It is clear that the fitness industry is changing and what we offer, as a boutique style gym, is very different from that of a larger “globo” style gym. We are breaking down a few differences for you!
“Im not fit enough.” “I need to get in shape before I can join your gym.”
If you do a quick internet search for CrossFit you will see some of the fittest athletes in the world. Men and women that look like they should be (and probably are) on the cover for a fitness magazine and doing workouts that would leave any normal person face down in the dirt. While these athletes are certainly “CrossFitters” they are a very small percentage of the CrossFit community, like less than 1%. This is like comparing the NFL to your neighborhood flag football team. The majority of the members who frequent my gym are JUST LIKE YOU. They are not looking to lift a 500lb deadlift, run a sub 5 minute mile or give up their pizza. They just want to be able to keep up with their kids, hike a 14er, clean the garage without pulling a muscle and just maybe look good in a bathing suit.
After talking with hundreds of potential members, the #1 hesitation about getting started is not being fit enough. My response is “Don’t you go to the gym to get fit? If you were already fit you would not need to go to the gym. Also you will never be fit enough. Fitness is a lifelong journey and there is always room for improvement.”
I’m not going to lie, the workouts we do here are tough. But doing the tough stuff leads to change and results. You will certainly leave here sweaty and tired but with a feeling of accomplishment and pride. And don’t worry the coaches will modify any workout to meet your level of fitness so you will get a good workout while being safe about it.
-Matt Kirkendall, Head Coach
If you’re ready for results it’s time to ditch the health club…
There was a time when we got all the exercise we require from our daily activities. But as hunting and gathering lead to farming and eventually the industrialized world we live in today the need for human “labor” has been nearly eradicated. Now that we work desk jobs, eat our meals from the hot bar at Whole Foods, and enjoy a generally sedentary lifestyle we are required to reintroduce this missing physical activity. For some reason, the question of how to add physical activity, or work, back into our lives is one that has proven to be puzzling, controversial, and difficult terrain to navigate.
In response to the demands of the market the fitness industry has grown tremendously, particularly in North America where an estimated $28 billion was spent in 2015. Much of this industry is dominated by health clubs and large gym franchises that offer a sampling of strength equipment, cardio machines, TV’s, massage chairs and minimal staffing. Granted how many staff members do you need when your members don’t actually attend the club? In a study done by students at UC Berkeley found 67% of gym memberships are never used in the population they surveyed.
“If you are not going to the gym, you are actually the gym’s best customer.” -Stacey Vanek Smith, NPR
The savvy marketers at big box gyms know how to target their marketing towards individuals who won’t actually come to the facility. As humans we often get a rush of excitement by a new fitness undertaking. “This is it, the time I actually change, no looking back,” you say. The challenge is that the health club has made zero commitment to you. They don’t care if you show up or not. Luckily there is someone out there who does.
Boutique fitness is the alternative to the traditional health club model. Boutique gyms offer specialized classes based on the expertise of the owners, teachers, or coaches. CrossFit boxes, Barre studios, Bikram yoga, parkour facilities, spin classes are all great examples of the boutique fitness model.
These communities succeed when the all parts are working together; the owner, staff, and clientele all succeed when they each meet their goals. This synergistic effect leads to faster results and more satisfaction from all parties. As a client you have a team of coaches and fellow members who are all rooting for you, teaching you, and most importantly holding you accountable. Becoming fit doesn’t have to be a chore, a challenge, or a pain point. In fact, it can even be fun 😉
Boutique gyms have been seen rapid growth in the past decade as clients recognize that when it comes to fitness, not all gyms are created equal. Some of the most common excuses sound like:
- “I have a hard time sticking to a routine”
- “I’m just too busy to exercise”
- “I get bored with going to the gym, it always feels like work”
- “I don’t know how to lift weights/choose a routine/eat the right food”
These are great excuses, but since you’re ready to make a change it’s time to ditch the excuses and focus on RESULTS. By implementing a system that counters your excuses you’ll be left with the only option, the results that you want to achieve.
