Are You Coasting?

We've been fortunate to have this amazing weather in May that the number of hours we've spent on our bikes is probably more than last year already. While we were riding, something became abundantly clear: there are no flat roads. Of course, after every uphill climb, we would get a little break and relax downhill. That downhill would never last. We would always have to climb a hill to be in a position to enjoy the coast; and even if it was a relatively long stretch of flat road, we are suddenly hit with a strong gust of wind, forcing us to pedal harder to continue moving forward. 

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The road will always have a grade, never perfectly flat. The same applies to work, to training, to relationships and to anything in life: we reap what we sow. After a long stretch without riding, the first ride always seems to be the toughest. Starting a new exercise routine, a new job, a new hobby will always be the toughest in the beginning. Once you're comfortable, continue to challenge yourself. Continue climbing on your bike, getting better at your job, progressing in life, as the reward is always worth it. Keep in mind that once that downhill is over, there's always that next hill to climb. 

Prepared For Life

Specificity vs. Generalization

Would you ever expect a 300lb Olympic Weightlifter to run a 4 minute mile? A pole vaulter to snatch 300lbs? More often than not, people will answer no.

If you've ever played a sport growing up, you know the importance of specific skill training in order to excel. As we grow older, general health becomes more of a priority and generalized training is a more effective means for staying healthy.

Whether it is general physical training or sport specific training you're after, it's important to have goals so you are able to set yourself up for success. We posted about goal setting here.

There people from all different walks of life that come through our doors; from collegiate level rowers, varsity rugby players, to someone who has never exercised at all in their life. Here's an example:

John played high level hockey all his life, including collegiate hockey. His hockey career has been over for a few years and he has been playing beer league for the last couple of seasons. He's found that he's lost the pep in his step and is looking to gain that explosive edge back.

Joan has no athletic background but did workout at the community gym throughout her early 20s. Her last 5 years have been very career focused, working hard to climb the corporate ladder. She's now looking to get back into shape and lose a few inches.

Both have been attending CrossFit group classes for 3 months now. John has added 1 Personal Training session each week, focusing on Olympic lifting training as this allows for him to gain explosive power and strength without gaining too much body mass. Joan on the other hand attends 4 group classes every week.

Joan has lost pounds and inches and is now in the best shape of her life. John is now the fastest person on his team and feels great about his game.

This example is what having the right intention with your training can do for you. If you have goals, it's important to be smart about the time you invest into the gym. Good luck goal crushers!

Don't Have Time?

Meal prep, exercise, homework, taxes. These are all things we claim to not have time to do. So let's try an experiment:

If you have an iPhone:

  • go to settings > battery > scroll down to battery usage > click the little clock on the right > scroll to your social media apps and see how much time you spend on social media per day or per week.
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Yup. It's an embarrassingly high isn't it? We are all guilty of prioritizing time sucks over the things we don't want to do and that's normal. Human nature is to want to do what's easy and deprioritize what's important and/or difficult. We know eating right and exercising is good for you, but lounging on the couch and fast food is easier.

Here's the truth: You DO have time for exercise, you DO have time to meal prep. You just choose not to. 

Why do we end up spending so much time on Netflix, Instagram, Facebook, etc? They are designed without stop cues. Netflix suggests next episodes, Instagram has endless hashtags, Facebook just goes on forever. Movies, book, and songs have stop cues such as ending credits or fade outs. Let's recognize that prioritizing our health should come above all else (even above the next episode of Grey's anatomy).

How can we change?

  • Slowly eliminate the time spent in things that just don't add value to your life. Much like a diet cutting if off cold turkey results in a higher likelihood of returning to old habits. Try reducing the time spent by just 30 minutes to 1 hour the first week, then increase as the weeks pass.
  • Set stop cues. Set a timer that is out of reach so when the timer goes off you have to physically get up and turn it off. That allows your brain to separate yourself from that rabbit hole.
  • Turn off notifications on your phone for the biggest culprits. It's scary, but you can do it!
  • Figure out the times when you’re most likely use the platforms and purposefully plan other activities during that time to eliminate temptation. This can be anything from going for a walk, meditating, booking a no-sweat intro ;).

Look, it doesn't have to be CrossFit, it can be any activity. Just find something you enjoy and look up from your screen one in awhile. The world is beautiful.

-Jay & Anne

Success with Goal Setting

Spring is in the air and 90% of us who made New Years Resolutions have either already broken them or haven't even started them yet ("it starts tomorrow!!" amiright?).

Many of you may know what The CrossFit Open is. For those of you who do not: The Open is 5 workouts, completed over a course of 5 weeks (one workout each week). It's a time to see how we perform compared to other CrossFitters around the world and more (maybe even MOST) importantly, how we compare to ourselves one year ago. If you've ever participated in The Open, you've likely discovered something that you want to learn or become better at.

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STORY TIME: One of our members participated in The Open in 2017. Pull ups were in one of the workouts and she ended up helplessly staring at the bar for 4+ minutes. After The Open, she set specific goals and worked hard towards them. Fast forward 1 year, Pull ups were once again in The Open, the difference was that this year she spent 4+ minutes getting rep after rep after rep. This is a first hand account of what goal setting can do.

Although it can be, the end goal doesn't have to be a pull up, it can be as simple as making it to the gym 3x/week, working towards setting new personal record (PR) for your back squat, or maybe even eating home-cooked meals 4 days out of the week . The point is that there is not a single perfect goal, it just has to start with setting your intention and realizing that there is something you want to work towards. We say this often: achieving small goals over time turns into achieving big goals!

Here at Black Tusk, we offer complimentary goal setting and review sessions for anyone who needs a little nudge in the right direction.