The Killer P’s-Positions

Positions:

All movements have certain positions that must be hit in order for the movement to be performed properly. Think about the starting position and finishing position of each movement. Hitting all the positions of a movement ensures that we get full range of motion and are not cheating ourselves out of gains!

This is what makes our coaches here at CFK so wonderful- they are there to explain each position for each movement and ensure that each athlete is held to those positions through the entire workout!

From the second the class begins to the very end of class our coaches are focused on guiding the athletes through all the necessary positions to ensure that everyone gets a great workout in and doesn’t hurt themselves.

Each class warm up will consist of generalized movements designed to get your muscles ready to be put to work and increase your heart rate. There is also a specific movement warm up where the coach will break down each movement in the workout for the day. The coach will typically have everyone hyper focus on one specific position in a movement, i.e. in the deadlift it may be flat back. The coach’s goal during this specific movement warmup is to assess where athletes may be having a breakdown in their position so that those breakdowns can be addressed directly to that specific athlete.

Even after “3,2,1, GO!” the coach is constantly assessing each athlete’s positions and offering encouragement as well as correction when needed!

Come check out our awesome coaches for yourself click the link below to schedule your FREE intro session:

Get Started

Cheers,

Coach Alex

 

The Killer P’s- Progressions

Progressions:

All movement patterns can be broken into progressions and regressions depending on the athlete’s abilities. Progression is more challenging whereas regression is less challenging i.e. scaling. We use progressions so that we can maintain the proper movement patterns for any given movement.

How to Determine When to Progress:

Our coaches here at CrossFit Knoxville help our athletes implement our level system. This system ensures that everyone, beginners and seasoned veterans alike all get a great workout.

Here is how the level system works:

Level 1:

This is where all new athletes as well as those athletes returning from injury or long break from working out should start out. For these athletes we want to make sure that they get a good workout in but we don’t want them hitting a workout too hard then being too sore to come in the next day. To help we use the rule of 10 to make sure that these athletes are smart with their training.

*Rule of 10*

If you are returning from an injury or a long break from working out you should be sure to complete 10 workouts at the level below where you were when you left off. This will help your body adjust back to working out without overdoing it.

Work at this level until you can complete all movements at a smooth steady pace and you can go unbroken on all movements. Once you can do that add some speed and if you can maintain form and unbroken sets consistently it’s time to level up!

Level 2:

At this level we will often begin to increase the weights used in the workout as well as start to progress to more difficult variations of movements. 

As with Level 1 once you can complete WODs at this level consistently with speed and unbroken sets it’s time to start tackling the WODs RX! 

Level 3 (RX)

Here we will tackle the heavier weights and more advanced skills and most importantly continue to have fun!

While progressions often find us in the realm of scaling movement down we can also scale movements up to make a workout more challenging for an athlete. Sometimes this will be listed as an advanced or RX+ option below the workout of the day.

What the Levels Look Like In Our System:

Below is a depiction of a Burn workout (the first image) and a CrossFit workout (second image). The first version of the workout listed is the Level 3 or RX version and then below that on each workout you will find the scaling options for Levels 2 and 1. The coach leading the class will always go over all versions of the workout so that you can pick the best version for you that day.

 

As always you can always ask the coach if you are unsure of which level to work at for the day! Each coach makes it a priority to check in with athletes before/at the beginning of class to see if they need any guidance for the day.

To learn more about our level system and meet 1:1 with one of our coaches click the image below to schedule your FREE intro!

Cheers,

Coach Alex

The Killer P’s- Patterns

Patterns:

All of our movements fall into one of the following categories pull, push, squat, hinge, lunge, rotation, or gait. Every movement done both inside and outside the gym will fall into one of these categories, often times movements will fall into multiple categories. So we have to make sure that each movement is performed in the correct pattern so that we may improve and build.

Squat Pattern

Ever wonder why we train the squat pattern (other than for awesome PRs and Instagram videos)?? Well, you squat every time you sit down on the toilet, on the couch, on a chair, etc. If we train the squat pattern in the gym then when we go home we can begin to sit and stand with ease. Maybe every time you get up from the couch you need a little push off with your hands or need to use a hand rail when you sit to the toilet, well if we train the squat pattern over time you will find yourself needing less and less assistance when sitting/standing!

