Grand Trunk CrossFit Couple Proves the Power of Proper Fitness


They say the couple that CrossFits together stays together.

Okay, maybe nobody says that. But it doesn’t mean it’s not true.

For Grand Trunk CrossFit members Alex and Ally Faust, they’ve been doing CrossFit workouts together for a few years, resorting to cherry picking WODs they found online before they officially joined a gym.

But it wasn’t a smooth transition from their backgrounds in football and volleyball to fitness with an approach grounded in weightlifting and mobility.

In fact, it was a rough journey from where they started to where they are now.

“I was one hundred percent against CrossFit,” said Ally Faust. “Alex begged me to come with him to Grand Trunk, to the point where we would get in fights. But the focus on mobility helped him get back on his feet after injuries he suffered during his football playing career, so he thought it could help me with my injuries.”

In August of 2016, Ally was involved in a car accident that totaled her vehicle, thanks to a distracted driver. She thought the extent of her injury was some nagging hip pain. But when the pain didn’t subside, she sought out a second opinion and found out she was suffering from a broken back that went undiagnosed for months.

After the new diagnosis, the doctor suggested physical therapy, but Ally didn’t want to travel down that path.

Then pain shots were suggested. She turned those down, too.

This injury had derailed her fitness journey, which led to her not putting a lot of stock in staying fit.

“I went for long walks and that was it,” she says. “I basically shut down, fitness-wise.”

It wasn’t until two years later when she came out of her fitness funk, thanks to some – ahem — gentle prodding by her husband.

“I learned better mobility through CrossFit, so I had an inkling it would help Ally,” said Alex. “I had torn quads and my hips were terrible because of my football playing days, but the focus on mobility helped me to overcome those injuries while I was playing, so it seemed like it was worth a shot for Ally.”

Alex came across a book during his undergrad days called Becoming A Supple Leopard, written by Dr. Kelly Starrett. The book focused on how to resolve pain and prevent injury, and it opened up in Alex’s mind a new way of thinking when it came to staying fit. Up until that point, Alex was used to the football player’s mindset that you weren’t making gains unless you out-benched and out-lifted your teammates.

But that didn’t bode well for his body when he was on the field. By being more mindful of his approach to staying fit – and trying to become a supple leopard – he was able to avoid more serious injuries that he saw befall his teammates.

“Becoming more mobile definitely helped in the sense that my body could handle the rigors of playing a sport like football,” said Alex. “But I was able to bounce back quicker because I learned how to move properly.”

CrossFit has also filled the competitive void that was lost when college ended and Alex and Ally were left without the athletic outlet they enjoyed during their undergrad days. Even though they don’t get to the top of the Wodify leaderboard every day, there are times when they push themselves to the fullest because they know of no other way.

“I get pissed off when I can’t Rx a workout,” said Ally. “I come from a pretty competitive background, so trying to win at all things is sort of in my blood.”

After finding WODs online, and convincing Ally to commit to CrossFit during a Buddy Week, the couple officially signed up in 2018, and they haven’t looked back since. In fact, it’s the rare day when you don’t see at least one of them show up to get in a good sweat.

“I don’t want to be too dramatic, but Grand Trunk has helped our relationship,” said Alex. “Regular fitness has helped Ally get back into shape and has put her in a better place mentally, which is obviously a huge boost. I think we’re both in the best shape of our lives.”

You’ll find the couple at most events hosted by Grand Trunk because they’ve found more than a few kindred spirits within its walls. The box has become more than just a place where they can work out. It’s a place where they can come and be themselves, and even bring their dog if the mood strikes them.

“After my back injury, I was in a bad place,” adds Ally. “But now I have something to look forward to that makes me feel good, both physically and mentally. Thanks to Brooklyn and Diana, it feels like our lives are a bit more normal.”

Of course, that’s not to say Alex and Ally have run out of things to argue about. Like any couple, they still have the occasional tiff.

“I like to remind Ally that I knew this was going to be good for her, she just needed to commit,” said Alex. “I’m very happy to report that I was right, although she might disagree with me.”

