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CrossFitter of the Month – February 2017

Hey Friends!

Another quick month in the books and we get to highlight another of our amazing members!  For February we recognize someone who has been putting in the hard work – improving flexibility, as well as strength, two of the things that are often hardest to come by.  We’re lucky to have February’s CrossFitter of the month…

Name:  Lea Britt

Age: 26

Occupation: Associate Lawyer, Lacroix Lawyers/Avocats

What was your exercise experience prior to crossfit?

I played a lot of sports as a kid, and throughout high school including flag football, hockey and softball. I started running regularly in university and have done road races and a number of obstacle course runs including Tough Mudder. I have also tried other sports including boxing and muay thai kickboxing.

How long have you been doing crossfit and why do you choose to crossfit?

I graduated from fundamentals in December of 2015 and have been crossfitting ever since. I decided to start crossfit in the fall of 2015 after a number of changes in my life, including moving back to Sudbury after law school. I decided I wanted to find something different in order to achieve my health goals as I was not really seeing the progress or satisfaction from working out that I wanted. I knew a couple of members at Crossfit Sudbury who really enjoyed it and decided to see what it was like. Since starting I find that doing crossfit regularly has benefited me not only physically but also helped with the high stress levels that come from my job. If I have a really stressful or long day at work crossfiting afterwards makes me feel calmer and much happier!

What is your favourite part about CrossFit?

The people! I love working out and seeing the progress that I have made but I am not sure I would be as motivated if I was working out alone or the atmosphere was different. I have tried different group type classes/memberships and have not really felt any type of connection to those places in the same way I do at CrossFit Sudbury.  

What are the accomplishments you are proud of? (CrossFit or non-CrossFit related)

Non-CrossFit:  Becoming a lawyer in June of 2015. It took seven years of school and a year of articling to do it. I am also very proud of the amount of travelling that I have achieved so far, including completing two university exchanges in Ireland and the Netherlands.

CrossFit: Handstands and toes to bar are probably the movements I am most proud of achieving. I have no gymnastic background and have had to consistently work at progressing with those movements in order to see results. I am also very happy with the progress that I have made with weightlifting more regularly, as there is something very satisfying about being able to lift heavy weights. More recently, I was very proud of myself for being able to do 17.1 rx, as that was one of my goals for the 2017 Open, and I think reflects progress in how willing I am to push myself when I could easily not have.

Favourite workout or lift?

Lift: Clean and Jerk, my lifts are not always pretty but when I hit everything right it feels great.  

Workout: Depends on the day but anything that doesn’t contain rowing I like.

Anything else you would like to share please feel free ☺   

Everyone at the gym is always so friendly and supportive, which was particularly nice when I could only remember a couple of names. There is always a coach around to offer advice on something I am practicing and a high five waiting after a workout. Thank you for all of the support and for pushing me when I am not pushing myself as hard as I could.

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CrossFitter of the Month – December 2016

Hey Friends!

It’s time to give a virtual high five and/or hug to one of our wicked members! (yessssss).  This month we’re recognizing a real CFSuds OG (original gangster).  This person signed up despite their first exposure to the gym being visiting our tiny garage gym and encountering Drew and I doing some terrible WOD, sweating and struggling to breathe and a quick, “I’ll be with you in a minute!” hahaha.

Tonnes of high fives, smiles, social events, competitions and PRs later, we’re happy and proud to recognize Decembers “CrossFitter of the Month”…

Kristen!  Thanks so much for being an amazing member (and friend!)

Here are her answers to our questions!

Name: Kristen Pichette

Age: 33

Occupation: Teacher

What was your exercise experience prior to CrossFit?

I played recreational sports as a child and into my teens and early 20s. Once I finished university and began working, I joined a gym and attempted to get there a couple of times a week – some weeks I was successful and many weeks I was not. I found it very difficult to workout indoors using equipment after playing sports for so long.

How long have you been doing CrossFit and why do you choose to CrossFit?

