4 Ways to Own Any Workout

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4 Ways to Own Any Workout
Written by: Coach Slater

If you’re new to Derby City, knowing how to tackle the day’s workout can help you be more successful faster. If you’re a grizzled veteran, with weathered hands callused by years of grit, creating better workout strategies can get you past that fitness plateau.

So, let’s look at four ways to own any workout:

Take Ownership of the Whiteboard
I like to look at the workout and ask myself, “How long should this take me?” I typically guesstimate the overall time by first estimating how many seconds it takes me to complete 1 rep of a particular movement in the workout, at that particular weight listed, while including typical rest time between reps. Do that for each movement in the workout, multiply those numbers by the total number of reps, and I’m beginning to get a ballpark time to shoot for. Based on the time you decide for yourself, you’ll know if this is a quick WOD (short, repeated bursts that require a lot of energy for each rep) or paced (longer, slower, more of a grind), and formulate a strategy from there.

Learn Your Speeds
Any workout longer than three minutes needs to be paced! Pacing is all about maximizing the value of a workout. Do you know what your 70% effort feels like? Can you feel your 20min metcon pace? Understanding your current exertion level is where I see a lot of people struggle. Mat Fraser has everything from an all-sprint to a three-hour pace, and he knows what all of those feel like.

You cannot approach every workout the same and expect to get better! Shorter workouts should hurt a lot more than longer ones. Back in my day, there was no pacing. We just attacked everything as hard as possible from the moment we heard 3, 2, 1, Go… and then tried to hang on. Turns out, that’s not really ideal all the time. You need to know a faster speed on your Wallballs, just as you need to know a slower speed with them. All Wallballs are not created equal. And if you *have* the same speed on your Wallballs, no matter what the workout is, you’re missing a chance to better yourself.

Focus On Your Weakness
Look at a workout and ask yourself, “Where do I expect to get in trouble?” You can do this one of two ways: a) generally and b) specifically.

A) From a wider, general perspective, maybe you expect the suck to hit in the 4th round of 5. But maybe, in the middle of the workout, you feel the suck hit in round 2? There’s a good chance you went out too fast. Duh. On the other hand, it’s possible that you make it thru all 5 rounds and never hit the wall. In that case, maybe you didn’t approach the workout with the right intensity. Maybe you’re a “pacer”, and you’re used to only going one speed, and struggle with shorter, powerful bursts. You should work at doing the opposite of what you’re used to doing. Simple, right?

B) From a narrower, more specific perspective, what if the WOD has a 15cal Bike, 12 Hang Power Cleans, and 9 Chest-to-Bars. Some may go casually thru first the two movements to be able to attack the C2B better, while a gymnast may push the bike harder knowing that they’ll kill the C2B easily regardless. So they wait to find out in round 4 or 5 that their strength (gymnastics) has now faded.

And what if you suck at everything? Scale it back to the point where you can crush it. Or, push to where your movement quality begins to fade. Or, scale the number of reps to exactly “one rep prior” where that movement usually falls apart (like chicken winging in a bar muscle-up).

Change the plan of attack based on your goals and what you’re trying to improve.

Plan for Pain
This part is arguably the most important thing for approaching a workout: preparing yourself for how bad it’s going to hurt when you get to a sticking point. Your brain has the ability to control you and will completely shut you down, if you let it. So if you think you can go as hard as possible, then go slow for a second, then go fast again, and slow again, you’re sorely mistaken. Establish a consistent pace and pay attention to it. Then, look to increase or decrease that pace as needed, but know that you WILL need to work at doing both. If you’re going the same pace all the same in all of your workouts, you’re leaving fitness growth on the table. A tip I use for helping my pace is focusing on my breath, using a rhythm of inhale-inhale-inhale-exhale.

Then, get your mind right for pain. No one ever got fitter by staying in their comfort zone. The most important part of being mentally prepared, is understanding exactly how you can be better by facing your fear. Know why you want to do this. Know you want to be better.

Derby City CrossFit Christmas List – 2017

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Derby City CrossFit Christmas List – 2017
Written by: Coach Slater

You asked your family for five very specific things last Christmas, and what did they get you? None of those things. “Oh, I wanted to get you something fun!” How about you get what I wanted IN THE FIRST PLACE!! Your family is fantastic, but there’s 0% chance they know which weightlifting belt you want or whether the new Nike DSX 2 is better than the upcoming Metcon 4. It’s on you to pickup what you really want; and, here’s a list of what you really want for Christmas.

