Archive For: Community

SLU Athlete Spotlight: Steven C. (1/3)

Meet Steven C.

Are you from Seattle? If not, where are you originally from?
St. Louis, the home of the Gateway Arch, is where I am originally from. This January 1st marks the third year I have lived in Seattle, but I feel I have been here forever.

When is your birthday?
Nov 21st.

Do you have any siblings?
I’m the oldest of four. I have two other brothers and a sister.

What do you do for work?
I use my software expertise to support entrepreneurial communities around the world at a nonprofit known as UP Global by building internal tools to boost our operational efficiencies.

What is your idea of fun?
Experiencing new activities, challenging my mind and body, and sharing a moment with friends are my ideas of fun. In 2014, my fun lists included learning curling, running through the Pacific Northwest in the Ragnar Race, participated in my first Lindy Hop Dance Competition, and hosting beach campfires.

2015 is shaping to be another adventurous year. The third annual Ragnar Team has a call for runners open. I’m organizing a team for Ski to Sea in May. And I have my sights on presenting at Ignite Seattle for the second time.

What made you decide to give CrossFit a try?
Yoga was not cup of tea. Crossfit SLU happened to be the gym underneath my office for a period of time. After hearing loud noises coming from the floor below, I had to check it out.

If you haven’t met Steven yet, be sure to introduce yourself and maybe ask him to show you some dance moves (more info on that to come). You’ll notice from here on out that we’ll be sharing information on our featured athlete throughout the month with three posts! Happy New Year!

FCF Athlete Spotlight: Aimee P. (1/3)

Meet Aimee P.

Are you from Seattle? If not, where are you originally from?
I grew up in the Seattle area. I was born in Bellevue but lived all over the Seattle region. From Kindergarten through 12th grade I went to 10 different schools, making me the perpetual new kid.

When is your birthday?
I was born on April 22, 1981. I am a Taurus born on the Aries cusp which means I’m a mix of the bull and the ram (explains A LOT).

Do you have any siblings?
I have a sister named Amanda. She’s eight years younger then me. She is rad.

What do you do for work?
I am the owner/operator of Monorail Espresso in downtown Seattle. I am responsible for all of the Monorail crews you see everyone wearing at the gym.

What is your idea of fun?
My idea of fun is making coffee, doing crossfit and yoga, and hanging with my friends and family. Oh yeah, and eating and drinking fantasitic food and wine! I also enjoy traveling with my husband. We travel a lot during the winter months and then stick around Seattle in the summer to sail.

What made you decide to give CrossFit a try?
I had a fitness friend of mine tell me about this new exercise called CrossFit that was intense and super hard. I signed up the next day and have been doing ever since.

If you haven’t met Aimee yet, be sure to introduce yourself! You’ll notice from here on out that we’ll be sharing information on our featured athlete throughout the month with three posts!

New Years Resolutions Advice from CrossFit Impulse

An awesome post from our friends at CrossFit Impluse about new years resolutions. Check out the original post here.

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“I don’t make new year’s resolutions. I don’t ever remember making them. But I don’t have a beef with the new year’s resolution itself. New year’s resolutions are just goals, and goals are awesome. Goals give you a purpose, guide your work, and mark milestones in your progress. A new year’s resolution is just a goal that happens to be made in a half-drunken stupor on December 31st. Here’s where the system goes awry:

New year’s resolutions are goals for people that don’t set goals. To better understand, consider this analogy: I am not a dentist. If I suddenly resolve that I will begin extracting teeth with no knowledge of dentistry, then I’ll get the job done as best I can. Since I have no training or practice in the use of anesthetics or dental tools, I’ll likely use scotch and a brass hammer and punch set from Lowe’s. Sound ugly? So are the results of most new year’s resolutions.

Why would someone with no motivation, plan, or tools to improve himself 364 days of the year suddenly be able to perform an about face and achieve a challenging goal? It’s preposterous. That’s what a new year’s resolution does. It convinces people that through the power of everyone doing something all at once, which only works for summoning Captain Planet, they can achieve difficult goals with no plan, tools, or tolerance for the discomfort of change.

