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The Business of Chronic Disease

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The Business of Chronic Disease
Written by: DCCF Member Sam Garas

“We sit collectively in unique possession of an elegant solution to the world’s most vexing problem. The problem is chronic disease.” – Greg Glassman

Now that football season is over, none of us will be surprised to know who the top advertisers are for those games that we so religiously watch. The list is a tower of major corporations including Anheuser-Busch, Pepsi, Papa-Johns, Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Mars and so on. Those companies are in the business of selling as much of their product as possible to consumers that are making free choices. Those consumers are willingly and unwillingly contributing to a growth economy that will continue for decades to come. That growth economy is driven by chronic disease.

What is chronic disease? Greg Glassman, co-founder of CrossFit, describes chronic disease as one of the major categories of conditions that eventually lead to a human beings death. Those categories are: genetic, microbic, kinetic, and toxic. Genetic would be your parent’s fault, microbic would be a microorganism/bacterium that causes disease, kinetic would be an accident like a car crash and toxic is some kind of poison that causes disease and potential death. By all accounts, chronic disease contributes to 65-75% of all deaths in the United States. The list of chronic diseases (hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, type 2 diabetes, cardiomyopathy, etc.) is being serviced by some of the biggest corporations in the world. Pharmaceutical companies, major cancer and heart centers, wellness clinics, immediate care centers and others are all in the business of profiting from chronic disease.

The major dilemma the US healthcare system is facing today is deciding on which way to pivot in the chronic disease business. Will the industry pivot towards prevention of chronic disease or servicing chronic disease? Unfortunately, all signs are pointing towards servicing chronic disease with the daily barrage of new drugs to help you live and cope with chronic disease without regard to the side effects of those drugs. Chronic disease drugs help people every day but they obviously only treat the symptoms and do not get at the root cause. As Glassman so simply explains, the solution is to “get off the couch and get off the carbs.” Once you squat and eliminate that sugary soft drink, the root cause has been eliminated. Do that consistently and your chronic disease has been cured.

Health Insurance companies understand that eliminating the root cause of chronic disease will reduce medical expenses and keep their members out of the hospital, where the major medical expenses obviously occur. Advances have been made with predictive analytics to identify at risk individuals and drive them towards clinical programs to keep them out of the hospital, but those are mostly geared towards treating the symptoms. Health Insurance companies are also hedging their bets that chronic disease will only continue to increase by investing in pharmacies and wellness clinics. The most recent potential merger between Aetna and CVS is only the first of many mergers to come that will service chronic disease.

We as members of Derby City CrossFit and others that follow a fitness program with varied functional movements at high intensity along with a proper nutritional approach have found the cure. Many argue that group is less than 5% of the overall global population. Will that number grow over the next few years to more than 10%? Maybe, but all indications are that businesses are pivoting towards being leaders in the business of chronic disease and not prevention. That might actually be the smart business decision but where does that leave our society in the decades to come? It most likely will be a society dependent on emerging chronic disease drugs that keep people alive but not with a great quality of life. There is hope in knowing that a decade ago CrossFit had a few members at a small amount of affiliates that has now grown to millions of members and thousands of affiliates around the world. The message is getting out, it just needs to go faster before chronic disease and pre-mature death win out.

Relax, It’s Time for the Open

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Relax, It’s Time for the Open
Written by: DCCF Member EA Duncan

Ahhhh, The Open. Everyone’s favorite time of year to freak the [email protected] out; lash out; panic; become irrational; nearly kill themselves trying to acquire a skill in 5 days time; grovel and barter with Dave Castro from afar. I totally get it. The whole deal gets in your head. Let’s all take a deep breath.