NoBull Canvas Backpack
In past years, I’ve recommended the King Kong Gym Bag and the GoRuck GR2 Bag. But, this year, I’m recommending the NoBull Canvas Backpack. The King Kong bag is great, but I think it’s easier to carry a bag that’s built as a backpack. Plus, you look more like a normal human being, rather than a gym rat fiending for their next workout.

I’ve gotta give you four recommendations this year. I can no longer say that one type of fitness shoe is better than the other, because everyone’s kinda caught up now. Reebok has FINALLY gotten its shit together and designed a modern-looking shoe in the Nano 7 Weave. NoBull has some badass looking shoes, too. Nike is still crushing it, with the Metcon 4 due for release soon, and the lighter DSX 2. Any one of those is a remarkable upgrade from the Saucony’s you’ve been wearing here since you joined. Time for some new shoes.

Harbinger 5″ Foam Core Belt
I recommend this belt year after year because it’s simple, cheap, and it does the job. Anything bigger is overkill. Anything smaller isn’t effective. Get your own belt, learn to breathe INTO it, and watch your major lifts skyrocket. Let me repeat the second part of that sentence… learn to breathe INTO it. Done.

RPM Session 3.0 Jump Rope
I’ll repeat this until you’re sick of me saying it: if you’ve been at Derby City for over a year and you don’t own your own jump rope… What. Are. You. Even. Doing? Yes, we have jump ropes at Derby City, but they’re just here for those times when you forget yours at home. The steel handles of the RPM rope feel great in your hand during a sweaty workout, and their bushing mechanism means these things really whip. The plastic coated cables will last I-dont-even-know-how-long and come in various colors, including orange to match the gym. Hint hint.

MacroLife Macro Greens Superfood
Everyone tells you to eat more vegetables, but it’s hard. I get it. So, this recommendation isn’t replacing your need to eat more leafy greens, but a good greens-supplement can be helpful for those days when you don’t eat all the vegetables you should. There are a TON of options in this area, with various recommendations (here or here). You can’t go wrong with any of the options in those links, so I’m just suggesting you get one and take it daily. The MacroLife Greens I linked above are what I’m taking *currently*, but I switch these around every now and then. I plan to try Greens+ in the near future.

Jeans for Athletes
Normal jeans just don’t fit athletes very well. If there’s room for your butt, then the waist line is too big. Or, if there’s room for your quads, then it looks like you’re wearing drapes below your knees. Take a look at Fran Denim and Barbell Apparel for jeans that are designed with athletes in mind. They’re roomier where it counts, tight where you need it, but flexible so you can move. You’ve worked hard to build a better ass. Get some jeans that show it off.

Stance Socks
Tall socks are in, and Stance has some of coolest looking socks out there. I can’t begin to understand how socks became an important accessory in the CrossFit world, but they are. So, you can either get on board and get the most comfortable, highest-performing athletic sock out there, or you can stick with your old, white versions. I’m not telling you that getting better socks is going to add 50lbs to your back squat, but what have your white socks done for you lately besides get you mocked when you’re spotted in Kroger? “Oh, white socks and white shoes guy is out of bread at home? Real shocker there. Why don’t you check the shelves for your sense of dignity while you’re here?”

Fleo Shorts
I’m no expert in the female short game, but I hear great things about the Fleo brand. Supreme comfort and a bunch of fun designs to choose from. If you’re looking for crop pants, Lululemon is probably still the top dog, with Athleta offering a cheaper version, but also check out the pants from WOD Gear Athletic which are MUCH cheaper.

Why Showing Up Late Is Killing Your Fitness

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Why Showing Up Late Is Killing Your Fitness
Written by: Coach Evan

Oh great. Another article telling me I’m doing something wrong and how detrimental it is to my health.

Well, sorta, but not really. Let me preface this by saying we at Derby City CrossFit NEVER want to deter someone from coming to class. Showing up late is better than not coming at all and we don’t mind fast-forwarding you through the warmup. You won’t be able to hop right into the strength work without warming up, but we’ll make do. Whenever someone comes in late, they tend to go straight to the whiteboard to see what we’re doing, then they make eye contact with me and they look ashamed. Don’t worry. We welcome you to class. Just come straight to me and ask what to do. I’ve probably already thought of something for you to do to warm up the best you can with the time given. This isn’t about how showing up late is bad, it’s about how much better it could be if you didn’t.

