Today, I just wanted to put together a short and sweet guide on what you can expect whether you’re a member competing in our Intramural Open or you’re just looking to drop in for a place to get your Open workout on.Continue Reading
If you haven’t heard, the CrossFit Open is coming up (next week!). I’m really excited to kick things off and enjoy five weeks of loud cheers, PRs, “firsts,” and everything else the Open provides.
Since we’re only a week away from the first Open workout announcement, I thought it might be fun to reminisce about some of my favorite CrossFit Open moments at CrossFit Undeniable. There have been a ton of amazing moments, but here are a few that stick out to me when I think back.
I’m excited to watch all the amazing moments unfold for this upcoming CrossFit Open!Continue Reading
When athletes look back after a few months of working out at CrossFit Undeniable, it’s hard to deny the physical changes. They’re stronger, leaner, and faster.
For Chris, those physical changes are actually just a by-product of what brought him to CrossFit Undeniable in the first place. He came to CrossFit largely because he recognized the benefits physical activity could have on him emotionally:
I knew, at least for me, physical exercise was necessary for emotional growth. I could spend all day everyday alone and thinking of things that would never come into existence. I love books and learning which are great but could also mean that I spend an enormous amount of my time and energy in my head, disengaged and not present to the world around me.
CrossFit represented a way to get out of his head for an hour and put in some sweat equity. The workouts were already prescribed. All he had to do was show up and follow what the coach told him.
Well, if he was looking for a way to get out of his head, he sure got one during his first workout:
Looking back, I wonder if Kyle [the coach] makes up for his stature [he’s on the shorter side] by thinking up grueling and punishing workouts for newcomers because that night as a first timer we did something like (implied hyperbole because I don’t actually remember) five rounds of 20 wall balls and 200 meter runs. All I really know is that I vomited, a lot.
Here’s where many folks would walk away and never come back. Chris? This left him feeling excited:
I went home that night a little wobbly, but definitely excited to come back.
And come back he has. He’s made so many improvements since he first started at CrossFit Undeniable, crushing difficult workouts including Operation Red Wing.
I remember the elation I felt after finishing Operation Red Wing, which was above and beyond the hardest workout I’ve ever attempted. My time wasn’t impressive by any means, but just finishing a workout felt like that was an accomplishment that precipitated a few emotions.
Oh, and remember his goal coming in? To use physical activity as a way to get out of his head and feel more “in-sync” emotionally? Certainly achieved.
For me, I feel more aligned or consistent inside and out. Of course, there are physical changes, but I didn’t join the gym to get into shape. I joined the gym to stop thinking about the how to’s of life and to actually do something. I’m more engaged with kids. I’m more present with my wife. I’m more social with others. I’m calmer in most moments. I’m peaceful about the future. It’s only when I stop working out that I find my life a little more chaotic.
Sounds like a win to me!
Kudos Chris for all of the improvements you’ve made since joining CrossFit Undeniable. Thanks for being such an amazing part of our community! I know your calmness has rubbed off on more than a few folks!
We’ve talked about Dr. Jason Fung pretty extensively on this blog, particularly in our blog post around diabetes. He writes/lectures often on the impact of the modern diet (many snacks, increased sugar and refined grains, etc) on the diabesity epidemic plaguing our country.
In 2018, he gave a lecture at the CrossFit Health Conference in Madison, WI titled “Fasting as a Therapeutic Option for Weight Loss.” The actual talk covers so much more:
If you lived through the 1980s…you’d eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Nobody was eating snacks. Nobody was eating bedtime snacks. Nobody was chasing kids around between the halves of soccer games giving them juice and cookies.
…If you were hungry after school, you’d ask your mom for a snack, and she’d say, “No, you’re going to ruin your dinner.” And that was that. If you were hungry after dinner, she said, “You should’ve eaten more at dinner. That was it. There were no snacks.Dr. Jason Fung
It’s worth a listen!