I’ve been doing CrossFit since CrossFit Sudbury was at the old gym on Regent Street (5 years?). I choose to do CrossFit because I love the community. It reminds me of what I enjoyed so much about playing sports (the social aspect!). I enjoy having a different workout and lift every day – the variety keeps it interesting and the community of wonderful people keeps me motivated. I also appreciate that the workouts and movements can be so easily modified to make sure that I am always getting a great workout that is safe but still challenging.

What is your favourite part about CrossFit?

My favourite part about CrossFit is the people at CrossFit Sudbury. Hands down. My next favourite thing would be the variety in workouts. I love that there is something different to work on every time I come in.

What are the accomplishments you are proud of? (CrossFit or non-CrossFit related)

Non-CrossFit: I am most proud of my marriage (a recent development!) and of my relationship with Eric. I am also super proud of my career as a Teacher and of the growth I see everyday in my students.

CrossFit: Most recently I have been very proud of my Olympic Weightlifting. I joined Weightlifting Club in the fall and completed 2 cycles. When I hit that 100.5# snatch I was so pumped!

Favourite workout or lift?

Right now I would have to say my favourite lift is either the Snatch or Clean & Jerk. My favourite workout has always been Helen.

Anything else you would like to share please feel free 🙂    

I would like to thank all of the coaches for always being so supportive and encouraging. Every one of you is just as excited for every PR and every accomplishment as we are. Thank you for always pushing us further than we thought we could go. To Adam and Kristin, thank you for building such an amazing community of people. I’m so grateful to call you both very dear friends.

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CrossFitter of the Month – April 2016

Hey Friends!

This month we’re recognizing someone who has been working hard, being smart, having fun, and dabbling in the morning, afternoon and evening classes.  This person has been inspiring others in the gym for a while, whether it’s through their desire to improve their technique on the lifts/gymnastics movements, or to remain healthy through set backs, or to maintain a positive attitude through interruptions.  We’re all proud and excited to name April’s CrossFitter of the Month as….

 

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Brittney!  Thanks for being awesome and always bringing such a great attitude to the gym with you (and Easton, who has a knack for improving everyone’s day too!)

Name: Brittney Ramakko

Age: 30

Occupation: Client Service Coordinator for the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers

What was your exercise experience prior to crossfit?

I grew up on a lake, so I did lots of swimming, kayaking and water sports. About 8 years ago I joined Goodlife and fell in love with running (10k was my specialty). Soon afterwards I met Alicia and discovered she was as crazy as I am about workouts, and we were signing up for races together and attending our regular Body Attack classes at Goodlife.

How long have you been doing crossfit and why do you choose to crossfit?

After yet another 6am class had been canceled at Goodlife, I started looking around for another gym that had early morning classes. I came across an article about crossfit on the internet so I opened my browser and typed in “crossfit sudbury”. I signed up for an introductory session and was hooked immediately. Now I’ve been doing crossfit for about a year and a half.

What is your favorite part about crossfit?

I love the atmosphere as soon as you walk in, everyone is so friendly, upbeat and encouraging. I love the motivation provided by others, and that people will actually stop their workouts and encourage you to reach a milestone. I found when I was doing a lot of long distance running it was getting very boring, lonely and time consuming. Now I can show up at the gym and workout in half the time and continue to get fitter (and have WAY more fun).

What are the accomplishments you are proud of? (Crossfit or non crossfit related)

Outside of crossfit my greatest accomplishment would be my little boy, Easton, I couldn’t even imagine life without my little coach beside me. Crossfit wise I am most proud of myself when I push past my comfort zone or lift anything after I psych myself out thinking that something is too heavy. The confidence boost you get afterwards is worth it.

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Favorite workout or lift?

My favorite lift right now would be the snatch, I also really like the longer workouts and I love Murph.

Anything else you would like to share please feel free     

big thanks to Adam and Kristin for operating such an amazing facility, also to all the coaches for your time, patience and encouragement . I have to give a shout out to the 6am crew who were so welcoming, you guys are- as Beau would say-the best. Lastly to all the coaches and member who have made coming back to the gym with a baby so easy. I really appreciate it when I’m busy with a workout or go running outside and I know that if Easton fusses there is someone there to help me out because despite what James says-he does cry.

