The Beginners Guide to Stability Training

Stability training is an important and often overlooked element of training. Whether it’s your first day in the gym or you are a veteran athlete you can benefit from stability training. Our bodies are forced to accommodate the demands of sport and life. To prevent falling, maintain balance, and moving our bodies and external objects through space requires stability and motor control over our muscles and joints. Improving one’s ability to stabilize is an essential skill in life!

So how do you get started at training this essential skill? Let’s answer some of the common questions around what stability training so you can start training it today.

One. What is stability training?

Two. How Should I incorporate stability training into my workout?

Three. What does stability exercise look like?


One. What is stability training?
Stability training can be defined as maintaining control or a joint movement or body position by coordinating actions of the surrounding muscles and central nervous system. It can be achieved using bodyweight movements or through some form of resistance training such as with free weights. When most people think of stability training they think of someone balancing on a Bosu ball or foam pad waving their arms around trying to maintain balance.

Stability training doesn’t actually require any special equipment and for most people, it’s actually totally unnecessary. In fact, all that training on an unstable surface does is limit the ability to add intensity or load to train the working muscle groups.

Which brings us to question number two.

Two. How Should I incorporate stability training into my workout?
The most effective way to incorporate stability training into your training is actually through strength training on stable surfaces. Through resistance training with free weights and bodyweight movements you can improve the strength and endurance of the most commonly underworked stabilizers and core muscles. Training unilateral (1 arm or 1 leg) movements will ensure that you minimize any imbalances that may occur with a typical barbell or machine training.

Focus on balancing in different positions as you move your own bodyweight through space is a great way to assess your athleticism and identify areas for improvement.

Three. What does stability exercise look like?
Stability exercises could include movements like single-leg deadlifts and lunges and will help strengthen the muscles that stabilize the knee joint. Using dumbbells or kettlebells for movements like bent-over rows or pressing movements will help improve stability and proprioception. Using basic jumping and plyometric exercises with a focus on “sticking” the landing position is also a great way to improve balance and stability.

Stability training can help us all enjoy a better quality of life. From playing with our kids to playing recreational or competitive sports it can improve performance and reduce the risk of injury.

If you’re looking for a training routine that works for you get in touch with one of our coaches today!

Goals Are Good, But Systems Are Better

If you find yourself setting a goal, formally or informally then you’re off to a great start! After all, having a goal is better than no goal. Having a goal that you write down even further increases the likelihood that you’ll achieve it.

Goals can have a downside though. One downside is that they cloud your vision to other potentially great opportunities that would benefit you. The other downside is that if you miss out on your goal you might feel like the time and effort you put into achieving that goal was a waste.

So what should you do if your not going to set a goal? I want to challenge you to stop setting goals and start building systems!

At least that’s what Scott Adams, the creator of the popular comic strip Dilbert would argue. Scott has always made it a point to approach life with a systems manner of thinking. This approach allowed him to build valuable skills and networks that he was able to tap into later in life. One great example of this is through his blogging. Scott was able to pay the bills as a cartoonist, but started his own blog and regularly posted despite the fact that he wasn’t earning money as a blogger. Eventually his blog writing got him some regular features in the Wall Street Journal. After being recognized as a writer in the Wall Street journal he began to receive book deals and speaking offers that were far more lucrative.

Scott didn’t set out to be paid as an author or public speaker. He started by regularly showing up for his daily practice of blogging. He chose to put his efforts in developing a skill set even if he wasn’t sure how that could be used in the future. Imagine how his path might have differed if he had set a goal of becoming a speaker? It would have probably looked extremely different from the system of daily blogging.

So what are the differences between goals and systems?

Goals
Merriam-Webster defines a goal as “the end toward which effort is directed.”

Systems
A system can be defined as “an organized set of doctrines, ideas, or principles usually intended to explain the arrangement or working of a systematic whole.”

You’re probably already thinking about areas in your own life where you’ve focused on one particular goal. Maybe you achieved it or maybe you didn’t. Maybe you’re still pursuing it.

