How Often Should You Workout?

One of the most common questions I receive from new athletes is “How often should I workout?”. My response is always the same “Depends on your individual goals, experience and recovery.

How often you should workout is an individual thing and can even change from month to month depending on what you have going on. But a good rule of thumb and what I preach to my new athletes is 3-4 days per week.  I came up with this advice based on the following:

  1. Most of my athletes are just looking for all around health and fitness.  They are not looking to deadlift 3 times their bodyweight or quality for the Boston Marathon. My athletes want to be able to hike 14er, keep up with their kids, feel comfortable in a bath suit and live long healthy lives.  With 3-4 days a week, will see gains in strength (ie. build muscle) and aerobic conditioning (ie. burpees will start to get a little more manageable, not easier)
  2. Most of my athletes are mid-30s to 60s. Their bodies have a little wear and tear on them from playing sports and/or having too much of a good time in their younger years. Their bodies just don’t recover as fast as they used to.  With 3-4 days a week they allow their bodies time to adapt to the intensity and recover between workouts.
  3. All of my athletes enjoy the challenge of pushing themselves and the results they see from it so much that they (myself included) need to be reminded that more is not necessarily better, quality is better.  I would rather have my athletes give me 100% effort 3-4 times per week versus 60% effort 6-7 times per week.

-Matthew Kirkendall, Owner/Head Coach

Group Fitness Workouts

The main goal for most, if not all, of our athletes, is all around health and fitness.   This means being strong and fit at the same time.  It means being able to lift heavy things around the house and running around the block without stopping.

Our group workouts are structured with this #1 goal in mind. Most days our group class workouts consist of both a strength and conditioning component.  This allows for a balance in our athletes overall fitness, while also giving them what they want and need.

Everyone wants to be stronger and for good reason.  In a typical week we include specific strength training on 4 days.  This includes 2 days devoted to lower body and 2 for upper body.   Of those 2 days, one day we keep the rep count low and weight heavier (obviously as form permits).  The other day we do the opposite, keeping the rep count is higher and the weight lower. This allows our athletes to build all around strength to handle any task that is thrown at them from moving the couch to beating their kids in a push-up contest.

While most of our athletes like lifting heavy sh-t, there is not the same desire to run intervals, push a sled or do burpees.  Conditioning is that piece of the fitness puzzle that gets your heart pounding, sweat rolling and leaves you out of breath.  It can be uncomfortable at times, but it’s an important piece if you want to see results.  We include some level of conditioning work in each of our group workouts.  This work can vary in movements, time, intensity and rest.   On the 4 days we have strength training programmed into the workout, we also include a short faster pace metcon (short for metabolic conditioning) of some sort. The other 2 days of the week that we don’t have strength training, we spice things up with a long slower pace aerobic or partner workout. For these workouts, the movements are usually less technical, the weight is lighter and can last from 25 to 40 minutes in length.  These are also the workouts where you will certainly see some type of mono-structural movement like running, rowing, or jump rope. Again we are trying to balance what our athletes want versus need.

We structure our group workouts to be constantly varied, but never random, very intentional and consistent in targeting our athletes strengths (likes) and weaknesses (dislikes). That’s it.  That is our secret to coaching the fittest people in Broomfield. 

– Matthew Kirkendall, Owner/Head Coach

Is Your Workout Routine Supporting Your Goals?

All of us joined the gym for different reasons.  Maybe it was coming off a doctors appointment with some news of borderline high blood pressure.  Maybe it was being winded when we climbed the stairs. Maybe it was finally time to start putting ourselves first instead of everyone else. For most of us, it was to have a healthier lifestyle so years from how we can keep up with our children, grandchildren, or just keep enjoying all the beautiful things that CO has to offer us.

However, are you letting your comfort zone dictate your workout routine, which is impacting your goals? Do you have those workout movements that when you see them you cancel class or have a negative mindset going into the class?   I’m going to let you in on a little secret, those classes that have the movements that give us hives are the ones we NEED to sign up for!  Don’t just signing up for those heavy lifting days and skip (or coincidentally schedule a rest day) those longer cardio days.  Both are important to improving your overall health and getting you to your goal.