If you ARE late, you’re missing a crucial part of class: the warmup. We have tailored the warmup specifically to the work being done that day. If we’re back squatting, we’re going to squat a lot to make sure your quads, hamstrings, and hips are warm and ready to fire. We’ll also get your glutes activating so your knees don’t cave in. If you’re absent for the warm up and jump in the strength work after only sitting on the bike for two minutes you won’t be able to perform like you would if you had hit the warmup.

Not only are you unable to get the right muscles warm for the strength work and the WOD, you lose the chance to improve your technique. You could progress in gymnastics or get a helpful cue for technique in one of the lifts we’re working on. One of the best opportunities to coach is during the warmup because you’re moving a much lighter load. This makes it a lot easier for us coaches to make corrections in technique. Being late might cause you to miss the golden nugget that fixes your rowing technique or that perfect cue that gets the bar into your hip during a snatch. What if during that warmup your coach finally helps you get kipping pullups? Think of what could be if you show up on time!

An essential piece of the beginning of class is the strategy and major technique points given to you by the coach. It might seem like we’re just up there talking to hear ourselves talk, but we’re trying to break things down for you. We’re giving you tools to attack the strength work and workout with purpose, which will make you a fitter person. These points could help you crush a workout or smash a PR.

We practice our introductions. We plan what we’re going to say beforehand so you get the most benefit. When you show up late for the 50th class in a row, the shortened version of my well-rehearsed spiel is unfortunately just not going to be as inspirational or educational. You’re missing out on a wealth of knowledge that comes from this part of class. These tips, tricks and cues add up, and over the course of a few months you could learn a lot about CrossFit if you soak in the intro and apply it to the work in class.

That’s what you miss if you’re late. Even if you’re on time, you miss out on taking advantage of warming up before the class warms up. We all have problem areas that need special attention. The best time for you to work on them is 5-10 minutes before class starts. Getting to class early allows you to get those shoulders loose so your front rack position is better. Imagine a class that is absent of me shouting, “hey, get those elbows up!” Wouldn’t that be nice? Maybe you need a little extra time to get your hips opened up so you can squat to full depth with no problem. If you came in early you could do that and then you’d never hear me yell, “Hey, squat lower!” which I’m sure would make you very happy.

Everyone knows the adage, “if you’re on time you’re late, if you’re early you’re on time.” We highly encourage you to adopt this for the gym but also every day life. Derby City CrossFit is dedicated to making us all fitter, but also better people. We care about your well-being, we care about you lifting heavier and faster and learning new skills. Best of all we can apply the skills we learn in the gym to any aspect of life. Come in early, move with purpose, become the best version of yourself.

Prioritizing Your Priorities

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Prioritizing Your Priorities
Written by: DCCF-er Phil Newton

You won’t make it very far in life without establishing some priorities. Some prioritization in life takes care of itself for you. Bills gotta get paid, so I better have a way to make money to pay them. I’ve got to survive, so I better eat, sleep, and breathe. But those priorities that life sorts for you very seldom contribute in a meaningful way to your happiness or your health. Here’s a few things I’d encourage you to consider when you evaluate your priorities you can control.

Know this before you venture further dear reader; THERE ARE NO JUDGEMENTS HERE. What you choose to make more important in regards to your fitness and your health are yours to make. Obviously, we all want the best for our friends and family here at Derby City, but we would never dream of regulating your life and impose our priorities upon you. (Although we may occasionally nudge you toward healthier habits out of pure love and genuine care.)


There’s really no debate that eating a healthier diet comprised of whole foods, with high nutritional value is miles above eating processed foods that line the supermarket shelves. Everyone has different nutrition needs, but a healthier diet trumps an unhealthy one 100 times out of 100. It’s a fact. Now what I’m about to say is going to probably throw you off a bit, so perk up those ears.


Here’s the catch! If you prioritize the desire for an inefficient diet over your goals of fitness or health, then the higher priority will ALWAYS win. On the scale of life you can’t stack the deck to one side and expect it to balance out. Just won’t happen. If that’s what makes you happy, then your priorities are in line, and you’re doing well. If you find yourself upset with your stagnation in fitness and you aren’t making the effort to tip the balance of your priority toward better nutrition, I’m afraid you won’t ever find the results that you are after. So maybe your priority isn’t to eat 100% clean, and gosh damn it, you want to have a Hi-Five donut for breakfast every morning. I guarantee that if you allow yourself that concession and still try to improve your diet in ways that you can maintain and remain dedicated to, you will improve.

