Control > Speed


Control is greater than speed.

The most basic form of this is, “You have to walk before you can run.”  Or think of it this way;  it doesn’t matter how fast your car is – you still have to stop, turn, slow down, and accelerate.  Speed (safe speed), therefore, comes as a function of excellent control.  That principle is highly applicable in CrossFit as well.

Therefore, the quality of our movement is important (control how we move).  If we want to get “in shape” or “more fit” we must prioritize our ability to control our movement.   Can you control your body in any position you put it in?  Can you control the weight on the barbell?  Often times we use speed when we lack the appropriate control necessary.  Can you think of movements you rush through? Do you use speed when you probably should be focusing on control?

This is a great opportunity to do a self evaluation and check how well you have control over your body.  Step one, ask yourself this question, “Am I aware how I’m moving?”  Do you actually understand how you are moving?  If not, there’s a good chance that you aren’t in control of those movements!  Use your air squat as an example.  Do you intentionally place your feet in position? Are you aware of your intra-abdominal pressure?  Do you know where your knees are in relation to your toes?  This list goes on.  Step one is awareness.  Apply this to other body weight movements and check your control; push ups, lunges, warm up stretches.

Step two is being intentional.  If your “default” mode is sub-optimal movement patterns, you will need to retrain your body by being intentional with quality movement patterns; and that doesn’t happen by accident.  It takes focusing on the movement – and slowing it down – and that’s where control comes in!  Slow and controlled!  Once that becomes easier, then you can start adding speed into the equation.  Walk before running.  Learn to drive slowly before racing you car.  It has to be in that order.  For your safety, for your efficacy, and for improving your fitness.  Learn about how you move. Control how you move. Add speed to your movements.

Control > Speed

10 Habits to Stop Having


KCI Community,  

I’m not sure about you but I’m a huge fan of podcasts.  They are a great way to learn new things, reinforce good habits, and deepen your expertise.  One of my regular podcasts is Chasing Excellence by Ben Bergeron.  He is a prolific CrossFit Coach and Affiliate Owner.  I think he has a lot of good knowledge to share, even if you don’t CrossFit. 

I encourage you to listen to a recent podcast of his regarding habits, and specifically habits to NOT do.  Whether or not you agree with all of his suggestions, you get a sense that he lives by a clear set of principles and guidelines.  Below are my notes I took while listening to the podcast (so the text below is my interpretation and not his words)  I encourage you to listen to the full podcast by clicking the link below and taking your own notes.

 Fitness Habits.  Fitness Goals. CrossFit. Healthy Habits. Health and fitness habits.  Health Goals.  Self Improvement. Fitness Coach. Personal Training. Life Coach. 

 

10 Habits You Should Stop Having: Ben Bergeron

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/chasing-excellence/id1170629044?mt=2&i=1000412054360

 

Here are my notes: 

Don’t hit the snooze button.  By hitting snooze, you are procrastinating the very first task of the day: simply wake up.  What are the actual sleep benefits of 9 more minutes in bed?  Negligible.  Set the alarm for the time you actually want to wake up, and hold yourself accountable. 

Don’t get mad in traffic.  You can’t control it, so don’t let it make you angry.  

Don’t show up late.  Your time is just as valuable as everyone else’s, and showing up on time sends the message that you value others’ time as much as yours. (Always makes me think of Fast Times @ Ridgemont High…Spicoli) 

Don’t tolerate gossip.  Gossip erodes trustworthiness.  

Don’t watch the “news”.  Politics, Hollywood, social media, etc.  These are all forms of entertainment and their job is to grab and hold onto your attention.  There are far more productive things you can spend your time on than the “news”. 

Don’t pass judgement, don’t criticize.  Let’s not pretend that we have all the answers, because we don’t. 

Don’t eat and scroll (on your phone) if you’re with others.  If you are looking at your phone, you are sending the message that what’s on the phone is more important than the other person. 

Don’t look at email before lunch.  Put the most important things first.  Email (for many of us) can be a major distraction.   For heaven’s sake, don’t wake up and check email first thing. 

Don’t leave dishes in the sink.  Stay uncluttered and finish what you started.  

Don’t wait for perfect.  “Jump and grow wings on the way down.”  The first iPhone didn’t even have a calculator.  Just go and do it!

