If you haven’t been doing CrossFit for a year or more, you may be wondering what the CrossFit Open even is. It’s a competition held at CrossFit affiliates worldwide to serve as the first stage for competitors to qualify for the CrossFit Games in the summer. Last year, over 429,000 people participated in The CrossFit Open. However, 99.9% of us won’t be making it to the CrossFit Games, so why should you even bother, right?
- BCF Intramural Open: At Battleship CF, we do an intramural style open where we split participants into teams within our gym. Those teams compete against one another for 5-weeks at our Friday Night Lights. Of course, competition is friendly and you get a chance to meet lots of other members who may not normally come to the same class time as you.
- Multiple Workout Options: If you’re worried that you won’t be able to do double unders, muscle ups, or handstand push ups, there’s no need to skip the entire Open just for that. Similar to our daily WODs, there will be options for RX, Scaled, Masters and Teens. Workouts can be modified to suit any skill level. And our team points aren’t based entirely on scores. They are actually mostly based on participation and camaraderie.
- Surprise Yourself with a PR: We see multiple people each year get their “first” during the Open. People push themselves a little harder than normal and often surprise themselves by getting their first pull up, toes to bar or lift more weight than they ever have before. With all the extra energy, excitement and encouragement we have during Friday Night Lights, you may get a PR this year, too!
- Identify Weaknesses and Set Goals: It’s true that the CrossFit Open gets harder and harder each year as athletes get better and better. As part of that, CrossFit HQ doesn’t shy away from programming movements that you may not be great at right now. And that’s okay. After the Open, you will have a good idea or where you are already strong and areas that you may need to focus on to be more prepared for the Open in 2020.
- Prizes: Last year, we had some cool prizes from our sponsors to give away during FNL. We will randomly draw names for the prizes out of those who sign up and come to FNL. Plus, at the end of the 5-weeks, the team with the most points will get a cool team banner that will hang in the gym all year to signify your team’s dominance!
- Cool Shirt + Food!: If I haven’t gotten your buy-in yet, I’m banking on the fact that everyone loves a new shirt and food! As part of our BCF Intramural Open, you’ll get a special shirt in your team color. You’ll also get snacks and drinks during each FNL. The final FNL will be sponsored by Angelo’s Steak Pit, and we will be grilling up some yummy burgers to celebrate all our hard work!
The CrossFit Open starts Friday, February 22nd. Our BCF Intramural Open sign ups are open now, so go ahead and put your name on the list to join the fun. This is by far the biggest event we do all year, so don’t miss out!
Each January, people everywhere set resolutions for the new year. An overwhelming majority of those people rank losing weight and getting in shape as their top resolutions. And, unfortunately, only a very small amount of those people stick to those resolutions long enough to achieve their goals.
So how can you overcome the odds and set yourself up for success this year?
- Set Measurable Goals: It’s true what they say, “what gets measured, gets managed.” I hear many people whose goal it is to simply “eat healthy” or “get fit.” These are very vague goals, which makes them hard to achieve when you’re not even sure exactly what the criteria is. Be specific about your goal. Is there a certain weight you’d like to get to? A pair of pants that you’d like to be able to wear?
- Set a Deadline: In the same way that vague goals aren’t helpful, open-ended goals are less than ideal as well. Set mini-goals along the way and then a date to accomplish those small goals leading up to your big goal. Each mini goal is a win and will help your motivation to continue.
- Know Your Why: Are you just randomly setting a goal with no reason in mind? WHY do you want to lose 20 pounds? Is it so that you’ll feel more confident at the beach this summer? Or is it because you’d like to be able to play with your kids or grandkids without being winded? These are both great reasons, and knowing your why can help you remember the bigger picture in those weak moments when you want to throw in the towel.
- Exercise: There are TONS of options for exercise programs that are effective. Pick one that fits your personality and goals. CrossFit is a great way to get fit with a tight-knit group under the eye of a qualified coach. But, it’s not the only way. Find something that you enjoy and will stick to. Consistency is more important than intensity.
- …But Don’t Forget About Nutrition, Too: The combination of diet and exercise together is the best way to get to your goals the fastest. And, you’ll feel better too! Just like with exercise, there are lots of diet options out there. Find one that is healthy (not a crash diet) and that is, more importantly, sustainable. If you’re able to lose weight quickly on a extremely restrictive, low-calorie diet, but that diet doesn’t fit your lifestyle, you probably won’t stick to it for long. And, unfortunately, most people end up binging after a diet and put back all of their previous weight, if not more.
- Find an Accountability Partner or Group: Everything is easier if you know you have someone holding you accountable for your goals. Find a spouse, friend or group of people who are like-minded to hold you accountable. It will help you and them to succeed!
If you need help in reaching your fitness and nutrition goals, schedule a free intro session here. We’d love to help!
Carbs are often blamed for being “bad” in today’s society. In recent years, low-carb diets like Keto and Paleo have become extremely popular. So what is a carb, anyway? Carbs are a macronutrient, along with protein and fat. Carbs includes foods like bread, rice and fruit. Carbs contain about 4 calories per gram, while protein contains 4 calories per gram and fat contains 9 calories per gram. All three macronutrients are important, for various reasons, but today we will focus on carbs.
When you eat carbs, your body converts them into an energy source known as glycogen. Glycogen is the fuel your muscles use for training. For those who are active, eating more carbs can be beneficial for various reasons:
- Train Harder: If you don’t exercise, the amount of carbs needed if much less than an active person. However, those who exercise regularly will need the “fuel” carbs provide to perform well. Eating carbs around your training, (before, during and after) will allow you to perform more reps, lift more weight and feel better while doing so. Most people will notice an increase in their performance and their overall energy levels if they increase their carb intake appropriately.
