Category Archives: Articles

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.

xxoo,
EA

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.

Bonus
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.

5 Things I Learned in 2017

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5 Things I Learned in 2017
Written by: Coach Slater

For some reason, I thought I should reflect on the past year to appreciate what I’ve learned and what’s changed in the life of Derby City. I figured this might help me/us set goals for the upcoming year. Reflecting means evolving, right? And, we’re always stressing the importance of personal evolution at Derby City, so I thought I should take some of my own medicine.

I’ll share some of the things I learned in 2017, but if you’re interested, I’d love to read in the comments what you’ve learned that has changed your approach this year. By sharing, we can all grow.

1. Connect
In 2017, I think we did a much better job connecting with people on a personal level. For example, we have a standard for our coaches to say to everyone as they walk in the gym (by name ideally). Sure, it’s just a small gesture, but I think it helps the entire community connect with each other when we’re hearing names more frequently. Hopefully, that translates into people taking the time to get to know each other more. After all, opening ourselves up can be very rewarding. For 2018, we’ve got some ideas on how to take personal accountability to greater levels, and it starts with us connecting with you better.

2. Ego is the Enemy
Social media seems full of people trying to showcase how much better their life is than reality. It’s disappointing to me when I see people advertising their life as more glamorous than it actually is, just to supplement their own ego. Instead, if their motivations were more sincere, I think things would work out better for them, and they’ll find success organically. As it relates to Derby City, I try *very* hard to make sure I don’t come off as something I’m not. I try to do things for the right reasons, which includes being of service to others here at Derby City, not just inflate my own ego as a business owner or a Coach. My dad has a simple signature line at the end of his emails, “Have a nice day and help others do the same.” I don’t know when he first added it, but I’ve always liked the simplicity of its message.

3. Simple Is Better
Speaking of simplicity, people have a tendency to get carried away with the latest trends and fads. And, as social media continues to become a contest of who can make simple things more complicated, I’ve been doing the opposite. It’s easier to be fit & healthy adults if we keep things simple. Work on our personal relationships, rest & recover, be mindful of ourselves & others, fuel ourselves well, move more often throughout our days/weeks/months, and smile. Simple is typically better.

4. Enjoy the Grind
Like everyone else, I’ve experienced a handful of stressful events this year; and, after coming out on the other side of these situations, I felt a little stronger. I try to put my nose to the grindstone and just keep working. Stress is going to happen, and often times, we can’t do shit about it but just keep moving forward. Luckily, my “job” is pretty damn fun, most of the time. Prior to Derby City, I worked a job for 15 years where I saw good ideas thwarted, good people leave out of frustration, bad people kept around for unknown reasons, … well, my point is, the job made it hard to enjoy “the grind”. Not everyone is lucky enough to do something they love, but they can take pride in their efforts; in the grind. Bring a positive attitude to what you’re doing and you’ll find that enjoyment.

5. Culture, Culture, Culture (We’re Not Trying to Become CrossFit-Walmart)
On the outside looking in, it appears other gyms are trying to become very systematic, to become like Walmart. They want their systems so dialed in that the place runs itself. But, when they go this route, I think they risk losing their personality. I don’t ever want Derby City to lose its personality of fun, social, quirky people who enjoy challenging themselves. So, while other gyms are trying to become faceless, we’re trying to create a culture where people genuinely cheer each other’s successes. Where people are comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Bonus: 2018 & Beyond
Lastly, here’s to hoping that I don’t forget these lessons throughout 2018, because a lot can change in a year! “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Don’t Take My Picture?

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Don’t Take My Picture?
Written by: Coach Slater

To those few, anonymous people out there in the gym… I know you don’t want your picture taken. I know. I really do. I don’t know why, and I don’t need to know why, but I’d like to tell you my perspective instead.

I wish you could see how impressive you look when you’re working out. I wish you’d appreciate that no one looks like their best “Senior Year” photo while working out. What I see is someone who’s busting their butt to better themselves. I merely want to show the rest of your family, work community, and non-Derby City friends how awesome you are and the cool shit you do on the reg.