I encourage you to Embrace the SUCK!  When you do, you will start to see your fitness level change and overall feel healthier from the inside out. The short and fast workouts will get easier, and you will find your unlimited potential in both your mind and body. In the end, years from now your future self will thank you for not giving up on your goals. 

-Erica Erickson, Group Fitness Coach

Is A Personal Trainer Right For You?

Are you one that sets healthy goals and by the end of January you find yourself saying “I will get started
tomorrow.” “I will find the time in two days, what is one more day of rest.” With each excuse, you are
slipping away from YOUR goals? If you are just starting out with an exercise program or are no longer
seeing results with your current routine, I recommend you keep reading.
Sometimes a Personal Trainer is just what we need to get going or take our fitness journey to the next
level. If you answer YES to one of these questions, now is the time to learn more about investing in
 Are you new and not even sure where to get started on a fitness path?
 Have you hit a plateau and not making progress?
 Need extra accountability to help you be consistent showing up on your training days?
 Need an extra push for the extra intensity in your workouts?
 Want to learn new movements and ensure you are doing them correctly?
 Recovering from an injury or illness and want to ensure you return to the gym safely?
 Trying to get your first pull up, hit a personal PR, or just feel more comfortable in group classes?
Most of us work harder in the presence of others. Have a personal trainer waiting for you will ensure
you show up for yourself, they will provide the encouragement, energy and motivation you need to get
started, but also to finish and not give up on yourself. A trainer will help you set realistic goals, create a
plan to accomplish them and celebrate the day you reach them. When it comes to fitness, everyone is
different and there is no one shoe fits all approach. Your unique body mechanics, experience, goals,
fitness level, likes and dislikes can guide your trainer in creating a plan specific to your needs. With a
program that fits, you are more likely to maintain the habit you are creating and reach the goals you
have set.
Your personal trainer is much more than a fitness coach. They’re there to help improve your fitness, but
they also care about your well-being. They can help improve nutrition and even your mental health by
giving you exercises aimed at relieving stress. Don’t let intimidation hold you back! The benefits of
personal training outweigh your fears by a long shot. You can sign up for in personal or online training
via zoom and know that the one-on-one attention won’t be compromised. Reach out to us today and
we will get you set up with one of our personal trainers to see how we can assist you on your personal
-Erica Erickson, Group Fitness Coach

Group Fitness

Group Fitness is just one option we offer our members. Our group classes are 60-minutes in length. During that time we are moving from start to finish. Each class is the broken down into 3 sections: Warm-up, Strength, and Conditioning (what we can a metcon). The coach leads the class though each section make sure everyone know what they should be doing and why they are doing it. Our group classes are limited to no more than 8 members. We keep our class size small for 2 reason: 1) Space – with 1000 sqf of working area we want each member to feel that they have enough room to move comfortably and safely 2) Personal attention – with an 8 to 1 ratio of athlete to coach, that coach can provide each member with personal attention they deserve.

About 85% of our members choose this fitness option. Group classes are a great option for the person who enjoys the social aspect and camaraderie that is formed between fellow members.  If you would like to learn more about our group classes schedule your Free Intro now.

-Matthew Kirkendall, Head Coach/Owner

Trust Your Coach

I’ve been nursing a sore shoulder for what feels like months now.   It has been so long I don’t recall what it feels like to sleep on my left side without discomfort.  I’ve done all the responsible things: I’ve been to PT to verify it’s not a major injury; I’m rolling and stretching; I’m modifying workouts, which is the worst part of it all– making necessary modifications to get safely through each workout without pain.  This is not a unique story. Most of us at one time or another have experienced aches and pains that refuse to go away.  One unfortunate consequence of consistent hard work is the occasional over-use injury. It’s not always indicative of poor technique or pushing too hard but is more likely your body’s natural response to over-work. So, what is our most common response?   Unfortunately, many of us respond by changing very little and hoping it “just goes away.” We don’t like to admit to not feeling great, and we really don’t want to change what we are doing. If you don’t want to visit a physical therapist and do the necessary stretching and rolling, etc., then at least tell your coach what is going on.