Member Spotlight: Alicia Montes


Each month, we will profile a Grand Trunk CrossFit member who has seen incredible results since joining our “box”.

It is our hope, that by showing you what can be accomplished through regular workouts and a commitment to fitness, you will be encouraged to take the leap and come in for a workout.

This month we shine the spotlight on Alicia Montes, a member since October of 2015

When did you join Grand Trunk, and why?

Alicia: October of 2015 for multiple reasons.

First, I had recently had my second baby and lost all of the baby weight plus some through an unhealthy diet and realized I needed to get stronger.

Secondly, my husband had just deployed to Iraq, and I really just needed the mental break where I could focus my attention on something besides working and caring for our two-and-a-half year-old and eight-month-old.

What do you enjoy most about GTCF and CrossFit?

The people at Grand Trunk are the best. I enjoy having like-minded people around me who push me to do things I would’ve never cared to do on my own.

What is your favorite movement?

I enjoy anything barbell-related. Deadlifts are my favorite power lift with back squat a close second. But the technical nature of the snatch makes that my favorite Olympic lift.

What is a CrossFit goal you have achieved that you are most proud of?

After four years of CrossFit, I don’t think I can pick just one. Most recently I’ve gotten bar muscle ups that I’m pretty pumped about. I back squatted 240 pounds at my first competition. And I hit a 305# deadlight that I’d been chasing since I started at Grand Trunk. I also did CrossFit throughout an entire pregnancy.

I also switched to a macro-based diet and dropped 20 pounds this year.

I even RX’d Murph and ran a half-marathon trail run earlier this year. See, too many to pick from!

What is a current goal you are working on and hope to accomplish?

My recent goals have been diet-related in hopes of bettering my gymnastics. Although I’ve gotten my bar muscle-ups, I’m not proficient at them, so I practice a few times a week. My goal is to keep getting leaner without sacrificing my strength.

What advice would you give a new member or someone who is thinking about trying CrossFit?

Set aside your fear and doubts.

Don’t worry about not knowing the movements and having to ask questions. There isn’t an athlete or coach here that would say no to helping you. It’s easy to feel insecure when you’re watching an experienced CrossFit athlete work through a weightlifting segment or WOD. Instead of thinking “I could never do that” or “this isn’t for me”, be a sponge. I had those thoughts my first few weeks until I started modeling those athletes, and I’ve never looked back.

How has CrossFit impacted your life outside of the gym?

I have the energy to keep up with my three kids. I also have the strength and confidence to approach any situation at work.

What is a fun fact that people might not know about you?

I was a HORRIBLE student. One of my good friends wrote “I honestly never thought you’d make it this far” in my senior yearbook, if that tells you anything.

If you could create your own WOD, what would it be?

I like to fight on my own terms.

AMRAP

15 minutes

7 snatches 135/105

14 dumbbell clean & jerks

28 double-unders

35 kettlebell swings 70/53

Fill in the blank: I CrossFit (because/so I can): People depend on me. My kids and husband are my world. CrossFit helps me not only be a great mom and wife, but it makes me an asset to my department and my community.

To learn more about Grand Trunk CrossFit, contact us today!

Throw Up Heavy Weight, Not Your Breakfast


Pukie the clown can attest.

When it comes to training with intensity, we have to walk a fine line between achieving the desired stimulus and overdoing it. One consequence of pushing yourself too hard in a workout can be nausea and potentially even vomiting. 

This is never a fun way to end a training session, or worse, to halt your training session only to finish the workout once you’ve recovered. (Mouthwash anyone?!)

But vomiting during or after a workout is something that can be addressed and avoided. There are certain factors that correlate with this unwanted reversal of digestion and if you plan properly you can finish the workout in style with minty fresh breath! 

To start, let’s take a look at what is happening in the body leading up to catastrophic workout induced vomiting. Often times you are performing an exercise that elevates lactate levels, something like intervals of sprints or sprint style WODs with tools like the air bike or rower that are alternated with brief bouts of rest. You go all out on each short set and then have a brief recovery period. Sometimes it only takes one hard set. 