At the end of the day The Open is just a few workouts. Once a week for five weeks you’ll complete a work out in our home gym. You already do that! You do that all the time! You do hard things more than once a week within our friendly walls! It’s really nothing more than that, and if anyone tells you differently, ignore them. And if you’re reading this you are unlikely to be a paid CrossFit athlete. (If you are, what’s up and disregard the next sentence!) These work outs do not determine…. literally anything in your life besides pride in your efforts. Relax. Turn off your negative self talk. Get ready to to the dark place. Try not to cry.* (Note I did not say ‘do not cry’ because, been there. (#14point5 #15point5))

These workouts will be mentally tough. The good news is if you choose to do them at Friday Night Lights there will be even more support than usual. The cheerleaders will be out in full force. (Hi, I just come to FNL for the beer and the company and to count reps when needed.) The gym will feel more like a Team than ever before.

Another added bonus is the chance to really nerd out and embrace the bigger CrossFit community. Hopefully you’ll have the experience I’ve had where you realize which of your friends across the country have found this CrossFit thing. They’ll reach out to strategize and encourage you. You’ll get to marvel at the top athletes being genetic freaks who can destroy your scores. You can get in on my patented group text where every week I go through the leader boards in search of people we’ve seen in area competitions or promising new stars on the rise, while following our own current/former Coaches, near and far. The sport is fun to follow! And it ultimately has no bearing on your weekly workout.

Now, let’s all hold hands for a round of kumbaya while I give you one more nugget of tough love: if you have the urge to comment about anyone else’s score and/or whether they scaled or not in a way that could even possibly be perceived as negative… how bout don’t.

I will leave you now with my favorite CrossFit quote from my guru:

“The goal is simply to get fit. Make it the best part of your day. Stay safe, turn up the music, high five some people, and blow off some steam. So remember that. Relax. Have fun. Workout.” – Pat Sherwood

Let’s not lose sight of this goal. Enjoy the ride.

Elizabeth Ann Duncan is an attorney by trade and an amateur CrossFit nerd by choice. She loves that her hour at Derby City is often the best part of her day. She’s happy to count your reps while she drinks beers at FNL.

Accountability: Because We Care

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Accountability: Because We Care
Written by: Coach Phil

Fitness is a personal journey, but that doesn’t mean you have to go through it alone. At Derby City, we feel very strongly about community, and the bonds of friendship and family have the power to help us become our best selves. We can’t go lift the weights for you, or move your legs for you when you run. But what we can do is lift spirits. We can celebrate our successes. We can help learn from our failures. We grow stronger together to help lift each other up to new heights.

In 2017, we dedicated ourselves to this ideal, and started an accountability program. In 2018, we hope to improve and refine the program to provide even more support for all our members. The program is simple. Periodically, I’ll check in with you to make sure that your journey is going well, and that we are helping you accomplish your goals in any way possible. Whether that’s with nutritional help, personal accessory programming, or just a sounding board for issues or questions you may have. I’m here for each and every member.

So, why is this important? And why should you care? No other gym in the city, and very few nationally are investing this much effort into ensuring that each member is receiving the time and attention that they deserve. Most gyms are satisfied to just take your money and don’t care if you ever walk through their doors. That’s not so here. We love having the opportunity to make you both fitter and happier. If we are able to make your hour inside our walls the highlight of your day, then that’s when we know we are doing the right things.

This program only works if you also invest in it. We can’t help you reach goals that you don’t tell us about, or fix problems you don’t bring to our attention. I can’t say that every idea or suggestion will be implemented, but they are all acknowledged and discussed in our coaches meetings. If we see trends in a desire amongst the community we always strive to fulfill it.

Check your inbox, make sure that I didn’t get relegated to the junk folder. Add me to your whitelist and take advantage of the channels of communication! If you saw the e-mail and thought, “I’ll message him later” and never did, take the time to shoot me a line. Even if it’s just to say that all is well and you’re pleased as punch with everything we’ve done so far and you’re satisfied! We value your feedback and want to hear from you!

We take a personal interest in each and every member who comes through these doors whether your goal is to make it to Regionals, or just be able to pick up your great grandkids at 95 and still give them the biggest bear hugs imaginable. Your reasons for being here are important to us, and we want to help you be anything and everything that you have the desire and drive to be.

So, check that inbox. You should have an email from me within the last month letting you know about the program. If you don’t, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] and we can get started!

