Pull-uptober and Ski Season Prep!

Pull-uptober and Ski Season Prep!

For the next two months, we’re going to have some specific goals to work towards in addition to our normal general fitness development.  With ski season right around the corner (maybe as soon as tomorrow as it looks like with this weather), and with this time of year being somewhat challenging for most to stay focused, we’re going to give you some extra motivation on a couple of things  

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For one, pull-ups!  At our coaches meeting the other night, we were discussing what the most common thing that people are looking to improve or achieve.  The unanimous conclusion was pull-ups.  I’ve lost track of the amount of people who sit across from me when they start and admit, “what I’d really love to do someday is a pull-up”.  

So let’s tackle this together.  

Our programming always contains pull-up, chin-up and rowing work, but for the next 8 weeks, it’s going to be very specific and intentional on improving your ability to perform a single pull-up with the greatest amount of weight possible.  

So, how is this going to look?

Well, starting next week, we’re going to designate Monday for testing of 1RM pull-ups.  If you are currently able to do a strict pull-up, you’re going to start to add load to your body via kettlebells attached to a belt.  If you are currently unable to do a pull-up, you are going to find the lightest combination of bands that you need for an assisted pull-up.  

You’re going to write down your weights or combination of bands.  The bands are going to be numbered within their colors so you can keep track of which ones you actually use.  Older bands don’t assist the same as newer bands.  

Then, you just need to keep coming to the gym.  Our weekly programming will continue to be very similar, but we’re going to have some very specific pull-up work for you to do on the days that we have pull-ups programmed.  If you happen to miss a day, you can easily make up that pull-up work from the previous day in the class you attend.

If you’re a pull-up pro or working on kipping, don’t worry, you’ll still have time to work on the more dynamic stuff in your workouts.  Additionally, not to give any secrets away, but starting in January, and as we lead up into the Open, we’ll start another 6-8 week cycle where Performance and Sport will be working on kipping.

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In addition to pull-up work, I know that many of us will be skiing this year.  In preparation for that, we’re going to devote a lot more effort to single leg work.  This may be a little less specific than our pull-up work, but you’ll definitely notice more lunges, step ups and split squats in your weekly routines.  If you’re not a skiier, no problem!  I’d hazard a guess that you, like most, could benefit from some extra single leg work.

Questions, comments?  Let me know!

(Oh yeah, and it's Pull-uptober because we came up with it in October, and we haven't come up with anything better).

Kenny

CrossFit Sandpoint Member Profile: Vicky Graham

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What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?
My husband and his cousin worked with a few hardcore cross fitters who were in great shape. Apparently, they talked about CrossFit a lot on the job because my husband would always tell me about CrossFit and the workouts. After hearing so much about it, I had to go and try it for myself.
 
What was your first impression? Has that changed?
I was completely overwhelmed and felt like I was in over my head.  I loved the idea of CrossFit but I was so bad at it.  I wasn’t going to throw the towel in though.  Feeling determined, I stuck with it.  I have been Crossfitting religiously for 3 years. I am addicted.
 
What was your first success?
Box Jumps! My first 20 inch box jump was like winning the lottery. After having my baby, I completely lost my box jump and had to learn it all over again.
 
What are you working on now?
Double unders. On a good day, I can get 4 in a row.
 
What’s your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint memory?
Experiencing the Open for the first time at CrossFit Sandpoint. The gym just has a different vibe for those 4 weeks…it’s awesome.
 
 

CrossFit Sandpoint Member Spotlight: Crystal Baines

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What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?

Truthfully, I have been interested in CrossFit for years. I just hadn't justified in my head investing that amount of money in myself when I could get a much cheaper gym membership other places. That being said, I was never satisfied long term at other gyms and would slowly loose interest as I never felt like I was truly enjoying it or knew what I was doing. The more I looked into CrossFit, the more I thought it'd be a good fit for me. I finally got to a place where I was ready to invest in me for me. I signed up with a friend who was interested as well and found I loved it just like I thought I would!

What was your first impression? Has that changed?

My first impression was watching the 4:30 class doing all these things that I didn't think I'd be able to do anytime soon. But then I saw these pregnant ladies doing it and thought well crap, if they can do it, so can I! I still get inspired regularly by other members and their accomplishments. I also love the community of it and just how different everyone is who is going here.

What was your first success?

I have had so many already! The most exciting thing for me by far is my asthma improvement. When I first started I could not run more than 250m or I'd have an asthma attack (seriously). Now I can comfortably run (notice I didn't say enjoy) with everyone else and after just 6 months in I am so happy to say that I am rarely using my inhaler anymore! I would also say seeing real proof of success for me was so motivational with my body measurements from when I started to now. Such dramatic differences is what everyone loves to see!

What are you working on now?

My form and pacing myself better.

What’s your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint memory?

I don't know that I have a real favorite yet honestly. I just know that I am generally always excited to come workout and feel off when I don't get to due to my crazy schedule. I figure any place that can get me excited to use my rare free time as a single mom to come do burpees and be happy about it is a winning place in my book.


How to Get Your Daily Protein Requirements

How I get to 200g of Protein Everyday

Protein!!!

Protein!!!

Yeah, 200 grams of Protein.  That’s a bunch.  But, if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that for anyone doing any sort of intense or heavy training volume (or for anyone pursuing body composition), 1 gram per day of protein per pound of body weight is a great target to shoot for.  I’m roughly 200 pounds, so I aim for 200 grams of protein per day.  Your body weight probably varies, and therefore so should your daily protein number.  

I’ve beaten the dead horse for way too long now about why protein is awesome and is the most important, yet under-eaten macro nutrient to do it again here.  

When I tell a new client they have to get ___g of Protein per day for their goals, they usually look at me wide eyed and say something like, “___ g! That’s a ton!  I’m only eating 50-60g a day now!” 

You’re right, that is a ton when you’re only eating 50-60 grams and are just barely on this side of the abysmally low Recommended Daily Allowance (which is the minimum suggested to stay alive).  You’re also probably not as lean as you want, don’t recover as well as you want and are likely eating way too much of other, less important macro nutrients that are not helping you towards your goals, so here we are…

This may not be your aspiration, but there are great lessons to be gleaned from figure competitors.

This may not be your aspiration, but there are great lessons to be gleaned from figure competitors.

Our conversation then turns to how in the world is that even possible?  Well it is, and it’s really not that much.  If you’ve ever hung out in the competitive world of body composition or body building (I know, I know, you don’t want to look like one of them*), you’ll know that 1g/pound of bodyweight is child’s play.  They’ll often go towards 2-3g per pound of bodyweight.

*Side note: you won’t, they’ve worked way harder than you’ll ever know to look like that and they’d be incredibly offended if you suggested that by ingesting a protein shake once a day that you’d get even close to their physique.  However, what you should realize is that their entire goal in life is development of muscle and shedding of fat.  They’re good at it, really good at it.  So, just like you might not want to drive a race car around everyday, you should realize that the people who make race cars are pretty damn good at making regular cars.

So, how do I get my protein goals in everyday, and how can you get to yours?

Well first, let’s start with the easy stuff.  Most people eat 3 meals as part of their regular lives.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner.  If you’re not currently eating breakfast because you’re doing the latest en vogue fitness trend and Intermittently Fasting, but you’re not getting your daily protein requirements in, you’re putting the cart way in front of the horse, so forget all that nonsense and get your basics down before you start putting lipstick on your pig.

So with breakfast, lunch and dinner, there are 3 opportunities for you to get in 25-30g of protein by just eating a normal (like the size of your fist) serving of protein (lean meat, chicken, fish or pork).  This is typically what a restaurant will serve you if you’re eating out.  Woo!  We’re already at 65-80g and we haven’t really altered anything!  

*If you’re shooting for 150g or more per day, you’ll probably want to look for 6-8 oz of protein in these meals.  That’s two fist sizes, or a “double protein” request at the restaurant.  This will put you in the 130-160g for the day already. 

