No Short Cuts only Smart Cuts

Many of us have suffered some kind of setback in life. Setbacks in the gym are sometimes the hardest for so many of us as this is our place where we release stress, anger, all the emotions that are hitting you on that day.  We can walk out the door mentally stronger to take on whatever is coming our way.  Some of us will recognize that it wasn’t the gym that hurt us; however, some of us will feel it was the reason for the setback. For someone who has battled back issues and recently been sidelined for eight weeks due to a surgery, I know it can be hard to show up and not feel frustrated.  Here is some advice that has helped me to keep wanting to not cancel.


The gym isn’t the reason for my back pain!  I’m to blame for NOT listening well enough to my body and talking to my coach.  The bareball didn’t put the weight on it, I added the weight. My coach didn’t scale it enough for me, I sometimes didn’t tell them how bad things were feeling to force me to scale movements. We know our bodies the best and when something is off, it means slow down, go down in weight, and/or adjust the movement.  By doing this it keeps you coming back and not sidelined.  There is a misconception that scaling something is BAD!  That mindset has to be left at the door. Stop comparing yourself to others in the class and start comparing yourself to the person you were when you walked into the gym.  It’s important to be honest with yourself and the coach, believe me your workout will be just as hard if not harder when modified appropriately.


Lastly, if you’ve been out for an extended period of time, don’t try to pick up right where you left off.  You need to ease into your weight, your movements, and your intensity.  While it’s going to be the biggest struggle, you need to tell the mind to SHUT the HECK UP and remember you need to treat yourself like a newer athlete.  The body needs time to get back into the routine, and by listening to your coach and body, you will find the set back is making you mentally and physically stronger.


Be diligent on your journey.  Remember it isn’t the NOT gym that is the issue, it’s our mental state of instant gratification that is hurting us.  There are NO shortcuts as we walk through the doors, there NEEDS to be only SMART cuts!

-Erica Erickson, Group Fitness Coach

Feeding Your Teen

The Secret To Getting Your Teen To Excel In Sports (and life!) is NUTRITION!! This is the #1 way you can guarantee your teenager will excel in any sport they want to participate in and also a guaranteed way to set them up for success for all things in life!
Eating well and staying nourished, especially for an athletic teenager, is truly one of the most important things we can do to help them stay strong, energetic, injury free and happy (YES – good nutrition absolutely contributes to better attitudes!).
Something that we see ALL THE TIME in our nutrition coaching program with kids of this age (13-17) is that they are massively under-eating for the most part and the calories they are consuming aren’t always the most balanced. Which means there is so much being left on the table in terms of their sports performance, ability to recover, ability to stay injury free and, of course, their ability to excel far beyond what their other teammates and opponents might be able to do.
Teen nutrition is tricky because broccoli will never sound appealing to a 16 year old (or adults). So we have to get creative! Instead of pulling things out of their diet or saying “you can’t/won’t eat this for whatever reason” (which will only cause a major power struggle!), try ADDING things into their diet! Examples would be:
“Lets eat a cup of vegetables today in addition to everything else you eat” DO NOT take anything away. Just add in 1 cup of vegetables every day. 
“Let’s eat balanced meals this week! Balanced means each meal has a protein, carbohydrate and a fat included.” If pasta is on the lunch plan that week challenge them to eat some protein along with it! 
Eating enough of the right calories goes A LONG WAY in terms of energy and performance levels. Especially with athletes, under-eating is way way too common and can not only lead to tired and very crabby kids, but will also lead to a higher rate of injury and lack of recovery. Being sure they aren’t skipping meals and have enough meals to get through their training sessions or sometimes multiple training sessions every day is a big big key to success.
We know this is all easier said than done and that there is only so much control a parent has after a certain age, BUT leading by example, always encouraging those healthier eating habits and giving them examples of the benefits it can provide can all help them succeed when it comes to eating well and eating to excel in their sport.
If you or your teen need help in sports nutrition or just nutrition in general, reach out to us! We would love to help!
– Kari Kirkendall Nutrition Coach/Youth Fitness Director

