CrossFit Etiquette

Getting started in CrossFit is hard.  New exercises, new words, new people.  Then throw in loud music and a coach telling you what to do and you probably feel like your head is spinning.  Am I right?  

Well, your coaches try to make it as easy as possible to get started but sometimes it just takes some time to get used to all the new stuff.  Below you'll find a list of common CrossFit Gym etiquette tips so you can feel a little more comfortable on how to navigate the gym and the unspoken expectations of your coaches.  

Take a look below and try to absorb the 31 most common gym etiquette tips! 



 

  1. Arrive early for class. Please don’t be late.  

  2. Don’t drop a barbell while unloading it

  3. Wipe down equipment after using

  4. Put your equipment away

  5. Pay attention when coach is talking

  6. Don’t have a conversation mid-workout

  7. Introduce yourself to newcomers

  8. In raining/snowing conditions - bring your CrossFit shoes to the gym

  9. Chalk belongs in the bucket or on your hands - not the floor

  10. Don’t walk in front of someone while they’re lifting

  11. Be considerate of others’ space

  12. Try to avoid “ghost-riding” the bar

  13. Don’t let the handle fly off the rower

  14. If you put chalk on equipment for a workout, take it off afterwards

  15. Take the chalk off your barbell

  16. Platforms aren’t for WOD’s.  Lifting only

  17. Don’t spit on the floor

  18. Please recycle

  19. Encourage other athletes

  20. Be accountable. Don't cheat on reps, finish the workout you started.

  21. Be coachable. Learn how to respond to verbal and visual cues to enhance your experience and performance

  22. Encourage each other (yes, it’s in here twice)

  23. Walk into the gym with a positive attitude.

  24. Be grateful

  25. Pick up after your kids, or help them pick up their things

  26. Do your part to keep the bathroom clean

  27. Give high-fives to each other after class

  28. Kids are kids, but please make sure they behave

  29. Don’t be late for class (yes, it’s in here twice)

  30. Remove the J-hooks while doing wall balls

  31. Minimize distractions - cell phone, etc

WEEK OF JULY 4th CLASS SCHEDULE

Please note the small change in the class schedule for next week.  Closed July 4th, and Wednesday is Open Gym - and Thursday has classes. 

Monday

AM: 5:30am, 6am, 7:30am, 9am 

PM: 4:15pm, 5:15pm, 6:15pm

Tuesday

CLOSED

Wednesday

Open Gym Day: 9-10am, 4-7pm

Thursday

AM: 5:30am, 6am, 7:30am, 9am 

PM: 4:15pm, 5:15pm, 6:15pm

Friday

AM: 5:30am, 6am, 7:30am, 9am 

PM: 4:15pm, 5:15pm

Saturday

8am Barbell Club, 9:15am TEAM WORKOUT

How to Change Your Quality of Sleep

How many times have you heard, "You need to get 8 hours of sleep" and laughed out loud.  Kids. Work. Dogs. Life.  Eight hours of sleep just doesn't happen for the majority of us, and that's the way it is right now.  I've come to terms with that, and you probably have too.  

What I've been doing instead is really trying to maximize the sleep I am getting.  If I can't get the QUANTITY I want, I'm going to get the best QUALITY sleep possible!  

Here are some things you should implement to create the best quality sleep possible:

1) Cold shower before bed.  This has been a recent addition to my routine and has made a huge difference.  It sounds counter intuitive, but a cold shower will activate the parasympathetic nervous system which helps bring you down.  Start with 20-30 seconds as cold as you can tolerate after your normal temperature shower.  After a week or two you'll be able to sustain the cold shower longer.  I'm currently at about 3 minutes and feel great.  Research backs this up.  Try it! 

2) Sleeping positions.  Seems crazy you say?  Certain sleeping positions are better than others for quality of sleep.  But more importantly, certain positions will make you sore and stiff in the morning, and throughout your entire day actually.  Do you have a stiff elbow?  Sore shoulder or neck? Hips or back seem out of alignment?  Take a quick look at how you sleep and see how the positions can impact those body parts!  

3) Magnesium.  I feel like I fall asleep faster and sleep well with a regular magnesium supplement before bed. Check for yourself, but it has helped me. 

4)  The Device.  You know what I'm talking about - and it has to be put down.  Put the phone down 30 minutes before going to bed.  This is hard, but it will help you fall asleep faster.  Look up the current research, and you'll see that it all points in this direction.  Put the device away.  

