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CFS BLOG

Never say "I can't!"

February 6, 2012

Rachel was the only one on Handstand Pushup day (besides Adam of course) to say “OK, I’m in!” Most of you opted for an upright barbell instead of going upside down!

In the beginning of class Tom said “I can’t do Handstand Pushups!” I usually think that when you say “I can’t” what you often mean is “I won’t” or “I don’t want to”. But this week Tom proved me wrong. By the end of the night, after the WOD, there he was, upside down, feet all the way in the air (off the box) still grunting and groaning….but he did it!

Way to go Tom & Rachel! And, Adam….heal that hamstring!

Is every day a test?

January 10, 2012

Picture a school where you took a test every day. There would never be any time for lectures or learning new things, just taking tests. Every day and every class would be a test. Some tests would cover new materials you’ve never seen before and other tests would cover old material but ask the questions in a different way. Does that sound fun? Productive? Would you actually learn anything?

So, why would you expect to show up at the fitness club and compete in every Workout of the Day (WOD)? Some days should be about learning new skills. Some days should be about perfecting your form. Some days will be about healing the wounds you got the day before. And then once in while there will be a Test.

A Test will kick your butt! It will leave you lying in a pool of your own sweat not knowing which muscles will be sore the next day. Yesterday was a test for SOME of you. It was a chipper of high rep Air Squats, KB Swings, Push Press, Burpees, and finally Wall Climbs (if you made it that far). Some of you passed the test and others did not. Only you know your results.

If you tried hard, if you counted every rep, if you repeated a missed rep (missed your squat target or didn’t hit lockout at the top of the push press?) then you passed. Even if you didn’t finish you still passed. If you came in first or last doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you tested your body and gave it all you had. You didn’t cheat and you did your best.

Maybe however, you show up even though you’re not feeling so well. Maybe you have a cold or didn’t get much sleep last night? Maybe you had to come to a later class than normal and its past your bed time. It’s ok to slide through a WOD or two. You don’t always have to do your best, even on test day. You’ll keep coming to those skill days and those strength building days. You’ll keep learning technique with light weights. You’ll do your “cardio” workouts that come with your very own sweat angel.

Keep your head up high. Because when that next test comes you’ll be ready. You’ll start not knowing it’s a test, then after a few minutes you’ll want to give in, you’ll want to stop and rest, you’ll want to ask for lower weight or more assistance and you won’t. Next time you’ll pass the test.

Study for next time. Practice for next time. Ask questions, eat right, get your rest and heal your wounds. Prepare for the next test day. It may be tomorrow or it may be next month. In the middle of the WOD when you want to give in and want to give up – DON’T! And you’ll pass the test.

Biggest Loser coach Bob Harper on CrossFit

January 12, 2012

from an interview with Bob Harper

Bob Harper on CrossFit, The Biggest Loser & His Last Meal on Earth
January 5, 2012

Awhile back, Quaker Oats invited me to participate in a conference call with Bob Harper along with a few other bloggers. The call was scheduled on the same day as the NASM Live Workshop, so I wasn’t able to attend, but Quaker folks kindly offered to coordinate a one-on-one email interview with Bob. Seriously, how cool is that?! Thank you, Quaker!

Without further ado, here’s my email interview with Bob Harper! I absolutely loved reading his responses! I hope you will, too!

What is your favorite way to exercise?
I have become obsessed with Crossfit. It is my favorite way to work out. It just makes so much sense to me and it also challenges me more than I have ever been challenged before. My hands, on the other hand, really have suffered!!!

Which workout gives you and/or your clients the best results for building strength and burning fat?
When it comes to building strength and burning fat, that is the foundation of Crossfit. You have got to find time for strength training AND get your cardio in to get the fat off and Crossfit really does combine those two things.

What workout/exercise do you think more people should be doing?
Haha…I feel like a broken record but CROSSFIT!! Also I would encourage people to try something new when it pertains to working out. If you have never tried yoga or spin classes, jump into a class the next time it fits in yours schedule. It is all about trying different things.

What’s your best piece of advice for someone just starting out with exercise?
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Make one smart choice everyday and let that start to create a habit.

What’s the toughest workout you’ve ever done?
Easy….there is a workout in Crossfit called, FRAN and also SANTIAGO. The worst workouts I have ever done in my life!!!

How much protein do you think the average active person needs in their diet?
Protein is crucial for muscle repair and building and it also keeps you satiated. I recommend getting in AT LEAST half of your body weight in grams so if you weigh 150 lbs, get in 75 grams.

What’s your favorite vegetable recipe?
I love to roast Brussels sprouts in the oven with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. I like to over do them because they get the texture of potatoes….YUM!!!

