BRIGHT SPOTS

Bright Spots

Bright spots are daily victories and successes that you experience inside and outside of the gym. We encourage everyone to focus on daily acts of excellence and celebrate their bright spots because positivity breeds more positivity.

It’s easy to be positive when everything in your life is going well. The hard part comes when you feel like you get knocked down. We all have bad days when we feel like crap during the workout, our job is stressful, and our family is driving us nuts. How we respond to these challenges is a choice.

Choose to stay optimistic during the tough times by changing your mindset. Start by focusing on what’s going well and always remember to include some fun in each day. When you’re having a frustrating day at the gym, remind yourself that training should be fun and the gym should be an escape. Finding just one thing, a bright spot, to be happy about or proud of will help change your mood.

“Bright Spots Friday” (BSF) is way to reflect on your week and revisit all the things that went well. In “The Champion’s Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive,” author Jim Afremow writes “Too often…we think back to what went wrong or what we did not do rather than what went well or what we accomplished…reward yourself for a job well done by keeping success fresh in your mind.”

It’s important to review the high points, PR’s, and positive moments from the week. Overcoming daily challenges and savoring what you have accomplished will lead to future bright spots. Do not undervalue what you’ve accomplished this week. Give yourself a mental high-five and celebrate.

By Conner Edelbrock

Inner Perfectionist

Slay The Inner Perfectionist
Perfectionism can be a fatal flaw, especially when it comes to CrossFit. You might compare yourself to others; be constantly dissatisfied with your performance; obsess over your position on the whiteboard; overthink a technical lift; or be afraid to fail or appear weak.
To overcome your inner perfectionist, start by focusing on doing you best. Sometimes we have a bad day, when we don’t perform well. Realize that it’s impossible to maintain a peak level of performance every single day. You may not PR or get a gold star every workout. Each day brings an opportunity for us to do our best, but realize there is a process that includes highs and lows.
Focus on long term goals. When we make goals to lift heavier, lose weight, or learn a new skill, we ignore the steps it takes to accomplish those goals. We often expect instant transformation and forget that there is no such thing as an overnight success.
Sometimes we just need to relax and have fun. As a perfectionist, you may get caught up in mastering every detail of a snatch or clean. Realize that there are times to focus on technique and then there are times to relax and just lift.
Lastly, take a step back and look at how far you’ve come. Progress might seem slow, but look at where you started and celebrate what you’ve accomplished.
By Conner Edelbrock

Broken Chain = Broken Habit

DON’T BREAK THE CHAIN
Meghan White recently shared a strategy for developing better habits that Jerry Seinfeld used to become a funnier comic. Seinfeld said ‘the secret to creating better jokes was to write every single day.’ In order to motivate himself he used a large wall calendar and big red marker.
Each day that he finished his writing task he would draw a large “X” on his calendar. After a few days a chain of red X’s would appear. He said ‘your only job is don’t break the chain.’
We can apply this strategy to forming any new habit, such as going to the gym, eating vegetables, or mobilizing every day. Start by picking one goal and each day you successful complete that goal, mark a big “X” on your calendar.
There is also an app called Streaks, where you digitally mark an “X” on your calendar. A wall calendar serves as a visual reminder to continue your streak, but the app allows you to create several calendars, one for each goal.
One study by the European Journal of Social Psychology said it can take anywhere between 18 – 254 days to create a new habit, but on average it takes 66 days for something to become automatic. Focus one day at a time and soon your resolution will become a lasting habit.
By Conner Edelbrock

Washing Knee Sleeves

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How to Wash Knee Sleeves
Knee sleeves are a great accessory item that offer compression for your joints on squat days, but sometimes we forgot to wash them. Knee sleeves are commonly made out of neoprene, which will absorb moisture and start to smell if we don’t care for them.
After wearing (and sweating) in your knee sleeves, it’s important to prevent mildew from growing. Don’t throw them in your gym bag right away. Make sure you turn them inside out and allow them to air dry.
Washing your knee sleeves after each time you wear them may be excessive. Shoot for washing them after every 3-5 wears. You can throw them in the washing machine on gentle cycle or hand wash them. Use a mild laundry detergent and add 2-4 ounces of distilled white vinegar, which will help kill mildew and odor. Skip the dryer and allow them to air dry.
Neoprene is durable and washing your knee sleeves regularly will improve the condition and reduce the smell.
By Conner Edelbrock

Better Performance in 5-Minutes!