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Yin/Restorative Yoga Cycle with Coach Lisa!

​What is it?

A 6 week yoga series, based in Yin and Restorative Yoga!  Yin yoga is a series of long held poses that allows us to get into the connective tissues opposed to more active styles of yoga which uses muscle energy. We'll incorporate some restorative yoga poses as well just to help us wind down into complete relaxation.

​When is it happening?

It'll be held on Wednesday's at 8pm (beginning May 11th).  $50+tax

What is the fee?​

$50 + hst​

How do I sign up???​

Contact us though the form below or let us know when you're in the gym!  

Better hurry as spaces are limited!​

Sign up today!

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CrossFitter of the Month – March 2016

Hey Friends!

That month flew by, right?  BUT, as sad as it is that time seems to accelerate as we age, we DO get to celebrate another awesome member!  This month we recognize someone who I’d say “flies under the radar” a little.  This person has the exactly correct attitude towards the goal of fitness for life, and not pushing into any poor positions just to lift a couple extra pounds.  This month we recognize…

Anya and I-1

Thanks Brad, for bringing awesome energy and a great attitude to the gym.  You’re a pleasure to coach, and we’re stoked to see where your fitness gets to over the years!  Here are Brad’s answers to our questions! 🙂

Name: Brad Wright

Age: 29

Occupation: Senior Technician (SRK Consulting)

What was your exercise experience prior to crossfit?

I was active in many sports when I was younger, mostly hockey, soccer, basketball, and golf. During my college years I was your typical gym rat that tried to lift heavy things with zero thoughts about joint stability or overall flexibility. After college physical fitness was off and on endeavour with work / family taking priority.

How long have you been doing crossfit and why do you choose to crossfit?

I have been doing crossfit for 9 months and it has been great! After working away from home for several years (Manitoba, Saskatchewan) I was fortunate to find employment closer to home (I live on Manitoulin Island). I looked at all kinds things to keep me occupied during the week and thought it would be fun to try crossfit. I was used to the regular gym atmosphere and wanted something that I would commit to and was challenging!

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What is your favourite part about CrossFit?

Varied and challenging exercises, awesome coaches answering my silly questions, great atmosphere and supportive group to work out with. I feel stronger, more flexible, and my overall health has improved! CrossFit is like nothing else I have experienced!

What are the accomplishments you are proud of? (CrossFit or non CrossFit related)

CrossFit – With my challenged shoulders an overhead squat with plastic pipe (the first day I did that it might as well have been 300 lbs). Also nice to notice my cardio improving and being able to keep up somewhat with the WOD’s. I still remember the first exercise I had with Adam..it involved a medicine ball and running. Did not end well…So great to see improvements in all areas of my fitness!

Non Crossfit – Proud husband to my very supportive and beautiful wife. Proud father to my beautiful little girl! Proud to reside on Manitoulin Island!

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Favorite workout or lift?

Anything that is challenging but snatches are very difficult for me. I look forward to the days with the movements I struggle with and I look forward to the day when I somewhat master them. I prefer the longer workouts so I can settle into them. Burpees are evil (Had to add that)

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Anything else you would like to share please feel free

Thank you to Adam and Kristin for operating such an awesome place! Thanks to all my fellow crossfitters for the words of encouragement / high fives. But most of all thanks to the great coaches for their knowledge and again words of encouragement / high fives! See you around the gym!

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CrossFitter of the Month – February 2016

Hey Friends!

It’s that time!  We’re going to showcase another of our awesome members.  This particular person was one of the first people I met in Sudbury, and one of the first people to ever train with me.  He’s been a mainstay at the 6am class and manages to make it in 3-5 days a week while also helping to raise 2 small kids.  This person has worked through set backs and even crushed the recent Whole Life Challenge.  For February, we get to recognize a good friend and great guy in general…

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Andrew!

