Nutrition Coaching: Why is it Important?

We are asked at least once a week "what is more important: working out or eating well?" That is basically equivalent to the chicken or the egg conundrum because they are both important and hard for one to exist without the other.

Every person that walks through our doors is ready for a change; that is why you start working out, but eventually there may be a need for more because the exercise isn't quite enough to either offset the "bad diet" or to reach goals that have been set. Changing your work out habits can be challenging, but that is a once-a-day-decision. You mentally decide to go to the gym, you physically go to the gym and then done, check going to the gym off your list of "to-do's" for the day. Diet on the other hand is all about making better choices with what you decide to put in your mouth and that is a 24/7 job. That is why many people enlist the help of a Nutrition Coach. 

A Coach helps you figure out your WHAT (what the goal is: to lose weight, gain weight, maintain your weight but gain muscle) and then your WHY (why you want to achieve this goal). Whatever your goals are and reasons for them, your Nutrition Coach is there to help you achieve those goals through your diet. This week's newsletter comes in the form of a letter written to us by one of our nutrition clients and gives you some insight on what happens when you have a Nutrition Coach.

“Working with Anne was the dramatic reset that I needed to re-evaluate my relationship with food and nutrition. I finished my first year of law school feeling really lethargic, tired and self-conscious - I had gained more weight than I ever had in my life and the number of “wearable” clothes in my closet kept shrinking. I had been doing CrossFit on and off for over 5 years, seeing little results in my body apart from gaining muscle mass and building strength. I had always refused to focus on my nutrition, assuming that I exercised enough to burn the extra calories from sugary treats, takeout and alcohol. I also thought I was eating healthily and being body-positive, even though I was ignoring the signs that I was using food and alcohol to manage day-to-day stress. I realized that I was 100% dependent on sugar and caffeine for a boost of energy, and I was becoming more and more concerned about how my student social life revolved almost entirely around patio beers and late-night pizza. I felt really ready for a significant change in May 2018.

Focusing on my nutrition was a big adjustment - I had never tracked my food, thought about macros or calories or had anyone do basic measurements. Honestly, I maybe weighed myself once or twice a year! After a very uncomfortable 2 weeks of sugar withdrawal, I found a better rhythm where I was better able to focus on increasing my protein intake, drinking enough water, reducing my alcohol consumption and prioritizing whole foods. Nutrition coaching made a huge difference for me because it helped me become more mindful of stress eating and think about food as fuel for physical activity (rather than just pleasure). Within a month, I felt like I had re-adjusted my concept of what a “typical day” of eating should look like. Focusing on nutrition over the summer hasn’t been easy, but Anne was very supportive of striking the right balance so I could enjoy BBQs, weddings and social events with friends without feeling guilty or frustrated.

The hard work pays off, too. I lost over 20 pounds and 17 inches in my first 3 months and I quickly felt faster, stronger and more energetic at the gym. Sugar and alcohol feel much more manageable in my life, and Anne has been really helpful for developing habits that are sustainable and focused on the long-term. It’s a bizarre feeling when a wardrobe of work clothes - that was once too small - are now WAY too big, but it’s a clear sign that something is working. I’m now (much to my surprise!)  a nutrition convert, and I’m really grateful for Anne’s support this summer as I developed healthier habits for the long-term."

To provide a little back story, our nutrition client, is a law student and knew she needed to have better eating habits in place before entering her second year of law school. What better time to give nutrition coach a try than over entire summer. Her goals when we started were to lose fat, gain lean muscle and successfully complete a 10k run. During our 5 months together, she lost 29 lbs and 22 inches. She has been continuing on with maintaining her healthier eating habits without nutrition coaching now and we couldn't be happier for her. The entire premise around nutrition coaching (in our opinion) is to provide our clients with the knowledge and tools so that they are able to continue on without our help. Of course, we are here if you need but at the end of the day it is a very liberating experience to be able to do this yourself! 

Just know that everyone's goals, process and journey are different. Do what is right for you! If this is something you’ve been thinking about, book a free no-sweat intro to start the conversation!

5 Tips on Staying Motivated (What Motivates You? Part II)

If you've subscribed to us for a while now, you probably know that we've written quite a bit about motivation in the past. We've written about what gets us motivated (usually that is a need for a change) and we written about what keeps us motivated.

When we have a catalyst that spurs on excitement for making changes, it's easy to feel motivated. Here are 5 tips to help you stay motivated:

Have A Goal

Big or small, this goal should be challenging yet achievable. Attach a deadline to when you want to hit this goal. This will light a fire within you to stay on your routine. Goal setting the right way can be very effective, but goal setting the wrong way can set you back. If you need help with it, book a complimentary goal setting session with us here

Keep Track of Your Progress

What makes us keep those goals we set in our line of sight and to keep striving to achieve them? When we wade through all the warm and fuzzy reasons for working out, all the benefits and rewards, all the words that make it seem so nice and lovely to be in a place where working out is a part of your lifestyle, the only real and tangible motivator for most people is RESULTS. If you don't know where you started, you won't know how far you've come. It is important to check in with your goal progress. With every membership, our athletes have access to our workout tracking app that allows you track benchmark progress throughout your fitness journey.