DSC_0117The basic principle behind doing a dynamic range of motion warm-up is to prep your body for movement by elevating your heart rate and improving circulation, thereby increasing blood flow and “warming up” your working muscles. Warming up properly will lead to a better performance once the real work begins. Above all, injury prevention is our number one reason to warm-up. On day one at CrossFit Worthy, everyone is taught 10 movements that we refer to as DROM (Dynamic Range of Motion). Let’s go over them again so we can fully understand the purpose and effect of each movement so you can better determine which exercises you NEED to be doing before EVERY workout and why.

  • High Knees:
    • Stretch glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors
  • Butt Kickers:
    • Stretch quads, hip flexors
  • Karaoke:
    • Improve coordination
    • Warms-up abductors, adductors, calves, gain Range of Motion (ROM) in torso/spine
  • Straight Legs:
    • Stretch Hamstrings, glutes, calves, spinal erectors
    • Improve balance
  • Open the Gate:
    • Stretch adductors, gain ROM in external rotation of hips
  • Close the Gate:
    • Stretch abductors, glutes, gain ROM in internal rotation of hips.
  • Squat and Shuffle:
    • Stretch adductors, quads, hamstrings.
    • Glute activation
  • Bear Crawl:
    • Warms-up shoulders, builds shoulder strength and stability
    • Increases hip mobility
    • Improves shoulder and scapula function
  • Crab Walk:
    • Stretches chest muscles, shoulder and hip flexors
  • Inch Worm:
    • Stretches hamstrings, glutes, calves, low back muscles and lats
    • Improves scapula function, hip function
  • Spiderman:
    • Stretches hip flexor, glutes, calves, hamstrings, adductors

What you need to be doing before every workout:

  1. Move to an aerobic warm-up (Row, Bike, or Run 3-5 minutes)
  2. DROM
  3. Crossover Activation
  4. Foam Roll if needed

Here’s a guideline to follow if you are sore/tight in certain key areas:

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Foam Rolling has a purpose in warming up, but it is NOT the only thing you should be doing. Foam rolling breaks up fascia to help get muscle flexible again, but without an elevated heart rate, blood won’t circulate to warm your muscles.

Arriving just 10-minutes before the start of class, getting these things done,  can give you the most benefit and enjoyment out of the workout that day. We are creatures of habit, so make good warm up habits. If you don’t have good warm up habits, make new ones, now. It doesn’t take long and your lifts will thank you!

A Hands on Approach

We use every single part of our body on a daily basis in CrossFit. With all of that use typically comes soreness and muscle tightness. If your quads are tight, we have foam rollers and the (not-so) beloved couch stretch to help deal with that. If your back is tight, we have the pigeon stretch and posterior chain stretch and to help alleviate all that nasty tightness. But what are two things that we use literally every single day that are seldom taken care of or given any attention? That’s right, our hands. Our hands take a beating every single day, whether we are doing clean and jerks, kettlebell swings, pull ups, even burpees, you get the idea. We have many ways to help fix soft tissue ailments from working out, so here are ways to prevent our hands from ripping, how to treat a ripped hand, and how to train with a ripped hand.

Prevention

First and foremost, making sure your hands are properly moisturized with lotions that are free of dyes and lotions will help decrease the chance of separation between the callus and the layers that are beneath it. Dry skin is a callus’s biggest enemy, moisturizing lotions and/or salves are callus’s biggest ally. We carry CrossFIXE, which is a product filled with different oils and ingredients that our hands will love! It has unrefined beeswax, coconut oil extracts, myrrh, frankincense, many other organic extracts, and most notably, vitamin E. Vitamin E is essential for not just healthy palms, but healthy skin! Many users have noted that it has a very natural feel; something that isn’t too oily or greasy, rubs in easily, and only needs a moderate amount each application for it to be effective.

