Somebody somewhere is doing more than you, with less.
We are heading into summer. It will be hot. I know, profound observation. The box has no air conditioning. Another equally profound observation, I’m on a roll. It may sound ridiculous, but I love the heat. (insert stories, about wrestling, football, and Baghdad) Sometimes when I’m training alone in the middle of the summer I forget to turn on the fans! I get caught up in why I am there. I am there to improve in any way possible. I am not there to be comfortable. I am deliberating over the techniques I want to practice, how I am going to practice them. I am thinking about the dose of reps and load for each movement that will be in the conditioning. Decisions not to be made lightly. I give no mental real estate to the fans, and if it does creep into my mind, sometimes I just as quickly forget about them. I simply enjoy the heat and get stronger as I was taught earlier in life. The heat, as crazy as it sounds, is a great opportunity to test yourself mentally and physically.
We need adversity to change. Change is what we are trying to do at CUE. More specifically we are trying to improve the physical preparedness of our bodies, which will also require the right mental game. You cannot separate the mind from the body. The right mindset is as equally important to the success of your fitness and health as is food and sleep.
If we need adversity to grow, then this raises a couple questions. How much do we need? What kind? And when?
We need as much and as often as we can tolerate of the most variety we can find. Do you find yourself infrequently taking on tiny doses of discomfort? Once a day, once a week, once a month adventuring outside of your safety bubble routine to experience something you know will make you better, but you have not summoned the mental toughness to subject yourself to it often. These moments of positive adversity (chances to improve your being) never show up as grand events wrapped in paper and bow. These moments can be very elusive, and it takes awareness to not let them slip by. Like my fan story. Do you turn the fan on for comfort? Or do you leave it off? You are in a gym to work. You are not there to be comfortable. You are not in your home theatre, laid back in your recliner nursing a beer (my dream). Comfort is the enemy and adversity is your friend when you are training the mind and body.
John Wooden’s rules, passed down from his father, “don’t whine, don’t complain, don’t make excuses” made it onto our gym rules poster for this reason. To address how we handle adversity.
“John Wooden was an American basketball player and coach. He was the head coach at UCLA and won 10 NCAA National Championships in a 12 year period, including an unprecedented 7 in a row.
Wooden was named the national coach of the year 6 times. Wooden was also the first person ever enshrined as a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and as a coach.
John Wooden was regarded as one of the wisest and best college coaches in the history of college basketball.” Yale Middleton
“John found himself recalling his father’s attitude when the poor facilities at the UCLA basketball facility bothered him. For the first dozen years of his coaching career there, this poor attitude really held him back as a coach. When he resolved to stop complaining and to simply make the best of it, Coach Wooden noted that his success greatly improved.
Coach devised and collected a number of maxims regarding the best way to respond to difficult situations. They are great triggers that you can use with yourself to rekindle a positive attitude when the going gets tough.”
“Bad times can make you bitter or better.”
“Never make excuses. Your friends won’t need them and your foes won’t believe them.”
“Things usually turn out the best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out.”
Coach Wooden said, “Complaining, whining and making excuses just keep you out of the present. If your complaints are constant, serious and genuine about your calling, then leave when practical.” Craig Impelman
Often the best advice comes from an old wise person in short, simple bursts of knowledge that can be easily dismissed as unoriginal and obvious. Don’t get caught by this trap. Take some time to investigate these three command, “don’t whine, don’t complain, and don’t make excuses.” Try your best to live by them and you may find success finding you.
1. I am going to burn this fat off.
It doesn’t work that way. Although physical training (exercise) is a critical component to your quality of life, you cannot out train bad nutrition. A well programmed physical training program will keep you strong and functional, i.e. stave off the nursing home, but it cannot undo chronic bad eating. Saying, “I workout so I can eat donuts,” does not hold an ounce of logic under scientific rigor. Instead start saying, “I eat great nutrition so I can workout better.” Food is your fuel. Give your body the nutrients it needs and it will reward you with a lean physique.