During high intensity exercise your body flips the switch from parasympathetic to sympathetic systems. The need to perform is prioritized over the need to repair, recover, and digest. Blood is shunted away from the organs associated with digestion. The brain has redirected it to the muscles in the arms and legs to aid performance by providing oxygen and carrying away metabolic waste.

When we warm up we should aim to bring our bodies gradually and progressively to the capacity needed to perform the workout. This is one of the key ways to avoid the dreaded exercise induced emesis. If you jump too quickly into the workout, the body can perform the movement, but homeostasis is seriously disrupted and it attempts to restore it as quickly as possible.

Having elevated acid levels in the blood is dangerous to the body and it decides that all other functions need to stop until pH is back within a normal range. That means digestion gets knocked out of the queue and we all know what that means….

“When you push yourself beyond limits, you discover inner reserves, which you never thought existed earlier.” ― M. Arora

One way to reduce this unpleasant effect is by building your lactate threshold.

Strategically performing workouts that take you to the brink of your threshold before resting and letting your body clear the buildup and return to normal. Your body will recognize the need to perform this process and adapt to become more efficient at it. The more you train this system, the less likely you are to be majorly disrupted by threshold work. You will also notice improved work capacity.

You can also plan your nutrient intake to prevent the nausea and indigestion that can result in vomiting.

Before your workout, eat a small snack of about 20 grams of easily digestible protein and 40-60 grams of carbohydrate with the avoidance of fat. Give yourself about an hour to digest. You optimize energy levels for training, but don’t consume so much food that your body is still digesting come training time. Avoid foods high in fat, as well as foods that irritate the GI tract, such as dairy, spicy foods, and caffeine. 

If a 500-meter row still makes you yak, don’t sweat it. Make sure you properly rehydrate and don’t take yourself past that threshold too often. Explain what happened to your coach and they will be able to monitor your performance and provide suggestions to help you properly warm up, eat, and monitor pace to prevent this from happening. 

Isometric training 101


Have you ever failed a rep in the same position over and over again? Like, why won’t my body just work for me here?!

Getting stuck in a lift is no fun. Especially when it’s the limiting factor from you hitting a personal record in the lift. There are many potential reasons for missing a lift. But if your technique is pretty dialed in, then it is most likely a strength issue in that particular range of motion. 

Luckily, there are many training techniques to eliminate specific weaknesses, and one of the best ways is by incorporating isometric protocols into your training. 

Isometric, as the name implies means “relating to or denoting muscular action in which tension is developed without contraction of the muscle.” Boom. Science.

That means you train the muscle without moving it. If you have a weakness. It means holding the muscle in an isometric contraction at (or around) the range of motion you want to improve.

Seem pretty simple right? It is!

You can use isometrics in the middle of your movement as well. You can incorporate a pause during the eccentric (lowering) of the weight, at the end range of motion to eliminate the stretch reflex, or during the concentric (raising) to increase muscle fiber recruitment.

“Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you’d like to act.”

Bob Dylan

From there you can apply all different kinds of techniques depending on what your goal is: improve strength, hypertrophy, or activation. 

Isometrics can really help you build maximal strength. Target the position that you want to improve, your “sticking point”. Perform a ten-second isometric hold at this position with a moderate to heavy load. The goal is to stay locked in this position to increase motor unit recruitment and stimulate muscle fiber growth. The body adapts to the stressors placed on it. By stressing a weak point the body goes to work to make it stronger.

You could apply this to a sticking point on your squat or bench press, as well. You could perform a deficit deadlift and hover the bar at ground level to develop pulling strength from the floor.

If you are trying to build muscle, isometrics can work for you.

When performing a lift, you want to pick a rep scheme that you know you can hit while performing an isometric contraction at the top of each rep.

This works great for movements like chin-ups, dips, or glute bridges. Perform a 3-5 second contraction at the top of each rep where you contract your muscles as hard as you can before lowering down for the next rep.

Let’s say you have weak glutes or have difficulty activating them for a lift. Increasing time under tension with longer duration isometric holds is one of the best ways to improve recruitment.