The Open & Friday Night Lights

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The Open & Friday Night Lights
Written by: Coach Slater

What is this “Open” you keep talking about and what the hell is “Friday Night Lights”?

Great questions! Let me try to explain it as quickly & simply as possible.

The Open
What: Starting Thursday, February 22nd, and lasting for the next four Thursdays, CrossFit, Inc. will unveil an unknown workout to us at 8pm EST. Everyone in the CrossFit community has until the following Monday to complete a version of that workout (Life or Rx / Life or Sport) and post their score on

Friday Night Lights
What: Once we determine the time domain and equipment needs of this unknown workout, we establish “heats” for Derby City athletes to complete this WOD sometime on Friday night. Our first heat typically goes at 4:30p, and the last is usually around 7:30p. If the WOD is 9min long, we might run heats every 15min to allow for people to complete the workout, with extra time for the next heat of athletes to come workout area and claim a spot on the floor.

We setup the night like we’re hosting a competition to up the excitement factor. This year, we’ll have separate people acting as Head Judge to verify movement standards, an dedicated photographer to capture your next great profile pic and hopefully your first bar muscle-up, and an official MC to increase the hype before & during your WOD.

Furthermore, we build these heats into our class Scheduler so you can select which heat you want to join. Maybe you want to go head-to-head against a friend, or maybe you want to be next to an specific athlete for inspiration, all are great. Pick whatever works for your schedule. It’ll be your responsibility to warmup and be ready to go when your heat time comes around.

If you can’t attend Friday Night Lights due to a schedule conflict, you can still complete the workout during our 5a, 6a, 8a, or 12p class on those Fridays, as we’ll schedule that week’s workout for Friday’s class WOD. Or, if you need to complete it over the weekend, you can do so on Saturdays after the 10:30a class or Sunday during Open Gym (9:30a-11:30a). In either of those instances, you’ll need to secure a judge ahead of time to track your good-reps and no-reps.

Why should I sign up for the Open and Friday Night Lights?
Anyone who signs up for the Open at gets drafted onto one of four Derby City teams that fight for year-long bragging rights. And, simply by completing the workout and logging your score, you earn a point for your team. This year, we’re also adding more opportunities for you to earn points for your team (see below). But, maybe best of all, we’re adding a penalty for the Coach of the losing team. If you allow yourself to have a little fun with the team concept, Friday Night Lights is a great experience. Trust us.

And, on a macro level, the Open helps us navigate our year and give us something to plan for. It’s like a lighthouse in the dark. The Open is inspiration. A reason to give a little more and cheer a little louder. The Open is an annual event marked on the calendar of CrossFitters all over the world, from Games athletes to the mother of three who’s still gunning for that first pullup.

CrossFit gave us the Open back in 2011, meant as a screen to find the fittest people in different regions throughout the world. For those without hopes of moving to its next level (Regionals), it’s simply a chance to test our fitness against a few hundred-thousand participants and see how much fitter we’ve become in the past year.

Derby City rookies workout alongside veterans and post their scores on the same leaderboards as CrossFit Games Champions. We compare with friends in different states. And, from year-to-year, we watch our strength increase, our skills improve, and our determination sharpen.

A lot of us train because we love the way it makes us feel and the people we train with. We don’t have any specific hopes of fitness greatness. The Open is simply a challenge for ourselves. Us against the workout.

While loving how we feel and who we train with is reason enough to keep doing it forever, specific feedback that has a start and end date is priceless. Ultimately, we may not care about the leaderboard, we may not even look at it, but having something to shoot for every year livens even the least competitive among us. You’ll experience it at Friday Night Lights.

Also, the Open slows us down. Often, we hurry into class just before/after work, fist bump and smile, hit our workout, then take-off. We miss the conversation. The connection. The Open brings back that CrossFit connection we can take for granted at times. For five simple weeks, we can train our asses off and cheer for our friends. Just us and the crew that helps us be better today than we were yesterday.

So, are you in?