The main challenge I see here is breakfast.  Most people aren’t used to making lunch or dinner foods for breakfast, so it’s harder to get that early morning serving up to 25-30g.  Or, a lot of people “just aren’t hungry in the morning”.  Well, you “just aren’t reaching your goals currently” either.

Here’s what I do:

2 egg whites (8g Protein, 0g Carb, 0g Fat)
2 whole eggs (12g Protein, 0g Carb, 10g Fat)
2 slices bacon (6g Protein, 0g Carb, 6g Fat)
A handful of spinach or kale or some kind of green to scramble in.

For a total of: 26g Protein, 0g Carb, 13g Fat

You may have noticed that I do half egg whites and half whole egg.  It’s not that the yolks are bad, or that fat is bad, it’s just that I love bacon, and if I’m going to have bacon for breakfast, I should probably cut some of the overall calories while still getting my protein requirements in.  Only eating the egg white is a great way to do that.  

*Sometimes, depending on what my day looks like, I’ll have a protein shake with breakfast (putting me near 50g protein for breakfast in total).  Especially if I know I won’t get a break between 6am and 1pm with clients, classes and/or meetings.

Feel free to play around as necessary with those options.

Ok, so with breakfast, lunch and dinner we should be somewhere around 75 to 126 grams of protein per day.  (Breakfast as listed above: 26g protein, lunch: 25-50g protein, dinner: 25-50g protein by just eating a normal serving of lean meat instead of peanut butter and jelly).

Filling in the gaps from here is where it can get tricky for some folks.  Snacks are obviously the easy way to get your numbers up, but what snacks?  Most of the current popular snacks are really high in fat or really high in carbohydrates (honestly the amount of nuts you can eat before you’re hit like 1000 calories is offensive).  Neither fat nor carbohydrates are necessarily bad, but they aren’t Protein.  Any other macronutrients should be secondary until you get your protein number in for the day.

So, how do I do it?

I typically will have at least two of the following throughout the day:

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- Low Fat Cottage Cheese (13g protein for 1/2 cup): It’s good plain if you buy the good stuff, I don’t care what you say.


- Low Fat or Non-Fat Yogurt (23g protein for 1 cup or ~50g if you add in protein powder):  My favorite is the non-fat, unflavored Wallaby brand with a scoop of chocolate protein powder mixed in, and sometimes a table spoon of peanut butter if it’s being eaten as a dessert or right before bed.

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- Protein Shake (~25g protein per scoop): This can include kind of frozen fruit for texture and flavor depending on my other macro goals for the day.


- Hard Boiled Eggs (6g protein per egg): Season these with some sort of salt (truffle salt is the shit), spice or hot sauce and it will make them much more appealing.


- Beef Jerky (7g protein per large piece): Try to go with the best quality stuff you can here.


- Epic Bars (7-12g protein per bar): Though I just recently heard our friends at Thunder’s Catch are doing Salmon Jerky, so I’ll be switching over to those.


- Smoked Salmon (20g protein per 4oz): Sure, it can be kind of expensive when you compare it to a $1.50 Larabar, but it’s damn good, and you can work on it for two snacks instead of one.


- Protein Bar (~20g protein per bar): Most of these are way higher in sugar and carbohydrates than they are protein, so be aware.

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- Deli Meat (~25g protein per 4oz):  This is one of my favorites and one of the most overlooked.  A great, quick, cheap snack is some lean deli meat and a bit of cheese.  Make sure this is actually lean.  Think turkey, chicken, etc, not salami.  You can wrap one around the other and bam! adult Lunchable.

So those are my general go-to's.  Is that exhaustive?  Absolutely not.  Play around, find your own solutions.  I honestly think the best way to get used to and embrace this stuff is to check out your local grocery store and start reading labels.  You'll learn a ton!  You'll find that a lot of the foods you thought you knew, you don't really know at all.  I'm sure if you spend the time, you'll find stuff that works for you and help you get to your goals. 

Enjoy your rad new body!

Planning Your Nutrition for a Backcountry Hunt

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It’s that time of year again! September is here!  With that means the opportunity for hunters across the nation to head out into the backcountry in search of the most organic, most free range, most rewarding meat possible. 

Many of us will be spending multiple days in the woods, carrying our essentials around on our backs.  This means careful planning in regards to shelter, food, survival and weight. 

As I’m uniquely qualified, for the last few years I’ve done all of the planning and preparation for our group’s hunting trips.  So I thought I’d outline my process here for you to utilize.

Find Your Baseline

Before you do anything, you need to find your baseline Caloric needs, or more simply, what you need to eat to maintain your current bodyweight (heading into the woods is not a great time to start a weight modification plan). 

Assuming you aren’t either gaining or losing weight, you can find out what your daily caloric number and macronutrient profile is currently by using a food tracking app like myfitnesspal.com.  By using that app, you can take a look at what you’re doing on a daily basis and take an average of your calories that you’re eating on non-training days.  

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If it is too late, just not an app kind of person, or aren’t interested in taking the time to calculate your daily calories and macronutrients, you can make a reasonable estimation by using the equation below:

Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 * weight in pounds) + (4.7 * height in inches) -

(4.7 * age in years)

Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23 * weight in pounds) + (12.7 * height in inches) -

(6.8 * age in years)

 

Or, you can enter them into this calculator here.

If those equations look complicated, they are. You can read more about how flawed calorie estimations can be here.  However, it’s a good place to start if you can’t or won’t track to see what your real numbers are. 

Determine What Type of Hunting You’ll be Doing

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Once you figure out your baseline number, you’ll want to consider what type of hunting you’ll be doing.  If you’re a 10-15 mile a day, straight up and down type of hunter, you’ll want to multiply the number you figure out above by 1.3-1.5.  If you’re going to be setting up a camp and glassing to ridges from a couple hundred yards outside of camp until you find something, you can probably just leave your number where it is. 

In other words, the harder you’ll be working, the more intense the climbing, the heavier the pack you’ll be wearing, the more calories you’ll need on a daily basis.

Determine your Macronutrients

This is where it’ll get a little more complicated and will again depend a lot on the type of hunting you’ll be doing.  It should be noted that in order of importance, this process will diminish as we go.  In other words, first you need to focus on calories per day, second you’ll need to focus on macronutrients per day, third meal timing per day, fourth food quality per day.   

Intense/Vertical Hunters plans should look something like the following:

  • 80% Bodyweight in grams of protein per day (ex: 190lb man ~ 152g Protein/day)

  • Bodyweight in grams of carbohydrates per day (ex: 190lb man ~ 190g Carb/day)

  • Whatever is left over should be grams of fat* (ex: 190lb man ~ 125g Fat/day)

  • *to find this number, multiply your grams of protein by 4, your carbohydrates by 4 and subtract that number from your daily calorie number.  Then divide this number by 9.  This will give you your daily grams of fat

Less Intense/Hunt from Camp/Flatland Hunters plans should look like the following:

  • 80% Bodyweight in grams of protein per day (ex: 190lb man ~ 152g Protein/day)

  • .75 bodyweight in grams of carbohydrates per day (ex: 190lb man ~ 140g Carb/day)

  • Whatever is leftover in grams of fat* (ex: 190lb man ~ 115g Fat/day)

  • *to find this number, multiply your grams of protein by 4, your carbohydrates by 4 and subtract that number from your daily calorie number.  Then divide this number by 9.  This will give you your daily grams of fat

As you may have gleaned from above, the more intense your days will be, the more carbohydrates (and less fat) you’ll need for fuel.  The less intense your days are, the less carbohydrates (and more fat) you’ll need.  

Build your Days According to Your Calorie and Macronutrient Needs

I use a spreadsheet for this, but you can definitely go pen and paper, or just go shop and plug it all in as you go. 