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Source: CrossFIXE

Aside from preventing them from getting too dried out, maintaining the height and size of the calluses is also important, but by doing it correctly (hint: gnawing them off is not doing it correctly). Pumice stones, callus files, callus razors/removers are tools that can be used to correctly and safely decrease the size of calluses. These are all best to do when the skin is soft and easily removable, so during or after a shower for example. It should be noted that if using a callus razor it is best to take a little off each time, and not the whole entire callus. If shaven too low and too much of the skin is removed, you might as well consider it a rip because your ability to grab onto a barbell or pull up bar will be hindered. I personally have done this on a few occasions and it does not feel pleasant. Along with all of this is chalk use, which is a double-edged sword. Chalk, in humble amounts, draws away moisture from your hands so you don’t need to grip the bar/implement tighter, which is good news for any existing calluses! However, too much chalk leads to more friction, which will eventually cause ripping.

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How To Treat a Rip

So what happens if you do rip? First off, clean off anything with blood on it, including equipment. If the skin hasn’t broken and is a blood blister, let it run its course and try to keep it from popping as long as possible. If the skin has broken, remove the remaining skin by carefully cutting the skin on the far edges of the rip, washing with soap and water, then applying Neosporin or other antibacterial ointments that will help replace some of the natural oils your skin produces. The ingredients in CrossFIXE’s hand tube also speeds up the recovery process for damaged palms, which minimizes your time away from training. Blister band-aids are excellent when it comes to keeping an open blister/rip clean and free from debris.

Training With A Rip

Ripping your hands should not be something that is celebrated, even though many people within the CrossFit community see it as a right of passage. It essentially is a preventable injury, and takes away from training, along with another entry point for infection and other potentially harmful germs, so keeping it clean and covered during training is key. Gymnastics grips and athletic tape are two of the most common forms of hand protection used today. Gloves or other forms of hand protection that are loosely fitting increase friction, which is the exact opposite to what is desired.

Whenever we’re sore we take action to deal with whatever area needs attention. Our hands should be no exception to that because they literally connect us to our fitness. Remember that chalk can be your friend if used correctly, and your enemy when used incorrectly. Removing excess chalk from your hands during the workout is just as important as washing it all off as soon as your workout is done. If a rip eventually happens, wash it with soap and warm water, remove excess skin if it has ripped open, shave down the ridges so that they won’t be able to catch on an implement, and throw on a blister band-aid to keep it clean. We use our hands everyday, so maintaining them should also be an everyday thing. Preventative actions now will help later because you won’t have to take time or intensity out of training and it won’t impact your outside life. Keep them moisturized, level, and supple enough to endure all the work you put into getting stronger!

Soreness: Why, When, & What to do

As we turn our calendars to July, we find ourselves in the middle of summer. A time when many lose sight of their goals. But here at Worthy, we have goals and are aggressively motivated to achieve them. That means increasing muscle size and tendon strength with our hypertrophy program while honing technique and skills—personal bests happen where skill meets strength.

New programming means a new form of muscle stimulation, and that probably means a little soreness. After a great day of training you head home triumphantly, but when you wake up…legs! oh, the legs hurt! Experienced athletes are quite familiar with the scenario, and many don’t mind waking up with an aversion to taking the stairs. If you’re a new athlete, don’t worry soreness is normal.

Here’s why.

The equation for growth and strength has many variables—particularly important for this discussion is muscle damage. As we train, our muscles undergo stress, causing microscopic tears to the muscle fibers. Our body’s react by repairing these tears, and the result is a larger, stronger muscle fiber.

The result may also be some discomfort. Again, this type of soreness is normal, and it is not injury. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is strongest roughly 36 hours after training, so you can expect to be sore for a couple days post workout. The exact biological process of DOMS is not fully understood, but here are a few tips that have been shown to improve your level of soreness:

  • Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet of REAL Food—The benefits of food go beyond raw energy. Whole foods carry a vibrant balance of micro- and macronutrients your body needs to rebuild, along with benefits science has yet to explain. If the ingredient list is longer than 5 items, it’s probably not what you want.

