisingly tough. I mean, all of the athletes who stumble down the ramp each Monday and Wednesday evening definitely attest to the challenge of the workout … with the dazed looks on their faces alone. They also tell me things like, “This is a great class,” and “Wow, that was a hard workout.”

    It’s true, I am a late-comer to the BodWod, but I’ve got a pretty good excuse. Long story short, when the BodWod class was being discussed, and planned, and for the first month the class was going on, I was recovering from a serious burn, which impeded all activity for two months. Read about my journey back to exercise here.

    Since I’ve been exercising again, I’ve mostly been hitting the WOD and Yoga once in a while. Let’s just say, that I personally gravitated to CrossFit for a reason. Basically, if I’m not so out of breath I feel like I’m gonna puke, I’m not sure I’m working hard enough. I’ve loved being back…loved the hard moments in the middle of the workouts, loved the endorphin rushes at the end.

    So, despite the looks on other athletes’ faces, I remained a little skeptical about how the BodWod would affect me. Would I really get a great workout? It’s so quiet in there during the BodWod class, how can they be getting any endorphins out of that? It’s so quiet in there. I remained skeptical, that is, until about 30 minutes into my first BodWod class.

    Talk about endorphins. After the BodWod workout was over, I’m not sure how long I spaced out before I realized that I was sitting there with my mouth hanging open … but I’m pretty sure it was more than a minute. BodWod might seem slow and quiet from the outside, but on the inside your muscles are working bigtime, and it leaves your body feeling really great!

    One of the exercises we worked on during my first BodWod class was Pistols, one-legged squats. These are generally very hard for me and I’ve always struggled to remain standing, much less breaking parallel.

    While I was doing my pistol practice, Jose noticed that my knees were buckling inward and cued me to push my knees out over my toes. This cause me to subtly change the way I was balancing weight on the sole of my foot and as a result, my balance was better. Finally, I could concentrate on pushing my butt back and reaching for parallel and worry less about toppling over.

    As for lasting benefits, I actually think because of this BodWod workout I was able to up my game during the WOD on Tuesday…the one with all the overhead walking lunges. I pushed my front knee out over my toe as I stood up from each lunge and, as a result, I felt much less like I was going to fall over sideways periodically. It’s always easier to move forward if you aren’t constantly trying not to fall over.

    And since I’m prone to philosophize occasionally, I’ll say this, the BodWod’s slow and focused movements caused me to concentrate more on maintaining my balance … much more than I usually do… and it’s never a bad thing to be focusing on maintaining your footing.

    So from personal experience, let me tell you a little something about the BodWod: You do sweat, and you do get out of breath…and you are also concentrating really hard the entire time you’re moving. This makes the class a period of concentration (dare I say meditation?), and also an exercise of will.

    Some of the movements were unpleasant for me. I had to make myself do all the reps. At the end of the workout I felt floppy, the way I usually do after a tough WOD, but I also had a pleasant heat and sense of heat and muscular engagement in my hips, knees, shoulders, and back, and core.

    From one workout it was clear that repeated attendance at BodWod will noticably improve and increase joint integrity, mobility, strength, and balance.

    Is one of your goals getting better at advanced CrossFit exercises like pistols, handstands, pull-ups, and muscle-ups? If your answer is yes, Right on! Now make a plan to check out the BodWod. I’ll see you there!

  • Newbie Blogger Yvonne: Week #2 (6/29/2017)

    Let the Adventure Begin …

    By, Yvonne Moreno

     

    So I’m sitting in my car contemplating driving away from the gym and never looking back because today is my first real CrossFit class. I mean, I took the Foundations Classes, but those were mostly learning. Today it’s no longer learning time, it’s doing time!

    I muster up the little bit of courage I have and get out the car and prepare myself. As I’m walking to the door, Lauryn runs by, smiles and waves, and as I walk in the door, Jen looks up and smiles. This is why I came in! Guys, these coaches are the best. I’ve never walked into a gym and had as much support as I do walking into Wildcat CrossFit!

    Jen takes me through the schedule and it’s pretty basic. I can come in and join any of the classes on the schedule, or I can come in to Open Gym time and work on my technique. I’ve already committed to do at least three classes a week, but I also want to try everything else the gym offers. With that said, welcome to my journey. I am committed to trying everything and I want to bring you along for the ride.

    Friday June 23, 2017

    As nervous as I am, I have to believe in myself. I just have to jump in and take it step by step. I mean, what’s the worst that can happen? I might not finish a round or I might not be able to do an activity correctly, but I’ll learn and get stronger, right?

    Our coach today was Ryan. I know Ryan from Foundations. He’s the one that made me run, and I don’t run. But you know what? When I couldn’t run and had to speed walk, he was right there to tell me what a great job I was doing! Ryan is alright by me! On the board was today’s workout. When I walked closer to get a better look, I died a little inside.

    I present to you the WOD (Work Out of the Day.) They want me to do this rotation, ME! Now let me explain for those of you that are new to this CrossFit world as I am. All these rounds are continuous. These are quite simple moves yet when you tie them all together they work out parts of your body that you didn’t even know you could work out.

    The warm up was a little challenging for me because I can’t really jump rope, not because I don’t know how, but because I carry a lot of weight and it hurts. I modified it by eliminating the rope and did alternating jumps using the balls of my feet. This made it easier because the rope kept getting in the way of my slow jumping feet. That’s what so great about this experience, I didn’t feel obligated to be as good as everyone else. As long as I try, I’ll get there! The air squats came easy to me because I rock at squats, but those mountain climbers made me breathe harder and sweat, which is the idea. I was hitting the water hard and that was just the warm up!

    The strength portion of the day was pretty basic overhead squats, adding weight after every round, which I felt right away. My legs remembered the squats from Foundations class right away. These legs of mine are going to be looking gorgeous in no time at all!

    I made a new friend during this round. Kara has been doing CrossFit for about 6 months and she couldn’t believe that it was my first day. I knew I liked for her a reason! 😉 Check her out, she’s doing her first overhead squat without weights, the weight gets added on as the rounds progress. We ended up squatting with 40lbs on the bar, she’s a rockstar!!

    So the next part was the part that almost killed me! I mean three rounds of each exercise? Are you nuts? This is when I tested my body to it’s limit and it turns out that my limit was higher then I thought!

    Again I omitted the jump rope but I still jumped 200 singles at each round so there’s that! The wall balls were kind of challenging … because I was doing them wrong for the first few throws. Ryan quickly came over and helped me correct that. By this round, my squats weren’t as low as they were the first round, but nonetheless I was squatting and standing while tossing the ball. After the last round, I took my cool down walk with my new friend Kara, and she commented on how impressed she was that I knew all the basic moves for it being my first class. I thanked her and told her that it was due to my awesome coaches from Foundations Class that helped me learn the correct form. As I walked into the door and put my stuff up, I was walking on cloud nine because I’d completed my very first CrossFit class!

    You guys, I was feeling so good about myself and I really can’t put into words how proud of myself I was at that moment. I want to thank you for coming on this journey with me. I wish everyone could feel as good as I feel right now.

    I know it’s just the beginning, and as I keep going it will get a little harder and I will have to push myself a little more. Considering how good I’m feeling about myself right now, I just know that I can do it. I had to take a picture after my first WOD, sorry I look a mess as I’m usually a lot cuter then this but I like this look because it’s my victory look!

  • Meet Yvonne! Our Next Newbie Blogger! (6/26/2017)

    Meet Yvonne. Wildcat’s CrossFit Newbie Blogger!

    Join Yvonne on her fitness journey as she tries CrossFit for the first time!

    You know those times when you commit to doing something before you really think about it?  Well, when Jen told me about the CrossFit Foundations classes at Wildcat, I said, “Sure I’ll try it.” It was definitely one of those times!!

    Let me start by saying that I am a 40 year old overweight woman. I weigh way more then I care to share and up until now my fitness regime consisted of yoga two days a week and a “Get Strong” class two days a week. The Get Strong class is intervals of aerobic activity and strength training with resistance tubing. These classes got so repetitive that I started missing classes and I was ok with it because I knew exactly what I was missing. Cut to Jen asking me to try this thing called CrossFit. When I heard that word I panicked a little…ok a lot, I panicked a whole lot but I said I would try it and I had to keep my word.

    Foundations Day 1

    ‘I’m gonna die!!!’ This is what I was thinking when I walked into this beautiful gym. I mean I checked out the pictures online and they don’t it no justice. I was intimidated by all the weights and athletically fit people walking around. Anyway I walk in nervous as heck but Jen was there to reassure me. She took me through the paperwork and then IT WAS TIME!

    There’s three of us in this first class, a high school kid looking to get stronger for sports, a strong looking athletic type man looking to get more definition and me, a 40 year old looking to live long enough to see my 4 year old grow up.

    Nick introduced himself and explained the meaning of CrossFit. Basically, what I understood is that CrossFit is a series of high intensity excercises that allows your body to lift weight you didn’t know you were capable of lifting. He took us through some basic moves like deadlifts and taught us the proper way to hold the bars. He also took us through some stretching techniques and I was feeling really good about until he said, “Ok lets start with a 200 meter run to warm up.”

    Needless to say I could only run about 100 meters but I kept moving and ran in place for a bit because I didn’t want to give up. I was huffing and puffing but I was warmed up! We went through the rest of the class actually doing deadlifts with barbells and some weights until the last ten minutes when Nick informed us what the WOD (Workout of the Day) was going to be. 100 meter run, 5 crunches or sit-ups and 5 deadlifts as many sets as you can in 10 minutes. I did 3 and a half rounds. It was the running that slowed me down. I carry a lot of weight and it truly hurts to run but I sucked it up and did my best run/speed walk and I did it. I walked out of the first class with my head held high. I was about to commit to something that I have never given a second thought to before because I underestimated myself.

    Foundations Day 2

    And then there were two. We lost a person and it wasn’t me!

    The lovely Lauryn greeted us with a big smile. I liked her from the beginning! I was afraid she would make me run again and my issue with that was that I didn’t want to slow anyone down because my running is crap. But like Jen told me, I wasn’t going to slow anyone down because I have to take it at my pace to be successful.

    Lauryn started us off with a warm up of 30 seconds on the bike, 30 seconds on the row machine and 3 push ups. I was sweating more then I ever sweat in my life. Lauryn took us though the Shoulder Press, the Push Press and the Push Jerk. These weren’t as easy as they looked, however I think I got it down.

    Ryan was right there as I did the most ugly sit up in the history of fitness and he praised me for it.

    I like that these classes all start by showing you the proper form and they make you practice with the PVC pipes so you don’t hurt something. Once we got to practice a few times, she put the weights on and off we went.

    After the WOD we finished off with some stretches. Coming from a yoga background I knew right away that Lauryn was a yoga instructor. I will definitely have to try yoga with Lauryn!

    Day two down and in the books. Guess what, I’m still alive! I’ll be coming back, maybe! 😉

    Foundations Day 3

    I made it to the last day of Fundamentals and so did my companion Luke (the high school kid). All I kept telling myself is that, I’m here and that’s the best I can do. Let do this!!

    Ryan took us through squats. I’m pretty good at regular old air squats as I’ve done them before but I knew if they designed a class all around squats that regular old squats weren’t going to be my issue and I was right. Turns out air squats were nothing compared to back squats, front squats and over head squats!

    I’ve got to say that these are much easier when you are practicing with the PVC pipe, but once Ryan said to grab some 10lbs weights, I panicked just a bit.

    As it turns out, squats are my thing! I felt the workout immediately and my legs felt like noodles afterwards so I know it worked! I was exhausted after this workout. In the end I ended up lifting 35lbs. on my back squat. Ryan was a great coach. He was with me all the way and even when I expressed my concern about doing sit ups on our AMRAP rounds he said just try one and if you can’t then do crunches. Ryan was right there as I did the most ugly sit up in the history of fitness and he praised me for it. I continued with the ugly sit-ups and completed three rounds of AMRAP. Thanks for the encouragement Ryan!

    I think that I will return to CrossFit. I certainly enjoyed working with Nick, Lauryn and Ryan, I didn’t always enjoy the workout, but I struggled through it and not once did anyone discourage me. I received the support and encouragement that a person like me needs. I look forward to working more with these coaches and I look forward to this new adventure that I am about to embark on. I have high hopes that I will succeed at this wild thing called CrossFit!

  • Feeling like a Newbie – My Return to CrossFit After a 2 Month Break (6/13/2017)

    Has life ever thrown you a curve ball?

    You know, an event (or an injury) that interrupted your workout routine and kept you from making it into the gym for an extended period of time? We all have. In fact, recently, it happened to me…

    On the beautiful Saturday morning of March 19, as I was making myself some coffee and getting ready to head into the gym for CrossFit Open Workout 17.4, my tea kettle slipped out of my hand and scalding water splashed onto my belly. Not only wouldn’t I be completing the CrossFit Open, I wasn’t going to be able to workout at all for nearly two months.

    And just like that, I was knocked out of the running for the CrossFit Games. Haha. Jk. Lol. Actually I was never in danger of making it to Regionals, much less the Games, and I’m lucky that my injury didn’t knock me out of the game entirely. Over the first few days after my injury it became clear that my burn was pretty much entirely second degree…the area was swelling up and multiple blisters began to form. What followed was a two month odyssey of self-administered nursing interventions and a significant amount of pain. And no working out. Like Zero.

    Here are some pictures of my tummy at the beginning and end of the healing process. Note: if you are a squeamish person: scroll through quickly.

    Day 1:

    Two months:

    Initially my body was just all tensed up from the pain, I remember feeling like my I was clenching my abs 24/7, for the first week or so. I honestly didn’t even miss working out much at all for the first several weeks. I was just doing my best trying to keep myself and my animals alive, keeping my wound clean, taking care of the barest necessities and that was it.

    The wound was large and the healing was slow, and then it started to itch. And then it started to peel. And then one day it *Finally* started to feel better. The next day was my first workout back.

    Here are some of the ways that my body changed during my 7 weeks of convalescence: I lost weight. My muscles shrank, the skin on my legs wrinkles over the space left by my shrunken muscles. I feel like I’m uncomfortably out of breath during the WODs…and, Man have I lost strength!

    My Body: Not as strong as I remember …

    I lost strength in my shoulders and legs. My Deadlifts (x3) have also gotten lighter. I did 205 for 3yesterday. I remember being able to pull at least 275 or more off the floor for three less than a year ago.

    During the workout for 17.3, I did quite a few 65# Squat Snatches with no problem…and yet on my 3rd workout back, which contained some snatches, I tried one rep at 65# and knew I wasn’t going to be able to keep going with good form, as a matter of fact that first rep was pretty ugly. A voice in my head said: “Hey, Chill out. You don’t have to get all your strength back today! You lost it over time…you get it back over time.”

    It’s Alright to Scale: Both the Weights and the Movements

    (aka: It’s ok to not RX every WOD)

    That was when I asked Laurie for a sub. I needed something easier than a 65# Snatch so I could keep going, safely. Laurie suggested one-arm dumbbell snatches…which, at 20#, was a great option for my shoulders.

    Before my injury, I could easily press out 35# Kettle bells overhead…now I’m back down to 20# and I’m working my way back up. “Good Job, Shoulders!”

    It’s a good lesson to me to ease back into working out and accepting the capabilities of my body as it is right now. I’ve done the Heavy Duty workout for the past three Saturdays…and I haven’t been able to Rx one of those workouts yet.

    One heck of a Silver Lining…

    Rather than focusing on what I lost during my workout hiatus, I like to focus on the stuff that is starting to resolve as my life slowly starts to get back to normal. I’m sleeping better and more soundly, I’m eating better quality foods because that is what my body craves when it is getting exercise.

    I’m still not in the habit of working out regularly, yet. For example, last week I worked out 3 days in a row…and then took four days off. That’s not what I call regular exercise. I remember telling myself: “I’m going to take one rest day and then get right back into it.” Then that second day rolled around and I didn’t have a plan for when I was going to workout..and then the day just kind of got away from me.

    And then the same thing happened the next day and the next day.

    For someone who works at a gym, I sometimes wonder why I find it so hard to squeeze in that hour of exercise in to my busy life.

    Getting back in the habit. Again.

    This is why I’m so grateful to have a place like Wildcat to come to. Sometimes I feel like I’m bringing my A game to my workout, sometimes I feel like I’m just trying to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

    Working out with other people is such a valuable experience. I always work harder when other people are working hard around me. And no matter what shape I’m in, the Wildcat community is here to support me in my fitness journey and, in this case, in my journey back to fitness from injury.

    Lesson Learned

    I haven’t always Really appreciated my body.

    This experience taught me how important it is to have continuous skin across my whole belly. And how precious it is to have experienced so much of my life not in constant chronic pain and discomfort. I am grateful for my immune system and my body’s proven healing ability. I used to “not like” my belly…my legs, my butt. It took me a long time to learn to love and appreciate my body for what it can do, rather than attacking it for being too flabby, which is a topic for another blog post.

    Let’s just say that this ordeal was another great reminder for me to not take my precious body for granted.

    Sometimes Life throws you a curveball…or several. Your job is to survive those, and when you’ve recovered as much as you need to on your own, getting back to the gym and building your body back up…and get ready for the next curve ball.

    It can suck to be in that “two steps forward, one step back” state of fitness…when you’re like “Gains? What are those?”

    Sometimes in life you just have to start all over again. It’s what happens. Your job is to stay cool, and build it back up.

    What injury or illness have you recovered from that has caused you to have that rough re-entry to the gym experience?

  • PoundTown 2017 – Competition Photo Gallery (5/25/2017)

    Here are a few photos from our awesome PoundTown Competition a few weeks ago. It was a beautiful day for a competition and every competitor that participated has a story to tell. Thanks to everyone who competed, You Were Awesome!! Fantastic Efforts All Around!

    Thanks to everyone who volunteered and helped organize the event. <<fist bump>> You Rock the Casbah.

    These are but a few of the pics from PoundTown. Watch this space – more pics to come!

  • Special Iron Yoga Schedule For Memorial Day Weekend (5/24/2017)

    This week only, we will be having Iron Yoga this Friday (5/26/17) at 6:00pm.
    There will be no Iron Yoga this Sunday (5/28/17) at 8am.

    Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

  • Schedule For Memorial Day “Murph” (5/24/2017)

    Our schedule for this up and coming Memorial Day (Monday) is:  7:30am WOD, 8:30am WOD and 9:45am WOD.

    “Murph” Workout
    For time:
    1 Mile Run
    100 Pull-Ups
    200 Push-Ups
    300 Squats
    1 Mile Run

    Yes, the 9:45 WOD is usually the women’s class.  All genders are welcome!

  • Why Does It Still Hurt So Much? Reflections On One Year of CrossFit (4/12/2017)

    Its been about a year since I took my Foundations classes at Wildcat.  I’m not sure what I expected when I started, except that I’d be building muscle more effectively than the ‘Muscles & More’ class I’d been used to taking at the Y.  Building muscle effectively became evident pretty quickly.   A few months into my doing CrossFit I hadn’t yet quit my membership at the Y even though I never went anymore and so I decided to drop in on that class just to see what it would be like.  It was eye opening to say the least.  Before class, I gathered the weights that I would normally gather – a set of dumbbells plus one heavy one.  The class started, we warmed up, and got working.  When we used the dumbbells for an exercise I found I had to swap out my weights for heavier and heavier weights.  When we did the pilates ‘100’ (pumping your arms at your side as your torso and legs are raised from a seated position), I used to only get halfway through before my abs would give out.

    Pilates ‘100’

    This time I held the whole 100 and I could have gone more.  When we did the yoga move Chattaranga (hovering close to the floor holding a pushup position) I didn’t flop directly to the floor like I used to, I could actually hold it.  And I could see how even though push presses and back squats and snatches and power cleans look completely different than dumbbell curls, dumbbell kick backs, and dumbbell chest flies I was using the same muscles.  The same, but significantly stronger muscles.