5) The TV.  See above.  I'm serious, you've got to turn the TV off too.  Even better yet [and you can call me crazy], take the TV out of your bedroom.  I'm actually serious.  Again, look at the research if you need to, but the TV in the bedroom isn't a good idea for a variety of reasons. 

6) Read a book instead of scrolling your phone or binge watching a show.  Actual paper - not a kindle or iPad! 

A word to the wise - if you are struggling with quality sleep and want to try all of these recommendations right away:  only pick one or two.  Make them a habit for 3-4 weeks and if you've successfully changed your routine, then you can start adding the others.  Don't overdue it by trying all 6 tonight.  You won't be able to sustain the change.  It's a marathon, not a sprint, so make one sustainable change at a time!  

If you want some accountability, I'm more than happy to help. 

Rest up, 

Nick Prohaska | Coach & Co-Owner | KCI CrossFit

I'm sick and still improving my fitness.

Let’s face it.  “Sick” happens, even to CrossFitters. You can be spot on with your diet, consistent in the box,  and hydrated, but still get sick - especially this time of year! 

So, what’s the right thing to do when sick? Here's what not to do. 

1) Don't train hard, pretending you aren't sick.  

2) Don't completely give up on your fitness.  You can actually use your sick time to move your fitness forward.  

Let's address #2 from above.  Use your sick time to get better.  What do I mean? “REST and MOBILIZE”.  Most people don't want to leave the house when sickness strikes, and I know that feeling!  However, if you can leave the house, use this forced “down time” to work on mobility during your usual class time.  If you are contagious, don't come to the gym obviously.  But even if you have a fever and are contagious, you can mobilize at home!  

If you are stuck at home, I recommend trying to keep your routine as much as possible.  If you come to a morning class, use that same time at home to stretch and mobilize. Heck, you could even do air squats, sit ups, and push ups if you feel good enough!  Keeping your normal "routine" during your sick-time will help you get back into the gym once you are better.  If you aren't contagious and want to come to the gym, you should do that! 

Coming in for a 30 – 45 minute stretching and mobility session will allow you to focus on problem areas. Tight shoulders, calves or hips? Foam Roll, voodoo band, and stretch your problem areas. This will make you move better and more fluidly than before; and your future self will thank you for it. Feel like you need to get your heart pumping a little bit? Hop on a bike for a few minutes, just don’t go overboard with it.

Don’t stress about not working out while sick; you’re resting, you’re working your mobility, and you will be back at it in a few days.

If you view your illness as an opportunity to work on quality movement, you may surprise yourself with better technique and speed when you come back. Remember, CrossFit isn't just about intense workouts.  You also need to move well!

Until next time – stay healthy, and train hard!

Happy 1-year Anniversary, Denise!

Denise has shown tremendous improvements in strength over the past year!  She's a smart athlete in the gym and uses her fitness regularly; running, swimming, or competing.  She is always challenging herself, and regularly puts up one of the fastest scores every day!  It's great to have Denise in the KCI family! 

What have you accomplished that surprised you?   Weight lifting with bars was completely new to me.  I have done weight machines a little over the past 20 years, so learning all of the different lifts has all been new and I probably wouldn’t have seen myself ever doing that before coming here.

How has your CrossFit training helped you outside of the gym?  The increased arm strength makes it easy for me to swim longer distances.

Why did you initially join?  I had been at Title boxing for a couple of years before they closed.  I was looking for something to replace that.  I had just started back to Title Boxing a couple of months before they closed as I had torn my rotator cuff and had surgery.  So, I was looking for something similar that would incorporate core training and also cardio.  This was a little more focused on weights than anything I have ever done before, but it seemed challenging so I decided to try it.  I have been a runner for several years and was looking for something to help me build some more muscle.

What has kept you coming back?  I enjoy the team environment and the also the competition aspect when we are doing the workout each day.  I am very competitive.

What do you want to get out of year number 2?  I hope to keep building my over-head strength and would also like to do regular push-ups and maybe pull-ups that are not banded.  Also, would like to work on being able to climb the rope.  I feel like I have moved slowly on some things, but I don’t want to injure my shoulder again and I am happy with my results.  When I first started, I had to use the training bar and the wooden weights.   So, I have come a long way since then! 

Happy 1-yr Anniversary, Brian C!

A few fun facts about (and from) Brian: 

1.  I was on the high school baseball and wrestling team.

2. I played college baseball in Arizona.

3.  I tore my ACL 3 years ago and CrossFit helped get me back to 100% 5 months later.

4.  Snickers bars are my favorite candy ever!

5.  I have a bachelors degree in criminal justice.

6.  I am an Eagle Scout.

7.  I play in an ultimate frisbee league.

8.  I have been out of the country once, Bahamas.

9.  I had perfect attendance my senior year....

10.  2 1/2 years ago I married the love of my life, Ingrid Caniglia.