However, setting goals for the year is a wonderful and powerful exercise. If you want to take part in the social brouhaha of new year’s resolutions, then I advise the following:

1. Don’t shoot for the stars and hope to land on the moon. Hope is not a course of action. Shoot for the moon and land on the effin moon. That is to say, don’t set too ambitious a goal, but after you set it, hold yourself accountable. Set a goal that is difficult but achievable. We often overestimate our abilities, especially when it comes to physical training. If you’ve never run before, then resolving to run a 5k in less than 25 minutes might be too ambitious. How about resolving to run a 5k without stopping and without walking?

2. Decompose your goal into tangible parts. Do you want to lose weight? How much weight over how long? Do you want to become stronger? What’s a common task that gives you trouble that you would like to perform with ease? Do you want to change your behavior in some way? In what situations will you exhibit the different behavior? Phrase your goal in real-world terms that are measurable and have meaning to you.

3. Have a plan to achieve your goal, because your goal requires work. If your goal doesn’t require work then tape up your hands to protect your knuckles, punch yourself in the face, and go back to step one and set a better goal. How do you plan to accomplish the work? Do you have the information and facilities you’ll need? That doesn’t mean buying a $10,000 tool set to meet your goal of learning basic car maintenance, but you might need some tools, or some training. When will you work on your goal? If the answer is “whenever I get time” then go ahead and resume face-punching. You don’t have to create an hourly schedule, but if you don’t commit tangible time towards your goal, then it will be still-born. We all get 24 hours in a day–every single one of us. We all decide how to allocate those 24 hours, and every minute we allocate to something is taken from something else. It may be taken from something useless or something you enjoy, but the time you devote towards achieving your goal will be taken from something else. Recognize it, accept it, and plan for it.

4. Start executing now. This is another reason why new year’s resolutions are usually worthless: they ascribe mythical importance to beginning work towards your goal on January 1st. Nobody who ever gave half a shit about achieving something decided to start next week. That doesn’t mean you have to start doing burpees in your living room or in your office right now, but you should devote yourself to your goal right now. Thinking about changing your diet? Change today. How can one be serious about changing his diet yet decide to continue eating according to his old lifestyle? That is a contradiction, and contradictions don’t exist. The answer is that if you continue putting down cheese coneys on December 21st in anticipation of changing your diet on January 1st, then you don’t really plan on changing your diet on January 1st. No…not really…not deep down where it counts.

The point is that setting goals and working to achieve them is a messy and difficult process. While I enthusiastically encourage you to set and achieve goals, you can’t condense that process into a neat package with a bow that you unwrap at midnight with a glass of champagne and a kiss. It’s just not realistic, and achieving goals requires real things: planning, sacrifice, effort, and dedication.”

12 Days of CrossFit: Lifting Shoes

Weightlifting shoes have many benefits for our strength portions of our workouts. They help generate more force through the ground you can pull the bar higher. Also, when you are under the bar, you can drive hard out of the squat knowing your shoes are transmitting as much as possible of the force you are creating up from the floor and into moving that barbell.

Shoes are always a personal preference on fit, but the following are a good starting point.

Reebok CrossFit Lifter 2.0
The best option for a custom fit lifting shoe is hands down the Reebok Simply pop the Reebok CrossFit Lifter in a preheated oven to 200 degrees (yes, you read that right) and heat for three minutes until the U-Form tab turns red. Take the shoes out of the oven, lace up as you normally would, and wear the kicks seated for eight minutes. Even with this crazy customization, the lifting shoe weighs in at only 13.4 ounces. ($150 at Reebok)

Nike Romaleos
The Nike Romaleos is a lightweight, flexible workhorse that can withstand the unique punishment that weightlifters put on their footwear. The most revolutionary innovation in the Nike Romaleos weightlifting shoe is Nike’s exclusive “Power Bridge,” a contoured TPU heel wedge designed to support the foot and bear as much weight as a man can lift, without any compression or give. ($189 at Rogue.com)

Addidas PowerLift
The number one thing a weightlifting shoe needs is stability, so the Powerlift 2.0 is made with a wide, solid base and a high-density midsole. A light mesh upper and an instep strap over the laces give you lockdown support. ($90 at Addidas)

12 Days of CrossFit: Water Bottles

Water is a key to success that often goes overlooked. Stay hydrated and happy with some of our favorites.