Here are his answers to our questions!

Name: Andrew Ilves

Age: 34

Occupation: Sr. Project Engineer at Vale

What was your exercise experience prior to crossfit?

Growing up, and to this day, I have always been the type of person that is always on the move. I have been involved in many different sports my entire life: AAA hockey, competitive soccer, squash, tennis, basketball…pretty much every sport I could get my hands on while growing up, through university and into ‘real life’.

After moving back to Sudbury in 2008, I was looking for a new challenge so I ended up joining a competitive dragon boat team (Team Chiro). This is a team that had just placed 2nd in the World Club Crew championships right before I joined, so I knew I had my work cut out for me. I also met some great people including Beau (who I knew from our hockey days), Amy, Marty and Crystal.

My days at ‘Globo Gym’ started somewhere at the beginning of high school as I was trying to add some strength for my budding hockey career (which obviously fell a little short of the NHL). Since then I went from one gym to the next, doing pretty much the same thing for half of my life. I even found myself as a spin instructor at Goodlife for a little while. During all that time, it was hard to keep motivated and committed since, like most of you would agree I’m sure, it is just boring!

How long have you been doing crossfit and why do you choose to crossfit?

I have been doing crossfit now for more than two years. I initially started crossfit because I was looking for that next challenge and for something to keep me motivated.   I actually went out for a few of the old school Queen’s Athletic Field WODs before the first gym opened.   It also didn’t hurt that I happen to know the two awesome people who opened CFS, so I was reminded about the gym every time I saw Kristin and Adam.

Once Beau joined the gym though, I knew I couldn’t procrastinate any longer and took the plunge (I knew he wouldn’t stop bugging me until I joined anyway). I think that Crossfit is perfect for my personality as I like seeing how far I can push myself, and then push a little further. It is the challenge I have been looking for!

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What is your favorite part about crossfit?

As most people who have answered these questions ahead of me have already said, the community and family feel to the gym is the best part!   I always have that motivation to get my ass out of bed at 5am because I know that the rest of the 6am crew is doing the same. We have a great group in the morning who are not only extremely hard working and dedicated, but they’re also a lot of fun and just fantastic people!

I’m also a big fan of the coaching atmosphere in Crossift. Growing up in competitive sports, I’m used to having a coach provide guidance, pointing out the things I’m doing right/wrong, and pushing me when I want to stop. We have great coaches at CFS, who also happen to have the patience required to put up with our 6am shenanigans, and they really make the gym what it is.

What are the accomplishments you are proud of? (Crossfit or non crossfit related)

Like any father, I’m most proud of my growing family! I have an amazing wife (Krista – who I keep bugging to come out and join the gym because I know she would love it), and two incredible children – Brooke (3) and Jaaks (1). Everything I do is for them, and that includes keeping as fit and healthy as possible. I’m in the best shape of my life, and seem to keep getting fitter as I age (I guess another thing I’m proud of), and I owe a huge part of that to CFS.

I’m also proud of myself for working through the shoulder injury that plagued me for most of 2015. It wasn’t easy staying motivated and focused knowing that I couldn’t do anything overhead, anything that involved pushing…I pretty much felt like I couldn’t do anything! If there is ever a WOD consisting of deadlifts, ring rows and mountain climbers, I would be all over that one! haha DSC_2956

Favorite workout or lift?

My favorite lifts would have to be cleans and deadlifts. The only good thing about my shoulder injury is that both of these lifts improved quite a bit for me last year since they were the only ones I could really do! As for workouts, I enjoy the ‘Girl’ and ‘Hero’ WODs as they are typically very tough mentally, which forces me to push myself out of my comfort zone.

Anything else you would like to share please feel free

Thanks to Kristin and Adam for opening the gym and giving all of us like-minded people a place to get together and punish ourselves! Thanks to all of the coaches, you bring a wealth of knowledge and keep us motivated (and of course, put up with us first thing in the morning). A big shout out to the 6am crew, you guys kick ass and keep me pushing to improve! And finally, thanks to everyone at CFS. I haven’t met everyone yet since I’m a morning, or occasional noon, person, but it’s easy to see from the events, get-togethers, pictures, etc. that we have an awesome community that I know will keep growing.