 As coaches, we are constantly asking athletes how they’re feeling so we can respond to their individual needs.  We aren’t there just to facilitate the workout and manage Spotify. Our goal is to challenge you and keep you safe in the process.  We can customize a workout for you while protecting that aching back or sore shoulder; we just need you tell us what is going on.  There’s a curious human dynamic we all work hard to fight through when admitting we don’t feel great, but there is nothing more important than telling your coach about the ache in your lower back if we’re deadlifting or swinging heavy kettlebells!  “Scaling” a WOD is simply taking a different path to the same destination. It’s the coach’s job to navigate the route to safely avoid any trouble spots and ensure the athlete gets a challenging workout. The goal for any athlete is consistency, which requires doing the work and monitoring the body to optimize recovery and avoid injury.  The two are not mutually exclusive.

So, talk to your coach and share what is going on.  Let us do everything we can to help you get a hard workout and stay consistent.  Missing several weeks of workouts takes an emotional and physical toll far greater than ‘admitting’ to your coach your shoulder is sore.

-Chris Jackson, Group Fitness Coach


In my opinion inconsistency is one of the biggest reasons for minor aches and pains. And I am not just talking about inconsistency in your weekly workout routine, even though this definitely has a huge impact on a person’s injury rate but inconsistency in other factors like recovery, nutrition, and workload.

The body thrives on consistency. When you are consistent with anything the body has time to learn, adapt and improve on that thing. If you are changing things up too often or worse yet not following through on what you started, your body never gets in a groove and it feels like you are starting all over every time you go back to that thing.

Think back the last time you had an injury. Did you skip a scheduled rest day for another workout? Did you throw weight on the bar instead of following a systematic gradual progression? Did you skip a meal or eat like shit for a few days? Being consistent makes a difference.

If you find yourself to be injury prone, look at establishing consistency in your training first.

-Matthew Kirkendall, Head Coach/Owner

Postpartum Fitness

I am writing this about 4 months postpartum and while I obviously have a million and one things to learn, there are a few key takeaways I have learned about postpartum fitness during these last 4 months. First I want to say that I acknowledge that every woman has a different postpartum experience, different birth, different recovery, different circumstances. I am NOT a Dr. and do not pretend to be. 

1. REST IS ESSENTIAL – No matter what kind of birth you experience, REST is the number 1 thing you should be focused on for the first several weeks. We encourage weeks of rest when it comes to a shoulder or back injury and I definitely don’t think that giving birth to a human should be any different. Rest is the key to success those first few weeks postpartum.
2. YOU HAVE TO MAKE IT HAPPEN – When you are ready to workout again (not just when you are cleared to by your Dr., but when you are READY), you truly have to make it happen. It WILL NOT, I repeat WILL NOT, just happen. And even if you have the perfect plan to make it happen, there is about a 98% chance that something comes up with your brand new baby that will no longer let it happen at that time. You must be able to pivot and adjust to make it happen. Now, this can be stressful, and I don’t think you should put so much stress on it that it makes you an anxious mess, BUT I 100% believe that movement should be a huge priority. We need, you need, your family needs, your baby needs a happy and healthy momma. Making your health and fitness needs a priority ensures that you are a happy and healthy momma. I think sometimes moms can get into a “mom guilt” spiral if not every second of their day is spent tending to their baby, but to be able to tend to your baby and your family you truly do need to be the best version of you and trust me, new into the postpartum journey isn’t usually the “best version” of any mom. It’s hard and lonely. Getting some movement in CAN HELP!
3. SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE – Ok ok I know I’m not really the one who can preach this, because I am known to push my pace a little more than I probably should, BUT that doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize the importance of starting slow when it comes to returning to fitness post baby! First of all, your body hasn’t done some of the things you want to do in MONTHS! Your body also completely changed to make room for another human, so there are muscles that haven’t been used in quite awhile. Patience is key. It’s difficult, trust me I know, to feel “trapped” in your own body. You try to engage your core muscles and literally nothing happens (super weird). You feel pretty good, but your body literally just can’t lift that much weight, like it just doesn’t happen. Take a deep breath and know that IT WILL happen again. This is a phase and just like with anything in health and fitness, “Quitting won’t speed it up” so keep going. Your focus right now should be moving for your mental health and eventually your strength and endurance will come back!
I believe that postpartum fitness is constantly changing territory. It takes determination, strength, commitment and so much more, but the pay off is HUGE not just for you, but for your new and growing family, as well. Get that movement in momma! It’s worth it!
– Kari Kirkendall, Nutrition Coach / Event & Media Director / Youth Fitness Director