    It was a remarkable realization.  I thought back at how I approached that class at the Y vs. classes at Wildcat.  For one, the class at the Y is a huge class – you just follow along at your own pace.  In that setting I wasn’t inclined to push myself.  At my own pace became anything that didn’t push me *too* hard.  Wildcat is nothing like that.  Every time I walk in the door I know I’m going to be pushed harder than I would push myself if left to my own devices.  Also, there’s really no time for one on one help in a class that size, the instructor couldn’t correct our form – the best she could do was shout to the class to watch their form so everyone in class can wonder if she was talking to them.  Wildcat is nothing like that.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told to lift my elbows when I’m holding the bar at my collarbones.  It’s hard for me.  If left to my own devices I wouldn’t try.  The nudge is good.

    The results are worth every bit of physical and mental anguish I get at the number of burpees I see on the board on any given day.

    For some reason, though, I thought that eventually I would get to some kind of plateau; that it would have gotten easier.

    But that’s the crux of CrossFit – it never gets easier.  The blessing and the curse of scaled workouts is that they always meet you where you are and push you a little bit further.  And there’s always something further you can do.

    Last week I found myself incredibly sore from my workouts.  We’ve just started a ‘Strength’ cycle so yeah, its no surprise, but this soreness has me remembering the horror of my first few weeks at Wildcat – how I would whimper every time I had to sit down on the toilet.  How I once had to use two arms to get the seatbelt across my chest because I had dead-arms.  How I would cry when I sneezed because my abs hurt so much.  So when the other day I tried to put a purse on my shoulder and my deltoids screamed bloody murder because of the heavy push presses we had done the prior day I was brought back.

    For a moment I felt like I hadn’t made any progress at all if it could still possibly be this hard for me.  But I have to remember this: a year ago I was squatting half the weight I can squat today.  I could push press half the weight I can push press today. Of course I’m still getting sore.  It’s easy to forget where I started and just how far I have come.

    I’d like to encourage you to look back at where you started and where you’ve become, and please share your thoughts in the comments.  As I enter year two, I’d love to hear from folks at the beginning of their journey and those who’ve been doing this for a lot longer than me.  You’re all inspirational!

     

     

  • Acupuncture for Athletic Recovery (and more!) at City Acupuncture, right inside Wildcat CrossFit (4/12/2017)

    CrossFitters work out hard. And because of this, we need to take the time to support our bodies in recovery. This means eating good quality food, getting plenty of sleep, and taking the time to get professional bodywork on a regular basis.

    Speaking of bodywork, Acupuncturist Jenny Providence, recently opened up her practice, City Acupuncture, inside the walls of the Wildcat CrossFit. Now you can work out, and recover (and RELAX) all in the same location.

    I sat down to talk with Jenny Providence about how Crossfitters can use Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to support their recovery needs.

    First I asked Jenny how acupuncture can be used to support athletes with their recover regimens.

    “Wow,” Jenny said. “Acupuncture can support athletes in so many ways. Acupuncture treatments are customized for the individual. Every athlete has a way that acupuncture can support them. A lot of what I’ve seen and treated are old restrictions (old injuries) that need to shift so the new gains can be made.”

    Jenny explained that sometimes an athlete might not be aware of a particular issue in their body, but when acupuncture gives them relief from it, they see dramatic improvements all around.

    Jenny explained, “I was working with an athlete who had chronic pain from an injury and also was not sleeping well. Through treatment we were able to increase her Range of Motion, decrease her pain and increase the amount of sleep she was able to get on a nightly basis. If you’re not sleeping, you’re not getting anything done in terms of recovery. She didn’t realize that sleep was one of the missing pieces to recovery. Through a series of acupuncture treatments, we were able to open up a whole new CrossFit world for her.”

    Acupuncture is a form of healing that operates from the foundational theory that the body knows how to be well and can heal and repair if it has everything it needs to do so. Acupuncture treatments give the body support and help it heal. Acupuncture can be used for both acute and chronic problems. “Acute problems such as muscle sprains and tweaks can go away in a snap through acupuncture,” Jenny says. “Chinese medicine is also awesome at treating trauma. And in general, acupuncture has worked better than anything else I’ve tried.”

    City Acupuncture is located inside of Wildcat CrossFit, past the aquarium and down the hallway behind the cubbies. Call or text: 520-332-5509 for more information or to make an appointment.

    In addition to being an Acupuncturist and a Practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jenny Providence has training in Massage Therapy, Zen Shiatsu, and Craniosacral Therapy, and is a CrossFit Level 1 Coach. In addition to practicing Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine at City Acupuncture, Jenny teaches Anatomy and Physiology and Nutrition. The City Acupuncture web address is: cityacupuncturetucson.com.

  • CrossFit Open 17.5 – Finish Strong (3/30/2017)

    After feeling crushed by some of the workouts in this year’s open, it was nice to end on a high note.  The scaled workout for women in my age group was 10 rounds of nine 45lb thrusters and 35 single unders.  Both movements are well within my ability, but doing them quickly and and in that kind of quantity was still a challenge.  After doing half the workout on Friday as a ‘test run’ I decided that my goal would be finishing in under 15 minutes.  With the energy and encouragement at Wildcat on Saturday for the last big day of judging, my adrenaline was pumping.  I surprised even myself by finishing in 13:31.

    Now that event is over I find myself thinking about next year’s Open.  Out of curiosity I checked the leader board to see where I’d wound up. I came in:

    3064 out of 4668 worldwide
    2194 out of 3418 in the US
    168 out of 262 in the Southwest
    48 out of 89 in Arizona

    Right in the middle of the pack feels like a good way to end my first competition and now I have a goal for next year – finish in the top half!

    I’m looking forward to getting back to a regular schedule of CrossFit at Wildcat – no more short workouts on Friday, no more skipping Monday’s WOD in favor of getting judged when I couldn’t make it in on a Saturday.  I’m looking forward to continuing to make steady and consistent progress, to perfecting my wall balls, to getting stronger and faster and more agile.

    I want to say thank you to all of the coaches at Wildcat for encouraging me to do the Open.  I’m not sure I would have signed up had it not been for their inspiration.  Doing the Open showed me that CrossFit and CrossFit competitions aren’t just for elite athletes. They’re for any of us that want a challenge, any of us who want to learn about ourselves through the process.  If you didn’t sign up this year, there’s always next year.  In the meantime, keep up the great work in your WODs and see where you can push yourself further!

  • POUND TOWN COMPETITION, INFO AND REGISTRATION (3/30/2017)
  • 17.4 – Turning a Letdown Into An Action Plan (3/21/2017)

    Without fail, each week of the CrossFit Open has taught me an important lesson.  This week’s lesson was in taking disappointment and turning it into an action plan.  The scaled women’s 17.4 looked like this:

    55 deadlifts at 95#
    55 wall balls with a 10# ball
    55 calorie row
    55 hand release pushups

    On Friday I had a ‘practice run’ and made it nearly halfway through the pushups at the 13 minute limit.  Granted, I wasn’t having someone judge my reps and I was doing ‘worm’ pushups.

    Before I got started with the actual judged workout on Monday, I asked Laurie if ‘worm’ pushups counted.  They didn’t.  I rely on the worm to get through pushups when they’re in a WOD.  I can maybe do a few legit pushups at a time and then its wormy all the way.  I went into the judged workout looking forward to at least getting a few of those hand release pushups in – it felt like it would be a reward for the progress I’ve made to be able to do them in a competition.

    I got through the deadlifts ok.  I felt like they were a little slower than my practice run but not too bad.  Then I went to the wall balls.  No rep after no rep after no rep – it was so frustrating.  I was squatting just fine, the ball was getting high enough, I just couldn’t consistently hit the wall with it.  I swear, 20% of my wall balls were no repped, so by the time I got to the row I had wasted a bunch of time and had worn myself out.  I made it to 49 out of 55 calories in the row and 13 minutes was up.  I was so badly hoping to get a few pushups in and it was hard to accept where I’d wound up at the end.  We always want to do better, no matter how we did, right?

    What I took away from 17.4 is a commitment to focus on wall balls until I can do them consistently without ‘no repping’ them.  Every time I go into Wildcat I’ll be doing wall balls at the end of my workout.  Today I did 10 – the last two missed the wall so I did them again.  The next time I come in I’ll do 12 and I’ll do them until I get 12 good reps.  My plan is to increase the number each time I come in until I can do 20 solid wall balls without missing any.

    Is there something you want to focus on improving? How about taking an extra couple of minutes at the end of your workout to practice that one thing? How long do you think it will take to get there? Let’s find out!

  • All New: Wildcat ProShop and Back Gym Ramp! (3/21/2017)

    Check out these great photos of our awesome new back gym Ramp!! Now Adaptive athletes can access the entire gym, all 3 levels!

    Also, the next time you are at the gym, check out the Wildcat ProShop! We have new t-shirts in stock now! Come in and grab a new t-shirt design and some great new gear!

  • The 2017 CrossFit Open – At Wildcat CrossFit (3/20/2017)

  • What 17.3 Did For Me (3/13/2017)

    I was distracted with anticipation all day on Thursday, waiting for the CrossFit Open workout to be announced.  Waiting to see just how challenging the next week’s workout would be, wondering if its going to be something I can complete, filled my thoughts all day long.  I hoped it was something I could do so that I wouldn’t have another short workout like 17.2.  When I saw the jumping pullups I thought ‘Whew, I can do that,’ but when I saw the progression of weight on the squat snatch I got a little nervous.

    Squatting with heavy weight overhead has been one of my big challenges.  Back in December, I wrote about learning to do an overhead squat.  At that time I was beyond thrilled to lift 30lbs overhead while squatting, when I’d been doing an empty 15lb bar prior to that.  So when I saw that the squat snatch starting weight for 17.3 was 35lbs I was seriously nervous.  I still don’t feel very confident squatting while lifting heavy things over my head.  I feel unbalanced and wobbly and like I could fall over at any moment.

    In fact, on Friday when I did a practice run, I did fall over with the 35lb bar over my head.  Thankfully I landed just fine on my butt and the bar came down without hitting me.  I had to take a moment to compose myself before trying again.  I did wind up able to do all of the reps with the 35lb weight.  I ran out of time before I could try the 55lb but I loaded the bar anyway just to practice for the real thing.  I was able to get it overhead without a problem, its the squatting that was hard.  After a couple of false starts I was able to do one squat.  I tried for another but got too nervous and wound up putting the bar down.  I walked out of the gym Friday morning thinking that I’d be a big old failure the next day when I did the workout for a score.

    Saturday I went down to Wildcat for 10am, the start time for open judging.  I did my own warmup, did some light practicing, prepared my bar and was ready to go.  I remember commenting to coach Jen that squatting with heavy weight over my head makes me nervous.  And it did.  Making it through the first three rounds wasn’t *easy* but it was doable.  The 35 pounds felt almost comfortable.  When I got to the 4th round, when the weight on the squat snatch went from 35 to 55, that’s when I really got nervous.  I got it over my head and after a short hesitation, I was squatting.  And doing it again.  And again. 5 times.  Slowly, but 5 times.  I’m still not sure how I made the leap from a 30lb overhead squat to a 55lb one.  Maybe its the adrenaline from having a crowd of supporting people watching and cheering?  All I know is that I surprised myself.

    I realized that I’ve surprised myself a lot over this journey as a newbie CrossFitter.  Its one of those intangible things I’ve gotten out of my time at Wildcat.  Yes, I’ve gotten physically stronger.  Yes, I’ve gained endurance.   What has impacted me even more is the thrill of pushing the limits of what I think I can do and finding out I can do it.

    Where are you pushing your limits and what have you accomplished because of it? Share in the comments!

     

  • 17.2 Taught Me a Thing Or Two (3/6/2017)

    Scaled version of 17.2

    While for me the lesson of 17.1 was pushing myself harder, my lesson from 17.2 was understanding my limitations and focusing on doing my best anyway.

    On Friday when I got to Wildcat for my workout, I decided to do a ‘light’ version of 17.2, knowing I’d be doing it again the next day with a judge.  I went slow, wasn’t pushing myself and I did jumping pull-ups.  When I asked Coach Gio how it works for the Open if you can’t do a movement and found out that it just doesn’t count from that point forward, I was crushed.  I got really down on myself and felt foolish for even joining the competition.  After last week’s competitive fire in my belly, I felt really disappointed in myself and my abilities.

    Later that day when I realized I was going to be too sore to compete the next day – ‘Hello glutes! Oh, you need to scream at me every time I sit down? Ok!’ – I was even more disappointed.

    It took a couple of days of talking myself into it to set up a time to get judged on Monday.  I had to rearrange my thinking and make this workout as positive as I could given my limitations.  I decided I would do the best I could do up until the point I couldn’t go on and that’s exactly what I did.  It is a goal of mine to eventually be able to do one but right now I can only jumping pull-ups.  And since there’s no scaling the already scaled workout, my 17.2 was over only 78 reps and 4 minutes 35 seconds into a 12 minute workout.  I was faster than I thought I would be with the lunges, power cleans and hanging knee raises and even though it was a really quick workout, I left feeling good about what I had done.

    There are always going to be things I just can’t do.  Instead of getting down and staying down about it, I decided to focus on what I *could* do and that made all the difference.

    How was your 17.2? Share in the comments!

  • CrossFit Open Has Begun – What I Learned From 17.1 (3/1/2017)

    I consider myself more of a cooperative person than a competitive one.  When it comes to sports, I’m not much for teams.  I’m more interested in having fun and seeing progress in myself rather than winning against an opponent.

    That said, after logging my score for 17.1 last week, I found myself scanning the leaderboard to see how I compared to my peers.  I joined the CrossFit Open not because I have any illusions that I’m going to do well.  I joined because I thought it would be an interesting experience and a way to challenge myself.  So it was surprising even to myself that there I was looking at my rank compared to others in my age group and gender.  It makes me want to push harder to rank higher.

    By U.S. Department of Defense Current Photos (Heidemarie Couch, CIV (1)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

    17.1 showed me that my strength is much better than my endurance.  In my division, the scaled workout was 20# dumbell snatches and 20 inch burpee step-overs.  Lifting 20 pounds, even 50 times in a row, was a breeze.  Getting up and over that box and doing burpees was the hard part.  When coach Gio called the 2 minute left mark I pushed harder than I’ve ever pushed myself.  At 20 minutes I was so out of breath and wiped out and proud of what I had done.  I missed completing the workout by 12 reps but I was so gloriously exhausted that it didn’t matter.

    Later that day I was kicking myself.  How did I miss finishing?  The truth is, I got winded easily and took too long to catch my breath too many times.   Hitting that 20 minute mark with 12 reps shy of completing the workout made wonder if I would have finished it if I had pushed *just a little harder*.  During the week I find myself revisiting that thought – what could a accomplish in my every day life if I just pushed a little harder?  What am I not giving my all to?  What more can I do?

    The takeaway from 17.1 for me is that I can do more than I think I can do.  That pushing myself harder than I thought I could is good for me – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  I can’t wait to see what 17.2 has in store for me!

  • Coach’s Corner with Drew Hammond (2/27/2017)

    New Wildcat Programming Explained

    by Coach Drew Hammond

    Disclaimer: this post is probably a few weeks late, but now that you guys have completed almost two months of the new Wildcat programming, I suppose the argument could be made that you’ll have a better understanding of what I’m getting at here. Onward!

    Unless you live entirely under a rock when it comes time to workout at Wildcat, you’ll notice a rather drastic shift in the way the workouts have been presented since the beginning of the year. Now that I’m writing the daily workouts for you guys, I wanted to take a chance to explain a little bit better why we’re doing what we’re doing and what you can expect in the future as we progress through the various cycles. I’ll do my best to address some of the questions I’ve heard pop up at the classes, but if after reading this you’re still completely lost, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask me specifically! I don’t bite.

    Task-Based Periodization

    Admittedly, the first month of this year’s programming was rather boring. I made the executive decision to hit the reset button for everyone and start fresh with a foundational cycle to kick off the New Year. You guys are all obviously capable of handling a decent amount of volume and intensity, but the hope was that we could return to the basics with an emphasis on form, easy progressions, and light metcons designed to reinforce pacing strategies, movement patterns, etc. I implemented a strategy that I call “task-based periodization.” Essentially, the tasks (i.e. workouts) from one week to the next were more or less identical with some variation in rep count or workout length. Here’s a quick example of what I’m getting at:

    Week 1, Day 1
    10 min AMRAP8x Box Jumps4x Pull Ups25x Double Unders
    Week 2, Day 5
    12 min AMRAP8x Box Jumps4x Pull Ups25x Double Unders
    Week 3, Day 3
    10 min AMRAP10x Box Jumps5x Pull Ups50x Double Unders

    You can see that the workout itself doesn’t change at all as far as movements are concerned. From Week 1 to Week 2, 2 minutes of work are added to the same basic task, pushing you to see how much more work you can do given a longer time frame. The third week defaults back to the 10 minute time frame, but the task is made slightly more difficult via increased volume. The assumption here is that, as an expression of increased fitness, you would be able to do a similar number of rounds in Weeks 1 and 3 regardless of the fact that Week 3 has seen an increase in volume of 53 reps per round (2 jumps, 1 pull up, 25 DUs). Make sense? This type of periodization is, in my opinion, very effective for a foundational cycle because the very purpose of such a cycle is to increase proficiency in the movement. If I change the movements every single session (see: random), you’ll never achieve proficiency. Boring? Yes. Effective? Also yes.

    Time-Based Periodization

    Moving to the second month, I switched gears and implemented a concept that I call “time-based periodization.” The CrossFit Open, as you may or may not be aware, starts at the end of February. My goal with this cycle was to prepare everyone for the types of efforts you’ll see during the five weeks of the Open. Historically, the Open has favored Olympic lifts and bodyweight gymnastics movements, with each of those two components contributing to about 36% of the points. Conditioning (i.e. double unders) makes up about 10%, and powerlifting (deadlift, basically) makes up around 7%. Going even further, about 70% of the Open workouts over the past several years have been between 8-12 minutes long, with 15% falling below 8 minutes and an equal 15% pushing 12+ minutes (the longest workout in my memory was last year’s 20 minute effort).

    A standard 4-week cycle has 20 sessions (5 per week, 4 weeks). If we do a straight up breakdown based on the Open statistics (which I did), we get 14 sessions of 8-12 minute efforts and 3 sessions each of <8 minutes and 12+ minutes. This is the essence of time-based periodization. Largely speaking, the movement within the actual metcons don’t matter too much; the important thing is capturing the time domains to prepare the body physiologically for the type of effort it will likely experience in the Open. Here’s another example:

    Week 1, Day 1
    12 min AMRAP12x Wall Balls8x Pull Ups6x Burpees

    3x Box Jumps

    Week 2, Day 1
    21-15-9Thrusters (95/65)Bar-Facing Burpees100m run between each round
    Week 3, Day 2
    12 minute EMOM12-15 unbroken wall balls

     

    Unlike last month’s progressions, in this case the movements DO change. Using the statistical breakdowns from earlier, you can see a fair smattering of barbell movements (thrusters), gymnastics skills (pull ups), and general conditioning (box jumps, wall balls, etc.). Additionally, all of these sessions fall within that 8-12 minute time frame. In order to make that happen, I have a few tools at my disposal. Specifically, I’ll interchange locked-in time components (i.e. AMRAPs and EMOMs) or free-flowing time components (21-15-9) that I estimate will fall somewhere within my 8-12 minute limit. For the most part, you guys have done a great job of finishing the assigned tasks within the supposed time frames, so well done you!

    foundations-class-squat-day

    Drew teaching Foundations class, squat day

    Assistance Work

    The remainder of each session for the past two months has consisted of a much heavier emphasis on assistance work. You may have found yourself doing hip flexor stretches between sets of squats, random kettlebell holds and carries, various ab exercises, etc. There is a method to all of the madness, I promise.

    One combination you’ll all be familiar with is the back squat/hip flexor/goblet squat combo. Here’s my logic: the back squat is the strength piece, the hip flexor stretch opens the joint capsule to increase leverage capacities between sets, and the goblet squat reinforces the movement pattern to prepare you for your next set of squats. Make sense? Instead of standing around watching each other with your arms crossed (I’m looking at you, 5pm), you get a bit of active rest and recovery that’s actually productive!

