About Monique Beauchamp

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So far Monique Beauchamp has created 594 blog entries.

The Struggle

Do you dread changing weights because you struggle to get the collars on and off your barbell?

Our video “How To: Putting Collars on your Barbell” will teach you the trick of getting them on and off quickly and efficiently. Spend less time battling against your barbell and more time lifting it.

 

 

 

CON.FI.DENCE

What is confidence?

Is it a trait that we are born with? Or can we develop our confidence over time?

You may have picked up on this, but just in case……I LOVE exercise and this has been true my entire life. From a young age I can remember doing squats and situps surrounded by my Strawberry Shortcake wallpaper and Care Bear collection. On days when I stayed home from school “sick” I would pop in my mom’s exercise VHS; just me, Cindy Crawford, Cher, and my Bun’s of Steel family.

 

Over the years, my guidelines of fitness have changed, but my reasoning has stayed the same, to be STRONG. Somewhere along the way, I realized that I wanted to be able to do everything on my own and in order to achieve this, a certain level of strength is required. However, there was an unexpected mental toughness developing at the same time.

 

I would credit the mental toughness that has developed over time more than my actual physical capabilities. There is a phenomenal mind-body connection. Your grit emerges as you are put through various challenges and tough situations. This allows your to continually push your limits, knowing that you are capable of more than you ever thought.

 

As a result this strong mental state translates into your everyday life.

 

I’ve learned that I can move big weights around and somehow that translates into the confidence of being able to speak in front of a large crowd.

It’s in those dark spaces where my body is tired, it’s saying to quit, but I push on to finish a workout and that gives me the mental strength to take criticism to flip it upside down to turn it into a lesson, a growth experience, a positive.

I’ve put the time and effort in to achieve various fitness related goals and those milestones make me smile every time I am reminded of them.

 

Check out this 50 second video below on CON.FI.DENCE’

 

 

 

Athlete Spotlight: Joe

This months Athlete Spotlight is Joe A.  Read all about him below and then come in today for a Joe inspired workout, its a good one you don’t want to miss it!

What made you choose CrossFit True?
I had gym fatigue and I was looking for something different for inspiration, something that would really get me going again. True Athletics had just opened and I was interested in exploring whether Crossfit might be the answer.

How long have you been training with us?
Almost as long as you have been open — more than five years.

What do you do for the short time of the day that you aren’t with us (i.e. a job)?
I am in an in house lawyer for a privately owned Connecticut company that operates real estate, construction and franchise-based businesses.

How is your nutrition? Do you eat a certain way? If so when did you make the switch?
I don’t follow a very strict diet of any type, but since I’ve been working out at True Athletics, I do try to shop for good foods and snacks so that what’s available in the house is never too awful. That way, when I go off the rails, it’s not a total catastrophe. Unless there’s potato chips around. Then it’s off the rails and in a ditch.

What are your 3 favorite movements/exercises?
Push ups, kettle bell swings and push presses. Mo came up with the idea of using a ten pound glass to drink beer for arm strength. That could become a favorite.

How about a favorit WOD?
Anything long and sweaty that keeps you moving. Cindy is grueling, but that’s along the lines of what I’m talking about.

What is your favorite workout song?
That’s a tough one. “I Don’t Want to Stop” by Ozzy Osbourne has a good, driving beat that keeps you going. There’s a song by Brendan James called “Nothing for Granted” that I like for its message. And I still like “Pump It Up,” by Elvis Costello and “Death or Glory” by The Clash, a couple of classics from the ’80s.

What is your favorite type of workout? (AMRAP, Chipper, Ladder, Rounds for time?)
Chipper. I can’t believe I wrote that.

Have you changed at all physically or mentally since starting to train with us?
My overall fitness is so much better than when I started. I really feel like if could challenge myself from 10 years ago to a Crossfit workout, I would kick my own ass. That’s a great image. Pushing through really hard workouts also has helped me to think about how to meet and deal with challenges in the gym and out of it.

What are your current goals?
To stay healthy, work hard and make as few concessions to time as I can.

What is your favorite color?
Really bright, bold orange.

What can you do now that you weren’t able to do before training at CrossFit True?
Before joining, I could not do double unders or kipping pull ups or drive a car in a state of physical depletion.

Say something else, anything!
To paraphrase something Rich Froning said, it’s a good idea to listen to your body when you’re training, but sometimes you have to tell your body to shut up.

