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What is Fitness and Who is fit? Part 1

We could sit here all day and debate which star athlete is more fit.  You see the problem with defining true fitness is that there is no single test to find it.  You can easily tell who has a stronger deadlift by setting up a bar and seeig who can lift the most weight.  In the same way you can see who has the fastest mile time by going to a track and running a mile race.  In order to try and answer this question of what is fitness and who is fit CrossFit founder Greg Glassman wrote an article titled “What is Fitness” way back in 2002.  Even though it is 15 years old at this point it is still a great article.  Since it is very long I am going to break it down in sections and post it here for you over the next several weeks so that you can digest it and think about it.

In this first part of the article Glassman talks about who the public thinks of as fit and why there may be a case both for and against that argument.  He goes on to describe his theory of World-Class Fitness and how to achieve it.  Enjoy!

Part 1 – What is fitness and who is fit? (By Greg Glassman, CrossFit Journal, OCT 2002)

“In 1997, Outside Magazine crowned triathlete Mark Allen “the fittest man on Earth.” Let us just assume for a moment that this famous six-time winner of the IronMan Triathlon is the fittest of the fit. Then what title do we bestow on the decathlete Simon Poelman, who also possesses incredible endurance and stamina yet crushes Mr. Allen in any comparison that includes strength, power, speed and coordination?

Perhaps the definition of fitness does not include strength, speed, power and coordination, though that seems rather odd. Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines “fitness” and being “fit” as the ability to transmit genes and being healthy. No help there. Searching the Internet for a workable, reasonable definition of fitness yields disappointingly little. Worse yet, the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), the most respected publisher in exercise physiology, in its highly authoritative “Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning,” does not even attempt a definition.

CrossFit’s Fitness

ALT TEXT

For CrossFit, the specter of championing a fitness program without clearly defining what it is that the program delivers combines elements of fraud and farce. The vacuum of guiding authority has therefore necessitated that CrossFit provide its own definition of fitness. That is what this article is about: our “fitness.”

Our pondering, studying, debating about and finally defining fitness have played a formative role in CrossFit’s successes. The keys to understanding the methods and achievements of CrossFit are perfectly embedded in our view of fitness and basic exercise science.

It will come as no surprise to most of you that our view of fitness is a contrarian view. The general public both in opinion and in media holds endurance athletes as exemplars of fitness. We do not. Our incredulity on learning of Outside’s awarding a triathlete the title of “fittest man on Earth” becomes apparent in light of CrossFit’s models for assessing and defining fitness.

CrossFit makes use of three different standards or models for evaluating and guiding fitness. Collectively, these three standards define the CrossFit view of fitness. The first is based on the 10 general physical skills widely recognized by exercise physiologists. The second standard, or model, is based on the performance of athletic tasks, while the third is based on the energy systems that drive all human action.

Each model is critical to CrossFit, and each has distinct utility in evaluating an athlete’s overall fitness or a strength-and-conditioning regimen’s efficacy. Before explaining in detail how each of these three perspectives works, it warrants mention that we are not attempting to demonstrate our program’s legitimacy through scientific principles. We are but sharing the methods of a program whose legitimacy has been established through the testimony of athletes, soldiers, cops and others whose lives or livelihoods depend on fitness.”

Source:
Glassman, Greg. (2002, OCT). What is Fitness? The CrossFit Journal. Retrieved from: https://journal.crossfit.com/article/what-is-fitness

The Committed Club

Another new feature we are going to start doing is recognizing those athletes that are truly committed to their fitness here at CrossFit True.  Each month we will celebrate their achievement by listing them as members of the “Committed Club”.

What do I have to do to get into the Committed Club?

It’s easy! Just attend classes 12 times during the month or an average of 3 days/week and you’re in. 3 days/week is that sweet spot where you can really make some serious progress and not get burnt out.  As you continue to develop as an athlete you will be able to handle more days and really accelerate your progress.

March 2017 Committed Club

Kristin R. 24 Classes
Marc P. 17 Classes
Raysa F. 17 Classes
Joe A. 15 Classes
Landis D. 14 Classes
Gina N. 12 Classes
Elaine L. 12 Classes
Alex C. 12 Classes

Runners Up with 11 classes.  Keep pushing and you all will be there next month!
Elisa G.
Miriam J.
Rozlyn
Dave V.

Don’t see your name on the list?  Make sure you sign in to each and every class.

Liz M. April Athlete Spotlight

Here is a first look at Liz’s athlete spotlight.  Be sure to check your inbox on Monday for our April newsletter and to learn more about Liz!

Anniversaries

We are going to start a new feature on the blog each month where we recognize our members anniversary of their join date.  Joining CrossFit True was a huge step in your lives and has changed you in ways you never realized it would.  We know some of you had a short break from us at times but as we always say, “Once a member, Always a member”.  So weather you were with us this entire time or you took a short break and now you’re back you will always will be a part of our amazing CrossFit Family.