If you struggle with sticking to a routine you will benefit from the coaches, friends, and community members that you’ll meet at each class. A group of people that will ask you about your day, learn about your goals and life, and most importantly encourage you to show up consistently to your workouts.
If you claim to be too busy then you should sign up for classes ahead of time. The wide variety of classes that are available each day at time frames that are consistent with your schedule make it easy to squeeze in an hour long workout.
If boredom is your challenge then a workout that changes every day is exactly what you need. Not only that but the different coaching styles and friends you’ll make at different times of the day make each class a totally unique experience.
If information is the enemy then relax, because that’s already been taken care of for you. Your coach has put a lot of thought into a training program that will improve your fitness and will be by your side to instruct you on form, breathing, and what weights to use. Keep an eye out for group nutrition challenges to boot!
To get the results you want sometimes you need to try a new approach. If that trip to the gym feels more daunting than Frodo walking the ring to Mordor then it’s time to see what a boutique gym has in store for you!
Most of us have an area in our life we wish we were performing better in. That part of us that doesn’t quite fit into our own skin. It could be a touchy subject that our spouse and friends know to steer clear of, the elephant in the room. It could be the promotion you still haven’t received, the credit card you haven’t paid off, or the weight you were supposed to lose by the beginning of summer… in 2012.
And because you’re wearing this very uncomfortable skin that’s not quite your size I am happy to tell you that you are exactly where you chose to be today.
I can already hear the objections rising up so let me explain why.
You see I totally understand your story. I understand because it’s yours, mine, and everyone else’s. Sometimes having a new baby, a busy time at work, or the worst timing for a medical emergency/broken down car/economic depression can happen. There are a million and one events in life that can derail us. They are not always fair and can seem impossible to overcome when they show up knocking at our door.
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths.”
At that point we do an admirable thing. We give up on our dream. We set it aside to go fix the problem. We change our identity and become the superhero who knows exactly how to work overtime and take care of a sick parent. We do it because we want to make sure the story has a happy ending. We do it out of love.
And life goes on.
And sometimes the situation gets better. And sometimes it doesn’t. Either way, the situation that called for a superhero 6 months ago no longer needs a hero to save it. But there you stand in cape and tights committed to action. Except now it’s time to go home. Time to write a new story.
Where you stand today is a result of many choices. Some of your hero moments were the big decisions that shaped your trajectory. Like I said, I’m proud of you for doing that. But now it’s time to get back on the path. Your path. The one you stopped telling yourself that you wanted because it hurt too bad to think that it may never come true.
You might think it’s too late (it’s not).
You might want to try, but feel that you strayed too far (you haven’t).
You have to remember you have the power of choice. And it’s a good thing that you do. It gives you the power to turn your greatest adversity into your greatest strength. You always have the option to shy away or to stand and fight.
It’s time for a new story. You’re the hero and you’re at the turning point in the movie of your life. So what are you going to do next?You’ve endured hardship, learned tough lessons, and fallen time and time again. Wouldn’t this be a great time for everything to turn around?
Maybe you can recruit someone to help you get there, a long lost friend or a wise old mentor. Maybe you need to crank up “Eye of the Tiger” and experience the training it will take to achieve your success.
The time to act is now. Don’t slip back into your old story. You are the hero. The power of choice brought you here. Your choice decides what happens next.
So what are you going to do?
[GYM OWNER:] Add a call to action here, like: “Schedule your Free Consult here” with a link.
Fitness trends come and go and most fall to the wayside for good reason.
Most programs fail to produce consistent results. It’s a wonder why so many folks stray away from what is tried and true when it comes to exercise programs?
“The rule is: the basics are the basic, and you can’t beat the basics.” -Charles Poliquin
Despite what your goals may be, every individual can benefit from physical resistance training. Not only that, but the health benefits extend far beyond your short term fitness goals. Regardless of why you train, let’s take a look at some of the reasons you should incorporate strength training into your fitness regimen.