 

( Keep scrolling down for some true, and some not-so-true facts about Brian from the KCI Coaches! )

 

(From the KCI Coaches)

1.  Brian may have taken time off from CrossFit to do some sort of modelling...

2. Brian enjoys using his taser...

3. Brian likes Curling...sort of like the Olympic sport...

4.  Brian is a hugger!

5.  Brian is an amateur impressionist..  

6.  Ask him nicely and he might wear his singlet to the next WOD 

 

We are grateful to have Brian and his awesome wife Ingrid as a cornerstone of KCI CrossFit!  Thank you for making us better athletes and happier athletes! 

The Crutches

I've been thinking a lot about crutches recently. Actual physical crutches that are needed when we get injured. But also metaphorical "crutches" that we use every day.. 

 

Let's think about the crutches you see in the picture.  Crutches are wonderful tool for a leg injury. They help us get around, increase our capacity to do normal tasks, and give us the ability to be semi-independent.  In this scenario, our goal is to get off of the crutches as soon as possible, am I right?   We need them for awhile, but at some point they become a hindrance.  There's one main way to get rid of the crutches.  

We seek help. Usually from a physical therapist or someone else to assist you to walk on your own without the crutches.  It can be a tedious and time consuming process.  We make small improvements by working diligently, and we finally can move around without the crutches.  And even when we put the crutches down, we aren't yet achieving our full potential.  There is still more work to do.  We have to continue to train ourselves to improve range of motion, strength, stamina, etc.  You get the point?  Let me finish with this;  I don't think I've ever met someone that wanted to rely on crutches for the rest of their life.  Have you?


Now let's think about crutches in the metaphorical sense. We all have them to varying degrees.  Alcohol, food, caffeine, sugar, sleep, distractions, television, social media, or any other.  I don't want to vilify these crutches, because not all of them are inherently bad things.  But, I'll argue that when we use these things as crutches they can hold us back from understanding and pursuing our full potential.  

When we are stressed, depressed, anxious, need to unwind, or unsure what to do, we go to our crutches.  We actively pursue our crutches.  Let that soak in a little bit.

It's interesting to think about - we know we don't want to be on crutches because with crutches we can't reach our full potential.  And yet, it is so easy for us to turn these crutches at certain times. When we are utilizing those crutches, we might say, "I'm happy" or "comfortable" or "this is what I enjoy."  But I think what we fail to realize is how much more happy or more fulfilled we could be if we didn't use them.  It's hard to admit, isn't it?  Could we all admit there are crutches in our lives we want to get rid of?  So then, how do we stop turning to them?  

Undoubtedly it's a very complex answer.  But if we go back to our "physical therapist" example I think the best place to start is with help from another person. We need help; whether from a spouse, close friend, mentor, or medical or business professional.  Only then can we figure out how to get off the crutch.  To eliminate the need for the crutches we must first admit that we're incapable of doing it on our own.  Now let that soak in. 


Possibly you feel that something is holding you back and you can't quite pinpoint what that is.  Or maybe you know your crutches.    Either way the starting place is the same; turning to the right person for help.  If this is you, I'd be happy to talk and listen to you.  Even though I may not be your "physical therapist", I want to help you find the right person. I want to see you get on a path to achieving your full potential and removing the crutches in your life.  

 

Coach Nick | nick@kcicrossfit.com | 816-659-3076

Last One Standing

The last one standing.  Usually that person is the winner, someone who has outlasted the rest because of their strength, skill or wit.  Most people aspire to be the last one standing - alone and victorious.  

In CrossFit the last one standing holds a badge of honor, but it's not a badge of traditional victory.  Typically the last one standing is struggling the most.  While the rest of their friends have already finished the workout, the last person feels weak, exhausted, and defeated.  The badge of honor that comes from being the last one standing happens in the moment where the rest of the class turns their attention and begins to cheer.  They encourage.  They rally behind the last one standing by coming around and supporting their friend.  The bade of honor is bestowed upon the last one standing for their grit, their determination, and their persistence.  They know that everyone is there for support.

