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

Bodyweight Movements to Improve Your Game

This year has showed us that we can’t take going into the gym for granted anymore and we should have some movements in out back pocket we can whip out when there is no equipment in sight. This can be especially frustrating when you love to lift all the heavy weights. But what if I told you these seemingly simple bodyweight movements could help you lift even heavier weights.

“Do What You Can, With What You Have, Where You Are.”
-Teddy Roosevelt

These bodyweight movements can help you to strengthen your joints, build up core strength, and address imbalances/weaknesses that may have been holding you back. And all of this will translate you your weighted lifts! By stripping down weights and focusing on body positioning and movement you’d be surprised how drastically that can improve everything else! 

1.Candlestick

Roll out the yoga mat or head out into the backyard. The candlestick is a fun exercise that has tremendous benefits.  This is perhaps the best demonstration of real world functional movement. The ability to move your body from the ground to standing is a great indicator of fitness (burpees anyone?!). You will also learn coordination, balance, and build your core strength as you strive to maintain a hollow body position. 

Check out a great video on the candlestick here:

2. Wall Walks

Think of these as planks taken to a whole new level. The key here is to maintain your position and not let your low back arch. If you are nervous to go all the way upside down or have trouble getting your nose all the way to the wall don’t worry. Just go as far as you safely and comfortably can – there are still so many benefits to doing this exercise!

Focus on moving slowly as you work on these and challenge yourself to spend more time under tension rather than completing the wall walk up as quickly as possible. Play around with different variations and mix in elements like shifting your weight from one hand to the other – this will have tremendous carryover to skills like handstand walking!

Here’s a great demo video:

3. Pull Ups

Pull ups can’t be beat when it comes to upper body strength training. Build up your lats, arms, and core strength by adding these in daily. Pull ups respond well to training frequency so try to do more small sets throughout the day to build up your strength. Try doing sets that are 50% of your max number of pullups to ensure you are always able to rep them out (if 8 pullups is your max always do sets of 4 with plenty of rest in between). If doing your first pullup is the goal then focus on doing just the lowering phase of the movement. Step up so your chin starts over the bar and control your lowering at a steady rate of speed so that it takes at 4-5 seconds to get your arms fully extended at the bottom of the movement.

If you don’t have access to a pull up bar you can always grab a backpack, some dumbbells, or kettlebells and do some bent over rows!

4. Pistol Squats

Pistol squats or single leg squats are a great way to maintain leg strength without any external load. They also improve your squat mechanics and mobility if you are disciplined with your form and really focus on movement quality. Make sure you are mobilizing your ankles and properly warming up before diving into pistol squats. 

Below is a great progression you can use to warm up and train this beneficial movement!

5. Glute Bridge

The movement we all know and love and probably don’t do often enough. If you are working from home right now (or spending more time on the couch than usual) then set an alarm on your phone to drop and perform some glute bridges every hour. Your low back will thank you and so will your Levi’s!

There are a ton of variations of the glute bridge that you can train. Performing these as often as possible with your bodyweight will pay huge dividends. It can help alleviate back and sciatic pain and will also improve your squat and deadlift. Checking out this video is a great place to start!

 

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”
-Vince Lombardi

Fitness is a mindset. Not an activity that you go to the gym to perform for an hour 4-5 times a week. Our gym and community is here to facilitate your fitness journey. Let us know if you need guidance, motivation, or just someone to sweat with!

Schedule your very own 1:1 intro session with us just click the image below to sign up!

 

Cheers!

Coach Alex

4 Ways to Save Your Joints

When you are dedicated to your training and putting in the hours to achieve your goals then there is nothing more frustrating than joint pain and inflammation. It almost feels like your body is punishing you for working hard. No fair, right!

Rather than make excuses about your pain or backing off on your training you may want to consider some new techniques to mitigate the damage from these patterns of overuse.

1. Focus on form
2. Make intensity your new volume
3. Recover Harder
4. Hit the Supplements Aisle

1.Focus on form
If you are training often and hard then even the slightest inefficiencies in your movement can turn into nagging injuries over time. Before you put in all that hard work, you owe it to yourself to work with an experienced coach to refine your movement. You will make progress faster and stay healthy in the process. Slow down, not every day is a competition.  Your training vs. testing ratio should be 70% training, 20% practice, and only 10% testing.

2. Make intensity your new volume
Sometimes the body simply needs a break from volume. All athletes in any sport go through periods of alternating intensity and volume throughout the year. They have different rhythms and protocols for preseason, in-season, post-season, and off-season training. Try backing off on the volume of your training and focusing on higher intensity pieces instead. For lifters, this could mean performing fewer sets or reps and using a lighter load, shorter rest times, or a faster tempo. Runners might try lower mileage with weeks and adding a sprint workout 1-2 times per week instead.  CrossFit Athletes might take a “recovery week’ about once per month and perform all light weights and work on speed and movement patterns.

