296 Morris Road, Schenectady NY 12303 | 518-374-5968 | info@CrossFitSchenectady.com


Whole30 Challenge

January 24, 2013

Our next Whole 30 Challenge will be from February 11, 2013 through March 13, 2013. This nutritional challenge is good for everyone regardless of your goals! If done correctly the challenge will teach you what foods and beverages your body needs and what it doesn’t!

For the last Whole30 Challenge Ric and Stephanie both won $100 each for the highest percent of weight loss. This time there will be a $15 entry fee and 1 male and 1 female winner (based on highest percentage of weight loss) will each win a free month of unlimited CrossFit Schenectady classes. All entry fees will be donated to the Schenectady Community Hospice.

Look for emails shortly with more details.

Top 10 reasons CrossFit doesn't work

August 3, 2012

CrossFit Schenectady
No excuses!
Courtesy of CrossFit SouthbaySometimes when I tell people that I hate hiking, they look at me like I just said that all of the world’s puppies should be executed. If I could get all of the nature scenery and majestic mountain top views without all of the bug bites, sweat in my eyes, bad energy bars and where-should-I-pees, then hiking would be kinda nice.

Most people want the proverbial paleo cake and eat it too. They want all of the rewards with none of the sacrifice. CrossFit is not a magic bullet to fitness. It’s not the second coming of JesusFit. CrossFit is simply one catalyst to help you attain the highest level of fitness possible. The beauty is that it is extremely effective and efficient and can work for just about anyone. If it hasn’t worked for you, then here are the top 10 reasons why:

10. You think you’re committed but you really aren’t – Just about everyone who walks in the door says they workout 3-5 times every week. Every. Single. Week. They are fed up and want something that is really going to work. Then when it’s time to sign up for a membership they say, “Well, I was thinking, um, like once or twice a week”. Whoa, wait a minute. I thought you were already working out 5 times a week. Now it’s two? If you can’t whole heartedly commit at least 4 hours (preferably about 6 hours) a week to fitness, then you probably aren’t going to reach your goals. I get it, life is busy. Just go try telling that to the single mom on the pull-up bar who just got done with her double day.

9. Grizzly Bear Diet – Dane always talks about his grizzly bear diet consisting of late night DiGiorno pizzas, ice-cream and Oreos. Now you may not eat that terribly, but you may have your little vices. That venti mocha latte frapafattachino isn’t doing you any favors in the weight loss department. Here’s a tip: Just because they are mini Snickers doesn’t mean you can eat a bakers dozen of them. That also goes for donut holes. Clean up your diet all around. Maybe you eat too much, or not enough. Be sure that you are getting enough veggies and protein and fat. It is your fuel.

8. Mediocrity Safe House – I don’t mean mediocre in the sense of all the athletes in the gym. I mean relative to what you are capable of. True, we tell all of our beginner athletes to take the first couple weeks easy and slowly push themselves in weights and times. Some people get stuck in a scaling safe zone. I get that it’s scary to push yourself, but isn’t that why you joined a CrossFit gym in the first place? Slowly start pushing yourself just to the edge of your limits. You can always scale back down if it becomes too difficult.

7. Old Habits – Somewhere along the way we all developed some bad habits. Some of these habits may be something as simple as staying up too late watching TV. This lack of sleep can be the difference between a good workout and a bad one, or working out at all. Identify your bad habits and prevent them from happening in the future. Then work on replacing those bad habits with good habits.

6. Get Stronger – Most people come into CrossFit ready to do a MetCon, you know that 3,2,1…Go thing people associate with CrossFit. Unfortunately, some of those metcons don’t easily scale down by simply putting lower weights on them. Some of the quick and dirty metcons won’t illicit the right stimulus for your body simply because you aren’t strong enough. If you hold back on our strength portion of the workouts to get a better time on the metcon, then you are doing yourself a disservice in the long run.

5. Lack Mobility – Who knew that 15 years of bench press, leg extension and elliptical would cause muscle imbalances? If you can’t get in to the right position for our exercises, then your body will compensate and sacrifice proper technique to complete the task. Usually joints are what start hurting first. Mobilizing and prepping for movements helps keep our tissues healthy so we can do more work and lift more heavy stuff pain free.

4. Do your Homework – You are never going to get better if all you do is yell “TIME!” and then grab your car keys and drive home. Want to get better at pull-ups? Well you should probably practice a few every single day. Double unders aren’t going to get better by you watching Shark Week. Practice.

3. Have some fun – I tell every new On-Ramper, “If you don’t have fun doing this, then you should probably go somewhere else”. CrossFit can get you in great shape, but if you aren’t having fun while doing it, it can be a daunting task. Make some friends. Race some people. Crack a joke. Dance to “Call Me Maybe”. Whatever you need to do to not have to think about running up a hill or doing burpees. The more fun you have the more effective it will be.

2. Progress through Progression – The ego can be a tricky thing. I have seen people get their first kipping pull-up and then hop up on the rings to attempt a muscle-up. Things in life don’t work that way. You have to follow certain progressions or you crash and burn. Just because you won a high school debate doesn’t mean you should run for President. Practice the progressions. Master the “uncool” movements and everything else will fall into place.

