What Happens After Monday
Monday is sometimes known for being the Monday Blues, needing extra coffee, back to reality, etc. Some people view Monday as a fresh start, clean slate, chance to start something new, etc. The latter is the way to go but what happens after Monday?
Having the idea or even starting the new habit is great but without sticking to it Monday means nothing. Whether it’s surrounding stress management, diet or exercise a game plan is 100% necessary or else it goes out of the window when Tuesday comes. Here are three steps to keep it going every day of the week.
1. PLAN - write down (open notes in your phone) your goal and what you think it will take to achieve it. Be clear about your why and your what. What is your goal? Why is it your goal? And what do you need to do to accomplish that goal? Think through every day and what you will need to make progress during all seven.
2. PREPARE - during your PLAN you’ll see that you need to get new shoes, go to the grocery store or need a coach. While preparing you can buy those shoes or reach out to a coach, therapist or friend that knows about your goal. Have every day setup for success.
3. PLAY - now you play the game, so to speak. You execute your game plan and if you PLANNED and PREPARED then you should have your accountability built in, you should have all the tools in place to continue until you achieve your goal.
Plan on Monday and attack every day until the goal is achieved!
To Sweet, or not to sweet?
I’m often faced with the question of, “should I eat this sweet treat?” More times than not I opt to eat that piece of chocolate. Recently, I’ve tried different ways to satisfy my chocolate cravings that have proven to be effective. Yet, not completely tasting like a Hersey’s bar, these hacks have helped me tremendously with adhering to a healthy lifestyle.
When the craving strikes, have your water close by-water is a great filler. Often they advise to drink water before a meal to ensure you do not over eat, likewise, drinking water creates that feeling of fullness.
Protein Hot Chocolate
During the winter season I enjoy that warm hot cocoa on a cold Sunday afternoon. Why not instead of using the cocoa mix, use your favorite protein powder. Once you add water, and protein,heat to your likings and enjoy-just two simple ingredients.
Chocolate Yogurt and Strawberries
Select your favorite yogurt brand and add fresh strawberries. Its important to keep in mind that the higher fat percentage in the yogurt may keep you fuller for a longer period of time.
Your favorite Chex-mix with a flare. Just add dark chocolate chips to Chex-mix, and mixed nuts. Simple and easy, yet delicious.
While these simple hacks tempers cravings, I find that enjoying my favorite dark chocolate in moderation is better than over indulging when I deprive myself completely. Next time the sweet cravings strike, I hope you can find these tricks helpful.
Understanding The Open
That once-a-year, weekly WOD where CrossFit athletes test themselves against the world, themselves, and their local communities. Where they are able to put to use the skills and strengths they have learned day-in and day-out in the gym. It’s one workout per week for five weeks. You will register for The Open and be able to see how you stack up against people all over the world doing the same workout every week. Although the best in the world will go to the CrossFit Games, for the rest of us (me) this is a time for self-evaluation and firsts. And, at CrossFit District 5, is also a bit of a party! So many personal records are set in the competition atmosphere. It will give you usable data on your performance in the gym and allow you to set reachable goals. Where does the party come in? I have left the gym unable to speak from yelling, cheering, and laughing every week during The Open for the past five years. It is so high-energy. It’s a party every Friday night.
The Open is a competition. The reason we CrossFit is health and health alone…until The Open. It’s all about the score. If we can do the rep safely and it meets the movement standards then it is a good, Rx rep. Try and get that rep by any means necessary! So, we approach The Open with a different mindset: if you have 20 minutes to get as many reps as possible of 50 chest-to-bar pull ups, 50 calorie row and 50 air squats and you have never done a chest-to-bar pull up, but you think you can safely get one…TRY! An Rx score of 1 is better than 1,000 scaled reps in The Open. So try Rx if you think you’re safely close, and then do the scaled workout later to sweat that beer out. There are never as many personal bests and personal firsts than under The Open lights. So many people cheering you on and such a positive atmosphere create a breeding ground of potential and confidence.
The Open is from February 21st to March 25th this year, so start working on those skills you need improvement on now. The D5 coaches are here to help! If you want to work on something, Open Gym is the perfect time to get some personal assistance with a movement. See y’all under The Open lights!
Why the Open is Important
The CrossFit Open comes around once a year and it only lasts for five weeks. From the outside it sounds like just five random workouts spread out way too far apart and only 20 people plus national champions will qualify from the open straight to the CrossFit Games. The chances of making it to the CrossFit Games are similar to a young basketball player making it to the NBA. But the Open has dozens of reasons to signup and compete and they aren’t about winning hundreds of thousands of dollars in Madison, Wisconsin. Here are my favorite five reasons to signup!