    The ab/core pieces are a bit different. Here I’m looking to practice common core/low back positions, specifically Flexion, Rotation, Isometric Holds, Anti-Rotations, Extensions, and combinations therein. If you’ve trained with me before you’ll recognize a few personal favorites such as kneeling half-moons, planks, one-arm KB holds, bottoms-up KB presses, etc. It’s good stuff, I promise.

    Wrap Up

    All of this stuff is basically designed to give you guys an idea of where my head is at when it comes to programming for the general workout of the day. Yes, at times it will be boring and at times it will seem random, but I promise you that everything written on the board is there for a reason. If you trust in the process and do the work on your end to prevent injury, maximize sleep, and dial in nutrition, you’ll see wonderful progress for as long as you choose to stick with us!

    Happy lifting,

    Drew

  • The 2017 CrossFit Open Begins! (2/27/2017)

    The 2017 CrossFit Open Season Has Begun!

    If you are new to CrossFit you might be wondering what all the hullabaloo is all about. Every year in the sport of CrossFit we have our own equivalent of the Olympics, called the CrossFit Games.

    The ‘Games’ happen every summer in July in Carson, CA, a suburb of Los Angeles, and they are a spectacle to behold with awesome displays of athleticism across the board.

    In order to determine who gets to participate in the CrossFit Games, every athlete needs to do the 5 CrossFit Open Workouts. The workouts are announced around 5 PM on Thursday and must be completed and entered online by the athletes by the following Monday at 5 PM.

    The top athletes from every region go to the CrossFit Regionals competition (there are Regional competitions all over the world). The top 3 Male and Female Athletes from Regionals head to the CrossFit Games in July.

    Now, whether or not you believe you have a shot of advancing to Regionals, you will benefit from participating in the CrossFit Open. Every year, athletes get pull-ups, muscle-ups, double unders, and other difficult movements for the first time. Athletes PR on lifts, seemingly out of nowhere. And everyone works harder and has more fun than they ever thought possible.

    If you have never participated before, click here to read the most recent blog post from our Newbie Blogger, Cara! Cheer her on and join her in doing all 5 of the 2017 CrossFit Open workouts. As with all CrossFit workouts, the Open workouts are scaleable. So no matter what your fitness level, there is a version of the Open workouts that you can do.

    At Wildcat CrossFit, we will be scheduling the 2017 Open Workouts as the Friday WOD for the next four weeks (Weeks 2-5 of the Open). We will also host Judging for all of the Open Workouts during the Saturday Open Gym (10AM – noon). Even if you are not working out, all Wildcat Athletes are encouraged to come in and cheer the athletes on who are going on Saturday. And there is a certain kind of satisfaction in watching athletes do a workout you have already done … you can really relate to the pain your friends are going through.

    I know it sounds weird, but it’s a beautiful thing.

    If you have not yet registered for the CrossFit Games, and you have had a judge watch you do 17.1,  you can do it here.   And hurry up about it, because the deadline to input your results for 17.1 is TODAY at 5 PM. Don’t wait until the last minute, amigos!

    What is Judging?

    If you are planning to participate in the Open online, you need to have your workout on video or have it Judged by a Coach, one-on-one. Your judge makes sure that your reps are all complete and counts your reps for you so you can work your hardest and do your best. Even if you didn’t sign up online, it is worth it to come in on a Saturday and have one of your Open workouts judged. The adrenaline that you feel when you compete is pretty exciting…and you always work harder (in my case with way fewer breaks) when you compete. Frequently people who compete in the open get amazing PRs, or new skills just start to ‘click.’ Give it a try, you’ll be glad you did!

    If you want to have one or all of your workouts judged, plan to come on Saturdays (10am-noon). Sign up when you arrive and start warming up. Heats will be announced starting at 10:30am.  You can also plan in advance with an Open Gym Coach to have that coach judge your workout during open gym. If they are not already judging another athlete, they may be able to judge you during Open Gym time. If you need to schedule to do your workout on a different day/time, please arrange in advace for this to happen with one of the coaches. (Note: There may be an added $15 fee associated with scheduling Open Judging at other times.)

  • Five Time USAW Medalist Visits Wildcat and Demos for Members (2/27/2017)

    We had some very special guests visit the gym and do an awesome lifting demo at the very end of 2016: Adam Beytin and Elizabeth Bartlett, both members of the East Coast Gold Weightlifting Team. Adam is a Five time USA Weightlifting (USAW) National Medalist.

    The pair mainly train in and near their home in Maryland, but they recently stopped by Wildcat CrossFit for a workout and were generous enough to do a special Olympic Lifting demonstration for Wildcat members. Adam’s dad lives in Tucson and is a good friend of Wildcat member, John Goordman.

    Adam and Elizabeth’s workout included some very impressive (ie: HEAVY) lifts. This is what Adam had to say about their lifting sesh later that evening on Instagram:

    [Elizabeth] and I went heavier than planned since we were
    having so much fun,” Adam said in his Instagram feed later that evening. “She wasn’t even going to snatch and almost matched her max snatch and CJ. I thought I might still be deloading, but instead I snatched 245lbs/111kg easily and CJed 325lbs/148kg for a couple reps, 8kg more than I’ve done since last summer. I think we just do better in front of a crowd.”

    Check out this video of Adam doing a 305# Clean and Jerk. (Video credit: Wildcat Member Hiram Mendez)

    After Adam and Elizabeth completed their workout, they took the time to coach individual Wildcat athletes on lifting technique. They focused attention on squat positions for both the front and overhead squats, pulling positions, and footwork, as well as warmup and mobility drills specifically focused on opening up the hip.

    Adam says: “You’ve got to have a strong, stable, upright, and engaged bottom position if you want to snatch or clean heavy.”

    “The demonstration was very neat. It’s always fun to watch people move big weight,” Wildcat Coach Ryan Barlow said, “But I thought the stretches and mobility exercises were really valuable too.”

    Adam has medaled at Senior Nationals 5 times so far in his career. He came in 3rd place at Nationals in 2009, –10, –11, –13 and took second place in 2012.

    “I first heard about [Adam] on Instagram,” said Wildcat member Carlos Garcia, “That dude’s a badass.”

    Just to give you an idea of the power and strength Adam and Elizabeth are able to harness, here is a paragraph that translates kilograms into pounds so you can really understand how heavy these athletes are lifting:

    Adam competes in the 77kg weight class, which means he weighs about 170. His best Snatch lift is 135 kg … which is around 297.62 pounds. Elizabeth’s best Snatch is 71 kg, or 156.5 lb. Adam’s best Clean and Jerk, a bit heavier, is 171 kg … or 377 pounds. While Elizabeth can Clean and Jerk 200.6 lbs. That’s. Pretty. Awesome.

    Adam also offered advice to athletes who want to improve their oly lifts: Squat. He says he and Elizabeth do Front Squats and Overhead Squats at least 3x/week. Coach Ryan added, “ A lot of times an athlete’s pull may be good, but then they get stuck at the bottom. You don’t want to get buried.”

    Adam only started Olympic Lifting 10 years ago, in 2007, and he’s accomplished quite a bit to say the least. He entered the American Open competition the very same year he took up the sport of Olympic Weightlifting (2007) and finished in 11th Place. Since then he placed in the top 10 for six out of seven years between 2008 and 2014. Since 2011, he has placed 3rd three times with an impressive second place showing in 2014.

    Check out Adam doing a very heavy Snatch and Clean and Jerk that night at Wildcat by clicking checking out Adam’s Instagram post of the event right here.

     

  • If I Can Do The CrossFit Open, So Can You! (2/21/2017)

    If you’ve seen ‘Fittest On Earth’ you know what the CrossFit Games are. If you haven’t seen it, do it! It is a totally inspiring inside look at the CrossFit Games.

    By Yonimiller9 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

    The people who compete truly are some of the fittest people on the planet.  How does anyone get to the Games?  They all start with the CrossFit Open, which starts this week.

    This first stage of CrossFit Games season is truly open to anyone so don’t be intimidated by the fitness of the athletes who compete in the CrossFit Games.  There is always a scaled version of each workout so if you don’t have a movement, you can do an alternate movement and still compete.

    The Open is a five week/five workout competition.  Each workout is released on a Thursday.  Athletes are judged/timed on that workout and are given their score and they have until the following Monday to submit those scores on the CrossFit Open website.

    Wildcat CrossFit will be holding open judging every Saturday from 10am-1pm.  If you can’t make it during that time, talk to the coaches and they’ll be able to accommodate you at other times.

    I want to encourage everyone (and I mean everyone!) to sign up.  Seriously, if I can do this anyone can.  You may  not be able to do everything and that’s ok.  You’ll also likely do things you didn’t think you can do and that is amazing!

    To register, go to www.games.crossfit.com and click the ‘Register’ button. When asked who you’re affiliated with, choose Wildcat Crossfit.  Then look out for the workout on Thursday, get it done by Monday and 5 weeks later you’ll be able to see how you compare to athletes all across the country.  There are even age divisions for us older competitors.

    Am I nervous? Yes.  Am I gonna do it anyway? Yes.

    Will you do it with  me? Say yes!  I would love my fellow Wildcats to join me in the challenge.  Share your victories and let’s cheer each other on!

  • 7 Tips To Help You Reach Your Goals (2/14/2017)

    By the end of March, 80% of people who made a New Year’s resolution have already given up.  We’re now in mid-February.  Where are you with your goals?  Do you want to be one of the 80% who gives up or part of the 1 in 5 who actually follows through?  If your resolutions had to do with getting in better shape, improving your strength, endurance and overall fitness, what can you do to stick to that resolve?

    Whether you made a resolution or not, getting in better shape takes effort and perseverance.  If you’re struggling, here are some great tips on keeping the promises you made to yourself.

    7 Tips To Help You Reach Your Goals

    1 – Don’t base your goal on what anyone else is doing.  You know yourself best and you know where you want to improve.  Focus on that.

    2 – Break your goal down into a series of steps – mini-goals that help you stay motivated and on track.

    3 – Share your goals with friends and family.  Not only does it create some level of accountability to other people, it allows your friends and family to support you in them.

    4 – If you hit a slump, remind yourself why you’re working so hard.  Envision yourself meeting the goal and how good that feels.

    5 – Use rewards as an incentive.  Meet one of your mini-goals? Treat yourself to something special, get a massage, a new pair of workout shoes, some piece of equipment you’ve had your eye on.

    6 – Write it down and keep track of your progress.  It feels great to look back at where you’ve been – seeing it in black and white makes it all that more real.

    7 – Don’t let setbacks completely throw you off track.  It’s normal to have small set backs.  A cold might take you down, a trip might get you out of your routine but that’s ok.  Get right back to it as soon as you can.

    Share your goals in the comments below and let’ support each other!  You got this!

  • Setting Goals And Reaching Goals – Inside and Outside Of The Box (2/7/2017)

    I’ve had a mostly secret goal for about the last year.  It was sparked by seeing some folks from Cirque Roots practicing acro yoga.  Seeing the combination of strength, flexibility and grace was inspiring.  I thought to myself in a very quiet inner voice, ‘I want to do that some day’.  Of course my inner critic chimed in to say I wasn’t thin enough and I wasn’t strong enough.  My inner critic gets the best of me sometimes and so the desire to pursue acro faded and other interests took its place, including CrossFit.

    By Janlafond (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

    When I started doing CrossFit, acro was still in the back of my mind but it was a very, very tiny voice.  And when I had my ‘come to Jen’ moment, months ago now, I remembered that goal and I spoke it to another human being.  ‘I want to be strong enough to be a base in acro.’  Bam. I said it.  There’s no going back now.

    My workouts at Wildcat have moved me in the direction of actually meeting the goal.  In fact, just this last weekend I got to take an acro yoga workshop and it was great!  I would never have been strong enough and stable enough in my core to have done that prior to CrossFit.  I’m totally stoked to have made progress toward a goal that is outside of the box (the CrossFit box).

    Working out at Wildcat has not only given me the strength it has also given me the confidence.  Every time I push myself during a WOD and do something I didn’t think I could, my confidence soars.  Add that up day after day and week after week and suddenly I stop thinking about what is holding me back from trying something and I just try it.  For someone like me, a non-athlete who has been an overweight couch potato for too many years to count, that is a huge shift.

    Setting goals inside of the box are great – working toward ‘getting’ a particular movement or increasing your speed or the weight you can lift – these are all really worthy goals.  It definitely helps to move forward when you have milestones you’re trying to reach.  I’d like to encourage you to think outside the box too.  What do you do in your day to day life that could be improved by CrossFit?  Is there an activity you’ve been putting off because you don’t think you have the strength/flexibility/endurance for it?  Why not make it a CrossFit goal to improve your world outside of the box as well as inside?

    Has CrossFit already helped you achieve outside goals? Share them in the comments!

  • Results From Wildcat’s Focused Training – January 2017 (1/30/2017)

    If you are new to Wildcat – say you made a New Year’s resolution and joined right after the new year – you started at an unique time.  January was a very focused month, with workouts that were repetitive but built upon themselves, slowly increasing in the challenge they presented, with the goal of improving a few particular movements.

    Even being unable to workout for about a week and a half with flu, I was happily surprised with the gains I made this month, especially with the Hang Power Clean.  When I started doing CrossFit in the middle of last year, I could just barely do a 55 pound hang power clean.  Over the course of the last 6 months or so I was able to increase that by 30 pounds.  In just the last month I’ve jumped another 20 pounds, going from an 85# max to a 105# max. 

    The focus in the last month has also lit a fire in me to work harder toward increasing my ability.  Seeing the progress makes me just want more!

    What else did the focused repetition of the last month do for me? It improved my stamina for burpees.  Before this month’s programming I could do only about 3 in a row before I’d have to take a moment to breathe.  Having to do max burpees over and over this month means that I don’t dread them nearly as much as I used to and I know I can get through more than I thought I could.

    The same is true for wall balls.  After doing set after set, 150 in a workout, over and over all month long, today’s AMRAP with 10 wall balls per round showed me that they aren’t as hard as they used to be.  I found that my form has improved with the repetition.  I can focus on getting into a deep squat and extending my arms fully to launch the ball at the line on the wall.  Yeah, the workouts are still hard. Yeah, I’m still gasping for air throughout.  But I feel more confident in the movement.  Also, during that month of repetition, I was having to to break up 10 wall balls into two sets of 5 – today I could do all 10 unbroken.

    Now that this 4 week period is over, we move on to more typical CrossFit style workouts. I’m excited for the change of pace but also grateful for that month of focused attention.

    I’m curious how my other Wildcat CrossFitters fared in the last month.  Have you seen a big improvement? Share your progress and let’s celebrate the gains!

  • CrossFit During Cold & Flu Season – To Work Out Or Not? (1/23/2017)

    Cold and flu season is very active this year.  I’d bet that you or someone around you, either at work, school or home is fighting a bug of some sort.  I just got over a bad case of flu myself and it got me thinking about working out while sick vs. staying home to rest and recuperate.

    First of all, if you’re contagious, please stay home.  Everyone at Wildcat would be happy to see you again when you’re better.  In the meantime, let’s keep the germs at home and not on the equipment where more people could become sick.

    Second, when you’re sick, your body needs extra rest.  I know that nobody wants to lose the gains they’ve made.  Coming in for a workout when you need that extra rest can feel like you’re toughing it out – stronger than you think.  Really you’re not doing yourself any favors – you could be stressing your immune system even further.  And putting your workout buddies at risk of catching what you’ve got.

    This morning was my first time into Wildcat in about 10 days.  I was definitely over most of my flu but it’s still hanging out in my chest as a cough – I can’t take really full, deep breaths without triggering a coughing reaction.  I was worried that after this long without a workout I would have lost some of my strength but I hadn’t.  The cardio portion was much harder though, as I’m still not up to 100% with my lungs.

    Coach Gio commiserated, having just been sick himself.  He told me he had a bit of a relapse because he’d worked out too soon after being sick.  I did a little reading when I got home and found that I may have come back too soon also. We’ll see, hopefully I won’t relapse too.  What I did find out though, in some scientific journals, is that “prolonged bouts of strenuous exercise cause a temporary depression of various aspects of immune function that usually lasts ~3-24 hours after exercise, depending on the intensity and duration of the exercise bout” (1) and, “Postexercise immune function dysfunction is most pronounced when the exercise is continuous, prolonged (>1.5 hr), of moderate to high intensity (55-75% maximum O2 uptake), and performed without food intake” and this dysfunction “may compromise resistance to common minor illnesses such as URTI (Upper Respiratory Tract Infection)” (2).

    So – if you work out hard, it may make you more likely to catch a cold. If you already have a cold, you’re weakening your immune system, putting you at risk to get sicker than you already are.

    Remember that we all come to Wildcat for our health and well being.  None of us want to get sick and when we do get sick we want to get better quickly and get right back to it.  Make sure you’re taking care of yourself this flu season.  Here are a few ways to keep your immune system healthy during this season.

    5 Tips for Avoiding Flu or Cold Season So You Don’t Have to Miss Your Workouts!

    1 – Wash your hands regularly.  Any time you’re out and about, you’re coming into contact with other people’s germs.  If you touch them with your hands then touch your face, chances are you’re transmitting those germs to yourself.  Take an extra few moments, more often than usual, and wash your hands.

    2 – Get enough sleep.  When our immune systems are challenged, we need extra rest.  Saying yes to a few late nights in a row can really weaken the immune system.

    3 – Drink plenty of water.  Keeping your body hydrated helps everything work more smoothly.

    4 – Keep up your nutrition.  So often, people get sick during the holidays because they’ve lowered their resistance eating too much sugar and refined carbohydrates. Keep your foods as whole and unprocessed as you can and make sure to include plenty of fresh produce.

    5 – Keep your distance from people who are sick – germs spread through coughing and sneezing and being in close proximity means you’re more likely to catch something.

    ————————————————–

    Sources:

    1 Gleeson, Michael. Immune Function in Sport and Exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology: 103, 2: 693-699. 2007. <http://jap.physiology.org/content/103/2/693#sec-6>

     2 Weidner, Thomas G.; Cranston, Tracy; Schurr, Terry; Kaminsky, Leonard A. The Effect of Exercise Training on the Severity and Duration of a Viral Upper Respiratory Illness. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 30 (11): 1578-1583. 1998 <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9813869>

  • January Event: Team Workout/Happy Hour (1/12/2017)

    January 2017 Member Event: Team Workout – January 20, 2017 – 6 PM

    That’s right, we had so much fun at the last Team Workout a couple months ago that we wanted to do it again..

    This Team Workout is scheduled for Friday, January 20th at 6 PM (during the 6 PM WOD Time Slot). Let’s spend some time working out together and see how strong we are when we work together as a team.

    This workout will be immediately followed by a Happy Hour. Please bring drinks or snacks to share!

  • Unexpected Benefits of CrossFit (1/9/2017)

    A number of years ago, I took my couch potato self and did what is basically a ‘couch to 5k’ training program with a local running shop.  It was really beneficial in teaching me how to stretch before and after a run, how to properly hold my body, and it gave me a structured schedule to increase my time spent running in run/walk intervals.  I actually did this program twice.  The first time my only goal was to finish the race at the end of the program without hurting myself.  Mission accomplished.  I joined the program again with a goal of improving my time. A couple of weeks before the race, I injured myself on a group training run.  We were running hills and I decided on that day that I’d run with the fastest group in the class.  By the end of that run my hip was on fire and I could barely even walk.

    Image Courtesy of Creative Commons

    I wound up with bursitis in my hip and since I prefer natural healing methods to something like a cortisone shot, it took a long, long time to heal.  Every once in a while I’d go out for a short run/walk just to see if my hip could handle it and every time I’d wind up with a similar heat and soreness.  Eventually I gave up on running and started doing other things, one of them being CrossFit.

    The last time we did a timed run at Wildcat, I felt that urge again, to see if I could run/walk a 5k again.  Later in the week I tested it out.  One of my regular training runs was the loop around Reid Park – its about 3 miles – so that’s where I headed.  I figured I’d do run/walk intervals like I used to in training.  I had no expectations of actually being able to run with any kind of speed.  I warmed up then got on the path to start running.  It felt good – really good – and I realized I could run longer in an interval than I had EVER run in all of that specialized training.  When I finished the loop around the park and checked the time, I was shocked to see that I had run at a faster pace than I had ever run before, even at the end of that 5k training.