3. Recover Harder
Training hard without the proper recovery techniques is bound to beat you up and becomes unsustainable long term. Make time for massage, foam rolling, stretching, yoga or mobility sessions, sleep, and any other recovery methods that can improve your performance. Sometimes the most beneficial thing you can do is stimulate your parasympathetic nervous with these recovery techniques to let your body’s natural healing mechanisms kick in.  At CFK, we recommend at least one day of ‘active Recovery’ per week.

4. Give your body what it needs to repair itself
There are tons of great supplements that can help with joint health. Fish oil and omega 3’s provide a healthy inflammatory response in the body amongst many other health benefits. Glucosamine and Chondroitin provide the building blocks for joint repair. Tart Cherry Juice extract has been shown to reduce muscle soreness after a workout. Give those a try to start!

Don’t let joint pain stop you from moving and doing the things you love!  See a coach if you have any questions.  If you’re not a CFK athlete, feel free to email us or call with any questions.

 

CFK TRAVEL WOD’S

 

Hey CFK Athletes and Random Visitors!

Many of you have asked me about travel workouts that can be completed on the road or when you just can’t seem to get to the gym. Here is a list of 60 workouts that I tap into when I need to squeeze in a quick sweat when I don’t have time to get to a class. Little to no equipment will be required, you’ll only need a stopwatch and smart phones have amazing timer apps you can download.

 

Pick a workout and hit it hard, or choose a couple that make sense and knock them both out but be sure to scale to your fitness and abilities!  As always, focus on mechanics and range of motion first! #GETBETTERNOTDONE

 

Here are some general scaling guidelines:

 

New Athletes – start at half-reps (or even 25%) and/or add rest periods

Inconsistent Athletes – that’s what this list is for, stop being inconsistent! Start at half and see how you feel. Don’t punish yourself, but instead do something that will allow you to train again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day…

Consistent, well trained Athletes – Kill it!

 

Most importantly, remember to warm-up and cool down!

 

Warm-up – jog a quarter mile and do a few rounds of the “World’s Greatest Stretch”, and you should be good to go with most of these. If it’s a sprinting workout, then I always add in some side lunges and dynamic exercises – high knees, leg swings, accelerations, prone starts, etc)

Cool-down – jog/walk a quarter mile and spend a couple minutes on each side in the following stretches

Couch stretch – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaeAvGh6gkg

Quadratus Lumbourm – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NlugMEihG8

Door Jam Pec Stretch – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhgSXbRcucc

Enjoy!

  1. 100 air squats for time
  2. 100 burpees for time
  3. Sprint 100m, walk 100m, 10 rounds
  4. 10 push-ups, 10 air squats, 10 rounds
  5. Run 400m, 50 air squats, 4 Rounds
  6. 100 jumping jacks, 75 air squats, 50 push-ups, 25 burpees
  7. Handstand 5×30 seconds, then 2x800m run (Rest 1:1)
  8. Tabata air squats (20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest, 8 rounds)
  9. 5 push-ups, 5 squats, 5 sit-ups, 20 rounds
  10. 10x50m sprint (make sure to warm up before sprinting!)
  11. Run 800m, 50 air squats, 3 rounds
  12. 10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups, 10 air squats, 10 rounds
  13. 200 air squats for time
  14. Run 200m, 10 squats, 10 push-ups, 5 rounds
  15. Sprint 200m, 25 push-ups, 3 rounds (Rest 1:1)
  16. 10 handstand push-ups, sprint 200m, 3 rounds (Rest 1:1)
  17. Tabata air squats and Tabata push-ups (8 rounds of each)
  18. Sit-ups 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 with 100m runs in between
  19. 21-15-9 air squats and push-ups
  20. Accumulate a total of 5:00 in a handstand
  21. 10 push-ups, 10 air squats, 10 sit-ups, 6 rounds
  22. Do 1 air squat, then take 1 breath, then 2 air squats and 2 breaths, etc… up to 10 air squats and 10 breaths, then come back down to 1 (breathe all you want during the squats)
  23. 3 vertical jumps, 3 squats, 3 long jumps, 5 rounds
  24. Handstand 30 seconds and 10 air squats, 8 rounds
  25. 10 push-ups, 100m sprint, 10 rounds (rest 1:1)
  26. 5x400m sprints (rest 2:1)
  27. 10x100m sprints (rest 2:1)
  28. Run 1 mile lunging 10 steps every minute
  29. Handstand 30 seconds, 20 air squats, 5 rounds
  30. 4×25 jump squats, rest 1:1
  31. 10 vertical jumps, 10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups, 4 rounds
  32. Run 1 mile, do 10 air squats on every minute
  33. Run 30 minutes, do 3-5 push-ups on every minute
  34. Handstand 30 seconds, hold bottom of a squat 30 seconds, 8 rounds
  35. 100 push-ups for time
  36. 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 burpees and sit-ups
  37. 50 sit-ups, 400m run, 3 rounds
  38. 10 lunges, 10 push-ups, 10 rounds
  39. 50 jumping lunges for time
  40. 10 burpees, 100m sprint, 10 rounds (Rest 2:1)
  41. Run 1 mile with 100 air squats at midpoint
  42. 7 air squats, 7 burpees, 7 rounds
  43. Burpee to push-up position, do 5 push-ups, burpee out, 10 rounds
  44. 5 push-ups, 30 second top of push-up hold, 10 rounds
  45. 50 air squats, 5 rounds (Rest 1:1)
  46. Run 100m, 30 air squats, 8 rounds
  47. 30 push-ups, 30 second handstand or plank, 3 rounds
  48. 250 jumping jacks for time
  49. Run 1 minute, Air squat 1 minute, 5 rounds
  50. Bottom-to-Bottom Tabata air squats (this means 10 second rest period is in bottom of squat)
  51. 20 tuck jumps, 30 second handstand hold, 3 rounds
  52. 20 jumping jacks, 20 burpees, 20 air squats, 10 rounds
  53. Run 100m, 20 air squats, 10 rounds
  54. 100 air squats, rest 3:00, 100 air squats
  55. 50 burpees for time
  56. Run 1 minute, air squat 1 minute, push-up 1 minute, rest 1 minute, 4 rounds
  57. Run 1 mile for time
  58. Minute 1 – 1 burpee, Minute 2 – 2 burpees, etc.. until failure
  59. Run 400m as fast as possible immediately into max effort plank hold, 4 rounds (Rest 2:1)
  60. Bear crawl 40’, 10 push-ups, bear crawl 40’, 10 sit-ups, 8 rounds