Improving Your Recovery Time After Working Out

There are several things you can do to improve your recovery time after a workout:

  1. Cool down properly: After an intense workout, it’s important to allow your body to gradually cool down. This can be done by performing a few minutes of light exercise or stretching.
  2. Hydrate: Drinking enough water before, during, and after exercise is essential for optimal performance and recovery. Water helps to flush out metabolic waste products and replenish lost fluids.
  3. Get enough rest: Rest is crucial for allowing your body to recover and repair itself after a workout. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and consider taking short naps during the day if you feel tired.
  4. Eat a balanced diet: Consuming a balanced diet that includes plenty of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats can help your body recover from a workout more quickly. Focus on eating whole, nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources.
  5. Use foam rollers or massage: Foam rollers and massage can help to improve circulation, reduce muscle soreness, and speed up recovery time. You can also use self-massage techniques, such as using a tennis ball or foam roller, to target specific areas of the body.
  6. Listen to your body: Pay attention to how your body is feeling after a workout. If you feel overly fatigued or sore, take a break from exercising or reduce the intensity of your workouts until you feel better.
  7. Consider supplements: Certain supplements, such as protein powders, BCAAs, and creatine, may help to speed up recovery after a workout. However, it’s important to speak with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements, as they can interact with medications and may not be appropriate for everyone.
– Matt Kirkendall Owner/Head Coach

Why We Should Do More Burpees

Burpees are a popular and effective exercise for improving fitness and overall health. Here are some reasons why burpees are good for you:

  1. Full-Body Workout: Burpees are a compound exercise that works multiple muscle groups in your body, including your legs, glutes, core, chest, back, and arms. This means you can get a full-body workout in a short amount of time.
  2. Cardiovascular Health: Burpees are a high-intensity exercise that can get your heart rate up quickly, making it an excellent exercise for cardiovascular health.
  3. Increases Strength and Endurance: Regularly performing burpees can help increase your overall strength and endurance. As you progress, you can increase the number of reps or add weights to make the exercise more challenging.
  4. Burns Calories: Burpees are a high-intensity exercise that can burn a significant amount of calories in a short amount of time, making them an effective exercise for weight loss.
  5. Can be done Anywhere: Burpees require no equipment, so they can be done anywhere, making them a convenient and versatile exercise.

Overall, burpees are an excellent exercise for improving fitness, building strength and endurance, and burning calories. However, they can be challenging, so it’s essential to start slowly and progress gradually to avoid injury.

– Matt Kirkendall, Owner/Head Coach

Advantages Of Reverse Lunges

Reverse lunges offer several advantages over forward lunges. One advantage is that they place less stress on the knee joint. This is because the movement of the reverse lunge emphasizes the use of the glutes and hamstring muscles, rather than the quadriceps. This can be beneficial for individuals who have knee pain or are recovering from a knee injury.

Another advantage of reverse lunges is that they can help to improve balance and stability. When performing a reverse lunge, the front leg is stationary, which requires the individual to maintain balance on one leg. This can help to improve overall balance and stability, which can carry over to other exercises and activities.

Finally, reverse lunges can also help to improve hip mobility. The movement of the reverse lunge requires the hip to move through a greater range of motion than a forward lunge. This can help to improve the flexibility and mobility of the hip joint, which can be beneficial for overall mobility and movement patterns.

Overall, reverse lunges offer advantages over forward lunges in terms of knee stress, balance and stability, and hip mobility. These benefits make reverse lunges an excellent option for individuals looking to improve their lower body strength, stability and mobility.

-Matt Kirkendall, Owner/Head Coach

Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

So many of us think that the most important part of recovery outside of the gym is a rest day.  While this is important, one of the most important things you need is consistent SLEEP! If you’re a parent, you know how important it is to keep your child on their sleep schedule.  However, it’s just as important for us adults.