    And the big bonus? No hip pain whatsover. None. Nada. Nothing.

    CrossFit gave me everything I needed to improve my running – greater cardiovascular ability, stronger leg muscles, a stronger core, and a level of endurance I hadn’t realized I had gained.  I’m visiting my mom and sister this weekend in Florida.  My sister has been running for years and when I saw her this past May she had me try to run with her.  I couldn’t do more than about 90 seconds of running before I had to walk.  She was gracious and walked with me in intervals but  I can’t wait to go for a run with her this time and actually be able to keep up!

    Have you noticed that CrossFit has improved your other athletic pursuits?  Share in the comments below!

  • CrossFit New Year’s Resolutions? (1/2/2017)

    The start of new year is a great time to commit to new goals.  So often, new year’s resolutions include health and fitness goals.  Within CrossFit you’ll find some really motivated people; the culture itself attracts the highly motivated. Even still, it can help move you forward to set goals – landmarks of achievement.

    By Photos public domain.com [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

    Have you defined your goals for the new year?  If not, here are some great ideas to get you started.

    10 New Years Resolutions for CrossFitters

    1. ‘Get’ your pullups
    2. Make sure you’re out of bed early enough to get to that morning class.
    3. No more cherry picking your workout – show up even on days you don’t like the WOD
    4. ‘Get’ your handstand pushup  (or simply ‘get’ your handstand)
    5. Stop comparing yourself to others
    6. Quit sugar
    7. Participate in a competition
    8. Do the RX on a WOD
    9. ‘Get’ double unders
    10. Shave a minute from your ‘Fran’ time

     

    With Wildcat’s new format, it will be easier than ever to make progress and track that progress.   The new emphasis on training vs. simply exercising is designed to produce results.  Want to see greater results this year with your fitness program? Make sure you’re coming into Wildcat regularly.  They’ll be tracking certain movements over the course of the month on one of the white boards, so when you’re hitting PR’s (personal records), you’ll know it.

    Now is a great time to push yourself a little bit harder and see those goals materialize.

    What are your CrossFit goals for 2017? Share them in the comments and let’s make them happen!

  • Strategies For Counting Reps During a CrossFit WOD (12/26/2016)

    It happens to all of us.  In the middle of a hard WOD, all of a sudden you can’t remember what rep you’re on.  It happened to me on Friday doing the 12 Days of Xmas WOD at Wildcat.  For some reason I would get to the Kettlebell Swings and find myself losing track of my count.  I also stopped in the middle of the workout once thinking I’d skipped a bunch of steps in that round.  I hadn’t, but it took 10 seconds for me to think through what I’d just done to realize it.

    Some CrossFitters say they can just remember their rounds.  I know I can’t rely this method because when I am pushing myself that hard, my brain doesn’t work as well as it could.  I’m so focused on just pushing forward that the last thing I can think about is what round I am on or how many reps I am on.  My brain is busy fighting with itself, “Just one more, just do one more.” “I can’t, I can’t do one more.” “Yes you can, do it!”

    This experience got me thinking about the best ways to count your reps and sets and how to break them down so I don’t wind up doing too much or too little.

    4 Strategies for Counting During a WOD

    1 – Breaking a movement down into smaller rep counts.  If you’ve got 25 burpees to do, breaking them down into 5 sets of 5 makes it easier to count.  Using chalk to tick off every set of 5 makes it a lot easier than keeping a running count of the full 25 in your head.  During Friday’s workout I split the overhead walking lunges into 3 sets of 4.  My arms needed the break and I was able to keep track of the count.

    2 – Use tools.  Grab a wipe board and marker or a piece of chalk and figure out how you’re going to count before the WOD starts.  The downside to this is that you’re having to take the time to tick off each round, so maybe tick off every two rounds.

    3 – Use a ‘pacer’.  This isn’t the most accurate way to count but it can be effective in some cases.  I’ve used at times when I don’t want to stop to tick off a round.  Find someone in your class who is just slightly faster than you.  If you’re pacing yourself to them and you’re staying just behind, when they finish, you know you’re in your last round.  You’re relying on someone else to be counting accurately so this isn’t always a great method but sometimes we just have to do what works in the moment.

    4 – Count backwards.  In some cases, its easier to keep track if you’re counting backwards than forwards.  For me, doing those Kettlebell swings, counting backwards would have worked great.  My distracted mind was counting, 6, 7, 8, 9, oops, I was supposed to stop at 6!  Counting down would have stopped me from doing more than I needed to.

    What strategies have worked for you? Share in the comments below!

     

  • Christmas Day CrossFit (12/24/2016)

    YES, YES, YES, we have a Christmas Day class.
    9:00am
    The 12 days of Christmas
    1- 100M run
    2- Power Snatches (115/75)
    3- HSPU
    4- Chest To Bar
    5- Burpees
    6- Toes 2 Bar
    7- Unbroken Wall Balls (14/10#)
    8- American KB Swings (53/35)
    9- Box Jumps (30/24″)
    10- Hang Power Cleans (115/75)
    11- Front Squats (115/75)
    12- Dumbell Manmakers  (45/25)

    ☃️☃️??????????

  • Overhead Squats: How Breaking Down The Movement Improved My Form (12/19/2016)

    In my 6 months or so of doing CrossFit, I’ve been able to see progress in nearly every movement we’ve done.  The one exception has been overhead squats.  I can squat anything else just fine but for some reason, if I put something over my head, all of a sudden my balance goes wonky.

    Whenever overhead squats come up in a workout, I wind up using an empty 15lb bar just to practice the form.  It always feels disappointing because I know I’m stronger than that, but when I get my butt below 90 degrees, I start wobbling.overhead squat

    So last Tuesday when we worked on overhead squats, I was lamenting to the trainer, Laurie, that I just can’t seem to get this movement.  She asked if I’d ever used a box to sit down on doing overhead squats and I hadn’t.  She showed me how to break down the movement so that I could get more comfortable with having a bar over my head first, before adding in a full squat.

    With a box behind me, she had me push the bar over my head and then stick my butt out and sit back onto the box instead of coming down into a full squat.  We slowly lowered the height of the sit using different boxes and bumpers to ease me down lower and lower.  For the first time I felt like I had a strong sense of where the bar needed to be over my head as I was squatting.  She suggested that when overhead squats come up in a workout again, to use that method until I feel like I can do the full movement.

    When I saw the workout today, there were the overhead squats again.  I could feel my heart sink.  Mixed with power snatches, that meant I would be doing the whole movement with a really light weight, possibly an empty 15lb bar.  I considered using the box modification but instead I decided to first see what I could do without it.  I started with my usual empty 15lb bar and was able to do it without wobbling.  I upped it by 5lbs – again, no problem.  I added another 5lbs, still my balance was fine.  One more increase and I was at 30lbs, the most I’ve ever been able to do while keeping proper form.  For the first time, my arms and shoulders were strong and steady – no wobbling, no coming up onto my toes when I was down in a full squat.  It felt like a huge victory, even at a pretty low weight.

    My lesson? Sometimes it really takes breaking down a movement into its component parts to see where it is you’re having trouble.  Making one little tweak can make all the difference in the world.

    Have you noticed any big improvements when breaking down a movement? Share in the comments below!

  • The Importance of Self-Care With CrossFit (12/12/2016)

    A month ago in her pep talk that got me coming in to workout more regularly , Jen told me I’d be PR’ing in just about every clasself-cares if I was coming in at least three times a week.  I’ve been kind of shocked at how true that has been.  The progress I’ve made has been quick and its been hefty.  Last week, I made a 50lb PR on deadlifts – 50lb!  Its exciting to see the results happening quickly and it makes me want to keep coming for more to see how much more I can do.  I’ve been pushing myself, pushing the limits of my strength and endurance.   It has been incredibly fruitful.  What it also has done is increased my overall soreness.

    I realized that if I’m going to be able to keep working out at this level regularly I need to take better care of myself in between.  Let’s look at what does means, exactly:

    Five Vital Steps to Self Care In Between CrossFit Workouts

    1 – Sleep.  It is critically important for me to get 8-9 hours of sleep each night.  That means I’m in bed by 9:30 and hopefully asleep by 10 or before. That doesn’t happen every night but I try to make it the norm.

    2 – Stretching.  Using a foam roller at the end of class is great but how about getting one for home too?  Watching TV or just hanging out is a great time to break out the foam roller and spend 20 minutes rolling out those sore spots.  I can count on my housemate to watch The Daily Show every night so during the show I’ve been pulling out my yoga mat and stretching most nights of the week.  Find a stretching routine that works for you.  No sense gaining muscle strength if you lose mobility in the process.

    3 – Ice.  This is the first week I’ve iced my muscles.  I’ll admit it felt kind of badass to have to do it.  I mean, when I watch the CrossFit games and see those elite athletes in ice baths, I can’t imagine the pain they are in to need that. For me it was a hard week of shoulder work back to back. A small ice pack on some particularly sore muscles did the trick.  The ice brings down the inflammation that makes your muscles feel hot and tender.  Often people think of heating pads for pain but next time you have a really sore muscle after a workout, try ice and see how well it works.

    4 – Massage.  When you’re working out regularly, lactic acid and other toxins build up in the muscles.  Rest, time and good hydration will release them but if you’re working out often, you might need some extra assistance.  A monthly massage can also help to lengthen fascia and muscle, improving mobility.  It brings oxygen to the tissue, speeding healing time.  It also helps reduce pain and inflammation in your joints, tendons, ligaments and muscle.

    5 – Epsom Salt Baths.  Achy muscles and swollen joints will really benefit from the magnesium sulfate in Epsom Salts. Use about 2 cups of Epsom Salts in a warm (not scalding) bath and soak for at least 20 minutes.  Make sure to hydrate before and after your bath to maintain proper electrolyte balance.

    What do you do for self care? Share in the comments!

  • Keeping CrossFit Safe With Three Simple Tips (12/4/2016)

    After I had been doing CrossFit for a few months and started talking to people about it, I was surprised at how many people thought what I was doing was unsafe.  They often would tell me they knew someone who did CrossFit and people were puking during the WOD, or that because of the competitive nature, people don’t use proper form and hurt themselves.  I found myself defending my box and the coaches at Wildcat, defending the workout style, and I wondered how many of the people who think Cross it is unsafe have actually tried doing it or if they’re just ‘hearing’ these negative comments and making assumptions.the hard channel

    It is true that because CrossFit is considered an ‘extreme’ sport, it attracts people who like to push themselves physically.  Given the opportunity, they may push to the point of injury, exhaustion (puking), or even toward rhabdomyolysis (rhabdo), a condition in which after over training, muscle fiber breaks down and is released into the bloodstream, poisoning the kidneys.  This condition is exceptionally rare and most often occurs in ex-athletes who try to do too much too fast after having not done strength conditioning for a while.  Because CrossFit attracts people who like to push themselves to their limit, you’ll find people in CrossFit who do just that.  But it isn’t the norm and it isn’t encouraged at Wildcat.

    No matter your personality type, there are a few simple things to keep in mind that will keep your workout safe:

    Three Simple Tips To Keep CrossFit Safe

    1 – Most WODs have a time component, meaning you’re meant to do a certain number of reps in the shortest time possible.  Sacrificing proper form for a quicker rep is the quickest way to get injured.  Any good CrossFit box, including Wildcat, will review proper form on a movement before the WOD starts.  No matter how many times you’ve done that movement, reviewing proper form with an empty bar allows the coaches to make small corrections to your form that will keep you safe.  Once that clock starts, make sure to maintain proper form along with your speed.  The tradeoff of a few seconds on your time vs the potential for injury is a no brainer.

    2 – Know the difference between pain and fatigue.  During an intense workout, you’re going to feel muscle fatigue and cardiorespiratory fatigue.  This is normal.  What isn’t normal is the kind of pain that indicates injury – sharp stabbing pains that happen in the same joints during the same movements. Trying to just push past that kind of pain and keep working out through it can set you up for serious injury.  If you’re feeling that kind of pain, talk to the coaches and they’ll work with you on movements to do instead of what is causing you pain.  Allowing yourself time to heal is an important component of fitness.  Keep in mind that your score isn’t the most important thing in CrossFit, its your body.

    3 – Drop the bar if you have to.  When we’re working up to a max weight, you’ll likely get to a weight that you just can’t do.  There is no shame in dropping your bar or failing the movement in a proper, safe way.  If you don’t know how to properly fail a movement when you’re working up to a max, ask one of the coaches.  Tweaking your back or your shoulder trying to finish a lift that is really too heavy for you isn’t going to get you to your goal any faster, and there’s a good chance it will actually slow you down.

    With these simple tips in mind, its easy to stay safe during your CrossFit workouts.

  • The Importance of Scaling Your Workout (11/28/2016)

    Every CrossFit WOD can be scaled (adjusted to your fitness level), and for good reason.  There are newbies, like me, and seasoned CrossFitters in the same class and that class has to work for everyone.  When I first started going to classes at WildCat I sometimes felt like a wimp for scaling a workout.  It wasn’t until later that I realized that people also scale the workout UP!  This makes the WOD infinitely scaleable for everyone, no matter your level.

    For everyone at every level, scaling matters.  Why?

    5 Reasons to Scale Your WODscale your wod

    1 – Form: Yes, doing the Rx weight on a WOD feels good mentally and emotionally, but what about physically?  Especially in a time-sensitive WOD, think about how quickly you’re going to be doing the movements and if you can maintain proper form throughout.  No sense getting Rx if your back is wrenched for the next few days.  Focusing on proper form will allow you to add heavier and heavier weights over time.  Be patient and add weight when you can but be careful to not push past the point where your form starts to suffer.

    2 – Skill Level: Some movements are pretty straightforward and some are more complex.  But all of them require a certain level of skill in performing that movement.  If you’re still gaining that skill, don’t try to Rx it right away.  Over time you’ll gain muscle memory and those movements will come more naturally.  Not everyone can do a pull up right out of the gate – I still can’t do one.  But my jumping pull ups are improving my overall shoulder strength.  Start where you are and move forward when you can.

    3 – Long Term Goals: The only way to reach your goals is to make steady, consistent progress toward them.  If your goal is to do a pull up and part of that day’s WOD is skill building toward that, put most of your energy toward your goal and scale back the rest.  When you have a specific goal in mind, its ok to direct your effort and energy toward meeting it, even if it means scaling back a little on other movements in that class.

    4 – Daily Fluctuations:  Didn’t sleep so well last night? Shoulders still hurting from the last WOD? Our bodies are constantly adapting to our circumstances.  Some days we’ll be fully rested and ready for a hard workout, other days we might not be feeling 100%.  Know that its ok to listen to your body in the moment.  Just because you were able to lift a certain weight last week doesn’t mean that your body is ready to lift the same or heavier this week.  Tune in to how your body is feeling and adjust accordingly.

    5 – Injury Avoidance: Push too much at once and you’re likely to get injured.  Dealing with an injury setback is a sure way to get out of the habit of coming in for workouts regularly.  A much better path is to assess your ability on any given day and push yourself only to your own limits that day.  Pushing yourself toward a number on a board only makes sense if your ability matches that number.  Otherwise scale it back to your own level on any particular day.

    For a newbie like me, scaling means that I can build my workout around the Rx to push my own limits.  Remember that while there is a competitive atmosphere in CrossFit, ultimately you’re there for yourself.  When I leave a class tired, sweaty, muscles fatigued, and worn out, I know I’ve gotten a good workout in.  Let your own body be your guide and know that Rx, while it may push you toward a harder workout, is always scaleable.

  • The Benefits of CrossFit for Anxiety (11/20/2016)

    This season it seems the anxiety level of the people around me are unusually high.  There are a lot of reasons for this. We just came out of a really tense election season (to say the least). With so much political uncertainty ahead of us, fear and worry are in the air.  We’re also coming right up on holiday season, which even at its best can be overwhelming.  On top of that, the days are shorter and darker, its getting colder, and office break rooms everywhere are filling up with sugary treats.

    In the midst of all of these challenges this time of year, keeping up an exercise program is more essential than ever, and not just for the physical benefits.  Did you know that exercise also benefits mental health?  CrossFit won’t cure your anxiety but the physical and psychological benefits can definitely improve the symptoms.  Studies have suggested that regular exercise can help alleviate anxiety as much as anxiety medications, and the effects may even last longer than the drugs.

    How CrossFit can ease anxiety and improve your mood:

    By Greg Westfall [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

    By Greg Westfall [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

    1. Make your own drugs: Exercise releases chemicals in the brain – neurotransmitters, endorphins and endocannabinoids – that make you feel better.
    2. Distract yourself: Coming to a class is a good distraction from troubling thoughts.  It’s hard to ruminate when you’ve got a tough workout in front of you.
    3. Lower your heart rate: Yes, during exercise, your heart rate rises but over time as you get more fit, the heart works more efficiently, leading to a lower resting heart rate.  Since anxiety is typically linked to increased heart rate, regular exercise helps offset that feeling.
    4. Long lasting effects: Studies have shown that the mood boosting benefits are both immediate and long-term.  You’ll get a rush of feel good chemicals immediately after exercise, and those effects continue, allowing you to respond to stress better even the following day.
    5. Managing stress hormones: Under stress, the body releases cortisol, a ‘fight or flight’ hormone.  Studies have shown that what brings cortisol back to normal levels is movement. Since your body is expecting you to fight or flight, doing nothing can cause your body to feel more stress and anxiety.  Exercise keeps that hormone, and those feelings, under control.
    6. Better sleep: Many people suffering from anxiety have trouble sleeping.  Exercise tires the body enough that it becomes easier to sleep with anxiety.

    As you feel the pressures of the season, don’t forget to make working out a high priority.  Coming in regularly will ease your anxiety and help you have a great holiday season.

  • Essential Tips for CrossFit Newbies (11/10/2016)

    Beginning a CrossFit routine can seem daunting;  I know it was for me.  The intensity of the workouts are like nothing I’d ever done before and the competitive nature of it in a group fitness setting was different than any group fitness I had done before.  As I get more comfortable with doing CrossFit, I’ve realize that a lot of my preconceived notions have fallen away and I’ve learned a lot that can be useful to other CrossFit newbies.  So with that here are my:

    Eight Essential Tips for CrossFit Newbiesoverhead squat

    1. Understand that everything is scaleable: Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been doing CrossFit for years, your workout can be scaled to fit your needs.  If you’re not sure how to scale a movement, ask one of the coaches.  They’re happy to make the workout work for you.
    2. Work on form first:  Some of the typical CrossFit moves have a very specific form.  It is much easier to learn the form and get that muscle memory when you start with a lighter weight.  Before progressing to heavier weights, make sure you’ve got the form down.  This will help you avoid injury and allow you lift heavier once you’ve got the form.
    3. Be prepared to be sore: It is inevitable that after an intense workout, your muscles are going to be sore.  It is in your best interest to take care of that soreness in some way – whether that is an Epsom salt bath, extra stretching, using a muscle balm like WOD Balm, icing your muscles or taking ibuprofen – your body will need some extra TLC, especially in the first months.
    4. Take care of your hands: Some of the movements are tough on your hands and you may find that the skin on your palms starts to blister, tear or form callouses.  Repeated damage to your hands can be really painful and get in the way of a good workout.  Some people swear that gloves help, some say they make it worse – try for yourself and see.  There’s also chalk available for when you’re doing pullups or lifting a heavy barbell.  If you do wind up with torn skin, Tear Repair is great at healing it quickly.
    5. Only compare yourself to yourself: In the competitive atmosphere of a CrossFit gym, it can be easy to compare yourself with the people in your class and while that’s great as a motivating tool, the only thing that matters in the end is how much you’re improving.  The next tip is vital to that.
    6. Track your progress: Its easy to forget where you started, so figure out a way to track your progress.  There are apps you can use, an Excel spreadsheet is great if you’re computer-minded, keeping a notebook is a great way.  What I’ve done to track my progress is use my phone to take a picture of the white board at the end of class.  Every few weeks I’ll go through my pictures and write my improvements in a notebook so I can see the progress.
    7. Push yourself: CrossFit isn’t supposed to be easy; its designed to push a level of intensity that you might not be familiar with or comfortable with.  Go with it – see how much you can push yourself and watch your gains add up.
    8. Listen to your body:  You want to push yourself but only to a point.  Listen to your body on any given day and if something feels wrong/painful, pay attention.  There are certain movements that I have learned can push my body toward injury and I have to be extra careful doing them. Push where you can, ease up when you have to.

