Specificity vs. Generalization

We often talk about how CrossFit is great for so many things; it's great for endurance, strength and explosiveness, which is everything that you need in sport and in life. CrossFit group classes will elevate you in all these disciplines, gradually. If you are consistent with your group class training, you will see results over time. Nothing happens over night but on the same token, you can make things happen more quickly if you are more specifically dedicated to one discipline or movement over another.

For example, would you expect 200lb Olympic Weightlifter to run a 4 minute mile? Or a ultra marathon runner to snatch 200lbs? More often than not, people will answer no and that's completely expected! If you've ever played a sport growing up, you know the importance of skill specific training in order to excel. However, if we are not dedicated to a specific sport, then generalized training is more effective for staying healthy overall.

When we look at group classes, the programming is structured so that we are training constantly varied, functional movements. The movements and disciplines are programmed in a way that they are always in a mixed rotation. This is generalized training and you can expect to get better at everything, just not as quickly as if you were to dedicate 100% of your efforts to one single movement or discipline.

In contrast, if you have very specific goals like increasing your pulling strength so that you are able to perform pull ups or chest to bars, then personal training allows us to focus 100% of our time on a single clearly outlined goal. When we dedicate all of our attention and efforts during our personal training sessions to this one goal, we are able to achieve this goal more quickly than if we were to participate in group classes.

There is no right or wrong, it all depends on what your goals are and what your intention is with training. That's why we offer group classes, personal training and hybrid memberships (which combine group classes and personal training), so that you have options and can crush whatever your goals are!

Prenatal & Post Partum Training

Every pregnancy and postpartum journey is different, so don't worry about what so and so are doing, what happened to this or that person or how quickly a friend of a friend 'bounced back' after having her baby. Do what is right for you. We get it because we've been there, being a new mom is a whole different world and for most new moms, this means that the freedom of going wherever you want, whenever you want no longer exists once the baby is welcomed into the world. That is why we are expanding what we offer; in addition to our Group Classes and Personal Training, we are now providing services for Remote Individualized Postpartum Programming and Coaching so that you have the ability to get a work out in on the days that leaving the house seems impossible.

Pregnancy is usually perceived as something incredibly delicate that needs to be coddled, yet there is an stark contrast on how we view the postpartum stages. It's almost expected that we are up and running after having a baby. When you think about it, it takes 40 weeks to grow a child and for some reason, somewhere along the way, we decided that we wanted everything in our bodies back to normal in 6 weeks. It's true that there are times where some pregnancies are more precarious than others and demand more care, attention and rest, however, there are also situations where the expecting mom is just unsure of what is safe. This has resulted in an overly cautious population while in our prenatal stages and overly cavalier in our postpartum stage.

There has been an real shift in the mentality of what people now know women are capable of during pregnancy but it can still feel like there is a lot of gray area when it comes to exercise while pregnant or recovering.

Anne and Jason dropping in at their old stomping grounds, CrossFit Westside in Vancouver, while Anne was 7 months pregnant. Work out of the day was named "Prego WOD"

Anne and Jason dropping in at their old stomping grounds, CrossFit Westside in Vancouver, while Anne was 7 months pregnant. Work out of the day was named "Prego WOD"

Pregnancy can be very demanding, be it mental, emotional, physical or a combination. By adopting a healthier and more active lifestyle during (or even more ideal is PRIOR TO) pregnancy is full of benefits for both Mom and Bub. Of course, you always want to check with your doctor to ensure that there are no extenuating circumstances or medical risks. If you get the green light to continue exercising and staying active, then there really isn't any reason not to continue being active.

The question we are asked most by prenatal moms that we train is "but I heard that I should always be able to keep a conversation going when I am working out, is that true?"  There's no right or wrong answer to this question but we all know someone (maybe ourselves) that isn't pregnant, walk up a flight of stairs and that would leave them short of breath. So the idea that "you should be able maintain a conversation while you are pregnant and working out" as a blanket recommendation is grossly misleading. For postpartum moms, the common questions is "What is safe to do while I am recovering?"

What we will suggest for both questions is that we adopt a more reliable gauge for each individual. RPE or RATE OF PERCEIVED EXERTION is exactly that; what do you feel is the level of effort you are putting forward. Every single pregnancy and postpartum journey is different, so to have a blanket statement of allowing continued conversation or entirely cutting out certain movements to be our metric isn't very reliable. Instead we will ask my clients how they are feeling and if what we are doing is too much. Of course there is a level of recommendation on what is reasonable from our end but at the end of the day, you know your body best and you know whether or not something feels manageable. What feels normal and manageable to me or you may not be the same for the next person. So instead of comparing yourself to others, whether it is how hard they push or how much they pull back from training, we all need to learn to listen to our bodies.