I wish you trusted that I won’t post a supremely poor photo of you. I won’t use your photo if you look like a real asshole. If I accidentally capture you looking “unathletic”, I delete it. Eyes closed? Gone. 16 chins? Trash. Otherwise, I’m posting who you are. If you don’t like who you are in the photo, then you have a different demon you need to battle. Not the camera. Because what I see in that picture is someone who is inspiring. I’m just trying to share your amazing efforts with the community.

Maybe, like Coach Kelsi said, you’re too self-critical, so all you see are the negatives. Well, all I see when I post your picture is someone who is to be admired. End of story. I wouldn’t post your picture if I thought you looked like a piece of shit. I may be a dickhead sometimes, but let’s at least assume that I have enough human decency to not do that.

I’ll continue to skip you when I’ve got the camera out, but I want you to know that you look great out there on the gym floor. Busting your butt, sweating, pushing your limits, getting uncomfortable. If you can’t be proud of yourself, allow the camera to be proud for you. I’m proud of you. I know your classmates are proud of you. And, I guarantee your family and friends are proud of you, too.

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.

Shoes
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.

You Are a Kickass CrossFitter

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You Are a Kickass CrossFitter
Written by: Coach Kelsi

I am going to tell you why you are a kickass CrossFitter. In spite of all you have going on with family/job/school/life, you made time to put on your sneakers and walk through those gym doors. You willingly come to a gym that pushes you to perform uncomfortable, kick-you-in-the-face workouts; and you love it! You push through the pain and thoughts that there is no way you can keep going. You keep lifting, sprinting, jumping until you hear that clock tell you to stop. You are a hard working, bad-ass machine.

After workouts, and often while coaching, I hear members engage in a lot of negative self talk. “But I didn’t do it RX.” “But I failed the lift. I didn’t PR.” “I should have gone heavier.” “So and so didn’t have to scale but I did.” Sound familiar? Are you guilty of this? I will admit I am. Coming back after birthing a baby was a true punch to the face and ego. When I first came back to the gym, I found myself frequently making disparaging comments about myself and my performance. My negative self talk got to the point where I needed to make a choice; quit CrossFit and find something where I wasn’t beating myself up or change my attitude and perspective. I love CrossFit. I love the people, gym, workouts, the gasping for air at the end of a WOD and the feeling of accomplishment when you finish. My perspective had to change, I am a recreational exerciser and I am here because it is truly one of the best parts of my day.

I challenge all of you to applaud that you are here. Give yourself a pat on the back that you have chosen to be part of a minority group that pushes themselves to their mental and physical limits for FUN! And yes, maybe you could have pushed harder, lifted more or gone faster but good news; there is always another workout. You will have another chance tomorrow to be better and do better. You are a hard worker. You are strong. You are fast. You can do things today that seemed impossible a year ago. You make the choice everyday to do what is hard instead of taking the easier path. You are kickass.

How to Eat Healthy and Survive Thanksgiving

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How to Eat Healthy and Survive Thanksgiving
Written by: Coach Slater

Thanksgiving and food go hand in hand. This year, while being thankful for our families, friendships, and all of our other blessings, let’s also be thankful for a healthy body. Here are some tips on how you can enjoy Thanksgiving without feeling guilty at the end of the day.

Workout in the Morning
Start the day with exercise! Taking just 30min before your day gets too crazy can help you stay on track with your food. We’ve got a 9:30a & 10:30a class on Thursday, so come in and start the day right!

Make It Yourself
If there’s something you *really* want to enjoy, but know your family’s way of making it isn’t the healthiest, then offer to bring it instead. That way, you know what’s in it, and you’ll take some stress off the host. For instance, spice sweet potatoes with nutmeg and cinnamon rather than brown sugar. Prepare a few vegetable dishes, such as roasted Brussels sprouts, sautéed spinach and garlic, or an arugula salad. Use dried fruit for half the chocolate chips in cookies, or make some pumpkin or banana bread.

Game Plan the Menu
If you can’t make it yourself, then map out the things that are completely off-limits, and the things that are safe. Set boundaries and stick to them. If you’re tempted to overeat because you won’t see these dishes for another year, then put a plate of food in the fridge to enjoy tomorrow. It will taste better when you’re able to savor each bite, rather than stuffing extra bites into an already full stomach.