The Best, Worst 5 Weeks of the Year

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The Best, Worst 5 Weeks of the Year
Written by: Coach Phil

Ah, the Open. Every year when the snows of winter melt, a glorious time in the CrossFit calendar comes. If you’ve been in the community a while, the Open needs no introduction to you. You are familiar with its joys, triumphs, failures, and revelations. You know all too well the anxious anticipation of waiting for Dave Castro’s slooooooooooooow crawling announcements of the workouts to build suspense before we learn what fresh hell awaits. And you know that sickly sweet burn on your lungs as you’re gasping for air after what you will swear for weeks was the hardest workout you’ve ever done. And you’ll bargain with yourself that you’ll never do it again. (Spoiler; you almost always will do it again.)

For those new faces in the world of CrossFit, I bid you welcome! Welcome to the circus that is the Open. The 5 weeks of the year where every man, woman, and child who has the desire can stand among their peers and be measured by their effort.

Each Thursday night a new workout will be announced to be completed by Monday afternoon the following week. By performing these 5 workouts, you’re testing your fitness against everyone. Games champions, your classmates, soccer moms, hockey dads, coaches, businessmen, and any and all in between. In the Open you see where you are. Where you’ve been. And where you’d like to go.

There are a few key things to know about the Open. If you’re fresh out of Elements or a grizzled veteran of 10+ seasons, I hope that this information proves useful in the weeks ahead.

1. Dave Castro Is a Prick

Josh Bridges, Rich Froning, and Dan Bailey all know it. So does every Open competitor ever.

Dave Castro is the Director of the CrossFit Games. In that capacity he’s responsible for all the programming of the workouts for the Games Season. He loves heaping suffering upon the CrossFit population almost as much as he loves himself, which is A LOT. The workouts are usually difficult and intentionally so. The Open is the first step on the road to competing at the CrossFit games, so to glean the best of the best from the world-wide population the tests must be varied, measurable, and provide a way for folks to demonstrate if they have the grit, skills, and determination to make it to Regionals.

2. It Is Just CrossFit

There’s no tricks or fakery in the Open. Although Dave loves to throw curveballs; at the end of the day it’s all the same things that you do day in, day out. Pick up object, Move object, put down object. That’s pretty much the sum of all CrossFit workouts. How it must be moved, what it is, how many different things, and how many times is where Castro gets to have his fun. BUT YOU ARE CAPABLE.

3. The Divisions

In the Open, you have the ability to see where you rank amongst your peers, from right here inside Derby City, to within the City of Louisville, State of Kentucky, Central East Regional, United States, THE WORLD. You also have the ability to see how you stack up based on your age group, they have divisions for teens, the 18-34 group, and then masters divisions for every 5 year bracket thereafter up to 60+. LEO, Military, Firefighters, and EMTs also have a way to compare their scores against each other. So as fine and refined as you like, or as broad as you’d like it to be, the Open can tell you how your fitness stacks up.

4. Friday Night Lights

This is by far my favorite part of the Open. Every Friday we’ll have heats and judges available so you can compete against your classmates, and share in the vibe of the evening. There’s so many folks cheering and celebrating, it’s really an experience. When you see someone hit that new PR in the workout, or get that first muscle up, it’s electric. It’s all the hype and excitement of a competition, with none of the pressure. We are all just friends pushing each other to be our fittest selves. So just another normal day in the gym, except if we’re lucky, Shark will be grilling out all night.

5. You Can Scale

If you’re saying to yourself that there’s no reason to do the Open because you can’t do XYZ movement, well I’m here to squash that horsepucky. If you are breathing, you can perform the workouts. There are two versions of the workout, RX and scaled, and you are not beholden to one of the other for all five weeks. If there’s a movement that you just can’t do, and you have no desire to try, that’s OK! Do the scaled workout that week, and you can do RX next week!

I encourage everyone to try to step outside their comfort zone during the Open though. Go for that first pull-up! Attempt that new PR snatch! If you never try, you’ll never do. And what better time to try than surrounded by your friends and family, cheering and offering words of support and encouragement. Ride that wave into new heights!