1. Training for strength produces results.
Whatever your goals, muscle will help you get there. Some companies in the fitness industry has made a fortune around buzzwords like “tone”, “lift”, and “sculpt.” The problem is there’s no way to measure those loose terms. If you want to change your body composition there is only the ability to gain or lose muscle while simultaneously gaining or losing fat. If you are looking for the most efficient way to do make a change then strength training is your best option.
Strength training, or physical resistance training, can be defined as a type of physical exercise specializing in the use of resistance to induce muscular contraction which builds the strength, anaerobic endurance, and size of skeletal muscles. When you gain muscle you increase your bodies basal metabolism (the amount of calories you burn each day before factoring in physical activity). It’s kind of like putting a bigger engine in a car. The car is capable of moving faster or pulling a heavier load (more muscle), but it also uses more fuel (fat) whether it’s cruising down the freeway or idling in the driveway. Strength training helps us “tone” through this muscle gain/fat loss trade.
2. “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” -Peter Drucker
Training for strength provides a clear path for success. You can set training goals that are specific, measurable, and produce desired outcomes. A good coach will help you design a plan towards these goals with checkpoints along the way. Your strength training program is a road map to success with clear directions. Sets, reps, and weights lifted safely through the full range of motion are the signals that you’re on track. Many people find that a more detailed plan helps them stay motivated as they experience progress.
3. Age gracefully with more muscle mass.
As we get older strength training is one of the most important things we can do for our health. Physical independence is a key factor in a great quality of life.
A comprehensive study of strength training has been proven to:
- Improve motor function
- Lower resting heart rate
- Increase stamina
- Prevent sarcopenia (age related muscle loss)
- Improve bone mineral density
- Prevent and help rehab injuries
Functional strength training will be an asset in daily life too. From picking up grandchildren or bags of groceries to climbing stairs with confidence.
4. You’ll experience epic brain gains.
Did you know that lifting weights can strengthen your brain just as much as it does your body?
Dr. Yorgi Mavros from the University of Sydney has found that high‐intensity physical resistance training (PRT) results in significant improvements in cognitive function, muscle strength, and aerobic capacity in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. Adults who followed a resistance training routine in addition to cognitive training performed significantly better than control groups on a series of mental tests. A couple key factors to note:
The participants exercised 2x/ week working to at least 80% of their peak strength.
The benefits lasted one year after the exercise prescription had ended.
What does that mean? According to Yorgi, “The stronger people became, the greater the benefit for their brain.” Let that sink in for a minute. You actually grow your brain by training to become stronger! It makes me wonder if Einstein developed his Theory of Relativity in between heavy sets of back squats…
5. Strong moms have healthy babies.
During pregnancy, the question always arises of what does fitness look like for this stage of life? With so much on the line, it’s important to consult with a doctor before beginning any fitness routine. Luckily, there is a tremendous amount to be gained by incorporating a strength training routine under normal circumstances. Resistance training can help alleviate symptoms and improve health outcomes for the mother and child. According to the Mayo Clinic, women who follow a consistent strength training routine during pregnancy can experience:
- Reduce backaches, constipation, bloating and swelling
- Boosted mood and energy levels
- Better sleep
- Prevent excess weight gain
- Maintain levels of muscle strength and endurance
- Reduced incidence of gestational diabetes
Not only that but women who train during pregnancy report enhanced body image and better psychological well-being!
We would love to help you live a healthy strong life. Schedule a Free Consult to learn more.
I don’t have enough time. I’m too busy. I’m exhausted. How will I add one more thing to my schedule? I’m not a morning person. I’m not a night person. That person is super human. Does this sound like anyone you know? All of these were the statements I use to tell myself. Many of us fill our plates too full without thinking about it. Saying “NO” to others can be one of the hardest things to do, but why is it that we are quick to tell ourselves “NO.” No, I don’t have time to go to the gym. No, I don’t have time to sit quietly and read that book I’ve been wanting to start. No, I don’t have time to eat healthy. No, I don’t have time to take that vacation.
