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

Seven Ways to Help Newcomers Feel Welcome


Happy New Year, KCI. This time of year you might start seeing some new faces in the gym and we are excited to show them what KCI CrossFit is all about. Here are a couple ways you can make someone feel welcomed!

1. Say hello. It can be scary going to a new place, period. Now imagine walking into a new place and the music is blaring, barbells are dropping and funny looking movements are being done. Intimidating, to say the least! So when you see a new face at the gym, say hello, introduce yourself , and simply ask “Tell me about yourself.”

2. Offer help. Bathrooms, bands, barbells, PVC pipes, ab mats, you name it.  New people are overloaded with new things. So lend a hand and show them where everything is

3. Don’t coach. Don’t feel like you need to coach a newcomer. You don’t know their background, if they have any injuries, or how long they’ve been doing CrossFit. Offer encouragement and discussion, but allow your coach to coach them.

4. Partner up. Put yourself in their shoes. Having a workout or lifting buddy is way less intimidating as a beginner, so consider partnering with the newcomer. Maybe you can show them what really good technique looks like. And hey, it’s ok if you your workout isn’t drop-down intense today. Have some fun!

5. High fives abound. Fist bumps, high-fives, whatever. Make a point to find that athlete and congratulate them on a great workout. There’s no better way to encourage a new athlete to return than offering some praise and encouragement. 

6. Encourage them to return. Walking through the door was probably really hard for them. Help make their decision to return easier by encouraging them to come back. “Will I see you again tomorrow?” is a great way to start and will show them that KCI CrossFit isn’t like any other gym they’ve ever been to. 

7. Remember your first time. Regardless of how long you’ve been part of this community, everyone had their first day. Reflect on your first day/week/month and share some insight with them.

The Holidays Are Coming. Make Your Health A Priority


The holidays are right around the corner, and for many this means vacations, parties, food, drink, and less sleep.  Health and fitness takes a back seat usually. Raise your hand if you’ve found yourself saying one of these;

“Well, I don’t want to start now because the holidays are coming and I won’t have time.”

“Eh, I’ll eat better when the holidays are over. I want to enjoy them.”

“Family is in town, so I can’t go to the gym this week.”

“I can’t start a gym membership because I have to save my money for holiday shopping.”

Or how about these:

“Oh I feel so bloated I ate too much.”  

“I’ll start from square one in January, again.”

“I put on my holiday weight, again”

This doesn’t have to be reality for you this year!  If you’re tired of the cycle, it’s time to get uncomfortable and make your health a priority during this season.  Holidays 2018 can be different! You CAN eat well through the holidays. You CAN go to the gym. Heck, you even CAN start a new fitness routine.  How, you may ask? Do you need superhuman strength to stay away from the sweets and holiday drinks? No, you just need to practice GRIT!

5 Ways to Take Care of Yourself Right Now

My first tip for you is to just start. Find a fitness program and get started. I can hear some of you saying; “But I won’t be able to go every day since my schedule is so busy.”  So what! Don’t expect yourself to go every day. Go as much as you can. Once or twice per week is fine! The important thing to realize is that you are starting small and gaining momentum.  Progress happens quickly once you get going! (Think of building a snowman; it starts small!) And once you realize that you enjoy working out, you will inherently start creating the time in your busy schedule to prioritize going to the gym.  So it doesn’t matter that you can only go twice a week right now – just go! By starting now, you are exercising your grit!

My second tip; don’t feel obligated to eat all of the treats offered to you.  Maybe you think you’ll feel bad for not eating your friends’ homemade pumpkin pie or the coworker’s famous sugar cookies. But if you don’t want it, you don’t want it. Be grateful they brought their treats and kindly decline.  And they will be fine! However, if you do want it, take a small serving and enjoy it. There is no sense in stressing out about it. The best part is, your body can burn it off quicker if you are working out regularly!

The third tip is to be prepared. If you know you are going to a holiday party and know you’ll be tempted to eat everything in sight;  eat something before you go. Eat a meal or snack with healthy fats and protein before heading to the party so that way you can still enjoy the party but aren’t so hungry you sample the entire buffet.  Family dinner and you usually stuff your face with a full plate of food? Use a smaller plate. Seriously! Fill it up and then don’t go back for a second helping. If you are prepared, you can succeed.  It just takes a little grit!

My fourth tip is to get accountable to someone.  Find a supportive friend or two that will commit to keeping healthy habits with you.  Strength in numbers! Get a FB group going and share best practices, struggles and encourage each other.