Think about how you could develop a system that improves your health through a system for eating or getting daily exercise, improving your finances, or building relationships in your work or personal life. What are daily actions you can take that will move you forward no matter what?

Why you should love the Lunge

Lunges, split squats, and other unilateral leg movements are tremendous tools for building a strong, functional, and balanced body. Yet they tend to take a backseat to the more popular lower body exercises like squats and deadlifts. Let’s explore some of the benefits of lunges, common faults, and some popular variations so you never miss a lunge day again!

Lunges are a fundamental human movement pattern and take many different forms. The movement is generally defined as a split legged stance with one foot planted in front of the body and the other extended behind the body. From this position the athlete can raise or lower their body while stepping forward or backward to the lead leg or returning to the rear leg. Lunges require leg strength, core strength, balance, and coordination. They can be performed as a bodyweight movement, under an external load, or explosively as a plyometric exercise. There are really an incredible number of ways to perform this exercise. Depending on your goals there are many ways that training lunges can be beneficial.

If you are looking to improve balance and coordination you could train lunges with a loading pattern that increased the demand for midline stability. Lunges performed with a barbell overhead or a single dumbbell or kettlebell loading one side of the body will achieve this. Due to the stabilization and core strength required to complete a lunge variation of this sort there is a huge transfer and application to sports and life. Ensure that the load demands don’t force you into a compromised position and that you have the necessary mobility to handle the movement pattern (AKA ask coach if you’re not sure)!

To develop greater strength and enhance muscle growth select lunge variations that allow for greater external loading. A reverse lunge is a popular option for this as it allows the weight to remain in the lead leg ensuring proper form and engagement of the posterior chain. Reverse lunges can be performed with dumbbells held at waist level or a barbell in the back rack position to go hard and heavy. A good rule of thumb is to keep the majority of the load in the front leg as you perform the movement. Select a load that allows for a controlled descent to the floor allowing the knee to kiss, not crash into, the ground.

To prevent injuries, increase range of motion, and correct imbalances the Bulgarian split squat or Bulgarian lunge is an excellent choice. This exercise is performed by working one lead leg at a time with the rear foot elevated on a platform 4-6 inches higher than the lead working leg. This movement optimizes the hinge position of the hips and is greater for activating the gluteus muscles. A popular loading pattern for this lunge is with dumbbells held in suitcase fashion. Make sure to select the appropriate box height to elevate the rear leg to prevent the spine from hyperextending at the end range of motion. Take care to stabilize the lead leg and focus on balance to reap the benefits of this killer lunge variation.

If you want to learn more about the best training movements be sure to discuss your goals with one of our coaches! Remember that information shared here is a very brief and macro view on the subject matter above. There are a ton of details that are extremely important to review with your coach.

Why now is the best time to start a new fitness routine

9 months ago the thought of a worldwide quarantine would have seemed laughable.

No travel, dining out, or social interaction…it’s an interesting thought, but that will NEVER happen. There’s just no way.

And then it did.

And maybe you responded well. You took advantage of the free time. You took on home projects you’ve been talking about doing forever. Maybe you actually started to read more books, learned to cook, or actually called your relatives.

Or maybe you struggled. Isolation got the best of you. You fell off the wagon. Working from home became the bulk of your day. Maybe your health and fitness took a hit.

The question is…what are you going to do about it?

You have a tremendous opportunity in front of you. The world is going to eventually opening back up and you have a chance to become the person you want to be. You know, the cool stylish YOU that always knows what to say, has it all together, and looks dayyumn good naked.

“If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.” -Seth Godin

This is an opportunity, because the world is different than the one that was locked up months ago. Whether you were successful or struggling before COVID hit the globe doesn’t really matter. A lot of successful people fell off their high horse. A lot of new companies have grown and thrived. There are new opportunities emerging everyday. They might not look like the plans you had before this began. Your New Year’s resolutions or goals from January may have to be tossed out the window.

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” -Lao Tzu

This may be the single best chance to reinvent yourself that shows up in your lifetime. It’s time to start doing all the things you have been dreaming about doing.