We all are busy people, right? And it’s hard to find the time. Here is the secret…..we all have the same 24 hours in the day. The question is “How are we spending that 24 hours?” Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes we all have to splurge and kick back and binge watch our favorite shows, occasionally! “Finding time”, really means MAKING time. When something important comes up in our lives, we find a way to schedule it into our lives. Why don’t we do that with our heath? Don’t be the FIRST person you cancel on your schedule; be the FIRST person you schedule and keep on your calendar.
I totally understand busy. From running my own business, working part-time outside the home, four young children, active kiddos in various activities, a husband that works full time, and no family within a 12-hour radius, here are my TOP 5 time management tips that have helped me and I hope one of them can help you.
- I’m very old school and use a paper calendar (don’t worry you can laugh as my husband makes so much fun of me). I visually need to see our family of six schedule at a month’s glance. I use different color pens for each person so I can quickly glance to see who has what going on. We also have a family calendar in our kitchen that helps remind all of us of upcoming events.
- Once you schedule a good time to hit the gym, mark it on your calendar and schedule it like a work appointment. I encourage you to carve out the same time daily to establish that routine. If it’s a rest day, use that same time to sit and enjoy a podcast, read a book, or something else you normally wouldn’t do for yourself. Keeping the consistency will help you keep your routine going and you’re less likely to cancel on yourself.
- Sundays are planning days in our house. It helps me to sit down weekly to look at what is coming our way. I feel like the more prepared I am with our family’s schedule, the more likely we will eat health, have less stress, and find more time for fun.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for HELP! This one took me a long time to do, as I’ve always been one to get it done on my own. As our older set of twins got into different sports and practices were at the same time in different directions, I quickly knew I had to start asking for help. I bet you that other parent would love the help of doing ride shares. Ok, now repeat after me….” Asking for help is NOT a weakness.” It will make two families lives so much easier!!
- Be mindful of what you are saying “YES” to, because it means you are saying NO to something else. If you have a deadline at work, and you get asked to a coffee or lunch date, but know if you go you will have to cancel the one appointment you set for yourself, the 6pm class at the gym. Consider rescheduling the coffee date for another day so you meet your deadlines, and keep your appointment you planned a week in advance.
One of my favorite quotes I recently heard is “I Don’t Have Time” is the grown-up version of “The Dog at My Homework.” Remind yourself that you are just as important as that meeting with your boss. Don’t cancel with yourself. When we take time to replenish our spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.
-Erica Erickson, Coach
Becoming a parent can sometimes feel like you have no time to take care of yourself. Little to no time to get to the gym. Being a mom of four kiddos, I found myself in this situation. Everyone and everything came first. I recently found myself falling in love with a new fitness journey and quickly realized that I could bring some of this fitness into our daily family lives. It wasn’t about having the time; it was about making the time.
I first think it’s important to realize that daily fitness doesn’t have to mean running or biking miles or lifting heavy weight. Depending on the age and size of your kiddos, you just might have some built in weights at home. I find the most important part is everyone having fun. Here are a few fun ideas to consider trying with your family, especially during this time of social distancing.
- Family Dance Party
Pick a day of the week to have a family dance party. Our favorite part is everyone gets to take turns being DJ. As parents we love to pick music from when we were growing up, it makes the kids laugh. When we put on some of our favorites like Ice Ice Baby, Pour Some Sugar on Me makes them either get down or ask for a new song. You will quickly learn who has the best family dance moves and will be surprised at how well your kiddos can grove to the music.
- Turn Commercial Breaks into workouts
Ok, I know most of us like to fast forward through them, but turn it into fitness fun. Most commercials last around two minutes. Have a team or individual competition on who can do the most reps during the commercial time. Depending on the age of your kiddos, invent some funny names for pushups, sit-ups, squats, burpees, or lunges. As your children get older, let them call out the movement that everyone needs to do. If your kiddos are small enough, use them as a kettlebell when doing squats or have them lay on your back to do a weighted pushup or plank hold.