I’ll generally try and build this out evenly through the day over 4-6 meals (again depending on what this all looks like and what I’m used to).  My current, normal daily nutrition is 3 meals and 2 snacks, so I’ll try and replicate that in the woods.  I also find that mentally, it’s easier for me to stay focused and be able to stay out longer if I have lots of opportunities to eat.  When it gets monotonous, or I get bored or discouraged, having a snack or a meal seems to be very effective in boosting morale. 

So, take however many meals you’ll need and start building like this:

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Don’t worry, you won’t get it perfect, but I bet you’ll learn a lot about the contents of what you’re eating and what you’re planning on eating. 

For nutrition facts, you can either google them.  Using Google Image search usually works well.  Or, myfitnesspal.com has a good stockpile of resources as well. 

After that, you should be ready to do some shopping and put it all together.

Concluding Thoughts

If this is your first time doing using this type of ratio or this percentage of macronutrients, you will almost undoubtedly feel like it’s too much food.  It’s not.  It’s just a lot of protein.  This is a good thing.  While you’re hiking your ass around in the woods, for multiple days at a time, you’re going to want to recover.  Protein will be your best resource for tissue repair and recovery.  It will also help to to fortify your muscles if you end up going for an extended period of time without eating (for example on a long stalk, etc).  When you run out of available nutrients, your metabolism will turn to breaking down and using muscle tissue for fuel (not good).

Remember that the ratios and percentages used for carbohydrates and fat are just estimates and based on intensity.  Most flatland, light hiking is easy while most up and down, heavy hiking is hard.  Most people will fall somewhere in the middle of those two.  So, when you’re playing with your ratios, know that you can probably modify those numbers to suit what foods you are going to want to eat, are easy to pack, not spoil, and you know you digest well.  (I would highly recommend against experimenting with new stuff when you go into the woods.  Spending your trip with the runs will make hunting difficult).

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In regard to calories per ounce, Fats will be much more efficient than will be Protein or Carbs.  Fats have 9 calories per gram while Protein and Fat have 4 calories per gram.  So, if you’re looking to save serious weight, look to shift those ratios more towards the fat side of things.  And then, you can make up for the carb difference by bringing a simple, powdered Gatorade type mix to use in your Nalgene bottle on a daily basis to supplement carbohydrates if you’re feeling sapped for energy.

Try and space out your carbohydrates throughout the day, loading them according to your day’s activity as much as possible.  For example, if your day starts out steep and hard, give yourself lots of carbs around that window.  If it starts out easy but will get super tough towards the end, put the majority of your carbs in that window. 

You may notice that my Dinners are Mountain House.  Yes, they are not real high on the food quality list, but they’re super convenient, inexpensive, lightweight, they taste good to me, they agree with me and I’m not eating them every day for every meal for the rest of my life.  If eating a dozen of those through the month of September means all of those things above, I can handle the potential downfalls of eating something highly processed.  (Heather’s Choice is a much more “healthy” choice, but it’s less calories and more expensive by quite a bit).

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Lastly, you’ll notice a major lack of vegetables in that list.  Yes, this is a bit of an issue.  You still want your micronutrients while out in the woods.  Unfortunately, most vegetables are going to be hard to keep from spoiling, and are relatively bulky to carry around.  I recommend bringing a Greens Supplement (ziplock bag with as many scoops as you have days) and mixing a scoopful in a morning or evening Nalgene bottle mixed with water.  It won’t taste incredible, but it’s also not that bad.  It’ll be worth it. 

The supplement idea also works with protein powder as well.  A small ziplock back with a scoop of protein powder per day of hunting will provide you with an extra 25-30g of protein per day if you’re finding yourself coming up short.  Plus, it’s damn light and compact for carrying.

Hopefully that helps!  If you have any comments or questions, shoot me an email, I’m happy to help.

CrossFit Sandpoint Member Profile: Trina Kennedy

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What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?

I was introduced to CrossFit through my son. He plays Lacrosse and started doing the workouts at CrossFit to prepare for the upcoming season. I was merely a spectator. In watching some of the workouts that were happening I began to wonder if I would be able to do any part of the workouts.

To back up a bit, I was in a car crash almost 6 years ago. I sustained a significant head injury (TBI) that has significantly altered my life in many ways. Prior to my accident I was an avid runner… that was my therapy. I still have symptoms that affect me everyday and unfortunately I still haven’t really been able to go back to running. The short list of my symptoms is that I have headaches, neck pain and have the feeling of being on a boat all the time, sometimes those waters are rougher than others (not dizzy or nauseated)... this is the most bothersome thing I deal with daily. Some days are worse than others.

With that brief history, I was very skeptical that I would be able to participate in any workouts at CrossFit. I had multiple conversations with Kenny who offered to work with me one on one to see if I could do any of the exercises. It was tough and not an instant love, but I chose to stick with it. I’m committed now… physically I feel better. It is every bit a physical workout as well as a neurological workout for me. Some days are harder than others for sure.

What was your first impression? Has that changed?

Honestly this all seemed very overwhelming to me initially. Everyone was incredibly welcoming and friendly. I felt completely out of place and very awkward. Each coach I worked with in the beginning was really great about listening to my challenges and helping me work through them. Each and every one continues to be so great at helping me alter some exercises to make it a successful experience for me… an awesome group of people! Now, I still feel a bit awkward but not so much out of place anymore. This is all part of my process of finding my new normal I suppose.

What was your first success?

There are many successes I've had from the very beginning. The most significant I remember was jumping up onto some weight plates… I think there was one or two. This was a very difficult task for me! I had to hang onto a PVC pipe and Kenny’s hand. My brain coordinating my body to do a movement that use to be fairly natural is now a real struggle. It is so simple for many of you… this still continues to be one of my biggest challenges. Thanks to Kenny for the help, support and encouragement.

What are you working on now?

I’m trying to increase my intensity during each workout. This is also a huge challenge as there are days that my brain injury just doesn’t allow me to move through anything every quickly. The simplest things like getting up from doing pushups or getting off the rower are a challenge for me and add time to workouts. It’s hard for me to move from one station to another and keep up the intensity at times as I have to let my brain find stability before starting the next station. Let’s just say my boat is on some pretty rough waters sometimes!

What’s your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint memory?

Gotta be the “big runs” (a bit of an inside joke…)

To me a 400m run is huge! I’ve been trying to do short or small runs. Today in class I referred to the 400m run as a big run… apparently more people were listening than I thought. It took on a life of it’s own…use your imagination.

Crossfit Sandpoint Member Profile: Diana Dishong

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What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?

My friend Shawna Erickson told me I should do it, that it would be a great thing for me.  Then, what really motivated me was when people started telling me that it would be too hard for me and that I wouldn’t be able to keep up.  That really fired me up to join and prove them wrong.

 

What was your first impression? Has that changed?

My first impression was that I was really scared.  When I started, I literally couldn’t do an air squat.  I had to hold on to the rig to balance and get any range of motion at all.  However, Kenny and Tennille are awesome!  They patiently worked with and encouraged me to keep at it.  Sure enough, over a year later, CrossFit is part of my daily routine.  (And now I can squat, lunge, etc)

 What was your first success?

Honestly, everything has been a bit of a success for me, as it’s almost all been entirely new to me. 

 What are you working on now?

I’m currently working towards getting my first box jump.  I can jump on smaller things, like stacked up plates, but I’d really like to get that box jump.  I’m also working on just challenging myself everyday.  It’s always tough to get going, but I’m always thrilled that I finish.  It’s incredibly satisfying.

 

What’s your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint memory?

I’m not sure I have a specific memory, but I just love the people here.  They are so supportive and helpful.  People I don’t know at all are always telling me “good job”.  It’s just really cool.