A diet that is 80% effective you can stick to 100% of the time is always going to be better than a 100% effective diet that you can only stick to 20% of the time. Be honest with yourself, and you’ll see results.

Will it be as much as someone who weighs and measures their food, and eats a more strict regimented diet? Absolutely not. But that’s their priority to sacrifice the sweets for the result, and their priorities are not yours.


Here is another area where priorities are important, but I think every single member of Derby City has been guilty of this lack of forethought at least once in their tenure as a CrossFitter. We all want to hit that big lift, or do that sexy gymnastic movement to post on the net and soak up all that sweet sweet internet adoration. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. I’ll double tap that on Instagram all day long. There’s a conflict here however. In our pursuit of chasing down these goals and making the attainment of them our priority we lose focus on what should be most important. GETTING. BETTER. EVERY. DAMN. DAY.

Here’s a totally hypothetical situation that I’ve absolutely never seen in real life at the gym…

Athlete – “I want to get better at pullups.”
Coach – “Ok, glad to help! Here’s what we’ll do, let’s work on some progressions and build up that strength and get you some pullups!
Athlete – “Nope, I’m gonna go over here and kip on the bar for 45 minutes. SEE YA NERD.”

Eventually our imaginary athlete here may get pullups. But by prioritizing the end goal over the work that would get them there, they will never be as good at pullups as someone who did the very unsexy work of grinding through all those little movements to make the whole thing better.


How many times have you heard, “That looks so fun, but…” or “I wish I could, but…” or the old standby, “Oh I always wanted to do X, but…”. The part that follows the but doesn’t ever matter, because just like everything that follows a butt, it is either hot air or shit. How many times have you said something similar yourself?

By making a statement like that you are effectively giving priority to the negative thing that is preventing you from grabbing life by the horns. Sure, life may not hand you an easy way to go, but if something is truly important to you, and you REALLY have the desire to do it, how are you gonna let a silly three letter word like “but” get between you and your dream?

I challenge you to drop your “Buts” and try from time to time to evaluate your priorities. Not only in the gym, but life in general. You want that Icelandic vacation next summer? Well, what will you need to shuffle to make that work? Less dinners out? Sell some old junk in the garage you don’t need any more?

You control your priorities. Make them make you better.

How to Survive Test Week

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How to Survive Test Week
Written by: Coach Evan

We’re coming up on the end of our training cycle. For those of you who don’t know, our cycles are 8 weeks long starting with one week of testing new movements/lifts/workouts. This sets up the foundation of our strength work and conditioning work, which takes up the following 6 weeks. The 8th week is a retest, an exact copy of the first week to see how we’ve progressed. I hear often that test weeks produce anxiety for many athletes at Derby City CF. Here are some tips that will help you do well during the retest week and future test weeks.

1. Don’t change your routine. Your body is used to how and when you perform, and changing things will throw it off. We want to put ourselves in the prime conditions for testing. Unless your routine involves poor sleeping and eating habits, stick to the normal routine. If your routine does involve the above, maybe now isn’t the time for a big overhaul, but it’s time to start thinking about making those changes.

2. Don’t get hung up on a number or a time or certain number of rounds/reps. Our biggest obstacle is almost always our mind. Our bodies are capable of far more than our brains usually allow. Case in point, for a while I was stuck at a 295# back squat. 295 would be nice and smooth, 300 would be failure. Every time. Until Coach Slater loaded my bar for me one day without telling me what he was putting on. I proceeded to squat 305 and then 310, almost getting 315. I don’t suggest that kind of psychological trickery all the time, but the following is something I do almost every day.

3. Envision your lift. When it’s time for the big lift, tighten your belt, chalk up your hands, walk to the bar, look forward, and then close your eyes. See yourself performing the lift. Go over every minor detail. Feel how the bar feels, how the weight moves, how your muscles react. Imagine that perfect drive off the floor; the smoothest sweep into power position. Envision the perfect lift. You know what it looks like. You now know what it should feel like. Open your eyes, tighten down on the bar, and lift. No extra thinking, no pausing after getting ready, commit to the lift once you grab onto that bar. If you aren’t ready, or you screw up your pre-lift ritual, that’s ok. Start over and don’t go until it feels right.