1. Excuses are like… – We all know the phrase. Our minds will create just about any excuse to justify our lack of results. Do not create excuses, come up with solutions and plans. Find a way to be successful. Have a little injury? You can still workout around it. Don’t know how to cook? Learn how. The beauty of the CrossFit revolution is that it has created an open source wealth of knowledge. It has also created online communities of people who are working through problems just like yours. If you need help, all you need to do is ask.
There you have it. If you are honest to God, doing all of these things and still not seeing the results you want, then come talk to me personally and I’ll refund all your money back. I know you can also feel like you plateau or need help getting over a hurdle in your training.

Pre-WOD Experiment

July 23, 2012

As an experiment we’re giving everyone a sneak peak at some of what’s planned for this week’s workouts. (Don’t get used to this!) As always we will work around your injuries or limitations that limit your ability to do these movements. This agenda is subject to change:





Bench Press



: “Elizabeth” 21-15-9 of Cleans (135/95) and Ring Dips



: “Fran” 21-15-9 of Thrusters (95/65) & Pullups with a 10 minute goal.
See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCUmi2oqlvA


: CrossFit Games Open 12.3 – 18 minute AMRAP of
15 Box Jumps
12 Push Press or Jerk (115/75 lbs)
9 Toes To Bar
See http://media.crossfit.com/games/pdf/G2012Open12-3_EventScore.pdf
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMU4_evJHKA, and http://www.mobilitywod.com/2012/03/games-open-wod-12-3-prep-and-mechanics.html,


Back Squat


More progress!

May 28, 2012

Wow…work on strength, flexibility, and form….it works! Dan deadlifted 245 for reps last week and I think he’ll hit 300 by the end of the summer!

Dan Before

Dan After

Best Crossfit Shoes?

June 1, 2012

First of all, I have to say that the best shoes are CLEAN! (At least when you start the workout!) Please remember that we roll around on the floor a lot! In addition, the FT construction crew spends countless HOURS each week trying to keep the floors as clean as possible! So, please be respectful and clean the bottoms of your workout shoes!

As far as what type of shoes are the best? Look for shoes that have very little heel and are very light. Your traditional basketball or running shoes won’t work because of the big heel. Imagine trying to do heavy deadlifts on the mattress of your bed! That’s what those big clunky sneakers are like! Any running or racing flats are good choice. The New Balance minimus seems to be popular at our ‘box’.

My suggestions for picking new shoes:
• Go to Famous Footwear (they seem to have the best, cheapest, local selection).
• Walk around and find all the sneakers that fit you and low/flat heel.
• Out of all of those try to figure out which ones weigh the least amount.
• Don’t pay more than $65 for workout shoes.

New CrossFit WOD Schedule starts Monday July 2nd

June 27, 2012

Check out the new CrossFit Schenectady Summer Schedule.

For current “CrossFiters” the new schedule will start Monday July 2nd. We’ll see which classes are crowded and may need to adjust the schedule accordingly.

For new folks we’ll start the next CrossFit On-Ramp classes on July 16th and they will run for 3 weeks. These classes are for new folks to teach them the skills and intensity level required for CrossFit classes.

If you have a request for a class time that isn’t on the schedule please Contact us

You are what/where you want to be!

July 5, 2012

If you wanted to be different or feel different or look different you would find a way to do something about it. You would change your priorities to make it happen.

The rest of this post is courtesy of CrossFit Nittany:

This little reminder is brought to you courtesy of people with dramatic amounts of necessary lifestyle changes needed who tell me they can make it to the gym maybe 2-3 days a week at most. My response (in the most encouraging, yet eye-opening tone I can conjure up)…”Well, that’s great for the first two weeks while you are walking a few miles every other day. What are we going to do after that?” There is a single father of a four year old daughter finishing law school at age 28 named Jason Hoggan who set aside 1 hour per day to carve himself into being able to compete for the title of the fittest person in the world… so, sorry but I’m not buying it. Kudos to those of you doing what is necessary to make your health and well being a priority in your families despite difficult circumstances. My hat goes off to you and never hesitate to ask for a helping hand. Your friends at CrossFit Nittany will always do what we can.

What is a ‘Progression’?

July 18, 2012

In CrossFit a progression may be defined as “passing successfully from one member of a series to the next; succession; sequence.”

We don’t expect everyone to be able to actually do many of the CrossFit movements right away. Some of them are too complicated like the Olympic Lifts (Snatch and Clean & Jerk) and others are just downright difficult like Skin the Cats, Knees-to-Elbows or Toes to bar, Pull-ups, Dips, Handstands and Handstand Push-ups, etc…

For each of these CrossFit movements we use a “progression” to help us:
1) Learn the movement by performing the more simple/easier parts first
2) Improve your fitness and/or skill level by moving to the next progression in the series when you are able.

The other day after the WOD we did “Skin the Cats”. I had 1 person ask what they could do instead because they couldn’t flip all the way over. And, I had another person that seemed to think it was ok to just stand around and watch everyone else do it.