2. Healthy food is more expensive.
This usually comes from an individual that will dump ten dollars at McDonalds without blinking. If you take that $10 dollars to Costco or Aldi’s you can get a lot more and higher quality food. There are lots of healthy foods you can buy cheap. You do not have to go to the highest priced organic food isle. Buy frozen or canned. Rely more on beans and lentils. Black beans are so nutritious they are a meal by themselves. And for the love...start cooking...its healthier and it saves money.
3. All carbs are fattening.
Wrong. The only carbs you need to worry about are processed, refined sugars. Deserts, cereals, breads, pastas will jack up your endocrine system and cause excess fat storage. Carbohydrates that come in vegetable or fruit form will only fuel you and make you super healthy. You won’t gain weight from an apple.
4. Eating less will cause fat loss and improve my health.
Not only is that dead wrong, it is also very dangerous. “Of all the dangerous ideas that health officials could have embraced while trying to understand why we get fat, they would have been hard-pressed to find one ultimately more damaging than calories-in/calories-out. That it reinforces what appears to be so obvious - obesity as the penalty for gluttony and sloth - is what makes it so alluring. But it's misleading and misconceived on so many levels that it's hard to imagine how it survived unscathed and virtually unchallenged for the last fifty years.
It has done incalculable harm. Not only is this thinking at least partly responsible for the ever-growing numbers of obese and overweight in the world - while directing attention away from the real reasons we get fat - but it has served to reinforce the perception that those who get fat have no one to blame but themselves. That eating less invariably fails as a cure for obesity is rarely perceived as the single most important reason to make us question our assumptions, as Hilde Bruch suggested half a century ago. Rather, it is taken as still more evidence that the overweight and obese are incapable of following a diet and eating in moderation. And it put the blame for their physical condition squarely on their behavior, which couldn't be further from the truth.”
― Gary Taubes, Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It
5. Low fat and diet foods are a great way to lose weight.
The food industry knows how to market to you. If you won’t buy food with sugar, they will call it “sugar free” and add hydrogenated oils and artificial sweeteners. If you believe fat makes you fat (which is false), then marketers will label their food “fat free” and put more sugar in it to make up for the loss of flavor. All these foods with labels end up being highly processed and bad for you in many ways. Dodge this pitfall by eating foods without labels. Stick to real food. If it has a long shelf life and a label it is not real food. The best way to lose weight is eliminate processed sugar and flour and only eat meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.
Introductory thoughts to Programming
“It’s like fine art, everyone has an opinion, but few understand it.”
The body is complex. It can be argued it is the most complex thing in our universe. It could also be argued that it is more complex than our universe.
The human body has 79 organs, 206 bones, about 700 muscles and approximately 100 billion neurons in the brain. The combination of interactions between each of these elements are endless. This means understanding everything about the human body may never be reached. What is even more disheartening when trying to figure out what makes the human body “tick” is after you have figured out the physiology (if possible) you still have done nothing to explain consciousness.
A seasoned well trained and well educated programmer understands the limitations of our current global knowledge base and is using these tools to the maximum of their potential. Current knowledge gathered by all the intellectual giants will run into a wall. There will be a point in programming where the artist will have to take over.
Good programming is an art as much as it is a science. A programmer must be able to attend to concerns of the body, mind and spirit (moral, disposition, attitude, etc.). The program must push the body using principles like progressive overload and specificity. The program needs to allow practice that develops neuronal maps in the mind for each skill. The program must allow for the athlete’s spirit to thrive, to feel positive, motivated and excited about the progress being made in all training categories desired. When a coach sits down to program, he must consider matters of physiology and how they intereact with our consciousnous. This is an incredibly difficult task, and must not be taken lightly when you are responsible for the quality of life for others.
A common mistake when new coaches program is the temptation to add more. They are overwhelmed with all the fundamental movements and skills that must be learned, while also improving strength and endurance. This is a tall order and cannot be accomplished in one day, but is tempting to try. So the answer must be to keep adding to the ‘workout of the day’ until satisfied. Ending up with a long list that will result in overtraining, watered down skill practice, and low quality metabolic conditioning.