4. It is not do or die. All that being said, don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Enjoy moving your body in ways it was meant to be moved. Enjoy expressing athleticism and beauty of movement. If you fail a lift, evaluate and try again. If you keep failing, you are not a failure. Testing requires our central nervous system to be in prime condition. Just because it’s test week doesn’t necessarily mean your body is ready for test week. If you do worse on a workout it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re less fit, especially if you put in the work. Not everything will be perfect, and life and training goes on. There will be better days. Enjoy those good days.

5. Last but not least, enjoy the air of competition and camaraderie! There’s nothing wrong with a shout of joy after hitting a PR. Ring that PR bell. Scream for your friends, encourage strangers, run and jump around. Have fun. What is all of this if it’s not fun? A boring class can be the difference between a PR and a failed lift. You can make that difference.

Test weeks can be stressful, but they can also be fun. Let’s be good accountability partners and make sure everyone shows up and let’s have an excellent week of fitness.

Derby City CrossFit Pro Tips, Part 1

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Derby City CrossFit Pro Tips, Part 1
Written by: Coach James

This article will focus on some small hints/tricks/pro tips that can and will make your experience at Derby City a little better and easier, especially for beginners. We have all seen that one person do something so simple and we just stop and think “that was so smart”. I am going to break it all down and let everyone in on these tricks and tips.

Walking the Bar into the J Hook

Have you noticed the black and clear plates on the J hooks? These are here to protect the J hooks and the rig. You do not have to be gentle with these. You have probably heard the coaches say at some point “just walk the bar straight in and set it down”. We tell you this so that you are not twisting under a heavy load. The J hooks should be set up so that you are able to walk the bar out and in, without having to come up on your toes or do something awkward. Walk the bar straight into the J hook and then set it down.

Unloading the Bar on the Ground

We all love to lift heavy, this can be deadlifts, cleans, snatches or any variation of the shoulder to overhead. What sucks is trying to strip the weight off after we are done. You think you look silly and maybe even feel frustrated fighting with the weights? There is one easy trick to fix this problem. Place a 5lb or 2.5lb plate on the floor and roll the first plate on the bar onto the plate you just placed on the ground. This will elevate the other plates off the floor so that you are able to remove the plates without having to fight with it. Once you have one side completely stripped of weight just stand the bar straight up to make a nice stack with the other side and simply remove the bar.

Clips & Jump Ropes During WODs

We have been in the middle of a WOD with barbell movements, and as we drop the bar, the clips will slowly start to slide out and the weight follows. (We all know we cannot lift a bar with uneven weights.) So we have to stop and push the weight back on and adjust the clips. One way to fix this problem is to turn the clips around and put them on backwards (like the picture above). This will cause the clips to be under tension and therefore harder for them to slide off saving you that valuable time during a WOD.

The second thing that will make WODs a little easier, is what you do with your jump rope once you are done. Most of us just throw it down and move onto the next movement. When we come back the rope is all knotted up and now you have to undo it and you are frustrated and it’s just a mess. A simple trick for this is to take that extra second to lay the rope out on the floor so that you are not wasting 10 seconds later trying to undo the knot. Another trick you can do is to hang the rope off the J hooks. Once you have finished the jump rope portion, simple hang the rope up for faster and easier access.

Make the Most of Your Time

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Make the Most of Your Time
Originally Posted on Gym Jones

DCCF Note: We were so impressed with this article that we felt it deserved to be reprinted in full, to make sure the Derby City family read it. It’s conclusion is dead-on with the message we strive to consistently deliver. Enjoy.

Time Isn’t an Excuse

Training can have a remarkable effect on all aspects of your life. Improving physical fitness will make you healthier and better able to cope with stress. You will look better and feel more confident. Your psychological being will be far better off. Training can help make you a better father or mother, a better husband or wife, and it can allow you to enjoy more of the things you love. And yet people still refuse to invest the necessary time.

Much of the training discussion focuses on training and nutrition, but one of the biggest obstacles people have when it comes to training is finding enough time. Time management seems to be the biggest determinant in a person’s success in any given training program.

The first question I always ask when it comes to writing someone a program is, “How much time can you commit each day and each week?” If you tell me you have twenty hours a week and you can train twice a day, I can write you the best program in the world. On the other hand, if you tell me you only have one hour to train each week and can only make the gym twice, my hands are tied. There’s no magic I can work at that point.