Competing is for everyone. One of the key beauties of CrossFit is the infinite scaling options. The fittest in the world can and will compete just like the 56 year old that has osteoporosis and hadn’t worked out in 25 years until starting CrossFit a few months before the open started. One of the best things about the open is when people go from saying “no way I can do that. That’s for people like you” to saying “I did that!” Competing is for anyone and every one and every one includes you!
Competing causes intensity. Any competition brings another level out of an individual. You hear professionals say it all the time. There’s something about the bright lights that bring the best out of them. I have done the open every year it has been around (2011). Every year I am pushed in a way that is unimaginable and greater than the previous year, or I have short term memory issues. Knowing not only am I going through this uncomfortable workout but so is everybody at D5 and people throughout the world. That push from everybody around me helps me to be the best possible athlete I can be in that moment. The bright lights and people around cause my intensity to rise and my mental and physical fitness to increase!
Competing brings unity. Group fitness has the incredible ability to bring groups of people closer together. It’s why businesses, teams and the likes will go do ropes courses together or do trust falls. Doing/accomplishing difficult tasks alongside somebody else creates a bond with who you just “suffered” next to. Not many things physically challenge you like the open does and nobody in the world will try as hard at a workout as CrossFitters. Being an affiliate owner/coach I have seen friendships formed and other groups get closer together when going through the open. It’s beautiful. Competing with people makes you friends with those very same people!
Competing leads to motivation. After the open is over there is an unquestionable motivation to get better and to beat yourself next year. Athletes of all levels after a tough loss or a glorious win want to be better. They want to never feel that loss again or feel that win forever. Competition will always open your eyes to what you need to work on. Then the motivation lasts longer than most motivation streaks where they come for a couple days and leave. This one comes and stays for months. The Open is a great opportunity to find motivation to work on new skills, get stronger or just increase your fitness as a whole throughout an entire year. Compete to get motivated!
Competing is fun. At D5 we host an event called Friday Night Lights every Friday during the open. We have a theme of the week, something like cowboy night or superhero. Sometimes we it’s bigger than that and we dedicate it to a friend in the gym going through something. These nights are flat out fun. We do the workout, cheer each other on, blast music and often times go out after. As adults we forget the fun and silly sometimes and these nights give us the opportunity to put underwear on outside our pants or pulling out our nerdy Harry Potter costume. Competing with the friendships you’ve formed in the gym is just flat out fun!
We learn to squat before we do a clean, strict press before push press and pull up before kipping pull ups. Why? Because when you perform the common, uncommonly well, you build a strong foundation and avoid injury. If you can string together 5 kipping pull ups but struggle getting a single strict pull up, then your foundation is crumbling, warning signs are blaring red, and your body is not thanking you. A designated strength program can fix that.
CrossFit Hellbox developed a great pull up program for those struggling with this movement, and here at D5, we are using it for our athletes too! This program focuses on the dead hang, the ring row, the segmented & eccentric pull up, and the barbell assisted pull up, along with some important accessory work. It is vital that you test yourself initially so that you can track your progress at the end of the 12 week cycle. To create objective results, testing requires the athlete to record/ video their attempt at a strict pull up and a max time chin up grip hang (supinated grip and holding chin over the bar). As with all motion, stay focused on maintaining great technique and a controlled pace. 2019 is the year for YOU to get YOUR first strict pull up!
When is the last time you felt the ground beneath your feet? Fact is, a lot of us probably can’t recall when we went without socks or shoes other than inside our homes. What if I told you that your health could benefit from going barefoot outside? Let’s discuss some of the health benefits of ditching the footwear and exposing those toes!
Our bodies are about 60% water, which is very beneficial when it comes to conducting electricity. The earth's surface has a negative ionic charge and is constantly generating electrons, so when our feet make direct contact to earth's surface it can become a natural antioxidant and help to neutralize bad free radicals. When we neutralize positively charged free radicals, we can reduce general inflammation, detoxify the blood, and sync our internal clocks, hormonal cycles and psychological rhythms.
There are also significant strength benefits you gain from walking around barefoot. When you don’t have shoes on to protect your feet, your feet have to work harder. Hard working feet help strengthen, stabilize and stretch the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your lower body. Strong, bare feet that are exposed to the natural elements generate increased proprioceptive feedback to the brain, creating a strong base of support, core and hips, and effectively leading to a more upright posture. Who doesn’t need that??
Another great benefit of going barefoot is increased mindfulness. When you walk around without shoes on, you are more aware of your surroundings. This awareness helps you focus more on the here and now. If you are not ready to jump fully into the barefoot life, we really love Vibrams, as a great shoe alternative!
Get back to being outside with no shoes on. Literally get outside and connect to mother nature. Feel the sun above you and the ground below you. Just 30 minutes of going barefoot outside in grass, sand, mud, gravel, shrubbery (you get the point) can change your body’s chemistry and will help build a healthier mind, body and soul. Keep it simple and BE MORE HUMAN!
Each blog is authored by one of our distinguished coaches on something that is passionate to them!