A good example of this would be a single leg glute bridge isometric hold. Hold the lockout position at the top of the hold for :30-60 seconds, focusing on maintaining full hip extension. You will find your backside burning and shaking real fast! This can be a great warmup protocol for movements that you have trouble getting warm for.

Now that you have learned a little bit about isometric training think about how or where you could apply them to address an area you’ve been wanting to improve!

What’s Keeping You From Achieving Your Goals?


If you currently want something in your life that you don’t have, then there is a 100 percent chance you are human.

How you define yourself is by the action you take towards bringing those into your life.

Some people make declarations about how they are finally going to make the big change. 

Others go about their goal-setting quietly.

But everyone sets goals.

Generally, if you have a goal you haven’t achieved yet, you fall into one of these three camps. 

  • You don’t know what to do and you don’t know how to do it.
  • You don’t think you deserve it.
  • You haven’t put in the work.

So what’s really keeping you from achieving your goals? Let’s find out…

1. You don’t know what to do and you don’t know how to do it.

This is generally the first challenge you encounter when you have a new goal.

It is also the easiest barrier to address when it comes to making positive changes in your life.

Whether you seek to earn more money, improve your health, or find your soulmate, there are websites, coaches, books, podcasts, and more resources than you know what to do with.

Success leaves clues and in the information age we live in you have access to the tools and resources you need to get started on the path to your goal.

“When action is our priority, vanity falls away.”  – Ryan Holiday

Let’s say your goal is to lose 10 pounds and keep it off. Like forever keep it off.

Many adults find themselves at a weight where they don’t feel comfortable and confident. The problem is that if you have only ever gained weight since you were a kid and have never seen the scale go in the opposite direction, then you are a total novice.

Being a professional weight gainer is easy for you because you’ve done it your whole life. If you want to lose weight then you have to start fresh. It’s time to throw out what you think is true about nutrition and exercise because all of the information you have is through the lens of a person who has only ever gained weight.

Let go of ego. Let go of pride.

If you want to make the change then you have to start with fresh eyes.

2. You don’t think you deserve it.

This could be thought of as self-sabotage.

Maybe since you were a child you have been conditioned to think a certain way.

Many of the long-standing beliefs humans hold are instilled by parents, environments, or traumatic experiences.

Long ago the brain accepted as fact that “this is the way it is.” If you have a long-held belief that is clashing with one of your current goals, then your first order of business is to remove that roadblock. No amount of willpower or strategy can overcome a fixed mindset. You are an adult and you are responsible for your own life. You have the power to change any condition that you don’t want.

Executive coach and author Jerry Colonna asks a powerful question to himself and his clients: “How have I been complicit in creating the conditions I say I don’t want?”

Ask yourself this question in the context of your current goal. If you are struggling to lose weight, what are the things that you have been “okay with” lately? If it’s the food in the fridge that you snack on, skipping your workout, or surrounding yourself with people who have unhealthy habits then that is entirely on YOU to change. That starts by demanding more of yourself.

You have to consider yourself worthy of the goal you claim to want. When you are mentally ready to be the person who achieves this goal you will be able to receive it.

3. You haven’t put in the work.

This can be the most frustrating camp to fall into when it comes to not achieving your goals. You may be doing everything right. You hired the coach, you have a strategy, and you’re executing on it every day. So why haven’t you accomplished your goal yet?! 

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” -Vince Lombardi

Whether growing a business or growing your biceps, it can be tough when the results haven’t shown up yet. So what should you do?

KEEP GOING! 

Constantly ask yourself: What else could I be doing? Continually revisit camps one and two in this post.

Are there any additional resources or tools that could be getting you to your goals faster?

Could you work with someone who has proven results in the exact area you are trying to grow? Are there any roadblocks you are creating for yourself? Is there an area where your behavior is inconsistent with the outcome that you seek?

Frustration or anger can itself be a powerful tool. If you are fed up with your lack of progress then you should use that as fuel for your fire. If you have the bandwidth to be upset about your situation then you most likely have the bandwidth to work harder (or smarter 😉 )

If you still don’t know why the results won’t come then you should consider working with a mentor or coach who can help you get there. A great coach will help you set up a framework for success. They will help you develop a SMART goal that aligns with your mission and current state.

