Onward & Upward: ‘Stop Doing It For The ‘Gram’

More and more often these days we encounter folks living life through the lens of their smartphone. Ever since becoming a social influencer turned into a real career it has become increasingly difficult to know what is real and what is staged. Not only that, but how often are you interrupting your own life in order to capture a moment that is sure to get you attention on social media.

Is it really worth it though? Stop and ask yourself…

How many beautiful sunrises get missed? How many meals are really tasted and enjoyed? How many family/friend moments are put on pause to snap a photo?


“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time — past and future — the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.”

― Eckhart Tolle


Knowing that any, most, or all of what you do is being captured on camera changes the way you act. Every birthday party is a performance. Brunch is a photo shoot. A relaxing hike is #themountainsarecalling.

John Muir is rolling over in his grave.

Please do not misunderstand my point, this is not an article to just hate on people making a living off of social media.  In fact there are things about social media that I love. The point is to bring awareness to the fact that what you see on Instagram is NOT real life. What you see most folks doing is playing a character in their own life. Showing a highlight reel that contains the settings, outfits, and activities they want you to see.

Ryan Holiday, author of Ego Is The Enemy says it well.

Almost universally, the kind of performance we give on social media is positive. It’s more “Let me tell you how well things are going. Look how great I am.” It’s rarely the truth: “I’m scared. I’m struggling. I don’t know.”

Social media can be great for learning, sharing, and capturing memories. Just know that it is usually the opposite of social and it can often take away from the moment to pull out your phone.

You are worth so much more than likes and comments. Don’t get it twisted.

And if you do, be sure to tag us 😉

@crossfitcornelius

Onward & Upward: ‘Bulletproof Those Shoulders’

Exercise should be a place to relieve stress, build, confidence, and of course improve your health. The good news is that you don’t to make training with shoulder pain a part of your life. In fact if you dedicate yourself to the process you can possibly eliminate shoulder pain once and for all.

Let’s talk about where these shoulder issues can come from, address what actions need to be taken and the potential irritants that should be avoided. Finally, we’ll take a look at some movements that can help mobilize, activate, and strengthen your shoulders. Dedicate part of every workout to improving the functionality of this crucial joint and you will change your athleticism and quality of life.


“It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.” -Julius Caesar


Poor technique may load up the shoulder joint in a way that it cannot stabilize. This could cause strain and overuse of muscles around the shoulder. One common example of this is an overworked pec minor and underworked rotator cuff. This leads to rounded shoulders, and weakens the ability to stabilize the glenohumeral joint during pushing and pulling movements from the shoulder. By stretching the pec it will allow your shoulder to sit in a more stable position. By activating and strengthening the rotator cuff and scapular muscles on the back of the shoulder you ensure healthy, balanced stability and function.

Overuse could be another culprit of shoulder pain. Whether your volume (total amount of reps) or frequency (sessions each week) is too high or you are simply trying to lift too much weight can all cause problems. If you go heavy or perform maximal effort sets you may need up to 5-7 days to fully recover. If you work at lower intensity you may be able to work this muscle group 2-3 times a week. Find the right balance of volume and intensity to ensure consistent progress in your lifts.

If you are constantly running into the same shoulder pain issues then technique may be the true problem. The shoulder is the most freely movable joint in the body. This puts at the greatest risk of injury when it comes to repetitive movement with poor form. Even one private session with a coach or trainer can revolutionize your upper body pressing ability.

Finally if you experience pain when performing a certain movement it may simply not be a good fit for you. There are infinite ways to modify the load and form of resistance to provide your body with a similar stimulus to the painful movement. Perhaps the most commons movement replacements are those that replace a fixed circuit movement such as a barbell bench press or overhead press with single arm variations using dumbbells or kettlebells. Training the arms unilaterally allows you to have more “play” in the shoulder and adopting a movement pattern that better suits your body. No compromises in strength or performance are necessary.

So let’s move on to some strategies to actively prevent your shoulders from injury.


1. Activate

Activating the muscles for a workout or “prehab” helps your body prepare for the more demanding movements it is about to perform. It will both aid performance and mitigate risk of injury. When it comes to the shoulders

To help activate your shoulders before a workout perform these 3 upper body exercises, band pull aparts, scapular pushups, and face pulls. Perform 3 rounds of this circuit with 10 seconds rest between each movement. Keep the band resistance light enough to move with a slow controlled tempo but make sure it still challenges you. You should feel the blood flow and a warm sensation in the shoulder joint by the end of this circuit.
Perform 3 rounds with :10 of rest between movements.