- Yard Work
One of the best purchases we made were kid size shovels and rakes. It’s a race to see how gets to shovel the driveway. In the fall we spend hours raking leaves and piling them up under our slide for hours of fun.
- Walk or Run for a Charity
No matter the time of year, but you can always find a 5K to enter and majority of them are stroller friendly. This past summer my son wanted to run his first 5K at 8 years old. To see the pride on his face when he was done was truly one of the most incredible memories. I encourage you to make it an annual tradition.
- Make an obstacle course.
Think fun American Ninja Warrior style. Make it an interesting course of jumping, running, climbing, crawling and other fun things you can find. Hold a tournament and the fastest time wins the Grand Prize of no chores for the week. This family friendly competition will make for some great memories.
Don’t overlook the fun you as a family can have no matter the age of your kiddos or your current physical fitness level. The hardest part of any fitness journey is getting started and making it fun. As a family pick a goal that you would like to accomplish. Track your progress with a chart for each family member. Having this visible will help keep everyone on track. Once a family member or the group reaches the goal, it’s time to celebrate! YOU DID IT! It’s important to talk with your kids about what they learned from this effort. Ask them to share their surprise lessons.
After you’ve tasted success, keep the momentum going! Start again with a brand-new objective. If your first challenge prompted you to change your exercise habits, maybe your second one can tackle a healthy eating habit.
-Erica Erickson, CrossFit Coach
Right now, working out at home is our reality (at least for the next little bit). We have all probably discovered by now that working out at home IS TOUGH! It’s tough to get motivated, it’s tough to STAY motivated throughout your workout and it’s tough to stay engaged without the community/friendly competition aspect that we all love so much inside our own CrossFit Affiliate walls.
So we decided to put some tips together on how to stay motivated during this time away from the gym!
- MORNING WORKOUTS MIGHT BE THE WAY TO GO RIGHT NOW – Ok we know we know this doesn’t immediately sound like the best tip ever but here us out here. We find that if you are at home and out of your normal routine, waiting until later in the day can be a big detriment when it comes to getting your workout in. Chances are high that you will become less and less motivated as the day goes on, so schedule a time every morning, early enough so that it’s before too much time passes, to get some movement in.
- WARM UP – This one sounds kind of obvious but just start moving! It doesn’t need to be a set warm up or anything. It could absolutely just be turning on one of your favorite songs and dancing it out, but just start moving to get your body warmed up. Once you start moving, you will feel your mind clear, feel your muscles loosen up and this will help you get into a space needed to get started working out.
- SET A SCHEDULE – AND STICK WITH IT! – This is going to vary from person to person, but just like with exercise in general, you need to set the time aside to get it done. Yes there is a lot going on and yes there could be a lot to do right now, especially if you have kiddos that aren’t in school at the moment. That is EVEN MORE REASON to take a little bit of time for your own health (mental and physical)!
- MORE THAN NOTHING – You might not be getting one or two aspects of your fitness that you love so much because of the state of things right now. Try to roll with it and be open to new things! Remember MORE THAN NOTHING is the name of the game here. There will be good days and bad days, but no matter what is going on, a little bit of physical activity will help you mentally and physically. It might not be that heavy back squat you love so much or a short, fast and intense workout that we all kinda crave (in a weird way). That’s okay! If you are getting out and moving your body in some way, shape or form, that is more than nothing and some days (most days) that’s all it takes!
-Kari Kirkendall, Nutrition Coach / Youth Program Director / Media & Event Director
I recall when I first started group classes, I showed up with my nerves (lots of them), keys, and water bottle, filled with just that water. Months after getting more comfortable with classes, movements, and not feeling like I stuck out like a sore thumb, I started noticing that some athletes brought their own bags with them to the gym. Before, after and during class they pulled out these foreign items when we did certain movements. I was always too scared to ask what these items were used for and why someone might need them.