Understanding the time frame and order of steps necessary to achieve a goal can dramatically improve your mindset and the way you tackle each day. You can break your goal down into manageable chunks and as you check them off, you will build momentum towards your big goal.

The best coaches will be clear and neutral in their feedback about what it takes to get to you to your goal. 

You want to surround yourself with people who will be supportive and honest your path to success. Avoid the detractors. That includes anyone who tells you they support you, but that you can’t achieve what you want and to “get real”.

This life is yours to choose and you can’t waste time with the people that will only hold you back. 

Grand Trunk Member Finds CrossFit Ideal Complement to her Fitness Journey


The first time Grand Trunk CrossFit member Toni Irick became aware of Grand Trunk, she saw it as a sign.

Literally, it was a sign on the side of the road that was placed in surrounding neighborhoods when Grand Trunk first opened. Toni then ran into some women at a neighborhood function who had been to Grand Trunk. After they talked about what CrossFit was, exactly, Toni committed on the spot to attend a workout.

She had tried everything else, she figured, so what could it hurt?

For Toni, it would become the first step on a path to health and fitness that she continues to travel down to this day.

***

Exercise was never hammered home growing up as something vital to leading a healthy life. After school most days, Toni would come home and watch television and the television-watching usually involved food.

“I didn’t do anything active during those formative years,” said Toni. “I wish I would have, but it was never something that was suggested and I ended up paying for it.”

At her heaviest, Irick weighed in at 300 pounds. A lifetime of disregarding her physical fitness, combined with bad eating habits, led her to a point in her life where she knew she had to make a drastic change. But it wasn’t for a lack of trying.

Like a lot of folks looking to get back into shape, Toni tried everything: Jazzercise, Zumba, P90X…you name it. If it was advertised to help get you moving, Toni was all about it.

The problem that arose, however, was that it didn’t hold her interest long enough to make her want to keep at it. She would come out with guns blazing and then…nothing.

The one program that did work was Jenny Craig. By working with a specialized counselor through the program, Toni was able to drop 130 pounds over the course of the time she spent on Jenny Craig. But Jenny Craig isn’t set up to help you once you walk away, which Irick quickly came to realize once she stopped going.

“Even though I lost a lot of weight on Jenny Craig, I didn’t lose it the right way,” she said. “I was skin and bones because the weight came off and I did nothing to replace the lean muscle that also disappeared.”

Toni knew that in order to keep the weight off and be healthy, she needed to weave in physical fitness.

Compounding this issue was that her job as a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer. demanded she be able to do basic fitness functions, like run a mile and a half in under 16 minutes. If she wasn’t able to beat that time, she would be out of work, which put her in danger of repeating the entire fitness struggle cycle over again.

So, she committed to fitness, and Grand Trunk has been a small part of that commitment.

“Grand Trunk offered up a supportive community, which was never a benefit I considered when I was looking for a fitness home,” says Toni. “But now that I have it, I never want to give it up.”

Like a lot of athletes who have come before her, she still gets nervous entering the box on a given day, especially when the competitive athletes are there. But she pushes herself to do the workout because she is only accountable for herself.

“I only care about my performance compared to yesterday or the day before,” says Toni. “That’s what keeps me going and motivated to improve. It begins and ends with me.”

Toni has also found the benefits of Bright Line Eating to help manage her weight while she focuses on movement. Out of everything she has tried when it comes to nutrition, this approach seems to agree with her, and she has the data to back it up. Since she joined Grand Trunk four years ago at around 220 pounds, she is down to 142 and is keeping the weight off.

As with all fitness approaches, you can’t expect to drop weight just by doing CrossFit or dieting. A strategic approach is needed that includes both, and it’s something Grand Trunk owner Brooklyn Netherton preaches to the athletes.

“Watching what you put into your body is just as important as how you move your body on a daily basis,” says Netherton. “If all you had to do to get fit was cut carbs, we would all be fit. There’s more to it than that, and we are going to help you figure out the most successful approach.”

