Question the Coach…every now and then

As a coach, I have a tendency to over-share.  I like to break things down for my clients before and after the workout.  During the workout, I am there to motivate and help adjust movement patterns as I see areas where they can improve and increase safety.  Some people like that, other people tend to just want to go.  They see the workout on the wall and they are just wanting to attack it.

To them, I say…slow down (even if it is on a rare occasion).  Ask your coach “why?”  They need to be able to answer that.  They need to be able to offer you a better answer than “It will crush you, just do it”.  A quality coach will be able to tell you why and how you need to approach each workout.  Your trainer MUST be able to explain how you need to approach a workout so that you get the result that you are paying them for.  If they are not willing to do that, or cannot do that, then perhaps you need to find a different trainer.

A piece of paper means absolutely nothing.  Lots of pieces of paper saying this person is an expert means nothing…if they cannot get you to your goals.  If they cannot give you the path that they have you on to get there, then you need to tell them where to stick that piece of paper.  They are not good for you or your health.

If you are a person that judges your trainer by the amount of pain you feel the next day or how long it takes you to recover, then you are, in my mind, part of the problem.  You need to care about what is going on with your training.  Please do not simply have the attitude of “I pay this guy, he knows what he’s doing”.  Take an active role in what is happening with your own training.

Can you ask your trainer when you need to take a recovery day?  Do you listen?  Can you trust your trainer when he says today you need to go a little lighter…or heavier?  Can your trainer explain the importance of these two options?  Can your trainer explain why you need to work on getting stronger (most love this domain) or why you need to work on getting faster (many neglect this arena).  What about nutrition?

The only time to neglect asking questions is if you look in the  mirror and really don’t care about your own training.  That’s IT!  If that is you and you don’t care, then keep running yourself into walls, wondering why you hurt all the time, why you are weaker, and why you still struggle to run that mile.  If you don’t care, then those pieces of paper are worth every penny that trainer paid for them.

Any questions?

Jesus WOD…More Faith than Workout!

This post contains a mix of my workout and my faith…just giving you that warning…


Tonight I completed the Jesus WOD.  It was not easy, it was not fun…  I also did not do it simply because I CrossFit and I am a Christian.  I honestly did it because I said I would.  I told a friend that I would complete the workout.  I watched one morning as my wife and a friend of hers did the rounds in am AMRAP style.  They did not have to complete  all 14…they simply had to work for 20 minutes.

As I progressed through the workout, I realized one thing.   The workout took me back to a baptism I had witnessed.  It was a man with no one in the crowd to cheer him on.  He had invited no one to this moment.  He knew that the decision to be baptized was one to be celebrated but the act was between him and the Lord.  And so here I was again alone.  Working away through a workout, wanting to learn something from the struggle and not simply complete it.  I wanted to hear the voice of God speak as I chipped away at the 14 rounds.

And this is what I learned.  Some rounds I completed without stopping and some rounds, I had to break.  Some lifts felt great, some felt like I could not do one more.  I realized that is my faith at different times.  Some days it is easy to trust that the Lord is at work in me, working with me and working through me.  Some days it is so easy to be faithful and easy to believe.  And some days, you have to struggle just to say you are a believer.  Some days you feel that the Lord, like every person around you just wants to make your life difficult…but you can and will persevere.  As I checked off each and every round, I was reminded of the cross.  I was reminded that He was chosen for the cross…and I chose to put myself through this.  I chose to pick up the barbell, just as I hope I pick up my cross each and every day.

Like my walk, I wanted to quit at times.  I did not want to finish the work or finish the task.  I would think to myself, who really cares…it’s just a workout.  And that is very true…it is just a workout….but it can represent something more.  It can be one day of not walking in faith…it can be one day of treating someone as if the Christ who desires to work through you, doesn’t have compassion for all.

And so I pushed on.  Trying to complete the rounds…but you know what, I wasn’t able to complete each round as prescribed.  That is to say, that I did not complete each and every round without putting the bar down.  I had to.  And through this, I was reminded that I am not perfect.  I do not always complete all the things that can and do enhance my walk, but that doesn’t mean I cannot and will not finish the race.  It does not mean that my life is worthless.  It means that I am not perfect.  It means that there is still work to be done in me.