 

Thanks for being an awesome part of the community Andrew!  We’re lucky to have you!

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Context Coaching – AKA How to best approach the WOD

Hey Friends!

We’re looking at adding a little reminder to each WOD for the best way to approach it.  What does that mean, and why does it matter?  Keep reading to find out more 😉

When most people start CrossFit (myself included), they intuitively assume that the best way to approach every WOD is to attack it with everything they have (Ever watch someone give “70%” on a Ball Run on day one?) – then after a little while, they hopefully learn that strategizing is good, and pacing slowly gets learned as well.  But when is the best time to pace?  When is a good time to rest, strategically?  When should you go WAY TOO FAST?  That’s what we’re aiming to help you with moving forward.

That being said, I don’t really want to write a huge blurb trying to strategize for you before every WOD, because it isn’t really possible.  It’s like approaching a partner workout and saying, “ok so there are 50 thrusters at 135.  I’ll do 25 straight and then you do 25 straight then we’ll be done” – Sounds awesome in writing…

So we’re going to try to be smart about it all – We’re going to provide context to each workout.  That way, you know to approach certain things with the beginner mindset, and others with a more calculated plan, and others still to steel your mind and prepare for the “little hater” inside your head before he or she makes their appearance (likely, during burpees, or wall balls, or thrusters, or halfway through a 1RM front squat, wink wink).  You’ll see this as the “Context” box above the WOD.  So let’s dig into them a little deeper:

“Practice” (60% of the time)

  • “We’re talkin’ bout practice!”
  • This is when you should be striving for perfect form, attempting the more complex version of things, and appreciating “the process” to building strength, skill, etc.
  • This doesn’t mean you aren’t trying hard – it just means you’re putting in a good effort without wrecking yourself.  You don’t drive your car with the pedal on the ground ALL the time (I hope), right?

“Competition” (30% of the time)

  • “Get after it!”
  • This is when you might game things a bit, like expecting to get more box jumps than push presses during fight gone bad, or purposely kicking off the wall before you start failing handstand push ups in a WOD.  This should ultimately lead to a higher power output all together and is a good time to try to improve on old scores or find the edge in a workout.

“Mental Toughness” (10% of the time)

  • “It builds character”
  • This is what you need when maxing out a lift, grinding through big sets in a chipper, or working to PR your 500m Row time.  These are rare, because they require going to that dark place, and then smiling and digging yourself out of that hole!
  • As you can imagine, these should be few and far between because you can’t max out all the time (unless you’re Bulgarian, apparently) or give 100% on every WOD without taking on a certain amount of mental/emotional strife.  So pick those battles wisely 🙂

When you see them on the WOD post or Whiteboard – you’ll just see, “Context:  Practice”, for example.  It’ll let you know what type of mindset might be best when approaching the workout.  The ultimate goal with all this?  To keep you interested, inspired and able to train each and every day, as well as continuously seeing progress, not just for the next 6 weeks, but for the next 6 years (or decades!)  THAT’s a real goal.  Let me know if you have any questions/concerns about it all!

The idea belongs to Kenny Kane – owner of CrossFit LA – He’s been getting people fit for a little while and has some awesome ideas.  You can look him up on google if you’d like – he was on barbell shrugged and has his own stuff going on too.  He and JJ worked together to add the context coaching template into the programming we use.

Here’s the video.  If you can handle the terrible jokes and annoying input from the people that aren’t Kenny, then you are a strong individual.  I have it set to auto-fast forward a good spot in the podcast to listen to.  Don’t feel obliged to watch it if you don’t want to.

Stay Healthy, Friends!
Adam

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CrossFitter of the Month – December 2015

Hey Friends!

It’s that time!  We get to highlight one of our awesome members again – Yessssss!

