Jessie G. looks strong doing DB plank rows.
The Myth of The "Weaker Sex"
I'm old enough to have lived through a time when I was told I was not strong. I was told girls could be good at some sports (thanks to Title 9) but could not do others. I was told we just didn't have the upper body strength to do push-ups, pull-ups, or to lift and carry heavy objects.
I was told I should be skinny. I was told I should have a flat belly and thighs that don't rub. I was told if I wanted to lose weight (which apparently I should constantly be wanting to do) I should go for a run. Hell, my entire time in the Marine Corps I was told daily that I was not strong. That I didn't belong. That I couldn't measure up.
All of this bullshit was an attempt to stifle my potential. I was so grateful when I found CrossFit. Even though I was 38 when I started, I knew I had found something that would help me discover and promote my potential. I knew I found something that would recognize and celebrate my strength. I knew I found something that promoted my unique potential as a strong and powerful athlete while simultaneously promote other women's speed and endurance. I knew I found my tribe. My strong, powerful, fast, flexible, agile, and amazing tribe.
My experience is not unique, there an many women for whom CrossFit has empowered. When people ask me what I do I often reply, "I help people find their power." CrossFit provides an opportunity us to find our physical strength. When we find our physical strength we find our other emotional and spiritual strengths. When He find our strength we find our voice and with our voice we can change the world.
Jessie K. does a chest to bar pull-up. She did Open workout 19.5 with the goal of getting her first chest to bar pull-ups and she busted out 60!
Jessie has been working on her nutrition with Coach Audy. She has made fantastic progress working toward her body composition and performance goals.
Myth: Six-pack Abs will Make you Happy and Are an Excellent Indicator of Your Fitness
Want to make your Coach cry? Let them know that no matter what you're able to do with your amazing body, you're just not happy because you can't see your abdominal muscles.
REALLY? Your happiness and self worth are tied up in a myth and ideal that was created by someone else and that will likely change, again, in the next 10 ten years.
Here's the cold hard truth, if you want to have visible abs you have to change what you eat, AND it's going to take some serious effort to get that lean. Men need to have about less than 10% body fat and women about less than 15% body fat to have visible abs. Do you know your current body fat percentage? I have been calculating this for everybody during our Spring Check-ins.
I don't know why this particular group of muscles is the cause célèbre for fitness. Why not deltoids, hamstrings, or quadriceps? There are so many amazing muscle groups that, when developed, have so much more functional power. The trend towards visible abs is recent. In the 1980's small thighs and flat bellies were the ideal women's body thanks Suzanna Summers, Jane Fonda and Denise Austin. In the 1990's step-aerobics and TAEBO got us moving and looking more lean and mean. Then in the 2000s flat and small gave way to lean and visible muscles, but not too much. We were told to be "toned" but not bulky. Give me a break.
Someday we are going to accept ourselves as we are and celebrate what our bodies can do!
So, if you still think 6-pack abs are where it's at, here's a great breakdown from the smart folks at Precision Nutrition of the effort and sacrifices you'll need to make in order to have visible abs. Good luck!
The Myth: You need to Run to Get into Shape or Improve your Cardio
A few Monday's ago I addressed the myth that if you want to lose weight you need to to more cardio, and more cardio for most people means a long slow run. When most people consider what they need to do "to get into shape," they mostly think about doing long slow runs. The long slow run has a tight grip on the misbelief that it is the best way to lose weight and get into shape.
Don't get me wrong, a long slow run has its place in a well round and varied fitness program. We regularly program 5 and 10k runs for the gym (Sweet Pea, Huffing for Stuffing, Run to the Pub.) It's also great for mental health. A long slow run can help you get into a mental state where you can either solve all of your problem, or completely forget about them.
However, the long slow run will not, exclusively, make you lose weight or get into shape. What helps you do both of those things? You guessed it, high intensity interval training (exactly like the kind we're doing today.)
High intensity interval training (HIIT) in the running world can be sprints, running up hills, running with weight (sandbags, medballs, or sleds), or surging during a longer run (running at a steady state and incorporating faster intervals at a specific time or distance into the run.)