We are so glad to have each and every one of you as members of our CrossFit True family and we can’t wait to continue developing the amazing relationships we have created.

Since this month is the first time we are going to be doing this I am going to include anniversaries from January-April of this year.

Congratulations on your Gymaversary!

First off a big welcome to our NEWEST Members who signed up last month!

Jennifer C.
Sana S.
Jen & Daniel P.

 

January – April Gymaversaries:

Ben Raccio 5 Years! Join Date: January 25th, 2012
Kelly B. 5 Years! Join Date: January 28th, 2012
Mike P. 5 Years! Join Date: February 15th, 2012
Tracy T. 5 Years! Join Date: March 22nd, 2012
Joe A. 5 Years! Join Date: March 23rd, 2012
Shawn B. 5 Years! Join Date: March 28th, 2012
Desmond 5 Years! Join Date: March 28th, 2012
Hil B. 5 Years! Join Date: April 1st, 2012
Britt M. 3 Years! Join Date: January 15th, 2014
Alex C. 3 Years! Join Date: January 23rd, 2014
Gina 3 Years! Join Date: February 6th, 2014
Scott Hazan 3 Years! Join Date: March 31st, 2014
Lou 2 Years! Join Date: February 17th, 2015
Derek 2 Years! Join Date: March 5th, 2015
Paul H. 2 Years! Join Date: March 10th, 2015
Meg G. 2 Years! Join Date: March 11th, 2015
Cynthia B. 2 Years! Join Date: April 13th, 2015
Asma 1 Year! Join Date: February 1st, 2016
Elaine 1 Year! Join Date: February 5th, 2016
John A. 1 Year! Join Date: March 6th, 2016
Cole 1 Year! Join Date: March 22nd, 2016
Roz 6 months! Join Date: October 20th, 2016
Juan 3 Months! Join Date: January 3rd, 2017
Jason 3 Months! Join Date: January 22nd, 2017
Jacqueline 3 Months! Join Date: January 23rd, 2017
Carly 3 Months! Join Date: January 27th, 2017

Gut Bacteria

Many of you may not know that inside of you right now are trillions of bacteria.  You might think that these are bad but in reality many of them are needed.  They help you digest food and improve your health.  Probiotics are one form of this bacteria that you are probably familiar with.  Check out this awesome 5 minute video from TED ED to learn more.

 

Resiliency

What is Resiliency?  Well to put it simply it is your ability, both mentally and physically, to deal with the stresses that are placed on you in life.  According the the world famous Dr. Google Resilience is “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness”

Right now as we come to the end of the CrossFit Open some of you may not be thrilled with your results.  You may not have done as well as you had hoped, or maybe you set your goals too high for this year.

Mike Lee from OPEX said it perfectly in his recent blog psot titled “What is Resilience?”  Mike says:

At the end of the day remember no one cares where you finish, except YOU. Stop judging yourself according to others. What does it matter?………YOU know that you gave everything to maximize your performance and reach your full potential.

Start getting comfortable with the uncomfortable.”

For some tips on how to increase your resiliency read the rest of Mike’s post here.

If you are resilient you will be able to use this year as a stepping stone to continued improvement and begin working on your weaknesses in preparation for next year.

March Athlete Spotlight

This months Athlete Spotlight is Meghan Fitzpatrick!

We will be doing the Meg F Spotlight WOD this coming Tuesday March 14th

Meg F:
12 min AMRAP of:
200m Row
6! of Deadlifts & Hang Power Cleans [115/75]
200m Row
5! of DL & HPC
200m Row
4! of DL & HPC
200m Row
3! of DL & HPC
AMRAP Burpees in remaining time (if any)

Continue reading below to learn a little bit more about our newest member of the month Meghan Fitzpatrick!

  1. What made you choose CrossFit True?

    Honestly, it was the closest Crossfit to me and I had a great time at the On-Ramp class.  I am so happy with my choice.

  2. How long have you been Training with us?

    It’s been almost three years!

  3. What do you do for the short time of the day that you aren’t with us (i.e. a job)?

    I am a second grade teacher and absolutely love it.  I also enjoy cooking with my wonderful husband Paul and spending time outdoors.

  4. How is your nutrition?Do you eat a certain way?If so when did you make the switch?

    I try my best to eat a clean healthy diet.  I eat Paleo when doing a challenge but I absolutely love pasta and bread so I have to allow myself those things sometimes.  Being married to a chef makes it challenging at times because he brings home such yummy food and I can’t not try it!

  5. What are your 3 favorite movements/exercises?

    I’m nervous to answer this because I don’t want to kick myself later but I would have to say Deadlifts, Power Cleans and Rowing.