Now you have the chance to step into the life you’ve always wanted. If any part of you values your health and wants to feel energy and confidence then a weekly training regimen and successful strategy for eating, sleeping, and managing stress are essential.

You might have some ideas of what to do. Maybe you have tried diets in the past or dropped into exercise classes that you enjoyed or had a routine that you stuck with for a few months. The point is if you are not doing it right now then it’s time to look in the mirror.

Address what you see and decide if you’re happy with what you see?

Compassion and self-love is important. So is self-care and wanting better for yourself. It’s okay to not be happy where you are at. You have an opportunity in front of you to change. To grow. To become a version of yourself that you love and is the best person to provide for your family, help your friends, and be a leader in your career.

You know what you should do. Now put the building blocks of success in place. Commit to the outcomes you want. Create an environment that facilitates you achieving your goals.

“On one level, wisdom is nothing more profound than an ability to follow one’s own advice.” – Sam Harris

Will it be easy? Nope. The struggle is guaranteed, but the success is not. But if you are willing to keep showing up. To put in the work. To go through the motions even when you don’t want to. Then you might not even recognize the person you become by the end of this extraordinary year.

“Success isn’t owned. It’s leased, and rent is due every day.” – J. J. Watt

If you have questions about how to begin a life changing routine then we want to know. Our team is here to help and answer the questions you have about fitness, nutrition, and what steps to take to become strong and healthy.

Finding YOUR Workout of the Day

Oftentimes when it comes to fitness it’s hard to feel like we’ve foune the mark. We either grind ourselves into a fine powder. Doing more and more until we leave exhausted. Or on the other end of the spectrum…leave feeling like we didn’t accomplish that much and had more in the tank.

Finding the right balance of volume and intensity is an ongoing battle. Sleep, nutrition, and a whole host of other factors affecting recovery must be taken into consideration. A workout that crushes you on one day may feel like a walk in the park on another. Many folks are now utilizing devices like Whoop or an Oura Ring to track their “daily readiness” for training. Any information and tangible data is great feedback from your body but then you have to know how to use it. Your best option is always going to be working with a coach who has experience training athletes with a similar training age and goals as you have. They might even know better than you what your body is capable of. They will also know the right scales and adjustments to make on the fly to make sure you are getting the most out of your training.

“At the center of your being
you have the answer;
you know who you are
and you know what you want.”
― Lao Tzu

So how do you leave the gym with confidence in your performance? Make sure that every action you take aligns with your goals. If you know you’ll feel better by cranking up the intensity then end your session with a quick sprint on the air bike or rower. Choose modalities that won’t beat up your body or take away from the next day’s training session. If the workout is kicking your butt and you will feel guilty if you don’t finish it then see what scales or adjustments you can make that will make you better without crushing you. Back off the weight to focus on a slow controlled tempo with perfect form.

If you need help getting the most out of your training try connecting with one of our coaches to see what recommendations they have!

5 Tips to Help You Change with the Season

As the weather turns colder, many of us tend to let our health and fitness routines take the back burner for a few months. Whether you are feeling rundown or beat up from COVID-19 or just trying to escape the holiday season without eating too much pie. It is important to recognize what the change in season can mean for you in your training and health.

The winter months bring about changes in our training routines, daily habits, and nutrition. Rather than take a hit and accepting that this is a time to let yourself slide (because you’ll make it up and get back on track in January) what if this year you made a plan to do things differently.

“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” -Jim Rohn

Here are 5 Tips to Help You Change with the Season!

  1. Eat more vegetables and healthy fats.
  2. Go for a walk during the daytime.
  3. Break a sweat every day.
  4. Stay Hydrated.
  5. Structure your day for success.

Eat more vegetables and healthy fats.
During the summer months, there seems to be an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables around. In the winter we tend to shift towards more comfort foods, foods that are preserved or packaged and are easy to prepare. Focusing on incorporating more vegetables in your diet will help you get the essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and micronutrients that you need. Omega-3s found in fish oil can help with skin health, heart health, and has been shown to support

Go for a walk during the daytime.
Getting outside for a walk during daylight hours can be extremely beneficial for your body and mind. Even if we can’t get Vitamin D from the sun during the winter months we can still benefit from its exposure. Walking can help improve metabolism, boost mood, and be a much better pick me up for your energy than coffee. Doing it in sunlight is proven to be one of the best ways to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that gets people run down in the winter months.

