Dr. Annie of Head 2 Toe Spine & Sports Therapy talks to Chris Douglas, Owner & Head Coach of Paramount Strength & Conditioning about Olympic Weightlifting and his recent win at the CrossFit Industrious fall WL event. Learn how Chris prepared and prevented injury!
by Coach Aaron Hyatt
With so many choices out there, sometimes it’s hard to determine what type of shoe gives you the biggest bang for your buck in your workouts – especially if you don’t want to invest in, or carry around, multiple pairs.
Running shoes typically have almost an inch of foam, gel, or both, that separate your foot from the ground; Lifting shoes usually have about an inch of rise at the heel that is made from a very hard plastic or even wood. In CrossFit, we both lift and run…and jump, climb ropes, throw ourselves on the floor, and more. In the gym, unless you want to be changing shoes for every part of your training session, for most folks, it’s best to look for one that can accomodate you no matter what your workout calls for that day.
Stability for lifting is one of those accommodations. A flat platform and a firm-rubber heel give you a stable base for your workouts. Let’s say you’re going for a new one rep max Snatch; would you want to use a shoe where the distribution of weight constantly shifts because your shoe is built more like a mattress than a shoe? NO. You want a shoe that glues your foot to the ground and feels stable no matter the load you’re carrying, squatting, etc.
Flexibility in the forefoot is an important feature because it allows you to perform running and jumping movements more naturally. If you’ve ever tried running in lifting shoes, you know that it 1) doesn’t promote a natural running pattern; 2) causes you to run much slower; and 3) can incur foot, knee and lower back pain.
Lightweight shoes are important in our sport because we are already moving loads over the course of workouts, why add more to our feet, making them slow and clumsy when we are trying to be quick and smooth?
Lateral support is maybe one of the more overlooked features in a workout shoe. We create torque from our hips in CrossFit. The result of creating this torque drives our knees out, and also shifts the weight onto the outside “heel” of the foot. And for most of us, any workout with a 400 meter run means you’re taking corners around the block pretty quickly. If you’re wearing a shoe that does not have lateral support, your foot will literally push out over the sole, similar to a muffin top or you may even slide as you take that corner which can potentially cause ankle or knee injuries. Shoes with lateral support typically have some sort of outer “cage” or wire in the center of the shoe, keeping the foot over the sole of the shoe.
Durability should be a huge factor in your purchase decision. Shoes are expensive so it’s best to not have to purchase a new pair every month because the toe boxes are busted out from running and jumping or due to the rope shredding the soles. And if you are wearing them for a majority of your training then they are going to see a lot of wear and tear. Look for reinforcement in high-wear areas like the instep or outside edge. Rubber in the midfoot area – versus regular shoe material – will help reduce wear and tear.
The Final Test
Before you make a purchase, do a few air squats in your shoes, creating that torque we’re talking about and make sure you foot isn’t hanging over the side. Run in them – many shoe stores have a treadmill available for this very purpose. Jump around a bit. You might look a little crazy but you’d be even MORE crazy not to test them out and then get to your training session to discover that they can’t support the movements you need to perform.
I am finally ready to grow the team! If you are looking for a well-rounded weightlifting program that incorporates accessory work and a side of light conditioning that will get you strong, this is it!!!
I’m super pumped to start promoting what our team lifters and I have been using. There will be awesome video content added to daily sessions so you know exactly how to perform the movements and what the expectations are for each daily session.
We will also be adding our warmups and stretching routines in the near future to further complement the program.
$35/month — the fee will be going up as we expand the offerings and value.
by Coach Vanessa Dickens
As a coach I hear the phrase “I need more” or “the workout was too easy” and don’t get me wrong that can be a valid point; however, more often than not it’s because you didn’t go hard enough. There is a difference between intensity and just moving about for an extended period of time. So let me present you with this lovely little test.
First, I want you to do ten burpees, nice and slow. I mean just flop down, stand, hop and a nice clap, just like an easy stroll in the park. Now I want you to take note of how you feel. Is your heart rate up? Did you get a little sweaty? Do your muscles ache? Take a moment to recover.