    • A1. 15 Band Pull Aparts
    • A2. 10 Yoga Push Up
    • A3. 15 Band Face Pulls

2. Roll Out

Self Myofascial Release (SMR) is a fancy name for “rolling out.” The goal is to mobilize soft tissue allowing greater range of motion and improved muscle function. You can use a foam rollers, lacrosse balls, tennis balls or any other device that allows you to access the desired body part at pain level you can withstand. Focus on breathing and eliminating abdominal pressure while you roll out to ensure the tool can work its way into the muscle.

Rolling out helps our body get “unstuck” from tightness due to sitting and positions we spend long amounts of time in. It is important to move and mobilize our tissues as often as possible to mitigate this tightness. Imagine if you were going to run a marathon with a rock in your shoe. You would never run 26 miles with that rock digging into your foot each step of the way! There’s no reason to treat your shoulder in that manner either. Stop pushing through the pain and fix the sticky points.


3. Strengthen

Like an muscle group it is important to strengthen the muscles of the shoulder. The exercise you choose should strengthen the weak muscles that are necessary for optimal shoulder stability. Performing these strength building movement for 5 rounds alternating back and forth between movements

3×8 Bottoms Up Kettlebell Press: Take 3-4 seconds to lower the weight from the top position. IF you struggle with balancing try working from a kneeling or seated position, train one arm at a time, and keep the kettlebell light.
3×8 alternating Turkish Get Up: Try breaking this complex movement into smaller pieces to master the technique. Your shoulders will thank you!


4. Static Stretching

Part of your cool down routine should also include some static stretching. There are many debates around when and how static stretching should be performed. One study has shown that static stretching can improve flexibility by increasing passive fascicle length. Performing a static stretching routine after your workout or anytime that is not immediately preceding an event requiring maximal force production by a muscle.

Stretch the primary movers of your days workout-chest, lats, and traps are some of the key muscles to stretch since a heavy bout of training will leave them tight and could cause a temporary imbalance if not addressed. Hold stretches for about 30 seconds to ensure your brain sends a signal to your muscles that they need to stop firing and allow lengthening to occur.

If you have questions about building strong healthy shoulders don’t be afraid to get in touch with one of our coaches. We will find a safe and effective program to meet your needs!

Onward and Upward!

Onward & Upward: “Supplements”

Community, Fitness, Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville

It’s Transition Week!  AKA a week between training cycles intended to allow time for our bodies to recover from the previous cycle.  You will notice that loads are lighter than usual, intensity should be dialed back and we are focusing on different energy systems to give our central nervous system a break.

As an athlete, it’s important to recognize that ‘Transition Week’ is only a piece of the recovery puzzle.  While we generally think that we are building hard earned muscles inside the box, the reality is the process of muscle recovery and muscle building occurs between the time you’ve left the box and the time you return.  It is imperative that you have a strong recovery plan in place, through the form of supplementation, food and rest.

While food should always be your primary source for nutrients, supplements play an important part in providing the right building blocks for muscle repair and growth due to their fast rate of absorption.  We personally take Fish Oil, Magnesium and Vitamin D daily to aid in our recovery.  Together these supplements do everything from maintaining heart health and immune function to reducing fatigue.  Here’s a run down of each of them:

OMEGA 3s (FISH OIL)

Fish oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which offer numerous health benefits including keeping your heart, brain and eyes in good working order. Most importantly, fish oil decreases inflammation in the muscle and enhances body composition. Inflammation in the body is not only damaging for ones health, but severely impacts your ability to recover, lose fat and build muscle. By getting the optimal percentage of your dietary fat from fish oil, you will reduce muscle inflammation and improve oxygen delivery, allowing your muscles to recover faster.

MAGNESIUM (with ZINC AND VITAMIN B6)

Not only will magnesium allow you to sleep like a baby through its ability to relax muscles, but it is another critical supplement to help speed up recovery. Incorporating magnesium into your diet will help you improve muscle function, maintain electrolyte balance and reduce fatigue. Combining magnesium with zinc and vitamin B6 will have an even greater reaction in the body, as they have extremely high immune system values.