This month we wanted to pick someone for their exceptional positivity, consistency and willingness to attack every workout, lift and goal with the same smile we’re all used to seeing now.  This person makes it in to train consistently, despite having a very inconsistent schedule and numerous commitments outside the gym – We’re super lucky to have them.  Our CrossFitter of the month is…

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Katie!  Thanks so much for being awesome – keep crushing extreme in your awesome shoes 😉

Name: Katie Condratto

Age: 30

Occupation: Emergency Services Dispatcher

What was your exercise experience prior to crossfit?

I used to work out at the YMCA on my own but found I wasn’t really seeing any results nor was I really putting in any actual effort. I stopped going after a while and my lifestyle became quite sedentary and I ended up gaining a lot of weight. I ended up joining a local kickboxing club and continued to do that for four years. The atmosphere was fun, it was a great stress reliever and it helped me get back into shape. However when I started a new job at the beginning of 2013, my hectic schedule didn’t allow me to attend as often and eventually I stopped going. I started working out on my own afterwards but it wasn’t enough to keep me in shape and I fell off the bandwagon again.

How long have you been doing crossfit and why do you choose to crossfit?

I’ve been doing crossfit for almost two years now and I haven’t looked back! I was interested in joining for about two years before I finally signed up. A friend of mine told me about it when we both signed up for our first Tough Mudder back in 2012. When I looked up “What is Crossfit?” on YouTube and saw the videos, I knew I had to try it! I chose to keep going with it because it’s like nothing I’ve ever done before. It’s by far the most challenging and rewarding type of workout and that’s what keeps me coming back every day! But the real reason I keep coming back is because I love my nanos and custom oly shoes so it gives me an excuse to wear them! haha

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What is your favorite part about crossfit?

I love everything about Crossfit! I’ve never met such an awesome group of people who encourage each other through every step of the way. It definitely helps hearing a “Keep going, you’re at the homestretch, you’re almost there” during a difficult workout (I’m getting flashbacks of Lumberjack 20 & Murph right now!). I also love that the workouts are different and challenging each time as it keeps me interested in coming back. Another favourite part of crossfit is finally reaching one of your goals. It’s always fun working towards getting that first strict pull up or unbroken toes to bar because you know all the hard work that was put in prior to leading up to it.

What are the accomplishments you are proud of? (Crossfit or non crossfit related)

I think I’d have to say I’m proud my attitude towards crossfit has completely changed from when I first signed up in May 2014 to now. When Adam was going through my fundamentals with me, my first exercise had me doing a 400m run with a medicine ball. I didn’t realize how out of shape I was and I was very close to ditching the ball, running to my car and never coming back. I also had this defeatist attitude and wasn’t willing to try anything that I deemed too difficult. For the longest time, I avoided anything that intimidated me such as snatches, toes to bar, rope climbs and double unders. I decided to stick with crossfit because as difficult as it was, I was seeing progress, I was getting back in shape and I loved the community. Fast forward to now and I welcome anything difficult with open arms!! The harder the workout, the more excited I am to show up and conquer it! I also love embracing any of my weaknesses and working on them to continuously improve myself, which is something I would never do when I first started. Crossfit teaches you to get out of your comfort zone and embrace your fears. I’m so happy I never gave up on that medicine ball run on my first day 🙂

Favorite workout or lift?

I don’t have a particular favourite lift. I love all of them as there’s always room for improvement since they’re so technical. As for my favourite workout, I’d have to say any WOD where you have to mentally and physically prepare yourself for what’s ahead is always fun to complete. The reward of completing a difficult WOD with like-minded people and getting a high five at the end is a great feeling!