Second, I want you to do ten burpees as fast as you possibly can. Imagine you are going so fast there is a trampoline under you, so you are literally bouncing off the floor. Again, take note of how you are feeling. Heart rate up, a little sweaty, muscles ache, hard to breathe? Take a moment to recover.
Now here’s the deal. If you did this test correctly, you should notice a drastic difference in how you felt mentally and physically during the two separate sets of burpees. Now my “aha” moment to you is…how you FELT after your fast burpees is how you SHOULD feel after your regular workouts. If not, you are not going hard enough, meaning there is still more in the tank, untapped power waiting to be released.
What you are seeing is you can do the same amount of work/effort in less time and that is how you get results. You have to push past your comfort zone. Those of you who work with me have heard me say time and again: “Mental toughness, you have to want it, it’s okay if it hurts a little, drain the tank.” I’m not just spouting off random things, I’m getting you to understand you have to dig deep, put that intensity in your workouts and have fun with it. Try to hang onto the bar a little longer, crank through a few more pull ups/toes to bar before hopping off the bar. See how long you can grind through wallballs, kettle bell swings, etc.
So get out there PUSH and GOOD LUCK!!!
by Coach Aarn Hyatt
Have you been doing CrossFit for a year or longer, yet the ability to do a pull-up still eludes you? I’m not talking about hanging from a pull-up bar while slung from a giant rubber band and having a violent seizure that somehow results in your chin almost touching the bar. I’m referring to the ability to perform an unassisted, strict, dead-hang pull-up that start with your arms fully extended and your chin clearly over the bar. If this sounds like someone you know, one of these three issues (or some combination) are probably the reason why you still haven’t developed the ability to perform a pull-up.
1. You Haven’t Focused On Developing Strength
Jumping pull-ups and banded kipping pull-ups are the most commonly used substitutions for anyone who doesn’t already have a pull-up. While these substitutions might be adequate in a conditioning workout to keep you moving and your heart rate elevated, I haven’t found these methods to be effective in developing the strength necessary to perform a proper pull-up. Keep in mind that a substitution or scaled movement is not the same as a progression. A proper exercise progression is designed to develop your ability, not act as a placeholder so that you can get a metcon-induced endorphin rush.
My recommendation is to focus on developing upper body pulling strength outside of your conditioning workouts. A combination of isometric holds, pull-up negatives, and accessory work to improve scapular stability will work wonders.
2. You’re Injured
If you are suffering from a torn rotator cuff, a shoulder impingement, AC separation, or any other type of upper extremity injury, the solution should be pretty obvious. Seek out the care of a licensed medical professional such as an orthopedic surgeon or physical therapist. Diagnosing and treating injuries are outside the scope of practice for personal trainers and fitness coaches so you’ll have to seek out a qualified practitioner to rehabilitate your injury.
Of course, prevention is the best medicine. Skipping past strength development and jumping right to learning kipping and butterfly pull-ups can be a highly effective method for injuring an upper extremity. The dynamic nature of kipping and butterfly pull-ups demands increased stability and strength throughout the shoulder in order to be performed safely. As mentioned earlier, work on developing competency in your strict pull-ups before worrying about learning kipping or butterfly variations.
3. Your Strength To Bodyweight Ratio Needs Improvement
Maybe you’re not injured and you’ve put in some time and effort to develop a strength base. You feel confident if cleans, presses, or squats are a part of your workout. Yet the pull-up, and most other body weight exercises like handstand push-ups, ring dips, and muscle-ups, are yet to be mastered. CrossFit has forged your pull-up potential. Unfortunately, you still weigh 250 pounds. You can’t out train a poor diet, and won’t reach your goals if you are trying. If you’re a male and your body fat percentage is north of 18%, consider looking at your nutritional approach. Ladies, the same advice applies to you if your body fat percentage is 25% or higher. Take a look at your nutrition and make sure your food intake aligns with your goals.