VITAMIN D3

While we naturally get Vitamin D from the sun, 57% of the American adult population is deficient.  Vitamin D is involved in so many physiological functions and maintains our health in so many different ways that, once you start to count its benefits, you might begin to wonder if there’s anything this vitamin doesn’t do. It helps us absorb calcium – which, in turn, affects bone development and growth, nerve signaling, immune function, blood pressure, and even muscle strength and mass, especially as we get older.

Take some time this week to reflect on your recovery plan.  Are you getting adequate sleep, proper nutrition and supplementation to support your body’s recovery?  If you are interested in adding these supplements into your recovery plan, let us know!  We stock Puori and SFH supplements.  We personally prefer the 30-day supply packs of O3, M3 & D3 from Puori simply for the convenience factor!

Onward and Upward: “Zottman Curl”

Still have that nagging elbow pain that won’t go away? It can prevent you from even picking up your coffee cup if it is really aggravated and will keep you out of the gym for days at a time. You may have noticed we introduced the Zottman curl over the last cycle, but I want to explain one of the reasons we use this exercise and why you may be able to supplement training with  few extra sets before or after class.

The type of pain I described above often occurs as inflammation due to overuse of the forearm muscles. The symptoms of “tennis elbow” can be mitigated with ice, but your goal should not be to deal with the symptoms.

Prevention is always the best measure and there are exercises you can do that will act as a rehab and prehab. Here is the best exercises you’re probably not doing for your elbow health. Adding this exercise in to finish your workout is a great way to combat elbow pain.

The Zottman Curl:

The Zottman curl is one of the best and most efficient exercises that you should be doing if you care about performance in grip heavy workouts with rope climbs, kettlebell swings, and deadlifts. This is also a great movement to prevent elbow pain from occurring.

You won’t need much weight to start (especially if you’re rehabbing an injury). These curls are extremely humbling and are very challenging on the biceps and extensor muscles in your forearms if performed correctly.

Start with a pair of dumbbells and a supinated grip. Perform a bicep curl and pause in the top position or :01-:02 with your biceps fully contracted. Slowly rotate your hands into a pronated (palms down) position before lowering the weight. In the bottom position rotate your palms back to a supinated position before performing your next rep.

Pro tip:
Performing these from a tall kneeling position on both knees will help you activate your core and glutes simultaneously and prevent you from cheating on the curl.

Perform 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps of this exercise with a light to moderate load. You should be able to perform these curls at the beginning or end of your workout 2-3 days each week. Give the Zottman Curl a try and bulletproof those elbows.

Onward and Upward : “Bucket List”

This blog was originally posted back in January of 2014. We wanted to share this again, as we have had many people join our community over these last 7 years who might not know our origins. Our backstory from when C2 was originally created in our home garage in 2013. Many workouts and community events have occurred since then, but our mission remains the same: To serve each and everyone of you to the best of our ability each day.

Enjoy….

 


I remember the moment I met Mike.  For those of you who haven’t heard our story, let me fill you in. Mike and I lived in the same apartment complex with a small community workout center.  I went there everyday, sometimes twice, to run on the treadmill (I know, I know…) After seeing each other there a few times and then being introduced by a mutual friend, Mike decided he would run with me.  A few months and 20-something pounds later, he could not keep up the “I like to run” front, and finally asked me out on a date. (Just for the record, Mike hates to run and hasn’t run with me since!)

 

Three years and many hours spent in globo-gyms later, we were married.  Shortly after,  we created a bucket list together. On it we listed places we wanted to travel, children we hoped to have, and near the top was owning a gym. And now, eight years after creating that list together, we are thrilled that CrossFit Cornelius is not only a check off our bucket list, but a shared passion and life dream.

 

As we open our doors for the first time to our new community of athletes, we think it’s important to create a bucket list for our box, our community and our future. We plan to revisit this list often, checking things off and adding new goals.
So, here goes.

  1.  As owners and coaches, we hope to inspire others to work hard and reach goals that they set for themselves, inside and outside of the box.
  2. We will build a box that represents all that we love and believe in, and where our members will always be our number one priority.
  3. Create and facilitate an inclusive community of athletes, from all walks of life, who empower and support each other to reach their goals.
  4. Build a box that people can’t wait to get to everyday.
  5. Never, ever stop learning. Our coaches will constantly research and take part in certifications and seminars to deliver the best CrossFit experience possible to C2.  We will also host seminars in the box for our members on nutrition, Olympic lifting, endurance, etc.
  6. Make memories and laugh a lot.