Break a sweat every day.
Prioritizing fitness may actually be more important in the winter than the summer. We naturally find ourselves more active during the summer months, enjoying the weather at the beach or on a hike or a bike ride. In the winter we tend to hole up indoors. Those hours of walking are replaced with hours of Netflix bingeing and lo and behold we start to get soft and complacent.

Stay Hydrated.
In the winter months, you may never feel the need to quench your thirst as you do on a hot summer day. Most folks tend to stay on the dehydrated side. Sweat also evaporates in the cold dry air, so many people are less likely to replenish fluids after exercise. Be sure to set daily hydration goals for yourself. Setting alarms on your phone to get up and grab a drink of water is a great way to accomplish this.

Structure your day for success.
One of the best ways to take charge of your health during the winter months is to plan out your day. Set yourself up for success by incorporating healthy habits and avoiding the detractors is key. Plan to have a big healthy salad before showing up to the holiday party where you know there will be tons of desserts. Book a fitness class, yoga session, or plan to meet a friend during a time you would normally just watch TV or surf the internet.

If you want to stay in control of your health this winter and have questions about how to eat, train or plan let us know!

8 Delicious and Functional Fall Foods

With Halloween right around the corner and Thanksgiving and Christmas following close behind it’s a great time to start thinking about the change of the season. The last 3 months of the year present a great time to come together with friends and loved ones. The pinnacle of these gatherings is often the food and treats that are shared.

For some folks, the buffet of rich foods and desserts can be a real challenge. Know that it’s okay to indulge in some of your favorite treats. Just focus on filling up with delicious foods that also have health benefits first and staying active. Let’s fork up 8 Delicious and Functional Fall Foods that you should focus on eating!

Turkey
Pumpkin
Squash
Apples
Cranberries
Pecans
Brussel Sprouts
Beets

Turkey
Turkey is a very rich source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6 and the amino acid tryptophan. It also contains zinc, selenium, and vitamin B12. The skinless white meat of turkey is low on fat and is an excellent source of protein. Don’t be afraid to double down on turkey if you’re missing out on other healthy options at the table.

Pumpkin
Pumpkin is rich in potassium and vitamins A, C, and E. A serving of pumpkin also contains more than 20% of your daily recommended intake of fiber. This fun fall food can be prepared in a variety of ways so try to keep this dish simple and not too sweet by doctoring it up with freshly ground cinnamon and a little sea salt. And no, a pumpkin spice latte does not count!

Squash
Squash a tremendous source of beta carotene, manganese, and antioxidants like vitamin C. It’s also a great source of potassium that is associated with lowering blood pressure. A roasted acorn squash with a little grass fed butter and some lean protein can be a simple and delicious harvest dinner!

Apples
Apples are a fan favorite when it comes to fall foods and a fun fall activity. They are a great source of Vitamin K, potassium and immune-boosting Vitamin C. “You also get plenty of dietary fiber (pectin) from this delicious fruit that can help you feel satiated. Eat this fruit whole, add it to a salad, or make it the foundation of a healthy dessert. Bonus points if you pick your own!

Cranberries
Cranberries are a fall superfood high in vitamins, fiber, minerals and antioxidants. They are also correlated with reducing the incidence of urinary tract infection and contain immune boosting properties to boot! Rather than buying pre packaged cranberry sauce try making your own with fresh squeezed orange juice for a healthier alternative.

Pecans
Pecans are a great source of Vitamin E (which is both immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory) as well as B-vitamins and magnesium which are essential for a healthy heart and muscle function. A handful of pecans make a great snack but some pecan themed desserts can be loaded with sugar so proceed with caution.

Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable that contain potassium, iron, and heart-protective B vitamins—including B6 and thiamin. Brussel sprouts also contain prebiotic which feed the healthy bacteria in your gut. You can’t get enough of this crispy crunchy veggie!

