I'm around people that care about their health and fitness all the time. It's no secret that these same people love to talk about their health and fitness nonstop. The good news is people tend to chat about how to make themselves and others better. I hear them talking about different stretches, great new recipes, how many hours of sleep they're getting, some new vitamin or supplement, etc.
I love hearing that someone made a better choice at dinnertime or went to bed early because they want to train hard in the gym the next day.
What I rarely hear people talking about is stress. This is unfortunate because stress can have a huge negative impact on your training and your overall health.
Are you stressed? Dealing with jobs, kids, family, friends, pets, etc. tends to leave everyone a little stressed from time to time.
How do you know you're stressed? Listen to your body. Look for:
What to do about it?
Well, the good news is that working out can actually be a stress reliever. The bad news is adding tough workouts on top of an already stressful day can do more harm than good so make sure you're listening to your body. (Mood, resting heart rate, level of soreness, irritability, motivation)
When you're feeling particularly stressed here are a few things you can do:
Managing your stress just might be the key to a healthier and happier life. Don't stress about it!
I'll keep this short. I'm never going to make you stand on a bosu ball and do a squat while at the same time doing flys on a cable machine. You're actually not going to see a bosu ball here at all. Or some cool, new machine. We've never used them and we're cranking out some pretty fantastic results.
We're not fancy here. You walk into Apache and you might be unimpressed... at least at first. No fancy machines. No smoothie bar. No tanning beds. No massage chair.
Part of our workout in class yesterday was to hold a heavy sandbag for 30 seconds. Some grabbed a 200 lbs. sandbag. Some the 120 lbs bag. Some 60 lbs. A few others in between. Sandbags are just that, bags of sand. They are not pretty but they work. They work to help strengthen your grip, build core strength and yeah, even 30 seconds, will get the heart pumping. Besides that they are like real life. They move around. They're unstable. You'll encounter a lot more things in life that are similar to sandbags than some random, fancy machine.
If you're looking for the latest toy or cool new trend in fitness, we are not it. Am I worried? No, I saw Rocky IV. I know what happens.
*Disclaimer: It's not you, it's me. If you're only using fancy machines and doing the cool new thing, I'm really happy for you. I'm stoked anyone is working out no matter what they're doing. Keep it up! It's just not for me.
What is "Murph"? It's a hero workout but if you haven't done it in the past here is a little back story.
Lt. Michael Murphy was a Navy Seal that was killed on a mission while in Afghanistan. His position and that of his three other teammates was compromised by several goat herders. In the ensuing gun battle with the Taliban, Lt. Murphy, or Murph, knew his and his team's situation was dire so he decided to move to an open position under heavy gun fire, knowing the probable outcome, to make an emergency call from his satellite phone. During the phone call Murph was killed. You may remember this story if you've read Marcus Luttrell's book, "Lone Survivor," or seen the movie adaptation. Murph was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military honor.
Each Memorial Day, Apache, along with many other CrossFit gyms, honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice with a workout.
The workout is:
1 mile Run
1 mile Run
*Partition the pull-ups, push-ups, and squats as needed. Start and finish with a mile run.
It was one of Lt. Murphy's favorite workouts so it was named in his honor.
First off, it is not an easy workout so of course we can scale it to your ability. It's not uncommon to see some people doing ring rows, push ups on a box, shortening the run distance, etc. This is totally normal and acceptable. If you have questions about scaling, just ask. Second, this is a hero workout and we tend to dig deeper for those. With that being said, please be smart and have a plan.
What do we mean by a plan? Well, you don't have to do the workout exactly as it's listed so you can break up the reps however you'd like. Try to come up with something that will allow you to maintain your form and allows you to finish the workout! If you're not sure, try to keep your reps low. Singles, doubles, triples. Here are some common rep partition strategies:
15 Air Squats
15 Air Squats
12 Air Squats
12 Air Squats
Worried about it? Don't be. It's a CrossFit workout, something you do all the time, and as I said it can be scaled. Your workouts in class are helping prepare you for this workout. (and tons of other awesome stuff) Of course, people always ask if they can do more. You should be good but if you want get a few more runs in you can run a 1/2 mile or a mile before or after class. Or do it on a rest day. I'm sure someone will join you too.
What else can you do to prepare? Make it your job each day leading up to "Murph" (and every other day of your life) to consume enough water so you’re ready to go on Memorial Day. Get some sleep! Make sure you're getting enough sleep each night as we approach the workout. It will aid with recovery and help you perform better in all of your workouts, including "Murph."