Push/Pull Pattern

Have you laid down on the floor and found it difficult to get up or maybe found it challenging to put something up on a tall shelf? Perhaps you have struggled pulling yourself up and over something like a rock on a hike or pulling yourself up from the ground. Those actions fall into the push/pull pattern category. In the gym this can look like a lot of different movements burpees, push ups, presses, pull ups, etc. By training these two movement patterns we can avoid becoming a life alert commercial by being able to fall down and push or pull ourselves back up!

Hinge

Have you ever dropped something on the floor and had an issue picking it back up or struggle to lift a child up? Training the hinge pattern will eliminate your need for worry when you do drop something on the floor or a child wants to be picked up because you will have no problem scooping them up. The most popular hinge movement in the gym is the deadlift which we can train in a variety of ways: sumo, conventional, barbell, dumbbells, kettlebells, you name it! Training the hinge pattern is also a great way to help eliminate low back pain!!

Lunge

Have you knelt down to floor and struggled to stand back up or maybe struggle going up/down a lot of stairs? If you train the lunge pattern then all of those troubles will go right out the door! The most popular lunge pattern movement is right there in the name, lunges! These are great for building that single leg strength and stability. But we can also train this pattern with step ups, split squats, and all the variations these movements offer. So fear not the mountain of stairs or needing help up from a kneeling position- train your lunge pattern and start to dominate those everyday movements!

 

 

 

Rotation

Begin able to rotate through our midsection as well as our joints is probably a skill that most of us take for granted. Don’t you rotate to look behind you when you back up in your car? Again another everyday action broken down into a pattern that we can train in the gym through a lot of the skills already listed but also through practicing mobility. Working on making sure our joints move/rotate with ease and without pain as well as making sure our muscles have the strength and ability to stretch to enable us to rotate our limbs. So the next time you want to skip mobility think about how you could improve in/out of the gym if you spent an extra 5 minutes mobilizing.

Gait

Gait is another movement pattern that most of us likely take for granted- walking, running, skipping. Are you able to walk around a theme park without pain or chase your kids outside? We can train this pattern by simply starting with walking which will eventually lead to running. This practice paired with all of these other movement patterns will set you on a path to lead a life with less pain and more fun!

 

All that being said if you ever thought CrossFit was just about hitting PRs and posting cool videos on social media I hope this has showed you it’s more about training so that we can live everyday life a whole lot better!

Check out all the programs CrossFit Knoxville has to offer by clicking the image below!

Cheers,

Coach Alex

The Killer P’s- The Roadmap to Success

The Killer P’s help both athletes and coaches make sure they are maintaining mechanics and consistency before intensity. Here at CFK all our coaches are focused on making sure our athletes are moving with sound mechanics and not simply going through the motions. If we all follow the Killer P’s we will be set up for success every single day.

The Killer P’s:

Patterns

Progressions

Positions

Parameters

Progress

Patience

Patterns:

All of our movements fall into one of the following categories pull, push, squat, hinge, lunge, rotation, or gait. Every movement done both inside and outside the gym will fall into one of these categories, often times movements will fall into multiple categories. So we have to make sure that each movement is performed in the correct pattern so that we may improve and build.

Progressions:

All movement patterns can be broken into progressions and regressions depending on the athlete’s abilities. Progression is more challenging whereas regression is less challenging i.e. scaling. We use progressions so that we can maintain the proper movement patterns for any given movement.

Positions:

All movements have certain positions that must be hit in order for the movement to before performed properly. Think about the starting position and finishing position of each movement. Hitting all the positions of a movement ensures that we get full range of motion and are not cheating ourselves out of gains!

Parameters:

These dictate how the movement should look and feel. Parameters help us make decisions for scaling, speed, and weight,  based on our ability to maintain positions or stimulus for the work out.

Progress:

Progress or gainz is what we expect and can guarantee if an athlete consistently follows the Killer P’s i.e. the process.