Lack of sleep will leave you cranky, tired, stressed, and forgetting things. Sleep is where the body repairs itself. If many of us tracked our sleep, we would notice that we don’t get enough and it isn’t until we are off schedule, one might start to see a change in their performance in the gym.  Something that used to be light, might now feel heavy.  Speed on runs or the rower might start to slow down. 

Is your sleep consistent? Many of us would probably answer no. One needs to have consistent sleep so that we hit all four stages of sleep. Sleep stages are important because they allow your brain and body to recuperate and develop.  Failure to get enough deep sleep and REM sleep over time can impact your physical and mental health. A few years ago, I started tracking my sleep on my WHOOP Band and it’s been crazy to see how stress, eating late, alcohol, sickness, and staying up late to watch one more episode of a show impacts the four stages of my cycle.

No, you don’t need to run out and get something that tracks your sleep cycles. What you might want to consider is tracking your sleep for a month by noticing the changes in how you feel inside and outside the gym.   Here are a few ideas to consider for the next month.

-Be ACTIVE by coming to class or staying on a routine while traveling.
-Stay HYDRATED throughout the day, but watch your water intake too close to bed.
-Avoid late afternoon CAFFEINE intake as it can stay in your system for up to four hours.
-Limit EATING too late into the night as digesting food is a very active process.
-Going to bed and waking up at a CONSISTENT time, yes that means even on the weekend within about 30 minutes of your weekly routine.
-Limit your ALCOHOL intake. I know you just inserted an eye roll here, but I challenge you for two weeks to see how much of a difference it makes with your quality of sleep. 

As we move into fall and winter.  A consistent sleep schedule can keep us feeling good inside and outside the gym.

-Erica Erickson, Group Fitness Coach

Do You Need A Reset?

This past week our family of six took to the ski slopes for our first skiing spring break.  Within the first hour, I was wishing we were on the beach.  I quickly realized our younger twins needed a RESET.  So off we went into the lodge, boots off, gloves off, and enjoyed the people watching. Second day we hit the bunny hill. I had some hope that the day would get better once our littles warmed up.  Nope, after about 90 minutes, it was time for a lunch RESET.

It was during this second RESET,  I thought it’s like taking on nutrition.  The first time I started working with Kari, I was blown away by how much I learned.  She taught me how I wasn’t eating enough and we learned how my body doesn’t process fat well.  I learned that I didn’t have a good balance of carbs, protein, and fat, hence why I felt tired even with a good night’s sleep.  I also found out how much different my body felt by eliminating some foods or ensuring some food were only in moderation.  I did a RESET with her once I began my marathon training. There is no way I would’ve been able to fuel my body appropriately without her HELP.  Another year later, I needed another RESET.  This time my goal was to get back on track after a year of back pain, stress, COVID fatigue, and recognizing I purely needed some Accountability.

So many feel that nutrition is only about trying to lose weight.  Well I have to disagree! For some of us, it is about learning how to have a healthy relationship with food, or for the individuals that need help with event or race training.  It’s for the individuals that want to gain muscle and feel strong inside and outside the gym.  It’s also for the individuals that feel like they have hit a plateau. Many of us need a RESET when we aren’t seeing the results we are hoping to see in the gym.

So on the last day of our ski trip, I realized it was the RESETS that got our younger twins skiing three straight hours on our last day.  I ask you this, if you did a Nutrition REST, where do you think you might be in the next three months?  Race PR?  Better sleep?  Less illness? More energy? Muscle Gain?  Choosing to do a nutrition REST, is an investment in all the hard work you do day in and day out when you walk into the gym and/or train for your upcoming race/event.

