Why Motivation is The Worst Motivator

Motivation is a feeling. Just like being angry, sad, happy or mad, motivation is a feeling that can come and go. It can depend on things going on in your life or just how you feel in that fleeting moment about a certain thing.

When it comes to working out, depending on feeling motivated is a losing game! When it comes to motivation especially, sometimes, we have to create the motivation vs waiting for it to come to us. This is why leaning on discipline vs motivation is what will get us out of bed for that 5am workout when it’s a cold winter morning or what will stop us from leaning on a pint of ice cream after a rough day.

Our advice to you? Do not wait for motivation, especially when it comes to your health and fitness. Strive to put discipline in place (within reason, obviously), so that you can be sure that your health is being made a priority, even when it’s not convenient!

-Kari Kirkendall, Youth Coach, Nutrition Coach, Media & Event Director

How And Why We Warm-Up

Every one of our workouts begin with a warm up. The warm up usually lasts 8-10 minutes depending on the workout of the day and how the class is feeling (ie the 5am Monday crew usually needs an additional 5 minutes just to open there eyes most weeks) The warm ups are made up of various dynamic movements that gently engage muscles and prepare our athletes for the high demands of the workout to come.

Most of our warm-ups are made up of 2 parts: General and Specific

The General Warm-up comes first. The goal here is simply to elevate body temperature and heart rate. In other words, wake the body up. We usually start with an easy jog or row, followed by a few reps of bodyweight exercises like Jumping Jacks or Lunges.

The second part is the Specific warm up. This is where we perform exercises that target similar muscle groups or even mimic the same exercises the athletes will be performing in that day’s workout. This is where we might also incorporate empty barbell or resistance bands to provide the athlete with mechanical feedback and improve movement patterns.

After the workout is where we suggest some light static stretching to increase flexibility, speed up recovery and properly cool down the body before heading out the door.

The ultimate goal of any warm-up is to prepare you for the workout ahead, plain and simple. It may seem like a small piece of the puzzle but without it you can not perform at your best.

-Matthew Kirkendall, Head Coach/Owner

Find Your People

I recently enjoyed a long run on a beautiful mountain trail and reflected on how restored I felt afterward. There is just something about crisp mountain air, the sound of crunching dirt and rocks, and labored breathing that makes me feel ‘connected’ in ways Wifi can’t deliver.  Solo efforts we pursue on foot, bike, water, etc., are critical to our mental and physical health, but for most of us it’s one part of an overall approach to maintaining a healthy mind and body.

            Life is best lived together, and for most of us the need for community extends into our approach to maintaining physical fitness.  Few people exercise consistently with any intensity when working alone.  Even endurance athletes whose success is measured by hours or mile logged, will eventually turn toward other athletes or groups with shared goals. It is undeniable that people feel accountable to their workout buddies and will show up more often if they are meeting friends. We need our friends to encourage and support us; we need each other to push and motivate us to get better.  Shared suffering, sweat, even physical discomfort during a hard workout unifies and binds people together in their efforts. Turns out, misery (of the best possible kind) loves company.

            So take time for solitude and quiet, and certainly make it a core component of your exercise regimen. Long solo efforts are restorative, and essential for mental health, but also find a run or bike club that meets regularly. Surround yourself with people who love your sport, and for a sustainable life-long approach to fitness, find your people.  Ideally, you find a group that blends exercise and community seamlessly, so you are “doing life” with one another while staying fit and healthy. It’s hard to feel like more than a membership number at a corporate gym, but small groups can form around specialty classes.  In your search, consider small gyms and cycle clubs that offer the right balance of structured training and community.  When you do find your people, ‘working out’ won’t feel so much like work.

-Chris Jackson, Group Fitness Group

Team Sport

To most, the sport of road cycling looks like an individual sport.  They see one rider working their butt off (literally) to beat everyone else to the finish line.  But talk with any true cyclist and they will certainly tell you different.

Professional Road Cycling is a team sport. To be successful you have to have a talented team behind you. Each member of the team has a specific role. Working together they do everything they can to position their ”best rider” to take the win at the end.