- Recover Well: If you work out day after day on a low-carb diet, you will likely deplete your glycogen stores within a few days. However, keeping an adequate amount of carbs and glycogen in your system allows you to recover well and continue to train hard day after day.
- Increased Muscle Growth: If you chronically deplete your carb intake in comparison to your training, it can actually inhibit muscle growth. When consuming adequate carbs and keeping glycogen levels high, muscle growth will occur more easily and more readily.
So, how many carbs should you eat? First, take into account how active you are in your day-to-day life. Do you sit behind a desk all day or are you on your feet waiting tables? Second, how hard do you workout? If you sit at a desk all day and then come home to sit on the couch, you probably don’t need many carbs because your activity level is low and your body doesn’t require much “fuel” for these activities. Alternatively, if you sit at a desk during the day, but complete an intense workout every day, your carb intake needs goes up along with your activity level. Pair an active day job with intense training every day, and your carb intake needs go up even more.
The bottom line is that carbs are not necessarily the villain that they are often made out to be. Depending on your activity level, they can be great for improving training, recovery and muscle growth. And it IS possible to still loose weight while consuming carbs, as long as you keep your carb intake levels in line with your activity levels. However, if you are very inactive, a lower carb diet, like Keto, may be a great fit for you. There is no one-size-fits-all, so examine your lifestyle and your goals and make a determination on what works best for you. If you’d like to chat more, we offer nutrition services with our partners at Renaissance Periodization. Schedule a free intro session here.
Box squatting is a technique made popular by Louie Simmons at Westside Barbell, but it’s not only beneficial for powerlifters to do them. They have a great carryover to Olympic lifts and to CrossFit. And, when done correctly, the box squat is one of the safest and most efficient ways for athletes of all skill levels to squat for many reasons.
- Teaches Proper Mechanics: Box squats are an excellent way to teach new people how to squat properly…or how to break bad mechanics for those who have been squatting incorrectly for a while. It teaches lifters the proper mechanics of how to reach back with their hips first, and not with their knees driving forward first. It also gives a physical target for athletes to sit back to and receive instant feedback on the depth they should be hitting. Depending on their current ability, the box height can be varied from above parallel for beginners or those with mobility limitations, all the way down to a short box that will put the lifter in a below parallel position that we shoot for in CrossFit.
- Strengthens Posterior Chain: Since the hips go back so far in a box squat and the shins stay vertical, the hips, hamstrings and glutes are the primary movers. Many people are very quad-dominant in their normal squatting patterns, but this movement pattern will strengthen and bring up any lagging muscles in the posterior chain by changing their body positioning. By strengthening these large muscle groups, most people will also see improvements in their pulling movements, like deadlifts, cleans and snatches. Many people will also notice that their lower back health improves.
- Increases Explosive Strength: The box squat teaches lifters how to explode quickly out of the bottom of a squat. In a normal squat, an athlete can use the stretch shortening cycle (or the “bounce”) out of the bottom. With box squats, the eccentric (or lowering) portion is separated from the concentric (driving up) portion, which really helps to build reversal strength when starting from essentially a dead stop. For example, box squats can help an athlete get out of the hole when catching a squat clean in the rock-bottom position.
- Working Around Knee Issues: Box squats can also be a great tool to use when athletes are experiencing knee pain or a knee injury. As mentioned earlier, a lot of people are very quad dominant and drive their knees forward in their squats. By sitting the hips and knees back, the majority of the loading is placed on the powerful muscles of the hips, hamstrings and glutes, which will take the pressure off the knees while squatting.
So, don’t be afraid of box squatting or think that you have to be a powerlifter to do them. They are very beneficial when done correctly and will carry over to your normal squat as well as to other compound movements. Give them a try during your next squatting session!
When people think of CrossFit, the typical image is of buff, sweaty guys and girls throwing around barbells, flipping tires and doing all sorts of crazy gymnastic movements that you could never imagine yourself doing. However, step into a group class at any local CrossFit gym, and you’ll see a variety of people from all ages and backgrounds working out together.
Many people are scared to jump into CrossFit without getting fit first; this is backwards. Most people are actually not super fit when they start, but have developed into amazing athletes after months and years of work of consistency. The beauty of CrossFit is that everyone can do it on day one. Yes everyone. All the movements and workouts can be “scaled” or modified to suit any fitness level. Whether you are a former athlete or someone who has never played a sport or worked out in your life. We have members in their 60s and 70s, as well as members with physical injuries or limitations that we work around daily. The coaches at BCF are knowledgable and can guide everyone to movements and modifications that are best suited to their current skill level.
After you consistently workout for several months, you’ll find yourself doing things that you probably didn’t think you ever could. Maybe that’s getting a pull up, running 400m without stopping or simply taking the stairs at work without getting winded. After you knock those goals off the list, you’ll begin to realize that the sky’s the limit! There’s always room to grow in CrossFit, so you’ll never get bored. Just as workouts can be scaled to suit a beginner’s needs, they can also be modified for intermediate and advanced athletes as you progress.
Don’t wait to get fit before checking us out. We will get you to your goals with a great group of people and knowledgable coaches to guide you on your journey. You can schedule a time for a FREE intro session to come in, talk about your goals and see if we are a good fit for you.