A coach worth his/her salt is always looking for elegance in programming. Why use three movements, when you can achieve the same result or better with one movement? This requires the liberal use of transference. Understanding which training movements will enhance other movements and so forth. Knowing pull ups train the biceps so you do not need bicep curls, for an easy example.
Elegance is the art of refinement. Stripping away the unnecessary. In athletic movement we call this economy of motion. Which is easy to understand when jogging. An important skill to learn when jogging is to not bounce. Pretend you have a ceiling 2” above your head. Jog without hitting your head on the ceiling and you will go farther than the person bounding excessively high with each step. Elegance is the hallmark of a great programmer.
Be impressed with short to-do lists that produce great athletes. We had a perfect example of the effectiveness of this strategy unfold before our eyes this weekend at the Granite Games Throwdown. Katie Buse and Mallory Garey competed in their first competition and took first place. The division they were in was highly competitive as it had the most teams. Katie and Mallory are both mothers who are lucky to be able to get enough time to do the one hour class each day. Turns out this is enough to create world class fitness due to their consistency of attendance, hard work, coachability, and the elegant programming.
In CrossFit when you peruse the great coach’s (Bergeron, CJ Martin, Rich Froning) WOD blogs you will notice the workouts do not look like much on paper. In fact they might look boring, and the first thought might be to add to the workout. This is a grave mistake, because each WOD is not in a world by itself. Each workout has to be programmed in relation to the WOD’s that came before it on previous days and the WOD’s that will come after it. This is just one reason, the tip of the iceberg. To understand the whole iceberg you will need more experience and education than a person can possibly gather in a lifetime. Every scientist, every intellectual wishes they had more time to learn and understand the depth of their field. As there is always more to learn.
Want to get in a good sweat over the holidays, but you can’t get to the box and don’t have a home gym?
Some of the best, most torturous training sessions I have participated in have been with no equipment. In the Army we always trained in empty fields of grass. In wrestling we trained in a room with nothing but 4 walls and a wrestling mat. Yet we managed to carve hardened athletes and soldiers out of flabby boys and girls.
The most metabolically disturbing conditioners are elegant couplets and triplets. Elegant meaning the movements do not interfere with each other. Like the famous “Fran” couplet: thrusters and pull-ups. Interfering movements tend to slow the conditioner down and turn it into a strength session for that muscle group or movement type. An example of interfering couplet that would not do much for your fitness would be push-ups and handstand push-ups. They are both pressing movements and would burn out your shoulders and triceps quickly. You would find yourself standing around for long rest periods waiting for your strength to come back. Avoid this situation for high quality metcons.
Here are a few variations of my favorite home metcons you can do while on holiday or traveling and without a a gym:
If you have an old piece of cardio equipment collecting dust (I have an evil stairmaster stepper, that I avoid like the plague because it is medieval torture for the legs), here is an easy way to throw it in a metcon without having to do any math.
“Stairway to Heaven”
5 Rounds, 1 minute max effort on each
Stairmaster (or whatever you have)
Have fun with these wods. Remember simple is effective. Rev up the heart rate, make it burn, chase the dream, slay dragons.
Thanksgiving is coming and then...Christmas, and then... New Years, and then... Valentine’s Day, and then... St. Patrick’s Day, and then... Easter. It’s never ending. There will always be another holiday around the corner. How can you stick to your goals and still enjoy the holidays? Breathe. It's possible. Do not allow holidays to throw off your eating patterns. Do not continuously binge on junk food every justified chance you get.
Remember, family get-togethers are for enjoying the company of your friends and family. Make the event about them. Listen to their stories, play games, watch movies, go shopping. Find that balance and happiness in life that includes taking time to enjoy time with your family and eat tasty food!
