Recovery Tips for Getting Gainz

Do you find yourself struggling to make the gainz that you want even though you’re training your butt off?! I have one question for you- how well are you recovering?

If you are not taking the right steps to recover from your awesome workouts then you will find it extremely difficult to make the gainz that you want to see.

Our bodies take a beating when we workout so we have to turn around and treat them well! Here are a few ways you can accomplish this:

1. Rest Days

Sometimes the last thing we want to do is take a day off of working out, especially when we feel great. A rest day lets your body recover from all the hard work you put in at the gym. It allows you to mentally and physically recover. So, once a week take a day and chill!

2. Drink Water

Ideally we would all drink at minimum half our bodyweight in ounces of water daily! And even more ideally we’d drink a bit more than that daily. As humans we need water to live but we also need it to recover and get gainz! Buy yourself a big water bottle (I like my 64oz bottle) and make it your goal to finish it before bed everyday.

3. Sleep

Speaking of going to bed, how much sleep do you get a night? Sleep is the time our muscles use to heal and grow stronger. Without enough sleep we cannot function mentally and physically to the level that we need to make gainz. Try getting an extra hour or even 30 minutes of sleep every night for a week and see what a difference sleep can make.

P.S.- If you struggle staying asleep try taking some magnesium before bed!

 

So give these tips a try and see if you can hop back on the gainz train!!

 

Cheers,

Coach Alex

 

 

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

 

2021 Open

What’s up CFK?

The 2021 CrossFit open officially kicks off tonight and we couldn’t be more excited to watch everyone test their abilities. Coach Alex and Coach Jesse wanted to remind everyone of CFK’s plan for this year’s open.

 

Remember, its not to late to register if you are on the fence! Not sure what the open is?

 

This is the largest fitness competition in the world. Don’t let the word competition scare you, but what an awesome opportunity to find your weaknesses, test yourself, and push harder than you have before.

 

The Open is so much fun, because it accommodates any skill level with multiple divisions and workouts. This year, the open is 3 weeks long instead of the traditional 5 weeks, which allows us to stay motivated and push to do your best. Registering for the open allows you to not only test yourself, but see where you rank worldwide against others.

 

Anyone can do the open without registering, but we highly encourage registration for the open because it allows you to see the leaderboard, record your results, and gives you the accountability to push yourself. Each week, on Thursdays, a new workout will be released and you have until the following Monday to complete. If you register, you will do the workout with a judge who counts your reps and solidifies your score. To register, use the link below!

 

Register here: https://games.crossfit.com

Learn more about the Open here: https://open.crossfit.com

 

OUR PLAN FOR THE OPEN:

Non-registered Athletes:

In class on Friday, we will do the open workout that is released the night before. This will be a non judged version. So if you’d like to do the workout without a judge, you will be able to come to your regular class time and do the workout.

Registered Athletes: 

Those who are registered and need a judge, we will be doing the open workouts on Saturday mornings, starting at 9:45am and going through noon. The first open workout is released March 11th, 2021 and we will have our first CF Open class on March 13th, and for the next two Saturdays. Each athlete will need to reserve their spot in a heat in Wodify by no later than 9:30a Saturday!! The size of the heats will be dependent on what equipment is required for the workout. This is why you must reserve, if you don’t there won’t be proper equipment for you!!

 

**For both registered and non registered athletes, we will have a gym wide leaderboard for all the age groups, so we can compete and see where we rank among our peers!

 

Judges course: 

We will also need some help judging, so if you are registering for the open, please highly consider taking the judges course to help out with other heats. If we don’t have enough judges, heats will be limited. The course is a small fee of $10, should take no more than 1 hour, and certifies you and helps us out in the process. The link to the judges course is below.

 

Judge course: https://oc.crossfit.com/course?id=43

 

Location:

Remember, we are combining both gyms for one event each week. This will not be at both locations. The location of the workout will be released Thursday night after we see the workout and determine the best flow for the heats. We will release the location of the workout in the facebook groups. Each group link is below. It will also be in announcements on Friday.

Heat times:

10am-12pm (subject to change based on length of workout) with 5-10m breaks to set up the next heat. You must use wodify to register for a spot in a heat before 9:30am on Saturday morning. No matter what heat you sign up for please be at the gym no later than 10a! We will be doing the one and only WOD briefing at 10a for everyone all at once!

 

Facebook Groups:

We will be posting all versions of the workout, strategy, and the location that we choose for each week in the groups. The link to each group is below.