    Whether you’ve been doing CrossFit for three months or three years, do you have any tips?  Share in the comments!

     

  • Are Excuses Getting In The Way of Reaching Your Fitness Goals? (10/31/2016)

    Last week I had a ‘come to Jen’ moment.  Jen, if you don’t already know, is one of the owners of Wildcat Crossfit.  You see, I’d convinced myself that I just couldn’t do more than one workout a week because my schedule doesn’t allow for it.  I found all sorts of ways to justify my dwindling attendance at Wildcat – I work on my feet all day, I lift heavy boxes at work, its too dark/too cold in the morning and I’m too tired after work, I go out of town most weekends, and really, I’m still making progress so its OK that I’m only going once a week, right?  Wrong.

    After a reality check from Jen, I remembered my goals and I thought about how I’m going to actually achieve them.  It takes hard work and it takes some sacrifice.  So I’m going to have to get up earlier in the morning, I can do that.  And I’m going to be more sore than I’ve been, I can stretch or use WOD Balm – or both.  I’ve re-committed to going to Wildcat 3 times a week – the minimum recommended workouts.

    Jen mentioned that it takes about 35 workouts to really hit your stride, feel comfortable with the movements, and really start to see an steep increase in progress.  It really shouldn’t have taken six months to get that amount of workouts in but it did.  Now I can make a choice about how to move forward and I’m choosing to step it up.make-changes

    Do you make excuses for skipping workouts?  Does it get harder to come back in for a workout after you’ve skipped a few?  Yeah, me too.  You have a choice, just like I do, to re-commit to your goals and achieve them.  Here are:

    6 Common Excuses For Not Working Out & How To Overcome Them.

    1. I’m too busy.
      Life is all about prioritizing.  There is so much we can do and so much we want to do and a million distractions that will keep you away from all of it.  If getting fit is a priority, figure out how you’re spending time wastefully.  Do you watch TV? Spend too much time on social media or the internet?  Too much YouTube?  Surely there’s an hour that you can devote to keeping your body strong.
    2. I’m too old.
      None of us are getting any younger, but staying fit and active as we age is one of the best things we can do to maintain our vitality (not to mention bone density) as we get older.  Sure, it may take a little longer to recover as you get older but its worth the effort.
    3. I’m too tired.
      If you find yourself too tired for workouts, the problem isn’t the workouts, its your sleep habits.  Try unwinding an hour earlier, stay away from screens before bedtime and see if you wake up in the morning with a little more energy.
    4. It’s intimidating.
      You might that working out among really fit people feels that way but it’s only intimidating if you’re not doing it.  Once you’re in a routine and you’re used to the people in your classes you’ll realize that no matter a person’s fitness level, we’re all there for the same reason – to improve.
    5. It’s too hot/cold.
      Yes, the summers are really hot in Tucson.  That just means its easier to go to an early morning class before the temps heat up.  Too cold on a winter morning? Get yourself some layers – by the time you’re done with the warmup, you’ll be plenty warm.
    6. I don’t want to injure myself.
      Its easy to feel competitive in a class and push it too hard to try and keep up with your neighbor, but really, the only person you’re competing with is yourself.  Pay attention to what your body can do. It’s ok to modify movements and always make sure you’re able to maintain proper form at whatever weight you’re using.  The trainers at Crossfit are always available to give you feedback on your form so that you’re not injuring yourself.

     

    What’s keeping you from reaching your goals? Can you identify with any of these excuses?  What will it take to re-commit to your goals?

  • CrossFit Newbie – Six Month Check-In (10/16/2016)

    When I started doing CrossFit at Wildcat, I decided I’d track my progress by taking a picture of the WOD white board with my score on it every time I came in. My plan was to eventually go through the photos and track each exercise and how I’ve improved. Wildcat CrossFit WOD

    Well, I finally got that notebook and went through all of my pictures and wrote it all down and I learned some interesting things.  The first is that I have not done nearly as many workouts as I thought I had. Yes there were weeks that I’d go 3 times in a week but there were also times when weeks went by and I didn’t make it through the doors.  In my mind, I thought surely I’d done much more than 36 workouts in the last 6 months.  What surprised me even more, though, is that fact that even with inconsistent and sometimes infrequent visits to Wildcat, I still feel like CrossFit has done more to increase my strength, muscle tone and overall fitness than anything else I’ve ever done.

    The improvements show up in real life ways.  I spend most weekends at my partner’s farm. Things like digging garden beds and shoveling manure remind me of the strength and stamina I’ve gained.  I started working a retail job recently where I’m on my feet all day and I’m constantly lifting, reaching, bending, kneeling, and squatting.  I don’t think my 46 year old body could have handled such a physical job had I not been doing CrossFit.

    Going forward, now that I can see my progress on paper, it is much easier for me to set goals, especially when it comes to strength.  I’ve seen slow, consistent progress, but I often showed up for a workout not really knowing what my 1 rep max was for a particular lift and so I’d guess.  This often meant leaving the workout feeling like I could have done more. If you don’t already track what you’re able to lift I highly recommend it, even for newbies.

    As women, we often associate working out with weight loss, believing that the number on the scale is the end goal.  Six months in and actually a bit heavier, I realize that while getting to and maintaining a healthy weight is an important fitness goal, CrossFit offers so much more: increased strength, increased bone density, increased self confidence.  Muscle weighs more than fat so don’t stress about the number on the scale when you’re seeing real results in your fitness level.  Now here’s my goal for the next six months – get myself in to do more workouts more regularly.  I’ve seen incredible results with not that much effort.  I can only imagine what a sustained effort over the next six months will do.  I’ll be sure to report on my progress!

  • New Wildcat CrossFit Gym Additions and Upgrades (10/6/2016)

    Have you Seen the New Wildcat CrossFit Gym Additions and Upgrades?

    Over the past 6 weeks we have made several improvements and upgrades inside our gym.

    Have you seen them all?

    Let’s take a little tour, shall we?

    First we Improved the doorway into our great new Back Gym Space.

    img_1444 img_1442

    Then, we REALLY improved The Kids Area. img_1235(Did you know that we provide Childcare during the Women’s CrossFit Classes Five Days a Week? What a great space for kids to hang out while their mom’s work out!)

    The next week we added some much needed Pull-up Bars to the Back Gym. img_1305Watch those sparks fly!

    Noah is a great builder and engineer.

    Jen has a good attitude and she’s a great helper.

    img_1308Now we can hold all kinds of classes in the Back Gym!

    A week later, we added a New Changing Area.img_1426It’s located across from the Vending Machine…
    (in the spot where the vending machine used to be)…
    and diagonally across from the Aquarium.

    img_1425

    Yes, thanks for asking, this is The Nicest Aquarium of any CrossFit gym in Tucson.

    But I’m not done yet!

    Earlier this week, Noah and Member Michael C. really did a fantastic job of improving our back stairway. Now our back stairs are friendly for Grownups, dogs, and kids (with supervision).

    img_1428 What’s up, Ronnie?

    Upcoming projects include a Back Yard Cleanup Barbecue, Two Outdoor Shower Spots, and a Backyard Workout Area!

    Thanks to our great Members! Your Membership has made all of these great new improvements possible.

    You Are Awesome.

  • Is There CrossFit at Burning Man? (9/19/2016)

    I wonder if there’s CrossFit at Burning Man?  That was my question in the couple of weeks leading up to my first time at the event.  Surely in a city of 70,000 people, someone’s got a CrossFit camp, right?

    When I asked around, this was the most common response – ‘Work out at burning man? That’s what set up and take down is for!’ I found out that was kind of true.  I was one of the first of my camp to arrive and one of the last to leave.  Setting up our public camp space included erecting 9 shade structures, installing a 9 hole mini golf course along with posts for signs and decorations.  There were two days of unloading heavy boxes from our truck, driving t-posts into the ground, digging trenches for electrical cords then filling them back in and tamping them back down, setting up a shower and an evaporation pond for the greywater.  It wasn’t quick and intense like a WOD but I was surely getting a workout in.

    I’d heard that Burning Man is often transformational for people.  It’s a place where you learn a lot about yourself and can come back a different person; I definitely did.  One of the more minor things I learned about myself is that I like being surprisingly strong.  During setup another woman at the camp was trying to move an amplifier and she couldn’t lift it.  I walked over and picked it up by its handle like it was an empty suitcase.  She said, ‘Wow, you’re strong.’  I paused a moment then said, ‘Yes, I am.’  I realized at that moment that something about being strong when I wasn’t expected to be was kind of thrilling.

    I also found out that I can now do the yoga pose, Chattaranga.  That’s the one where you lower yourself from plank position until you’re hovering over the floor.  One morning a campmate was doing yoga in our shade structure so I joined her doing Sun Salutations.  I’ve never been able to hover over the floor before, I’ve always basically flopped down from plank position to laying on the floor.  This time, I hovered – I actually hovered.  In my head I was thanking Wildcat Crossfit for encouraging me to avoid ‘lady pushups’!

    I never did find a camp offering WOD’s, but it turned out that the camp next door to me was a workout camp and the camp across the street did 100 squats every morning, announcing it on their megaphone.  After 2 days of setup and a day to rest, I actually did get in a short WOD at the camp next door and then the wave that is Burning Man caught me and I was just going with the flow from there – nothing scheduled, nothing planned – and no working out.

    Returning back to ‘the default world’, it took some time for me to get back into a groove where I felt like I could manage my time again, plan things around a work schedule again.  This morning I finally got back in for a WOD at Wildcat.  I was expecting to feel like I was starting from scratch again since it had been nearly a month since I’d been in but it was just like riding a bike.

    They say that Burning Man is like going home for a lot of people.  There’s a deep feeling of community there, a camaraderie, a humanness that doesn’t often show up in the default world.  There’s also a tribe for everyone.  No matter what your interests, passions, curiosities, you can find it there. Going back to Wildcat this morning, I reconnected with the CrossFit tribe and felt a little bit like I’d come home.

     

  • Wildcat CrossFit Newbie Progress Report: Double Unders (8/22/2016)

    One of my intentions in writing this newbie blog is to have a place to document my progress as I notice how my abilities are changing.  It feels a bit presumptuous to even use the phrase ‘Double Under’ to describe this progress report.   I am in no way close to being able to do just one of them.  But… I have definitely made progress toward it.jumpropes

    The first time we did double unders in a workout I could barely do 10 single unders without tripping on the rope or getting out of rhythm or out of breath.  Each time double unders came up in a WOD I could do slightly more at once – starting with 10, next time it was 15, the next 20, and then 30.  I thought 30 was really good when was able to finally do it.

    In order to get through workouts, I was even scaling the scale.  With 50 double unders translating to 150 single unders and me not being able to do more than 30 at a time, I realized after trying to do the full 150 that it would take me the full hour to make it through that portion of the WOD. So I did 100 and even  that was challenging.  I was always having to stop a few times during each set.  After a while I noted that I could now do 50 at a time.  Progress.

    And then we did a workout where 100 single unders was part of an AMRAP.  Those 100 single unders felt like they were in my range. Challenging, for sure, but in reach.  In my first round I was suddenly able to do 100 without stopping.  I was really surprised and got this burst of excited energy and then did 100 without stopping in the next 2 rounds.  And then for the next 2 rounds, I was fumbling and having to stop a couple of times to get each set done and I thought, “I guess I can only do 100 at a time when I’m not at all fatigued.”  Another round of having to stop a few times followed and I mentally confirmed that guess.  And then the next round came and there I was doing 100 at a time again, this time with much less effort.   It was like something in my body finally clicked and the movement became more precise and I no longer had to think about what I was trying to do, I was just doing it.  The next round was the same – 100 in a row, no stopping.  ‘What? Really? I can do this now?’  Yup. I can do that now.  It’s not a double under. It’s not even close to a double under.  But its definitely progress.

  • How CrossFit Benefits My Academic Performance (8/14/2016)

    For the last few months I’ve been back in school, finishing up hours toward a massage license.  In order to get that license, I have to take a pretty hefty exam.  I haven’t studied this material since 2003 when I initially got licensed in Ohio.  Pulling out my old anatomy & physiology books at first was like looking at a foreign language again but its been coming back to me.

    Image Courtesy: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/healthblog/8384110298">Saad Faruque</a>

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Image Courtesy: Saad Faruque

    What I’ve noticed as I’ve been taking coursework is that on the mornings I do CrossFit, I show up at class alert and energized – as if working out had delivered much needed oxygen to my brain so that it could function at its best.  It turns out, I was right.  I did a little research about how exercise affects memory and learning and this is what I found out:

    How CrossFit Benefits Memory and Learning

    • Exercise reduces insulin resistance, reduces inflammation, and stimulates the release of growth factors—chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and the abundance and survival of new brain cells.
    • Exercise improves mood and sleep, and reduces stress and anxiety. Problems in these areas often cause or at least contribute to cognitive impairment.
    • Engaging in a program of regular exercise of moderate intensity over six months or a year is associated with an increase in the volume of selected brain regions.
    • Regular aerobic exercise appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning.
    • Exercise results in increased oxygen flow to the brain, increased brain neurotransmitters, and increased brain-derived neurotrophins (neurotrophins assure the survival of neurons in areas responsible for learning, memory, and higher thinking).
    • Exercise plays a big part in the production of new brain cells, particularly in the dentate gyrus, a part of the brain heavily involved in learning and memory skills.

    This afternoon I’m scheduled to take my licensing exam.  I’ve studied just about all I can and I feel pretty well prepared but I’ll take any advantage I can get.  That’s why this morning I went to Wildcat CrossFit and worked up a sweat.  Now I know that I’ve already done the hardest thing I’m going to do today and my exam this afternoon will be a  breeze.

  • When CrossFit Isn’t Fun For Me – The Community Kicks In (8/8/2016)

    I know plenty of people who exercise only because they know they have to.  They don’t get much if any enjoyment out of it, the experience is like a necessary evil, a chore, a struggle.  I used to be that person but over the years I found different ways of exercising that actually made me happy while I was exercising.

    Now, I hear that there’s a CrossFit-Zumba rift.  That if you do one, you poke fun at the other.  But I have to admit that I love my Zumba.  It made me happy from day one and it still does.  There are days I feel that way about CrossFit – days when we’re doing exercises I like and feel like I’m good at (or at least ones that I’ve seen improvement).  There are plenty of days that I walk out of Wildcat CrossFit feeling like I can take on anything, like I’m flying.  There are also days when I walk out feeling deflated, emotional, and stressed.

    It only makes sense that not every WOD is going to appeal to me.  For the most part I can get over that.  When I see a ton of burpees, it doesn’t make me happy, but I can get through it.  I might even walk out of the gym that day feeling like I’m flying simply because I powered through something I don’t particularly like.

    But then there are days that simply push my buttons.  Last week I felt that way.  One day we practiced the snatch balance and did rounds of handstand holds, push-ups, and plank.  I’d never done a snatch balance but I am terrible at overhead squats.  I also can’t do a handstand and my pushups are weak.  There was nothing about this WOD I could latch onto as something I even remotely wanted to do.  But I did it anyway.  I had to use really light weights for the snatch balance or I couldn’t balance with the bar over my head at all.  It wasn’t so much physically challenging with that light weight, it was more mentally challenging.  Every time I squatted in the snatch balance I had to pay so much attention to my form in order to not fall over.  That alone was exhausting.  And then the rounds of handstand/pushup/plank had me nearly crying.  I was the last person working but I was determined to finish.

    The saving grace, and I mean this with all my heart, was the awesome crew at Wildcat.  Since I was the last one working, folks in the class who were done cheered me on.  Encouraged by our trainer, Jen, they even got down and did the last round of planking with me.  When I thought I could do no more, that encouragement absolutely saved me. I was able to find just enough energy reserve to finish the round.  I left that day feeling drained.  There was no joy in that workout, no elation walking out of the gym.  That night I followed an urge to go to my old Zumba class just so I could do some exercise that made me happy.  It worked.  It’s fun.  On the days when CrossFit mentally challenges me its good to know that I have a go-to feel-good practice until the next fun WOD – because there’s always one right around the corner.

    I am very much looking forward to the day when I’m the one able to be the one planking for an extra 60 seconds to help someone else who is struggling get through it!

  • CrossFit Challenges Outdated Ideas About What I Can Do (7/22/2016)

    In my last week of working out at Wildcat, I’ve had two workouts that caused me to be transported in my mind back in time to high school gym class.  Now, I was the chubby girl who was always picked last for team sports.  If we were playing softball I’d gladly go stand in right field hoping no one would hit a ball to me.  I was slow, my coordination was lacking, and I never paid enough attention to the rules to know what I was doing.  Really, I once threw a softball at a runner instead of tagging them with the ball in my hand.  Needless to say I wasn’t a very confident kid when it came to athletics.

    Now that I’m working out at Wildcat, I find that sometimes those old, icky feelings come to the surface.  That was never more true than last week.  On one particular morning we had a really big group show up for class.  There were too many of us to do our usual warm-ups across the floor so we split into two teams and did relay races instead.  My instant reaction was ‘Oh no! I’m going to ruin it for our team!’

    I took a deep breath, accepted that I will do the best I can and that the best I can is ok, and I ran the races.  We did crab walks, running forwards, running backwards, running while holding a heavy weight, and I kept up.  I wasn’t the fastest person in the group by far but I didn’t drag us down either.  It was probably the first time I’d done a relay race in my life that I wasn’t beating myself up afterwards.  Our team won, saving us from having to do extra burpees (whew!).  Without that leftover childhood anxiety I actually had a good time.

    The second instance was in class last week doing the broad jump.  I haven’t done a broad jump since we had a track & field section in PE class in high school, maybe 30 years ago (eek! could it have been that long ago?).  Again, I never much cared to learn about proper form or cared to try very hard.  I was an athletic underachiever.  And here I was having to do something I never thought in a million years I’d do again.  We practiced the form then did three jumps, recording our best jump out of the three.  My first two jumps were within 1/4 inch of each other – farther than I thought I’d jump but disappointing to the part of me that now actually cares.  My third jump though, I gained 5 inches and I was stoked!

    I left class that day and reflected on how much I’ve changed by doing CrossFit.  In an atmosphere of support and encouragement I find myself more at ease with my own abilities, wherever those abilities are right now.  Of all the things I was hoping to get from CrossFit – more strength, better endurance – I never expected I’d get this kind of shift in my thinking and for that I am truly grateful.

  • 7 Strategies For Success :: How To Get Back On Track With CrossFit After a Break (7/12/2016)

    In last week’s post I was struggling to get back into CrossFit after life got in my way one too many times.  Since then, I’ve made it to three WOD’s.  I could havecrossfit success easily kept saying ‘Tomorrow, I’ll go tomorrow’ like I’d gotten into the habit of.  Instead I kicked my own butt into gear and made it happen.  It isn’t easy, especially when you know your muscles aren’t used to that kind of activity anymore.

    Was I sore again after coming back from a break? Yup. Was I extra tired?  Yes, I was.  But you know what?  The anticipation of how sore I was going to get was worse than the soreness itself.  And being legitimately tired at the end of the day felt good – it felt really good.  I did lose a little bit of the strength that I’d gained.  I found myself reaching for a heavier medicine ball than I wound up being able to use and loading a barbell heavier than I could manage.  I have a sense that the lost strength will come back easily with consistent visits.

    Now that I’m back in the swing of things, I thought I’d come up with a list of strategies for anyone who is struggling with making it back into the gym after not going for a while.

    Seven Strategies For Getting Back On Track With Your CrossFit

    1 – Make your start day a Friday.  I know that most people will start a new regimen, whether that’s a diet or a workout routine, on a Monday.   I want you to rethink that when it comes to working out.  Starting back up on a Friday gives you a 2 day rest on the weekend to recover before your work week starts up again.

    2 – Schedule it and create a reminder for yourself.  Whether that’s a post it note on your alarm clock, a scheduled task on your phone, an appointment in your Outlook calendar or some other way, make a plan and remind yourself to stick to it.