Four years on, Toni is thankful she found such a welcoming environment where her and her husband, Jason, can stay in shape and be surrounded by like-minded individuals. Toni didn’t expect this when she came to that first class, but she can’t see herself without it.

“If I were to go to another CrossFit gym, I’m not sure I would feel as sure about myself as I do at Grand Trunk,” said Irick. “Brooklyn and Diana – and everyone else – are just so welcoming. Grand Trunk is home.”

Four Health Metrics More Important Than Weight


For some strange reason, Americans have chosen the scale as their favorite way to track progress around their health.

People derive their sense of self worth based on the number facing up at them from between their feet. If you’re someone who draws any sort of emotional reaction, positive or negative, from the scale, then you may want to self-reflect and consider if there are better options out there. 

The funny part is that weight is such an inconsequential and ambiguous predictor of substance.

Just consider this: If you have three avocados-one freshly picked and hard as a rock, one brown soft and ooze, and one firm ripe and tender-which one are you going to slice open to make your guacamole with? It shouldn’t matter if they all weigh 170 grams, right?

What you are made of, how you feel, and what you are able to produce, are all factors of greater significance than your weight. 

What you weigh is going to constantly fluctuate. You may lose weight and be less healthy. You may be well-hydrated one day and performing well, then get totally thrown off because your weight went up a pound or two.

This number doesn’t say who you are as a person or how healthy and fit you are. It’s just an arbitrary number. Stop letting the pounds run your life and change the way you feel about yourself. Instead, try one of these alternative ways that measure success off the scale!

Body Fat Percentage

Body fat percentage is an alternative way to track your progress and provides much more actionable information than just your weight in pounds. This takes into account your lean muscle mass. In this way you can actually gain weight in muscle which would consequently reduce your percentage of body fat. This is a clear example of how gaining weight would make you healthier.

Plus, as you add more muscle to your frame, you will burn more calories at rest. The fat will disappear faster on its own!

Measurements

Taking specific measurements is a great way to achieve the goals around the way you want to look. Measuring neck, arm, waist, hips, thigh, and calf circumference can help you transform your body without ever worrying about the scale. Losing two inches off your waist will make you look and feel like a whole new person!

Habit Tracking

One of the best replacements for weighing yourself is to track daily health habits. If you track metrics like sleep, hydration, servings of veggies, daily walking, and other relevant habits, you can focus on the right behaviors to make you look and feel great in the long run. This takes discipline but it is essential to long lasting transformation.

Performance Metrics

Switching your focus to the weight on the bar is a great alternative to the scale. People will often train harder and longer in pursuit of strength and performance goals than solely for aesthetic purposes. If you push yourself more in training the results will speak for themselves!

The Importance Of Stress For Your Health


Did you know that a little bit of stress can actually maximize your performance?

If you’ve ever been in a flow state and totally lost track of time immersed in the task at hand, you know know how astounding it can be to snap out of it. You were so focused that you didn’t worry about bills, external relationships, and the little worries in life.

It turns out that time spent in a flow state is one of the highest corollaries to a fulfilling life. The more time you spend in flow, the happier you are. It also turns out that flow is the best way to get good at a particular skill- assuming the activity meets some key criteria. 

The Yerkes Dodson Law examines how as arousal increases, so does performance. When you are pushed slightly beyond your comfort zone, you get hooked. Locked in flow you will continue to push yourself, just barely keeping up with the challenge that is inches from your grasp. They even assigned a specific value to the degree of difficulty. If the level of the challenge is approximately 4 percent greater than your current skill, you will be most likely to get into a flow state.

If you think about great athletes, musicians, artists and other high-performing individuals, you will see countless examples of them rising to the occasion.

Completing the game winning drive as they march their team down the field and scoring with just seconds left on the clock. Playing a guitar lick faster and faster, immersed in sweat and the roar of the crowd.

These folks are locked into what they are doing beyond what conscious mind and ego can interfere with. They are fully present and immersed in the task at hand.