‘Tis the season for family, festivity, and food…lots of food

Ok, things might look a little different this year for festivity and family gathers. One thing
might not change is the food. We all have those holiday favorites that we make
between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Everyone should enjoy those favorites in
moderation and here are some tips to help us stay on track for the holiday season.

  • If you have a sweet treat, cut back on other carbs (like potatoes and bread)
    during the meal.
  • If you plan to eat later than normal, eat a small snack to control your blood sugar.
  • Don’t skip meals to save up for a feast. It will be harder to manage your blood
    sugar, and you’ll be really hungry and more likely to overeat.
  • Start with veggies!
  • Eat slowly. It takes at least 20 minutes for your brain to realize you’re full.
  • Hydrate, hydrate and make sure you hydrate!

No food is on naughty list, it’s more about the amount we eat that puts it on the naughty
list. Be selective on what you pick and watch how much you eat of it. Slow down and
savory those favorite dishes.

Get creative on the appetizers and make a custom charcuterie board. Don’t know where to start, here are a few items to get it going. Meat, cheese, crackers apples, mix of berries, veggies, pretzel sticks, nuts, heathy dips, and a few surprises.

Here is the secret weapon for enjoying those holiday favorites…….Being active is your secret holiday
weapon; it can help make up for eating more than usual and reduce stress during this most stressful time of year.
The last appointment you should cancel during this time is the one you set for yourself. Get your workout in early
before the day gets crazy or plan a family walk after your big meal before you pull out the dessert and set in for an
extra drink.

In the end it’s not about the food, it’s about the loved ones we get to celebrate with during this holiday season.

-Erica Erickson, Group Fitness Coach

In It Together

All the messiness of the last 6 months continues to teach us a lot about ourselves. It reveals what we value, what we fear, and how we feel about others.  For some of us, it’s been a great opportunity to spend less time working and more time with family. For others it’s too much time with family and not enough time working! Regardless of your situation, you’ve no doubt been forced to take a hard look at how you spend your precious time. During the first lockdown, my family enjoyed hunkering down together and doing workouts outside around the laptop.  But the novelty soon wore off and we were ready for breakfast at Snooze and workouts in the gym. For many of us, the gym is our sanctuary. It’s the place where I can push myself for the reward of an endorphin rush and the satisfaction that I put another hard workout “in the bank.” It’s where I have the privilege to lead other athletes and friends through tough WODs  and the satisfaction following when they thank me for the encouraging “push.”  But most of all, it’s the community of people with whom we share the space. It’s where Elise and Kari chatter non-stop through the 5am class, Clint begs for more burpees, and Sarah makes a giant mess of chalk on the floor.  It’s where Andrew squats 2x my body weight, and Travis loads his barbell while sitting cross-legged on the floor. It’s where Lisa Dunn shouts words of encouragement to other athletes during Wednesday partner WODs.  And it’s where we joyfully welcome new athletes like Chhavi, Jen, Clayton and others to our tribe.  It’s our refuge from the oppression of our “new normal.”

So, now we huddle around social media like a 1940’s transistor radio, awaiting decisions of state and county officials regarding our response to current pandemic threat levels.  We are all hoping and praying for a solution that allows for small business owners to survive without sacrificing the physical and mental health of the community. Selfishly, I fear my gym will be closed and I’ll no longer enjoy the luxury of pushing away from my desk at noon to break up my day with a workout.   For most of us though, the stakes are much higher and the past 6 months have been far more challenging. Which is why we need our community; we need to be part of something, to belong.  I have so much to be grateful for, including the gym.  So I plan to keep showing up, wearing a mask, wiping down the equipment, and having fun with friends.    I hope for your mental and physical health, you do the same.

-Chris Jackson, Group Fitness Coach