Time Well Spent

We pack a lot of fitness into our hour long classes so that you can get the most benefit. Once the workouts are outlined our coaches start their lesson plan for each class ensuring every minute has its purpose. From a general warm-up, getting the blood flowing and the body moving. To prepping specific joints, using activation techniques, and mobility drills to safeguard your workout.

 

At a certain point in the class we start to give you a little bit more freedom. Typically, just before the actual workout will begin you’ll have a few minutes to find your working weight. We often give you guideline such as: take 3 rounds of 3-5 squats building up in weight each round…start light, then hit a medium weight, and finally do a round at your working weight to make sure that it is something that will work for this particular workout.

 

Now, I know you think that we are trying to sabotage your workout by making you do extra reps and getting you fatigued. But trust us…this is not the case. This strategy is two-fold. First it gives you a chance to prime your body, feel the weight, and get a feeling for breathing hard so its not a shock in the first minutes of the workout. Second, it provides the coaches with the ability to coach you better. Its our time to watch you move and make necessary adjustments. You should be taking full advantage of this time to make the most out of your workout.

BUT…..

 

What actually happens is we give you this time along with some directions on how to go about it and………

 

You’re like a deer in headlight!

 

You stand in the middle of the room……staring at the weights.

 

I can see your brain working…the inner dialog you are having….

 

“If I add 10 pounds that will be too light, but 20 is going to be way too much……I could try 15….no maybe I can do 20……that first round won’t be bad, but after that I’m not sure I can do that weight…..yea, 15 is probably better…….but I want to get stronger so I should use the heavier weight…so 20 pounds, I will just struggle through…I can take weight off if I have to or just go slower…..no..no 20 pounds is too much….i’ll just do 10 pounds”

 

This entire time, you have not picked up a single weight….you have no idea what the weight will feel like. You’ve talked a great deal about it…..you’ve stared at the weights like your vision will help determine your strength, but actually picking them up has not occurred.

 

So now a few minutes have passed and you are right where you started…pondering how much weight to use.

 

Here is my advice…..pick the weight up…start anywhere…just try some reps. If you underestimated you amazing abilities…..add more weight…take a big jump. If your first go felt challenging….only add a little weight or maybe try that same weight again. Sometimes that first few reps feel difficult, but you might just need another warmup set and then be ready to go. That is what this time is for, to assess how your body is feeling….to move past that initial “oh, this is going to be hard”. Get that weight moving, get your body ready, and crush your next workout. 

Rhabdomyolysis: What you need to know

At CF True we want to teach you everything we know, to share our knowledge on fitness and health so you can share it with others. One of our top priorities is to make sure you are moving safely so you can enjoy a lifetime of fitness. Therefore, it is our job to keep you informed on all aspects of health and wellness. One of those topics that might be outside of your scope is Rhabdomyolysis.

 

Rhabdomyolysis often referred to as just simply Rhabdo is a breakdown of muscle tissue which causes a release of myoglobin (an iron-oxygen binding protein) into the the bloodstream. Myoglobin is not normally found in the bloodstream, but when it does get into the bloodstream the kidneys will help to remove it. However, too much and the kidney will not be able to keep up and sever kidney damage could be possible.

 

There are some interesting things to note about Rhabdo:

  • It’s not just from CrossFit, although Crossfit gets a bad name from it I think that this is actually a positive thing in that more people are aware of what Rhabdo is, what the symptoms are, and how to minimize any chance of getting it.
  • There is no one activity that causes it. There have been documented cases of football players, runners, swimmers, cyclist, etc. It can also happen to those in the military, drug abusers, and crush victims. Or a result of heatstroke, genetic factors, and seizures.
  • It can happen to anyone. Untrained athletes, highly trained athletes, young, old, everyone is at risk and need to take proper precautions.

 

The difficult part about rhabdo is that there are very few warning signs that you have pushed too far and on top of that only about 50% of cases have symptoms and many of them are the same as normal muscle soreness. Unlike other injuries where you might tweak a muscle and then layoff doing certain movements, you might not notice anything wrong during your workout as the symptoms take time to develop.

 

Due to all the fact that there doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to who and when rhabdo may develop it may seem a bit scary. But there are actions that we can take. First we need to be informed and that is what we are doing with this blog. We need to be aware of our bodies when performing high intensity work and be truthful to ourselves about our training level and our capabilities.

 

Second we need to take steps to minimize the chances of developing rhabdo beyond just considering the movements. Being well hydrated is key because it will aid your kidneys in flushing out the toxins that go into the bloodstream. But hydration is not just drinking water. You also need to consider your sodium and potassium levels (electrolytes) which work together to balance your hydration.