The average weight gain is only somewhere between 2 to 10 pounds. It would be depressing to gain that much fat, but it would also be fairly easy to remove once you are back on track with your nutrition and fitness regimen. The most important reason to eat clean is to create healthy and lifelong habits. It is for performance. Performance in every category of life. You are damaging and impairing your body every time you consume processed junk food. Eating bad does not just make you fat, it pollutes your body. It causes disease. Chronic bad eating patterns cause chronic disease. Be careful, do not let holidays stimulate bad eating habits.
Here are 5 tips to help get through the holidays
Tip #1 Eat tasty, whole foods! Meats, veggies, nuts, and seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar contains lots of tasty foods. Do not let that voice saying, “but I want to enjoy life,” ruin your life.
Tip #2 If you have to eat dessert, eat a single serving. Do not continuously graze on the dessert buffet.
Tip #3 If you do go off the deep and eat everything in sight until your stomach nearly ruptures, move on. Don't let that turn into an entire weekend of bad choices. Get right back back on the plan. You can fast through the next meal. Then, when you do eat, eat only protein and fats. Purge your body of carbs (sugar). This will minimize damage and allow your insulin to return to normal, which will keep fat gain to a minimum and you may even lose some of the fat you gained from the binge eating. Remember, fat does not make you fat, carbohydrates do.
Tip #4 Drink lots of water. Just kidding. That’s silly advice. Drink, water, tea, or coffee until thirst is satisfied. It does not take excessive amounts of water to hydrate the body. Do not drink your calories. Avoid the egg nog and alcohol. Do not substitute with fat free versions of eggnog or milk or whatever else is out there. Those versions could be more fattening than the whole fat varieties.
Tip #5 Stay active and people focused! Reflect on the time you enjoy with your friends and family. Reflect on why you are choosing a healthier lifestyle!
That is all I have for now.
Enjoy your holidays. Enjoy some tasty food. Stay focused on the dream. Slay dragons.
The Myth of Caloric Deficit and Fat Loss
A caloric deficit (semi-starvation) has never been proven to cause fat loss. In fact, time and again studies have found that while in a caloric deficit, humans can still increase their volume of adipose (fat) tissue. The reason is simple. Lipogenesis (fat generation) is regulated largely by insulin.
According to Gary Taubes, author of Why We Get Fat (2010): “In other words, the science itself makes clear that hormones, enzymes, and growth factors regulate our fat tissue, just as they do everything else in the human body, and that we do not get fat because we overeat; we get fat because the carbohydrates in our diet make us fat. The science tells us that obesity is ultimately the result of a hormonal imbalance, not a caloric one—specifically, the stimulation of insulin secretion caused by eating easily digestible, carbohydrate-rich foods: refined carbohydrates, including flour and cereal grains, starchy vegetables such as potatoes, and sugars, like sucrose (table sugar) and high-fructose corn syrup.”
If insulin in your blood stream increases above natural levels, fat storage increases. If insulin drops to baseline, there will be a reduction in fat storage. Carbohydrates like starches and refined sugars will cause these spikes in insulin regardless of whether or not you are consuming fewer calories. If you are eating 1800 calories (500 calories under his/her daily burn), but 900 of them come from sugar and or starch; you will gain fat despite caloric deficit.
This dynamic will not occur with meat and vegetable consumption. If you want to lose fat in a hurry, simply eat only meats and greens and you’ll see fat reduction with no calorie counting. My suggestion is this: keep your whole food choices balanced between varieties of meats, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fruits. Simply eliminate processed sugar intake and reduce starch like potatoes, carrots and corn.
The second reason why approaching fat loss from a caloric deficit approach is ineffective lies in inaccurate accounting. You simply cannot count with accuracy how many calories your body consumed in a day. Unless you are a mad scientist and carry a Baum calorimeter everywhere you go, you will never know (with complete accuracy) how many calories were in that steak or sweet potato you ate. I spent countless hours in labs at Pace University attempting to determine calories in the food I ate and had to do calculations and measurements numerous times….despite the use of scientific laboratory equipment.