Don’t get me wrong, it is not just a free rider on the back of your teammate’s wheel.  You must do your part to cross that finish line first.  This means no less than 100% dedication, lots of hard work and major sacrifices.

In many ways it is like your fitness journey.  To reach your full potential you will certainly need to do your part by making changes to your nutrition and working hard in the gym but surrounding yourself with a solid team of experienced coaches and a supportive community you increase your chances of success.

Matthew Kirkendall, Head Coach

Building Your Aerobic Engine

Is Wednesday your normal rest day? Did you know that it is possibly one of the most
important days for you to come into the gym!! I know you just started telling yourself,
but we bike, run, row, jump rope on those days or maybe you’re telling yourself, “But
those are longer cardio workouts and just not my style because I don’t get to lift heavy
weights.” In exercise, there are three components: resistance training,
flexibility/mobility, and cardiorespiratory training. A well-designed exercise program
includes all three components and we have great programing that incorporates all of
these areas.
When we do cardio, we are working on our aerobic base training. Essentially, aerobic
base training is a phase of training where the primary focus is placed on building a
strong level of aerobic “base” fitness or aka your aerobic engine.
During base training, the majority of training should focus on low and moderate
intensities. Hence why you will see coaches talk about 70-80% for pace when
describing a longer cardio based workout. The rationale behind this approach is that by
keeping the majority of training at low intensities, you are able to build a larger
foundation of aerobic fitness, reduce the risk of injuries, and improve recovery. You will
also be better conditioned for more intense training.
The more attention you place on developing aerobic base fitness, the greater your
endurance potential. This can be better understood by considering our training as a
pyramid structure, with base training forming the base of the pyramid. And, as you move
up the pyramid, we see an increase in intensity.
When viewed this way, you can appreciate how having a wider base to the pyramid
(greater level of base conditioning) allows for a higher peak, or greater performance
Aerobic base training is also considered key to improving exercise efficiency. This
occurs, through a combination of:
 Recruitment of slow twitch (type I muscle fibers).
 Help to prepare the body for the physiological demands of higher training
intensity training.
 Improve blood, oxygen, and nutrient flow to working muscles and help with
recovery and flexibility.
 Increase efficiency of the heart.
 Improve glycogen storage, which overtime can improve the efficiency of fat

So, the next time you want to cancel or take a rest day on Wednesday, I highly
encourage you to sign up. Start slow, start with one Wednesday a month, increase it
two and maybe even three. These classes will pay you dividends when you see a
METCON that is 8 minutes or less. We all know when you see a single digit time, you
know it won’t feel good as the pace should be FAST and HARD, and something that will
have you laying on the ground at the end. Remember just like the fast ones, the longer
ones might not feel good immediately after, but the rewards for your body will pay major

Erica Erickson, Group Fitness Coach

Exercise and Immunity

We all know that exercise is good for our health. We read it on every magazine cover and see it
on every commercial. There are a million new workout programs and home gym systems that
claim to give you the next best thing in exercise. But the question I have for you is have you
ever stopped to wonder why exercise is so important? Exercise actually has the ability to help
boost your immune system and help prevent you from getting sick. Now don’t read this and
think that frequent hand washing and consciously avoiding touching your face isn’t the most
important, because it still is. We all know that exercise makes us healthier, which is one of the
main reasons that we exercise but being healthier also lowers our chances of getting sick. In
addition, it causes us to release fewer stress hormones and the less stress we feel the stronger
our body’s defenses are. Exercise also temporarily raises the body’s core temperature which
can make it harder for pathogens to begin colonizing, thus helping to prevent illness. Another
great way that exercise can help reduce your chance at infection is by increasing the amount of
air that gets moved through your lungs and airways. This process increases the chance for you
to get all the bad stuff out before it can replicate. In addition to the basics described above,
exercise also increases the rate at which both blood and lymph circulates through the body.
Lymph is the fluid within your body that carries immune cells (typically white blood cells) and
proteins (typically antibodies). This fluid generally does not circulate quickly so an increase in
the circulation of this fluid can assist in finding pathogens quicker which can lead to less time
for them to colonize and cause infection. This all sounds great, but always keep in mind that
things in moderation are best. If you over exercise and run your body down, you can actually be
at higher risk for infection because your body is too busy trying to repair itself from the exercise
to be able to detect pathogens early on, thus leaving you vulnerable. Exercise has so many
benefits and helping to boost your immunity is only one of them; so exercise often and take
care of yourself; but also wash your hands often and don’t touch your face if you don’t have to!