6. You Will Learn Something About Yourself

There is one constant in every year during the Open, there will be a moment of self-discovery. Whether it’s found on the top of the rings, face down on the floor after a 12 minute AMRAP breathing hard and drenched in sweat, Or so deep in the dark recesses of the pain cave on round 8 of 20 that the world has faded away to grey around you. Inside your head at some point during the Open you’ll have a moment. Where you do something you never thought possible, pushed through some task that seemed insurmountable, A voice inside told you to quit, and through sheer determination you told that voice to kick rocks. You weren’t going to be defeated.

Or maybe you expose a weakness. Perhaps your double unders aren’t as good as you thought. Maybe all the times your coach told you not to yank the dumbbell off the floor because it would blow up your lower back creeps into your mind as you foam roll after finishing a workout with 100 dumbbell snatches.

In any event, you learn something about yourself. How do you handle the unknown? Can you push through when you want to quit? Were you stopped by fear or did you rise to the challenge and attempt something new?

The one lesson I guarantee you’ll learn from participating in the Open at Derby City, you’ll have a family screaming so loud for you to succeed your ears will ring. Even if they can barely breathe from the workout in the previous heat, they will raise their voices to let you know you can achieve anything. But don’t take my word for it, get signed up and meet me in the gym for Friday Night Lights.

Is Willpower a Myth?

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Is Willpower a Myth?
Written by: Coach Slater

Anyone who’s struggled with a new nutrition plan or workout routine knows that willpower, alone, won’t work in the long run. And, failures in nutrition or exercising can leave us feeling like “bad people.” If you’re bad at resisting temptation on a diet, or can’t stick to a consistent workout attendance, you supposedly have insufficient willpower. But, more research is proving that people who exhibit good self-control aren’t somehow gifted with exceptional willpower. They might not be inhibiting impulses at all.

Studies are finding that those who exert more self-control aren’t necesesarily more successful in accomplishing their goals. Instead, they’ve set themselves up to experience far few temptations overall. It turns out, forcefully expending self-control is exhausting. The people who are the best at self-control are hardly using it at all. Their trick is not giving themselves the option to make a bad decision.

Did you catch that? The trick isn’t making a good decision. It’s avoiding the option of a bad one. Mind-blown.

What Does This Mean to You?
1) People who are better at self-control, enjoy the activities others resist (like eating healthy or exercising).

If it’s fun, it’s not a chore. It’s easier to obtain a goal, if you WANT TO, rather than if you tell yourself you HAVE TO. Wanting to accomplish something is more effortless. If you come to the gym because you “have to” get in shape, it’s more likely that you’ll find working out to be a miserable experience. You have to “want to” to come to the gym. If you find the joy in attending, by socializing more and finding people you connect with, or enjoying the personal struggle and seeing yourself accomplish new milestones, then the process becomes easier.

Attending Derby City social events helps you meet more people from different classes, which then gives you more people to communicate with inside the gym. Participating in the Open in February introduces you to a team-version of competition. Saturday partner workouts give you a chance to team up with someone different. Lastly, setting a goal to learn a new skill, like handstand pushups and double unders, is fun because you now know how to do something which the WIDE majority of people outside the gym have no clue how to do.

2) People who are good at self-control have tricked themselves into better habits.

These people have structured their lives to avoid having to make a self-control decision in the first place. And, people who do the same activity (like exercising) at the same time each day have an easier time accomplishing their goals. It has nothing to do with willpower. Instead, their routine has made them successful.

Have you heard the old trick for waking up more quickly in the morning by placing your alarm on the other side of the room? That’s not in-the-moment willpower at play; it’s planning.

The person really succeeding with their new nutrition plan would never buy ice cream in the first place because they wouldn’t have walked down the ice cream aisle at their grocery store. Or, when they saw the ice cream, they would have figured out a way to say “yuck” instead of “yum“.

So, those are the lessons I have for you today. You can succeed at this if you stop relying on some intangible notion of willpower, and instead structure yourself to be successful. As Coach Phil emails everyone this month to check-in, let us know if we can help with this idea, or anything at all!