 

To be continued…

 

As you read C2’s bucket list, we hope it will inspire you to revisit or create one of your own.  We can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for each of you and we can’t wait to help you reach your goals!

 

#onwardandupward

 

-Kristin & Mike

Onward and Upward: “Quadzilla?”

After an intense workout of front squats or thrusters, you may have felt that burning pumped up sensation in your quads. Your pants are tighter and you can no longer put your phone and keys in your front pocket for fear of getting them stuck. 

The quadriceps and hip flexor muscles on the front of your legs are responsible for extending the hip and knee joints. They have tremendous potential for growth and get a great workout from movements like front squats, step-ups, and walking lunges.

Having powerful quads is not a bad thing by any means. In fact, the greatest Olympic weightlifters, cyclists, and speed skaters have huge powerful quad muscles. 

Some folks have very powerful quads but have issues recruiting the muscles of the posterior chain.  They allow the quads to handle all lower body movement. Having poor form can also contribute to you being quad dominant. If you are an athlete who notices that your weight is often in your toes you may be prone to this imbalance. If the coaches are always telling you to “get in your heels’ this is probably the correction they are cueing. 

The top priority in a training program should always be safety and function. That’s why using compound movements like squats and deadlifts provide excellent returns. In terms of strength building and promoting lean body mass they provide the most bang for your buck. People who focus too much on a single movement like squatting may be neglecting movement patterns that would keep them strong and healthy.

Deadlifts, RDL’s, Kettlebell Swings, Good Mornings, Reverse Hypers, and Hip Thrusts are all excellent for beefing up those glutes and hamstrings. You can also adapt movements to make them more favorable to the posterior chain. Low bar back squats and box squat variations recruit more posterior chain than front squats do. Reverse lunges instead of forward or walking lunges will also be a better option to help you stay in your heels.

If it looks like you have a second kneecap then you might be in the running for quad dominance. Our training programs contain constant variance to make sure you are improving in all areas and eliminating weaknesses. This is why we look to have an equal ratio of squat and lunge workouts to hinge and deadlift workouts. So while you might join C2 as a quad dominant athlete we will look to balance that out over time. 

Onward and Upward: “Timing is Everything…when it comes to food and working out!”

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

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

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

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

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

When we warm up we should aim to bring our bodies gradually and progressively to the capacity needed to perform the workout. This is one of the key ways to avoid the dreaded exercise induced nemesis. If you jump too quickly into the workout, the body can perform the movement, but homeostasis is seriously disrupted and it attempts to restore it as quickly as possible. Having elevated acid levels in the blood is dangerous to the body and it decides that all other functions need to stop until pH is back within a normal range. That means digestion gets knocked out of the queue and we all know what that means….


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


One way to reduce this unpleasant effect is by building your lactate threshold. We program our workouts with the idea of strategically performing workouts that take you to the brink of your threshold before resting and letting your body clear the buildup and return to normal. Your body will recognize the need to perform this process and adapt to become more efficient at it. The more you train this system the less likely you are to be majorly disrupted by threshold work and you will also notice improved work capacity.

You can also plan your nutrient intake to prevent the nausea and indigestion that can result in vomiting. Before your workout eating a small snack of about 20 grams of easily digestible protein and 40-60 grams of carbohydrate with the avoidance of fat and giving yourself about an hour to digest can be beneficial. You optimize energy levels for training, but don’t consume so much food that your body is still digesting come training time. Avoid foods high in fat as well as foods that irritate the GI tract such as dairy, spicy foods, and caffeine. 

If a 500 meter row still makes you feel sick, don’t sweat it. Make sure you properly rehydrate and make sure you monitor your pacing. Explain what happened to one of our coaches and they will be able to monitor your performance and provide suggestions to help you properly warm up, eat, and decide on proper pacing to prevent this from happening. 

Onward and Upward: ‘Trust The Process’

res·o·lu·tion
/ˌrezəˈlo͞oSH(ə)n/
noun
a firm decision to do or not to do something.


Some things happen in life with the flick of a switch. When you want to turn a light on you simply flip the switch, clap your hands or yell across the room to Alexa and “voila”, let there be light.

Others take time to build, layer upon layer, like a brick house. The process can only happen in a very specific way. With a strong foundation, one brick at a time.
In January many folks scramble to find the switch that will yield the results they are looking for. But behavior change is not a light switch. Behavior change is a process. Getting stronger, eating healthy, or losing weight won’t happen instantaneously. It happens brick by brick. You only get the results if you follow the process. The right plan and the right effort simultaneously.