  • Ani Monroe, Group Fitness Coach

Fitness Through Pregnancy

First I want to say this is my first child, so my experience with fitness through pregnancy is obviously very limited. I would also like to say I am NOT a medical professional. Obviously, every woman and every pregnancy is very different and what I talk about in this blog might not work for someone else and that consulting your medical professional is always needed. That being said, I am a HUGE believer that some form of exercise or physical activity is the key to overall health (during pregnancy or not) and I will always support getting in whatever movement you can at any stage of life you are in 🙂

My experience with pregnancy was not “glowy” or “glamorous” in any sense and maintaining my fitness routine was out of pure determination to maintain my health and mental happiness with movement. I have 3 takeaways when it comes to fitness through pregnancy and I believe these can be helpful for most going through such a life/body/mind transition.

Do Your Research – It is way more than “Listen to your body”
There are tons of resources out there now but “BirthFit” and “Brianna Battles Pregnant and Post Partum Athlete Program” are a few of the several resources I looked at when it came to fitness throughout my pregnancy. “Listening to your body” doesn’t really apply here because 1. Your body has never done this before and 2. It’s not just about how you feel NOW, but it’s also about how you want to set yourself up to feel LATER.

Modify More Than You Think Earlier Than You Think
This was HARD for me! It is very challenging to not be able to do what you once did or even what you might still be able to do but know it might not be best for your body either now or possibly later. A quick reminder that pregnancy is not the time for PR setting or goal chasing. It is a time to prioritize movement for the pure health of you and your baby. THAT’S IT! That means that intensity will go down – WAY DOWN, weights will go down – WAY DOWN and some of the things you love about fitness will probably be taking a back seat for awhile.

Something Is Better Than Nothing
If you have a pregnancy like I did, you probably don’t feel good. At all. On many different levels.  Even if you do feel good you might be exhausted (mentally or physically) and might not feel the most motivated. Fitness in life is NOT about motivation, I fully believe it’s about dedication and prioritizing. Fitness in pregnancy is no different. It isn’t about waiting to be motivated to workout or get movement in, because if you wait for motivation to hit, you might be waiting the duration of your pregnancy! Remember, some movement is better than no movement at all. Even if it’s just going for a 20 minute walk. I promise you will feel better after a little bit of movement.

Remember every woman and every pregnancy is very different but try to keep moving a few days a week and I know you will feel better mentally and physically!

-Kari Kirkendall, Nutrition Coach / Youth Program Director / Media & Event Director

Make Yourself A Priority

Which one of these have you said to yourself in the last 6-months, year, or since having kiddos? I’m too old to get started? I don’t have enough time in the day to sneak in 30 to 60 minutes of exercise. I’m too out of shape to walk into the gym. I’m too tired after work. It feels too selfish to be away from the family. I’m not a morning person, afternoon person, or heck evening person. So many of us come up with excuses. As a mom of four, I used them all for over seven-years. Little did I know how much better I would have felt if I would have just made MYSELF a priority. No, it’s not selfish to schedule yourself into your calendar, heck it just might be the most important meeting you set each week. Here are my TOP 3 struggles that I overcame.

I totally understand busy! Being a mom of four kiddos, part-time coach, and someone who runs my own business, time is limited and planning out my day is important. When I think I’m too busy, I like to remind myself that we all are given the same 24-hours in a day…..It’s all about how we use that 24-hours. So many people have the misunderstanding that you need to workout five to six times a week. I was never a morning or evening person prior to joining Widespread Fitness. Now there is nothing better then getting to the gym early in the morning and back home before everyone is up for the morning. I found that if I wait until the end of the day to schedule my workout, it never fails that something will get in the way. As you plan out your week, add yourself to your calendar. When you visualize and see it daily, it will become apart of your routine.