Crossfit Sandpoint Member Profile: Melissa Bethel

What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?
I was trying to find a way to get into shape and lose some weight, so I joined SWAC. I not only felt very uncomfortable but did not know how to use the equipment. Consequently, I just started using the fire station gym (I work at City Hall) on my lunch hour. Eventually one of the firefighters asked why I did not go to CrossFit next door. I about fell off the treadmill laughing. In my mind that was where all the in-shape hard body young, athletic people went. After realizing he was serious, I asked a few more firefighters if they really thought I would be able to do it. I then made an appointment with Kenny and he showed me the facility and assured me I could do the workouts. I will say it took about a year for me to not feel nervous every time I walked in the doors.


What was your first impression?
I was terrified! My first impression was that this place was nothing like I had ever seen. I was totally out of my element and scared…really scared! I honestly believed there was no way I could do it, that I did not have anything in common with anyone, I would be laughed at and fail. But the class setting and coaches were so cool! I was also surprised to see people of all ages and abilities. I think that was the most important thing, people my age (and older) were not only there but doing all that crazy stuff! It was also the hardest I had ever exercised in my whole life.

Has that changed?
CrossFit Sandpoint is still the coolest place and although I am not scared (well most of the time) and I still work harder than ever, the people are still just as friendly and encouraging. I’m not going to lie, at first I thought all those people saying “good job” to me as I was laying on the floor just trying to breathe after a workout was obnoxious, but it grows on you, and before you know it, you have said it back! Because honestly if you make it through a workout you deserve a “good job” from someone! I love that everyone has a genuine interest in celebrating not only their own successes but everyone else’s. I love that it does not matter what background or ability someone has, when we are in class everyone is treated the same. I also love that I don’t have to think about what exercise I should do and that it changes so I don’t get bored!

What was your first success?
Goodness! There have been so many…but probably the first success I had was making it through a full(although scaled) workout. I also remember the first time (and it took a long time) I got to put RX behind my name. It does not happen very often, but when it does, I relish it!

What are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on several things: consistent 20 inch box jumps and double unders, correct form in lifting, and perfecting my nutrition.

What is your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint Memory?
Again there are so many! I have to preface by saying that even after 3 years, I still look at some of the workouts and truly believe there is no way I can do it…I seem to always get through it, but I truly believe it will never happen.. I’m working on trying to change that mindset. I remember one WOD we had that had timed burpees and I genuinely believed I was not going to complete the number of burpees in the time. Kenny was the coach and he didn’t say, Yes you will, come on you’ll be fine…etc.. He just matter of
fact said, “if you do not make the time I will give you this month free”… I made the time. I have had similar experiences with all the coaches. I loved seeing Emily get her first muscle up!
More recently, Colleen and I were the only ones at 5:30 and the WOD called for KB swings and we decided to try the 52 # KBs! It was ugly, but we did it! It was horrible and fun at the same time. 

CrossFit Member Profile: Chris Ankeny

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What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?

 I joined CrossFit to get healthy again. After my last ultra marathon I took a break from running and exercising consistently and that lasted a couple of years. I also   let nutrition slide. It was time to get healthy again. 

 

What was your first impression? Has that changed?

My first impression was - oh damn, this looks intense. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to survive/keep up. My impression has changed, although I still have those thoughts about the sport workouts. 

 

What was your first success?

Surviving the first full workout, the first week and then month. Also, I was super excited when I could put a few handstand push ups together and then more. The rowing was also really challenging at first and noticing after a couple of months that I was hanging in there with some of the others that have been there for a while felt pretty good. 

 

What are you working on now?

I’d like to start performance workouts and learn the different lifts. 

 

What’s your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint memory?

I think in general its the people in the 6 am class. Its a supportive and welcoming community of people. 

 

Crossfit Sandpoint Member Profile: Ammi Midstokke

What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?

I started CrossFit by accident when I inadvertently showed up at a gym in Wiesbaden and was asked to drag a sled across a parking lot. It was love at first plight.

For a girl with little athletic aptitude but a dangerous amount of stubborn determination, it seemed like a place where I could work toward improvement without getting killed. Systematically. With structure. And fewer carnivorous animals than my usual sports.

I stayed because I wanted to improve in my other areas (trail running, mountain biking) and avoid injury by developing flexibility and strength. And because everyone swears as much as me. Except Kenny. I think he swears even more.

What was your first impression? Has that changed?

Initially I was like, “Damn that bitch can heave,” and then she high-fived me because I did five knee pushups without puking on my feet and I was like, “I wanna grow up to be like her.” This impression is renewed every day as I am continually in awe at the quality of character and humanity that are so present as people challenge themselves and support each other. 

What has changed over time is my appreciation for the family feeling and the sport itself. Regardless of where I am in my perpetual struggle of fit/fat, or how consistently inconsistent I am, I can show up and have successes. Even when my overall performance suffers from neglect, my form improves or my muscle memory improves over time. Sometimes it is just my attitude and self-compassion that improve, but I still call that a win.

 

What was your first success?

I think my first real “I can do this!” moment was when I didn’t eat shit trying to box jump. I’m not known for being nimble or quick or doing anything with particular grace. The box scared the bejesus out of me and my shins. Now I love those things. They directly impact my running and cycling performance. 

 

What are you working on now?

This is the first year in a long time that I have not competed as a cyclist or runner and I’m working on being okay with that. What has helped me is coming to CrossFit and having small goals (some days just showing up is a goal) - whether it is to finish a workout, keep a steady pace, or try double under and not cry when I lash myself like a Catholic in a red light district. 

 

What’s your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint memory?

Every single day I show up, I make new memories. Most of them are the minutia of good-mornings and laughter, the support I get from others, the gift of witnessing people be their own bad ass. I am constantly humbled and inspired by everyone there. 

And once I did an afternoon workout and it was like eight billion degrees and all the boys took their shirts off and did muscle ups. I usually go to the 8:00 class where we’re grateful that doesn’t happen. Shirts off would be fine, but muscle ups would blow a valve or two and then we’d miss our workout trying to resuscitate Rick. 

CrossFit Sandpoint Member Profile:Travis Icardo

Why did you start at CrossFit Sandpoint?

 I had gotten to a point in my life where my overall fitness became a higher priority on my priority list.  I had done 2 or 3 cycles of P90X and got bored with that.  Then I started swinging kettlebells with a couple of friends in their garage 3 days a week for about a year.  Essentially we were doing CrossFit with kettlebells, but at time I didn’t realize that.  These friends ended up moving out of town and I had no interest in driving out to the Selle Valley 3 day per week to workout.  It just didn’t fit my schedule.  That was December of 2012.  I caught wind that Britian, Duffy, and some pasty white dude named Kenny from So Cal were doing this CrossFit thing (which I knew nothing about) in a run down warehouse here in town so I reached out to Duff and Britian.  They told me that it was really hard, competitive, and the workouts not only covered all aspects of fitness but also that you would seldom ever do the same workout twice.  Sign me up.  I showed up for a couple of workouts, got my ass handed to me and the rest is history.  I’ve been hooked ever since.

What was your first impression?

My first impression was “bring it on!”  I was sore as hell, daily for probably the better part of a month or so.  I was working out with these dudes that were stronger than me in nearly every aspect, way faster than me, and that had much more stamina than I did.  At the time, I had no doubts that I was a bad ass and the fact that these guys were pummeling me in not only every workout, but nearly all of the strength portions as well motivated the shit out of me.  If they could do it, not only could I do it, but I could do it stronger and faster than they could.  I just had to get to work…  and stay working because they sure as hell were putting in the work and they had one helluva jump start on me, plus most of them were 5 or ten years younger than I was.  I scoffed at the age thing back then – it didn’t matter.  I have since been educated (a bit) on that. 

What was your first success? 