Everyday temptations: an experience sampling study of desire, conflict, and self-control
What’s So Great About Self-Control? Examining the Importance of Effortful Self-Control and Temptation in Predicting Real-Life Depletion and Goal Attainment

2018 Derby City Ambassadors

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2018 Derby City Ambassador Program

Derby City CrossFit is an amazing community of people accomplishing extraordinary achievements every day. In 2018, we’re extending our successful Derby City Ambassador program to further amplify the positive culture of DCCF. We’re looking for a new team of individuals to serve as liaisons on behalf of all athletes. They will embody everything we strive for at Derby City and be available to help welcome new individuals into the gym, organize community events, give feedback on classes, programs, offerings, and apparel, and help us make an impact on the lives of everyone who steps into our gym.

First, let us tell you about the minimum requirements, expectations, and benefits. If, after reading, you’re interested in being an Ambassador, please apply below.

Minimum Requirements for Ambassadors
*At least six months as a Derby City athlete with consistent attendance no less than 4x/week
*Has shown a positive impact on the community and all of its members
*Is a good classmate and honors the values of the gym
*Finds joy in helping new athletes become integrated into the community
*Willingness to be available via phone, email, or in-person
*Commitment to both one-year membership and ambassadorship

Expectations of Ambassadors
*Meet 4 times during the year (once per quarter) as an advisory board for Derby City to discuss all gym business and give quality, constructive feedback
*Weekly comment on Derby City Public Facebook Page and Derby City Social Page to generate positive conversation
*Willingness to coordinate, facilitate, and host community events/seminars/welcome events, including Intramural Open
*Helps plan/facilitate new tshirts and apparel/gear orders
*Arrives to class early to welcome new athletes and lead them through their first days
*Stays until the end of the workout to cheer on every athlete
*Attends one class not theirs every month
*Represents Derby City outside the gym to the best of their ability (fly our flag when appropriate)
*Role model of respect for coaches
*Gives constructive feedback on issues that affect community culture
*Other assignments based on the strengths and desires of the ambassador

Benefits for Ambassadors
*6 free tshirts/tanks throughout the year
*All other apparel & supplements at cost
*Ambassador profile on website
*Design apparel/products for sale
*Product testers (supplements, equipment, program designs, etc…)
*Guide the direction of Derby City’s growth

How to Apply

Tiny Goals Bring Big Progress

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Tiny Goals Bring Big Progress
Written by: Coach Evan

Have you ever gone into a workout with a goal to accomplish and everything else seems to disappear? You can still hear the clang and bang of other barbells, you can hear the loud music but when the workout is over you can’t remember what song was playing. You can hear the breathing of the other athletes but they shift like ghosts around the gym because your sole purpose is to achieve the goal you’ve given yourself. Think about how good you felt after that workout when you achieved your goal. Now think about how amazing your days would be if you felt that good after EVERY workout. Let’s discuss how to do that.

Most of the time folks think about goals in terms of a specific weight to hit on a lift or a time in which to complete a workout. These are good examples of macro goals. Unfortunately, there’s too much margin for error, too much to go wrong to guarantee those outcomes, too much resting on the outcome to deliver happiness. To send your progress soaring to the skies and for you to be very pleased with every workout you need to set certainly attainable micro goals. Are there a bunch of chest-to-bars in the workout tomorrow? What repeatable number of unbroken reps can you set for yourself to achieve? What pushes you just enough that it doesn’t kill you but allows you to do something that surprises yourself?

Recently in a workout with 21 American kettlebell swings per round I pondered doing the prescribed number of reps and breaking them up or doing less reps to remain unbroken for all the rounds. I was convinced by Coach Slater to stay with the higher reps and do them unbroken for as long as I could, even if it was only one round. He believed I could do them, which helped, but it also gave me something to shoot for which is incredibly motivating for me. I knew I could complete at least one round of the swings unbroken, which would give me a chance to shoot for 2, which would already be breaking my goal. After smashing my goal and completing two rounds unbroken I had the confidence to hold on to the kettlebell for all the reps every round except the very last.