I know your reading this and telling yourself, I feel too selfish for taking that much time away from my family. I use to feel that way until I realized how much taking care of myself improved my stress level at home and at work. I also found myself sleeping better and my weekly headaches were decreasing. Remember you need to ease into a workout plan, so start with two days a week, maybe 30 to 60 minutes. Slowly increase to three days. As a busy mom, I wanted to become a role model for my children. I wanted them to see me taking care of myself so they would learn healthy routines. Now as I head to the gym, even my little girls tell me to “Go crush it.” Overtime your ME time wont’ feel selfish, it will become everyday life, like taking kids to soccer, gymnastics, kids fitness classes, swim lessons and the list keeps going on and on.

Kids got sick, sport schedules have you feeling like an UBER driver, cooking so many more meals during this pandemic that you feel like a shorthand cook. Life can get busy! If you’re someone who starts off strong and once LIFE happens let’s everything fall apart, recognize that and make a promise to keep showing up. Find an accountability partner that joins you at the gym or find the right gym that people notice when you don’t show up. Having a community that celebrates your wins and knows when you aren’t around will help keep you showing up.

Life is never going to slow down. The timing will never be perfect to get started. The first step is getting started! We live in a world where we pack our days full of too many things and never slow down. The best thing to do is plan your week out on Sunday and set your workout days and times. Don’t cancel on yourself as it truly is the most important meetings you will set up all week long!

-Erica Erickson, Coach

Difference Between Globo and Boutique Gyms

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!

Now, in our opinion, this is one of the biggest factors in your success. Having a coach (or in our case, several coaches) hold you accountable, check in on you when you miss a few classes in a row or even just ask how your day is going is a HUGE piece that we feel is missing in a larger globo style gym. We know every athlete in class, the other athletes know you too and having that camaraderie keeps you signing up for class even when you aren’t motivated to go (which is honestly, most of the time!).
Ever get to the gym and have no idea what to do, so you do 20ish minutes on the treadmill, mess around with some dumbbells, walk around a little bit more and then call it a day after you have been there for an hour? Us too! When it comes to a boutique style gym, chances are the workouts are programmed and designed for you. Not only does this keep it fun and interesting, but it also helps you stay balanced in your fitness! Love to run? Awesome! Chances are some strength training could really help you avoid injury and perform even better in your running. Hate cardio and only want to lift? Awesome! We can guarantee that getting your heart rate up a few times a week will be extremely beneficial to your overall health. Having this kind of guidance when it comes to your workouts and programming takes the guess work out of it and makes you a healthier individual! Win win!
We cannot speak for all boutique gyms, but at our gym, all classes are coached from start to finish (including your warm up) and our classes have no more than 8 athletes at any time. This ensures you get a ton of personal attention. We can watch and correct any movement flaws we might see, we can modify movements as needed for each individual and we can really make sure you are getting the most out of every workout. Not only that, but you truly know everyone in your class!
Short on time? No problem! Our classes are 60 minutes from start to finish (plus you don’t have to think about what to do at all – we take care of that for you!). We have set class times, so you can register for class based on your schedule that day and having to register for that class is one more layer of added accountability, which we said before, is a HUGE piece to success in your health and fitness journey!
You have probably heard us mention our community before, but that’s because it is such a HUGE part of our facility. When you join a smaller gym, chances are you will be welcomed in like family. It might feel overwhelming those first few classes, with 5 different people coming over to say hi and introduce themselves, but trust us, this is something so special we can’t even begin to describe it.
If you are looking for any of the above items, we highly suggest you give a more specialized or smaller boutique style gym a try! It might be exactly what you need and are looking for to ensure YEARS of actual fun with your fitness!
-Kari Kirkendall, Nutrition Coach / Youth Program Director / Media & Event Director

Not Fit Enough

“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