 

It is interesting to note that potassium is lost only through urine, but sodium is lost both between sweat and urine. So, if you are drinking a ton of water and therefore using the restroom constantly you’ll need to replenish these key electrolytes. Also, if your training session occurs on a very hot day you’ll likely need to replenish these even more than if you had done the same work on a cool day.

 

Some of the best sources of potassium are from plants; Bananas, Broccoli, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Oranges, and Kale. Sodium is a bit easier. If you eat processed foods you are likely getting a good amount, but if you are under extreme conditions you may want to add in a bit more. Any salty snack will do or sports drink like Formula O2.

 

Even if you have taken all the precautionary steps it is still important to know about the symptoms of rhabdo and when you need to get to a doctor. But remember not everyone will develop these symptoms:

  • Muscle soreness
  • Swelling
  • Fatigue
  • Dark Urine (think coca-cola)
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Fever
  • Low/infrequent urination

 

If you find yourself with these symptoms it is best to seek medical attention. When caught early the damage will be minimal and you’ll have a full recovery. Typically those who develop rhabdo will be admitted to a hospital for intravenous fluids. Based on the severity,  the stay at the hospital can be anywhere from a few days to a week plus. After being released from the hospital your recovery will mean that you are not able to exercise for a few weeks and sometimes longer and when you do start to exercise again it will be a slow, gradual process.

We’ve taken the first step in educating ourselves on the potential for rhabdo. As your coaches we will help you to modify workouts to ensure your safety. And you now have the knowledge to stay healthy for a lifetime of awesome workouts! Let us know if you have any questions.

 

Athlete Spotlight: Rob

What made you choose CrossFit True?
My wife Julie started working out about a year before I joined and she obviously loved it. My job at the time was a huge source of stress and I wasn’t getting enough (any) exercise. Stress and lack of deadlifts were taking a toll on my mental and physical health. I needed to do something and TA seemed like it was worth a try.
How long have you been training with us?
3 1/2 years
What do you do for the short time of the day that you aren’t with us (i.e. a job)?
Despite what Dan might think, I’m not a spy or an arms dealer. I travel to funky places because I do environmental research for an international think-tank.
How is your nutrition? Do you eat a certain way? If so when did you make the switch?
I go back and forth. I did one Lurong and I really stuck with it, but then I tried another and couldn’t get into it. I occasionally avoid bread, pasta, etc for a week or two, but I can’t give them up completely…
What are your 3 favorite movements/exercises?
Front squats, box jumps, and HPCs
How about a favorite WOD?
Anything without burpees
What is your favorite workout song?
Something angry … “Shipping Up To Boston” or “Killing In The Name”
What is your favorite type of workout? (AMRAP, Chipper, Ladder, Rounds for time?)
Descending ladders – I like things that get easier over time.
Have you changed at all physically or mentally since starting to train with us?
I regularly wake up at 5AM, I’m a lot stronger, and I have less lower back pain.
What are your current goals?
Drop 10 lbs, do more pull-ups, don’t get injured
What is your favorite color?
sweaty gym-short gray
What can you do now that you weren’t able to do before training at CrossFit True?
1 kipping pull-up…maybe 2?
Say something else, anything!
There’s not a lot of things that would get me out of bed at 5AM, but TA is a great part of my life. The coaches do a great job building a fun and inclusive community. I’m looking forward to many more years of WODs.

The Secret: Intensity

Intensity is one of the keystone attributes that makes CrossFit so successful, without intensity results would be far and few between. When thinking of intensity, picture your last workout….how much effort did you put in?

Here is a real life example for you:

Say you walk your dog 2 miles….is that exercise…absolutely. Getting outside for a walk has many great benefits; fresh air, vitamin D, stimulates the brain, releases stress, and gives you energy.

But if you are looking for greater physical achievements: fat loss, increased endurance, improved strength, etc. Wouldn’t you find more success in doing 400m sprint repeats?

You’ll still get some of the same benefits as walking your dog, but you’ll also gain more physiological improvements. You’ll have larger gains to your cardiovascular system, your muscles will be working harder therefore building up the necessary mechanics to move faster, and you’ll be burning more calories.

At your next workout, when the coach is going over the workout and they tell you to kick up the intensity, they want you to be moving fast, to be going from one movement right to the next, to go through the reps unbroken….think about what that means at your level of fitness and make the necessary adjustments to the workout to achieve that high level of intensity. You’ll be amazed by your results.

