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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.

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