    3 – Create a system that works for you.  Do you need to workout in the morning in order to fit it into your day? Set your alarm a little earlier.  Does working out after work fit your schedule better?  Bring your workout clothes with you and don’t go home first. Going right to workout before going home leaves you no excuses.

    4 – Find a workout buddy/accountability partner.  If you usually go to the same classes, you’ll get to know the people who also usually go to that class.  See if you can make a commitment to another person – tell them you’ll join them for a particular class and you’ll be more likely to make that commitment.

    5 – Avoid perfectionism.  If you’ve beaten yourself up for failing at keeping up your routine, forgive yourself and move on.  Nobody is perfect and even if we have perfect moments, they don’t last.  We’re human – we falter, we struggle, we get back up and keep going.  Be kind to yourself and know that your body will thank you for what you do when you get back into a routine.

    6 – Plan ahead.  Gather your workout clothes the night before.  If getting a workout in is going to cut into the time you need to make yourself breakfast or lunch for that day, make it the night before.  Make sure that your schedule is cleared so you have no excuses.

    7 – Use your past success as motivation.  Its easy to get down on ourselves for what we haven’t done, but think about what you have accomplished so far.  Surely you’ve already gained strength, endurance and agility in the work that you’ve done.  Think about the continued gains you’ll see when you get back to it.

    The next time you have a break from your routine and you find it hard to get motivated again, remember these 7 tips to get you back on track.

  • Getting Back Into A CrossFit Routine When Life Gets In The Way (7/5/2016)

    Summer in Tucson is brutal.  The heat has been sapping my energy, I’ve gone out of town a couple of times for vacations, and I just have not been as committed to my Crossfit routine and it has suffered.

    I would imagine this happens to a lot of people – your workout routine is going along strong and then life gets in the way.  Too many commitments, not enough time is a big one.  I’ve gone back to school to complete hours necessary for practicing massage in Arizona.  It’s gotten harder, but not impossible, to keep up my routine.

    I also joined a 10 day ‘body love’ challenge that encouraged intense exercisers to take it easy sometimes.  In the interest of giving the challenge a fair shot, I did less intense exercise for most of those 10 days.  And then a long weekend out of town, and another week out of town, and my CrossFit routine was shot.  I even looked to see if there was a local CrossFit box in the beach town where I was vacationing but it was on the mainland and I was on an island, without a car of my own.  Burpees on the beach?

    So for the last few days I’ve been saying ‘Tomorrow, I’ll go tomorrow.’  But tomorrow comes and I find a reason not to go.  So I’m saying it again – tomorrow I will go!

    Today, having missed the morning classes, I couldn’t bear an afternoon class in the heat.  I decided instead to go back to the old ‘Muscles and More’ fitness class I’d been taking at the Y before I joined Wildcat CrossFit (sorry WildCat, air conditioning is my friend).  I was needing to do something – anything to get my body moving again.  And I was curious to see if I’d improved since the last time I’d taken the class.  Turns out, I had!  My form was so much better than it used to be, and I was able to use higher weights than I ever had before.  I felt that my core was stronger when we did ab work, and my endurance was greater as well.

    I’d planned on doing a progress report based on my starting ability at Wildcat and my current ability but this was good confirmation that what I’m doing is working. I’ll give it another month of a solid CrossFit routine before I do a progress report.  I’m sure I’ve made improvements but after this ‘lazy’ period, I’d rather give myself a little more time. For now its time to get back into a regular CrossFit routine.  Tomorrow – I swear I’ll be there!

  • 4th of July Schedule (7/3/2016)

    6:30
    8:30
    9:45 Women’s class
    Open gym and noon only.
    No evening classes.

  • CrossFit Newbie Learns First Hand About DOMS (6/17/2016)

    Forgive me for a break in blogging but I couldn’t lift my arms.  Last week, I learned about DOMS: Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.  Yes, I’ll admit I did it to myself.  I was so jazzed to be doing more strength training that I overdid it.

    DOMS

    “Sad T-Rex” by BenGrantham is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    My goal, as written on the blackboard wall at Wildcat, is to be able to do one pull up.  Its a long term goal, being that I’ve never had very good upper body strength and that I’ve got a lot of weight to pull up.  So I’m working on the progression toward it and on one particular WOD we worked on pull ups.  I learned that one of the ways to work toward it is to jump your body up so that your chin is above the bar, then try to slowly lower your body down.  So I did that and it really just looked like me jumping and coming right back down.  A slow descent only worked the first couple of times I did it and then my muscles were fatigued.  I kept going though, jumping up and dropping down, until I literally couldn’t even hold myself up at all.

    By that next night I looked like a T. Rex – I couldn’t extend my arms.  I couldn’t reach up and wash hair, I couldn’t take a shirt off over my head without wincing in pain.  I’ve experienced muscle soreness before but nothing like this.Since I’d planned to join up with the Wildcat crew to do an Extreme Volunteering project on Saturday morning, I skipped the next day’s WOD.

    Saturday morning I arrive at the Extreme Volunteering project and I’m chatting with a friend.  I tell her that I can’t extend my arms fully and she said ‘Oh – you’ve got DOMS’.  What’s that? ‘DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness’.  I file that away mentally and we get into the volunteering part.  Working with Watershed Management Group, we’re digging holes, pitchforking mulch into wheelbarrows, and spreading mulch around and into water basins.  I’d taking an ibuprofen so I was feeling pretty good, feeling pretty strong at least for the first few hours.  And then the ibuprofen wore off and there it was again – T. Rex arms.

    When I got home I looked it up online – what is this DOMS thing and what can I do about it?  I can’t walk around like a T. Rex for days, I’ve got stuff to do!   I found this:

    “DOMS appears to occur due to connective tissue microtrauma. It’s also worth mentioning that while most exercise can induce some DOMS, exercise with a greater emphasis on the eccentric phase (the lengthening or stretching phase) plays the most significant role in the manifestation of DOMS.” (full reference at breakingmuscle.com)

    Light bulb moment!  What was I doing on Thursday? Training the eccentric portion of the pull up!

    From what I hear, I just built a whole lot of muscle in that area – I’ll be curious to see if I’m any better at that movement next time!

    Have you experienced really intense DOMS? Share your experience in the comments!

  • Heavy Lifting – Is This What CrossFit Is All About? (6/1/2016)

    Before I joined Wildcat, my impression of CrossFit was that it was all about strength training, all about heavy lifting.  To my surprise, my first WOD at Wildcat CrossFit happened to be the first day of a 5 week ‘Endurance’ cycle.  It was really cardio intensive and the workouts that followed for the next 5 weeks were all really pretty exhausting.  After a while, I forgot that we were in Endurance mode and I just figured I was wrong – this must be what CrossFit is all about – exhaustion.

    When I came in last week to find out that we were starting a ‘Strength’ cycle, a lightbulb went off in my head. “Oh! It’s not just about exhaustion, I get to do some heavy lifting!”  heavy lifting

    I am digging it.  Really digging it.  I feel like this is what I joined a CrossFit box for, to get stronger.  I’m not saying that endurance isn’t important, I’m sure it is.  I’m also fairly sure that next time an endurance cycle comes around I’ll do better than I did last time.  Its all important, I know that.

    But this, right now, this strength training.  This is where I feel like I’ll be able to see results, see progress, see my strength improving.  This is what gets me excited.  This heavy lifting – it makes me feel like I can do anything, and I’ve only just begun.

    The workout out this morning included shoulder presses, push presses and deadlifts.  Now that I’m doing these more regularly, I don’t have to fiddle around with a starting weight.  I’m comfortable and confident in my base ability and I can really use the time to push myself forward.  I find that instead of dreading the next class, I’m looking forward to what I can do next time.

    This morning I noticed that I continue to be impressed with the people around me in class.  When I see people who’ve been doing this for years, I’m inspired by how heavy they can lift and I aspire to grow my ability.  And when there are people in class who are just starting out like me, I’m inspired at the determination that I see.  No matter where we are in ability, we’re all there for the same reason – to improve, to push harder, to do that heavy lifting and love it.

  • Finding A CrossFit Routine That Works For You (5/20/2016)

    wildcat crossfit routineI will admit that in my first month of doing CrossFit, I’ve felt less than confident in my abilities. I kept having to remind myself that it is OK to be a little bit unsure about my CrossFit routine.  After all, how could I expect to know what kind of weight I could deadlift or bench press or squat until I tried.  In that trial and error process I tended to err on the side of caution.  I would kick myself after a class for lifting less than I probably could but I had to find out somehow where my starting point was.

    In just this last week I’ve gotten the chance to come back around to a couple of exercises that I’ve actually done before – ones that I already had a weight benchmark for – and its been a relief to know where my starting point actually is on those movements.  With all of the newness involved in starting CrossFit, its nice to have one less thing to think about when I get to class.

    I’ve also been trying to figure out what kind of CrossFit routine is going to work for me on a regular basis.  What kind of schedule I can manage without overdoing it or doing too little?  I wondered how my body would react if I pushed it by going every day until I couldn’t move anymore so I tried it.  Three days in a row was all I could take but it wiped me out completely.  I realized that a CrossFit routine that I can truly manage right now is two days in a row with a day of rest in between.  Do I want to be able to do more? Yes, I do.  And I think I will eventually, but listening to my body is the best thing I can do for it.

    When you start your own CrossFit routine you’ll have to figure out what works for you.  And know that what works right now will probably change over time and its all ok.  I could feel myself at the beginning wanting to be as good as everyone around me, but where I am is where I am.  All I can do is keep telling myself, ‘Just. Keep. Going.’ and then do it.  As often as I comfortably can, making the best effort I can on any given day.

    At class the other day I chatted a bit with a classmate.  He asked how long I’d been doing this and I told him about a month and I said that its been really challenging.  He told me he’d been doing it for a year and a half and that its always challenging.  I realized that the challenge is the point – there’s always something new to strive for, some other goal to be reached.  As a newbie my goals may be more modest than others but the progress is no less real no matter where you are in your fitness journey.  Just keep going.

     

  • Introducing: Extreme Volunteering — An exciting new program combining Volunteer Work with Functional Fitness. (5/12/2016)

    Wildcat CrossFit Introduces: Extreme Volunteering

    An exciting new program combining Volunteer Work with Functional Fitness.meditation gdn

    Extreme Volunteering is a Wildcat CrossFit program dedicated to using the strength of our members to strengthen the community in which we live. We will seek out people in need of our muscle power. We will arrive en masse; Kick Some @$$; and leave one small area of the world better for having been there.

    Here is Extreme Volunteering Opportunity #1:

    OUR MISSION: To help construct a Rain Garden alongside experts from the Watershed Management Group.

    Time Commitment: One morning (5 hours) of labor on June 4th from 7am – noon (https://watershedmg.org/learn/co-op). Video: https://youtu.be/9kKmhijySI8

    What is a Rain Garden? rain garden

    A rain garden is created when the landscape is sculpted (using digging machines and human power) to “capture rainwater that pours off roofs or hardscape, creating a lush, water-conscious yard.” See more info at the Watershed Management Group’s website: www.watershedmg.org/learn/co-op.

     

    What kind of stuff will I get to do if I “Extreme Volunteer” for this job?

    Opportunities include: Shoveling gravel, shoveling mulch, wheeling wheelbarrows of gravel and mulch, digging small holes, planting trees, and lining holes with wheelbarrows and wheelbarrows of rock and mulch. You want an intense core exercise, try wheeling around a wheelbarrow full of gravel! Let’s get a team together and use our strength to make quick work of this interesting project!

    The home where we will be working is near the corner of 22nd and Swan. Please sign up online [only takes 30 seconds] in order to participate:

    https://watershedmg.org/event/tucson-co-op-workshop-rain-garden-rockout.

    “But wait, what’s in it for me?”

    -Great question. Usually, we will get a great workout and a warm fuzzy feeling inside knowing we’ve done a good deed. In this case, however,  you can get something back for your efforts–>

    The co-op program gives you credits for each workshop that can be used toward a workshop at your own home or business. By participating in this morning of volunteering, you can earn credits .. so that someday the group can come swoop in and transform your own yard.

    You’ve heard the phrase “Functional Fitness.” Well, it’s time to see what these words feel like in action…

    flowersSpoiler Alert: Helping people feels GREAT. Try it. You’ll love it. And you’ll get stronger in many interesting ways.

    Thanks for Signing up! For Extreme Volunteering Project #1!

    You’re Awesome.

  • What I’ve Learned About The CrossFit Community (5/10/2016)

    Just a few weeks in to this fitness journey and the one thing that has impressed me the most since I’ve started working out at Wildcat is that the CrossFit community of people that I met have been completely amazing.crossfit community wildcat crossfit

    The coaches are all great. They give pointers, corrections, suggestions in the most positive and encouraging ways.  They motivate, they congratulate, they push.  I expected, at least on some level, that the coaches would be so encouraging.  What I didn’t expect at all is how amazingly supportive I’ve found the community of members to be.

    At my very first WOD, we did a lot of running.  There’s a path that everyone runs outside the gym – to a certain point and back.  Every time someone passed me coming in the other direction I’d hear a ‘great job’ or a ‘you got this’.  It was enough to make me get a little misty in the eyeballs.  All of the other classes I’ve been to since then are the same way.  I’ve never experienced a workout community like the CrossFit community in all the years I’ve gone to different gyms and taken different classes.

    Even though I feel like I’m still getting my sea legs, still a little bit unsure of how much I can push myself, I feel supported, uplifted and encouraged. And I have to encourage anyone who’s on the fence about this kind of workout to give it a try with these amazing people.  It can be intimidating for a newbie like myself to work out with such a fit group of people in such an intense way.  I’ve never been an athlete, I’m older, I’m overweight.  I’m the kind of person who would look at the free weight section of the gym and get intimidated by the hard bodies and turn around and leave.  I’ve got to give major kudos to the folks at Wildcat for creating an atmosphere where even someone like me, who often feels like she doesn’t belong in such a place, feels welcome.

  • Brutal Burpees :: What I Learned In Week One Of WODs (4/28/2016)

    With three Foundations classes completed, I was now free to do the regular WOD.  Given that the Foundations classes were challenging for me, I could only imagine what I was facing.  During the Foundations classes, there was talk of this mysterious exercise called burpees that I’d never heard of before.  I walked in to my first class and looked at the board to see what we’d be doing that day – this is what I saw:

    WOD BurpeesBurpees!  Since I hadn’t done most of these movements before, including burpees, Jen, the coach for the class, took the time to show me proper form before we started.  I was very grateful for that personalized attention, or I could have easily hurt myself.  Thankfully, the coaches at Wildcat CrossFit also encourage everyone to scale to their level.  Jen suggested I do half of everything, and I thought ‘OK. Half. I can do half.’

    Then the workout starts and I push myself to do the best that I can.  The burpees are killing me and I can barely breath but I push through and finish my half-set.  I notice my time then look at the board.  The half-workout I did was humbling and then I realize that two people in my class finished the entire workout in less time than it took me to do half.  I am doubly humbled and inspired at the same time.WOD Cindy

    The second class looked equally as daunting.  I looked at the board, and thinking of my experience with the first class, thought to myself, ‘if I can do 6 out of the 10 I’ll be happy’.  I was able to make accommodations for my ability – pull ups became ring rows, and I did incline pushups using a weight bar.  The countdown started and again, I pushed myself harder than I thought I could and actually finished all 10 sets within the time limit.  The feeling of accomplishment along with the endorphin rush from working so hard had me flying for the rest of the day.

    For my third class we were back to burpees.  Blast those burpees – they kill me!  For this WOD, again I was able to make accommodations.  The weight on my bar was only 25# instead of the Rx’d 105.  Physically, I could have lifted more.  Since I’m still getting the motions down, Laurie, the coach that day, encouraged me to do a lighter weight so that I could work on my form then increase the weight as that improves.  I’m glad she suggested that because I kept leaning back doing power cleans and with heavier weight I easily could have tweaked my lower back.  Doing ‘Toes To Bar’ was my first time hanging from a bar – ouch! I can see how I’m going to be needing some Tear Repair the more I do these.  My tender hands aren’t accustomed to this treatment!

    So – one week of WODs and I survived.  I thought I would never catch my breath doing burpees but pushed through.  I felt accomplished and nauseous.  I was humbled and inspired.  I am giving my body a few days to recover and I’ll be right back at it.

     

     

  • CrossFit Foundations Week: Learning the Basics (4/21/2016)

    Forgive my newbie-ness, I’m just starting to learn terms.  So this week I learned that I’m not going to a ‘gym’ to do my CrossFit workouts, I’m going to a ‘box’.  Lingo. I’m on it.  I don’t know of all CrossFit boxes do this but Wildcat Crossfit Foundations class is a requirement for all of their new members. These classes introduced me to the basic forms and exercises I’ll be doing once I join the WOD classes.  Silly me, I thought I’d just go in, learn proper form and technique and not have to do a hard workout quite yet.  I was wrong.  These classes kicked my butt.

    foundations-class-squat-day

    Drew teaching CrossFit Foundations class, deadlift day

    CrossFit Foundations Classes

    Each CrossFit foundations class started with a warmup – a little running, some inchworms, some stretching.  Then we learn some techniques – how to properly do a deadlift, how to do different types of squats, how to do different shoulder presses.  Deadlifts were on a Thursday.  I spent the weekend practically crying every time I had to sit on a toilet, it hurt so bad.  The next class, squats, was the following Tuesday.  My legs were still sore but I made it through.  The next class was presses – finally, a rest day for my legs.

    In each class, we practiced those moves long enough that I was really feeling fatigued.  I thought that would be it for the class, but no, after practicing each type of movement long enough that I felt like I’d gotten a good workout in, then we did a workout.

    presses crossfit foundations class

    ‘Presses’ Foundation Class + AMRAP

    Here’s where more lingo came in: AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible).    A time limit is set, exercises/reps are listed on the board, and you do as many as you can in that time limit.  For one of our classes, we did an 8 minute AMRAP of three different movements – 20 shoulder presses, 15 situps, 10 pushups.  I pushed myself harder than I thought I could and was completely wiped out when it was over.  And then the endorphin rush kicked in.  The moment its over and I’m in the afterglow, I forget how painful it was.   Oh yeah, give me that sweet, sweet afterglow.

    OK – my week of CrossFit Foundations is over.  Next week I’ll be doing my WOD’s with a regular trainer in a regular class.  Still nervous. Still excited. Stay tuned.

     

  • 5 Reasons CrossFit Is Right For Me: A Newbie Steps Into The Gym (4/15/2016)
    crossfit newbie

    Day 1 at Wildcat CrossFit

    At 45 years old, having struggled with my weight since childhood, I’m not new to exercise. I’ve done Zumba, Step Aerobics, Jane Fonda, Richard Simmons, Denise Austin, Leslie Sansone, Jazzercise, Tae Bo, Power Yoga, I even tried P90X.  I actually failed the initial pre-test that you’re supposed to do before starting P90X but decided I could do it anyway. I worked out hard for 3 days then couldn’t walk for 2 weeks.  So I’m understandably a little anxious about starting to do CrossFit.

    I’ve come a long way in my fitness journey, having lost 75 pounds from my highest recorded weight (I’d stopped weighing myself at a certain point).  Lately I’ve been feeling like I need to step things up.  My exercise routine for years and years has been mostly cardio, but in the last year or so I had added a weight training class.  Even though the class was offered at my gym three times a week, at first I could only manage to take it once a week because I would be sore for 5 days afterwards.  I eventually started going twice a week, and finally got to the point where I can handle all three classes with minimal soreness.

    I’ve enjoyed watching my body change and I feel stronger and more capable than I ever have. And I still have more to do.  I’ve heard over and over that building more muscle means I’ll be burning more calories, even at rest. And so even though I’m fitter than I’ve ever been, I still have plenty more weight to shed and strength to gain.  I’ve been doing my weight training classes three times a week, patiently waiting for that fat burning/calorie burning benefit to kick in.  Since it hasn’t, I figured time to take it up a notch.