Make it a goal to achieve your first strict pull-up within a set time frame. Depending on what you need to overcome, three to six months (or less depending on how close you already are) should be plenty of time for you to perform your first rep. Figure out which of these reasons is preventing you from already having a strict pull-up and then develop an action plan to get there.
Not only is exercise smart for your heart and weight, but it can make you smarter and better at what you do.
Anyone with a brain exercises these days, but did you know exercise can return the favor and train your brain? Not only is exercise smart for your heart and weight, but it can make you smarter and better at what you do.
To learn more, watch this TEDTalk with Wendy Suzuki: The Brain-Changing Effects of Exercise
Another reason to get to the gym at least 3-4 times a week 🏋🏻♀️ Do it for your brain!
by Coach Aaron Hyatt
Chances are, if you have wandered through the drink section of any grocery store in the past couple years, you have seen kombucha. The astronomical popularity explosion of this fermented health-drink is only rivaled by avocado toast, Birkenstock sandals, and the color millennial pink. However, although kombucha is arguably the “hottest trend in the beverage isle,” it is still a mystery to many consumers what this probiotic tea drink is really all about. What is kombucha? How is it made? And is it actually healthy?
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented drink made from bacteria and yeast mixed with sugar and black or green tea. Fruit juice and other flavorings are often added to create a variety of flavors. Kombucha is typically sweet, tart and potentially a bit vinegary depending on the duration of the fermentation process. The effervescent consistency of kombucha is the result of the live and active yeast. In addition, it is not uncommon for there to be small pieces of the bacteria mixture to found floating on top – which sounds about as unappealing as it gets. However, these bacteria bits are simply the result of the fermentation process, no different than sediment found in wine.
How is Kombucha Made?
Kombucha is made by introducing a S.C.O.B.Y. into brewed black or green tea, and sugar. S.C.O.B.Y stands for Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast. Once introduced, the S.C.O.B.Y. and sugary tea mixture are left to ferment for a duration spanning from 1-week to an entire month. The length of fermentation yields a fizzy beverage that can range anywhere from sweet to vinegary in taste. The shorter the mixture is left to ferment, the sweeter it will be because the S.C.O.B.Y. will have less time to consume the sugar. If the mixture is left to ferment for a longer period of time, the kombucha will have both a higher alcohol content and a more vinegary taste. After the initial fermentation process, fruit juices, herbs and spices are often added for a second fermentation, resulting in the variety of flavors we see as consumers today.
Is Kombucha Actually “Good” for You?
The most accurate, yet least pleasing answer to this question is: maybe, and in moderation. In ancient China, kombucha was regularly consumed to remedy inflammatory ailments such as arthritis and thought to ward off cancer. Many modern kombucha consumers swear by the beverage as an at-home remedy for a variety of bodily issues spanning from headaches to constipation and acne. In addition, consuming foods and drinks that are rich in probiotics aka “good bacteria,” can help fight colds, lower cholesterol and promote a healthy gut. Unfortunately, at this point, there isn’t any hard science tested on humans to back these long-term claims in regards to kombucha. Does this mean these claims are totally false? No. Does this mean you should stop drinking kombucha? No. But if you are guzzling Kombucha for its “acclaimed health benefits,” you may want to evaluate your motives. Recognize that you are drinking kombucha because it is refreshing, and you like it – not because it is a magic elixir.
We need your help to keep the gym in tip-top shape by keeping the gym itself and the equipment in great condition! With constant daily use, it’s important to be mindful of how you are using the equipment to minimize wear and tear. While I do my best to maintain everything overall, it will be very helpful if everyone can help me when it comes to daily use.
- Barbells: please use the wire brush to clean off the chalk after each use. Chalk build up holds in moisture and leads to rust over time.
- Collars: please do not throw them; repeated drops are causing them to either physically break or no longer latch correctly, which makes them useless.