“You are never pre-qualified to live your dreams. You qualify yourself by doing the work. By committing—even overcommitting—to what you believe you should do.” – Benjamin P. Hardy

 


If you are committed to an outcome then the process it will take you to achieve your goal should be irrelevant. Your focus is on results now. Your focus is on determining the right plan and taking the first step towards achieving.
If you are someone who worries about how far away you are from your goal then you are focused on the wrong thing. Focus on what you want, not what you don’t.


“You can not entertain weak, harmful, negative thoughts ten hours a day and expect to bring about beautiful, strong and harmonious conditions by ten minutes of strong, positive, creative thought.”          -Charles F. Haanel

 


In his book The Master Key System, Charles Haanel unpacks the process of achieving one’s goals. He explains that you have to “be it” and “do it” BEFORE you can “have it”. Most people get this process backward. They expect that they will change their behavior once they have achieved their goal. Instead, you must act in accordance with what it means to achieve your goal.

Consistency and relentless faith in your goal will drive you towards your goals. It will be a tough path but you must trust the process, submit and let go. The more your decisions and actions align with the goal, the faster it will come to you. Don’t let this New Year slip away from you. Stop looking to flick the switch that will make all of your problems go away.

Instead look for the path that is more difficult, but leads to success. Surround yourself with people doing the thing that you want to be doing. Who look the way you want to look. Learn from them, adapt their behaviors, and put in the work.
This is your year!

#OnwardandUpward

Onward and Upward: ‘Energy Systems Explained’

You have probably seen terms on the whiteboard like lactic power, lactic endurance or aerobic endurance. I am sure that most of the time it leaves you with more questions than answers. We wanted to take a moment to help explain a little better and hopefully give you some info to help impress your non-CrossFit friends as you discuss your fitness.

As a living, breathing, blog reading individual (and hopefully member of CrossFit Cornelius) you’ve probably learned the basics around how food provides the body with energy. There are actually several different ways that this can occur and they depend on the activity being performed.

Depending on our sport or activity, nutrition, genetics, and level of training will each play a role which energy system is primarily utilized. Regardless of which energy system is predominantly used all energy is stored in the form of ATP.

Adenosine Triphosphate or “ATP” is the energy currency of the body. Each of the energy systems in the body have their own way of producing ATP to power our daily activities. There are pro’s and con’s to each energy system but ultimately having a better understanding of how our body uses energy can help us make informed decisions on diet and exercise.

We feel its best to test all of these systems to help keep moving your fitness forward on a regular basis.


Let’s learn about each energy system…

Alactic System aka “the Creatine Phosphate System”
Lactic Acid System aka “Glycolytic”
Aerobic System aka “Fatty Acid Metabolism”


“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”              – Martin Luther King


Alactic System

(aka the Creatine Phosphate System)
What is it: The alactic system utilizes creatine phosphate (CP) as an energy source. It fuels high intensity efforts. Creatine is able to donate its phosphate molecules to the the Adenosine Diphosphate (ADP) molecule allowing it to return to ATP, with potential energy stored in its chemical bonds. Creatine comes from the food that we eat with the highest levels in red meat, pork, poultry, and fish. It can also be supplemented for vegetarians and vegans.

Time domains: This energy system is exhausted in 8-12 seconds for most individuals and you will fatigue when your CP and ATP stores have depleted. It is great for quick bursts of energy.

Efficiency:It requires 30 seconds to 2 minutes to replenish energy stores.

By-products: Heat released from the breaking of chemical bonds.

Examples of activity: You may see this energy system in action through the short powerful bursts seen in weightlifters, powerlifters, pitchers and shot putters.
What training looks like: Training the CP system means using short time domains with long rest periods in between. In the gym this means keeping rep ranges to sets of 6 or fewer reps.


Lactic Acid System

(aka Glycolytic system)
What is it: The lactic acid system utilizes glycogen (glucose stored in the muscles and liver) as a fuel source. It is for longer lasting high intensity activities. Our body is able to store about 500 total grams of glycogen in the muscle and liver tissue which provides around 2,000 calories worth of energy. Running out of this fuel source is commonly referred to as “bonking.” Some athletes consume carbohydrate foods, drinks, and supplements during training and competition to prevent running out of this valuable fuel source.