    Five Reason I Think CrossFit Is Right For Me

    1. I build muscle easily – This means I am hoping/expecting to see changes rather quickly –  a good motivator.
    2. I get bored easily – Really, did you see that list of the exercise programs I’ve done? That wasn’t even the whole list. From what I’ve heard, there is nothing boring about CrossFit.
    3. It will save me time – Right now I do cardio 3x/week and weight training 3x/week.  Combining the two into an intense workout is an attractive, time-saving benefit.
    4. Bone health – I’m not getting any younger.  Women at my age are already losing bone density.  I don’t want to be one of those women.
    5. Self empowerment – The gains I’ve seen from weight training already have made me feel stronger both physically and mentally.  I’m hoping that CrossFit kicks that up even more.

     

    I’m looking forward with excitement (and a little anxiety) to seeing what CrossFit can do for me.  Please follow me in this journey right here on this blog.  I’ll be writing regularly about my experiences and thoughts from a newbie perspective.  Comments of support are encouraged and appreciated!

     

  • Member Spotlight-John Goordman (3/28/2016)

    We are proud to acknowledge Wildcat member John Goordman. I recently had the pleasure to sit down with John over some sushi and beverages and find out a little more about him and his experience here at Wildcat.

    John and dog

    What first brought you to Wildcat CrossFit?

    This time last year I made the decision to completely revamp my back office. Learning a new system and implementing a new IT platform consumed most of my time for five months. I was barely making it to the gym two days a week. When I started back at the Tucson Racquet and Fitness Club I felt like the weights and running weren’t getting me where I needed to be. I decided to try Laurie Jackson’s METCON class which confirmed the condition I wasn’t in. After about a month or so Laurie convinced me to try CrossFit and here I am.

    Did you have ideas about what CrossFit was before you started? How has your appreciation of it changed?

    I had the preconceived notion CrossFit was a bunch of robotic zombies kipping, yelling and looking to get injured. Early on I gained appreciation and respect for the system. I was stretching as I hadn’t done since my high school wrestling days. Technique was stressed which meant do it right and do it safely. Gains in weight handled and improvement would follow. I completed the 2016 Crossfit Open. It was challenging and humbling. I thought it was an important step to establish a baseline.

    You recently broke the State record in the broad jump at the Senior Olympics. What was that like?  How long had you been working toward that accomplishment?

    It felt great. Since the former record holder beat me three years ago I focused on it. I was trailing and he was confident he had it. I told him I owned him that day and nailed it on my last attempt.
    Johnlongjump

    You’ve become a prominent member of the Wildcat Community. Tell us about your experience here at Wildcat.

    I’m self-employed and at times don’t see clients for days at a time. My dog Victor is with me at the office, but it’s not the same as personal contact. I enjoy the social aspect of Wildcat. It fosters an environment where you get to know people and anyone is welcome at all ages and level of ability so long as they have the desire to improve.

    johnbroadjumpWhat’s up next for you?

    I’m looking forward to some upcoming open track & field events. My goals are to improve my overall balance, technique and lose 15 pounds. I’m finding the weight issue to be most challenging.

  • Schedule Change – New Room (2/28/2016)

    We are ramping up use of the new room. Beginning tomorrow, the Monday and Wednesday 7 pm Barbell Hour class will move to 6pm and run concurrently with the 6pm WODs running in the main gym. And a reminder, if you haven’t been attending yoga yet, you should be. It’s Wednesdays at 5pm and Sundays at 11;30am. See you at the gym.

  • 2016 CrossFit Open News (2/9/2016)

    CrossFit Open News

    As you may know from past experience, the CrossFit Open is a five week-long competition that happens every year around this time. The people at crossfit.com organize a worldwide online competition. The CrossFit Open is the first step on the journey to the CrossFit Games.

    Every week for five weeks, a workout is announced on Thursday and then every athlete who is participating has until the following Monday to do the workout and submit their score online. All Open workouts must be completed with a CrossFit Level 1 Certified Judge to count and judge your reps.

    This year at Wildcat CrossFit, Open workouts will be judged during Open Gym times. If you want to schedule to be judged at a non-Open Gym time, there will be a charge of $15. If you want to register for the CrossFit Open, you can do so by clicking here.

    The Open is intense, competitive, and you work harder than you thought was possible. It’s also a heck of a lot of fun, and completing Open workouts gives you a fantastic feeling of accomplishment. There are RX, Scaled, and a variety of Masters categories so that everyone who wants to can participate. Consider competing this year! The first Open Workout will be announced on Thursday February 25th.

  • Special Event this Weekend: Valentine’s Day WOD and Homemade Brunch! (2/9/2016)

    Special Event this Weekend: Valentine’s Day WOD and Homemade Paleo Brunch

    Come celebrate Valentine’s Day morning with a great Partner Workout at Wildcat CrossFit during the HAM Squad Class. Bring a partner, or just show up and get paired up. The workout starts at 9AM and it will be Tough and Fun. When the workout is over, around 10:30AM, celebrate with a delicious, homemade paleo brunch. Feel free to bring food or drink to share, but plenty of food will be provided.

  • Yoga is Starting at Wildcat CrossFit (2/9/2016)

    Yoga is Starting at Wildcat CrossFit

    Yoga Times: 5 PM Wednesdays and 11:30 AM Sundays

    That’s right, amigos, turns out that stretching is a vital component of self care for athletes…and pretty much everyone else. Our very first yoga class is coming right up this Wednesday (tomorrow) at 5PM in the brand new back room.

    Yoga will be offered twice weekly at Wildcat, starting this week. Yoga times are as follows: Weds at 5 PM and Sunday at 11:30AM. Classes will be one hour long. Yoga classes are free for Wildcat members. Non-member cost for Yoga is $7.

  • Martin Luther King Day -OPEN ALL DAY (1/17/2016)

    We will be celebrating the Dr. Martin Luther King holiday with a full schedule of classes.

  • Schedule changes and Goals (1/2/2016)

    Happy New IMG_2152 (1)Year. We’ve made some changes to the schedule based on your requests and class attendance. We’ve changed the Olympic Lifting classes AND Power Lifting classes to “Barbell Hour”. Tuesday/Thursdays at 4:00pm and Monday/Wednesdays at 7:00pm.  This class is for any and all barbell work. Come in and get detailed instruction on your Oly lifts or work your strength progressions in the big lifts.
    The 30 minute metcon class has been discontinued. This metcon format will re-emerge soon with added time availability in our new space.

    Time for goal setting. Next time you’re at the gym put your goals up on the board and we’ll help you achieve them. 2016! Lets go!

  • New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day Schedule (12/29/2015)

    New Year’s Eve Schedule
    Regular morning and noon classes. No evening classes

    New Year’s Day Schedule
    7:30
    8:30
    Noon
    5:00
    6:00pm

  • Holiday Schedule (12/22/2015)

    Christmas Eve, Thursday December 24th we will be open for morning classes only at 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30. All classes will be doing the 12 Days of Christmas WOD.

    Christmas Day we will be closed. Merry Christmas

    Regular Schedule resumes on Saturday.

  • Thanksgiving Day Schedule (11/23/2015)

    Our Thanksgiving Day Schedule will be 7:30 & 8:30 am classes only.
    7:30 Long metcon
    8:30 Power focus

    Come in and start your day with your Wildcat community. Even if you usually train at noon or in the evening, we know you have the day off so get up and work out. See you at the gym.

  • Wildcat Athletes Dominate at “Clash of the Fittest” (11/17/2015)

    It was an excellent weekend foIMG_2180r Wildcat CrossFitters at the Clash of the Fittest down at GVCrossFit in Green Valley, AZ.

    Wildcat had three teams participating out of a total of 80 teams from around Tucson, Southern Arizona and as far away as El Paso, Texas and Nevada.

    Wildcat Athletes competed in three separate categories: Men’s RX, Men’s Scaled, and Co-Ed Scaled.

    The Men’s RX team sported coaches Drew and Kevin. Coach Gio and Wildcat Member Austin were on the Men’s Scaled Team, and Members Taylor and Matt rounded out the Wildcat roster on the Co-ed Scaled Team.IMG_2172

    All teams did three workouts on Saturday and two workouts on Sunday, with the Men’s RX team performing an additional Championship Round workout for a total of 3 WODs on Sunday and 6 WODs overall during the competition.

    Wildcat Athletes dominated this competition from the start, consistently placing in the top 3 for most of the competitions.

    Final results at the end of the competition are as follows.

    Drew and Kevin: 2nd Place – Men’s RX Division

    Austin and Gio: 1st Place – Men’s Scaled Division

    Taylor and Matt: 2nd Place – Co-Ed Scaled Division

    IMG_2166Numerous members of the Wildcat CrossFit also turned out to cheer these brave athletes on, and many Wildcat spectators in the cheering section showed up for both days of events. It was so great to see all athletes competing and giving their all. Way to represent, Wildcats. Way to make us proud.

  • Home Team + Away Team: WCCF Action Saturday! (10/10/2015)

    Home Team + Away Team: WCCF Action Saturday!

    This past Saturday was another Home Team – Away Team Day for Wildcat Crossfitters. The Home Team 7:30 AM class sported 17 awesome athletes (12 women, 5 men) who went after the warm-up like it was their Job. Oh yeah, that workout they were warming up for?

    It was “Airforce.”
    For time complete:
    20 Thrusters, 95/65#
    20 Sumo Deadlift High Pulls
    20 Push Press
    20 Overhead Squats
    20 Front Squats
    EMOM and at the start, perform 4 Burpees

    Both the 7:30 AM and the slightly smaller 9 AM team performed Airforce at Wildcat CrossFit on Saturday. Many athletes experienced this workout, a gym favorite, for the very first time. If you’ve never done “Airforce” before, you really just can’t understand. You should get some friends together and do it…soon. Heck yes to all the Saturday AM Athletes who really brought their A Games to the gym this past weekend!

    20151010_081341

    As for the Away Team, Wildcat Coaches Drew Hammond and Kevin Steinhaus traveled up to Phoenix to compete at the Europa Throwdown at the Europa Games Get Fit and Sports Expo. Both guys were competing in the RX category, and were therefore doing the the most difficult exercises and workouts on offer. For a complete list of all four workouts click here.

    Event 1: “Do you even OH Squat, Bro?” – WOD 1
    For Weight:
    Athlete has 20 seconds to perform 1 max effort lift for the Overhead Squat.  The bar will start from the ground.  The Athlete has 2 rounds to attempt the highest Overhead Squat weight possible.

    For Event 1, Kevin came in First Place with an Overhead Squat of 295#!

    That’s 295 Pounds!!!

    Drew attempted 295#, but barely missed getting a successful rep. Both guys headed into Event 2 with excellent scores.

    Event 2: For Reps:
    AMRAP in 8 mins
    2 – 2 – 2 reps
    KB Swings / Toes to Bar / Chest to Bar Pull-ups
    Shuttle Run which consist of moving a cone to another area
    4 – 4 – 4 reps
    KB Swings / Toes to Bar / Chest to Bar Pull-ups
    Shuttle Run which consist of moving a cone to another area
    6 – 6 – 6 reps
    KB Swings / Toes to Bar / Chest to Bar Pull-ups
    Shuttle Run which consist of moving a cone to another area
    The rep scheme will increase by 2 reps until the athlete reaches 10 reps of each then the reps will decrease by 2 reps until the athlete reaches 2 reps.  Then repeat until 8 minutes has expired.  

    Thanks to Wildcat Coach, Danielle Tolton, we have two pictures from Event 2.

    IMG_18951 IMG_25251

    Event 3 was “Annie”
    For time:
    50-40-30-20-10 reps
    Double Unders
    Sit-Ups
    Athlete will bring their own rope for this WOD.

    In this event, Drew came in first place of all the other athletes in the whole competition. He nailed the double unders with straight unbroken sets and flew through the situps, finishing with a time of 4:10. That’s pretty awesome! Right on Drew!

    Both Kevin and Drew were in the top 10 after the third event, qualifying them for the Championship WOD.

    This is the Championship WOD Workout:
    For time:
    3 rounds of
    10 – Clean & Jerks (135 / 95 lbs)
    10 – Snatches (135 / 95 lbs)

    After the dust settled, when all was said and done, Kevin came in 9th Place and Drew came in 6th Place out of 25 or 3-30 other pretty fierce competitors. That is something to be proud of. Way to go guys! Fantastic effort and what a performance!

    And speaking of the Away Team, several Wildcat Athletes traveled up to Phoenix to watch the competition and support Drew and Kevin on Saturday. Including Coaches Danielle and Gio, Athletes Carlos and Kayla also made the trip, along with a few others whose names currently escape me. This kind of team spirit and support for athletes in competition is just so fantastic and inspiring. Thanks to Kevin and Drew and all the other Wildcats on the Away Team! You guys really know how to represent!

  • Simple Eating Tips for the Athlete (10/7/2015)

    Hi there! I am Whitney Temple a Registered Dietitian and fellow crossfit enthusiast at Wildcat. I am so happy to be able to spread the nutrition knowledge here on the Wildcat Crossfit Blog and I look forward to contributing more in the future.

    Simple eating tips for the athlete.

    The purpose of this post is to provide you with some simple strategies to help you determine a diet that will support your specific goals whether they are competition focused, weight changes or general healthfulness. More often than not I encounter folks that are too strict with their eating and as a result they are often left exhausted and lack the energy or will power to train hard at the gym. I highly encourage you to begin to think of diet as lifestyle, something that you will be able to be consistent with and not something you “go on” and inevitably “go off”. The focus should always be on balance because healthy eating habits will pay off in the long run – life is a marathon, not a sprint.  With that being said, there is no quick fix when it comes to nutrition and performance and below you won’t find anything revolutionary, just simple tricks to get you started. The best way to reach your goals is to make informed and well thought out decisions that are in line with your specific goals.

    1. Eat to support your goals.
    First, define what your goals are and make them SMART (SMART goals ). There are a lot of articles out there that like to argue calories don’t matter, but let’s be honest, they do. If you want to gain weight, eat more and if you want to lose weight, eat less. Defining specific calorie requirements is incredibly difficult given we all have different genetic makeups and metabolisms. To best determine what changes you need to make you must determine a baseline. I recommend tracking your daily intake for 2 weeks. Do not make any changes to what you eat, be honest with yourself and definitely include weekends.  Once you have your average daily caloric intake you can begin to make some changes.

    2. Eat real food.
    Be a conscious consumer. Look at your ingredients and do some research.  I could spend hours with you in the grocery store and not cover all the changes in the food industry we have seen in the last 30-50 years alone.  Eat food that is closest to its original form i.e. whole corn vs. corn chips, however when you do decide eat something more processed then take a look at the ingredient list and if there is something you cannot pronounce or visualize then leave on the shelf or find a different option. Another good tactic is to shop the perimeter of the grocery store. You may purchase organic if within your budget. (Clean 15 and Dirty dozen )

    3. Eat a good balance of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

    That’s right, I said you could eat all three of those delicious macronutrients! In fact, it is extremely important for you to do so.

    Protein is a building block for structural components all over your body and aids in recovery. It is a daily dietary necessity, however you can have too much of a good thing and eating more than is required will not result in “big strong muscles”.  

    Below is a good place to start – determine your needs and compare it to your intake that you obtain from the food log:

    Sedentary adult: 0.4 g/lb
    Recreational exerciser, adult: 0.5-0.7 g/lb
    Endurance athlete: 0.6-0.7 g/lb
    Growing teenage athlete: 0.7-0.9 g/lb
    Adult building muscle mass: 0.7-0.8 g/lb
    Athlete restricting calories: 0.8-0.9 g/lb
    Estimated upper requirement: 0.9 g/lb

    Fat is the human body’s main form of stored energy and can be used as such when the demand is there. Eating fat will not make you fat. However, it is important to consume the right fats, remember you’re going to have that heart of yours throughout your lifetime. Choose mono- and polyunsaturated fat most often, limit saturated fats and avoid trans fats. A good trick to remember the difference is that unsaturated fats often come from plant and fish sources, saturated fats come primarily from animal sources and trans fats are man-made ( this article breaks it down more Types of Dietary Fat ).

    Carbohydrates. The infamous carb; our friend and foe it seems. Your body and more specifically your brain requires glucose (carbs) to function optimally. You do not want to be on a no carb diet, you will absolutely lack energy and I suspect you will also underperform at the gym. What you want to do is choose the right carbs. Remember rule #2: eat real food. Your best choices will be fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains if tolerated.

    But wait Whitney, how much of these am I supposed to eat? If weighing, calculating and measuring your food is your thing, then have at it. If that seems burdensome then following a plate method of eating can become invaluable. Aim to have a protein, fat and carbohydrate at each meal and for them to all be from a high quality source. For many people, meals that are high in carbohydrate and low in fat and/or protein will result in them being hungry within 2 hours. If you are still satiated at the 3-4 hour mark then your meal likely had good balance. Again, tracking your daily food intake will help you determine your overall breakdown and make more specific changes.

    Be consistent with your meals.

    This will look a little different for everyone, but the main takeaway is that by having a meal schedule you will prevent overeating at anyone meal. We all know what it feels like to be over hungry at the restaurant…

    Chips and salsa? Yes, please.

    Guacamole? Well duh.

    You’re giving me extra tortillas with my enchilada plate? How gracious. Dessert? I really shouldn’t but I’ve already blown my “diet” so lets do it!  

    It is a downward spiral and we’ve all been there. It will take work but planning ahead and making sure you have healthy snacks can help prevent that exact situation. Keeping a whole food bar, nuts, fruit, yogurt or vegetable sticks and hummus with you helps to prevent this diet pitfall. If this seems like too much work, then you may need to re-evaluate your goals and what you are willing to commit to.

    Be flexible and remember intensity is inverse of duration.

    I personally follow an 80/20 rule while others really like the idea of a cheat day or meal. Find what works for you and be consistent. Often times the more restrictive the diet the harder someone falls off the wagon. Start with small changes. Remember that two-week food log I mentioned? Take a look at that and adjust in small increments of -/+ 150-200 calories per day. Be accountable to yourself and your goals and if you have specific questions then be sure to get them answered. Knowledge is power!

     

  • September Athlete of the Month is Cannon Daughtrey! (9/10/2015)

    September Wildcat CrossFit Fierce Fitness Athlete of the Month is Cannon Daughtrey!IMG_0186

    IMG_3260

    That’s right, amigos, Cannon Daughtrey is the Athlete of the Month! This hardcore Archaeologist and diminutive Dynamo hails from the swamps of Georgia and lately she has been taking the Wildcat whiteboard by storm. Cannon’s strength and overall performance have improved vastly since she started at the gym in May of 2014.

    Since then, Cannon has gotten pull-ups (!!), discovered latent strengths, developed new ones, and she Competes. To give you an example of Cannon’s competitive athleticism: In this Workout on August 20th, Cannon was the only Wildcat athlete… in the entire day … to complete all 100 Bear Complexes in under 15 minutes…with 3 burpees Every Minute On the Minute.

    Cannon works as an Archaeological Field Director in the Cultural Resources Division of an environmental engineering company. She is also the field trip coordinator for a local historical society. Over the years she’s worked on prehistoric and historic sites in far-flung geographies ranging from Mayan polities and cave sites, late 19th century cemeteries, Mississippian and Hohokam villages, mesquite processing sites dating to 5,000 years ago, and early 20th century mining exploits. Her favorite part of being an archaeologist is meeting the locals in tiny towns and getting the really good dirt on what’s around.

    As you can see, Ms. Daughtrey is an impressive human being…she is also quite hilariously funny. Have a blast reading her answers to our questionnaire. And when you see Cannon at the gym, give her a fist bump! She’s awesome.

    1) How long have you been doing CrossFit and what made you decide to start doing CrossFit for exercise? 

    I started a little over a year ago but it took some time to begin coming regularly. I’m always working on some crazy, ridiculous schedule but the more I came to Wildcat, the more I wanted to come. Prioritizing fitness is difficult when you’re balancing so many things in life (job, school, friends, plates, broom handles, balls of ambergris, sushi buffets) but CrossFit makes working out fun and the community at Wildcat definitely contributes to a great experience overall. So I guess that answers ‘what keeps me coming back’ now ‘why CrossFit’. I’ve always considered myself marginally good at most things, great at no one thing, but athletically inclined. Well, I’m pretty good at guestimation and party planning, anyway…I was tired of running, felt I got nothing from machines, and was just in a general funk when it came to exercising. I love obstacle courses and saw the CrossFit games and thought, hmmm maybe I could do that marginally well.  