Beets
Beets are a go-to fall food when it comes to fiber, iron, potassium and folic acids. This superfood can be prepared in a variety of ways from roasted beets and beet chips to a nice cold glass of beet juice to help you detox.

There you have it. 8 delicious and functional fall foods that you should aim to incorporate into your diet this season. Have more questions on how to get in the groove with healthy dietary choices this fall? Get in touch with one of our coaches and we’d be happy to help!

Does Cardio Hurt Muscle Gain?

It’s the ultimate tradeoff you must face whether you’re an athlete, bodybuilder, or recreational gym goer.

How do you structure your strength training routine and still make time for trail runs, pickup basketball, or your metcon of choice? Strength is good. Cardio is good. So how do you balance the two for optimal health and performance? A great strength and conditioning coach knows exactly how and the truth might surprise you…

The perceived problem is rooted deep in bro science. “Ditch the cardio, just lift heavy and eat a ton if you want to get yoked!” Yet there are incredible athletes around the world have found ways to carry muscle mass and maintain a high level of cardiac output. CrossFit Games competitors casually bust out 225 pound snatches between sets of burpees. Hybrid athletes compete in powerlifting meets deadlifting 600+ pounds and complete Ironman triathlons in the same week. The threshold for excuses just dropped through the floor.

So why is it such a problem balancing strength and metabolic conditioning?

It takes knowledge of exercise science and how the human body adapts to training in order to properly prescribe a routine that works. At least if you wish to improve your strength and maintain your cardio or vice versa. There are many folks who run their body through the ringer day after day. Hard work is not the sole element for achieving fitness success. In fact hard work can be misapplied and eventually become a hindrance to your training if not properly executed. Layering intensity on top of dysfunction or lacking a clear goal leads to burnout and chronic fatigue.

So how do you balance out your strength and conditioning pieces?

The key is to understand how to work in different training intensity zones. Working at different prescribed intensities will improve cardiac output, build muscular endurance, and even help improve recovery from your strength training routine. The volume and intensity spent in each zone will be dictated by your training age and specific goals in training.

A great coach will tell you that you can only have one priority for each block of training: you execute. They will also understand that your energy needs, micronutrients, electrolytes, and will all have to be supported in order to sustain greater output. Finding a great coach will be the first step in determining the specific way you should organize your training to make gains in strength and conditioning! Oh, and ditch the  “Bro” coach that only knows how to get you results buy only lifting and eating foods that don’t help you metabolic health in the long term.

Eliminate shoulder pain once and for all!

Shoulder pain is one of the most troubling ailments that can interrupt any avid gym goer.

Exercise should be a place to relieve stress, build, confidence, and of course improve your health. Dealing with one more painful problem to work through is probably not going to be a big motivator for you.

The good news is that you don’t to make training with shoulder pain a part of your life. In fact if you dedicate yourself to the process you can eliminate shoulder pain once and for all.

Let’s talk about where this shoulder pain can come from, address what actions need to be taken and the potential irritants that should be avoided. Finally we’ll take a look at some movements that can help mobilize, activate, and strengthen your shoulders. Dedicate part of every workout to improving the functionality of this crucial joint and you will change your athleticism and quality of life.

“It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.” -Julius Caesar

Poor technique may load up the shoulder joint in a way that it cannot stabilize. This could cause strain and overuse of muscles around the shoulder. One common example of this is an overworked pec minor and underworked rotator cuff. This leads to rounded shoulders, and weakens the ability to stabilize the glenohumeral joint during pushing and pulling movements from the shoulder. By stretching the pec it will allow your shoulder to sit in a more stable position. By activating and strengthening the rotator cuff and scapular muscles on the back of the shoulder you ensure healthy, balanced stability and function.

Overuse could be another culprit of shoulder pain. Whether your volume (total amount of reps) or frequency (sessions each week) is too high or you are simply trying to lift too much weight can all cause problems. If you go heavy or perform maximal effort sets you may need up to 5-7 days to fully recover. If you work at lower intensity you may be able to work this muscle group 2-3 times a week. Find the right balance of volume and intensity to ensure consistent progress in your lifts.