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Anything else you would like to share please feel free

I’d just like to say a BIG THANKS to everyone I’ve ever encountered at the gym who has encouraged me along the way. I was very intimidated when I first joined but that feeling quickly subsided when I got to know everyone and realize how awesome the community is at crossfit. I know a lot of people see me as a social person but I’m actually quite shy. So joining the gym was a huge boundary that I was able to overcome. The people are a huge factor on how my attitude has done a complete 180 in the past two years. Without your awesome support, I’d still be in my comfort zone unable to do even half of what I’m capable of doing now. I’d also be unwilling to try anything new or even attempt a hero WOD. Thanks to Adam and Kristin for opening such an amazing and positive gym, thanks to the afternoon and evening crew for being awesome partners to work out with and being patient when I’m always delaying the WOD to go to the bathroom and thanks to the morning crew for working out with me on the weekends for those more difficult WODS. And lastly, thanks to the coaches who’ve helped me throughout the way and never stopped encouraging me to run faster, lift heavier (with proper form!) and complete that last round like a boss! Everyone is much appreciated 🙂

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Post-Christmas info update

Hey Friends!

Merry Christmas/Happy holidays and all the most fun times!  The gym has been nice and busy over the holidays and you folks are all giving your all – which is awesome.  I hope you’re all enjoying a nice little reset from work to energize yourselves, spend a little down time with a book/movie/friend/whatever helps you wind down.  If none of the above have happened yet, get after it – you need to be attacking your recovery just as hard as your training.

Cool stuff worth mentioning:

  • Lulu Lemon is coming out again (as Eric described so cleverly, in case you need to spend more money, haha) on January 2nd from 10am-5pm.  Stop on by!
  • Alicia’s going to Australia to become a lawyer super secret WOD and then food.  Check the whiteboard to see the times and throw your name on there if you’re coming so we can get some decent reservations or something set up.
  • Hours are normal until Thursday (New Years Eve) – where they’re 9am-12noon, and then we’re closed New Years Day and back to normal from there forward.
  • Weightlifting clinic with Coach James on the 12th (of January) for ~90 Minutes – for Free… who knows you may find you really enjoy it and want to partake in the….
  • New cycle for the weightlifting club starts on the 19th (of January) same times as last cycle (Tuesday and Thursday nights at 8pm, Sunday 12pm)
  • Whole Life Challenge – community and accountability in an effort to take on some healthier lifestyle habits!  Food, hydration, mobility, exercise, supplement(s), mindfulness, sleep, etc. all play a part in your quality of life – kickstart your efforts with the whole life challenge!
  • CrossFit Kids – Elementary is starting up again on Monday nights (6pm) and/or Sunday (9am).  It’s an either/or versus the kids coming to both.  Let Mandie know if you haven’t signed up but are interested!
  • I think I’m going to try to find a way to get back into blogging every day on here again instead of just having the WOD on that plug-in thingy.  It just seemed a little more personal.  I do want to figure out a way to do it that won’t eat all my time up though 🙂
  • We’re going to make a new T-shirt order soon!  Let me know if you have any mind-blasting ideas for it!

Front Squat cycle is ending soon (we’re on 10 of 15 sessions) and the Squat Clean cycle is about to start up.  It’s going to be awesome!  Make sure you start working on that front rack position now or you’re going to have sort wrists (and terrible form) through 15 sessions of squat cleans :S  Ask a coach and make the effort to fix your form, using wrist wraps and saying, “oh yeah, my wrists/shoulders don’t do that” is like saying you’re too busy driving to pull over for gas, or putting electrical tape over the “check engine” light.  It might be a work-around for your immediate problem, but you’ll be in trouble later.

As always, Stay Healthy Friends!
Adam

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The Unforgettable Pork Chop AKA How to Hack Your Behaviour in 1 Simple Step

Hey Folks!

This is a little bit long, but well worth the read.  Wouldn’t YOU want to know how to hack your behaviour in a SINGLE step???

The Backstory:

I overcooked some pork chops on the barbeque (grilling in the dark is not my forte) and since tough, charred pork chops are not the most appetizing thing in the world, we ended up throwing the worst victims in the trash.

I usually put the garbage out the night before, and this week was no different. As we know “wild” animals like to find their treats in the trash, and I imagine a cat or raccoon discovered, though did not eat them. The garbage wasn’t completely destroyed, and I just re-bagged it, as aside from a partially eaten pork chop, the rest was easy to gather into a new bag in the morning. This was on a Friday morning.