You see, in a CrossFit community the dynamic of shared suffering through the workout creates camaraderie, support, and sincere care for the people around you.  As a part of this group, you want everyone to finish because everyone has a common goal; an aligned mission.  Yes, each person has different fitness goals and paths, but everyone in the room wants each other to succeed.  It's not a competition of who can finish first, but a revelation that each member can profoundly impact the performance and emotional well-being of their teammate.  It doesn't matter who can lift the most weight, run the fastest or who looks the prettiest.  The prized qualities in CrossFit are the grit and persistence, the care for one another, and the simple act of encouraging the person next to you.  

CrossFit is all about exercise.  We exercise muscles and movements that allow us to do many functional things outside the gym.  We practice picking things up, pushing, pulling, and running because we know that by exercising these muscles we will be able to perform better in our lives.  What we often overlook however, are the mental and emotional "muscles" that are being exercised in CrossFit as well.  Those "muscles" such as persistence, grit, encouragement, and gratitude are being strengthened as well.  Each class and every workout is an opportunity to not only become stronger and more physically fit, but also an opportunity to build strong relationships and become better leaders, spouses, friends and employees.   

Next time you find yourself finishing a workout before someone else, turn around and strengthen the person next to you by offering them encouragement and support.  You have an opportunity to honor them - and you will both become better from it.  

How to Stick to Your Workouts - 4 Essential Elements

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HOW TO STICK WITH YOUR WORKOUTS 

4 ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS


Sticking to a workout program can be tough. We have good intentions – we know that regular exercise is good for all aspects of your like.  And we all know people who are on-again, off-again with their fitness routine.  And I get it; life gets busy.  Bills, kids, significant others, work, social life, a house to keep up, etc..  So many priorities it makes our head spin!  But, some people still manage to establish a routine and stick with it for a ridiculously long time.  People are able to live a busy life AND stay in shape.  How do they do it?  Did they get lucky?  Is it an incredible amount of discipline?  I assure you, it has nothing to do with any super human powers.  So, below are 4, tangible, implementable actions I feel will make the biggest difference in your ability to stay with the program.  Read on, and then make some small steps in the right direction. 


Plan it. Put it in your calendar.

First and foremost, plan your week and workout schedule. The simple act of scheduling training time in your calendar helps to make up your mind that you’re going to do it.  If you don’t have a calendar, get one.  If you are bad at using your current calendar, ask for accountability help.  Planning to do it is powerful.  If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  It’s just that simple.  

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You have to understand that you cannot succeed without a plan.  The plan can, and will be, adjusted along the way but it’s important to just get started.   The next part of that plan is you then have stick to it, and keep those appointments.   This will be hard at first, especially in the first couple weeks.  But once you build the habit of working out, it will start to get easier.  By keeping your workout appointments, and therefore sticking to your plan, your plan will begin to start working for you.  This is the point when most people begin to see real change; not only in their fitness, but also their personal life.  I’m not going to spend time on this, but winning in one area will begin to spill over into other areas of your life.  Work or career, relationships,  sleep quality, will all improve from the mental and emotional strength you get from sticking with the program.  Not to mention that you’re getting fitter and feeling better so your energy levels are also going up.  It’s all very empowering.  Plan it.  Put it in your calendar.


Focus on Habits; not Goals.

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Goals are great – and necessary.  However, the challenge with goals is that once the goal is reached, motivation can wain.  A good example would be; you want to lose 15 pounds before your Caribbean cruise.  You’ve got 2 months, 15 pounds to go, and will work out 4 days per week.  The plan is straightforward, and you crush it.  Sweating, running, lifting weights and toning up! Salads for lunch and dinner.  You didn’t even eat the cake at your 4 year olds’ birthday party.  The cruise deadline comes and you look better!  Lost 16 pounds! So, on the cruise and you take some well-deserved rest.  You even have some drinks and rum cake.  

It’s now back to reality and you figure you need a week rest from all the cruising fun.  You’ll get back to the gym next week.  You have fried chicken for lunch.  You look at the weight scale next week and you’ve gained 8 pounds!  But you still weigh less than you did a couple months ago, so it’s not so bad.  Work gets busy and you skip another week in the gym.  Before you know it, you don’t have any new goals, so you never get back at.  Until your next vacation, of course.  A constant up and down of training, and therefore a constant up and down of fitness.  This is what setting goals and not having lifestyle habits can potentially do to you.  That’s why I recommend to everyone to focus on habits, not goals.  Developing the habits of a healthy lifestyle will bring you continued success over the span of your life.  Habits are formed over months and years - in small, daily increments.  Making choices consistently over a period of time will start to make those daily decisions a habit.  Then you just have to maintain those habits when life throws a curveball at you.  So what’s the best way to go about getting these daily habits started?  Have you ever built a snowman?  Start small and build some momentum.  Get some input from your coach on what habits you can, or need, to start first.  Pick one, whichever one you believe you can do, and do it for at least three weeks.  After three weeks it should become easier.  If at that point you feel confident enough, add in another habit.  If after three weeks your feeling confident, add another, and so on and so forth.  If at some point you begin to falter, drop the most recent habit until you gain control again and then can continue the process.  You may also find that three weeks is too soon – that’s ok, because the plan can change.  Just decide what time frame is best for you.  It could be a couple more weeks, or a couple of months.  It’s your journey - just be sure to keep going.  You will be amazed how much you can change in a year with this simple strategy.  Over time, the commitment to daily habits will change you into the person you want to be.  FOCUS ON HABITS, NOT GOALS