- Jump ropes: please put them back exactly how you found them on the same hook, no one wants to deal with untangling them in the middle of a class. Most importantly DO NOT tie knots to shorten them, they are all designed to be self-adjusting on the fly. Ask a coach if you don’t know how. I already replace ropes regularly but they seem to be getting ruined much faster than they should when properly taken care of.
- Pull up bars: please clean them after each use; a chalky build up wears on the coating and again, is leading to rust. Walls: drywall is fragile; please refrain from setting things against the wall or putting your feet on them. Please use the wood wall if you need to use one for exercise, stretching or lax ball rolling. The gym looks good when the walls look good!
- Rowers and bikes: please avoid going “HAM” to avoid breaking them. Go hard but with control to make sure they last. Unfortunately these machines do break down from excessive hard use.
My goal is to provide a gym that offers quality coaching in a friendly environment that is neat and clean—I’ll need your help on the neat and clean part 😉
This is overall best gym I have been to. The machines and environment are extremely clean. And lastly, the best trainers anybody could ask for. These guys are astonishing at whatever they do and you’ll most definitely get great results working with them.”
Go here! Great facility with all the equipment you need. It’s very clean. The community is great and varied across all skill levels, very welcoming people here. And the best part of this gym are the coaches! They are passionate, inclusive, care about their clients, and are beyond knowledgeable when it comes to strength, conditioning, nutrition, lifestyle, etc. Go here!”
by Coach Vanessa Dickens
You’re working out for a reason: to maintain or improve your health, to feel good, look good naked, or just plain have energy to make it through your day. But the biggest thing you can do for yourself is take a personal inventory to make sure you’re on your way to success.
I Have Pain During or Outside My Workout
Sometimes things get a little sore but there’s a big difference between a little stiffness or soreness that goes away with movement and pain. If it’s sharp, shooting or painful to use, stop and let your coach know so they can help you modify. In some cases, they may suggest you check in with a doctor, especially if the pain is chronic. There’s no sense pushing through pain just because it’s part of the workout. Getting hurt is not a goal for anyone.
I Feel Sick or Disoriented After I Workout
There are times in workouts you go all out and conquer, lying on the floor gasping for air but after a few minutes you’re ready to go home and eat! Then there are times you go overboard and afterwords, feel nauseous or even puke, sometimes needing more than a day to recover. These are not normal post-workout sensations, nor is feeling dizzy or light-headed on a regular basis after a workout. These can be signs that you are over doing it and not addressing the reasons: lack of hydration, improper nutrition, lack of sleep, etc. can make workouts something you don’t look forward to or gain benefits from.
Do I Compare Myself to Everyone Else?
Remember, it’s your workout, your competition is you! Are you better than last time? Can you go faster, is your form improving, can you pace appropriately and walk away with a smile? These are the things that really count, not the time or reps of the person working out next to you. If you feel the need to compare, compare yourself to your past self, that’s the way to improve your workout.
Do I Have a Goal?
The trouble with not having a goal is you might spend your life running up and down the field and never score. Pick one, make one! We have our goal board for a reason! You’re at Paramount because you care about your health and fitness and we do too! Talk to your coaches for guidance. Come in before the warmup to master your basic skills, pay close attention to the lessons and work for great form before strength.
by Coach Aaron Hyatt
Mindset is one of the most important aspects in determining if you are going to be successful in your training or not. In fact, I would argue that it is THE most important aspect. Before you ever lose weight, get in shape, get stronger, eat better, etc., you must do it in your head. No person ever achieved a goal without first deciding they were going to do it in their head. In this article, I discuss why mindset is so important and provide a few tips to help you change your mindset and achieve your goals.
