The Killer P’s – Patience

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. This is probably one of the most important things to remember but it is also the last thing that most people want to hear.

Everything takes time!

Just like we cannot rush to do workouts RX or lift heavier weights we also cannot rush our progress. Our health is a marathon not just a few sprints. We have to commit to the long haul to get where we want to go.

This is why at CFK we pride ourselves on checking in with our members frequently, especially when we notice an athlete who hasn’t been in the gym for a minute. We want to make staying motivated for the entire marathon as easy as possible. Our coaches not only have the knowledge to keep you safe and move efficiently but they also know how to have fun and make your class the best hour of your day!

Let us show you how easy it can be to be patient! Click the image below to sign up for a FREE 1 week trial of our Burn classes!

Cheers,

Coach Alex

 

 

The Killer P’s-Progress

Progress:

Progress or gainz is what we expect and can guarantee if an athlete consistently follows the Killer P’s i.e. the process. Just as the image on the right shows each little piece adds up to the bigger picture which for us is gainz!

Step 1:

Walking into the gym and committing to showing up, we suggest, 20 times a month to work hard and put in your best effort all while following the Killer P’s is step one. Plus it’s always better getting through a tough workout with other people right by your side also going through the same workout!

Step 2:

Nutrition! So you started showing up, consistently attending 20+ classes a month and now you feel like your gainz have slowed down or maybe even come to a halt; now it’s time to dial in your nutrition. Now a lot of people see this and they get nervous or think that they have to go on some crazy diet- here’s the secret:

  • Prioritize protein intake (chicken, beef, turkey, eggs, cheese, etc.)
    • Have some with every meal!
  • Make it your goal to eat 800g of fruits/veggies daily
    • Any fruits or veggies count, yes, even potatoes!
  • Drink a minimum of 100oz of water daily
  • Limit your intake of sugary drinks and yes, this includes alcohol!
  • Prioritize real, non-processed foods

Step 3:

Sleep!!! This is so crucial to making the progress you want to make! Sleep allows your body to reset, recover, and heal. Sleep is one of the first things to go out the window when we feel like we don’t have enough time to do things but, if you get that sleep you’ll perform so much better!

 

So what are you waiting for?! Getting moving toward your goals and see all the progress you can make just by following these 3 steps and the Killer P’s!

Feel like you need a little bit of help getting started? Sign up for our new Couch to Fit program and get started right in your own living room!! Click the image below to get signed up!

 

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

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

 

 

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!

 

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

Habits Over Goals

“A goal is just an awesome way to force growth on yourself.”

– Deena Kastor

If you find yourself setting a goal then you’re off to a great start! Having a goal that you write down even further increases the likelihood that you’ll achieve it. And beyond that telling someone else your goal so that they can help keep you accountable.

However, we can become so focused on our end goal that we get frustrated or skip steps along the way all the while feeling like we’re never going to achieve what we set out to.

So, I want to challenge you to stop setting goals and start building habits!

Let’s say your goal is to get a muscle up; awesome! But you don’t have a strict pull up yet, how are you going to get there?? By creating habits you will find yourself inching closer to that goal without even realizing it.

Say your first habit is to go to the gym 5 days a week – check!

Next you start building those strict pulls by doing either a couple of reps or a couple of strength drills every time you go to the gym – check!

Then you start working on that kip a little bit more – check!

And before you know it you’ve put in all the work and you accomplish that end goal- the muscle up!

Sometimes we have to step back from what our end goal may be, whether that’s a muscle up, losing weight, or getting gainz and start by simple making small habits a part of our daily routine. Now this can be a bit easier if you work with a nutrition coach, a personal trainer, or find you a great community like a CrossFit gym because support and accountability can go a long way in helping set/keep those habits.

So what are the differences between goals and habits?

Goals
Merriam-Webster defines a goal as “the end toward which effort is directed.”

Habits
A habit can be defined as “an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary, customary practice or use.”

You’re probably already thinking about areas in your own life where you’ve focused on one particular goal. Maybe you achieved it or maybe you didn’t. Maybe you’re still pursuing it.

Think about how you could develop habits that improve your health! What are daily actions you can take that will move you forward no matter what?

Not sure how to get started or need that accountability click the image below to schedule your FREE intro session with us and we will help get you moving toward your goals!

Cheers,

Coach Alex

Slay the Day

If you’re training a lot, chances are life feels a bit chaotic. You may feel like you don’t have enough time for most things in life. While you’re definitely busy getting better at the gym or on the field or court, you may be missing out on some key routines that could help you SLAY THE DAY!

“The first hour of the morning is the rudder of the day.” -Henry Ward Beecher

Healthy Breakfast 

Having a routine to start your morning is just like having a pregame ritual before you attempt an olympic lift. Starting your morning off with consistency will help you stay more focused throughout the day and improve your mental attitude which is important for athletic performance.

A Few Healthy Breakfast Ideas:

-black coffee

-hot water with lemon

-eggs however you like to cook them!

-oats: plain, with fruit, with greek yogurt

-omelette filled with veggies

Stretching or Movement Practice

Getting blood flow allows for a smooth transition into your morning. Bringing awareness to your body will allow you to address any issues that may be surfacing before you get to the weight room. 

A Few Apps to Get Some Movement In:

-GOWOD mobility (free and premium version)

-ROMWOD (membership required)

-Yoga (several options on YouTube)

-CrossFit early morning class!

