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Hear and read about how we’ve helped other people just like you! Disclaimer: Results are extremely typical.

Workout of The Day

Wake Up Like an Athlete…Live Like an Athlete pt.1

 

One of the things I love about competing in a sport is that it guides your life outside of the gym. You make sure you’re hydrated because you’re recovering from your last training session and getting ready for the next. You skip satisfying urges and cravings because you know they will set you back. You train your brain as hard as you train your body and learn to control your emotions because when it’s time to perform, they don’t serve you.

 

You don’t need to be a serious athlete to train and eat like one and you don’t have to live like a monk either. You do need to love your body and respect it. What that means to each individual person is different. To me it means eating high quality food and keeping portions in control, drinking at least 120 ounces of water a day, stretching more than I train, sleeping as soundly as I can when it’s possible, and  carefully warming up first thing in the morning.

 

What would living like an athlete mean to you?

 

Paint a picture in your mind what you would do differently in the day and start somewhere. Add a new habit after you’re settled into your first one. Undoubtedly the biggest bang for your buck is your diet and it’s also the hardest to control for most of us. I can’t stress to you enough that we have a very bad relationship with food. Imagine if you put all the expectations of food on a person! I’m upset; you are going to make me feel better. I’m happy; you’re going to make me happier. It’s my birthday, you are going to be the highlight of my night and you better be spelled correctly. I’ve had a terrible day, take my mind off it. Food would be pretty exhausted with us after a year or so. Food would be moving back in with its mother and changing its Facebook status to “It’s complicated”.

 

There are a lot of ways to approach food out there and the wonderful thing is that if something doesn’t resonate with you there is something else to try. In no particular order we love: The Zone Diet, The Paleo Diet, The Whole 30, The Mediterranean Diet, The Athlete’s Plate, and there’s probably a few I would give props too but forgot.

 

If dietary changes are a little too overwhelming at the moment then start with something else that will pay off huge in terms of how you feel: a wake up workout.

 

It shouldn’t be intense and it shouldn’t have a bunch of reps; the idea is to wake your body up and get blood moving. Here’s a quick one I love to do in bed before I put my feet on the floor:

Lying

 5 reps of a Knee Pull Crunch with a 2 second hold at the top

 http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/ErectorSpinae/Lying.html

LyingBentLeg

2 reps of a Bent Windshield Wiper at each clock position

http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/Obliques/LyingBentLeg.html

SidePretzel

5 reps alternating each side of a Side Pretzel with a deep breath in each side.

http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/HipAbductors/SidePretzel.html

LyingHipFlexor

5 reps alt. each side of a Hip Flexor Stretch (I crunch my abs and pull hard)

 http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/HipFlexors/LyingHipFlexor.html

 

Once my feet are on the ground it’s time to either get moving or I’ll do 5 more exercises.

BehindHeadChest

5 reps of a Chest Stretch hold for 3 seconds each

http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/ChestGeneral/BehindHead.html

Standing

5 reps of a Bicep Stretch with a 5 second hold at the top

http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/Biceps/Standing.html

StandingIbiotibial

5 reps both ways of hip circles with my feet apart, together, and crossed.

http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/HipAbductors/StandingIliotibial.html


NeckRotation

5 reps each side of side-to-side then up-and-down neck stretches

http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/Sternocleidomastoid/NeckRetraction.html

http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/Sternocleidomastoid/NeckRotation.html

Standing (1)

5 reps on one side then the other of an Upper Trap Stretch

http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/TrapeziusUpper/Trap.html

 

This takes about 5-10 minutes to do and I can’t describe to you how good I feel after. The best part? You can do some of these anywhere. Scan your body and find what’s tight and open it up.

 

Living like an athlete doesn’t mean to live like a full time athlete, the fun thing about not having the glorious job of working out for a living is that I can drink a few glasses of wine at night and I don’t feel like I’m doing any harm. Just treat your body like you would treat your car if it was the only one you’re ever going to get for your entire life. Athletes have to rely on their bodies to work so they treat them with the respect that they deserve. Love your body and do the same as an athlete at critical times like waking and laying down for the night and you will be amazed how the good feeling you had that started out physical penetrates deeper than just your muscles bones.

 

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The Pay It Forward Instagram Challenge!