If you are constantly running into the same shoulder pain issues then technique may be the true problem. The shoulder is the most freely movable joint in the body. This puts at the greatest risk of injury when it comes to repetitive movement with poor form. Even one session with a coach or trainer can revolutionize your upper body pressing ability.

Finally if you experience pain when performing a certain movement it may simply not be a good fit for you. There are infinite ways to scale the load and form of resistance to provide your body with a similar stimulus to the painful movement. Perhaps the most commons movement replacements are those that replace a fixed circuit movement such as a barbell bench press or overhead press with single arm variations using dumbbells or kettlebells. Training the arms unilaterally allows you to have more “play” in the shoulder and adopting a movement pattern that better suits your body. No compromises in strength or performance are necessary.

So let’s move on to some strategies to actively prevent your shoulders from injury. Through activation, self myofascial release, strengthening, and stretching.

1. Activate

Activating the muscles for a workout or “prehab” helps your body prepare for the more demanding movements it is about to perform. It will both aid performance and mitigate risk of injury. When it comes to the shoulders

To help activate your shoulders before a workout perform these 3 upper body exercises, band pull aparts, scapular pushups, and face pulls. Perform 3 rounds of this circuit with 10 seconds rest between each movement. Keep the band resistance light enough to move with a slow controlled tempo but make sure it still challenges you. You should feel the blood flow and a warm sensation in the shoulder joint by the end of this circuit.
Perform 3 rounds with :10 of rest between movements. Please make sure you have a coach check your mechanics when completing these movements. Often we find that these movements are done incorrectly.

    • A1. 15 Band Pull Aparts
    • A2. 10 Scapular Push Up
    • A3. 15 Band Face Pulls

2. Roll Out

Self Myofascial Release (SMR) is a fancy name for “rolling out.” The goal is to mobilize soft tissue allowing greater range of motion and improved muscle function. You can use a foam rollers, lacrosse balls, tennis balls or any other device that allows you to access the desired body part at pain level you can withstand. Focus on breathing and eliminating abdominal pressure while you roll out to ensure the tool can work its way into the muscle.

Rolling out helps our body get “unstuck” from tightness due to sitting and positions we spend long amounts of time in. It is important to move and mobilize our tissues as often as possible to mitigate this tightness. Imagine if you were going to run a marathon with a rock in your shoe. You would never run 26 miles with that rock digging into your foot each step of the way! There’s no reason to treat your shoulder in that manner either. Stop pushing through the pain and fix the sticky points.

3. Strengthen

Like an muscle group it is important to strengthen the muscles of the shoulder. The exercise you choose should strengthen the weak muscles that are necessary for optimal shoulder stability. Performing these strength building movement for 5 rounds alternating back and forth between movements

3×8 Bottoms Up Kettlebell Press: Take 3-4 seconds to lower the weight from the top position. IF you struggle with balancing try working from a kneeling or seated position, train one arm at a time, and keep the kettlebell light.
3×8 alternating Turkish Get Up: Try breaking this complex movement into smaller pieces or work with a coach to master the technique. Your shoulders will thank you!

Differences between CrossFit and Orange Theory

Group fitness training is a highly effective way to train.

Two popular methods of group training are CrossFit and Orangetheory Fitness. If you have been trying to find a fitness program to help you get stronger, lose weight, or improve your health and energy you may have had some questions about the program for you. Let’s take a look at some of the facts about CrossFit and Orangetheory Fitness to help you make an informed decision on these training options.

A key difference

One of the key differences to know between CrossFit and Orangetheory is that CrossFit gyms are affiliated and Orangetheory is a franchise. CrossFit affiliation means that the location and it’s coaches are certified in the CrossFit Methodology, the workouts, class structure, and equipment used is dictated by the individual owner. Orangetheory Fitness is a franchise so workouts, equipment, and class structure will be standardized amongst locations.