Gratitude & Grit | The History


 

 

By now you’ve seen our Core Values are Gratitude & Grit, and hopefully you’ve taken a look at what that means us us.  If not, you can read about it HERE.  What makes these values so special to us is the way they came about and the story behind it.  

The hashtag #gratitudeandgrit came from a random Facebook post, on a random Thursday in June after an open-gym session.  We immediately knew the slogan rang true for the members of KCI.  But it took a few months to realize that Gratitude and Grit were the perfect Core Values for us.  

A little background on the post:

Holly is a 2.5 year CrossFit veteran.  She’s one of the most dedicated people when it comes to attending class.  She sacrifices more than many people know to get to the gym regularly.  Yet she has her own struggles.  (You’ll read those soon)  And she has a great perspective on life.  

There’s a member at KCI who was diagnosed with cancer and started treatments in February of 2017.  Other than the days immediately following her treatments, she rarely missed a workout.  She came in to her normal class times and modified the exercises she couldn’t do, or shouldn’t do.  She never complained.  She was always encouraging to others.  She always worked as hard as she could. To simply call it inspiring would be a grievous understatement.  It was awe-inspiring and near miraculous to see her in the gym from February – September.  

Here’s Holly’s post from that Thursday in June.  It’s short, raw, and laced with emotion:

Reality check: showed up at the gym this morning, a little whiny, feeling tired, having cramps (tmi? sorry), gonna workout because I have to, not because I want to but not very motivated.

Decide to make up a partner WOD I missed yesterday and at the last moment, another lady comes in so I actually have a partner. My partner is fighting stage 4 breast cancer, still a CrossFit badass, lost a freaking fingernail during the workout (side effect of chemo), apologized to me (um, really?), threw on a pair of gloves to keep the blood under control, and KEPT GOING, LIKE A BEAST.

Suddenly I was embarrassed that I whined about my cramps and I was ashamed for feeling tired today. She’s an amazing athlete, has a stellar attitude, and is most definitely kicking cancer’s ass.      #GratitudeandGrit

Knowing the hearts of both of these women, that hashtag rang out like a shotgun in my head.  It clicked, it just made sense.  Gratitude and Grit.  It’s so simple.  Yet, so hard.  It’s what we are striving for, and it’s how we are living right now.  These values are lived out and cultivated in the smallest moments in life.  The small, seemingly insignificant moments can be the most powerful when building character.  KCI CrossFit is a place to live out and cultivate Gratitude & Grit! 

It is our wish that every member of KCI CrossFit lives with these values close to their heart.  And it is our mission to develop and cultivate Gratitude and Grit within all of our members.

If you’re on a fitness journey, we’re here to help!

 

CrossFit Etiquette


Getting started in CrossFit is hard.  New exercises, new words, new people.  Then throw in loud music and a coach telling you what to do and you probably feel like your head is spinning.  Am I right?  

Well, your coaches try to make it as easy as possible to get started but sometimes it just takes some time to get used to all the new stuff.  Below you’ll find a list of common CrossFit Gym etiquette tips so you can feel a little more comfortable on how to navigate the gym and the unspoken expectations of your coaches.  

Take a look below and try to absorb the 31 most common gym etiquette tips! 



 