Last Wednesday, we held a 9/11 Tribute WOD at CrossFit Undeniable. The workout was simple and straightforward:
343 Burpees for Time
The number 343 represents the 343 FDNY firefighters who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. While daunting, this number doesn’t even begin to take into account the full extent of the tragedy or the Law Enforcement Officers and EMS who also lost their lives, but it was our simple way of paying tribute.
Before the workout, we went around and shared stories of where we were on September 11, 2001 and what we remember from that day. Sadness, anger, and fear were some of the many emotions shared. Then, we got to work. While our workout was difficult, it will never be as difficult as losing a loved one or making the courageous choice to head into danger knowing you’re most certainly putting your life at risk.
Thank you to everyone that showed up to remember the 343 FDNY firefighters from 9/11/2001. We’ve made a donation of $475 to the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation to help in their mission:
Our mission is to honor and remember America’s fallen fire heroes, to provide resources to assist their families in rebuilding their lives, and work within the Fire Service Community to reduce firefighter deaths and injuries.
Rep your Undeniable pride during the upcoming 2020 Open with the 2020 CFU Open t-shirt/tank! Here’s how to get in on the pre-order before September 21st:
- We have samples of common sizes in the gym hanging up near the desk. Come in and give the shirts a try to make sure you get the right fit!
- When you’re ready to order, visit this page and select the appropriate options: https://crossfitundeniable.com/product/crossfit-open-2020-shirt-tank/
- During checkout, select “Local Pickup” as we’ll only be doing in-person deliver at the gym (no shipping this time).
That’s it! We’ll have the shirts before the Open kicks off on October 10th.
Two important notes:
- Since this is for a special event, we will only be doing pre-orders (no in-person sales). If you miss the pre-order, I’m sorry, but we won’t have other shirts available.
- Since we’re only doing pre-orders, we won’t be able to exchange sizes. Come in and try on the sample shirts to make sure you get the right size!
The 2020 CrossFit Open officially kicks off on Thursday, October 12th. If you’re having a feeling of déjà vu, don’t worry; you’re not going crazy! This is the second CrossFit Open in 2019; we actually had one back in February.
We’ll be introducing some new fun elements to make the 2020 CrossFit Open even better at CrossFit Undeniable. More on that in a minute! First, let’s talk about what the CrossFit Open is for those that might not have participated in the past.
One of the many things I love about CrossFit are the endless opportunities for self-improvement.
We see these opportunities not only in the gym, as there is almost always something we can improve on: strength, speed, power, gymnastics, coordination, or working on a higher-skill movement, but we also see them outside of the gym; how many of us know deep down that improving our quality & quantity of sleep, our nutrition, or our mindset will improve our overall quality of life?
There are also seemingly infinite skills to refine once you step into coaching. CrossFit offers a broad range of specialty courses and certifications through various seminars to help both coaches and athletes refine their craft, improve their knowledge, develop further skill sets, and get exposure to different areas of fitness that we may not see or work on each day. I’ve been lucky enough to take a handful of these courses, and each time I leave with a ton of valuable insight as to how to be a better coach, athlete, and surprisingly enough, a better communicator.
CrossFit has a few different levels of certification for general coaching. At the most basic level:
- Level-1 (L1), an introductory course to coaching and the CrossFit methodology
- Level-2 (L2), an intermediate course that builds on the concepts and movements introduced at the L1
- Level-3 (L3), more advanced development
- Level-4 (L4), which many would consider expert level (currently there are only around 75 L4 coaches in the United States, so you have to REALLY know your stuff!)
On July 20th & 21st, I took my L2 course up in Boulder at CrossFit Roots, as it’s been coming up on 5 years since I received my L1 in 2014.
For the L2, CrossFit.com describes this certification as:
…an opportunity for the trainer to refine their training skills over two days of classroom work, one-on-one training, and group sessions. Students should come prepared to be deeply engaged. Classroom sessions are discussion-based, and each student will lead individual and small-group sessions. Peers and instructors provide guidance and feedback throughout the weekend.via CrossFit.com
Personally, I would describe it as “very intense”!