By the way, you'll sign up for Murph just like you would a regular class so it will be open a week before 5/28.
Dropping in while on vacation? Just send us an email to let us know. Usually do "Murph" at home by yourself? Give us a call and come do it with a great group of people.
Looking forward to seeing everyone there!
So, you finally did it! Congratulations! Was it a pull-up? Was it 15 lbs. off the scale? Was it your first 5K? Great! Now get back to work. The people you'll meet here are in it for the long haul. And they need you too!
I was talking to a friend today about how tomorrow is her 3 year anniversary at Apache and how much she's changed in that short time. Her exact quote was: "So much progress yet so much more to learn." She gets it. She could of stopped when she reached her pull up, weightlifting or aesthetics goal but she continues on knowing that there is more to this whole fitness thing.
When we first meet people at ourIntro Sessions we talk a lot about why they are here and what they are looking for. At first, people will tell us they want to lose 5 lbs. for a wedding in 3 months or try something different to get ready for a Spartan Race but they tend to stick around after their initial goal has been realized. Why? Because fitness can and should be lifelong but it's also fun and rewarding here.
Crazy things happen when you start training with us. Initially, you'll see big time gains and things will be getting easier by the day. You'll look different. You'll walk around differently. This is great but the next step is pretty cool, too. You'll start to get to know the other people in your classes. You'll become part of the community. Why is the community so strong? Because everyone has goals and they are pushing themselves and each other every single day. You'll feel a sense of belonging and from there, even greater accountability. You'll find yourself wanting to be around certain people because it almost feels like they make you better.
Then what happens? You start to become more consistent at the gym. You start to make better choices and live a healthier life. It starts to change other things. You work harder. You have better relationships. You do things you didn't think were possible.
Then, guess what? You become one of those people that others want to be around. People come to the gym because you are there. It's a beautiful cycle.
Want the secret? Just show up and it will happen.
CrossFit is dangerous. I hear this all the time. Almost every day. Mostly by people who have never tried it or been to a CrossFit gym. They all had a friend who heard that their uncle's co-worker's daughter tried CrossFit in Panama once and she cut her hand. So, you know, super dangerous.
First off, after 11 years in CrossFit I have not found it to be dangerous at all especially when we compare it to injury rates associated with pretty much every other activity, including jogging and youth soccer. When you tell your co-workers you're going to start jogging, do they warn you about the dangers of running? Hardly. But when you tell them you are starting CrossFit all the crazy stories and warnings come out.
Do people get injured while doing CrossFit? Sure. It happens. Just like every other activity out there. A friend of mine threw his back out tying his shoes this morning. Another guy I know tore his meniscus jumping out of his truck. Another broke his wrist during an aggressive high five. Don't even get me started on the injuries friends have had while snowboarding, playing basketball and partying too hard in college.
Countless studies, including one from last year (Moran 2017) have shown that "the injury incidence rate associated with CrossFit training was low, and comparable to other forms of recreational fitness activities."
As I said, of course some people pick up an injury while doing CrossFit but is CrossFit always to blame? Not necessarily. Often times, CrossFit will expose injuries you may already have or show how you may be moving in a manner that is causing you pain. How you move is important in everything you do so when you go from being mostly sedentary to starting to work out it's not uncommon to start to experience some pain that normally goes unnoticed in your everyday life. You start CrossFit and you are starting to demand functionality from your body. We are asking you to pick things up, put them down, squat down properly (and often), stand back up, get down on the ground and get back up, pull yourself up, jump, throw things, etc., stuff you either have not been doing or just doing the bare minimum of. We teach you how to do things your body was made to do. We should expect our body to be able to do these things and do them for the rest of our lives. If something hurts while doing these tasks, great, we found something we need to work on and now we can fix it. Daily we hear how members' knees don't hurt while walking up the stairs anymore or how they feel more comfortable and pain free doing daily tasks. This is what we're here for.
Basic tasks aren't supposed to hurt. If they do, let's figure out why and make them better.
In the end, what's more dangerous? Finding an activity that you enjoy, will make your days better and you can do for the rest of your life or sitting on your couch all day and falling victim to everything that comes with that?
I know what I'd choose. Make a decision to get better and stay on the path. It might hurt sometimes but it's worth it.