The complications of calorie counting never end; consider the fact that each subspecies of each species of food will register different calories per unit of weight. Which type of avocado did you just eat? Which breed of cow from which farm and which body part did your beef come from? What was the age of the cow? How active was the cow? These variables all affect the macro count of you are consuming.
…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg with whole foods. What if you ate something packaged? The nutrition labels’ caloric counts are never accurate. They are allowed a certain percentage of error by the FDA. So, the label said you just ate a 100 calorie snack pack, when in fact, there could be 120 calories.
Now, let’s talk about bioavailability. Lets say you do get a reliable number and you know there are exactly 30 grams of protein in the beef jerky you are about to eat. How many grams will your body absorb? You will never net all 30 grams. One day it could be 22, the next day it could be 15. What are you going to record in your nutrition log? Despite your best efforts, you will never record a number that is 100% accurate. Which brings us full circle: if you are relying on caloric deficit for fat loss, these numbers would need to be 100% accurate.
Any form of starvation is already risky and unhealthy. You are not giving your body the nutrients it demands when it demands it. The only successful fat loss strategies (Whole30, Paleo, RP, Zone, Keto) are those that involve reducing or removing starch and refined sugar. “If It Fits My Macros” only works if it results in a reduction of refined sugar and starch consumption.
So, if you hate semi-starvation diet plans, good news: they never worked anyway! And, now you know why you don’t need them. Fill up on meats and veggies. Remove starch and refined sugar and watch the fat melt.
Calorie counting: out. Meats and veggies: in.
And, I can’t sign off without mentioning: I know you are going to ask, so yes, the beer, wine, and liquor have to go too.
As Karen will be playing a large role in the future business operations of CUE/LBB, we thought it would a good idea to have her tell you guys a little bit about herself. If you see her out and about please give her a warm welcome to the CUE/LBB family.
Dear CUE/LBB community,
Hi! I’m sure some of you may be asking yourself: Who is this person? Where did she come from? and Why is she working for CUE/LBB?
I’m writing to tell you a little bit about myself and, hopefully, answer those questions and others you may have.
I have recently moved to Bloomington with my husband (Nate) and our two boys (Jack, age 4; Charlie, age 2). We moved from Laramie, Wyoming where we had spent the last six years as I was a professor at the University of Wyoming.
My professional background is in Exercise/Sport Science/Physical Education. My bachelor’s degree (Northern Illinois University), master’s degree (University of North Carolina at Greensboro), and doctorate (University of Georgia) are all in Kinesiology. My specific expertise is in teacher education in physical education and sport. Put simply, I am a trained teacher and researcher and now prepare future physical education teachers and coaches and have done so at three universities (SIU Edwardsville, University of Wyoming, and ISU).
While at the University of Wyoming, in addition to my responsibilities in teacher education, I was also the Director of an after-school program for at-risk children in Wyoming that focused on education to enhance child health through a multi-disciplinary program involving exercise, nutrition, and behavioral health. This multi-site program involved approximately 50 children, 40 undergraduate and graduate students, 6 interns, and a paid staff of 5 employees.
I have been an athlete my entire life. I started swimming competitively at age eight and swam on a full scholarship at NIU. Since then (and that was a long time ago, J) I have been an avid runner and exerciser. I was introduced to CrossFit three years ago and instantly loved the nature of the WODs, the variety, and the intensity of the movements.
I found CUE/LBB after many hours looking online while still in Wyoming attempting to find a new box here in Bloomington. I scoured the CUE/LBB website inside and out and read all of the ‘Dane’s Brain’ posts to gain insight into the philosophy and culture of CUE/LBB. Within my first few classes with Dane, I knew this was the box for me. I connected with Dane immediately as we had several conversations about his vision for CUE/LBB and his path up to this point (both personally and professionally). I learned that CUE/LBB is a labor of love for Dane and immediately wanted to help him. At this point, I offered to help Dane and do what I could to help him grow CUE/LBB using my knowledge and skills in coach education, programming, and organizational leadership.
So, here we are.