Day 1 – Pretty Intimidating
Day 1 started promptly at 9AM. The course had 18 attendees, many from Colorado, and some out-of-towners (this always becomes very apparent once we start working out!).
There were three individuals from CrossFit HQ’s seminar staff; Becky Harsh (owner of CrossFit Beaver Menace in Castle Rock, CO), Cherie Chan (of Denver, CO, previous owner of CrossFit Verve), and Nicole Gordon (any old-school CrossFitters may remember her as the woman at the 2009 Games who smashed her finger with a sledgehammer). They all hold the L4 certification, and provided an incredibly expansive wealth of knowledge surrounding coaching, development, CrossFit, and overall fitness.
After a lecture on the foundational movements & effective training, Q&A, and some ice breakers, we broke out into small groups to teach the fundamental movements.
Teaching a bunch of people you’ve never met before is hard. Teaching a bunch of OTHER coaches, in front of people as knowledgeable as those on the seminar staff, is REALLY intimidating.
I normally feel quite proficient in my ability to coach others, but all of a sudden I felt completely out of my element, given the stakes; to be fair, everyone in my group expressed a similar sentiment, which definitely helped us work through our nerves, but it’s still very different than coaching in your home gym.
Getting feedback from not only our group members, but from the staff member facilitating, was a little scary — as coaches, we take pride in what we do, and we want to do it well; opening yourself up to feedback from others on your craft requires humility and vulnerability, which can be hard. After the initial nervousness got worked out, we all started to welcome the critique about what we could do to improve.
These sessions really forced us to think about not only WHAT we were saying, but how much we were saying it, and how utilizing different kinds of cues (verbal, visual, or tactile) can be beneficial, depending on the athlete. These breakout groups created a great environment to give & receive feedback, and was also a great way to learn from watching other coaches teach the same movement in their own style.
After our breakout groups, we reconvened for a lecture on common movement themes & identifying common faults, then we broke for lunch. After lunch, we went through one more teaching exercise to correct those common faults, and then it was time to workout! This gave us some time to see how a Level-4 coach structures, runs, and manages a large class, but was also a great opportunity to get our sweat on, AND receive some coaching ourselves (even coaches need coaching!).
We wrapped up the first day with a bit of a homework assignment: we were to pick one of the nine foundational movements of our choosing, and work on how to teach that movement perfectly, since we had more time to prepare, as well as time to internalize the feedback given to us.
Day 2 – Teaching Our Foundational Movement
Day 2 came, and while we were all excited to be back, we knew that there would be an exam at the end of the day. Apparently, no matter how old you get, or how confident you feel in your abilities, any kind of exam is still incredibly nerve wracking. With that hanging over our heads, I think that we all did our best to take in and absorb as much as we could throughout the day to feel prepared.
After a lecture on the day’s learning objectives, we broke out into new groups to go over our movement of choice; turns out my group ended up being 4 of the same 6 people I worked with the day before! They were all awesome, so no complaints from my end.
We were given 10 minutes each to teach our group our foundational movement. Our goal was to explain the movement, get people moving, make corrections, run an efficient class, demonstrate presence & attitude, and have scaling options available for those who needed them. For anyone who has never coached, or run a class, this is a LOT to think about, all while staying on your timeline, allotting for bathroom/water breaks, questions, etc.
In my opinion, this was one of the most valuable parts of the weekend, since we were given a small group that most accurately mimicked the feel of our every day, normal classes at home. We also were given specifics on what to improve on from the day before, and we knew each other a bit better, which helped! Even so, there were times when I felt incredibly self-conscious about every word coming out of my mouth, and felt myself overthinking my actions, but at the end of the day, we were all there to LEARN and to get better. The feedback and constructive criticism we received was invaluable to becoming better at coaching, and it was a great exercise in being comfortable with being uncomfortable.