My first success…  That’s a really hard question as I feel like there have been many and they happen quite often.  I remember early on – Like Dec or Jan of 12 or 13 we did this workout called “100’s.”  It was 100 pull ups, 100 push ups, 100 sit ups and I think 100 air squats.  I remember being shocked when I read it (what the hell does that say?,) but also thinking “bring it on.”  At the time, I may have been able to do 3 strict pull ups and had no clue as to how to kip.  (Regardless of how many Duffy clinics he continually gave me.)  The movements were supposed to be done all at once before you moved on to the next one.  Like all of the pull ups, then the push ups, etc.  I remember I was the only one who did not set a band next to me for the pull ups in anticipation of failure looming ahead.  I was also the one who made it to failure on the pull ups first.  It was really hard for me to walk over and grab a band, but I did.  Finished em up dead last, like by a while.  Then moved on.  I think I made up a little ground in the push ups, and then a bunch in the sit ups.  I think there was 3 of us that did the workout together that day and we all finished pretty close to each other.  The rollercoaster of emotions from having to use a band to making up ground through the other movements was pretty cool.  At the end of the workout I remember thinking “Holy Shit!  We just did all of that!”  That was pretty cool. 
First muscle up was super rad.  I remember Kenny and Val (I think Adam was there too) screaming at the top of their lungs and Kenny running over, picking me up and bear hugging me.)  We were all in udder shock.

When Bill pushed me to get my first sub 7 minute mile, that was awesome too.  I had always and still do hate running.  It is clearly for folks who will not stand and fight.  (At least telling myself that makes me feel less bad about the fact that I pretty much suck at it.)

What are you working on now?

I am working on a few things right now.  Probably the biggest thing for me (which I have been working on for about the last year) is swallowing my pride.  That age thing I mentioned earlier.  At first I had to do everything I could to keep up with the beasts at the gym.  It didn’t matter that I wasn’t nearly strong enough or fast enough, I was going to do whatever it took to do my best to keep up.  A few minor injuries and 3 years later I am realizing that I am not 20 years old anymore and that attempting to keep up with the leader does more harm in most cases for me than good.  So I am there for me and me only.  I try to force myself to do the weight that I should be doing as opposed to whatever has that f ing “RX” written after it.  I am there to keep myself as healthy as possible so that I can keep up with my 19, 18, and 4 year old Sons and hopefully still make my super awesome (and very patient) wife all tingly when she thinks about me.

What is your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint Memory? 

My favorite CrossFit Sandpoint memory… boy…  There are tons of them and I am not sure that I could really pin one down.  I think I am taking this one a different route.  What really stands out to me about CrossFit Sandpoint is that it is day in and day out what I look forward to every, single day that I plan on going.  It doesn’t matter how shitty my day at the office is, or what happened at home before I went to work.  It is what I truly  look forward to each and every time that I get to go.  It’s the entire deal.  The fact that I get to go sweat my ass off, and suffer with a bunch of rad, like minded psychos – who all get it.  It’s my safe place.  No one can get me on the phone there.  No one can complain about work shit.  It is a completely stress free hour or so of my day.  It is hands down the most welcoming, supporting and accepting community that I have ever gotten to be a part of.  I love it for all of that.  That is the place that CrossFit Sandpoint occupies in my memory.

CrossFit Sandpoint Member Profile: Bart Casey

What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?

Four years ago my 19 year old niece invited me to go to a CrossFit Sandpoint class with her. At the time I was doing some spin classes at SWAC but not much lifting of weights.

What was your first impression? Has that changed?

I was surprised how strong the girls were. We did thrusters, and I used a plastic PVC pipe. The girls were using barbells with plates and slamming them to the ground. It was great! I was and still am impressed with how effective CrossFit is at changing and strengthening your body.

What was your first success?

 I still remember my first Murph and what a cool experience it was suffering with 30 other people.

What are you working on now?

 I’ve been working with Kenny this year on nutrition. Nutrition is huge! I feel better and look better, but I’m in the gym less. I wouldn’t expect my car to perform if I put sugar water in it, the same holds true for my body. Also I took Bill’s weightlifting class recently and that was awesome.

What’s your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint memory?

Sean Gavin has been my lifting partner for about 3 years, and just recently he hit some huge lifts. For me that is proof that this works like no other training I’ve done in my life. Once again, the greatest impression CrossFit has made on me is that it works. If I commit to showing up I get to witness others and myself succeed.

CrossFit Sandpoint Member Profile: Monique Birkhimer

 

1. What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?

I was always fascinated by CrossFit from watching athletes on social media but I was kind of scared because I always thought to myself "I could never do anything like that". I had this really wrong idea that my small size would limit my abilities so I never gave it much thought.

After getting really bored with my gym routine I ended up reaching out to Kenny for private coaching, I was a disaster (sorry Kenny)!

I was very consumed with body image and calorie counting that I was becoming very unhappy with my daily routines, I finally realized that what I was chasing was completely opposite of what was really important to me. I said F*** it, I am trying something new! January 1, 2016 I became a member.

 

2. What was your first impression? Has that changed?

First off, everyone from the coaches to the members have been nothing but cheerful, helpful, encouraging and inspiring every day. That hasn't changed since day one (it never will) and that is one of the best parts of this community!

Secondly, I always heard a lot of smack talk about CF, they were just a bunch of meat heads throwing bars around with no form causing mass amounts of injuries so I was a little nervous wondering what I was getting myself into. Walking in I was actually pretty excited to see the wide range of people in class. There were grandparents working out along side pregnant women and incredible athletes, this made things so much less intimidating! No one threw anything and no one got hurt. The coaches here at CFS are very knowledgeable and are great at what they do!

We also did thrusters my first day and I was like WTF am I doing here? I still feel that way every time we do thrusters.

 

3. What was your first success?

I have to name one!? I can't remember my first but recently I was pretty stocked about a snatch PR that I finally hit. Snatching has been the most frustrating lift for me to learn and I finally feel I am making progress!

Every week I feel I impress myself with something new I have accomplished. I am constantly striving to get faster and stronger and every week I see those improvements in different areas of my training. 

 

4. What are you working on now?

Several months ago I decided to join the sport programming, I liked the idea of the extra lifts that are generally incorporated in for the day and the intensity of the WODS. I have been working really hard to complete the WODS with the RX weight, I can't say that I can every workout but now its more often than not and that pleases me!

Every workout I focus on being better at everything I do. I want to be faster, stronger more efficient and have better technique.

I also want a damn muscle up and that's gonna happen, very very soon.

 

5. What’s your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint memory?

During on of my first few days in CF we were doing box jumps in class something I have always been comfortable with, never really realizing that this can be pretty intimidating to others! Someone, I cannot remember who, had two big plates that they stood and stared at for several moments before jumping on top. When she finally jumped and landed on top she had the biggest smile and everyone cheered and clapped congratulating her. I thought that was absolutely amazing! To find such a large group of people that care so much about other peoples successes no matter how big or small can be really hard to find. It wasn't just that class or just that day, that is everyday for everyone!

I also love that I have made some really terrific friends that share the same motivation and passion not just in CF but in life. Friends that I will continue to make fun memories with for a very long time!

Posting Your Times (and Why it's Important)

By: Dan Chamberlain

In CrossFit, the whiteboard is the crux of where the magic happens.  There, you will find your assigned warmup, strength work and Workout of the Day.  Most of the time, you will also find thetimes or scores from the previous classes' athletes. 

At CrossFit Sandpoint, most of our athletes aren't all that competitive.  Most of us just want to get in, get a great workout in, spend time with our favorite coaches and workout partners and go home.  Trying to win or have our loss illustrated on the whiteboard is not always (or ever) a part of that equation.  So, a lot of us are guilty of not writing our times on the board or even keeping our score. 


That is completely fine.  We will never guilt or force you into either of those things.  We totally get it.  However, I'd like to discuss how it can be very helpful to the rest of this community regardless of your performance or how little you care.  

I have two points of view on this topic.  One is as a coach.  The other is that of an athlete.

As a coach, there are times when I walk into the gym, and I don't see any scores for the workout. As many of you know, we write your names on the board for every class.  However, we do not know your scores, and we don't always ask.