And as always, if you are not sure what adjustments to make in order to feel that intensity talk with the coach and come up with a plan together.

Here is a cool video from CrossFit HQ on Intensity

Recipes: Coconut Aminos

Have you ever purchased something for a single recipe and then thought…what the heck and I’m going to do with all the rest of it. Well, enter Coconut Aminos. The other day I overheard a few of our members talking about having to buy coconut aminos and now what are they going to do. So, here is a list of some of my favorite recipes that call for coconut aminos.

 

Beef & Broccoli

 

She calls it Thai Beef with Basil, but I like it with broccoli too so I have changed the name. This is a great, quick meal.

 

Paleo Orange Chicken

 

Literally, my taste buds were dancing.

 

Carrot-Ginger Dressing

 

If you have ever had the pleasure of going to all you can eat sushi with me, you know that I will order at least 5 of the house salad (this is not an over ex) because they are topped with delicious ginger dressing. And when I figured out how to make it myself, it was even better.

 

Sushi

 

Speaking of sushi. If you like to dip your sushi in soy sauce, next time try coconut aminos. I don’t go out for sushi often but when I do I am the crazy lady with a bottle of my own “soy sauce” (coconut aminos)

 

Beef Jerky

 

Homemade beef jerky is great and mine is always marinated in coconut aminos.

Those are just a few of my favorite recipes, ones that are in constant rotation, but there are plenty more. Check out The Coconut Mama, she has a list of 50 things for coconut aminos.

Don’t Believe the Hype

I  have this love-hate thing going on with social media. I love, it makes procrastinating so much easier. I get to see amazing things that I didn’t know existed, witness things I didn’t think could be done, and of course all the cutest animals. The hate comes in because of its shallow nature, it’s glimpse into what is actually happening in the world, and because it’s so easy to procrastinate.

 

We could go on and on about the way social media is either enlightening our lives or burning down our reality, but today we are just going to focus on just one aspect, food.

 

The reality of it is….those crazy 22 pound burritos, 57 scoop ice cream sundaes, and philly-steak & cheese-stuffed-pizza-calzone-encrusted with doughnuts are not a thing you should consume. I don’t care if your favorite athlete or celebrity who has a rocking bod and whose fitness is top notch posted it.

 

Here is the problem. We see a post of someone who we aspire to be more like eating junk and we think…well, if they can do it so can I. But this is the problem because not only will we see X person eating junk and then give ourselves permission to do the same but then the following day we see Y person eating junk and again we eat what they do and before you know it you have eaten more sweet treats, nachos, candy, etc. in a week than we should have for the entire year.

 

That is problem number 1

 

The other problem is that even if these super athletes did eat what they were posting they also spent a large portion of their day working on their fitness. Take this example:

 

Now if you just skimmed over that….take a closer look…..the middle “Part 5:conditioning” that is 5 of the CF “Girl” wods back to back (Diane, Fran, Elizabeth, Karen, & Isabel). That part alone is way more fitness than us mortals can handle. Not to mention the other 6 parts to the workout.

 

So, next time you are checking out your social media, stop and think about all those food posts, its excessive. And if you are looking to make positive changes in your body composition, sport of choice, & live healthier lifestyle, don’t fall into the trap…this is not how fitness is achieved.

 

 

Thrive

 

Thrive

THrīv/

verb

  1. prosper; flourish.

           


Are you thriving?

 

To thrive is an amazing feeling. It’s continuing to get better everyday. It’s adding a layer onto your fitness. It’s learning new skills and improving upon the ones you already have. It’s hard work and dedication and the rewards are blissful!

 

But sometimes we hit a plateau and although the efforts we put in at the gym are still undeniable,  there is something missing that is not allowing us to thrive. It could be due to a variety of circumstances; not being consistent in our workouts, not recovering properly after workouts (hydration, sleep, mobility), or outside stressors (work, family, etc).

 

But the thing that makes the biggest difference, that sets us up to thrive or keeps us stagnant is nutrition. If you want that “before & after” photo, you want a “transformation Tuesday”, you want to feel great during workouts…pushing your limits and continue to thrive, you need to fuel your body properly.

Check out this video from CrossFit HQ and then sign up for the Lurong 5-week nutrition challenge and see for yourself what it feel like to thrive.

 

 

 

https://challengeseries.lurongliving.com/summertime17/

 

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