 

  • Along with eating well, staying adequately hydrated should be top on everyone’s list. Water is used in literally EVERY SINGLE BODILY FUNCTION. Notice the boldness, it is that important. Performance, recovery, mood and health will show signs of decline with as little as 2% of your bodyweight is lost via fluid loss. Remember, if you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.

 

  • Warm-Up and Cool-Down—A proper warm-up and cool-down routine is standard procedure for every athlete. Warming up prepares your muscles for motion and intensity, preventing injury. After an intense workout, your body is still swimming with the byproducts of exertion (ever feel like you suddenly have giraffe legs?). Cooling down helps flush your system of these byproducts to prevent unnecessary soreness.

 

  • Allow for Recovery— Every day isn’t max intensity day—for a reason. DOMS, unlike injury, improves with light activity. Thursdays and Sundays at Worthy are recovery days, and they’re just as important as heavy lifting days or intense workout days. For more information on active recovery, lookup the November posting “The Importance of Active Recovery” by coach Jared Bradford.

 

  • Communicate with Coaches—Talking honestly with your coaches about how your body is feeling allows them to better understand your situation and give more direct advice on how to reduce or prevent your soreness. As a coach, knowing where and when an athlete is feeling discomfort helps me pinpoint a cause and offer a possible remedy. This also sheds light on signs of potential injury, should one ever arise.

 

Remember, Soreness is a normal part of training, and its perfectly ok to be sore. DOM soreness is most intense in the couple days that follow training. Having the diligence to eat well, stay hydrated, warm-up/cool-down, and embrace recovery days can drastically reduce how sore you are. Finally, communicating with your coaches is key. Their eyes recognize how you’re moving, but you can tell them best how you’re feeling. ”

 

New in July! Let’s get Strong together!

June’s swimming program is winding down (WOW that went by fast!), but we are very excited to announce TWO new specialty programs coming to you in July!!

These classes will start the first week in July and be held at 6:30pm. Therefore, there will be no 6:30pm class for July and beginning of August. We came to this conclusion because 6:30pm is our lowest attended class with an average of 1.8 attendees in the past 30 days.

6-Week POWER HOUR: A Power Lifting (Squat, Bench Press, & Deadlift) based program. This program is aimed at those who enjoy or want to become all around stronger by dedicating full effort towards building muscle mass, moving heavy weights, and moving them quickly! All lift, no conditioning. You will be coached through the use of methods and movements not regularly seen in your normal CrossFit classes to accelerate your strength development! Examples of this will be banded deadlifts, Glute Ham Raises, Unstable Bench Press, and more! Remember, strength is never a weakness!

Price: $153 for 6-Weeks

Time: Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays at 6:30pm beginning July 6th

Coaches: Jeremy Worthington & Jared Bradford

Included:

  • Access to a private Facebook group for camaraderie, accountability, and extra information before each session!
  • Exclusive “Power Hour CrossFit Worthy” T-Shirt
  • Get stronger with friends!

 

6-Week Pull-Up Program: We’ve seen the need for a Body Weight Program or more specifically a “Pull –Up” Program. Most everyone has a goal of doing their first Pull-Up; we’re not guaranteeing you will achieve them with this program, but you will be stronger and a lot closer to that goal. The focus of this program is to dedicate time and effort to developing a strict Pull-Up or Chin-Up, through strengthening the entire shoulder girdle, developing gleno-humeral rhythm, and good old fashion work! If you currently can do a strict Pull-Up or two, that’s great! This program will still help you to add reps or weight to what you are already capable of!

Price: $108 for 6-Weeks

Time: Tuesdays & Thursdays at 6:30pm beginning July 5th

Coaches: Jeremy Worthington & Erich Focht

Included:

  • Access to a private Facebook group for constant contact with coaches, accountability with friends.
  • Exclusive articles regarding upper body strength written just for you!
  • Dedicated time to focus on building upper body pulling strength

6 Ways to get the MOST out of your CrossFit Worthy Experience

6 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your CrossFit Worthy Experience

So, you drank the CrossFit Kool-aid and now you can’t wait for the WOD every day. That’s great! You’ve found a form of health and fitness that is fun, healthy, functional, and let’s face it: addicting. We all dread some of the WOD’s, wishing they could just be over with when we are in them (the muscle burning, out-of-breath feeling we all lovingly hate), only to turn around the next day and be right back at it again.