Patience:

This is a key ingredient. Patience in seeing progress; patience in the addition of weight or difficulty, patience with a compound movement so that accurate timing is maintained, patience with the athlete and/or coach when faced with adversity.

 

 

Cheers,

Coach Alex

**All pictures courtesy of Beyond the Whiteboard

Follow them for great tips and tricks on instagram @whiteboard_daily

 

A Few Nutrition Tips

Not every fit person follows a diet.

Likewise, not every person who struggles with their body composition lacks self control.

Finding the right foods and quantities to optimize the way you look and feel is an ever evolving process. Your body is in a constant state of change. The body we live in today is a result of many past choices. Our food choices, age, gender, hormones, activities, sleep, and stress and influence how we look and feel. There’s no one right answer.

There are however some areas we can focus on in our journey to looking and feeling great. Here are the top 3 hacks for healthy eating!

  1. Pick your fats
  2. Eat more vegetables
  3. Protein is the foundation of every meal

1. Pick your fats

Fats stick with you. Not just figuratively, they actually make up the cell wall in every cell in your body. This affects the way cells communicate with one another as well as your body’s inflammatory response. That’s why the types and the quality of fats you choose to eat is such an important factor.

Fat Types
Polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats can help provide your body with a sustainable energy source, decrease inflammation, and improve mental performance. These types of fats are found in foods such as salmon, vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds.

Saturated fats should be consumed sparingly. They are not all bad but high consumption of saturated fat may be linked to increased risk of heart disease. This can be found in cake, fatty meats, butter, and a lot of processed foods.

Fat amounts
Working with an experienced nutritionist is a great way to calculate your fat needs for the day. This can vary based on your body type, genetics, and goals. Try to avoid high fat meals before or after exercise to avoid any digestive issues around training.

2. Eat more vegetables

Seems like a no-brainer but when you think about your meals over the past few days how many of those contained a full serving of veggies?

Vegetables are a great source of fiber, essential nutrients, and prebiotics to support gut health. They are also always going to be your best alternative when it comes to snacking. Most of us are not going to do any sort of damage by stuffing our face with broccoli and carrots!

3. Protein is the foundation of every meal

Humans need protein. There’s no way around it. The amino acids that make up proteins (plant or animal) are the building blocks for our muscles. Without sufficient protein in the diet our bodies will start breaking down muscle, diverting amino acids to perform other critical functions in the body.

So how much do you need? This again will vary a ton based on your goals, body composition, and genetics. Once you have your protein goal determined for the day. Set a protein goal for each meal by dividing that total daily amount by the number of meals you generally eat. Don’t forget to factor in your post workout shake!

For example, if you are shooting to consume 150 grams of protein per day and typically eat 5 times a day you would aim for about 30 grams of protein at each meal. Once you figure out your numbers it becomes easy to know what foods support that quantity of protein.

There you have it, the top 3 hacks for healthy eating! If you’re trying to clean up your nutrition and fitness regiment let us know how we can best help!

Sign up for a FREE intro session here: https://crossfitknoxville.com/get-started/

Cheers,

Coach Alex

 

 

Start 2021 On the Right Foot!

Are you looking to feel better in 2021?!

Do you want to get fun new skills?!

Or maybe looking to make some changes?!

If you said, yes to any of these let me tell you about how CrossFit Knoxville may be right for you!

 

We have multiple programs so there is an option for EVERYONE!

-CFK Burn

This program is designed to be fast, functional fitness! These classes are only 30 minutes so if you’re short on time this is the program for you! Utilizing bodyweight movements, cardio, dumbbells, and kettlebells you’re guaranteed to get your sweat on and feel great after class!

Still not sold?! Head to our website to sign up for a FREE trial week! No experience required! So, what are you  waiting for?! Click the image below to get set up!

-CFK CrossFit

Our 60-minute CrossFit classes offer the opportunity to gain exposure to the widest degree of complexity, loading, and variance.

In CrossFit, all movements, loads, and time domains are fair game. Workouts can last anywhere from less than 10 minutes to 30+ minutes, but most will last anywhere from 10-25 minutes.