Most of your perfectly happy just completing the workout with no care of what your score is. And in those cases a :-) is perfectly acceptable as your score.

However, as a coach, if there are no scores on the board, it makes it hard to know some very relevant information.  When scores get written on the board, it gives us coaches an illustration of how long the workout is taking, what weights people are using, and drastically helps us with helping you to scale the workout appropriately.  When we can see what happened in previous classes, it gives us context to how we should coach our classes.  As we all know, workouts don't always go how they look like they're going to go according to the whiteboard.

Plus I love to give out high-fives, and it's hard to do that if I don't see that you killed it on the workout!

From an athlete's perspective, looking at scores is a little bit different.

I'll share an example with you to show how seeing someone else's score helped me perform and make an accurate plan for my workout. Last Friday, the workout for Sport was for time.  It consisted of: An 800-meter run, 10 muscle ups, 20 strict handstand push-ups, 10 muscle ups, 800-meter run.

I was super excited to see this workout when it was posted. I have no issues with any of the movements in this workout, so I knew I could approach it without too much regard for muscular endurance or skill development. In casual conversation with another athlete during the 4:30 class, he mentioned how he finally felt a hundred percent after being sick for a couple of weeks. We talked about his time in the workout, how he approached it and how he felt magnificent about himself based on how well he did.

As we discussed these things, I was able to formulate a good plan, pacing strategy and set some goals for how I wanted to perform and attack the challenge laid in front of me.  Now, the athlete in question is a bit faster on the running, and has a bit more capacity for the gymnastic movements, so I knew he'd tackle it differently than I would be able to, but it gave me a rabbit to chase.  I ended up finishing within about a minute of his time.  For me, that's a great performance, and it felt awesome to execute my plan in that way.

None of this would have been possible if he had not posted his score. I wouldn't have this awesome feeling of accomplishment in myself.  Remember, I didn't win the workout.  But, that feeling of accomplishment I achieved was far better than winning.  That little extra push, motivation and information was what needed for an awesome Friday afternoon WOD.

So the next time you're in the gym, and you finish your workout. Think about the person who checks your score and that competes against you. They're not doing it to beat you they are doing it to make themselves better, and you're helping with that.  If you find yourself feeling bad about getting beat, or not performing as well, try and remind yourself that that is just your ego talking, and that no one else cares. 

If someone goes after you and beats you, know that you set the bar and that it's almost universally easier to one-up a score that has already been set.  Ever heard the story of the 4 minute mile?  (Google it, if not).  If the thought of competition is too much to make this fun, then please feel free to leave your scores off the board.  If you're good with it, just remember how much you're helping your fellow workout buddies by posting.

CrossFit Member Profile: Sean Gavin

What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?

I was not getting any younger and was getting Fat, so I knew I needed to make a change.  I had seen and heard about CrossFit on the news and social media.

What was your first impression? Has that changed?

I was extremely intimidated and did not think I was in good enough shape to join.  I actually came to one free class and then didn’t come back for 6 months.  But here I am 3 and a half years later.

What was your first success?

Box Jumps! I started off jumping onto stacked up bumper plates, so when I finally got to the 24” box, I was ecstatic.  That weekend when I was with my friends I kept trying to show off my new achievements by trying jumping onto counters and whatever else I could find.

What are you working on now?

Strength and nutrition are the main things I'm focusing on right now.

What’s your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint memory?

My favorite memory has repeated itself annually. Every year on my birthday I'm stronger than I was the year before!

Everyone Is Out to Sell a Book

Everyone’s trying to sell a book (or a program, or a _______).  

These days, it’s almost impossible to count the amount of diet books, plans, protocols, “experts”, etc that are available to or utilized by the public.  And this includes fitness and nutrition.  

Most come and go, but they all bear similar life cycles.  They burst onto the scene, everyone starts talking about it, books fly off the shelves, there’s an evening news story or two describing them, and then they’re gone by the next season. Throughout their popularity, we all have those friends that are so indoctrinated and captivated by them that they are so annoying to be around that we consider deleting them from our Facebook.  

Some stick around, some don’t.  Some have moderate success, some become full blown cults.  A lot of the time, people see great results.  Sometimes those results even stick.  

Here’s the thing to know about almost every single popular fitness and/or nutrition plan that works:  

THEY ALL WORK!

Seriously.  

Almost all of the popular plans, protocols, books, trainers, etc will work.  

Wait, what?  How can that be?!  I thought Paleo was the only one true answer!  What about Gluten?!  I know someone who lost 50 pounds doing Keto!  I heard that if I do Intermittent Fasting that I’ll get abs!  I want the toned muscles I know you get from Yoga/Barre/Pilates.  Wait, don’t you own a CrossFit gym?

Yes!  No!  Maybe to all of the above!  

Seriously though, I’d like you to consider how crazily similar all of the various plans and programs are when you boil them down to the important details.  

For Nutrition:

  • Every reputable plan out there will have you eating a majority of foods based around protein

    • Protein is very satiating (so you will eat less crap), it (generally) won't convert to body fat, and it's vital for tissue repair.  Viola!  Magical mystery food from the Gods!

    • Can you, and should you do this even if you're a Vegan, Vegetarian, Fruitatarian?  Yes, you should.

  • Every reputable plan out there will have you eating a lot of vegetables to supplement your protein

    • Everyone wants to talk about Macros (protein, fat, carbs), but your Micronutrient intake is at least as important, if not more so.

  • Every reputable plan out there will have you earning your carbohydrates

    • If you’re exercising a lot or are a hard charging athlete, you will need carbohydrates for fuel.  Yes, you can burn fat for fuel, but as soon as shit gets intense or your training load is high, you will need carbohydrates to burn.  Anyone who says different has an angle, is trying to sell you something, or just plain doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

    • Does that mean I should “cycle” my carbohydrates?  Yes, it does, but it doesn’t mean anything other than that on days that you workout, you can eat more carbohydrates, ideally in a post workout window.  This does not mean that you go hog wild on ice cream because you walked to the store to purchase that ice cream.  It means you should eat some rice, potato, fruit, or other high quality, dense carbohydrates on training days, and that you stay relatively low on days you do not.  WHOA!

    • Does this mean you should cut out Carbohydrates all-together?  Nope. Ignoring an entire macronutrient group will leave your diet and body lacking in both fuel, nutrients and mood.  

  • Every reputable plan out there will have you eating high quality Fats

    • Eating dietary fat is not necessarily going to make you fat.  Dietary fat is however, very calorically dense.  Fat has 9 calories per gram, whereas protein and carbs have 4 calories per gram. So when someone succeeds on a low fat diet, that could mean they did so by coincidentally cutting out a shit load of calories, not because Fat was directly the problem.  Unfortunately, Fats are vital for proper heart, body and brain function, so they should not be ignored.   

 

  • Every reputable plan out there will have you eating high quality foods.  

    • What about gluten?  Isn’t Gluten the devil?  Screw Gluten and this wave of sudden intolerance. The amount of the population that actually has a gluten intolerance is dramatically small. However, the amount of people who have coincidentally lost weight and/or felt better when they cut out gluten is staggering.  Why?  Well, when they cut out Gluten, they accidentally cut out a lot of shitty, sugar filled foods they were eating, and they also dramatically decreased their carbohydrate intake.  Oddly, this meant they lost weight and felt better.  WEIRD!

    • If you eat locally sourced, minimally processed foods, you will look better and feel better.

  • Every reputable plan should have you learning and developing a good relationship with food

    • You should be learning about all of this stuff.  You should be eating slowly and paying attention.  

    • You should strive to develop good habits around these things, not look for a quick fix.  

    • You should plan for and look to the long term, not yo yo your way through 20 pound losses and gains from season to season.

  • Sustainability and long term success is the absolute most important part of the whole equation.  