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Win 50% off a month of your membership and 50% off your friend’s membership at CFPV!

3 Easy Steps

1)      Teach your friend how to squat.

2)      Snap a pic of your friend in the bottom of their squat.

3)      Post it to our Instagram account

Captain obvious would like you to know…your friend should not be a current CrossFitter.

Contest ends 2/28 Winner Announced 3/3

 

 

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CrossFit Lite

CFLite

Our CrossFit Lite class will be about the best of what CrossFit has to offer: Constantly varied functional movements. Usually we add “executed at a high intensity”. But that’s not what our CF Lite class is about. We’re going to let go of heavy weights, barbells, and things like Olympic lifts.

There will be an emphasis on bodyweight movements, correct movement patterns, and building foundational strength that mirrors the demands of the real world. The class will provide an atmosphere that fosters careful exploration into different movements under controlled conditions.

If you found a CrossFit class to be a little too fast paced this is like Jimmy Buffet CrossFit. Slower, relaxed, and happy. You should not go home and want to lay on the couch with a glass of wine and an ice pack. Our aim is to have you leave our gym that day feeling strong, confident, and stoked for the next class.

 

Here’s the details…

Class days and times: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:00am

Where: CrossFit Ponte Vedra

Cost: $90 for a 10 class card

 

Just like our regular CrossFit classes, we always give you your first class free so you can see if it’s something you’d like to use in your workout schedule. This class has an open door policy so if you’re interested just come over!

 

Have a question? Email andy@crossfitpontevedra.com or call us at 904-834-2602

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2/10 – 2/16

imageSchedule modification: This Friday there is no 9am and 12pm class

 

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2/3 – 2/9

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1/27 – 2/2

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No classes this weekend!

 

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1/20 – 1/27

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1/6 – 1/12

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What do you need? Warning: Wall of text to come…

 

Let’s take 3 different CrossFit athletes…

Meathead Matt, String Bean Sally, and Beginning Barbra.

 

You can guess their strength and background just by their names. Meathead Matt is the typical male. Lifted weights, probably played competitive sports, strong but turns red and gasps for air if he parks on the far side of the parking lot and has to sprint through the rain to get inside the grocery store. String Bean Sally is your average “fit” female. She probably “runs” and does yoga. Likes to “mix it up” with classes at the Y. She either has low body fat and would fall over in a stiff breeze or she is neither frail or low in body fat but is scared of getting bulky and just wants to “tone”. Beginning Barbra is the mom who is starting to take her life back. She’s sacrificed a lot for her family and now she wants some me time. She works hard in the gym and does her best with her diet. She wants to get after it and start pushing herself harder but isn’t sure where to start.

 

Side note: These have genders associated with them. Please disregard them as they have been taken on by men and women alike. I’ve met women who were strong but hated cardio (Rugby ladies you know who you are). And I’ve met men who I immediately threw a jar of almond butter and a chicken breast at and told them to start eating. Case in point: don’t let your imagination stagnate by my limited writing skills.

 

Meathead Matt is going to always want to stick to heavier workloads. He’s going to bias strength heavy workouts and will come up with a reason why he has to scale down the workouts that expose his issues with stamina and endurance. He probably sucks at bodyweight exercises and falls apart with high reps. Matt doesn’t need to be strong, he just likes it and whether he knows it or not, he’s probably scared to death to find out who he is if he’s not the big strong dude in the room.

 

We believe it will be good for Matt’s fitness (and his soul) to let go of a little bit of strength. I know. That’s blasphemy in CrossFit right now. If Matt isn’t a competitive athlete or competitive CrossFitter and works in an office and leads a normal life he probably doesn’t need to squat double his body weight. He needs to get his body back into balance. That probably means a steady diet of yoga, soft tissue work, lots of body weight WODs and no heavy lifting, probably for a year. Like I said, blasphemy. We believe that the true value behind CrossFit is having a physical body that is well balanced in all capacities. If you can do Grace in under 3 minutes but don’t have a 20 round Cindy, your body is jacked up. If you’ve strength trained and didn’t balance it with flexibility and mobility work, I know you have some physical pathology that needs attention. CrossFit WODs give enough of a strength stimulus for everyday life and you don’t need the extra work Matt. And stop hiding behind your strength and flipping tires; expose yourself a little and be vulnerable. Confront your shortcomings and see what life is like on the other side of the fence, physically and mentally. Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability

 

String Bean Sally is the polar opposite of Meat Head Matt. She is just plain weak. Everywhere. She has a hard time finding her intensity because of preconceived notions on what lifting weights, hard work, and big effort will do to her body. Luckily with enough time she’ll come around. The tough part is that these people drop off quick when they first enroll in a CrossFit gym and we never get a chance to show them tangible results. Maybe it’s because CrossFit is hard or that she sees her body inflamed and thinks she’s getting bulky (muscle tissue swells up for a few days after you work it). Our members are our walking billboards. They are proof of what intensity can achieve. NONE of the women in our gym are muscle bound and bulky looking. We are also lucky that CrossFit has started the conversation on a wide scale about women lifting weights and exercising at a high intensity. In 2008 Tracy Anderson, who made an already skinny Gwyneth Paltrow skinnier, said no woman should lift over 3 pounds for weight. Tracy Anderson has a PhD in exercise physiology and regularly holds lectures and presents her research on women’s fitness at multiple colleges across the country. That last sentence was a complete lie. She’s a former dancer who put out a video series and trains a few famous people; if her methods were so fantastic and her theories on point, she would have over 8,000 affiliated gyms worldwide. She doesn’t but want to venture a guess who does? CrossFit. Proof, meet pudding.

 

Sally needs to soldier up. The best way we do it is taking it workout to workout. If she’s too drained or it took all the courage she could muster just to get to the class that day because of life or past WODs or whatever, we give her a break- just go easy and be glad you’re here. When she comes in with the life back in her eyes, we give her the tough love. In due time Sally will transform from a dainty, soft spoken, girly girl into a fire breathing, confident, not afraid to speak her mind woman. She’ll probably enjoy it to. Deep in her soul, she’ll always be that girl but she know how to lace her boots up and fight for what’s hers. And she won’t be muscle bound or bulky. She’ll have lost the fat in her limbs she thought was muscle and she’ll actually have the muscle she didn’t have to look “toned”.

 

Lastly is the most complicated one: Beginning Barbra. She has probably been sedentary for the last few years. She busts her butt in the gym but is coming from such a deficit that she feels like she’s getting nowhere. Her coaches can see a difference in her but she is struggling with whether or not she’s making headway and if she’s at the right place. She wants to try and push her up and we are not going to get in her way. The intelligent way to approach this is to let her pick one day out of her week where she intentionally goes harder. Then the other days she is back to her normal scaling (our gym created a mathematical formula to scale workouts predictably and there are 4 levels to choose from). If she needs to, she could even back off one of the workouts even more to allow for recovery but we haven’t found that to be necessary. Barbra is going to have to push through on all fronts and when she does, she’ll find herself cruising a long and realizing that her potential lies much higher than what she actually thought it was. Sometimes the body needs a push to hum along on a higher frequency and we’ve found that people like Barbra do well with an easy introduction to a higher intensity with lower expectations on the other workouts for the first few weeks.

 

The underlying theme we haven’t confronted here is the basis for understanding what our view of CrossFit is: Expectations in the gym should match expectations you want in your life. I (me personally) don’t want to Clean and Jerk the world. I want to Clean and Jerk. I want to Clean and Jerk heavy. But I compete in CrossFit competitions for fun and not competitively and I don’t compete in weight lifting or strength based sports (I race stand up paddleboards). That means I can relax about my “numbers”. That means if I am maintaining my C&J I’m happy. 5 Pounds over my Personal Record and I’m elated. 10 pounds under? Meh, must not be my day today. We suggest this approach for over 90% of our gym and we’ve seen it work wonderfully. It keeps you happy, genuinely just appreciating getting a killer workout, and feeling fit without feeling crazy or obsessed.

 

Your CrossFit experience should serve you and your goals. Pursuing something that is needless to your life outside of the gym can be extremely motivating and help drive you. It can also make you absolutely bonkers and stifle any kind of happiness and satisfaction from your pursuit of fitness. Our relaxed approach (relaxed compared to other CrossFit gyms) isn’t for everyone and it’s what makes us unique and gives a breath of fresh air in a community stifled by performance, competition, and pressure. It’s given us a lot of perspective and keeps us on the path that CrossFit HQ suggests for everyone but the competitive CrossFitters :low trajectory to a distant horizon.