  1. Arrive early for class. Please don’t be late.  

  2. Don’t drop a barbell while unloading it

  3. Wipe down equipment after using

  4. Put your equipment away

  5. Pay attention when coach is talking

  6. Don’t have a conversation mid-workout

  7. Introduce yourself to newcomers

  8. In raining/snowing conditions – bring your CrossFit shoes to the gym

  9. Chalk belongs in the bucket or on your hands – not the floor

  10. Don’t walk in front of someone while they’re lifting

  11. Be considerate of others’ space

  12. Try to avoid “ghost-riding” the bar

  13. Don’t let the handle fly off the rower

  14. If you put chalk on equipment for a workout, take it off afterwards

  15. Take the chalk off your barbell

  16. Platforms aren’t for WOD’s.  Lifting only

  17. Don’t spit on the floor

  18. Please recycle

  19. Encourage other athletes

  20. Be accountable. Don’t cheat on reps, finish the workout you started.

  21. Be coachable. Learn how to respond to verbal and visual cues to enhance your experience and performance

  22. Encourage each other (yes, it’s in here twice)

  23. Walk into the gym with a positive attitude.

  24. Be grateful

  25. Pick up after your kids, or help them pick up their things

  26. Do your part to keep the bathroom clean

  27. Give high-fives to each other after class

  28. Kids are kids, but please make sure they behave

  29. Don’t be late for class (yes, it’s in here twice)

  30. Remove the J-hooks while doing wall balls

  31. Minimize distractions – cell phone, etc

How to Stick to Your Workouts – 4 Essential Elements


HOW TO STICK WITH YOUR WORKOUTS 

4 ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS


Sticking to a workout program can be tough. We have good intentions – we know that regular exercise is good for all aspects of your like.  And we all know people who are on-again, off-again with their fitness routine.  And I get it; life gets busy.  Bills, kids, significant others, work, social life, a house to keep up, etc..  So many priorities it makes our head spin!  But, some people still manage to establish a routine and stick with it for a ridiculously long time.  People are able to live a busy life AND stay in shape.  How do they do it?  Did they get lucky?  Is it an incredible amount of discipline?  I assure you, it has nothing to do with any super human powers.  So, below are 4, tangible, implementable actions I feel will make the biggest difference in your ability to stay with the program.  Read on, and then make some small steps in the right direction. 


Plan it. Put it in your calendar.

First and foremost, plan your week and workout schedule. The simple act of scheduling training time in your calendar helps to make up your mind that you’re going to do it.  If you don’t have a calendar, get one.  If you are bad at using your current calendar, ask for accountability help.  Planning to do it is powerful.  If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  It’s just that simple.  

You have to understand that you cannot succeed without a plan.  The plan can, and will be, adjusted along the way but it’s important to just get started.   The next part of that plan is you then have stick to it, and keep those appointments.   This will be hard at first, especially in the first couple weeks.  But once you build the habit of working out, it will start to get easier.  By keeping your workout appointments, and therefore sticking to your plan, your plan will begin to start working for you.  This is the point when most people begin to see real change; not only in their fitness, but also their personal life.  I’m not going to spend time on this, but winning in one area will begin to spill over into other areas of your life.  Work or career, relationships,  sleep quality, will all improve from the mental and emotional strength you get from sticking with the program.  Not to mention that you’re getting fitter and feeling better so your energy levels are also going up.  It’s all very empowering.  Plan it.  Put it in your calendar.


Focus on Habits; not Goals.

Goals are great – and necessary.  However, the challenge with goals is that once the goal is reached, motivation can wain.  A good example would be; you want to lose 15 pounds before your Caribbean cruise.  You’ve got 2 months, 15 pounds to go, and will work out 4 days per week.  The plan is straightforward, and you crush it.  Sweating, running, lifting weights and toning up! Salads for lunch and dinner.  You didn’t even eat the cake at your 4 year olds’ birthday party.  The cruise deadline comes and you look better!  Lost 16 pounds! So, on the cruise and you take some well-deserved rest.  You even have some drinks and rum cake.  

It’s now back to reality and you figure you need a week rest from all the cruising fun.  You’ll get back to the gym next week.  You have fried chicken for lunch.  You look at the weight scale next week and you’ve gained 8 pounds!  But you still weigh less than you did a couple months ago, so it’s not so bad.  Work gets busy and you skip another week in the gym.  Before you know it, you don’t have any new goals, so you never get back at.  Until your next vacation, of course.  A constant up and down of training, and therefore a constant up and down of fitness.  This is what setting goals and not having lifestyle habits can potentially do to you.  That’s why I recommend to everyone to focus on habits, not goals.  Developing the habits of a healthy lifestyle will bring you continued success over the span of your life.  Habits are formed over months and years – in small, daily increments.  Making choices consistently over a period of time will start to make those daily decisions a habit.  Then you just have to maintain those habits when life throws a curveball at you.  So what’s the best way to go about getting these daily habits started?  Have you ever built a snowman?  Start small and build some momentum.  Get some input from your coach on what habits you can, or need, to start first.  Pick one, whichever one you believe you can do, and do it for at least three weeks.  After three weeks it should become easier.  If at that point you feel confident enough, add in another habit.  If after three weeks your feeling confident, add another, and so on and so forth.  If at some point you begin to falter, drop the most recent habit until you gain control again and then can continue the process.  You may also find that three weeks is too soon – that’s ok, because the plan can change.  Just decide what time frame is best for you.  It could be a couple more weeks, or a couple of months.  It’s your journey – just be sure to keep going.  You will be amazed how much you can change in a year with this simple strategy.  Over time, the commitment to daily habits will change you into the person you want to be.  FOCUS ON HABITS, NOT GOALS


Make Friends That Workout

You NEED friends that workout to be able to stay on your fitness journey.  How do I know this?  Let’s say you go to the gym by yourself 5 days per week for an hour each time.  With 168 hours in the week that leaves 163 hours you can spend with people that are either helping achieve your goals, or they can be pulling you away from those goals. They probably love you just the way you are.  People you work with, family, friends. They aren’t bad people, fitness just isn’t that important to most of them, so by default they can pull you in the other direction.  Away from a healthy lifestyle.  Away from whom you want to become.  