  6. How about a favorite WOD?

    While I don’t necessarily enjoy it, the Armistice WOD will always hold a special place with me because I think of my best friend Anna, who serves in the United States Air Force, while I do it and it makes me push that much harder.

  7. What is your favorite workout song?

    Crazy Bitch by Buckcherry

  8. What’s your favorite type of workout? (AMRAP, Chipper, ladder, rounds for time)

    AMRAP for sure.  I like to have a time set for my work out so I know how much to expect.  I also enjoy racing against myself to get as many round as possible in there.

  9. Have you changed at all physically or mentally since starting to train with us?

    I’ve always struggled with weight but what Crossfit has done is given me a sense of confidence.. I don’t care so much about how I look anymore, it’s more about how I feel.  It has also become a safe place for me. No matter what I am going through, I walk into True and am able to forget about everything in the time I am there. It’s a place where I can just think about myself and my goals.

  10. What are your current goals?

    To be more consistent with getting to class and hopefully switch to an unlimited membership so I can be more consistent with exercise.

  11. What is your favorite color?

    PINK!

  12. What can you do now that you weren’t able to do before training at CrossFit True

    If we’re being specific I’m going to say a Clean.  For the first year of Crossfit the Clean was the bane of my existence.  I couldn’t get the form down for the life of me, now I absolutely love it!

  13. Say something else, anything!

    Thank you to everyone who is a part of the Crossfit True family.  Every single one of you makes True an amazing place to be.  I have so many happy and wonderful memories just from the past three years and can’t wait to see what’s next.  Oh…and…5:30 a.m. class rules!!! <3

Weakness

I was looking through some old blog posts today and I came across this one by Laura J.  Give it a read it’s pretty powerful.

“The barbell will not budge. There is too much weight on the bar, my form might be sacrificed due to mental and physical fatigue, but yet my subconscious says “just one more time.” Maintaining a stubborn sense of “this can be done” while living in the parameters of reality can be exhausting, but admitting defeat can be discouraging. Anger, frustration, and annoyance set in, but “drive” is the gear we stay in, the gear we thrive off of, and the gear we get the farthest in.

Many of our strengths come from doing the impossible-running up that last hill when your legs feel like they might not be capable of one more step, forcing two feet out the door when one is telling you to stay behind, and engaging every muscle fiber to finish out that one last rep although the weights feel like they might not move an inch. Strengths are what people see and admire in us, when weaknesses are shamefully hidden but often reveal even more.

Weaknesses are what make us who we are; they are what make me strive for more and encourage me to try that much harder because I will not settle. The barbell can be moved and the steps can be taken once my mind stops playing games. It just takes a little strength to get over a temporary feeling of self-defeating weakness, but it’s during times like these in which I learn just how strong I can be.”

Member Appreciation Nights with Dr. Greg

Dr. Greg Hom will be in the gym this coming Monday, March 6th and Wednesday March 22nd from 4:30-8pm to assist with stretching athletes out before/after the WOD.

This is a **FREE** service provided by CrossFit True for our members.

If you would like to get treated or have any questions stop by and check him out!  There is a sign up sheet at the gym to reserve your 15 minute appointment.
Dr. Greg is a board certified Sports Chiropractor and an International Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician. He has worked with Team Kaya Dragon Boat Racing, AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour, Spartan Race, and the IPA Push/Pull Showdown to name a few. Dr. Greg is certified in  Kinesio Taping, dry needling, and a variety of instrument assisted soft tissue techniques.

Open Phase Training Overview

Tomorrow starts our next training phase.  This phase will take us through the CrossFit Open which starts this week and runs for 5 weeks.  During these 5 weeks our training is going to be focused on making sure everyone can crush the Open workouts on Friday nights (or whenever you decide to do it if you can’t party with us on Friday, but you should really party)

Here is a simple breakdown of what you can expect over the next 5 weeks:

Monday and Tuesday: “Open” style training sessions, one long, one short and intense

Wednesday: Strength work and core conditioning

Thursday: Aerobic style interval training designed to make you all sweaty and tired but not beat down with included mobility work

Friday: Open WOD (CRUSH IT! GET SOME! RAWR!)

Saturday: a team WOD or girl style workout (the workout may change based on what Dave Castro throws at us for the Open

Sunday: Aerobic/Muscular Endurance longer workout

 

The goal is to allow you to train any day and not be beat up coming into Friday.  I train 5 days/week, Monday-Friday, and take the weekends off.  I will be training Thursdays and doing the Open Friday nights so I don’t want anyone to think that they have to take Thursday off in order to do well.  You can take rest days anytime you want during the week and still be ready to go on Friday.  Thursdays session will be a good workout but it won’t have a huge negative impact on your body.  You should leave covered in sweat and feeling good.

Good Luck everyone and I’ll see you out there!

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