Myth: Winter Holiday Weight Gain is Inevitable
Thanksgiving starts the 6 weeks winter holiday eating season. You don't have to gain weight this year. Weight gain is OPTIONAL, and to opt out successfully you need a plan.
If you really want to avoid gaining weight this winter, you MUST have a plan. Failure to make a plan is planning to fail. Or, in this case, planning to gain.
What does a plan look like? It's includes knowing ahead of time how you will respond to predictable situations.
Do you know how you will politely say no when your mom offers you a third slice of pie?
Do you know how you will navigate your fourth holiday party of the weekend without consuming your 15th alcoholic drink in 2 days?
How will you eat the rest of the week after a weekend bender of egg nog and Christmas cookies?
How much water should you drink?
How much protein should you eat?
Lucky for us all, Working Against Gravity has published a holiday survival guide. You don't need to eat every single holiday cookie to enjoy the season, nor do you need to keep a bag of baby carrots hanging around your neck. You can have your fruit cake and eat it, too. The WAG guide will show you how.
The winter holidays are fun and stressful. This year why not create a plan that will help you navigate the churning seas of eggnog and pumpkin pie?
Charlene does "earthquake" or "bamboo" presses in Coach Nick's 9am class. He incorporates these instability presses in his warm-ups to increase shoulder stability and strength. They are never done for speed or with high loads. The instability of the bar and hanging weights requires the shoulders to use little stabilizing muscles in addition to the big sexy ones to move the weight. These type of warm-up protocols help reduce injury and improve overall shoulder health and function.
Myth: CrossFit is Dangerous
There's nothing quite like owning a business and having people tell you that the very thing to which I have devoted my energy and passion is dangerous and "not for them." I don't know how or why CrossFit earned such a negative perception for so many people. Of course, the myth that it's dangerous is primarily held by those who haven't tried CrossFit.
What most folks fail to realize is that CrossFit is a sport. Yes, it's exercise. Yes, it's a fitness program. However, it was born during the big cross-training wave that swept across the fitness industry in the mid 1990s. Greg Glassman, and a small committed cadre of folks in Santa Cruz, figured out that if they borrowed all of the best training methods from sports like rowing, football, track and field, gymnastics, wrestling, boxing, Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, volleyball, soccer, skiing, etc., and put them together in a constantly varied high intensity workout, that they would have a very potent strength and conditioning program. What is exactly the definition of CrossFit: Constantly varied high intensity functional movement. And, it is the sport of fitness.
Most folks think of joining a gym as a fitness pursuit, and gyms like Access, Fuel, Orange Theory, and group classes like Pure Barre, and Les Miles are focused on a particular type of fitness. However, CrossFit, being a sport, is focused on a broader definition of fitness and therefore uses a broader quiver of movements. If you've never been an athlete, you might never have been exposed to plyometrics, interval training, sprints, weightlifting, or worked on physical skills such as agility, balance, coordination, speed and power. All of these movements and skills have a learning curve and those who don't respect the learning curve can get themselves into trouble. This is why we prioritize practice over performance.
I have been an athlete all my life. I started in tumbling classes when I was a toddler, moved onto the parallel bars and balance beam when I was in grade school, started rowing in high school and even dabbled in spring-board diving. I have cut-open my head on the diving board, broken my ribs while rowing in college, seriously injured both ankles in a rappelling fall in the Marine Corps, and I have never injured myself during my 8 years of practicing CrossFit. I have been so sore I had trouble going down stairs, but sore muscles are not an injury.
The difference between injury and soreness might be a point where most folks go sideways in their misbelief in the dangers of CrossFit. If you've never pushed yourself in the pursuit of physical achievement, you might not know the pain and euphoria of the metabolic by-products on high-intensity movement. I have met many people who, after deadlifting or squatting, or running very, very hard, describe the pain in their muscles and ask me if I think they've "tweaked" something. Nope, what you're feeling is called hard work, and it's a common by product of CrossFit.
Now, that's not to say some people don't get injured. But, I have witnessed more people getting injured in the summer recreation soccer, volleyball and softball leagues in Bozeman than I ever have in my 10 years as a CrossFit Coach. I have seen more muscles torn, more ankles twisted and more ligaments shredded by folks in rec. league, and yet, oddly enough, no one is shouting and waving their hands about the dangers of the Bozeman recreation leagues.