I’ve trained many different types of people with varying commitment levels. On average I am disappointed with the amount of time people are willing to commit. So I want to make one thing clear: time is not an excuse. The real issue is usually that a person isn’t dedicated enough or has poor time management skills.

Case in Point:

There are 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week, which totals 168 total hours. That is a lot of time to fit everything you need into your schedule. When I encounter a person who claims he or she doesn’t have enough time, we go through an exercise together. We examine where their time is going. Essentially, I perform an audit on their schedule.

I ask a person how many hours they spend at work in a week. For the purpose of this exercise I will assign seventy hours to work. That is a person who works fourteen hours a day, Monday to Friday.

Then I assign that person eight hours of sleep a night. I don’t ask them, I tell them, because at this point everyone says they can’t get that much sleep (which is entirely another issue I could address). That is a total of 56 hours of sleep in a week. The person now stands at 126 total hours used out of a possible 168.

Then I ask what the hell they do with the rest of their time. I remind them they have 42 hours left. They start shouting out things like, “I have to commute to work,” “I have to go grocery shopping,” “I need to spend time with my family.” I assign them values for these. I give them two hours a day for commuting time, which adds to ten hours for the five days of work. I give them three hours per week to grocery shop, and I give them twenty hours in quality time (without the phone or any outside distractions) to spend with their family per week. That brings their total to 159 hours.

They still have nine hours left to train. Usually the person gets the message by this point.

The funniest thing about this exercise is that most people who say they don’t have time to train don’t actually work seventy hours a week. They don’t sleep eight hours a night, don’t commute that far, and don’t spend that much quality time with their family. So they end up having a lot more than nine hours a week to train. Do you wonder where all their time goes? I have an idea: TV, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, text messages, screwing around, etc.

If you really believe that you can’t find enough time, then two issues need to be addressed. The first is time management and the second is your level of commitment and desire. I can’t help you with the latter. Commitment and desire must come from within. But hopefully I can help you with time management.

Be the Dentist

The first step in taking back your life and freeing up time is to take command of your schedule. Don’t let others plan your schedule for you. It’s your schedule and your life so you make the rules. Your time is the most precious commodity you have. It is the one thing that you can give and never get back. Treat it like it is important. Be dominant and make protecting your schedule your ultimate priority.

Force other people to work around your schedule. When you make appointments don’t ask, “When works for you?” and then get stuck in appointment that you don’t like or that wreaks havoc on your schedule. Tell them when you can make time for them. Start planning your schedule in a way that allows you to train. If you claim your training is important, then you will protect it. People always make time for things that are important to them, like their favorite television show or a night out with friends. Why not do it with training?

I know a businessman who routinely tells people he cannot meet with them between 11am and 1pm. He also tells his secretary not to take meetings during that time. When people ask, she politely says, “I’m sorry, there are already meetings booked during that time. Are there any other times that work for you?” People don’t need to know he is going to gym or doing other things. They respect the fact that he is unavailable and acquiesce to another time. Job done.

Think back to a time you called the dentist and attempted to make an appointment. You ask to make an appointment and the receptionist gives you a time. It’s usually a few weeks out at a time that works best for them. For argument’s sake, say they tell you November 11th at 10am. You say you cannot make 10am because you have to work. So she advises November 19th at 3pm. You say the same thing and tell her you work between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. So she suggests November 27th at 9am. Once again, it is on a weekday between 9am and 5pm.

So what do you do? You say you’ll take the first appointment and rearrange your schedule to make it work. Why do you do this? Because your teeth are important and you have to make time for them. The dentist isn’t going to come in at some time that doesn’t work for his or her schedule. The dentist isn’t going to come in at 6am on a Tuesday morning because you decided that works best for you. They will not skip their lunch or stay late for you. You are at their mercy. Learn from this.

When it comes to your schedule, be the dentist. You’re the boss, you make the decisions, you make the schedule.

Avoid Time Wasters

There are a few common time-wasters. I will address three here: commuting, people, and your cell phone.


If you have a long commute, do whatever you can to avoid getting stuck in traffic. Sitting in a traffic jam is dead time. Avoid busy times by leaving your home earlier in the morning and/or coming home later.

For example, I have a friend who lives in a busy urban center. If he leaves his home at 7am, he can barely make it to work by 9am. Sometimes he is late. If he leaves at 6:15am he gets there by 7am and has time left to train and shower at a local gym. At the end of the day he does the same. If he leaves at 5pm, he gets home at 7pm. If he leaves at 6:30pm, he gets home at 7:15pm (only 15 minutes later) and created an extra hour and a half in his schedule. He saved almost four hours in his day just by adjusting his commute times. That is a lot of time to accomplish your goals.