It is important to find the thresholds in your life where you can push yourself and grow. If you feel like a task is too easy, you will quickly lose interest and find yourself bored.

If it is too difficult, you will feel like it’s hopeless and not actually give your best effort. Find the challenge that is engaging and challenging yet attainable if you truly want to get the most out of yourself!

 

Member Spotlight: Matt Stemple


Each month, we will profile a Grand Trunk CrossFit member who has seen incredible results since joining our “box”.

It is our hope, that by showing you what can be accomplished through regular workouts and a commitment to fitness, you will be encouraged to take the leap and come in for a workout.

This month’s spotlight is on Matt Stemple, a member since December of 2015.

When did you join Grand Trunk, and why?

Matt: I joined Grand Trunk in December of 2015. I was tired of the standard gym routine and was looking for something new to try.

What do you enjoy most about GTCF and CrossFit?

It’s definitely the people, coaches and atmosphere. Brooklyn and Diana have done a great job of giving the box a family feel. I enjoy CrossFit because of the variety of workouts and the challenges that come with them.

What is your favorite movement?

Any assortment of wall balls, deadlifts, box jumps or rope climbs (and, of course, running.)

What is a CrossFit goal you have achieved that you are most proud of?

Mastering double-unders! They were such a struggle for me to string together for years. It took a lot of practice and actually my wife gave me the most tips to master them.

What is a current goal you are working on and hope to accomplish?

Muscle ups is my next goal to accomplish.

What advice would you give a new member or someone who is thinking about trying CrossFit?

Leave your fears at the door and stay with it for 30 days. CrossFit can be intimidating for someone who is new to the concept. You also tend to be sore A LOT! I remember my first week at the box and crawling (literally) out of bed in the morning after a workout because of how sore I was. If you give it a chance and stay consistent, you’ll be hooked!

How has CrossFit impacted your life outside of the gym?

I’ve a lot of new people and friends at the gym that I wouldn’t have known. My overall health has increased, as well. I feel fitter now than I have since I left high school.

What is a fun fact that people might not know about you?

One year in college, my roommates and I ate so much Hungry Howie’s pizza and White Castle that we were able to stack two rows of pizza boxes to the ceiling and fill one closet full of slider boxes. The smells from the closet were quite interesting that summer.

If you could create your own WOD, what would it be?

I would call it “Long and Strong.”

800M run

50 deadlifts

50 wall balls

800M run

50 box jumps

50 bar over burpees

800M run

Fill in the blank: I CrossFIt (because/so I can): It’s a great way to stay in shape, set & accomplish goals, and have fun with other members in and out of the box.

Don’t Get Spoiled by Fresh Vegetables


Most people tend to rationalize their way through their nutritional decisions without much hard science (let’s face it usually no science) to back it up.

When it comes to fruit and vegetable intake this is no exception. Many folks skip out on canned or frozen veggies counting them out as “nutritionally void”. 

It turns out that may not be the case. Foods that are frozen or canned may not be as pretty as the heirloom veggies you pick up at the farmers market, but don’t get it twisted. 

Research has shown these foods can actually contain higher levels of certain vitamins and minerals compared to their fresh cousins. Frozen veggies can be flash frozen and preserved the same day they are harvested. Fresh veggies, on the other hand, lose some of their nutritional value as soon as they are picked and experience a steady decline in vitamin and mineral content day after day.

This isn’t a big deal if you buy local produce. But if you rely on fruits and veggies from across the country, then you might be missing out. 

Fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, and E are less prone to oxidation when they are frozen or canned. This processing prevents the main oxidation factors of heat, light, and oxygen exposure.

Other areas to consider when it comes to fresh, frozen, or canned is that of cost and food waste.

If you find yourself constantly buying fresh veggies and finding them spoiled in the back of your fridge, then you are not eating the vegetables and you are wasting your money on them. Frozen and canned veggies will maintain their quality and are clearly set up for a longer shelf life than fresh produce. 

Don’t be afraid to change up your nutritional strategies. If your goal is to save money and eat more healthy food then it’s worth a shot!