Find a Training Partner/Group or Personal Trainer

Competition and camaraderie can be very powerful. Finding a person, group or personal trainer to train with keeps you accountable to your routine. When you find yourself feeling lazy or unmotivated, you'd be surprised of how an accountability partner can get you into the gym. Put yourself out there and get into a supportive environment.

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Try Something New

If your current "routine" isn't working for you, try something new. Pick up a new fitness hobby. Ideally something you've never done before. Ensure that you can commit enough time to it. Trying something once is great, but give it a fair chance. If you enjoy your regular routine, there are different exercises that can be just as effective and feel brand new.

Have Fun

If you're not having fun, you're fighting an uphill battle. Try to set yourself up for success when it comes to health and fitness. Yes it will be difficult, especially to start. Finding something enjoyable can make a world of difference. If it's new and feels intimidating, we suggest trying it at least once...never know, you might end up having a great time!

There will be times when you "fall off the wagon" and it can feel like you're so far gone, just know that you will always be further head than when you first made a change. It's never to late jump back on the saddle. 

If you need a nudge in the right direction, book a free no-sweat intro to talk to one of our coaches!

What Motivates You?

Winter is here. Maybe. Maybe Not. All we know is that summer is over and days are getting shorter. We find ourselves wanting to stay under the sheets for an extra 5 minutes and pressing the snooze button a couple more times these days, yet some of us still manage to get out to the gym nice and early.

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Ever want to understand the psyche of someone who enjoys working out when everyone else is fast asleep?

We polled some of our consistent morning gym goers and asked what motivates to wake up for a 6AM or 7AM class. Here's what they said:

"Evenings are free so I can have a more consistent nighttime routine, in case of work stuff, social events, unforeseen things come up"

"I don't need to worry about getting to the gym in the evening (or worse, not making it to the gym because of legitimate or made up excuses)"

"committing to a morning routine forces me to be accountable in prioritizing sleep"

Our Personal Favourite:

"Imagine being a solid rock fighting back against a raging river. You can’t help but feel like a solid rock “owning” your day after a 6AM workout. For me, working out at 6AM gives me a mental, physical and emotional boast that triggers a progression of positive momentum throughout the day. Since adopting a morning routine that involves physical exercise I feel I get more out of life. Own your morning, own your life."
(yes, that was meant to be cheesy)

Some of these reasons are quite logical, and some are inspiring. Whatever it is that motivates you to head out to the gym (morning, afternoon or evening), try sharing it with a few friends and inspire someone to go out and get healthy!



I remember receiving an inquiry once from a lady who was going to be participating in Tough Mudder in 4 weeks. Her ask? To have 10 strict pull ups by the time Tough Mudder rolled around. Hmm. 10 pull ups in 4 weeks, not impossible. When we think about the fact that she currently

had 0 pull ups, no gymnastics background or calisthenics experience, expecting her body to go from 0 to 10 strict pull ups in 4 weeks, is a BIG ask, not only of us as trainers but of herself. An unrealistic ask. It's very common that people to see others reaching and surpassing goals to think "oh it can't be that hard".

There is no magic sauce, there are no shortcuts. In reality, we just have to put in the work and afford ourselves the time to reach our goals, which brings us to Arash.

This is Arash. (Black Tusk Year One Anniversary Party - yes, he cleans up well)

This is Arash.
(Black Tusk Year One Anniversary Party - yes, he cleans up well)

Arash came to us in July of 2017 and started his fundamentals process with the encouragement of his wife. His goal at the time: weight loss in anticipation of a family vacation to the Dominican. He was leaving for his holidays in a couple months and figured that CrossFit would help his reach his goal and it did! He lost some weight, he goes on holidays, has a great time and eventually comes home (as all vacations sadly come to an end). Back to the grind. Back to regular day to day life. Shortly after getting back from holidays, he gets home from work and picks up a few things and heads for the front door of his home to leave again. His wife asks "where are you going?"
"To the gym!"
"Oh, what? You're keeping up with that??"
"Yes, why wouldn't I?"

Truth be told Arash has confessed, on several occasions, that he didn't know if he would actually continue on with CrossFit after his holidays. He has said in the past that he's never felt more miserable than when he was working out in those first few months. But we fast forward one full year later and not only is Arash still consistently coming to classes 3x a week, it's become a part of his lifestyle (and dare we venture as far to say that he enjoys them!), he's quit smoking and is getting stronger with every class.

Here is Arash on HIS actual One Year Anniversary with Black Tusk

Here is Arash on HIS actual One Year Anniversary with Black Tusk

Arash started with no pull ups, no toe-to-bars, no experience with barbell work. Arash now has multiple strict pull ups, beautiful efficient toe-to-bars, comfortably and confidently executes cleans and snatches. The actual highlight of this newsletter is that consistency is not only important in attendance but also in your mentality, your work ethic. If you come into the gym with the expectation of working hard, you will get better. It's science.

See! Science. (Also we cannot take credit for this image. Saw it on social media and it perfectly conveys why consistent effort is everything.)

See! Science.
(Also we cannot take credit for this image. Saw it on social media
and it perfectly conveys why consistent effort is everything.)