Review your goals and visualize your ultimate success

You’re training for something right?! Visualizing yourself every morning accomplishing your goal is one of the most powerful things you can do for your training. You create important neural connections allowing your mind and body to become aligned to opportunities that will encourage the realization of your goals.

Take a look at your schedule and be one step ahead of it

Being late to train or practice is never a good feeling. Missing appointments and meetings at work or home can cause undue stress to your situation too. By confronting your schedule head-on in the morning, you’re committing to integrity which translates directly to your training habits.

So wake up and SLAY THE DAY!!

 

Coach Alex

Why You Need Carbs

Nutrition is one of the most important components of life especially when you are looking to up your performance in the gym. The largely held belief that carbohydrates are bad for athletes has been debunked!

Many studies show that carbohydrates are one of the best ways for an athlete to replenish glycogen stores in the muscles. Power output is directly affected if an athlete doesn’t have enough glycogen stored in the muscle. If we are not fueled properly we can feel sluggish and slow in daily activities and workouts.

When healthy individuals consume carbohydrates, insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar levels, is released in order to get glucose out of the blood and into the cells. That tired feeling after you workout is a signal to your body that blood sugar levels have dipped. This is a perfect time to utilize post workout fuel- rice, potatoes, fruit, veggies, oats, etc.

You can replenish your glycogen stores by consuming more carbohydrates after you workout, causing your body to release insulin and bring your blood sugar levels back down. This will simultaneously trigger glucose to be stored as glycogen in the cells. Since the cells that are fatigued and depleted are your muscle cells, storage will happen in your muscles instead of your liver.

In certain circumstances, for example if an athlete has diabetes, consuming these types of carbohydrates won’t have the desired effect. If an athlete is not insulin sensitive or has diabetes, spikes in blood sugar levels will stay elevated after eating carbohydrates. This can result in elevated LDL or bad cholesterol and high blood pressure. A diabetic body simply can’t handle the sugars and isn’t releasing insulin in order to store it into the cells. As a diabetic, you would work directly with a medical professional and be prescribed insulin since the body is not producing it on its own.

You may be wondering how you can increase your insulin sensitivity to optimize your response to elevated blood sugar levels and maximize your muscle growth and global energy. There are a few key factors to consider around your workout that will help.

  1. Sleep
    It can impact every function in the body, especially the release of insulin. Aim for 8 hours a night of good quality sleep. Try sleeping with a sleep mask to eliminate extra light or a hot tea before bed to wind down.
  2. Exercise
    This is one of the most important components for staving off disease. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day. Studies have shown that this is an excellent way to decrease your risk of developing insulin resistance and diabetes.
  3. Eat a Balanced and Healthy Diet
    Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis as well as carbs like rice, potatoes, oats. Eat healthy fats, like omega-3 found in fish and seeds, avocados, and nuts. And drink plenty of water.

The big takeaway here is that carbohydrates are friends and food!

If you want more help with your nutrition just ask! We can help you get going in the right direction and help you reach all your goals!

 

Coach Alex

Conquering Covid

Facemasks have become the new normal, but are you doing everything you can to stay healthy? With the world opening back up, anxiety about what you can do to help protect yourself and family from contracting the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus is high. Exercising, getting extra sleep, and prioritizing your protein will help keep your immune system operating at peak performance.

A recent discovery made it clear that supplementing Vitamin D could help stave off this unwanted virus. Vitamin D is a steroid hormone that your body needs to function optimally. It’s generated in skin by UVB rays that come from the sun hitting your skin but it’s hard to get enough by just lounging in the sun. Vitamin D has many other important functions, but in this case the immune boost and reaction to Covid-19 are our main concern.

Here’s an excerpt from the renowned Dr. Rhonda Patrick who is involved in the research during this pandemic:

“Since vitamin D insufficiency is widespread (and perhaps exacerbated in quarantine conditions, due to limited sunlight exposure), supplemental vitamin D might be a viable means to increase vitamin D to sufficient levels.
Maintaining a healthy vitamin D status, an imminently solvable but often ignored problem, may turn out to be an important factor in protecting against susceptibility to lung injury in COVID-19.” (FoundMyFitness, Dr. Rhonda Patrick https://www.foundmyfitness.com/episodes/vitamin-d-covid-19)

Most people have insufficient levels because we wear clothes, work inside all day and wear sunscreen to protect our skin. This will block your absorption of UVB rays making you susceptible to Vitamin D insufficiency. In fact, 70% of people in the US have this insufficiency, and 29% of the US are actually deficient. Not to mention if you live in the Northern latitude states, above the 37th parallel, or have dark skin, the risk of deficiency increases causing a myriad of other health issues aside from immune function.

So what can you do? Daily supplements of Vitamin D for you and your family have been shown to greatly reduce the risk for acute respiratory tract infections.

If increasing your immune defense system doesn’t turn you on, did you know that Vitamin D wards off depression? Depression rates have increased an astounding 65% since the beginning of the pandemic. With most of us quarantining and forced to stay inside, I’m sure you can see how easily this can happen. If you’re not into supplements, think about adding salmon in your diet a few times a week, a food extremely rich in Vitamin D. Stay healthy and happy, folks!

If you are a CFK athlete, ask a coach about our D3 from Puori!  It’s a very inexpensive way to offer yourself better protection!

Coach Alex