So, what I’m saying is you need friends who are working towards a healthy lifestyle.  Better yet – group fitness like CrossFit will introduce you to like-minded people who also have fitness goals!  Wouldn’t it be nice to share some of those 168 hours each week with people that have similar goals to you?  Someone who will tell you that you can do it – and who are doing it with you!  It’s one of the biggest factors in one’s success in almost any aspect of life; family, work, or leisure.  MAKE FRIENDS THAT WORKOUT.  And workout with them!


Remember Why You Are Doing It

Your WHY is the number one determining factor if you’re going to make it in the beginning.  It will be what you go back to and think about when you’re trying to talk yourself out of tomorrow’s workout.  Your why is the glue that holds the whole thing together.  Why do you want to be fit?  Figuring out your true “why” is like “pealing the onion”, because you have to keep pulling back the layers in your why.  The initial answer most of the time is never the real why.  Things like to lose weight, have more energy, and look good in the mirror, are rarely if ever the real reason for making a lifestyle change.  

 

The real reason lays a few layers below that.  What do I mean?  Take the goal to lose weight, for example.  An athlete may give me that response for their reason to workout.  I would then ask the simple question, why?  A typical response to that would be, “well, I guess I want to look better”.  Great.  Why do you want to look better?  After some thought, “I guess I want to look better so I feel more confident”.  Awesome, why do you want feel more confident?  It sounds like a dumb question, doesn’t it?  Everyone wants to feel more confident.  Why ask why?  Sadly, more times than not, the peeling of the onion stops here for most people.  In order to answer this question they have to get really honest with themselves, and most people are not comfortable with that. If you don’t answer these deeper “why” questions, nothing happens.  You stay the same emotionally, and therefore you stay the same physically.  So if you’re going to make a real change this time, you’re going to have to get super honest with yourself.  Dig into what you really want, and why you want it.  Keep asking why until you find your answers.  This is a tough assignment, but it must be done if you really want to make it on your fitness journey.    REMEMBER WHY YOU’RE DOING IT.  Once you have your answer for why you want to stick to a workout routine, the emotion of those things will carry you mentally when you want to stop.  It will put some fire in your belly.  So if you hit a tough spot, remember why you started in the first place and the emotion of your why, and do what you need to do that day to get the win.  

Well there you have it.  I hope this helped clarify what it really takes to develop long lasting health and fitness habits.  If you want to reach out to me with any questions, I’m happy to help.   Email or call: nick@kcicrossfit.com | 816-659-3076

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Nick Prohaska     |    KCI CrossFit     |      816-659-3076       |       nick@kcicrossfit.com

5 Realizations from 7 months of CrossFit


 “I started CrossFit last September.  I’ve learned a few things along the way.”

1. It’s not what I thought it was. I thought it would be bad for my knees and hard on my shoulders. I’m more mobile and flexible now. I thought there would be big sweaty brainless jocks grunting through the gym. CrossFit is for normal people. 
2. It’s good for my brain. Every single workout is different and I love the variety. My coach has patiently broken down all the movements and scaled back to my ability and strength level. There’s alot of terminology to learn and I’m doing work I never thought I’d be capable of a year ago. 
3. It’s good to feel vulnerable because through effort and persistence there is growth. I had to shed my “I’ve been active all my life and I know alot about working out” attitude and get busy learning something totally new. It made me realize that I might need to get better at other things in my life I thought I was good at. I realized I like learning and growing and becoming better at something. 
4. It’s hard- really hard. But so very rewarding. 
5. I’ve only scratched the surface of what I’m capable of doing. I have a long way to go but I’m excited to get to work. 
The point of all this is that my gym, KCI CrossFit, is offering free classes to moms all this week in honor of Mother’s Day. Please join me for a class this week and check it out for yourself!