So I hope that I can help take the mystery out of some of the foreign items with this post. Here is what has made it’s way into my “gym bag”.
- Gym Bag – I honestly started carrying a gym bag because I didn’t want to wear my new shoes out in the snow last winter. Yep, I’m that crazy new shoe athlete.
- Hat and gloves – We all know cold weather isn’t going to eliminate some of our favorite movements. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for those cold days of sled pulls, pushes or a run.
- Jump Rope – Did you know you can purchase your own at the gym and have it sized just for you! Double Unders come with practice. Ask Jim! He traveled with his jump rope for work and mastered them this past December.
- Wrist Straps – Being a rookie, I thought the stretching pain in my wrists was a sign of getting stronger and having some weight on the bar. When another fellow athlete shared a pair of wrist straps with me my world changed. I no longer felt that pain in my hands when doing snatches, overhead squats and thrusters.
- Hand Grips – Going into the 20.2 Open workout this past October, I knew my hands were going to struggle with a 20-minute AMRAP that had hanging knee raises and I’m pretty certain my grips are what helped me PR my pull ups in another Open workout. The only downfall of NEW grips is breaking them in.
- Calf Compression Sleeves – I will never forget getting my first rope climb. I only made it half way up, but it’s what happened to my shins that made it very memorable…..hello rope burn. Another alternative is a great pair of high thicker socks.
- Lifter shoes – Now when I got a pair of lifting shoes, I honestly had no idea what I would use them for. I’m pretty certain that Kari would have to remind me to use them. Now let me say that NOT everyone needs a pair. However, if you would like to have increased stability and better lifting posture for squats, clean & jerks and snatches (just to name a few), you might consider a pair.
- Pre Workout Drink – I’ve replaced my regular water by adding in a pre-workout powder. I’ve tried a few different brands and flavors, but I always come back to my favorite, Equipfoods’ Blackberry Lemon Pure WOD.
- Top Secret Item – Sorry men, but I’m a mom and female so there a few items that only pertain to the other ladies in the gym. Don’t worry, I’m not going to list them and make you or myself turn all red! Ladies, grab me before or after a workout and I will share the Top 3 much haves for our gym bags.
You don’t need a single thing on my list but if you are looking step up your “game” picking up some cool gear cant hurt. Also I don’t be afraid to ask a fellow athlete about a certain item or ask “What is in Your Gym Bag.” One exception, if you ask Kari, give yourself some time, have you seen the size of her gym bag?!
-Erica Erickson, CrossFit Coach
We have all had not so good days in the gym. These days seem to happen even when we are doing all of the “right” things, (ie adequate rest and proper nutrition).
The key to success (and consistency) is recognizing that bad days do happen but you have gotten through them and come out stronger on the other side, literally! Focus on the good days and try not to dwell on the bad ones. Just keep showing up and things will turn around.
Switching up your mindset can be a huge factor in getting through days that might not feel as easy as others. First remember that working out should enjoyable! We aren’t going to the Olympics or competing in any form at all, so don’t take things so hard then you don’t PR or crush a workout. Have fun, socialize with this incredible community and give whatever you got on that day. No matter what happens you showed up, burned off a little stress and hopefully smiled a little bit throughout the hour you were here.
Also don’t forget too look back on how far you have come and what you have accomplished. Do you remember your first OnRamp class? We do! And WOW it is amazing how far you have come! Recognizing how far you have come in your fitness journey can help you realize that yes, bad days do happen, but the good days happen WAY more often!
So keep taking the good days with the bad and try not to let it get you down. We learn something from all of the days and when it comes down to it, we are all here to get a little healthier, a little more fit and have a good time doing it. THAT’S IT! 🙂
-Kari Kirkendall, Nutrition Coach / Youth Program Director / Media & Event Director