The Cell Phone:

Most people don’t have a concept of how much time they waste daily on their phone. So do me a favor. Every time you check your phone for a text message or social media update, do five burpees. You will learn fast how much of a time suck the phone can be. I bet most of you waste hours of time each day. The cell phone also makes your other tasks take much longer because it’s a distraction.

Have some self-control. Put the phone away sometimes. Don’t be so attached. Sounds easy enough, right?


You can’t be everything to everyone and you can’t give everything to everyone. There are people (you know the ones I am talking about) who enjoy talking your ear off, ask you for help when they don’t really need it, or show up late to appointments you have with them. Learn the power of saying “no.” Be kind, be nice, but know it is okay to protect your time. Time is precious. Spend it on those who deserve and respect it.

Be Creative With Your Training

If there is a time you really cannot get to the gym, then start to get creative with your training. Doing repetitions every hour on the hour can be powerful. How many push ups do you think you’ve done this year? 1,000? 2,000? More? Try doing ten push ups ten times throughout the day. You could do ten every hour or five every half hour. If you could accumulate 100 a day, you would accumulate 36,500 by the end of the year. Not bad, especially since it’s easy. It doesn’t take much to fit into your schedule and you won’t even break a sweat. You could do the same with squats, pull ups (if you have a bar in your house that hangs from the door frame), or lunges. It is incredible how this volume approach adds up.

Multitasking is another helpful tool. When you watch your favorite show or football on Sundays, do work during commercial breaks or every few minutes, rather than just sitting on your ass. I remember once watching The Lord of the Rings with my son. It’s one of his favorite movies. Do you know how many burpees, push ups, and lunges you can get done in a three-hour movie? It doesn’t take away from the movie. You could also have an exercise bike in the living room. I have routinely ridden a Fan Bike while watching some of my favorite shows. This is the kind of thing committed people do.


Just remember, time is a precious commodity. Protect it and respect it. We are all capable of making time for the things we love. Learn to make time for your training. It could change your life. You just have to want it.

Is the Comp Class Right for You?

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Is the Comp Class Right for You?
Written by: DCCF-er Phil Newton

As summer creeps in and everyone is on that mad dash to finalize that hot beach bod to show off on the ‘gram, I have had a few people ask me about the Comp Class and what it’s done for me. I’ve been doing the extra programming for a solid year now, and I can tell you, it pays off. With that being said; I can’t say that it’s right for you. There are a few questions you should ask yourself before you dive into the additional programming:

1. Are you going to the gym consistently? 4-5 days a week minimum?

If the answer to that question is no, then stop reading this article and get sweaty in a class! Doing more work on fewer days is not going to get you the results you want.

“Pfft, whatever Phil, I’m always up in there getting my fitness on.”

Well alright then chief, buuuuuuut…

2. Are you consistently hitting the workouts each day you train with high intensity?

You should be giving everything you have in the normal classes before adding additional programming. The class workouts are enough, if you have the desire to push yourself for the hour you are in the gym each day. Hit the sport weight, do the extra rounds, push yourself to do the difficult movements that you avoid. Give everything you have in class and you might just see that you don’t have the energy for extra work.

You may have seen a post I made on the DCCF Social Page during regionals about Max Bragg, the guy who made it to the East Regional and competed against Mat Fraser (You know who he is) and held his own. Well, he only did affiliate programming and look how far he got! Trust me, that dude is fitter than you.

You may be saying, “But Phil, obviously he’s a genetic freak with a job that supports his fitnessing!”

Well, you’re right, but before you think adding more work will get you where you want to be ask yourself this…

3. Is your nutrition dialed in?

If you’re eating a Whizzburger and a chocolate shake for dinner after you leave the gym every night, you’re not going to fuel yourself with the energy that you’ll need for high volume. I’m not saying you have to go strict paleo or get out the scale every time that you’re sitting down for lunch to weigh out if that extra bean sprout in your kale salad is gonna ruin your macros, but you should be mindful of the things you are putting into your body.