Time domains: It is the primary fuel source for activities lasting from 30 seconds to about 3 minutes. You know you have fatigued this energy system when hydrogen ion accumulation causes a burning sensation in the muscles.

Efficiency: The lactic acid system is very efficient at providing fuel but fatigues quickly. Due to the long recovery time it is favorable to alternate levels of intensity between glycolytic and aerobic dependence to sustain high output.

Byproducts: The byproduct of this system is pyruvate. Which must be cleared from the blood to continue to utilize this energy system. This can take 30-60 minutes.

Examples of activity: This energy system would rule during a 400 or 800 meter sprint or a hockey lines time on the ice. It is seen in mixed use with the aerobic system during longer workouts or soccer and basketball games where the players alternate between a slower jog pace with periods of intense sprinting and jumping.

What training looks like: To train this energy system you can utilize interval style training. Intense bursts of energy followed by a recovery period that allows you to stay at a threshold of high output. These athletes tend to have increased muscle mass and ideally lower body fat percentage.


Aerobic System

(aka Fatty Acid Metabolism aka Krebs Cycle aka Citric Acid Cycle…)

What is it: This is the creation of energy from fat, glycogen or protein in the presence of oxygen used to power low and moderate intensity activities. The mitochondria present in muscle cells takes the available fuel source through a variety of reactions to produce ATP. Since fat molecules packs 9 calories per gram they tend to be the main choice for this energy system. Even the leanest individuals carry enough body fat to fuel many days worth of activity.

Time domains: Any activity lasting more than 3 minutes in duration.

Efficiency: This system produces energy much more slowly than the others. The good news is it can utilize an unlimited fuel supply of fat.

By-products: The aerobic system only produces water and carbon dioxide when generating ATP.

Examples of activity: This energy system is your predominant fuel source for jogging, cycling, swimming long distances, and most of your daily activities.

What training looks like: Athletes who have become efficient at using fat as a fuel source are able to convert the energy from fat more quickly, allowing them to sustain higher levels of work capacity for activities with long durations. These athletes are usually easy to spot as they have exceptional muscle definition and extremely low body fat.

By training in all three energy systems we can become more efficient in all areas, thus increasing our work capacity across the board. Individuals who only try to utilize cardio or lifting heavy weights to improve work capacity will fall short of their well rounded counterparts. If you’re an individual who wants to improve general health it is beneficial to train each of the energy systems. This is exactly why we use all 3 systems during our class programming to help ensure you are staying as well rounded as possible.

Onward and Upward: ‘Fruitsandvegetables is one word?’

When did “Fruits and Vegetables” become 1 word?


Fruits and vegetables seems to have become one word when it comes to giving advice on a healthy diet. Both definitely have a place in a healthy approach to food intake, however these two vary different food groups must be approached with different strategies. When it comes to optimizing health you need to choose the foods that best support your health and training needs.

We must first understand that fruits and vegetables have varying macronutrient and fiber contents. In addition they can also contain different types of vitamins, minerals, and other key micronutrients. They contain different types of carbohydrates that affect their digestion and effect on your blood sugar.


“Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.” -Michael Pollan


In America most folks are still missing out on many essential nutrients and simply do not consume enough vegetables. In schools we were all encouraged to have either fruits or veggies. Most of realize now that 8oz of orange juice is not going to provide the same nutrients as 1 cup of broccoli. Whole fruits do contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals but when turned into concentrated juices they are not much different than drinking a soda.

Even as an adult you may be guilty of eating 2 or 3 bananas in a day but neglected consuming foods like green vegetables that have true health benefits.

Fruits are higher in sugar and unless you are a high level athlete training multiple times per day you probably do not need to consume that many carbohydrates in your diet. A piece of fruit to fuel your workout and some fast digesting carbs post workout should be the majority of your “carb” intake. Fill the rest of your meals with vegetables that will make you feel full and contain an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

When you are consuming fruits focus on fresh seasonal fruit that will have a low impact on blood sugar. Dark berries are one of the best fruits in this regard and contain high levels of antioxidants. Post-WOD kiwis and pineapples are a great choice.


In the end, don’t forget or neglect to eat your fruits or your vegetables (2 separate words!). A healthy diet should consist mostly of healthy fats, high quality proteins, and complex carbohydrates from vegetables which are nutrient dense and have a minimal effect on insulin. This approach is a crucial part of you getting the most out of your hard work in the gym.