-Erica Erickson, Group Fitness Coach

Why Warm Up Exercises Are Important

Coaches ask you to ensure you show up on time, because we know how important it is for you
to warm up your body before we jump into both strength and the WOD. Sometimes the warmup
feels like a mini workout, but here are the main reasons why we do the warmups that we do.
Warming up is important to increase the body temperature which will be helpful to warm up our
muscles. Sometimes the warmup will be longer or shorter, it will depend on if we have strength
training or jumping right into a workout. The warm up allows you as an athlete to see how the
body is feeling, and it allows your coach to see how you’re moving. If you’re coming off an
injury, it allows everyone to see how the body is feeling, and ensure we adjust the movement
prior to moving along in the workout.
Many times your warm up will incorporate some of the movements we will be completing during
the workout. It allows you as an athlete to practice it and allow coaches to see how you’re
moving. If necessary it gives us time to help you practice or find a new movement to ensure
you don’t hurt yourself.
Last but not least, warming up gets you mentally ready for what is coming your way in both the
strength training and also workout. Warming up protects you from injury!! As an athlete, you
need to take the warm up as seriously as how much weight you put on your barbell. So give
yourself that extra five minutes to ensure your ready when class starts and be focused on giving
your body the time it needs to fully warm up and crush your daily workout.

-Erica Erickson, Group Fitness Coach

You Are Your Harshest Critic

Many times we are our harshest critics.  We beat ourselves up for all the small things we could have done better. We beat ourselves up when the results are less than expected….usually expectations we set for ourselves.  We can completely lose sight of appreciating that we are able to do what we enjoy and get fit along the way.
When things don’t go my way in the gym, I feel embarrassed, angry and disappointed. I know I could have done it or done it better and I question my decisions. I run the scenario over and over in my head trying to figure out what I could have done differently and I know I’m not alone. Many of us get angry or beat ourselves up when things don’t go our way in the gym. Especially if it happens more than once or twice in a short period of time.
My wife is usually quick to set me straight by reminding me “It truly is just a workout” and too  “Not be so hard on myself”. She is obviously usually.
I was able to get in my daily workout.  It kicked my but (this is a good thing).  And now I know what I need to work on. I think this is a thought process and advice we can all use. Focus on what you can do vs what you can’t or didn’t do. Focus on the fact that you get to move your body in a beneficial way and THAT is what matters most. Something is better than nothing, always and that is what true health, fitness and consistency is all about.
-Matthew Kirkendall Head Coach/Owner

Don’t Let The Cold Hold You Back

Confession: Last week I ditched working out seven days in a row. Why? It
was cold out, it was dark and I was visiting family. So many of us struggle
when the weather gets cold outside, but honestly, it’s during these times that
we need to stick to our routine. Don’t worry this is a judgement FREE zone! If
you too recently fell out of your workout routine, here are 5 tips to help keep
you going so the winter’s dark skies and cold temperatures don’t steal your
fitness groove.
1. Jump back in, but give yourself grace as it might be a little hard at first.
The first step is starting again and making yourself a priority again.
The more you put off getting back into your routine, the harder it is to
get back into activity later, which becomes a vicious circle.
2. Get your workout stuff ready the night before. You are less likely to
cancel when you know everything is already set out.
3. Remind yourself how much a workout does for your mood and soul.
Did you know that research shows that exercise can help boost your
mood and even alleviate long-term depression. This is even more
important during the winter. Many times it's the steps to the car that
are the hardest one. Once you back out of the driveway there is no
looking back, you are committed!
4. Still struggling to get yourself into the gym, find a workout buddy or
tell a coach that you need some accountability. Having a workout
buddy helps us get to class as the guilt of knowing someone is waiting
for you will keep you from hitting the delete button.
5. Remind yourself of why you started. Sometimes we need to reevaluate
our goals. Maybe your goal was to lose 5 pounds, now that you have
reached that goal, set a new one so that you have that extra push to
help you keep yourself motivated.

Yes, our beds feel so comfy when it’s cold and dark outside, but remind
yourself that once you get five minutes into the warm up, you will be
complaining it's too hot and your mood will be boosted.

-Erica Erickson, Group Fitness Coach