After the group session, we got to observe Becky teach a group to see efficacy and efficiency at its finest. She did a phenomenal job at laying out the expectations & goal, explaining the movements, having some fun, staying on her timeline, and making sure she gave everyone in the group a correction. After observing, we dissected her practice a bit to determine what went well, where she could have improved, and gave us the opportunity to really deep-dive into recognizing the elements of effective coaching from a different point of view.
Lunch came and went, and then it was time to workout! On the first day of the certification, we did a longer class with a metcon triplet, where as day two was purely a lifting day. Nicole took us through the entire class, with the idea being how to structure classes with different goals and stimuli to ensure that every athlete walks away feeling like they got something out of the class. On this heavy day, we worked solely on strict press (one of the nine foundational movements), which also gave us a chance to give feedback to other participants.
After our workout, we had a rather lively lecture & discussion on programming! Cherie walked us through programming basics, and after taking us through some exercises on identifying good vs. bad programming, we got to take a shot at coming up with a week’s worth of workouts. This was an area I was really interested in learning more about, as this topic is the one I have the least experience with; it was really eye-opening to see the amount of work and the thought process that goes into creating a well-rounded strength & conditioning program.
Finally, at the end of day two, was the exam. Comprised of 40 questions total, it was tougher than I expected it to be, although a very fair assessment of the material and learning objectives. Once everyone was finished, we wrapped up with closing thoughts, some last minute Q&A, and, of course…the opportunity to take some photos!
I loved this seminar. It was challenging, intense, at times uncomfortable, but I walked away with a renewed love for coaching and CrossFit.
Being able to meet & connect with people like Becky, Cherie, and Nicole is incredible for me, as I’ve become familiar with these people throughout my time in CrossFit, and getting to learn from them was an amazing experience. CrossFit offers a ton of continuing education opportunities for its community, and at this point, I’ve attended four of them, and always leave wanting more.
If you’re ever given the opportunity to take one of their seminars, I highly recommend it!
When I’ve headed out for a morning walk this week, I’ve felt it. A small hint of fall is in the air! I can’t be the only one getting excited for football, tons of turkey, and pumpkin spiced everything.
This Fall/Winter will be a particularly special time at CrossFit Undeniable. Alongside our normal holiday events (Earn Your Turkey WOD, 9/11 Tribute WOD, Holiday White Elephant, etc), we’ll be hosting the 2020 CrossFit Open, which kicks off in October (more on that soon).
We’re making two small tweaks to our class schedule heading into next week, and we wanted to give you a heads up! These changes will be taking place starting the week of September 2nd.
First, we’ll be removing the 11:30AM and 6:30PM Sprint class from the schedule. While this was a terrific option for those pressed for time, we’ve found a much higher demand for our hour-long classes. We’ll still be offering the Sprint class programming as an option for those that want to come in and workout during open gym.
Second, we’re adding back in a 6:30PM hour-long CrossFit class. Now, we’ll have a 4:30PM, 5:30PM, and 6:30PM class option during the evening. That way, we’ll have an option for everyone, even those that might be working late, fighting traffic, or dealing with other obligations.
We’ll have our holiday hours for Labor Day, Monday September 2nd (Open Gym from 9AM-11AM and 4PM-6PM), but our new schedule will start on September 3rd. Triib is already updated!
Let us know if you have any feedback (email@example.com)!
Writing on Vice.com, Markham Heid details the “biggest mistake in modern medical history” – the dietary guidelines released in the 1980s villainizing fat and pushing for higher carbohydrate foods.
Heid highlights the surprisingly little amount of evidence supporting the low-fat, high-carb push and points to a recent report revealing that sugar industry lobbyists even funded research in the 1960s with the goal of linking fat and cholesterol to heart disease (and downplaying the role of sugar, obviously).
The whole article can be read here, and it’s worth the time.
Perhaps the best quote came from Robert Lustig, a neuroendocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco:
This advice [to avoid fat] allowed the food industry to go hog-wild promoting low-fat, carb-heavy packaged foods as ‘light’ or ‘healthy,’ and that’s been a disaster for public health.Robert Lustig, Neuroendocrinologist at University of California, San Francisco