Workouts are highly varied in duration, format, and type. Each session will be different, and you need to be ready for anything!

Our Classes are beginner-friendly and welcoming to all skill levels.

To give you the most effective training session possible each workout can be scaled to your fitness level. Beginners start with a 4-session Foundations course that teaches basic movement patterns, and introduces our training and nutrition principles.

Click the image below and sign up for your FREE intro session!

-CFK Go

Designed for those of you who find yourselves working out at home or on the road! We took everything we love from different disciplines and brought them together in one simple, effective program!

We get after it every workout, every day, with a training program built around dumbbell-focused, time priority, high-power output workouts.

Specifically, CFK Go combines the power of functional movements with the regime of traditional strength and conditioning.

Each week of training consists of Full-Body and Push x Pull days, with special weekend focuses of Saturday Squats and Sunday Sweat.

All for $29/month. Click the image below for a FREE 1 week trial!!

-Personal Training

Not looking to do group classes but still want to get in the gym?! All of our coaches also offer personal training!

We can work with your schedule and get you in for a 30 min or 60 min session!!

Prices vary based on coach!

Click the image below to set up your FREE intro session!

CrossFit Knoxville has an option for everyone! So, what are you waiting for?! Let’s all start 2021 off on the right foot!!

Coach Alex

4 Ways to Healthier Habits

Most of us have no problem once we’re at the gym, on the trail, or eating a well balanced meal. An object in motion tends to stay in motion. But, doing the “healthy thing” or the “hard thing” that we know will benefit us can be a bit trickier.

There is a certain amount of activation energy we must muster anytime we want to break out of our normal habit patterns. It’s hard to make will power override the status quo every time we need to make a decision. If you’re someone who finds themselves frequently running into barriers when it comes to healthy habits then this article is for you!

Get started on your healthy habits with these 4 tips!

1. Define your task.
2. Make it as easy as possible to begin.
3. Find a way to make it more fun or interesting.
4. Stop publicly sharing your goals.

1.Define your task.

Specificity is your friend when it comes to taking action. The more focused and detailed your pursuit is, the more likely you will be to get it done. Just think about the following 3 statements:

  • “I’m going to eat healthy today.”
  • “I’m going to have a salad for lunch.”
  • “I’m going to eat a vegetable and lean protein with each meal and avoid eating processed sugar today.”

Which person do you think is going to have the most success with their healthy eating today?

Ding ding ding! If you said person number three you are absolutely correct. This person took an approach that set them up for success in their meal choices for the day. Notice that they didn’t have to do anything special to make this happen. The short amount of time it takes to plan how you will attack your healthy habit will pay tremendous dividends in the end!

2. Make it as easy as possible to begin.

As we talked about before, there is always a certain amount of activation energy required to start a new habit or task. If we can reduce the amount of activation energy it will be easier to get started.

So how do we actually apply this concept? Let’s say the habit is to go to the gym at 6am tomorrow morning. What are all the things that could make your trip to the gym happen successfully? You could:

  • Set your alarm so that you have enough time to wake up, get ready, and drive to the gym with 10-15 minutes to spare.
  • Set up your morning coffee and a simple breakfast so it’s ready to go.
  • Set a bedtime alarm reminding you to shut down the tech and get ready for bed at a desirable time.
  • Pick out your gym clothes and anything else you need to start your day off as a success.
  • RSVP/Sign up for the class.
  • Coordinate with a friend to carpool together to class. (This is a great way to stay accountable!)

The less you have to do in any given moment the easier it will be to take action. Try to eliminate as many barriers as possible that would present as an obstacle to your goal.

3. Find a way to make it more fun or interesting.

If you struggle to prepare healthy meals or don’t really like to exercise maybe you just haven’t found the approach that works for you. Trying a group fitness class, small group session, or personal training appointment might help you figure out the right environment and type of support you need to make going to the gym “not so bad” 🙂

If cooking and eating healthy is a struggle try to come up with a ritual that makes meal prep more fun. Invite a friend over, crank up some tunes, or binge watch one of your favorite shows while you chop veggies and cook up your meals for the week!