Protein and Veggies
When all else fails, make sure the majority of your meals consist of lean protein and vegetables. Not only are these choices healthier, but they’re also filling, which will decrease the temptation to choose the less healthy options.

Pace Yourself
It’s easier to overeat when you eat quickly. Slow down your eating and you’ll be surprised how full you get on less food. Enjoy the conversations around the table and put the fork down in between bites.

Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
Remember when your parents made you finish everything on your plate and eat grandma’s cranberry sauces even though you hated it? You’re an adult now. You can say no. Resist the peer pressure to overeat. Grandma will be just fine.

Drink Water
This will help curb your appetite and keep you well-hydrated, to minimize jet/travel lag. Try to avoid soda and alcohol because those calories add up quickly… Pint of beer = 150 calories, glass of wine = 200 calories, martini = 250 calories, margarita = 300-800 calories (depending how you make it), spiked eggnog = 400 calories.

Don’t Stress Out
Stressing out over food actually makes your body react worse to it. If you had a bad meal, eat better in the next one and get back on track. Don’t let one bad decision make you spiral out of control.

Keep Moving
Make a point to get up and move around every hour or so, even if it only includes some walking and stretching. Offer to walk the family dog. Challenge your younger cousins to a “death by burpees” contest. Staying active will keep you feeling good and burn off some extra calories.

Go the F*ck to Sleep
Holiday parties and family functions often result in late-nights and early-mornings. Sleep loss can make it harder to control your blood sugar, and when you’re sleep deprived, you’ll tend to eat more, and prefer high-fat, high-sugar food along the way. Aim for 7+ hours per night to guard against mindless eating.

Don’t Let Monday Ruin the Rest of Your Training Week

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Don’t Let Monday Ruin the Rest of Your Training Week
Written by: Coach Slater

If you’ve been here long enough, you’ve probably picked up on this trend: the gym is PACKED on Monday, yet strangely not so busy on Tuesday. Monday, it looks like we need to add another three wings to accommodate all the people. Tuesday, you’ve got more room around you than you know what to do with. Then, on Fridays, attendance nears the Monday levels.

Here’s a look at a few months of check-ins. You can see that certain classes have certain trends.

Notice how Monday has the largest attendance at virtually every class time? I don’t know exactly why this is happening, but what I fear is… people are coming in Monday, going super hard to “make up” for some poor lifestyle choices they made over the weekend (eating poorly, drinking a little too much, staying out too late), getting blown out as a result of not “easing” back into it, and then their Tuesday, Wednesday, Thurs…. hell, the entire rest of their week is ruined, until Friday when they’re like “I gotta get in a workout before the weekend”, and then the whole process begins again. My apologies for the run-on sentence. The point is: going too hard on a Monday is ruining their week.

So, if this hypothetical person is you, let me suggest something: Don’t Try to Make Up for Lost Training.

Don’t try to “make up” for your poor decisions from the weekend. Squeezing in extra intensity (or volume in the form of extracurricular running) is the quickest route to overtraining and injury. Four days of above-average workouts are better than three days consisting of one hard day and two mediocre days.

If you’re new to this fitness game, you’re trying to teach your body the “new normal” by attending frequently and consistently. When you’ve been mostly inactive for months or years, hitting the gym hard one day and then resting for three days means your body thinks it has no reason to change its normal procedures. It has no reason to adapt. But, you want it to… that’s the whole reason you joined here! So, consistent attendance is the key at the beginning.

On the other hand, you folks who have been consistently attending 4x and 5x/week for years, don’t stress if you need to miss some workouts. As a general rule, the fitter you are, the longer it will take your muscles turn to flub. Your physique doesn’t like change; it’s constantly trying to achieve homeostasis. So the longer you have been exercising (and the fitter you are), the more time it will take for your body to say, “Well, I guess we don’t need to build muscle any more.” Your normal is much different than the first person in this scenario.

Be consistent. Be humble. Be hungry. Then be impressed by your results.