You may be wondering: “How do I get the most out of my training at CrossFit Worthy?” Well, you are in luck because I’m going to lay out 6 straight forward ways to do just that, so at the end of every workout, you will leave the WOD like Luke Skywalker left the Death Star: destroyed. (Yes, there may be several more Star Wars references.)

  1. Set Goals. If they are long-term, make them specific and measureable. Examples might be: do a pull-up, squat x amount of weight, learn double unders, etc. We always have 1-on-1 skills sessions with a coach available for you, which is the fastest way to achieve goals. Uninterrupted time with a coach to focus and go through progressions and drills, work miracles. In the short-term, look to see at what is programmed for the day. Think about what weight you need to hit for that day for the movement, or maybe it’s an opportunity to work on technique. Look over the Metcon for the day. What are the movements? How will you break the reps up? What will your pace be? Know how you are going to attack the workout. Preparation is key.
  2. Visualize success. Positive visualization is a powerful tool for athletes. See your success in your mind before it happens. Put yourself through the reps before they happen. You know how you’re going to feel during a hard metcon. Visualize that too. The muscle burning, out of breath, body screaming at you to stop immediately. Then visualize yourself pushing beyond your limit. Do, or do not. There is no try.
  3. Warm up before and mobilize after your WOD. This one is more specific and direct. We squat a lot in here. Whether that be under a barbell, with a wall ball, a slam ball, an air squat, a clean, or a snatch. It’s a movement our bodies are naturally made for and will do at a moment’s notice, but in order to get the MOST out of your performance, warm up and mobilize every single day.
    • When you arrive, head to a rower or bike for 3-5 minutes to get your heart rate elevated and blood pumping to your muscles. Not only will this prep you for ultimate performance, it will also serve as injury prevention, which is the foundation of our movement goal. Do the dynamic range of motion movements and the Crossover activation; those things alone will improve your performance in dramatic ways. Our goal for you is to move safely, efficiently, and in time, with relatively big weight. Post WOD, roll out your quads, your glutes, your calves, hamstrings. Let no muscle go un-rolled. If something hurts, let your coach know!
  4. Do not fear failure. Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering. …Okay that was dramatic. But, Yoda had a point. Don’t be afraid to fail at a weight that you want to hit (within reason, of course). Any lifter or athlete that wants to push themselves to be their absolute best has failed, over and over again. Pick yourself up, and get back to work. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. That’s where life begins.
  5. Track your work. Nearly everything we do revolves around the process of building reps or building in weight based off of percentages. If you don’t record the lifts you made that day, there will be no way to look back at what you did from the previous weeks to use for the day’s workout. If we are squatting at 62.5% of our 1RM, you need to have that info handy. Keep track of your lifts, progress correctly, and be happy.
  6. Our facility is unique in that our sense of community is one of our strongest points. It is stronger than all of our back squats, deadlifts, clean and jerks, presses and snatches combined. So, continue to be a part of this and communicate with everybody. We all share something in common here: a desire to find our strength, to be the strongest version of ourselves, and to push ourselves to a place we’ve never been before. Attend different class times if you can, odds are there is someone you’ve never met before or haven’t talked to in a while because they usually do afternoon classes and you are an early bird, or vice versa! Above all, enjoy our community and always work together to achieve your potential.

**Bonus!

Use your fitness. Take what you do here and go be awesome out in the world. Don’t limit your fitness and movement inside of our walls. If you want to compete, find a competition and go compete! Go for a hike, a walk, a bike ride, anything that you can think of. Do handstand walks while you grocery shop. Hit some burpees in the middle of class/work to stay energized and fresh. …No, not really, but you know where we’re going with this. Live active and live healthy!

Written by Jared Bradford