    2) Were you nervous about starting CrossFit as a sport? If yes, what helped you overcome your nervousness and what helped you to commit to giving CrossFit a try? 

    Sh*t yeah I was nervous, CrossFit has so many elements and letters and cool, strenuous-sounding names for things. I had no idea what I was doing or what any abbreviation/acronym stood for in the first few weeks. I committed because learning new and challenging skills while working to improve them is so rewarding. The coaches were knowledgeable, enthusiastic, patient, attentive, supportive, and powerful people (as are the athletes there). I wanted the opportunity to take on some of those qualities in my every day struggle to stay fit. Also, saying the names of certain exercises makes you sound like a bada$$, just sayin’.

    3) Talk about the strength gains you have made. 

    Before CrossFit I had no idea how much weight I could lift and although 10 years ago, when I was more active in sports, I thought I was fairly strong, I was surprised how much of that strength remained. I think my biggest strength gain has been mental, using some fortitude to push through and keep going. I’m working on finesse of movement at this point, just trying not to be such a sloppy bulldozer. 

    4) Tell the story of your favorite (or most memorable) workout.

    I still haven’t thrown up, but I’m looking forward to that work out. All of them are memorable but if I had to choose it would be Memorial Day Murph this year. I just showed up as usual for a WOD but oh no, it was the Murph. I hadn’t worked out in a while so sh!t got real, real quick. I finished miraculously, although I had to break things up, maybe next year I won’t. I felt pretty great and accomplished afterwards.

    5) Have any other great changes occurred in your life since you started CrossFitting?

    Meeting new people that are positive additions in your adult life is important to me, so that’s happened many times over, Also, I wear nothing but bro-tanks and stretchy pants with no buttons or zippers, my favorite. So let’s just say my fashion is enviable…outta my way Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II!

    6) Has your new, higher level of fitness been beneficial to you outside of the gym? (muscles aren’t just for looking pretty, after all)

    I pretty much race walk everyone these days and then yell, YEAH IN YOUR FACE! Hah, no I’m just kidding (sort of)…but yes, I feel empowered and grateful for my health and this community. In general, I think CrossFit is good for your mind and body, my endurance has improved along with my confidence.

    7) Have you tried/accomplished any other fitness goals outside of the gym since you started crossfitting/joined Wildcat? 

    As an archaeologist I need to be physically capable of shoveling mass, swinging a pickaxe, running wheelbarrows up embankments, screening pounds of dirt, and carrying two 5 gallon buckets filled to the brim with rocks, banana peels, and granola bar wrappers…the fact I can still do all of this 10 years in, is a testament to CrossFit keeping me on top of things. 

    8) What is your favorite thing about the Wildcat CrossFit community?

    At Wildcat you can practice friendly competition to push yourself without having your self esteem negatively impacted—everything here is about fostering personal goals and achieving successes in a supportive environment. Workouts are tailored to any skill level or ability so everyone feels good about what they are doing and can envision their future goals becoming a reality. Also, I can be myself…that may sound cheesy but I like to crack a joke or two (can you believe that?!?) and I feel comfortable in this community…outta my way Sarah Silverman.

    9) What is the next CrossFit movement that you are working on mastering? What would you like to get better at in general?

    Heavy snatches done properly and for me, the dreaded dastardly dubious demon DOUBLE UNDER. And…because I’m a dreamer, muscle ups.I would like to work on increasing the number of pull ups I can do before dropping off the bar and sniveling. 

    10) What are some things that you can do now that you could not do when you started doing CrossFit?

    Pull ups! Workouts using the recommended weight. Running a mile in less than 8 minutes.Consistently putting more than 100 pounds over my head, say what. Ripping the arms out of the two nice shirts I owned just like Bruce Banner. Never ever needing to wear gloves because my hands are like hooves and I like it!

    11) What is your next fitness goal?

    Improving my bowling score, seriously, how can I be this strong and not throw a 13 pound ball down a lane at a decent speed with any precision whatsoever (I’m just terrible)? Aside from bowling, I’d like to run a marathon and continue to lift better and faster at the gym. I also want others to know the benefits of this sport and give it the good ole college try!

     

     

  • Labor Day Schedule (9/6/2015)

    Labor Day
    5:30am, 8;30am and 5pm classes only.

  • An Easy System for Quantifying Recovery (8/19/2015)

    An Easy System for Quantifying Recovery

    We’ve written before about monitoring your body and understand when too much is too much…the idea of training smarter, not harder. With so many different classes available at Wildcat, I think it merits bringing the topic back up by providing you guys with an easy system for monitoring your training AND your recovery to ensure that you’re able continually grow and develop in all aspects of fitness. We give you the tools; it’s up to you to build the house!

    We’ve written before about monitoring your body and understand when too much is too much…the idea of training smarter, not harder. With so many different classes available at Wildcat, I think it merits bringing the topic back up by providing you guys with an easy system for monitoring your training AND your recovery to ensure that you’re able continually grow and develop in all aspects of fitness. We give you the tools; it’s up to you to build the house!

    Training vs Recovery

    A simple idea that is difficult for many to grasp is this: gains in strength, endurance, speed, etc. are realized OUTSIDE of the gym, not while you are actually training. Think back to the General Adaptation Syndrome that we touched on previously: when you train, you are actually “damaging” your body’s systems. It’s only when you cease training that your body recovers and, ultimately, adapts/improves. Your improvement in any one discipline is a direct culmination of your training, your recovery, your nutrition, etc. Puzzles have many pieces, and fitness is no different. Let’s take a closer look at better quantifying both sides of the training/recovery coin.

    Training and RPE: Quantifying Intensity

    Rate of Perceived Exertion, or RPE, is a scale that is used to measure the intensity of your training session. There are several different ranges and several different methods, but the simplest way is to think of it on a scale from 1 to 10.

    rate-of-exertion

    You can use these numbers to quantify your intensity in a given workout. So say, for example, you come to the 5pm WOD and it proves to be rather difficult. In your training log (which you all have), you would give that day’s session an RPE of 7. Yes it’s a bit subjective, but the idea is sound. You’re quantifying the effort that you put into that day’s training so that you have a way of tracking the intensity of your work over a set period of time. Stick with me here.

    Recovery Scores: Accumulating All the Points

    Recovery is a bit trickier because we don’t have the same black and white quantification system that we see with RPE. That being said, creating your own system isn’t really that difficult. To make it even easier, I’ll provide one for you!

    recovery

    It’s simply a matter of assigning point values to different recovery protocols based on the benefit each one of those protocols has on your overall recovery. So say, for example, after you attend that 5pm WOD you spend 20 minutes foam rolling (2 points), go for a 20 minute walk after dinner (2 points), take a hot/cold contrast shower before bed (3 points), and then get 8 hours of sleep (4 points). You’ve accumulated a daily “recovery score” of 11 points. Yay you!

    Putting It Together

    If you’re starting to think of this as a game, you’re not wrong! We’ve now got two scores for our day: a training score (RPE=7) and a recovery score (11). Let’s extrapolate that across a week:

    table1
    We now have an RPE and a Recovery Score for every day of the week. Let’s go one step further. Given those numbers, we now want to find a WEEKLY AVERAGE for both RPE and Recovery. In this case, we get:

    table2

    So with a weekly Intensity score of 5 and a weekly Recovery score of 7, we can conclude that our athlete is training hard and recovering even harder. A perfect scenario!

    Let’s take a look at the flipside…

    table3

    We’ve kept weekly intensity the same across all sessions, but now we’ve decreased the recovery. You can immediately see how continuing on this sort of path will lead to an increased risk of injury and burnout. Unfortunately, a lot of people fall into this category. If you’re one of the folks that rushes out after the workout and pays no attention to recovery, well…

    Conclusion

    By using this sort of system, you’re essentially taking your training to the next level by accounting for daily recovery. It also helps you become aware of the level of intensity that you’re putting into each session and has the added benefit of providing you with easy recovery options that pay huge dividends when done correctly. It really couldn’t be any simpler. By focusing 100% on training and sacrificing recovery, you’re only delaying the inevitable. Don’t wait until an injury happens to deal with it. Train smart, recovery smarter, and enjoy an injury-free ride on the gains train.

  • August Athlete of the Month is Karla Bustamante! (8/7/2015)

    August Athlete of the Month is Karla Bustamante!

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    Karla has been coming to Wildcat CrossFit and doing CrossFit for exercise since March of this year, and she is already distinguishing herself among the athletes in the afternoon / evening classes! Her consistent attendance and consistent hard work have made an impression on coaches and members alike. Get to know Karla a little better by reading below, and the next time you see her at the gym, give her a high five! Thanks Karla for being a great member of the Wildcat CrossFit Fierce Fitness Team!

     

    Question: What made you decide to start CrossFit in general, and at Wildcat, in particular?
    Karla B: After going through rough times in life I lost a lot of weight. People constantly kept telling me I looked too scrawny. Instead of trying to gain weight, I decided I wanted to gain muscle. After going to the gym for a year I couldn’t find myself motivated at times to go. Then at school someone talked about CrossFit and as soon as I did research on it I knew that was what I wanted to do.

    I chose Wildcat CrossFit because when we went in to talk to someone the coach invited us to join the class. Even though I was new they still helped me through my first WOD ever. I didn’t feel out of place like at a normal gym. I felt like I could be part of something and not just seen as a customer.

    Q: What kinds of strength gains have you made since you started CrossFit?
    KB: One of the most exciting strength gains I’ve made is putting more than just 15 lbs over my head! It’s the simplest things that make life exciting.

    Q: Are there other ways, besides physically, that doing CrossFit has improved your life?
    KB: Crossfit has improved my life in a lot of ways, besides physically. I have more energy throughout the day. I feel more confident about myself. I’m way more motivated about everything especially going to go to the gym and not quiting.

    Q: Has your new, higher level of fitness been beneficial to you outside of the gym? (muscles aren’t just for looking pretty, after all:-)
    KB: It most definitely has been beneficial, especially at work. Working as a nursing assistant for 12 hours can be a drag. Not so much anymore. Not only do I have energy for those long days, but I’ve learned techniques that help when we have to lift or turn a heavy patient. Most importantly, I have the energy and strength to play with my almost two-year-old, which can be more tiring at times than a 12 hour shift!

    Q: Have you tried/accomplished any fitness goals outside of the gym since you started crossfitting/joined Wildcat?
    KB: I’ve accomplished my goal of keeping active outside of the gym. I’ve also tried to set goals on working on my strategies outside of the gym. For example, working on my push ups and handstands.

    Q: What is your favorite thing about the Wildcat CrossFit community?
    KB: My favorite thing about Wildcat is that we are known by name. Treated like friends. The environment is very welcoming and no matter our fitness level we are still seen equally.

    Q: What is the next CrossFit movement that you are working on mastering? What would you like to get better at in general?
    KB: I guess in general with anything that has to do with upper body strength. I want to master the Clean, Jerk, and most importantly the Snatch! I would love to get better at my pull ups.

    Q: What is your next fitness goal? How about your next life goal?
    KB: My next fitness goals are to be able to do pull ups and do a handstand push up. My next life goal is to learn how to eat clean and make it a lifestyle so my son can grow up with it.

    Q: What are some things that you can do now that you could not do when you started doing CrossFit?
    KB: I can now walk up a stair case without running out of air!! I can now push myself to workout harder, as in before I would always stop when I felt uncomfortable. Oh! And now I can lift more than 15 lbs over my head without so much struggle.

  • Community Class Moving to Saturdays! Starting this Week! (8/5/2015)

    Hey Friends! This is an announcement to let everyone know that we have changed the time of our weekly community class. The community class will now be held every Saturday from noon – 1 pm. That’s Noon on Saturday. This FREE weekly class is open to athletes of all fitness levels, Wildcat CrossFit members and non-members alike. If you’ve got a friend who is curious about CrossFit, let them know! Gracias!

  • 4th of July Schedule (7/3/2015)

    One class only
    8:00am
    Come celebrate with us. Scalable Hero workout at 8:00am

  • Toga Party This Friday! (6/10/2015)

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    Just like the Title says, Wildcats, We are having a Toga Party!
    This Friday, June 12th.

    That’s right, Togas. The best costume you can make out of a bed sheet without cutting eye holes. 😉
    There will be a Team Workout starting at 6PM. Teams will be assigned at the start of the workout.
    This workout will be fun, tough, and totally doable in a Toga. If you plan to workout, please seriously consider wearing workout clothes under your toga.

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    Not sure how to make a Toga? Never fear, the Internet will save you!
    There are many, many instructional videos and articles online to help you create a slamming Toga!
    This link will take you to one of my favorite toga-making sites. I like it because it includes 5 different Toga Styles. What variety!

    After the workout, let’s relax, and in Roman style: Eat, Drink, and Be Merry! But let’s use a tiny bit more moderation than those Romans! 😉 We will have the grill going, and hot dogs and hamburgers and fixins’ will be provided. If you would like to contribute, feel free to bring sides, desserts, and beverages of your choice.

    Starting in the 7 o’clock hour, stay and experience …
    The Return of Feats of Strength!

    This is big, my friends. We are resetting the board and starting over.
    Beginning at 7 pm, Every spot on the Feats of Strength board will be open for the taking. Complete the feat, and get on the board with your Gym Record. Your record stands until someone competes and wins your spot.

    There will be events on the board for every skill level. Events include: Bench Press Metronome. Most rope jumps in one minute. Most Handstand Pushups. Most Muscle Ups. Fastest 500m Row. Fastest mile. And many, many more. If you don’t want to compete, plan to cheer on the other awesome athletes who do! There will be some awesome athleticism happening in here. You won’t want to miss it!

    If you want your name on the board, this is a fantastic time to participate. If you’ve been on the board, arrive prepared to defend your prior Feats of Strength!

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    Finally, we are currently on a Membership Drive, so feel free to bring some of your friends, relatives, and business associates along so they can see what a unique and excellent fitness community Wildcat CrossFit is. We encourage and greatly appreciate member referrals and offer generous referral incentives. Please ask any of our knowledgeable staff for more information.

    Thanks, amigos. Looking forward to seeing you, and your bed linens, on Friday!

  • New Programs, additional WODS and some schedule changes (5/30/2015)

     

    We are pleased and excited to announce two new programs and additional WOD times to accommodate our growing membership and serve our evolving athletes.
    Efective 6/1/2015
    Power Lifting
    Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7:00pm
    Emphasizing the big three lifts of deadlift, back squat and bench press. This class is appropriate for all levels and will utilize traditional progressions and the conjugate method to build foundational full body strength.

    Competitor Class
    Tuesday and Thursday at 7:00pm and Saturday during open gym at 10:30am.

    Take your performance to the next level. This class will emphasize mastering the higher skill movements, building higher work capacity and supporting the lifestyle habits that are necessary for the high performing athlete. This class is for experienced Crossfitters who are ready to commit to the work, nutrition, and recovery practices of top tier athletes. Not sure if this class is for you, ask us.

    Olympic Lifting
    Tuesday and Thursday Olympic lifting at 4:00pm remains unchanged. We’ve moved the Sunday Olympic lifting time to 10:30am. All levels are encouraged to attend.
     
    Addition Workout of the Day (WOD) times
    We have brought back the Tuesday and Thursday 6:30am hour-long WOD. Additionally, we now have WODs Monday through Friday 5:00 and 6:00pm.
    New schedule
    Schedule as of 6:1
  • SUPERHERO WORKOUT (and Party!) Tomorrow Night, Friday May 15th! (5/14/2015)

    Hey Wildcats!

    I want to make sure that everyone gets an invitation to our
    Superhero Party:  Tomorrow, Friday, May 15th. Jen Hulk
    Please Come!

    Here is more info, for your reading and planning pleasure:

    Team Workout at 6PM. Superhero Costumes are strongly encouraged, but, of course, not mandatory. If you plan to work out, make sure you can move in your costume. 🙂

    Friends and family are welcome, of course. Bring them!

    Please Note: The workout will not be a beginner workout, so participation is limited people who have done CrossFit before. If you are new to CrossFit, you will definitely want to watch and cheer (and the athletes will appreciate it too)!!

    Plan to stick around and chill out with all the other caped crusaders and vigilantes after the workout is over. We will have a grill going with hotdogs and hamburgers provided. If you want to bring something else to toss on the grill, bring it and toss it on there!

    Camaraderie will be in plentiful supply. If you like, please bring some snacks, sides, and desserts, and/or beverages to share.

    See you tomorrow night, Superfriends! You are awesome.

     

  • May Athlete of the Month: Nick Ilka (5/3/2015)

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    May’s Wildcat CrossFit Athlete of the Month is Nick Ilka!

    Nick Ilka is the Wildcat CrossFit Athlete of the Month for May 2015. Congratulations Nick! Nick has been CrossFitting at Wildcat for over two years. He works out consistently and diligently every week, making use of Open Gym times and classes alike and making great strides. Nick is a local business-owner, proprietor of Roasted Tea & Coffee Shop in downtown Tucson. Unfortunately, Nick is out of action for the month of May while he recovers from surgical repair of a hernia he sustained prior to starting CrossFit, so read on find out why he still loves CrossFit despite having a crappy time at the Open, and learn what his outside-the-gym fitness goal is (If you like hiking, you might want to do it too!).

    “Seriously there isn’t an aspect in my life where I haven’t gained strength and endurance. Not just physical either there is a mental strength that comes with CrossFit that I never experienced in a regular gym. The first time you overcome your own doubts during a WOD is awesome and you never look back.” – Nick Ilka

    1) How long have you been doing CrossFit?

    I have been doing CrossFit seriously for 2 years and 50+ pounds ago. I love it.

    2) What made you decide to start CrossFit ?

    My awesome and amazing sister got me into CrossFit. I was over weight and out of shape for the first time in my life and suddenly I am asking my older sister to open a jar for me. She had probably being doing it for a year at that point and was my inspiration to try it.

    3) Talk about the strength gains you have made.

    Strength gains. I can open my own jars! Seriously there isn’t an aspect in my life where I haven’t gained strength and endurance. Not just physical either there is a mental strength that comes with CrossFit that I never experienced in a regular gym. The first time you overcome your own doubts during a WOD is awesome and you never look back.

    4) Has your new, higher level of fitness been beneficial to you outside of the gym?

    Outside of the gym I have more energy than before. I walk taller, smile more, and feel good.

    5) Have any other great changes occurred in your life since you started CrossFitting?

    I sleep better, I eat better, I am more relaxed and confident. It’s helped with depression and anxiety as well.

    6)Have you tried/accomplished any other fitness goals outside of the gym since you joined Wildcat?

    My goal is to hike all four of the highest peaks in the mountains that surround Tucson. I made it up Mt. Wasson in the Tucson range but the other three all still waiting! Anyone want to try them with me is welcome. I love hiking and would love to get a regular group together.

    Also, I now have the added goal of full recovery from hernia surgery. By the end of summer I want to be back to setting PR’s and get under 200lbs in weight.

    7) What is your favorite thing about the Wildcat CrossFit community?

    The staff is just awesome. Never could have made the gains I did without all of your help and encouragement. I like being in a gym where we are competing but encouraging at the same time. It’s a great atmosphere.

    8) What was your experience of the 2015 CrossFit Open? Do you think you will participate next year?

    The open sucked. My hernia got a lot worse and I had to drop out after the second round. Next year!

    9) What is the next CrossFit movement that you are working on mastering? What would you like to get better at in general?

    I am getting pretty good and pull ups and chin ups but I want to be able to do sets of ten multiple times. The main thing I want is walking hand stands. 

    10) What is your next fitness goal?

    My next fitness goal is walking normally and standing up without pain but I am only 24 hours out from surgery so I need to be patient. I look forward to getting back to Wildcat CrossFit on June 5th for my first, light, work out after surgery.

    We look forward to seeing you then too, Nick! Here’s to a smooth and speedy recovery! Everybody else: Give Nick a pat on the back the next time you see him. He’s doing awesome.