There are two different mindsets that one can have, a growth mindset or a fixed mindset. In her book Mindset, Carol Dweck defines these two terms and talks about why it is so important to have a growth mindset. In life, many people have a fixed mindset, which means they believe that their talents and abilities are fixed and cannot be changed. These people believe certain people are born with good genes and that is the reason they are successful. These people believe they weren’t born to be fit, or smart, or skinny, or successful, or whatever the case may be. Dweck goes on to dispel this myth and show why people who achieve things in life got there by countless hours of work and dedication. The fixed mindset is a lie people tell themselves to feel better about not achieving what they would like to achieve. People with a growth mindset, however, believe they can achieve anything they would like to by putting in enough work. These are the people who succeed at the highest levels of any area. They know what their goals are, what it will take to achieve them, put systems in place that will help them get there, and then attack them relentlessly. They most likely have found out what successful people do and modeled their behavior after them. If you read any autobiography of a super successful person, or hear them talk, or meet them in person, you will quickly pick up on this. They would not be where they are without having a growth mindset.
So what does having a fixed mindset look like in regards to health and fitness? People with a fixed mindset will say things like “I wish I had their metabolism or genetics” or “I peaked in high school” or “I could never do that” or “obesity runs in my family.” There are a million other ways this mindset can manifest itself, but if you know what you are looking for, you will recognize it when you hear it. Such people will most likely quit any fitness program after a few months and never get the results they could have, because they don’t believe they can. They tell themselves they can’t achieve whatever it is they want to achieve because of their genetics to make themselves feel better about not putting in the work required. If they are not where they want to be in a fitness program, they will blame their trainer, or friends, or job, or schedule, or anyone and anything else they can think of. They will also spend a ton of time comparing themselves to others and making excuses for why someone else is in better shape, stronger, skinnier, etc. than them. A person with a growth mindset, however, will say things like “I can’t do that YET” or “I just want to be consistent” or “I want to give my best effort every time I come in.” These people realize that where they are in their health and fitness is a representation of their effort and consistency only and the work they have or have not put in. If they have not been training consistently, they take full responsibility for the shape they are in. Overall, they realize you get out what you put in and the harder the work they put in, the more progress they will make.
We all have a fixed mindset in some areas and a growth mindset in others. The goal is to think more growth mindset every day and realize you are in control of your life. If you want to achieve something, it is up to you, and only you, to achieve it. If you need a coach, it is up to you to find the best coach. If your coach isn’t cutting it, find a better one. If you need accountability, find people who will hold you accountable. If you need to get your diet in check, get your diet in check. If you need to learn more, do the research and learn more. So many people blame their circumstances for their results, but at the end of the day, we only have ourselves to blame for where we are in life. If you are not happy, it is up to you to make the necessary changes—no one is going to do it for you.
So how do you have a better mindset with your training? The first step is realizing you are in control of your own health and fitness. If you want to get stronger, lose weight, or anything else, it must start in your own mind. You must believe you can do it and come up with a plan to get there. Once you have a plan, you must hold yourself accountable to do everything you can to achieve it. Remember, whatever result you get will be solely a representation of your own resourcefulness, effort, and consistency. There is freedom in realizing this because once you realize you are in control, you realize you can achieve whatever you want! I would challenge you to start taking the steps towards your goals that you know you need to. If you have a goal but don’t know what to do, find someone who does know what to do and ask them. If you need to learn more, look things up on the Internet. If you need guidance, ask a coach. If you want to achieve something great, find someone who has achieved it and ask them how they did it. And finally, surround yourself with people with a growth mindset. Mindset is contagious and if you are around people with nothing but fixed mindsets, it will be very hard for you to have a growth mindset.
Remember this: no one ever achieved anything in life without first achieving it in their mind. If you have a goal, envision it in your mind, plan out how you will achieve it, and do everything in your power to get there. Be introspective about your thoughts and challenge yourself to have a growth mindset in every area of your life. Surround yourself with people who are more successful than you. And above all, remember you can do anything you want to do. The outcome is up to you.
While circumstances may cause you to occasionally be late for class, there’s nothing worse than people who are chronically late. Being late is doing a disservice to all of your fellow athletes in class. It disrupts the class, you have to have the warm-up explained to you while everyone else is off and running, we have to wait for you to come back from a run that you were told to cut short, etc. Our one hour together is packed pretty full of stuff, so you need to be on time or (dare I say it) EARLY and ready to go when the class starts.
Basically, if you’re on time, you’re late.