Carolyn, performing thrusters at 8 months pregnant.

Carolyn, performing thrusters at 8 months pregnant.

Carolyn was a group class athlete, turned personal training client; she had some preexisting injuries when she started CrossFit and was very keen about addressing these nagging issues prior to starting a family. She stopped group classes and started personal training exclusively. Once she felt the injury symptoms subside, she returned to group classes and still incorporated Personal Training into her schedule twice a month. She worked out into her 9th month of pregnancy and recently welcomed a beautiful baby girl!

We are big advocates of being smart about your training at any stage of your pregnancy, prenatal or postpartum. If staying active before, during or after pregnancy is something you or someone you know would benefit from, book a No Sweat Intro to come in, meet with Anne and determine what is right for you!

Getting Ahead of the Post Holiday Blues

We love Christmas. There's pretty much nothing better. We gladly accept all the stress and chaos in exchange for those moments of laughter, silence, comfort and love with our families. But with Christmas comes days (MULTIPLE DAYS) of doing a lot of nothing, a lot of indulging and a lot of lounging around.

We all take weeks, if not months to prepare for the holiday season. Now Christmas has come and gone, it’s no longer the 25 of December and so begins the empty lull week between Christmas and New Years. After all the excitement and merriment, the holiday you looked forward to for weeks has gone by in a day. Family visiting from out of town starts to leave and you're left with an strange lull week waiting for New Years to come. Still, New Years isn't quite the same as Christmas.

9-Tips-for-Coping-with-Holiday-Blues-and-Stress.jpg

The entire holiday season typically starts around 20th of December and lasts until the 2nd of January; two weeks of hype, fun and getting away from reality. When this suddenly stops, we know it as the Post Holiday Blues. We will find ourselves with nothing to look forward to, the Christmas carols on the radio stop, all the decorations start coming down and we have no more events or gatherings to attend.

When you are taken out of your regular routine for an extended amount of time, it can really take a hit on you and we are not just talking about your fitness, even your everyday life admin has likely fallen by the wayside as well. What we suggest is try reverting back to your regular routine as quickly as possible. Try little things that you know you can do, like drink more water, get to bed at an earlier hour, cook and eat more balanced meals at home and of course start incorporating your workouts into your day again during that lull week between Christmas and New Years (let's be honest, your body is probably begging you to do that anyway).

Taking yourself out of your regular routine for almost ONE week and reintroducing it is much easier than taking yourself out of your regular routine for TWO or more weeks. It sounds a bit crazy but we are all creatures of habit and the sooner we get ourselves back on track, the happier our bodies and our minds will be. They'll thank you for it!


Fear of the Unknown

Doing things that are habitual is easy. Habits are so ingrained in us that it's like autopilot takes over. Sometimes habits can be good for you and help you become more efficient, but there are times when habits are not so good for you and can cause you more harm than good. Maybe your way of decompressing is to go home and unwind with a glass of wine or a sweet treat. Not the worst thing, but if you were to do this day in and day out, it becomes your routine. Routine by definition is essentially the same thing as Habit.

One day you may become fed up with your daily routine and decide: HEY! I NEED A CHANGE! You realize that you need to break these habits that are not benefiting you. You make a promise to yourself that it starts tomorrow. This might not even be the first time you are trying to break this particular habit (whatever it might be), or one similar to it. Sometimes you are successful, sometimes you are not. So why is it so hard to change you routines and break habits?

Knowingly or not, we as humans fear the unknown. We like things that are familiar; it's safe and comfortable. We like to know what to expect and more often that not, we don't like to be surprised, especially when there is a possibility that the surprise isn't positive. We fear change because when something changes, it means we are either gaining something or letting something else go (most times it's a bit of both). It feels like we cannot control the outcome. What we often forget to think about when we are faced with change is that there is an opportunity for improvement, an opportunity to welcome a new routine that your future self will thank you for.

Change can be tough but ask yourself if you've ever truly appreciated something in your life that was within your own control that you didn't have to work for?

chance-or-change-770.jpg

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
― Theodore Roosevelt