Going into the workout I had no goal but to just go for it; to see how many rounds I could complete. That mindset is useful at times but it doesn’t set me up for success, it doesn’t inherently help me push myself, and it doesn’t set me up to be happy with the results no matter what happens. It doesn’t make me want to keep coming back for more, and is only a single thread in the web of strategic training.

Slater gave me one simple goal, thus completing all the criteria above: complete the first round unbroken and see how many more rounds I could complete unbroken after that, no matter how many rounds I got. I surprised myself and learned how this strategy could affect me in another workout. I was happy with how hard I pushed because one easily attainable goal gave me the confidence to smash it and see where my limits were set.

What happens when we set a goal for a certain number of rounds to complete in a workout and we don’t complete them? We are disappointed.

We set up that disappointment by giving ourselves a goal that we aren’t completely sure we can attain. We think we can get a certain number of rounds and if we don’t we say it’s because we aren’t good enough, that we suck, and that we’ll never be good enough. If we change the goal to something that is achievable based on prior experience you’ll feel much better about yourself, the workout, and you’ll be really excited to come back the next day and see what you can accomplish. I’m not saying your goal should be easy or that you should reach for low hanging fruit. Say you want to maintain sets of 5 unbroken chest to bars throughout the workout. This is a great micro goal because that number is below your max unbroken reps, it’s still enough to push you, and will become difficult to maintain.

It might change the outcome of the number of rounds you accomplish. If it was more, hell yea! If it was less, now you have data to use for the next workout. Now you know how doing that many chest to bars will affect other movements. You’ll be elated with achieving your micro goal and you’ll have strategy for next time. It’s always win/win. Set yourself up to never lose.

Now when I go into any training piece I always set micro goals for myself. I recommend starting with one but once you fall into the habit you’ll see you can add complementary micro goals that further connect your training web. Being the fastest every time or lifting the heaviest in every workout isn’t the only way to grow and it’s arguably the least effective way to become skillful. In fact, many times it’s better to slow down, focus on technique, and set a goal for yourself to stick to in a workout like maintaining a certain pace or a certain number of reps despite how you’re fatiguing. Watch those who always try to go the heaviest or try to be the fastest in a workout and eventually they won’t be lifting the heaviest or completing the most rounds. Those who choose to set micro goals, see the value in both wins and losses, and learn no matter what are the ones who will become the most successful.

Thank You

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Thank You
Written by: DCCF-er EA Duncan

I recently read an article with professional advice suggesting you write four thank you notes to close out the year. The article suggested you reach out to your referral sources, your ‘cheerleaders’ and people from whom you’ve sought advice this year. I loved this suggestion, because multiple times recently I have gotten a simple verbal “Thank you” from a colleague or client and it has absolutely changed my day (or week or more at times). In turn, I’ve commented a lot this year on the simple perfection that is a well timed Thank You. Last Sunday during DCCF yoga when we were told to bring our focus to gratitude it hit me…I don’t think this is what that article quite had in mind but:

Dear Derby City,

Thank you. After 5+ years I may not hit the social page to gush as often as I used to, but I should. You continue to be a bright spot in my day and an important aspect of my life. Sure, I could thank for all the grueling workouts and their physical results, but I want to go beyond that.

While I don’t think the professional article thought of a blanket thank you to an inanimate fitness space, I do credit professional success and focus to you. The routine and accountability I’ve found has made me a better adult and lawyer. The more consistent my routine at Derby City is, the more I feel grounded at work. Slamming weights helps with stress and yoga helps get me centered. And while I’m not a big fan of the concept of networking (because it seems sort of fake and implies a required quid pro quo), I have found myself seeking out and being sought out by members for all sorts of things. No one ever seems to mind bouncing ideas and venting about work to each other. Thank you for that outlet.