Plan to be early to class in order to sign-in, look over the WOD, and warm-up prior to starting. A good rule of thumb is to be at the box 10 minutes prior to go time.
There are few other things more annoying than watching a straggler turn up and think they can just jump into class as if nothing has happened. We know people have busy lives, and coming to CrossFit is just one part of the day. With family obligations, work, traffic and everything else, showing up on time can sometimes be difficult. Here at Paramount, we understand that. You all pay good money to be part of this community and get your hours’ worth of fitness and instruction. We never want to turn someone away, but when late arrival starts to affect the way we run classes, and the quality of the product we offer, it’s our responsibility to pay attention.
On a daily basis, our coaches are looking ahead at sign-ups to see who is in class and how many people they will have. This allows us to plan warm-ups, consider equipment and other logistics, and ask for coaching assistance if needed. Knowing who will be in class and having them all arrive for the start of class is a key component to being a successful program.
When someone arrives late or shows up unannounced it throws off the dynamics of the class structure and coaches have to make adjustments on the fly. In addition to that, its rude. “What are we doing?” is a common question we get from late arrivals – the fact is, you missed what we are doing. As a coach, I can waste time re-explaining it to you, or I can continue coaching those who arrived on time. That’s not all, we often have to adjust equipment layout, partnering, and time elements to accommodate late arrivals and those who didn’t sign up.
If you come in late, you may be missing the warm up, or the strength, and we may send you off to just row, or do a simple dynamic warm up. Don’t get your feelings hurt. We set our warm up to be custom at the start of class with the amount of people in the class at that time. It wouldn’t be a good idea for you to jump in cold to a strength portion of a workout – it’s better to keep it simple or eliminate some elements of the workout to keep you safe.
And if you’re really late, consider whether its better to short-change your workout or wait and take the next class instead.
CrossFit Class Programming. We have made some changes recently to the class program to give you more variety, new warm ups and a healthy mix of strength, conditioning and skill work. After eight years of creating all of the programming myself, I have decided to take a break and pay for fresh new ideas. The goal is to have classes be fun and enjoyable while getting you fitter! The cool thing about this new programming is the coaches version we have access to: insight to the purpose of the workouts, stimulus, a timeline to run on time classes and scaling options. This allows us to run consistent classes, regardless of the coach, to bring everyone the same great experience. This also helps us better prepare you for the workouts if we have not yet done them ourselves. So far, we are really enjoying the new program and coaching aids.
HIIT Class Programming. This program is designed to be a nice blend of short, high intensity bouts with a mix of longer intervals and straight up long duration conditioning using everything but the barbells. If you are looking for more conditioning and less lifting, then this class is for you. Currently offered 4x/week with morning class times coming soon! You will see more outside workouts as the weather shifts to warm sunny days. You can also expect a mix of partner workouts regularly to help separate this class from our typical CrossFit classes. First class is free—perfect for introducing newcomers/beginners to the gym.
Competitors Programming. This program is open to all members wanting to supplement their current classes (you do not have to participate in competitions). We currently offer 3 tracks of extra work depending on needs. You can currently pick from extra conditioning (long duration), gymnastic strength, and barbell strength work. We run this in 6-week cycles so every 6 weeks you can either keep the same track and get a new focus or switch it up to change which track you follow. All Competitors programming is done on your own before or after class.
Sports Performance Programming. This is our Olympic Weightlifting Program and the focus is based on improving not only your olympic lifts but general strength as well. Like our competitors program, this one also runs in 6 week cycles. You can attend our Sports Performance classes (3x/week) while following the program to get help with technique and additional coaching. This class is open to all members on the Unlimited Plan.
Questions? Please ask any of the coaches for more info.
What would Paramount Strength and Conditioning be without our unique and wonderful members? Our Member Spotlight Series allows us to highlight members of our amazing community and share what makes them special.
Today, we are shining the spotlight on Daniel Gally.
How did you hear about CrossFit and what was your first WOD?