“Sometimes you just need to move; and it’s better to practice a good habit poorly, instead of skipping practice altogether.” — James Hobart ”


Tip number five is critical—don’t miss your workouts!  Yes, life is out of sync and maybe you can’t make your regular 4 or 5 classes per week.  But don’t skip a whole week (or more) just because you have relatives in town or you have an office party to attend.  One or two workouts in a week is better than zero! I promise, you won’t regret it! Plus, those accountability friends are probably at the gym – so that’s a double win!

The moral of the story; you are in control of your own destiny this holiday season.  You aren’t a victim of office parties and family gatherings. You are in the driver’s seat and with a little grit and creativity you can navigate this holiday season healthy, happy, and improving your health and fitness!

Cheers!

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.

 

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!

10 Benefits of CrossFit


What’s the big deal with CrossFit?  Does it actually live up to the hype?  It absolutely does!  Here are the Top 10 Benefits of CrossFit: 


 The Community at a CrossFit gym is a top benefit and reason so many people lose weight and get in shape with CrossFit


1. It’s actually fun.  Your workout routine should be fun!  We’ve all tried those fitness routines that are awfully boring, and CrossFit is definitely not that!

2. You’ll feel better throughout your day.  Some pretty amazing things start happen when you exercise regularly, and your mood and natural energy levels will improve!

3.  Every day is a different workout.  And every day you will finish the workout and feel refreshed, recharged, and more confident.

4. You’ll be supported.  You’ll have the support from your coaches and other members.  Everyone is there to get in better shape, so we all help each other along the way. It’s very powerful!

5. You’ll be challenged, and that’s part of the recipe to lose weight and get in shape.  CrossFit offers you the challenge you need to succeed.

6. The coaches care about you.  You’re not just another gym member.  Your coaches own the business and treat everyone like family.

7. You’ll sleep better.  I can’t promise you’ll sleep more, but you will experience better quality of sleep with a regular fitness routine.

8. You’ll gain confidence.  CrossFit will have you try new things, which is a great way to boost your confidence!

9. You can actually do it.  CrossFit isn’t as scary as the internet makes it seem.  Normal people do CrossFit, and so can you!

10. You’ll see results.  It’s not magic, and takes some hard work.  But CrossFit can be the perfect tool you need to see a huge change in your health and fitness.

The truth is, you have to see it to believe it.  We invite you to come check out a class.  You can participate if you want, or just sit back and watch.

If you’ve identified it’s time for a change; a healthier life, more confidence, or just a change in your fitness routine, take the next step.  Give KCI CrossFit a call and come try a class!

5 Tips to Live Fit While You Travel


How to prioritize your health & fitness while you travel.  Our 5 tips to help you be fit on the road.  

 

Work travel can be stressful and unpredictable. You may be at the mercy of a daunting conference schedule, back to back meetings, or demanding client functions.  Being a “road warrior” often means we put our own health and fitness on the back-burner.  

Moreover, if you are a “road warrior” and travel the majority of your week, I’ll dare to say that you MUST figure out a way to prioritize your fitness while on the road.  It can be easy to view business trips as “cheat days” and allow yourself to make excuses for not having a fitness routine.  I told myself those lies for almost a decade!  I always said, “I’ll workout when I get home.”  But let’s be real, you won’t prioritize your health and fitness when you arrive home if it hasn’t been a priority throughout your work week.  And that was so true for me. 

This principle is true for a workout routine and nutrition choices.  Life on the road usually equals more calories, alcohol, carbs, sugar, salt, fat than you probably should be consuming.  If you eat poorly when you travel, is easy to eat unhealthy at home .  It’s not easy to travel and eat well.  Period.  But, in my book, it’s essential.  

Fortunately, there are ways you can break the “road warrior” mold and prioritize your health and fitness when everyone else is not.  Below are my top five tips for prioritizing your health and fitness while on the road. 

1.  Your success depends on your MINDSET

Are you willing to sacrifice?  More specifically, what will you be willing to sacrifice?  Do you have the ability to say “No” when you need to?  Will you be able to say “Yes” to the right decisions?  To really succeed, you will need a crystal clear vision on your health and fitness, and take ownership of each aspect.  Exercise, food, drink, sleep and stress are all, for the most part, in your control.  You must be able to control as much as you can!  The only way to succeed is through changing your mindset.  You are in control!  I recommend finding a fitness coach, personal trainer, remote coach, or someone that can hold you accountable to developing and executing your strategy.  