For CUE/LBB, my job is to assist Dane in creating and implementing some "business infrastructure". I am supporting Dane and Lidia in formalizing some organizational structure and getting the business side of CUE/LBB in formal working order. For example, I'm providing guidance, support, and completing tasks related to: promotion and marketing, member satisfaction, employee contracts, coach evaluation and accountability (among other things).
I am excited to be a part of your community, to help Dane further his vision for CUE/LBB, and set up CUE/LBB to provide the highest quality experience for everyone. Thank you so much for this opportunity and I can’t wait to learn more about you, CUE/LBB, and what I can do to help us become the best we can be!
Please let me know how I can help you and improve CUE/LBB to help you reach your goals and live your best life.
Every day I listen to grumbles about the workout on the board. Some people prefer long and light workouts; others prefer short and heavy workouts. No matter what I’ve programmed, I can’t please everyone. In this post, I’m going to convince you to see every whiteboard as an opportunity to be your best self. Whatever you see on the board, you should be happy- if it includes something you love to do, you’ll be happy because you’ll enjoy it. A win. If it includes something you hate to do, it is an opportunity to address a fitness component that is of greatest need in moving you forward. Again, a win!
When it comes to fitness, working on your weaknesses will provide you with the biggest return. You will receive the fastest results if you choose to work on the things you hate. Your fitness (also known as work capacity across broad times and modal domains) will achieve the greatest improvements when you attack those movements/activities in which you “suck”. .
The things we hate lead to the most growth. For example, I hate running. Can you guess which metcons I lose all the time? That’s right, the ones that include long and slow running. Some would say: “big deal...you don’t need to be good at the long ones.” This is incorrect thinking; in order to have complete fitness, that leads to complete health, you do. Each modality (weightlifting, running, gymnastics) yields its own fitness and health benefits. If you are constantly training in one modality or time domain you are creating weaknesses in your fitness, which, in turn, leads to decreased health.
Extreme sport athletes suffer from this scenario. World class powerlifters have tremendous amounts of strength which has helped them build an abundance of muscle and bone. This is good. However, they cannot run around the block without exhaustion, and they lack the flexibility to front rack a barbell. They lack cardio/respiratory endurance or mobility. Marathon runners are on the other extreme. They have built up tremendous cardio/respiratory endurance which has helped them develop massive amounts of heart strength/health. But they have done this at the expense of global strength, muscle mass, and mobility. The graph below illustrates how work capacity looks quantitatively. In order to achieve the best fitness, we want to increase our work capacity across broad times and modal domains. This means that conditioning should be set at different duration and will consist of different movements daily. To do so, we take the best practices from every discipline - weightlifting, powerlifting, gymnastics, running, rowing, and biking etc. Everything is included. The more the better. This training approach is seen in the light great area under the curve. The more area under the curve the better your fitness and remember the better your health. The competitive powerlifter lives in the dark green area under the curve. the marathon runner lives in the baby blue area under the curve. In both of these examples, the area under the curve is limited as is the athlete’s fitness.
If your goal is longevity, improved fitness and health in order to lead a healthy more fulfilling life, then the answer is to embrace the white board. Every time. Attack those activities and movements that you “suck” at. Attack your weaknesses, increase your ‘real estate’ under the curve, and view the things you hate as opportunities. Stop doing only the things you love and see every whiteboard as an opportunity to be your best self!
In this post, I’m going to make the case for QUALITY MOVEMENT. Quality movement first, quality movement last, quality movement always. Make moving better your number one focus regardless of your goal(s).
Think of it like this: Great technique -> Great movement -> Great training -> Great Fitness -> Great Health = you get everything you want…you accomplish your goal(s).
The common denominator in this line of thinking is QUALITY MOVEMENT. To me, quality movement means performing each and every movement we give you at CUE with the best form possible and with the most appropriate load to maintain the stimulus required to produce the best adaptations within your body. This may or may not mean Rx.