The Movements

CrossFit places an emphasis on functional movement and work capacity. Functional means movements that transfer over to everyday life, using your body to perform the movement it is capable of. Work capacity means being able to perform a certain body of work in a given amount of time. This requires you to standardize movement and lets you measure progress. If you used to be able to perform 15 pushups in one minute and now you can perform 22 pushups in a minute you improved your work capacity.

CrossFit combines gymnastics, weightlifting, powerlifting, strongman, monostructural (run/row/bike), and calisthenics movements in a variety of combinations. The program will generally reflect the style and background of what the gym owner is most comfortable teaching and believes will achieve the best results. For this reason you can witness unique fitness programming at each gym that you attend. You will learn the foundational movements CrossFit teaches like squatting and pressing. The great thing about CrossFit is that each movement and workout can be tailored to fit your unique needs. If a movement is outside your comfort zone then your coach can provide you with an alternative movement that replicates the movement pattern, but may be lighter weight or less technically demanding. Each individual in the class will get a similar result from the workout even though they have a wide range of strength and ability levels. Everyone moves forward together.

“Typically the world’s best athletes are minimalists when it comes to their training. They work hard and fast with few exercises. They master the fundamentals and work with them for years. This is the secret that no one wants to hear.”
-Greg Glassman, Founder of CrossFit

Orangetheory Fitness incorporates a combination of movements into their classes as well. Participants will run, row, and perform some light resistance training or calisthenics in a high intensity circuit style. You will generally not lift heavy weights and more emphasis is placed on the cardio component in these classes.

“We have a walker category, jogger category, and runner category. With this language I eliminated that fear people have when they walk in like, “oh no I’m not going to fit in.”
-Ellen Latham, Founder of Orangetheory Fitness

Class Structure

A CrossFit class generally consists of a discussion of the days workout and group introduction, a group warm-up, a strength or skill component, a metabolic training component known as the “workout of the day” or “WOD”, and a cool down or stretching session. These sessions are usually an hour long and are always lead by a coach who is certified by CrossFit.

Often times the gym will utilize specific programs designed to improve your strength in a particular lift or muscle group. Improving strength in compound lifts like the squat and deadlift recruits more high threshold motor units and is the most effective way to get stronger. This is a huge area where CrossFit differs from many other popular fitness programs. To truly perform at high intensity the workout must be designed for you to maintain intense effort in a single bout or multiple efforts with rest in between. The longer the duration of the exercise the less intensity you will be able to maintain.

Many programs just keep you moving for long lengths of time that merely grind you down. You might get sore or sweaty but you don’t improve in any measurable way. Learning how to safely and effectively lift heavy loads is a great way to improve muscle mass, burn fat, and build strong bones and joints. You should leave your workout feeling empowered to take on other tasks in your life.

Orangetheory utilizes heart rate monitors to keep you aware of your metabolic output. Your heart rate corresponding with an intensity zone is displayed for you to view. Each class will have you spend time exercising in different zones. Measuring your exertion allows you to improve your fitness if you are able to manage your heart rate in set zones for set durations of time. Similar to CrossFit you will spend time performing a warm-up, both strength training and cardio elements, and a cooldown. More emphasis is placed on the heart rate to achieve a cardiovascular response.

Cost

When it comes to your health the cost of a fitness program is always a great investment. CrossFit is usually purchased as a monthly membership . The cost typically ranges between $150-$250 with the biggest factors being what the gym offers balanced with cost of living in the area. You can usually begin with a free trial or consult to see how well you like it. The coaches will want to meet you to learn about your goals and any concerns you may have before you begin so they can set you up for success.

Orangetheory Fitness is a more informal process. You can purchase memberships for 4 times, 8 times, or unlimited classes each month with prices ranges from $80-$300.

Summary

Both CrossFit and Orangetheory Fitness are popular ways to train. In CrossFit you can expect more specific programming, a tighter community, and a great focus on strength development and functional training. Orangetheory Fitness is a bit more of a generic way to train and you can expect an upbeat cardio training session with less focus on weight training. Finding a gym that meets your specific needs is the key. A great coach is going to ask you about your goals, injuries, and experience levels. It’s all about finding a program that fits into your budget and lifestyle and most importantly delivers the results you want!