So, your nutrition is good, you’re hitting it with intensity, and you’re hitting it often. Surely that’s it, right? Au contraire…

4. Are. You. Recovering!?!?!

This is probably the most important step and it’s often the most overlooked. Are you taking the time to do mobility work outside of the class? Are you taking care of nagging injuries? Are you getting enough sleep? There’s a lot to consider about how much stress your putting your body through.

If you aren’t treating your time outside the gym as just as important to your training, you will see diminished results inside the gym.

If you’re nailing all the first four points, then I just have one last question for you.

5. Why?

This is a question that I ask when people say they need extra programming and almost always I get the same response.

“I want to get better/stronger/faster.” I support that decision 100%, that’s why we all show up in the first place. What you should think about is, why is this extra programming going to be the element that gets you there? Slater had a great article a while back about goals and habits that is really worth a read if you missed it.

So what goal will this extra programming help you achieve that would not be accomplished from the regular class? You want to work on additional skills under fatigue to help your chances in upcoming competitions? Yep, that’s a good reason. You want to get your bi’s and tri’s lookin’ sweet for the honeys out on the lake? A little less so. Be specific in your goals with the extra work, because it IS WORK.

The extra accessory pieces are tough, and if you aren’t ready to suffer, you’re not going to get anything out of them. But if you’re ready to sweat a lot, cry a little, and work hard; then I’ll see ya in there. I’ll be the guy almost throwing up coming off the assault bike.

Comp Class runs Mon, Tues, Wed at 5:30p & 6:30p; and Fri at 5:30p.


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CLICK BAIT! HERE’S HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT FAST!!!! -or- Why high intensity workouts are better for losing fat.
Written by: Coach Evan

You may have heard the idea that you burn more calories after a workout than during it. In theory, this is true. However, generally people view “burning calories” as actively doing work. How can we be burning calories if we’re not working? Technically, your body is constantly burning calories, but that’s a different conversation. What’s really happening is your body is doing more work to restore itself to a pre-exercise state.

When we jump into a super-intense workout, our bodies rely mostly on energy systems that don’t require oxygen, for a bit. Although these energy systems are super fast acting, they are REALLY inefficient. They can’t bear the brunt of the work load for long and eventually the energy systems that do require oxygen start taking over the majority of the work.

Because of how inefficient the first responder energy systems are, a lot of “damage” has been done to your body, especially because they don’t call it quits after the late responders show up and just keep plugging away. The more intense the exercise, the worse the damage.

Now let’s clear the air here and define “intensity”. Strictly speaking, in this situation, intensity refers to a percentage of your maximum power output. You may feel like an exercise or workout is intense, but that is really ambiguous and it could feel intense for so many different reasons. Here in this conversation, we have to be specific. The closer you are working towards your maximum capacity, for longer, the more damage is done to your body.

But this damage isn’t bad. It’s not permanent, or even that long lasting. Your body is good at clearing the rubble. It’s called recovery. Your body’s energy stores have been so depleted that your body turns to any readily available source of energy. This is where the fat loss comes in. Your body wants to get rid of excess fat. When we are resting and recovering, fat is the easiest energy source to use. So what better source to pull from to replace those energy stores? Now, not only is your body using the fat stores to run the normal show, as long as your diet is in check, it’s using even more fat, “burning more calories”, to replenish the stores and help rebuild and recover your body from that really intense workout.

“The high intensity workout doesn’t burn as many calories as a long, slow, steady workout. Wouldn’t it be better to do that long workout, not have to kill myself, and reap the benefits of the “afterburn”?” says the skeptic.

You’re right, you could sit on the rower or bike or go on a run for an hour and burn more calories during that time than you would in the 5-10 minute high intensity workout. But the “afterburn” from that low intensity workout doesn’t exist. You would have to spend an exorbitant amount of time running or rowing or biking to make up for the afterburn you experience at a near maximal effort workout for just 5 minutes.

High intensity workouts are the best form of exercise if you’re looking to lose fat. The more intense the workout, the better the results will be because of the afterburn, concurrent with the right kind of diet. The higher the intensity and the longer the duration, the longer the afterburn, meaning the time it takes your to body to fully recover will be longer, which means your body will be burning that excess fat even longer. Now, this doesn’t mean you won’t be recovered enough for your workout the next day, but it does mean that this debt that we create does build up over time and we eventually need prolonged rest, aka rest days. If you don’t give your body time to fully recover, you’ll begin to work at a lower intensity, even if it still feels intense, which screws up the whole process. Push the intensity, push the weights, feel the burn, lose the weight.