Mobot
mobot
MULTITASK ALL DAY! This water bottle doubles as a foam roller. Yes, read that again. It’s a great 2 in 1 steal brought to our attention by FCF’s Jessica Strangebird. All MOBOTs are made of recycled, FDA-approved stainless steel, meaning no BPA. Because water helps make muscle tissue resilient and pliable, all the awesome benefits of foam rolling are multiplied when you’re well hydrated. ($39-$65, Mobot.com)

Liberty Bottleworks
hawks feminist water
A local company, get something more personal from Liberty Bottleworks. They are not a bottle mill sending out millions of generic, insignificant designs. Their 72 unit minimum custom bottles are made to order and can be custom designed. Or choose from their pre-designed bottles to rep your Seattle and Seahawks love! You can also choose your cap preference depending on how you like to sip. ($20-$25, LibertyBottles.com)

Klean Kanteen
kanteen
They introduced the world’s first BPA-free metal hydration bottle in 2004. Their grassroots following exploded in 2008 when public outcry led to national bans of BPA-laden, polycarbonate containers. Today Klean Kanteen continues to lead through innovation and example, bringing new products to market that replace plastic with safe, long-life cycle alternatives. The new Reflect Kanteen® eliminates paint and plastic altogether, raising the bar once again. They also have a variety of lids for your drinking pleasure. ($18-$35, available at KleanKanteen.com, Amazon and other major retailers)

HydroFlask

These guys are newer to the market, but the HydroFlask crew wanted to use double wall vacuum technology to focus on keeping colds cold and hots hot. Made with quality materials and completely recyclable. Worth the price if you value your temperatures! ($25.99 to $54.99, HydroFlask)

Blender Bottle

 

Not necessarily just for water, these bottles can now carry, mix, and support you pre or post-workout with plenty of different beverages. You can use them at home to make pancakes or waffles!

12 Days of CrossFit: Mobility Accessories

I’d happily argue that mobility is the most important element of CrossFit. No just DROM in the beginning of class, but finding your sticking points and addressing them. The very core CrossFit is about functional movement and our gyms pay particular attention to doing those movements RIGHT. Without base level of mobility you can’t go though the proper range of motion. Without the proper range of motion you can’t do the simplest of movements correctly.

The best part is mobility can be done at home with small bits of equipment (although I personally prefer the FCFCFSLU mobility classes with Leslie and Jared). Here are some great stocking stuffer ideas for the person in your life that needs a little more range of motion.

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Lacrosse Ball
Yup. The basic, key foundational tool. Get one for home and one for work! (Pick one up at the gym for $3)

Double Ball
Tape together two lacrosse balls, through them together in a sock or stocking for a less permanent solution, or get more fancy with a pre-made product. This little tool is great for rolling down the sides of the spine, releasing tension in the neck and hitting multiple spots at once. ($25-$35, Rad Roller, MobilityWOD Gemini)

Yoga Strap
Yoga straps can help you get that extra push in stretching positions. Also, they add stability and support in precarious poses. ($10-$18 Manduka, Giam, Prana and sporting good stores)

12 Days of CrossFit: Jump Ropes

To put it nicely, double unders can be hard for some of us to master. It takes timing, consistency and patience. But it also takes a good rope. Having your own rope allows customization to your height, tempo, preferred weight (an important but usually ignored aspect) and provides consistency in practice. Plus, they’re small and light, perfect for carrying with you for a quick workout at home or on the road.

If you’re just starting and aren’t sure what kind of rope you prefer, you can check out some of the cheaper options at either gym, a local sporting store or Amazon. Amazon has several adjustable options ranging from $8-$15.