But most importantly, to me anyway, thank you for your endless source of friendships. This year alone I have gotten to be part of cross country travel and countless celebrations from weddings to birthdays, to the numerous baby showers to account for the recent boom in membership to the stroller gang. I would not know this wonderful group of people without this place. Beyond these deep friendships I’ve been lucky enough to find, there is a wonderful camaraderie in seeing all levels of gym friends out and about (shout out to my fellow coffee shop dwellers I see after Saturday WODs), down to spotting DCCF gear on a stranger and asking people when they joined and when they go or feeling a bond with someone with the bumper sticker. To anyone who has not embraced what this place has to offer outside of your 60 minute class time I encourage you to put yourself out there and try any of the many social events offered. Feeling a sense of belonging is a wonderful fringe benefit to your membership.

So, thank you, Derby City. You are a source for new friendships, my cheerleaders in every sense of the word, and a treasure trove of advice and support. Personally, I’m hoping for a New Year Same You.


Elizabeth Ann Duncan is an attorney by trade and an amateur CrossFit nerd by choice. She wouldn’t have made it to the top of Angels Landing in Zion National Park this year without the “loving encouragement” of her DCCF friends. She thinks 2018 is going to be a good year, in and out of the gym.

Top 12 DCCF Articles of 2017

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Top 12 DCCF Articles of 2017
A collection of our “most clicked” articles from the past year. This list is 12, instead of 10, because two recent articles just joined the list and we didn’t want to rob you of 10 articles which you might have missed earlier this year. And, we have a special bonus at the end!

12. Is the Comp Class Right for You?
There are a few questions you should ask yourself before you dive into the additional programming…

11. Thank You for the No-Rep
Thank you for holding me to the standard. Sure, I may see others getting by with a slightly less-strict standard, and maybe they beat my score as a result; but, I don’t care. I’m glad you held me to the rule. I want to know where I stand.

10. Nike Fanboy Bought Reebok Nano 7; World Didn’t End
One shoe is not better than any other. It’s all about your opinion.

9. Stop Changing Your Weights Mid-Workout
First round: Oh, man that was a little harder than expected. This is where the doubt and fear sets in. Second round: there’s no way I can finish this. Get to the third round of five: changing plates to a weight I know I can do. STOP.

8. Open Ourselves Up
Everyone keeps certain personal things to themselves. It’s not easy opening up about anxiety, apprehension, vulnerability, etc… but opening up at the gym allows us, your Derby City coaches, to help you be a better athlete.

7. Nutrition Isn’t Black & White
Nutrition isn’t black and white because our bodies aren’t black and white. They have lots of ways to accomplish the same purposes. What works for me, might not work for you.

6. 5 Things I Learned in 2017
Reflection is helpful for evolving, so we reflected on the year that was, in hopes of starting 2018 with a bang.

5. The Benefits of Bro-Pumping
Bro-pumping is the act of “pumping up” someone in the gym to give them the mental edge they need to do something they’ve never done before, didn’t think they could do, were scared to try, or simply never considered.

4. Supplements: What & Why
A breakdown of the supplements we have in-house and why you should consider taking them.

3. On Becoming a Morning Person
EA Duncan gives you tips for making the switch to morning workouts.

2. When Someone Quits
Obviously, we’ve had people quit over the years. It’s just gonna happen, but it still sucks, even if it’s because they’re moving or have to relocate for a new job. Our members are important to us. But there are others…

1. Don’t Take My Picture?
This article just came out a couple weeks ago and already shot to the top spot of our “Most Read” list for 2017. It’s a simple article and a quick read. Enjoy.

These are old articles (from 2016 or earlier) that are still getting a ton of clicks:

5. How to Not Rip on Pullups
Hand rips are cool and all, but if avoiding them is cooler, then consider me Miles Davis.

4. Women & CrossFit
Beautiful women are strong and powerful. They gauge their self-worth through accomplishments, not by the numbers on the bathroom scale.

3. Heart Rate Recovery: An easy way to track your fitness
You can use your heart rate monitor and your MyZone app to track how fast your heart SLOWS down after a workout, which is a proven method for objectively tracking your fitness.

2. Pregnancy & Weightlifting Belts
A bunch of information for moms-to-be about working out, including weightlifting belts, lower back issues, hormones, and intensity.

1. How to Cooldown After Your WOD
A simple article with a bunch of links discussing two important parts of cooling down: foam rolling & stretching.