    • If you can’t foresee doing what you’re doing for long into the future, don’t even bother starting.  Unless it’s for an extreme example, if you don’t keep it up, you’ll screw up your body, you’ll be teaching yourself that failure is normal and expected and you’ll just end up frustrated.

For Fitness:

  • Fitness is just a loose term that roughly defines intentional movement.

    • Fitness means different things to different people.  Some people want to compete to know who is the fittest on earth.  Some people want to walk around the block in an effort to offset calories.  

  • Neither end of that spectrum is wrong or right.
  • To lose weight, you should burn more calories than you consume.  

    • Is a calorie a calorie?  No.  

    • Do you know how many calories I need to eat daily?  Nope.  

    • How many calories does “x” burn?  I have no idea, and your Fitbit is lying to you.

    • But wait, if I eat 4000 calories a day of Broccolli and only burn 2000 calories a day, I’ll gain weight?  No, you’ll get violently ill and you’ll possibly commit murder by the output of your small intestine.

  • It’s important to note that you are always burning calories, but the intensity and nature of what you are doing will determine how many and for how long you’ll be burning these calories.  

    • For example, compared to sitting on the couch, walking burns more calories, but for most of you, once you stop walking, you will stop burning more calories. Your body will not have to do much adapting to that, and therefore will be right back to baseline.  

    • Lifting weights for 3-5 sets of 10-12, progressively adding more and more weight until you can’t do 10-12, for example, will both burn calories while you’re doing those lifts, but will also cause your body to repair the “damage” that you’ve done during the training session. This will force your body to burn more calories for the time it takes to rebuild.  

    • But Kenny, I don’t want to look like one of those people!  You won’t. Those people are guilty of one of the following: they’re trying really, really hard to look like that, their nutrition is screwy, or they have a hormone imbalance (possibly synthetically induced). Seriously.  I work with a lot of people who do want more muscles, and they work their asses off to do so.  It doesn’t happen by accidentally picking up a weight once in awhile.  
  • Doing intense stuff, like hard sprints or short interval training will have a similar, but different effect than weight training, but the point remains.  Prolonged period of repair and restoration = longer period of metabolic increase = weight/fat loss.

    • But what if you combine those two things, wouldn’t you be invincible and be the envy of everyone that sees you in a bathing suit?  Probably.  But only if you combine all the things I mentioned above about nutrition as well. 

 

  • It’s generally a good idea to vary your training.

    • Too much of one thing can overstress the body.  Through variance, you will ensure progress, and you will lower your risk of injury.

    • Variance allows you to do more training, and see results for a very very long time before making any dramatic changes.

    • Does this mean you should jump around and only do things once in a while?  Not necessarily.  If you want to get better at something, whether it’s running or squatting or playing frisbee, you must practice those specific events, so try to keep that in mind.

  • Having fun and continuing to do what you’re doing is quite literally the most important part of the whole equation.

    • If you can’t foresee doing what you’re doing for long into the future, don’t even bother starting.  Unless it’s for an extreme example, if you don’t keep it up, you’ll screw up your body, you’ll be teaching yourself that failure is normal and expected and you’ll just end up frustrated.  (Wait, where have I heard that before?)

So, what should you do with all of this information?  

  • Well, everything and nothing.  It's important to know the reasons why you're doing something.  It's also important to see through the baloney that's out there.  If something sounds too good to be true, it most definitely is.  However, if something sounds like it follows the tenants of the above, it seems like it would fit in with your lifestyle, and you feel like you could get into it, you should do it!  Most importantly, this gives you plenty of ammunition for your annoying friends who won't shutup about their new ______.  (Yes, I know I own a CrossFit gym)

CrossFit Sandpoint Member Profile: Jen Stevens

What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?

 started CrossFit in an effort to keep up with my husband during hunting season. I swear that man is part mountain goat! Being the competitive person that I am, I felt like I needed do something to improve that experience. I wanted to enjoy the physical challenge of hunting rather than being miserable. The woods are avery unforgiving place to test your fitness. In the past I had considered myself to be a pretty fit person, I was moderately athletic throughout high school and could basically eat whatever I wanted. Most workouts I had tried after graduation left me feeling like I still had the stamina to do well, but really they just weren’t challenging enough. I had this skewed vision that I was still in shape and didn’t need anything more. Then one day I looked at myself in the mirror and had to grasp the harsh reality that I was no longer a 19 year old with a fast metabolism who looks good in a tiny bikini! There’s a possibility I had eaten one too many cookies at the 10 baby and/or bridal showers I was coerced into attending each year. So, I started doing some casual CrossFit-type workouts, taking pointers from a friend who was already attending classes. They were hard, unexpected and I was doing stuff that I never knew existed at a non-competitive level. Eventually I worked up the courage to go to a class, mostly for the accountability that atmosphere has to offer. I remember my first day at CrossFit we did wall balls and instead of catching the ball at the bottom of my squat, it hit me in the face. That was humbling…and so it began!

 What was your first impression?

I would be lying if I said that watching a bunch of people throw weights around, doing pullups and sweating out every last ounce of water in their bodies wasn’t scary. It was sort of like going to my first day of 7 th grade all over again! My first WOD was with Coach Dan and it was clear that he was super tolerant of my lack of know-how, so that immediately changed my mindset; nobody is there to judge you. I walked out that day no longer afraid, but used those “scary” movements as inspiration of what was to come! My opinion of CrossFit has only improved over time. The coaching, support and fantastic people (who will no doubt be life-long friends) have made that giant garage a place where I feel comfortable being vulnerable. I literally show up in slippers and freshly rolled- out-of- bed hair at 6am and I completely forget about how I look the second I walk through those doors. Participating in CrossFit over the past 3+ years has done some pretty incredible things for my self-worth. This is the one thing that I wholeheartedly do for me and I have 100% control over the result. I can choose to push myself… or not. The possibilities are endless!

 What Was your first Success?

My first success… oh how sweet it was! I was in the middle of a WOD and had been using bands for pull ups. It was a triplet for time – running, pullups and kettlebell swings. I got back in after my 400 meter run to jump on the bar only to discover Coach Kenny had taken my band away and when I looked at him in pure distress to seek help in getting my bands replaced, he just stood there, shook his head and said, “no bands for you”! I was in shock but what choice did I have but to dig deep and get it done? If someone else believed I could do it then the only thing standing in my way was fear. I was so proud of myself for doing the workout completely RX’d … it was an unbelievable feeling. By the way, before this, I can’t remember the last time I was “proud of myself” for anything!

 What are you working on now?

I am working on a few things right now. I want to get my butterfly pull ups down under fatigue. I just started the sport programming (a task in itself) in hopes that I will get a little stronger and really put some effort toward getting my first muscle up! Also, snatches… I need those back in my life, where they feel good again.

Whats your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint memory?

 I have so many memories; my first success mentioned above is one I will never forget! Last year during the Open I had something like 20 seconds on the clock to get as many more clean and jerks in there as I could. It was heavy and I was tired; I cleaned it, then dropped the bar on my knee (ouch!) but I didn’t let the pain phase me. I picked it back up to complete one more rep before the time ran out. Even though I failed, I pushed through and left nothing on the table. That experience says so much about what CrossFit has the ability teach you. My mantra during almost every workout (and life) is, “I can’t grow unless I am uncomfortable”!

CrossFit Member Profile: Sadie Green

Sadie with her awesome running partner! 

Sadie with her awesome running partner! 

 What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?

I started CrossFit in February 2015. I really knew nothing about it, but it had been a long winter, with no ski pass, and I was really out of shape. I also didn’t have any motivation to do anything to get myself back in shape. So one evening, I had a couple of beers and was feeling ambitious, and I saw the Foundations class advertisement. I signed myself up before I could think twice about it and back out. I consider it one of the best decisions I have ever made. 

What was your first impression? Has that changed?