High intensity interval training taps into your anaerobic metabolic system and promotes muscular endurance as well as power. High intensity interval training can help you run longer runs faster, and can help you have energy for a kick at the finish of a long run. High intensity interval training helps you develop power and speed, both of which help you in sports such as skiing and cycling.
The long slow run (or LSD) only works on ONE metabolic system, the aerobic one, whereas HIIT works your TWO anaerobic systems in addition to your aerobic one. This means you work ALL of your metabolic systems thereby getting you in shape faster. It also means you build muscle (through the anaerobic systems) which means you expend more energy thereby helping you lose weight. Muscle has a larger metabolic energy requirement than fat. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn.
So the next time your well meaning friend, co-worker, or family member mentions to you that they need to get into shape so they're going to start running, you can help guide them toward a better way. Certainly running is a natural (after all, we were born to run) and inexpensive (you just need some shoes) way to get into shape and lose weight, but we can do it better by incorporating some HIIT. Good luck!
Want visible muscles? Want six-pack abs? It all starts in the kitchen! Ask Steve, he worked with Coach Audy to get his macros on point and he's pretty happy with the results.
The Myth of Spot Reduction
If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me which exercises to do so they can have abs, or how many Jane Fonda's they have to do to shrink their thighs, or what to do to stop the batwings from swinging I could buy myself that Mini Cooper Countryman I want so badly. All of these questions relate to the one myth, that no matter how much science has debunked, infomercials keep alive and kicking and that is the myth of spot reduction.
Spot reduction is the erroneous idea that you can do a specific exercise to reduce body fat in a specific part of your body to obtain a specific look. Most of these junk exercise routines and products (shake weight or thigh master anyone?) are targeted towards women, e.g. "21 days to flat abs! 2 Weeks to toned arms! 30 days butt lift challenge!" Don't believe me? Look Here.
The truth is, to get toned (whatever the hell that means) or to have visible abs, or slimmer thighs, or arms that don't wave back at you, you have to reduce your OVERALL body fat AND lift weights. When I talk about lifting weights I don't mean lifting 5 pounds 100 times. You're better off lifting 20 pounds 25 times or 50 pounds 10 times. All three of those combinations equal 500 pounds lifted, but the heavier weights will have a greater impact on your metabolism, which will in turn burn more calories, which will in turn help you lose body fat.
If you're frustrated because you have a part of your body that just seems to hold onto body fat, guess what? You're human! All of us are unique snowflakes and it is our hormones that have the biggest influence on our body composition. Our hormones are determined through a marriage of our genes AND our lifestyle (eating, sleeping, drinking and stress management). Not only that, where your body stored fat when you were 20 will change when you're 30, and will certainly change when your 40, and if you're a woman, hold onto your butts cause shit gets weird with menopause.
There is no way you can crunch away your belly fat. You have to eat less calories than you burn to do that, and perhaps, if you're not genetically gifted you might not ever have visible abs. There are 2 very famous CrossFit Games athletes who have very low body fat percentages who aren't genetically gifted with a 6 pack. Camille Leblanc Bazinet and Jamie Haiya have both addressed body image in the CrossFit community.
To achieve whatever body composition standard you want, first ask your self why you want it and second become very clear on what you're willing to do to get it. Getting your body fat low enough so that you have visible abs takes a lot of work and can come at a high price. Read this great article from Precision Nutrition on the high price of getting lean.
You've heard our Coaches say time and again, "You can't out-exercise your diet" and "Six-packs are made in the kitchen." If you're ready to get your lifestyle in check, you're in luck. You can get personalized nutrition coaching with Audy!
April 27 Festivus Games
May 4 - 5 Montana Spartan Race
May 5 Give Big Gallatin Valley Gym Challenge
May 10 Baseline & Beers
May 11 Montana Craft Beer Week BEER OLYMPICS at TSCF
June 22 OutWOD
June 28 - July 12 Anniversary Throwdown
July 13 Knuckle Buster OCR
July 14 5th Year Anniversary Party
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