Some other staff recommendations include:

rope
RX Jump Ropes
RX Smart Gear has been making the industry standard for CrossFit for years. Their ropes are custom sized to each individual athlete’s height and cable variation to support multiple tempos and resistance levels. You can also customize it even further with multiple colors and designs. ($43, RX Smart Gear)

rogue
Rogue
The bohemith of CrossFit gear of course makes some solid ropes. They also have a variety of cable selection and handles, but are listed under different names so be sure to pay attention to the descriptions. These SR’s are the ones most of the staff have. ($13-$65, Rogue Fitness)


RPM Fitness
The Ferrari of jump ropes, these more advanced and expensive speed ropes are meant for what else but speed?! Also check out the crazy freestyle moves done on Instagram. ($48.95, RPM Fitness)

12 Days of CrossFit: Thermometers

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What? I know, seems random. But when you’re cooking up all those delicious Paleo dishes come January 1, a solid thermometer comes in handy. You can go conventional with a thermostat-like reader, but we highly recommend probe-style digital thermometers, which can be inserted into your bird with a wire leading out of the oven door to a digital display that monitors the temperature.

You don’t have to spend a ton if you want to test out the water. For example, brands like Weber and Polder have digital thermometers from $8-$15 on Amazon or in department stores. Some conventional dial thermometers even start as low as $4.

If you have a more advanced foodie in your life, though, some of our athlete’s favorites are:

Maverick et-733 Dual Probe
Josh Michaels tipped us off to this one saying, “it works really well for roasting, bbq, etc and not having to constantly open the heating device to check temperature”. Plus it’s wirelessly monitors internal temperature of meat from 300 feet away. The receiver with LCD beeps and flashes when meat temperature goes above your programmed temperature. ($60-$80, available at Amazon, Cabelas)

Thermapen
The mother of all thermometers, the Thermapen is a professional tool (originally designed for commercial kitchens, labs and manufacturing plants) that has become the top consumer cooking thermometer for home use. It’s super popular among celebrity chefs, cooking magazines, top foodies, bloggers and competition BBQ teams. There’s a variety of Therampens to choose from, including splash proof, back-lit, pro-surface and air. ($96-$199, ThermoWorks)

12 Days of CrossFit: Thermometers

1604878_743491639056102_7213845442603322363_n

What? I know, seems random. But when you’re cooking up all those delicious Paleo dishes come January 1, a solid thermometer comes in handy. You can go conventional with a thermostat-like reader, but we highly recommend probe-style digital thermometers, which can be inserted into your bird with a wire leading out of the oven door to a digital display that monitors the temperature.

You don’t have to spend a ton if you want to test out the water. For example, brands like Weber and Polder have digital thermometers from $8-$15 on Amazon or in department stores. Some conventional dial thermometers even start as low as $4.

If you have a more advanced foodie in your life, though, some of our athlete’s favorites are:

Maverick et-733 Dual Probe
Josh Michaels tipped us off to this one saying, “it works really well for roasting, bbq, etc and not having to constantly open the heating device to check temperature”. Plus it’s wirelessly monitors internal temperature of meat from 300 feet away. The receiver with LCD beeps and flashes when meat temperature goes above your programmed temperature. ($60-$80, available at Amazon, Cabelas)

Thermapen
The mother of all thermometers, the Thermapen is a professional tool (originally designed for commercial kitchens, labs and manufacturing plants) that has become the top consumer cooking thermometer for home use. It’s super popular among celebrity chefs, cooking magazines, top foodies, bloggers and competition BBQ teams. There’s a variety of Therampens to choose from, including splash proof, back-lit, pro-surface and air. ($96-$199, ThermoWorks)

12 Days of Crossfit: Foam Rollers

Stumped on what gifts to get the CrossFitter in your life this holiday season? Well fret no longer, this month’s blog series will detail out some of the best gifts for your fit loved ones.
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FOAM ROLLER

Perfect for multi-tasking while watching “A Christmas Carol” for the 30th time on TV. Foam rolling is a cure-all for many different aches. It helps lengthen and loosen muscles, relieving joint pain, breaking down knots and increasing range of motion. It mimics the myofascial release treatments used by sports therapists, with no appointment necessary.

There are several types of foam rollers on the market at varying price points. REI, for example, carries a few that are different materials and sizes. One of the industry favorites is the Grid.

grid
The Grid is compact and is constructed with less foam than traditional foam rollers. The unique design allows for a targeted massage while also being able to withstand constant, heavy, and repeated use without breaking down. ($40, www.tptherapy.com)