I remember watching footage of the CrossFit games on ESPN and thinking to myself that it looked like the weirdest thing. Then I found out that one of my good friends who lives in another state had joined a gym. He was going to come visit, and he encouraged me to give it a shot.
My first WOD was 100 power cleans for time. It was a terrible first time workout, especially since I didn’t know what a power clean was 10 minutes before attempting to do 100 of them for time. Thank goodness I came back the next day to give it a fair shot.
What do you enjoy most about being a member at Paramount?
I enjoy making consistent progress towards my goals, and working out with like-minded people!
What is your most memorable CrossFit experience?
Winning the novice division of the first weightlifting meet I competed in at CF Industrious.
What motivates you/keeps you coming back to Paramount?
I’m motivated to keep improving, and be better than I was yesterday. On top of that, the couple of hours I spend at Paramount help me take a break from the rest of life’s stress. I think of it as “me time” that helps me stay focused when I’m outside the gym.
What accomplishment are you the most proud of (inside and outside of the gym)?
Getting my wife to agree to marry me!
What is one CrossFit/fitness goal you are currently working on?
Getting better at gymnastics movements (muscle-ups, handstand walks, etc).
After a hard workout, what is your favorite meal?
A tall stack of pancakes!
What are some of your interests outside of CrossFit?
Aircraft in-flight icing, wiener dogs, Michigan football, and whatever my wife Jill is into.
What do you do for a living?
I’m an engineer working at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. I work in the Environmental Control Systems Computational Fluid Dynamics team where I specialize in doing analysis for airplane ice protection systems.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
To have incredible strength, obviously.
If there was a “Danny” WOD what would it have in it?
A heavy-ish barbell, and no running.
Any tips for a newbie?
Yes, don’t be shy!
Congratulations Danny, you’ve worked hard and the result is impressive! Thanks for letting Paramount be part of your journey.
John and Rita Larsen keeping the Lifestyle Challenge fun with their refrigerator art!
by Coach Vanessa Dickens
When you work out, you’re essentially creating micro tears in your muscle. The act of breaking down those fibers can leave your muscles tender, sore and even difficult to move. Sometimes, that soreness may take a couple days to really hit you and you experience DOMS (delayed onset muscles soreness) So the next time muscle soreness strikes, here’s a few things you can do to speed up your recovery so you can hit it hard on your next WOD.
#1 Foam Roller
The foam roller is your friend. This simple and handy device can reduce muscle soreness, speed recovery, and it’s kinda fun. Taking a few minutes out of your day to roll out the knots in your muscles will help you train harder, perform better, and prevent injury. Here is a good starting routine for the foam roller. Make a pass or two over each group, pausing and taking deep breaths when you find a sore spot. Don’t overdo it, less is more here. Keep your attention on the experience in your muscles, breath, and mind.
Here is a great excuse to pamper yourself! Get at least an hour massage once a month, more if you are training 6+ days a week.
Pro-tip: after a workout is really the ticket to ultimate relaxation. Having a massage improves blood flow to sore muscle tissues, releasing micro-adhesions and encouraging muscle repair. Sometimes this can be painful but is an effective treatment if you can handle a little pain, which I know you can because you’re badass CrossFitters.
After pushing your body in the gym, you need time to reset and recover. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep each night. The body repairs itself at night, triggering important hormones that signal repair to muscle tissue. Lack of sleep decreases the hormonal response, meaning your recovery (and results) will be slower.
#4 Cool down
You may think, “Hell yeah! I’m finally done with this WOD!” and you just want to pack up and go home. But that’s not the best idea for your body. So always try to do a brief cooldown after each sweat session. Stretch the muscles you just exercised to improve blood flow and increase your range of motion. Try holding each static stretch for 30 to 60 seconds for maximum benefit.
Remember, you don’t get stronger in the gym, you get stronger during recovery and allowing your body to adapt to the stimulus. You don’t grow muscle in the gym or when you’re lifting the weight, you don’t build endurance when you’re hammering through a WOD, all that happens when you are resting. So recover around your training and all will be well!