I completed the Jesus WOD tonight and it meant…absolutely nothing!  Because my works do not guarantee anything.  It meant nothing because my faith rests in Jesus and no one else.  It does not rest in the barbell, my head, or how hard I can punish myself.  My WOD tonight meant nothing…and it meant absolutely everything.  It meant everything because I committed to do it.  It was a representation of my walk and that while it may not be perfect, you can judge me by it.  I am not afraid to put my faith out there and say judge me by my life.  It meant everything because it was, in a small way a reminder of Calvary and the cross that we are meant to all carry.


CrossFit is NOT Sport Specific…

I have been reading several articles out there saying CrossFit is not good for this sport or that sport.  It frustrates me because it was never meant to be good for any specific sport.

CrossFit was designed as a program for anyone to simply gain a healthier lifestyle.  It was never meant to be THE training program to make the elite baseball player, the elite gymnast, the elite soccer player, or anything like that.  Yes, it has grown into being it’s own sport, but that is a completely different subject for another time.

CrossFit the training program as it was originally designed and intended was and is geared around developing an overall athlete.  One that can compete on any playing field…the fitness program was designed with a focus on being able to adapt to different circumstances.  Your growth and fitness is measured across the 10 fitness domains.

So when I see the headline “CrossFit is bad for …” I respond with; that is nothing new.  That is not news to me, as it was never intended to be used for that.  When I read that headline, it reads much like the headline “Cars make terrible cheese slicers”  Sure a can could be used to slice cheese, but that is not what it was built for.  The same is true with CrossFit.

CrossFit though, I would suggest, is probably a very good offseason program for many athletes.  Why?  Because the offseason has a focus on general development across those 10 fitness domains.  The offseason is a time to step away from the sport specific function and work on getting stronger, faster, etc and CrossFit can help you with those things.

But the key to how you mix CrossFit and your fitness training rests in the coach you have.  Do you even have a coach? Can they scale the workouts based on what you need or not?  Everyone out there needs to stop lumping CrossFit into this one size fits all model.   Every CrossFit operates independent of each other and ultimately independent of Headquarters.

Each and every CrossFit serves a different demographic and that is something that needs to be taken into consideration.  Can the CrossFit model be used to help you in your sport specific training?  Of course, but that needs to be through private sessions and with a coach one-on-one.  That is how you will be able to reach the goals you have set for yourself as an athlete.

BUT never forget that CrossFit was not designed to be sport specific.  It was meant to improve general physical preparedness.


How Convenient….

Me and one of my fellow coaches sometimes have this running phrase we say, in fact we have considered getting shirts made with it printed on them.  That phrase is “How Convenient…”

We say it because we hear a lot of excuses and I hate excuses.  I cannot speak for my fellow coach, but I don’t think that he likes them either.  The problem is that we all have them.  We all have an excuse that keeps us from making progress or doing the work that needs to be done.  Somehow in our twisted little minds and this current world of schemes and get rich quick dreams, we think that just by putting our money down and thinking about putting in the work, it happens.

Results just magically appear because you have a gym membership or they just come because you thought about going to the gym every once in a while.

Wake UP!  Results happen when work is done.  Reactions happen when you have a catalyst for change.  An object at rest wants to stay at rest…you want to change things you have to fight your natural desire to just remain where you are.

You have excuses that make it impossible to change your life for the better…how convenient.

At least be honest with yourself and with me, and admit that they are excuses.  They are not walls or true barriers to you finding your health.  They are excuses.  Take a minute and look in the mirror and really ask yourself if you want to change, or am I perfectly content to stay where I am at.

I hear the excuses everyday.  It’s too expensive…how convenient you were able to let me know that by sending me a text from your iphone while sipping on a coffee at the local starbucks.

I don’t have time with work and/ or kids…how convenient that you find time for any other activities that you could not do something active on your lunch break or take your kids on a walk.

I just can’t stick to a diet…how convenient.  Will that heart attack help you make time?

There is truth in the statement that we find time for the things that are important to us.  We also find the resources necessary to do those things.  I am not trying to make light of people’s situations, but we all have to take a long hard look within ourselves and admit that sometime, we are just lazy and that is our fault.  It is not our jobs fault, or our kids or husbands or wives.  It is our own will and our own desires that drive us and sometimes the desire to be better or healthier just isn’t there.

So we make excuses and justify…how convenient!