2.  Prioritize your Workout. 

If your work travels are anything like mine, my entire day is run on a tight calendar.  Meeting at 9, presentation at 11:30.  Lunch with a vendor at 1pm, etc.  Sound about right?  So, if you are going to workout at all, you have to put it in your calendar and stick to it.  Here’s where the mindset come in.  How much time do you have, realistically?  If you truly only have 7 minutes of free time in the morning while you are getting ready – you need a 7 minute workout for the hotel room.  And if you have 30 minutes, what can you do?  I’m not here to give you the top 5 exercises to do while travelling.  Rather, what I am suggesting is that you actually have the time, whether you believe it or not.  Put the workout in your calendar and make it happen. Morning, noon, or night, it’s a non-negotiable.  Alright, you want one exercise tip?  Do air squats while you shower.  It might not be pretty, but I bet you could do 100 or more squats. Then do 100 more while you brush your teeth.  It’s all in the mindset! 

3.   Prioritize your Nutrition 

What’s the mindset here?  Control what you can, when you can.  Start by controlling something easy; snacks.  Travel with healthy snacks, and only buy healthy snacks.  Fruit and nuts are the easy option.  Skip the overpriced airport snack stands and pack your own.  That creates an easy win.  Now, for your meals.  You need to do your homework ahead of time.  Know where you’re going and what’s available, and make a plan.  How many times have you been running late for the convention and grabbed the oversize muffin from the hotel lobby?  Chalk that up to mindset and lack of planning.  Then if you are going out to eat for lunch and dinner, try to be the one that selects the restaurant, so you are in control of what you eat!  Do your homework and read the menus at some of the top restaurants beforehand.  If that isn’t an option, sometimes you just need to play defense.  Obviously, don’t get the french fries as a side dish.  Don’t eat the bun.  Choose chicken.  No pasta.  Listen, there are a million guidelines you could follow, but the point is – control what you can, when you can.  I know how hard it is to eat clean on the road.  But if you can’t be 100% clean, it’s not an excuse to “cheat” or eat 100% poorly.  Change your mindset and change your eating behaviors. 

4.  Alcohol

Yes, I’m serious.  It seems like business travel and alcohol go hand in hand, am I right?  This one will sting for a lot of you out there, but you have got to take it easy on the booze.  Start to get real with yourself and you’ll come to the conclusion that you don’t need to impress anyone because you drink or, just because there’s an “open bar” doesn’t give you carte blanche to overindulge.  I’m only speaking from experience, but I noticed a massive shift in my physique when I cut the alcohol intake.  Determine your health and fitness priorities and stick to your guns.  Have one beer instead of three.  Choose one glass of wine instead of a double whisky and coke.  Or just skip it altogether.  Your mindset must change, and this might be the hardest change to make for some of you, but it is 100% necessary.  

5.  Sleep and Stress. 

You’re probably on the road because you carry some importance with your company.  There’s pressure to close the sale.  Make the client happy.  Solve the problem and turn the company around.  And, if you’re like me, you are under stress when you travel.  You can’t let the stress build up and not have a proper outlet for it.  You need quality sleep – so take control of it.  Look up the top ways to impact your sleep and take control of your sleep.  And while regular exercise may be one of the best ways to manage stress, you need other tools in your arsenal.  Mindfulness, breathing exercises, and conversations with loved ones are at the top of my list.  Listen, if you allow yourself to be stressed out, that will carry over into every part of your life.  You have to change your mind that you need to minimize the bad stress!  

These suggestions might seem overwhelming at first and feel like you are sacrificing a lot.  In the long run however, I think that by making these sacrifices you are actually taking control of your life and therefore will feel more free!  My last tip, one that I eluded to early on: you need someone to help you come up with a plan.  I wasn’t able to make these changes on my own.  I have a fitness coach and a spouse that help me every step of the way.  I’m accountable to them, and couldn’t be more grateful for those relationships.  So if you’re anything like me and want to change your “road warrior” ways, find a coach.  That’s the first step. 

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!

 

5 Travel Workouts for the Holidays


If you’re like me, you will be travelling at least once over the next few weeks.  Whether you are in the basement of Grandma’s house or the hotel gym, build up your GRIT and get a workout done!  Challenge yourself to carve out 30-60 minutes on your trip and do a workout!  Habits are hard to establish, so working out while you travel is a HUGE WIN!  (Pro-tip: pack your workout clothes first, before anything else!)