4. Stop publicly sharing your goals.

Studies have shown that people who publicly announce their goals or intentions are actually less likely to follow through on them. When you tell someone “I’m going to lose 10 lbs” or “I’m going to hit the gym 5 days a week” it feels good at the moment. According to the study, that sense of completeness you feel will make you less effective than if you were to keep the goals to yourself.

So what should you do instead? Write down the goals you have or some of the changes you want to make. Discuss a plan of action with an experienced coach who can tell you what it takes to get there. Keep it secret. Keep it safe. Get it done.

There you have it, 4 tips to help you get started towards your wellness goals.

When you hear that alarm go off in the morning and your first instinct is to hit that snooze button remember this maxim from Marcus Aurelius, “Is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?” Remember it is human nature to seek comfort. But it is our most basic desire that we are satisfied in the process. Hold yourself to that higher standard. The delayed gratification of getting out of bed for a walk or to hit the gym will improve your life and fulfillment in the long run. The warm bed feels good in the moment, but you’ll sleep easier knowing your actions are aligned with your words.

 

Still need a bit more motivation after all that?! How about a FREE intro session at CrossFit Knoxville!! Click the image below to get registered and start your fitness journey today!

 

Coach Alex’s Goals Challenge

Do you want your first pull up?

Do you want a muscle up or handstand skills??

Do you want to improve skills you already have??

Then I have just the thing for you:

Coach Alex’s Goals Challenge

Ever pick a goal at the beginning of the year and the next thing you know it’s Christmas and you still haven’t put in the work to get that goal?! Well that’s why I’m here, to help you not lose sight of your goal and to give you a roadmap to your destination! It’s easy to pick a goal but how do you get there? I will give you personalized mile markers to guide you on your journey and weekly check ins to make sure everything is running smoothly! Reach your goals with only 5-10 minutes of extra work daily!

Your mile markers will be personalized accessory work that you will chip away at to get yourself closer and closer to your goal until you accomplish it!!

Who? You!! Burn athlete, CrossFit athlete, anyone and everyone!

When? Jan 4, 2021- Feb 13, 2021

And every 6 weeks following for the rest of the year!

How much? $100/6 weeks

*And if you want a little bit more focused attention you can sign up for personal training with Coach Alex! 1 hour of focused, constructive work aimed at reaching your goals and furthering your abilities. $40/30 minute session $60/hour

What do you get? 

  • Initial 1-on-1 Goals meeting w/ Coach Alex
  • Personalized mile markers to help you reach your goal!
  • Weekly accountability check-in’s
  • Prizes for crushing it!

How to sign up? 

There will be sign up sheets by the computer at both locations!

Potential Prizes:

-FitAid apparel

-FitAid/O2 drinks

-½ off month membership 

-FREE personal training session

-CFK Swag

-Gift card to local shops/restaurants

-AND MANY MORE!!!

How to earn prizes: Prizes will be done with a drawing- earn names in the drawing by completing a mile marker, reaching your goal, posting about your hard work on social media and tagging CFK, and many more!

Click here for a testimonial about working with Coach Alex

 

Cheers,

Coach Alex

 

Major Benefits of Lunges

Lunges, split squats, and other unilateral leg movements are tremendous tools for building a strong, functional, and balanced body. Yet they tend to take a backseat to the sexier exercises like squats and deadlifts. Let’s look at the benefits of lunges, common faults, and some popular variations to help you get those gains!

Lunges are a fundamental human movement pattern and take many different forms. As a result, lunges require and therefore help us improve leg strength, core strength, balance, and coordination. Choose to perform lunges as a bodyweight movement, with weight, or explosively by including a jump. So, no matter your goals training lunges is very beneficial.

Balance and Coordination

To improve balance and coordination you can train lunges with weight which increases the demand for midline stability. Do lunges with a barbell overhead or a single dumbbell/kettlebell loading one side of the body. Thus, due to the stabilization and core strength required to do weighted lunges there is a huge transfer to sports and life. However, ensure that the load demands don’t force you into a compromised position and that you have the necessary mobility to handle the movement and weight. As always ask a Coach if you’re unsure!