 

It is no good getting furious if you get stuck. What I do is keep thinking about the problem but work on something else. Sometimes it is years before I see the way forward.” -Steven Hawking

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Being a Female CrossFitter and Coach

 

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Written by Kris Amatuli 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently I read an article titled “10 Reasons You Should Take More Notice of What a Female Coach Has To Say”. I read this soon after four people sent me a different article titled “You should be dating a CrossFit Girl. Here’s why”. These articles might seem unrelated but it made me realize (or maybe remember) that being a woman can be tough, being a woman that CrossFits can be even harder, and being a female CrossFit coach is rewarding and intimidating at the same time.

 

For starters, I am NOT complaining. Being a female, especially one that CrossFits, is amazing. Up until three and a half years ago my hands had never touched a barbell, so is every tiny accomplishment exciting? You bet. Does it feel even better winning a competition when you hear people say “and they had GIRLS on their team!”? Absolutely. And ironically, these are the same things that make it intimidating.

 

Until reading the two articles, I didn’t put much thought into how people reacted towards me as a coach. Aside from the occasional “this guy doesn’t believe a word I’m saying because I don’t have a penis” conversation I’d had with my coach, I didn’t think my gender mattered in the gym. Oh but it does.

 

My first thought after reading the female coach article was “AWESOME”. I couldn’t have said it better myself. I’ve always felt like I deserved a little credit for having to struggle more to get certain lifts and movements. I wanted to send the article to everyone in the gym so the girls could relate to me a little better and the guys would listen more. A few days of reading this article every morning to psych myself up for class I started to realize – wait, I want men to read this article so they listen more? Do I really feel like every male takes what I say with a grain of salt?

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The answer is, no, BUT, the moments that I’ve used a cue over and over only to hear “(male coaches name) showed me how to do double-unders/cleans/etc. He told me I just had to (insert the same cue I used 1000 times with them here)!” aren’t exactly few and far between. I, in no way, think that I am the best coach on the planet, but I’ve reached a point that I have busted my ass enough to live up to my mentors expectations yet still feel intimidated in a room full of men that, 99% of the time, haven’t been CrossFitting as long as me or spent as much time learning the subtle nuances of the movements. It can get frustrating to say the least.

 

I’ve also become more aware of how people react towards me now in regards to CrossFit; something that was my driving force to get out of bed at 5am during grad school when everyone else was nursing a hangover, that I am lucky enough to now call a career. This is obviously not something I take lightly–no one likes getting out of bed at 5am. CrossFit has become something that I am proud of yet hesitant to bring up and I don’t know if men have the same problem.

 

I’ve never seen an article convincing women why dating a man that CrossFits isn’t such a bad idea (yes, I looked). I’m newly single and back in the very scary world of bars and dating, I have had two men lose interest or ask if I was 1) gay or 2) trying to “get big” when my answer to “So what do you like to do?” wasn’t shop, sew, dance, cook or paint my girlfriends toes. I assume any man turned off by something I am not only passionate about but has gotten me in the best shape I’ve ever been in, is concerned less with what I can do and more with what he cannot.

Likes looking pretty, taking pictures, fancy parties, toes to bars, and thrusters.

Likes looking pretty, taking pictures, fancy parties, toes to bars, and double bodyweight deadlifts.

Again, I am NOT complaining. But I do think it’s important to bring attention to the fact that the world wants me to be a picture perfect version of every woman on the cover of a magazine, yet using CrossFit as a tool makes me less feminine. I think it’s necessary to talk about the confidence I’ve gained BECAUSE I am a CrossFitter, that I have to tone down so I don’t make a male (notice I said a male, not a man) uncomfortable. (side note: boys don’t like when you tell them you could probably deadlift more than their body weight as you walk away to find a better suitor).

 

Most importantly, I have to acknowledge the fact that I am a woman and when it comes to coaching I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING. Attitude is everything. If I don’t recognize these issues and think about them, how am I ever going to move past them? If I have this thought in the back of my head all the time that they would listen better or trust me more if I was a man, can I really be the best coach I’m capable of being? If I’ve learned anything, it’s that you can only change the things you can control, and how other people feel about or react towards you is not one of them.

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