What’s a typical day of eating look like for you?
I get my protein and carbs earlier in the day and then by the afternoon I keep it “lean & green”. Lean proteins and tons of veggies.

If it was your last day on earth, what meal would be your last?
Italian!!! I want pizza & pasta….oh yeah and definitely chocolate cake. I’m starving right now thinking about it.

What’s something about The Biggest Loser that most people don’t know?
People have no idea just how much effort goes into getting that kind of weight off a person. My contestants work harder every single season and if the viewer could really see what is required of them on a daily basis, they would be in awe. I sure am.

Get better at party tricks!

January 14, 2012

Everyone loves showing off in front of friends. Which one looks more impressive? Which position do you think would make handstand pushups easier?

Tighten up your abs, glutes and legs and you’ll get better at being upside down!

CrossFit Schenectady coming soon!

January 15, 2012

The CrossFit affiliation has been approved. Now all we need to do is the paper work. The workouts wont change, but some other things might. (Like, hopefully no more leaky roof?)

The rates you start with are good for a year so get started now before the prices go up!

Snow Angels anyone?

January 16, 2012

OK, so maybe there isn’t enough snow for snow angels. But we can practice on the floor and then on the wall. Perfecting your Snow Angel might just help you build healthy shoulders. Check out this document:
Shoulder Health

Afraid of getting too big?

January 28, 2012

Wet barbells?
Wet barbells?
This isn’t about what you might think. It’s not about you! It’s about our gym (soon to be ‘CrossFit box’). In a way I’m afraid of getting too big. I really like the small community we have built. I like that many of you have become friends outside of our leaky walls. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know all of you very well. However, as we grow the classes will be getting bigger (still a max of 6) and there will be less time to get to know each other. So, please take some time to get to know people. If you haven’t seen your friends around recently then email, call, facebook or whatever….find out where they have been. If you notice someone is losing weight then tell them! If you notice someone is sad then ask them why! Take the time to make friends and you will enjoy your workouts even more!

Right now I’m very busy with all the changes going on and I don’t have the time to organize social events very well. And, to be honest we haven’t all been great at attending the social events I’ve tried to have in the past. (Yes, like Dan blowing off his own birthday outing…but we’ll try again next Friday?) If anyone wants to organize any other social events, like a pot luck dinner or a baby shower then please let me know and we’ll figure out a good time.

Thanks for being patient with the ceiling leaks, the t-shirts, the name change, the new athletes, the 42 sandbag step-ups, etc…. There is a lot of change underway but in the long run it will only make our community stronger! Bigger, stronger, and dryer!

Don't wait for the pain!

January 30, 2012

Order of things going wrong:

1 – Bad posture or exercise form
2 – Tightness and/or Decreased Range of Motion
3 – Swelling and/or Pain
4 – Decreased Strength, Power, or Speed
5 – Numbness or Tingling

Correct your posture and form to correct your faults before they affect your range of motion or cause pain!

Group Dynamics

February 5, 2012

Working with a group is a great way to boost your motivation. Perhaps for some it is a competitive and for others it is more social. Regardless of the reason I always see people moving a bit faster or lifting a bit more when they are not alone!

Personal Training

April 11, 2012

I don’t talk a lot about “Personal Training” for the obvious reason: It’s Personal! Personal Training is not for everyone; however some people have special needs or circumstances that require a personal touch.

When “George” was in his 20’s he had a bad car accident that landed him in hospital paralyzed from the waist down for 4 days. (Fake name to protect his identity). Gradually over time he gained back the feeling and ability to move his legs. At 67 years old George was still dealing with the results of that accident. He enjoys playing golf and playing with his Grandchildren and was finding both difficult due to scar tissue that has built up in his back from that old accident. After several weeks of physical therapy he started working with me to gain flexibility and strength. Some days he comes in ready to go and do a regular “CrossFit” workout. Other days he sends me a message a few hours before his appointment to let me know that his back is “acting up”. In those cases we do a warm-up that will last about 20 minutes with gradual increasing intensity until by the end he is breaking a sweat a little bit. Then we spend about 30-40 minutes stretching. His back is usually pretty good for at least 2-3 days after those types of sessions and if it isn’t he knows it’s time to go back to the physical therapist.

In the past 2 years that George has been working with me I think he has gotten about 6 years YOUNGER! It took a lot of work, but George tells me all the work is worth it: Workouts with me 2 days a week, jogging 2 days a week, walking the golf course 2 days a week and trying to keep a healthy diet low in processed foods and “moderation” when it comes to vino and partying with the boys.

It is circumstances like George’s that make Personal Training a better option than group classes. If George was signed up for group sessions he’d probably miss about 1/3 of them because of the issues with his back. This way he gets the personal attention he needs when he needs it and gets a good old fashion workout the rest of the time.

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