Strength and Muscle Growth

Looking to gain strength and increase muscle growth?! Do lunges that allow you to add weight! A reverse lunge works well because it allows the weight to remain in the lead leg ensuring proper form. Do reverse lunges with dumbbells held at waist level or a barbell on your back to go hard and heavy. A good rule of thumb is to keep the majority of the load in the front leg as you perform the movement. Select a load that allows for a controlled descent to the floor allowing the knee to kiss the ground.

Preventing Injuries

Looking to prevent injuries, increase range of motion, and correct imbalances the Bulgarian split squat might just be the choice for you! This exercise is performed with one foot elevated off the floor. So, with the foot elevated this movement optimizes the hinge position of the hips and is greater for activating the glutes, #bootygainz! This variation can be completed with or without weight depending on your goals! Take care to stabilize the lead leg and focus on balance to reap the benefits of this killer lunge variation.

If you want to learn more about the best training movements be sure to discuss your goals with one of our coaches!

Already a CFK member? Keep an eye out for Coach Alex’s 2021 Goals Challenge!

Not a CFK member? Click our logo to schedule your FREE intro session:

Cheers,

Coach Alex

Staying on Track During Thanksgiving

While the holidays are a wonderful time of year they can often find us neglecting our nutrition and workout regime and then beating ourselves up about it. What if I told you you could have your cake and eat it too…

Life is about balance. If we live in the extremes life tends to become unmanageable and down right frustrating. We also then tend to feel like we’re never making any progress or that we’re never really enjoying life.

Some common habits during the holidays are:

  1. We binge eat ALL the tasty food: turkey, mashed potatoes, pie, etc.
  2. We don’t workout for a week OR
  3. We workout way too hard to “offset” all the eating

Trust me I enjoy all the trimmings of a good Thanksgiving feast as much as the next person but I also still have fitness goals. So how to you have both of these things? You enjoy all your favorite foods for one day and you stop eating before you need to go put on the elastic waist pants. You can still enjoy all the good food without eating so much of it that you fall into a food coma.

A few ways to help you avoid the food coma:

  1. Smaller portions of each food
  2. Before you go back for seconds drink some water and chill for a couple of minutes. Give that food time to actually hit your stomach before you shovel more in.

Having family in town can make getting to the gym a little more difficult but that doesn’t mean we have to cut it out completely. If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that we can all definitely find ways to get a workout in at home! Take 20-30 minutes out of your day, maybe in the morning before the day gets too ramped up, and move. You can get a good workout in with just bodyweight movements: air squats, push ups, burpees, running, lunges, sit ups, etc. We even have specific programming for just that with our CFK Go programming!

  1. Set a time for 30 minutes and just move!

Let’s also not take things too far in the other direction by telling ourselves well I ate so much Thanksgiving food that now I have to workout extra hard or I have to do more than one workout to make up for it. I’m going to stop you right there because

  1. Working out is not a punishment for what we ate.
  2. Mentally and physically it’s good for our bodies to take a break for a day. Also one day will not set us back an eternity.
  3. The following day just fall right back into your normal routine and all will be well!

If you are looking for some guidance and accountability this holiday season CFK is doing the Healthier Holiday Challenge and it is FREE!!

  1. Starts November 23rd (or whenever you sign up!)
  2. Ends January 3rd
  3. Eat 800g of fruits/veggies each day (It’s not as daunting as it sounds! Grab an apple, some carrots, some potatoes, peppers, mangos and you’ll hit that number before you know it!)
  4. Eat a palm sized portion of protein with each meal (ideally 4-6 times a day)
  5. Exercise/be active 5 days a week (CrossFit, home workout, hike, jog with the dog)

BOUNUS POINTS if you…

  1. Drink 1/2 your bodyweight in ounces of water daily
  2. Sleep 7+ hours a night

Sign up here! https://app.wodifyrise.com/Event/Event.aspx?u=healthierholiday

Cheers,

Coach Alex