I don’t like to do things I’m not good at. As we all know, no one is good at CrossFit when they first start.  Needless to say, I didn’t much care for it.  But I had paid my money and was determined to stick it out. It took about 6 weeks for me to really start seeing progress, but as soon as I did, that’s when I went from not liking it to addicted. It was a fast jump for me. Now, I still wouldn’t necessarily say I’m “good” at CrossFit. CrossFit for me is more about the progress I see from day to day. I’m way better than where I started, but I still have a lot of goals to look forward to. 
 

 What was your first success?

I can still remember getting my first double under, first time getting 2 double unders in a row, first time kicking up into a handstand, and of course my first pull up. I’m pretty sure I shouted out to the gym at random, “I did it!” each time, and for multiple other “successes". I really feel like I’m making new accomplishments pretty much every week. But every once in a while, I go back in my email and look at the goals I had to tell Kenny about when I first signed up for CrossFit, and when I do that I really feel like I’ve been successful. Yes, I have the motivation to keep working out and “stick with it.” Yes, I eat much healthier. And Yes, I feel so much better about myself than I did when I sent that email. That’s the real success for me in doing CrossFit. 
 

 What are you working on now?

What am I not working on? I’m working on everything, everyday. I recently considered moving up to the Sport programming from Performance, and even tried it out for a couple of days. But right now, I want to keep working on, well everything, but really to do it to the best of my ability. And for me right now that's working on improving my mobility, managing my stress, and paying attention to what I eat and drink, so that when I show up every day I can give CrossFit my best. With those things in mind, I decided performance is perfect for me right now. 

That being said I do have some specific things I have been working on or looking forward to, including: 

I am really looking forward to doing Bill's weightlifting class and improving my form in the olympic lifts. 

I’ve also started doing horse vaulting, and my goal is to do a cartwheel on the horse. There is no way I would even be considering something like that without having CrossFit! So while I’m at the gym, I’ve been working on kicking into handstands, etc, as drills to work towards that goal. 

 What’s your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint memory?

That’s such a hard one. I smile just thinking about yesterday’s workout. Right now I’m really proud of how I did in the open. My 17.4 workout was probably my favorite I’ve ever done for many reasons. One of those reasons was being able to compare myself to last year - and I kicked my own ass! Last year I was pretty happy with getting through 24 calories on the rower, and accomplishing my goal to “not hurt myself” on the deadlifts. This year, I just went for it, and was able to finish the row with 30 seconds to spare. Another reason that day is one of my favorite memories is because I did it on a Saturday, in the midst of open chaos. I love the gym environment of people competing and others cheering for them. The people in the gym cheering and yelling at me made 17.4 unforgettable. That’s my favorite memory right now, but with CrossFit, I have memorable moments almost every day. 

CrossFit Sandpoint Member profile: Anita Rotert

What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?

I didn't know anything about CrossFit until someone I knew told me about it.  He thought I would be interested.  He knew I liked to run and was trying to stay fit.  So I went on line to find out just what is this CrossFit thing.  After looking at the website, I saw the free Saturday workout.  So I thought I'd go and see what it was all about. 

What was your first impression? Has that changed?

I immediately liked it!  I thought it was challenging and liked the variety.  I thought, well, I'll try it for three months and see if I can do it.  I started in the 6 a.m. class a little over three years ago.  They are a very motivated group; a lot of high energy. But one of the things that was so great was how they welcomed me, a much older person, to their group. I was so surprised when people would cheer me on to finish (I was always last so I got a lot of cheering).  The support was incredible.   

It didn't take long for me to feel part of the group.  I ways try to remember how uncertain I felt when I first started and want new members to know they are part of the community.  There is no gym like CrossFit.

And I still like it when people cheer me on.  It's funny to think that just having the coach walk by, when you are about to die, and say good job, will give you the boost you need to get through those last few burpees.  

 What was your first success?

I remember the first time I did a 100# back squat.  I thought that was pretty amazing.  I am proud to say I have had major improvements on all lifting.  And though I don't jump up on the boxes, I am using the stacked weights to make improvements...baby steps. 

Another is, after losing weight, I can do a burpee so much better.  They are still hard but at first they were very, very hard. 

I think one of my successes is just coming to CrossFit daily.  When I tell other people that I do CrossFit, they often say, "Oh, I can't do that."  and I say yes you can.  If I can do it, so can you.  

What are you working on now?

I would love to be like Terry and get a toes to bar.  And continue to improve my box jumping.  Oh, and some day get a pull up.

What’s your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint memory?

I think the best memory was when I first started.  That 6 a.m. group was so helpful and encouraging.  In my head, I keep thinking,  "they probably think I wouldn't last, that I don't really belong here".  But that was so far from true.  They made me feel like an athlete striving to be as good as I could be.  

Since I retired from work, I have moved on to the 8 a.m. group.  They are great too! Love the Saturday workout because I get to see some of the 6 group and also get to know other people.  Thanks Kenny and all the coaches. It's a great community of like minded people.  Can't beat that.

What Next?

What’s Next???

So the Open is over.  If you didn’t read my recap, you can find it here

And now the question is, where do we go from here?

Although a majority of you don’t participate in the Open or don’t have any aspirations of competition, we do typically plan our training year around the event.  It provides a nice annual structure, and allows for goals to align with the seasons (our Spring, get-ready-for-Summer goals are very similar in nature to Post Open, give-the-body-a-rest goals.)

In years past, I’ve had the whole gym go to a very Function-like program.  It’s a great way to turn down the intensity and get back to basics.  We typically reduce the amount of Weightlifting (Snatch/Clean and Jerk), increase our Time Under Tension (slower lifts), and somewhat eliminate kipping and gymnastic work from the Performance and Sport programs.  

This year, we’ll be doing it a little differently.  

The opportunities for competition and tests of fitness coming this Spring and Summer are plentiful.  There’s usually 4-5 local CrossFit competitions, a Weightlifting Competition, a Spartan Race or two and I’m hoping to run a local, inter-gym competition here in the later part of Summer.  I'll update the group to these as they come up.

With all of that in mind, I want to make sure that if you want to compete this summer you’re ready for it.

So, for the upcoming season, Function is going to stay Function, Performance will be Performance, and Sport will be Sport.  All three will feel very similar (with a few variations) to the way they have been programmed for the last few months.  

However, Performance and Sport will have more Tempos assigned to their lifts and Time Under Tension type days interspersed throughout the week.  This way, we can still assign some focus to getting back to basics, but not completely ignore the things you’ll find in competition.  Training in this fashion—with a constant variation of lifts, reps, sets and tempos—allows for a dramatic reduction in the amount of de-loading necessary for your body to stay out of exhaustion.  It is always getting a stimulus, but that stimulus is always changing, so you’re not constantly trying to adapt to the same thing with more and more intensity.

I’m looking forward to this, and by the sounds of it, most of you are excited about it too.

On a related note, this is a great time to explore your goals and aspirations to see how they align with your training and nutrition program.  If you’re feeling like the work you’re doing in the gym isn’t getting you the results you’d like, please come chat with me about it.  Or, if you’re not sure where you want to go, I’m happy to help you explore that too.

Within these walls are countless resources to help you achieve whatever goals you’re after.  You have access to some of the best and most knowledgeable coaches in the Northwest, if not the world.  And that’s not just limited to CrossFit.  We have insight, experience and resources on almost everything fitness and nutrition related.  

If you need help getting your nutrition dialed in, we’ll have a group starting in late April or early May.  

If you need help perfecting a skill, we have 30 min personal training sessions with the coach of your choice.

If you want to get better at Weightlifting, Bill will be hosting a 1 hour clinic on Wednesdays and Saturdays starting on April 11th.  

If you are looking preparing for a specific competition or event, we have individualized program design.  

If you’re looking to improve your endurance or prepare for the upcoming fall hunting season, we’ll have endurance programming available in the early part of Summer.  

Don’t be shy about seeking help where you need it or taking advantage of our resources here.
 
Don’t wonder “what if”, just do it.