Just 20 minutes earlier I had gone through a 10 minute explanation of the skin the cat progression:
1. Sitting feet to hands/rings
2. Butt off ground feet to hands/rings
3. Hanging on rings, knees to belly button
4. Hanging on rings, hook feet on rings/straps
5. Feet to ceiling, bent knees
6. Etc….
7. Straight legs over and back …then start making the rings higher

To the person who stood off to the side and watched (you know who you are): if you are unable to sit on the floor holding the rings and touch your feet to your hands then you damn well better practice that skill! Why? Because it will make you stronger! It will make you more flexible and you’ll burn some calories in the process.

To the person who asked ‘Is there something else I can do instead’: NO! (Unless you’re injured of course) You got to step 4 in the progression once, then you got tired and couldn’t do it again. When this happens don’t just hang from the rings wildly kicking your legs and whining! Instead go back to the previous step in the progression and get stronger, more flexible and burn some calories!

So, pay attention to the progressions, work at your own skill/fitness level and be smart! If you can’t do something then practice the learning progression and eventually your weakness will become your strength!

Why do the Whole30 Challenge?

February 3, 2013

Instant Gratification
Instant Gratification
By Stephanie W.
Do you want more energy? better sleep? more personal records at the gym? and generally feel better? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these- then you should give Whole30 Challenge a try.

Whole30 is not a “diet”. Whole30 is a way to change your eating habits over 30 days to develop a better and healthy relationship with food. The Whole30 will help eliminate cravings – whether it is sugar, cheese, bread, or yes- even alcohol. Whole30 will help you think about what you are putting in your mouth and question whether or not it will help you or hurt you. So what is the Whole30? Here is a brief summary to help you get started:

• Eliminate SUGAR- this includes added sugar like honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup. Also NO artificial sweeteners
• Eliminate ALCOHOL- it’s a concentrated source of calories no matter how ‘good’ it makes you feel
• Eliminate GRAINS- this includes wheat, oats, corn, rice, quinoa, etc.
• Eliminate LEGUMES- this includes all beans, soy (tofu, soy sauce, edamame) and peanuts
• Eliminate DAIRY- this includes milk, cheese, and butter

So you may be asking yourself- what the $&@! can I eat?!! The answer – REAL FOOD!! Like fruits, veggies, meat, nuts. That may not sound like a lot, but there’s a huge variety of great and wonderful food that you can eat that is hugely satisfying. How does steak and eggs for breakfast sound? With a side of fruit salad? Or beef and sweet potato stew for dinner on a cold winter’s night? There are so many options.

Throughout the 30 days tips, ideas, and recipes will be posted to help you through the process and remind you that you are not alone. Stay tuned for more details on the food you can eat and those that you should stay clear of- and why. So sign up and take this journey to a better, more healthy you!

“Core Conditioning” vs. “Atheletic Performance”

January 6, 2012

Power Clean
Power Clean
Who should you believe when it comes to fitness and nutrition? So many fitness experts publish materials that contradict each other. Today’s example is an article about ‘Core Conditioning’:

Core Conditioning and Athletic Performance

This article is published by “IDEA Health and Fitness Association”. Their tagline is “THE WORLD’S LARGEST ASSOCIATION FOR FITNESS & WELLNESS PROFESSIONALS”.

The article states that “core strength” and “athletic performance” are not very closely related. It even developed a clinical study to prove this point. However, all the study really proves is that you need to train muscles the way you plan on using them. This study proves that the length of time a person can perform static holds (such as planks, bridges, arm supports, even handstands) is NOT directly related to movements requiring speed, strength, coordination, agility and power. The squat, bench press, power clean, vertical jump, 20- and 40-yard sprints and 10-yard shuttle run were used in the study.

This study refers to holding back extension, trunk flexion, and left and right bridge as “strength”. However, according to the same organization ‘muscular strength’ is defined as (http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/muscular-fitness-tests) “the maximal force that can be generated by a specific muscle or muscle group during a single movement”. And states that “muscular strength test results are usually expressed in terms of the amount of weight lifted during the test.” So, if you were doing a plank with weight piled on your back that would be strength. The “amount of weight” you can support for 20 seconds would indicate strength according to their definition.

The measures of “athletic ability” were all done by measuring “The squat, bench press, power clean, vertical jump, 20- and 40-yard sprints and 10-yard shuttle run”. However, doesn’t the length of time you can hold a handstand indicate a level of athletic ability? How about running a marathon? According to this organization muscular endurance is defined as “the ability of a muscle group to execute repeated contractions over a period of time to fatigue” or “maintenance of a given amount of force for as long as possible until fatigue sets in, as in a bent-arm hang test.” However the study comparing “core strength” to “athletic ability” doesn’t include muscular endurance as a measure of “athletic ability”.

OK, I’m just on a total rant now…but doesn’t running a marathon count as ‘core conditioning’? Aren’t you using your “core” to stabilize your body during that long run? Without a stable “core” could you actually finish a 5k run?

I guess my point about all of this is: Don’t believe everything you read even if it is backed up by a scientific study of some type. Read more into it. Do research. Use your own trial and error to figure out what works for you. If you aren’t absolutely positive what every word means then don’t jump to conclusions based on what you think it means.

Thoughts anyone?

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