 

CFK West Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CFKAthletes/?ref=share

 

CFK North Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/427884824246846/?ref=share

 

THE MORNING OF:

Workout briefing: 10am-10:15

Heats will begin promptly at 10:15 with 10 min gaps in between to set up for the next group.

Warm up:

The oly room will be set up for athletes to stage and warm up. We will have a generalized warm up, as well as strategy tips for the workout.

 

Coach Alex and Coach Jesse will be competing at 12 at the end of the day, so stick around and cheer us on!

 

We are super excited for this year! It’s going to be so much fun competing together and testing our fitness. Remember to bring your coolers, drinks, snacks, and let’s crush it together!

The Killer P’s – Parameters

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. Parameters nicely brings together the three previous Killer P’s:  patterns, progressions, and positions.

The parameters of the workout/movement are outlined by the coach before the workout begins. This allows athletes to have a good idea moving forward what the workout should feel like but also how they may need to pick weights/scaling options. Parameters also allow the coach to more easily push athletes to move faster/heavier or slow down/scale weights or movements. They use the parameters as a measuring stick of sorts to say, “Hey, we’re not meeting the parameters of this workout let’s adjust so that we do” or ” Hey that looks great you’re exceeding the parameters let’s dial it up a bit.”

Having a coach clearly state parameters for the class as a whole allows athletes to feel confident in what they must uphold to get the most they possibly can out of a workout. Expectations are clear and that allows everyone to have a good time because no one should be wondering if they’re meeting expectations.

Parameters set expectations so there are no surprises and all athletes can succeed and have a successful workout!

 

Curious about classes?! Click the image below to sign up for a 1 week FREE trial of our Burn classes!!

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

Are you mobilizing??

“It’s not enough to exercise, you have got to sleep. You have got to drink enough water. You have got to develop a practice around maintenance of your body. You have got to learn how to move right.” -Kelly Starrett

Let’s face it, there are times when movement prep and cool-down take a back seat to the actual workout. You might be guilty of jumping right into your main lift of the day because you’re short on time. Maybe your cool-down consists of some gasping and sweat angels on the floor before lumbering to the parking lot?

All of us need to make time for mobility if we are training hard. Mobility is equal parts injury prevention and performance benefit. If you want to perform at your maximum capability it is well worth the investment of time. I’ll give you a hint, it doesn’t take much! Let’s look at 3 major areas that can make a huge difference in mobility.

1.Ankles
2.Psoas
3.Thoracic spine

1.Ankles

Tight ankles can be a major impediment in your daily training. Maybe even causing you to hit a wall when it comes to squats, deadlifts, clean, snatches, etc.

Our musculoskeletal system generates movement through the contraction of muscles on a series of levers, our bones. Some positions are more advantageous than others and our goal as athletes is to take advantage of these positions to generate more power in our lifts.

Shortened range of motion in the ankle will make it difficult to maintain powerful positions in the squat because to achieve depth the body must borrow additional range of motion. This compensation is often shown by the individual turning their feet out to the sides. This is often a less favorable position for our muscles to produce optimal force from and can increase risk of injury.

To prep the ankles and increase range of motion practice sitting in the bottom position of a pistol (1-legged) squat. A pistol squat forces the ankle of the working leg to dorsiflex, or shorten the angle created at the ankle joint.

2.Psoas

The psoas is a tricky muscle that often slips under the radar. It runs from the head of the femur in the hip socket and travels up attaching to the lumbar spine. If the psoas tightens it reduces range of motion in the hip socket and simultaneously pulls the lumbar spine down and in. This usually shows up as pain in the low back.

Mobilize the psoas by exploring positions of hip extension. Think about the backswing of the leg before you kick a ball. This means creating space with movements like the couch stretch. Your low back will thank you.

3.Thoracic Spine

The thoracic spine or t-spine for short refers to the series of vertebrae the length of your rib cage, from the neck down to mid spine. As you can imagine, this area is profoundly impacted by the activities we perform and the positions we keep it in. Sedentary behavior and poor posture will cause the thoracic region to become immobile and lose its ability to flex and extend. This becomes problematic and dangerous especially when overhead movements are involved.

Just like with our ankles, a lack of mobility causes our body to compensate and search for movement in alternative areas when hitting an end range of motion. This means losing stability in order to allow for additional mobility. When the thoracic spine is tight our body finds extra space in the lumbar spine and/or scapula region. Chronic injuries and inflammation tend to spring up in these areas if we continually force this movement during exercises like the overhead press or kipping on the pull-up bar.

These are just 3 areas where mobility can make a huge difference in your performance and your health. If you want to learn more about ways to improve your mobility stop in to speak with one of our coaches today with a FREE intro session!

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!