Many people want to get back in shape for aesthetic reasons- they want to look thinner, leaner, stronger, or the like. This is fine, but focusing ONLY on aesthetics can easily result in discouragement or even failure. Furthermore, achieving aesthetic results can occur as a result of unhealthy behaviors and practices that are harmful- there are many terrible ways to get six pack abs. Alternatively, there is only one way to get a six pack and also achieve great fitness and health: train yourself to move the best you were genetically designed to move. This should be your focus. This is my focus as your coach.
Ineffective and unhealthy practices to focus only on aesthetics have resulted in an American public that is unhealthier, more obese, and more physically inactive than ever before. One of the many answers to this problem is to focus on moving better. Moving better in every way. Moving better with light, medium, and heavy loads over short, medium, and long time domains. By incorporating high intensity functional movements into our daily training regimen, by not subscribing to outdated training protocols of excessive isolation movements followed by 20 to 40 minutes on a treadmill or elliptical machine. Instead, we need to focus on moving larger loads over longer distances and faster, progressively improving performance indefinitely, and by measuring and repeating your efforts in order to validate continued progress. This is the best strategy to any goal pertaining your body.
Let’s go back to the line of thinking I presented to you at the beginning of this piece:
Great technique -> great movement -> great training -> great Fitness -> great Health = you get everything you want…you accomplish your goal(s).
Now, lets plug in a few other health related variables:
Poor technique -> poor movement -> poor training -> poor fitness -> poor health = you don’t get everything you want
Great sleep -> great energy -> great movement -> great training -> great Fitness -> great Health.
Great nutrition- great energy- great movement -> great training -> great fitness –> great health.
Quality movement. Quality movement is a vital component in achieving great fitness and/or great health.
Adopting a dogmatic approach to better movement will result in the recognition of every other variable that matters to your training and to everything you want: your nutrition will no longer be about useless caloric deficits, it will be about eating to perform, your sleep will no longer be optional, it will be essential in order to recover in order to train. You will no longer avoid techniques and movements you don’t understand, you will seek them out.
Focus all your resources and attention on quality movement: time, money, energy. Making decisions will become easy and automatic. When faced with a decision you will only need to answer one question: Will this help me move better?
One of my speeches when talking about what CUE does for you, what world class fitness does for you, starts with, “it allows you to live infinitely better.” As a fitness geek, two degrees in BioPsychology, CSCS, ISSA, NASM, CF LV2, 22 years in the gym, I can rattle off a bullet list of benefits long enough for you to get a killer power nap before I stop talking. After learning about and seeing the benefits of fitness first hand in my life, I know there is no other option. There is no other way to live.
I recently had the privilege of participating in a very special CrossFit Competition at The Arnold Classic. I have competed in many, but this one was different. This one, I was invited to. All the other ones I barged into. Signed myself up. Did it alone, and for myself.
I was asked to fill in for another athlete that got injured. Asked by my baby sister. Don’t tell her, but I would do anything for her, I spoil her the best I can. So, when she asked me to subject myself to 2 days of physical torture, I said yes. The next detail I’m about to tell you is very important. She is TWELVE YEARS younger than me. Our team would be competing in her age division RX’d. Not my age division. I am 36 years old.
How many people my age, the guys I graduated with, could drop what they are doing right now and sign up? I don’t ask that question lightly. I am not bragging or being harsh. I’ve seen what happens to the human body when not maintained. When not regularly subjected to a rigorous physical regimen. The human body deteriorates. The adult human will lose physical abilities it could do as a child. Not slowly. Not by old age. The human body can slip into decrepitude at a dangerously fast rate, and doesn’t stop. I’ve seen adults lose the ability to squat before the age of 40. This is common!
I was sitting there in the warm up area, prepping my body one more time for competition, when it hit me. A feeling of gratitude flooded my heart. I almost cried, but I don’t cry, so I’ll just say my eyes watered. I thought to myself, “you are one lucky dude. You get to throw down with your baby sister today.” My ‘old’ war torn body (I fought In OIF 1) was still physically fit enough to help her out. This was a blessing. I didn’t have to regretfully tell her, “I would if I could.”