CrossFit is the most effective program around for getting you stronger, faster, and fitter for a full and active life. Our Coaches are experts in modifying and adapting the movements to suit anyone's current fitness level and range of motion. Want to do something dangerous? Sit on your ass and don't move your body. But, if you still don't believe me, read this article. See you in class!
The Myth of the Perfect Body
I have been an athlete most of my life and my body's capability has been important to me. When I was firefighter in the USMC my body had to be capable or I couldn't do my job. If I couldn't do my job people died. The pressure to be strong and capable was high. That has not made me immune, however, to the impossible and impractical quest for the perfect body.
We are bombarded with images of the perfect body. Women are supposed to be thin, skinny and not take up too much space. Men are supposed to be be big, but not too big. Who determines this anyway? More importantly, why do we believe it?
The reality is that there are so many variations of human physique that there's no possible way we can nail down one as the perfect one. It's an impossible quest and one that sets us up for failure and disappointment.
What if we traded the perfect aesthetic for what we are capable of doing? One of my favorite photo essays is Athlete by Howard Schatz. Howard photographed Olympians from all sports side by side. They're all at the absolute top of their physical capability, and none of them look alike. Here's a sample of one of my favorite panels
They are tall and short. They are long legged and short legged. They are heavy and light. Some have visible muscles and some don't. ALL are strong. ALL are capable. ALL are beautiful. ALL are perfect because their bodies allow them to be the absolute best in their sport.
I had the great pleasure of meeting Olympic medalist Cheryl Haworth when I attended the master's training camp at the Olympic Training Center. She's the third from the left. She is an amazing human and is absolutely unapologetic for being strong and capable. I never once heard her make any disparaging remark about her body. She LOVES what her body is able to do. She WON an Olympic Medal because her body is perfect, for her.
Your body is perfect for you when it enables you to do everything you want it to do. NOT when it looks like what someone else has suggested to you. You are the one who determines your perfect body. Not the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated, not Vogue, and no, not CrossFit either.
Perfection can be the body that is capable of going on a long backpacking trip. It's the body that can play with your kids all day. It's the body that can lift heavy things. It's the body that can ski all day. The body that can run, jump, throw, skip, and make you happy through the pure joy of movement. That's the perfect body
Myth: Collagen is an incomplete protein and doesn't count toward your protein goals.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and is the building block of many of our tissues. It's being hyped by the nutritional supplement industry as an important supplement for healthy tissue. The science on that claim is pretty thin. If you notice a difference in your hair and nails, good for you. That's not why I recommend it.
I recommend collagen supplementation because it's in incredibly EASY way to consume protein and make your macros goal. I recently chatted with my 9am class about protein supplementation and EVERYONE in the 9am class adds collagen their morning coffee. YAY HORRAY! However, someone did mention that their friend told them that collagen doesn't count towards your daily target because it is not a complete protein. This is how nutritional myths are developed and stay afloat in a sea of bullshit.
Yes, their friend is correct, most collagen supplements do not have a complete amino acid profile. They are typically missing or are low in one or two amino acids. Unless you're relying on collagen supplementation for 100% of your protein intake, IT DOESN'T MATTER.
Here's what EC Syndowski, #bosslady of OptimizeMe Nutrition has to say about collagen supplementation:
1 - If people are having a hard time hitting enough protein (and a lot do), I'm not going to tell them certain protein sources don't count. Basics first.
The bottom line is that if you eat protein with every meal, eat mostly whole foods with plenty of fruits and vegetables, supplement with another source in addition to collagen, you are fine counting your collagen. A well balanced diet will provide you with the entire suite of amino acids.
What matters most is that you find methods of consuming enough protein to meet your goals. If the 20g of collagen in your morning coffee helps you meet those goals, count it. When it comes to a sustainable nutrition the program, the easiest one you can make a habit is the one that will work for you. Once you start putting too many restrictions and labeling foods as "good" or "bad," you'll hamstring yourself with too many food rules, and you will stray and rebel. Make it easy to do and you'll stick to it longer.
If you want to diver deeper into collagen as a supplement. Check out The Consistency Project podcast from OptimizeMe Nutrition.
Dec 5-9 - Podium Week
Dec 5 - FREE AED Training
Dec 9 - Bring a Friend Day
Dec 17 - Reindeer Games Holiday Potluck Party
Dec 23 - 6, 9 and Noon classes only
Dec 24-26 Gym is Closed
Jan 2 - Gym in Closed
Jan 13 - Feb 3 Row'd Royalty
Feb 17 - March 3 - THE OPEN
March 6-11 - Femme Fatale Week
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