  1. 20 rounds for time : 5 push ups 10 squats 5 sit ups.  Simple, easy and effective.  Warm up the movements and go! 
  2. A long time favorite of mine. 7 minutes of Burpees.  Yep, that’s a favorite of mine!  Make sure you warm up beforehand! 
  3. For time : Run 1 mile, lunging 30 steps every 1 minute.  Leg day!  Make sure to stretch and cool down after this one!
  4. Try some isometric work!  10 rounds : Handstand 30 seconds, Squat hold 30 seconds
  5. 7 round for time : 14 squats, 7 burpees, 7 V-ups

If you’re really wanting to spice it up, check out our complete list of Travel WOD’s and do 2-3 of them back to back!  Let me know what you choose!

Enjoy the holidays, and get better every day!

#GRATITUDEANDGRIT


What is CrossFit all about anyway? I’m glad you asked!


At surface level, CrossFit is confusing.  Will I get injured?  Do I have to be fit like the people I see on TV?  Can I lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks?  What’s the deal with all the weightlifting?  

If we can slow down and look at the roots of CrossFit and understand it, maybe CrossFit will make more sense.  Then we should be able to understand our own fitness goals, and see how CrossFit might actually be the tool we need to use.  Let’s first, 1) Take a look at CrossFit for what it is.  And then, 2) Let’s stand on common  ground as to why the majority of people do CrossFit.  . 

By definition, CrossFit is: Constantly varied, functional movements, performed at high intensity.  It’s aim is to increase work capacity over broad time and modal domains.  Here are two great articles describing these concepts in detail by CrossFit founder, Greg Glassman.  What is Fitness and CrossFit Foundations

What does all that mean, really?  It means that the goal of a CrossFit training program is to be able to do a multitude of activities, for different amounts of time, regardless of your age.  A CrossFit training program combines a variety of functional movement patterns, performing them at high intensity, to achieve the goal stated above.  Sounds pretty straightforward, right?  

You see, CrossFit differs from other fitness programs.  CrossFit doesn’t tout that you can “burn 500 calories” per workout, or “shed 2% body fat in 2 days” or really any other silly gimmick.  You won’t hear that, because those aren’t the goals of CrossFit (remember: increase work capacity over broad time and modal domains).  Sure you’ll burn calories.  And probably shed body fat too.  But in CrossFit, the program is much more focused on the long term, rather than short term goals.  

Have you ever thought about being active in a fitness routine for the rest of your life?  Or have you thought to yourself, “I need to start working out so I can lose 10 pounds”  But then what?  What happens when you lose the 10 pounds?  Do you stop working out?  Are you “fit” then?  Quit your gym membership because you’ve arrived at perfection?  Hopefully not.  See, CrossFit comes at the whole “fitness” thing from a different angle.  And it’s really hard to wrap your head around it.  A fitness routine for the rest of my life?  Yes, that’s exactly what I mean.  Being “fit” for the rest of your life sounds crazy, but should it be?  

There are a few things you will do for the rest of your life with regularity.  And each of those things will affect the quality and duration of the rest of your life.  Eat, sleep, interact with people, and exercise.  How you eat on a regular basis will affect your entire life.  The quality and amount of sleep will affect your entire life.  The quality of your relationships will affect the quality and duration of your life.  And your relative activity level (aka fitness) will affect the quality and duration of your life.  Mull that over for a little bit.  It’s all true, and there is research to back it up.  That’s why we strive to control those components – so we can have some control over our lives. 

So that brings us to the second point from earlier.  Why do most people do CrossFit then?  

To…..Get in shape?  Lose weight?  Get stronger? Do a pull up?  Really, at the core of these so-called “goals” are a couple components  that CrossFit athletes really understand.

Common CrossFit Myths Debunked

People do CrossFit to look better naked.  You can laugh, [and I did too when I wrote it]  But that’s because it’s true.  I don’t care how old you are, you want to like who you see in the mirror.  It’s true.  Call it vanity, but I’d bet that every time you look in the mirror you are analyzing, to some degree, how good you look.  So, dare to say, that’s part of our human nature.  We want to look good naked.  (aka.. get in shape, lose 10 pounds, tone muscles, get stronger, bulk up, or whatever else you want)

Secondly people do CrossFit for General Physical Preparedness.  Specifically, that means that people want to be prepared or capable to do a wide variety of things.  Play with your kids.  Participate in a sport.  Do well in your job.  Go on an adventure.  All of these require some amount of physical fitness, regardless of your age!  The guy that is bed-ridden by morbid obesity can’t do these things.  And that’s why people love CrossFit.  It helps you be prepared to do stuff!  

 

So there you have it.  CrossFit is a training program that can be done for life, to prepare you for life, and will help you look good along the way!