Make Friends That Workout

You NEED friends that workout to be able to stay on your fitness journey.  How do I know this?  Let’s say you go to the gym by yourself 5 days per week for an hour each time.  With 168 hours in the week that leaves 163 hours you can spend with people that are either helping achieve your goals, or they can be pulling you away from those goals. They probably love you just the way you are.  People you work with, family, friends. They aren’t bad people, fitness just isn’t that important to most of them, so by default they can pull you in the other direction.  Away from a healthy lifestyle.  Away from whom you want to become.  

Make friends that workout

So, what I’m saying is you need friends who are working towards a healthy lifestyle.  Better yet – group fitness like CrossFit will introduce you to like-minded people who also have fitness goals!  Wouldn’t it be nice to share some of those 168 hours each week with people that have similar goals to you?  Someone who will tell you that you can do it – and who are doing it with you!  It’s one of the biggest factors in one’s success in almost any aspect of life; family, work, or leisure.  MAKE FRIENDS THAT WORKOUT.  And workout with them!


Remember Why You Are Doing It

Your WHY is the number one determining factor if you’re going to make it in the beginning.  It will be what you go back to and think about when you’re trying to talk yourself out of tomorrow’s workout.  Your why is the glue that holds the whole thing together.  Why do you want to be fit?  Figuring out your true “why” is like “pealing the onion”, because you have to keep pulling back the layers in your why.  The initial answer most of the time is never the real why.  Things like to lose weight, have more energy, and look good in the mirror, are rarely if ever the real reason for making a lifestyle change.  

 

The real reason lays a few layers below that.  What do I mean?  Take the goal to lose weight, for example.  An athlete may give me that response for their reason to workout.  I would then ask the simple question, why?  A typical response to that would be, “well, I guess I want to look better”.  Great.  Why do you want to look better?  After some thought, “I guess I want to look better so I feel more confident”.  Awesome, why do you want feel more confident?  It sounds like a dumb question, doesn’t it?  Everyone wants to feel more confident.  Why ask why?  Sadly, more times than not, the peeling of the onion stops here for most people.  In order to answer this question they have to get really honest with themselves, and most people are not comfortable with that. If you don’t answer these deeper “why” questions, nothing happens.  You stay the same emotionally, and therefore you stay the same physically.  So if you’re going to make a real change this time, you’re going to have to get super honest with yourself.  Dig into what you really want, and why you want it.  Keep asking why until you find your answers.  This is a tough assignment, but it must be done if you really want to make it on your fitness journey.    REMEMBER WHY YOU'RE DOING IT.  Once you have your answer for why you want to stick to a workout routine, the emotion of those things will carry you mentally when you want to stop.  It will put some fire in your belly.  So if you hit a tough spot, remember why you started in the first place and the emotion of your why, and do what you need to do that day to get the win.  

Well there you have it.  I hope this helped clarify what it really takes to develop long lasting health and fitness habits.  If you want to reach out to me with any questions, I’m happy to help.   Email or call: nick@kcicrossfit.com | 816-659-3076

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Nick Prohaska     |    KCI CrossFit     |      816-659-3076       |       nick@kcicrossfit.com

MILITARY MONTH @ KCI CROSSFIT

July 1st - 31st

KCI CrossFit would like to offer one FREE WEEK to all Active or Retired Military service members during the month of JULY! 

THANK YOU for your service!

 

WE WOULD LIKE TO WELCOME ALL ACTIVE AND RETIRED MILITARY PERSONNEL TO COME CHECK OUT KCI CROSSFIT FOR 7 CONSECUTIVE DAYS FOR FREE DURING JULY!  THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!  WE APPRECIATE OUR INDEPENDENCE AND FREEDOM.

Just fill out the form to sign up for your FREE WEEK! 

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