 

 

*Don’t forget the classic workout of running a 5k!  We don’t get to test it often at CFK, but we’ll have some opportunities coming up!

Week In Preview June 23, 2019

“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

— John Wooden

Supplement Spotlight:

Puori SB3

Did you know that your gastrointestinal tract houses 100 trillion bacteria? Good bacteria in the gut is essential to health and acts as the first line of defense against unwanted germs. Puori’s cranberry flavored SB3 is made of indigestible fibers, good bacteria, and vitamin C to give you antioxidants and immune support while repairing cellular damage from daily wear and tear. Gut health is great thing.

Upcoming Events:

Yogability Saturday, 8am @ North

Free 45 minute flow class this Saturday, $15 drop-in for nonmembers. Come love on your body and clear your mind to start the weekend off right. Your hips will thank you.

July 4th

There will be one workout at both locations, 9am on Independence Day. Come prioritize yourself and start the holiday off right with a little sweat and burn. Remember, you GET to be here.

Camping Trip July 12-14

Nature is calling! Join your CFK fitness family at the Bandy Creek Campground in the Big South Fork Recreational Area July12-14 (Fri, Sat night). We have rented a pavilion and a loop of group camping sites to play – so much room for activities! If you can’t make it up for the whole weekend, join us Saturday morning for yoga, group hiking, or a bike ride. Come one, come all! Please RSVP here.

Weekly WODS:

Monday – Skill & Jerk

Do you have muscle ups? If not come get some quality and skill work on the low rings and get to dominating the false grip! We’ll finish off with a burner of push-jerks, muscle ups, and calories.

Tuesday – Rannie

Remember your old pal Annie? She’s back and she’s still on the run. We’ll get the ropes turning, abs firing, and the heart rate bumping with a 400m run in between each set.

Wednesday – Fran

This not the day to miss because we’ve got a Fran-tastic day planned out! We will be taking the first part of class to work on some squat cleans so that you can dominate the first thruster each round as we test this classic CrossFit benchmark wod.

Thursday – Partner WOD

All workhorse kind of day.  Lots of Bike/ Row Cals and a long 600m Farmer’s Carry with HEAVY KB’s. Naturally, we will finish the day off with some Beach Body Abs. Don’t leave your gym buddy hanging! Come and get a sweat on and loosen up a bit after a tough week.

Friday – Squat Day

Today is the day we reset for this new cycle. Weight should be light making it a perfect day to work on technique and practice tempo. We’ll finish off with another CrossFit Games Open repeat! Get ready to move for 15 minutes between light deadlift, push-ups, and box jumps to crush 11.2.

Saturday – Community WOD

Bring your friends, brothers, aunts, and everyone you know! Nothing builds community better than a sweat session with a partner. We’ve got a 16 minute AMRAP with ring rows, goblet squats, box jumps and max sit-ups to start your weekend off right.

Saturday – CFL2

We’ve got a sweet snatch complex coming at you with some moderate weight. It’s all about practice, not a PR. We’ll finish the day with “Triple 7s”. A wonderful metcon including everyones favorites! Get ready for some 800m runs and max sets of wallballs and toes to bar. Who’s excited?