Fast forward to Tuesday morning and Lucky and I are going for one of our longer walks (we take long walks on Tuesdays and Thursdays). While walking by the rock in front of our house, Lucky is very interested in smelling the ground, and I like to indulge his canine instincts, so I wait. After glancing away, I look back to see Lucky being very secretive about the prize he’s found. He tries to play it cool and continue walking as though he doesn’t have anything with him, but I inspect his maw to find… a tough, charred, even more partially eaten pork chop. He’s a great guy so he let’s me have it with minor coaxing. I throw it back into a pile of leaves near where he found it, and we continue our walk.

This guy likes his treats...

This guy likes his treats…

The Result:

Every walk I have taken Lucky on since that day (in early SEPTEMBER) he returns to the spot where the pork chop was to look for other treasures.

It isn’t just elephants that never forget.

The Conclusion:

You don’t need to be addicted to something (through repetitive use) for the reward centres in your brain to hack your behaviors.

sciencey-science

sciencey-science

and, The Discussion:

We spend a lot of time and money learning what we need to do in order to establish healthy habits and reduce our unhealthy habits (but more time spend on how to make those changes would be nice, right?). Sometimes this involves adding new (positive, hopefully) behaviours, and sometimes it involves removing old (negative, hopefully) behaviours. There is no intense, complex, or secret way to change your behaviour from wanting to go home to de-stress on the couch, to wanting to go to the gym to de-stress in the squat rack. Completely simplified, you need to derive MORE pleasure from the squat rack than you do the couch. You need to derive more pleasure from driving to the gym than you do your house. You need to derive more pleasure from the atmosphere, including smells, sights, sounds and feelings associated with going to the gym than you do from going home. And then you need to do it again and again.

Sometimes, it only takes one time. Those times need to involve very memorable experiences. Lucky remembers the deliciousness of that pork chop, and even though it was only there 1 out of the 100+ times we’ve walked by that spot, it was awesome enough an experience to warrant checking that spot again (100+ times) just in case.

I genuinely love doing CrossFit. When I was first introduced to it, I met new, friendly people, I worked harder than I had in a LONG time, and I felt like I had accomplished something when I was finished. I get that feeling every time, even if I don’t break my previous record, or if I feel as though I could have worked a little harder.

Kristin and I tried Stand-Up Paddleboarding while we were on a leisurely drive through the muskoka area. A sunny, warm day on calm waters and a shared board meant lots of funny falls, beautiful landscapes and no deadlines. We had a blast and we immediately began shopping for stand up boards of our own when we got home. Contrast that to convincing ourselves it was a good idea to try paddleboarding on Lake Ramsey during a very windy day, with whitecaps on the water, during May (AKA ~60 degree water) and we experienced an hour to 2 hours of stressful paddling. Had that been my first experience with the paddleboard I can’t say whether or not I’d be as enthusiastic about doing it as I am now.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Enough stories…

The next time you want to add or remove a behavior from your life, keep this “hack” in mind. An open mind, a smile, and paying attention to your atmosphere, and what you really enjoy about it can make a BIG difference in helping you choose that option in the future. Because then you aren’t choosing between being 1% closer to having abs or not, your choosing between feeling productive, catching up with friends, and improving your energy levels, or not.

That’s all for today, Folks. As always, Stay Healthy! 🙂

Dr. Adam Ball

p.s. If you know some “hacks” or even have a story about something you tried once and were hooked since, share it in the comments or on your own “wall” on the facebook.

References:

Article from Scientific American, explaining Operant Conditioning, by Jason G. Goldman:  http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/thoughtful-animal/what-is-operant-conditioning-and-how-does-it-explain-driving-dogs/

Dopamine Neurons Encoding Long-Term Memory of Object Value for Habitual Behavior  Kim, Hyoung F. et al.  Cell , Volume 163 , Issue 5 , 1165 – 1175  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26590420