Mental Tricks to Get Thru Tough Workouts

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Mental Tricks to Get Thru Tough Workouts
Written by: Coach Slater

Everyone knows the feeling of suffering and self-doubt during a really tough WOD. Those negative thoughts crawl in, sometimes before the WOD even starts:

“You’ll never finish under the time cap.”
“If you skip one or two reps, no one will notice.”
“Let’s do the sub-Life version. You won’t feel so much pain.”
“Just give up and it’s over. Right here and now, and the pain will end.”

We CrossFitters are especially prone to this kind of negative self-talk because our workouts can demand so much from us, both physically and mentally. But we can’t let them win.

Luckily, there are some pretty easy psychological tricks you can use to help yourself:

1. Control What You Can Control: Breath

You can’t control how heavy the weight is, but you can control how you’re breathing. Focusing on your breath can be calming when you feel anxious during (or especially before) a WOD. Concentrate on making your breathing regular, and adapt it to each movement. For example, on Wallballs, I like to inhale just before I catch the ball on the descent, holding it in as I hit the squat, then exhale as I’m driving up and releasing the ball. When rowing, I exhale as I drive back, quickly inhale & exhale as I return, then sneak in one more inhale at the catch, before exhaling again on the drive.

Focusing on controlling what you can control, namely your breathe, can have a dramatic effect on diminishing those negative thoughts during workouts.

2. Trick Your Brain by Refocusing Your Thinking

This trick is especially useful during longer workouts. When you feel exhausted and pain ridden, your brain concentrates on those aspects in your body, the acid in your legs, the heaviness of your arms, etc… What you have to do now is to distract your brain from these impulses by totally occupying it with something else. The easiest way to do that is by giving yourself a mental task to complete.

Personally, I recite every person’s first and last name in class. I’ve also heard that listing every capital city in the US works. Or, think of as many words as you can that contain two certain letters, like S and C for example. By doing so, you’re deliberately distracting your thinking from the source of pain. It sounds trivial, but this technique can help pass the time when things get tough and that clock seems to move at half-speed.

3. Be Inspired by Your Fellow CrossFitters

In CrossFit, we earn each others respect by going all out during a WOD. Personally, I’m typically more impressed by someone who pushed themselves and still got time-capped, rather than someone who went too light and breezed thru the WOD to finish first. Or, what about those people who do things that look impossible? Both sets of individuals are inspirational in their own way because they’re pushing it to their very own limits. If you find yourself feeling terrible during a WOD, thinking you can’t go on anymore, take a look around you. See anybody else quitting? No? Then you shouldn’t either. Be inspired by the other athletes here.

4. Adopt a Hero-Version of Yourself

Stole this idea from a book called SuperBetter, about gaming yourself for better performance. Basically, think of a hero you want to be, like Hulk, Wonder Woman, or Iron Man and use them to create your own secret identity. When you feel like you can’t go on anymore during a WOD, think of your secret identity as a mantra. Say to yourself something like “I am the mighty XXX and I will do everything to get stronger and slay the WOD-monster.”

Yes, this sounds silly, but by saying this to yourself, you’re programming your brain thru positive affirmation.

5. Accept Failure as a Part of the Process

Don’t be afraid to fail. First, remind yourself of the reason why you are doing CrossFit. Maybe it’s because you like the people here (they’re pretty cool), want to get fitter, or maybe you need it to counter depression and the stress you have in your life. Whatever your individual reason, we’re all united by the fact that we want to become better versions of ourselves.

To accomplish this, you have to push yourself to your limits and then exceed those limits during a WOD. That also means that you have to FIND your limits as well. These are the points, places, and times at which you fail. Failure to hit a certain weight, perform a specific number of reps, or finish a WOD within a time cap does not mean that you’ll never be able to do these things. It just means that you can’t do them right now. If you want to get better, hit those targets and improve, then you need to put in the work.

If you succeed at every WOD, you always PR with every lift, and you’re always first, then you simply aren’t pushing yourself hard enough. Failure is part of the process, and it makes it all the more rewarding when you finally hit that lift or WOD time you’ve been chasing!

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.