4 Ways to Save Your Joints

When you are dedicated to your training and putting in the hours to achieve your goals then there is nothing more frustrating than joint pain and inflammation. It almost feels like your body is punishing you for working hard. No fair, right!

Rather than make excuses about your pain or backing off on your training you may want to consider some new techniques to mitigate the damage from these patterns of overuse.

1. Focus on form
2. Make intensity your new volume
3. Recover Harder
4. Hit the Supplements Aisle

1.Focus on form
If you are training often and hard then even the slights inefficiencies in your movement can turn into nagging injuries over time. Before you put in all that hard work you owe it to yourself to work with an experienced coach to refine your movement. You will make progress faster and stay healthy in the process. Slow down, not every day is a competition.

2. Make intensity your new volume
Sometimes the body simply needs a break from volume. All athletes in any sport go through periods of alternating intensity and volume throughout the year. They have different rhythms and protocols for preseason, in-season, post-season, and off-season training. Try backing off on the volume of your training and focusing on higher intensity pieces instead. For lifters, this could mean performing fewer sets or reps and using a higher load, shorter rest times, or a faster tempo. Runners might try lower mileage with weeks and adding a sprint workout 1-2 times per week instead.

3. Recover Harder
Training hard without the proper recovery techniques is bound to beat you up and becomes unsustainable long term. Make time for massage, foam rolling, stretching, yoga or mobility sessions, sleep, and any other recovery methods that can improve your performance. Sometimes the most beneficial thing you can do is stimulate your parasympathetic nervous with these recovery techniques to let your body’s natural healing mechanisms kick in.

4. Give your body what it needs to repair itself
There are tons of great supplements that can help with joint health. Fish oil and omega 3’s provide a healthy inflammatory response in the body amongst many other health benefits. Glucosamine and Chondroitin provide the building blocks for joint repair. Tart Cherry Juice extract has been shown to reduce muscle soreness after a workout. Give those a try to start!

Don’t let joint pain stop you from moving and doing the things you love! Click here to meet with a coach and learn how you can begin your fitness journey.

The 1st Annual DunWODy Showcase

CrossFit Dunwoody was thrilled to hold the first annual DunWODy Showcase this past Saturday! Thank you to all the participants, judges, sponsors, and spectators who came out to make the competition an extremely fun and rewarding event.

Click below to watch a few highlights from the competition!

The competition had teams of two competing in four divisions: Rx-Female, Rx-Male, Scaled-Female, and Scaled-Male.

The three events were:

Event 1: “Jiffy”

  • AMRAP 13
    • Rx: 20 Calorie Row, 20 Box Jumps (24/20), 20 Wall Balls (20/14) (10’/9’)
    • Scaled: 20 Calorie Row, 20 Box Step-ups (24/20), 20 Wall Balls (14/10) (10’/9’)
    • Score: Rounds and Reps
    • Notes: 1 Partner Works at time.

Event 2: “Oil and Water”

  • 1 Rep Max Clean; 12 Minute Time Cap
    • Score: Combined weight of each partner’s heaviest Clean.
    • Rx: Partners must complete 100 Burpees (combined) during 12 Minute window in order for lifts to count.
    • Scaled: Partners must complete 75 Burpees (combined) during 12 Minute window in order for lifts to count.
    • Notes: Only 1 Partner works at a time.  When a Partner is performing a clean, burpees must stop.  Partner can add/remove weight while other partner is doing burpees.

Event 3: “Breakdown”

  • For Time; 10 Minute Time Cap
    • Rx: 42-30-18; Thrusters (115/75) and Pull-ups
    • Scaled: 42-30-18; Thrusters (85/55) and Ring Rows
    • Score: Time to finish or completed reps
    • Notes: 1 Partner Works at a time.
    • Ring Rows: All rings will be set to the same height and a line will be drawn on the ground that feet must be past.

Congratulations to all our amazing competitors!

Huge shout-out to our awesome sponsors: Big Frog, Marlow’s Tavern, Moondogs, Kanon Architects, Sleep Better Georgia, Hawkins Spizman Fortas, Painting with a Twist, and Lavista Associates.

Interested in joining our awesome community? Click here to get started!

5 Tips to Help You Change with the Season

As the weather starts to turn colder, many of us tend to let our health and fitness routines take the back burner for a few months. Whether you are feeling burned out or you are just trying to escape the upcoming 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 fall and winter months bring about changes in our training routines, daily habits, and nutrition. Rather than taking 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 fall/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-3 fats, found in fish and flaxseed, can help with heart and brain health.

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 sedentary and complacent.

Stay Hydrated.
In the colder 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 fall/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 through the rest of this year and beyond, let us know! Click here to schedule a no sweat session with a coach and learn how CrossFit Dunwoody can help with your health goals.

5 Pre-Workout Nutrition Tips

“Most people have the will to win, few have the will to prepare to win.” – Bob Knight

Many people have diligent post workout recovery routines including consuming protein shakes, supplements, and other key nutrients.

However, very few individuals give much thought to their pre-workout nutrition.

What you consume for fuel before you exercise should include more than just a stimulant based energy drink. It should contain the right types of fuel for your body and mind to meet the demands of the days activity. A great pre-workout nutrition routine will not only help your days performance but can help improve your daily energy levels, build lean muscle mass, and shed unwanted fat. It is essential for taking your performance to the next level.

Pre-Workout nutrition is unique for each individual. The types of foods, quantities, and ratios of macronutrients may need to be adjusted based on how you are feeling and performing. It is important to discuss all these factors with your coach so they can help you dial in on a plan that works best for you. Check out these 5 pre-workout nutrition tips to start creating a routine that works for you.

1. Leave time to digest

You want to consume the right amount of food to fuel your workout but not so much that it slows you down. Depending on body size and food choice the body will generally absorb about 300-400 calories per hour. That means a meal of approximately 30g of protein and 40g of carbohydrates an hour before your meal will be fully digested by the time you begin exercise. If you have ever tried exercising on a full stomach you the feeling of bloat as all of the blood is out of your working muscles and in your abdomen for digestion. If you continue to push through the exercise your body may try rejecting the remaining contents of the stomach. This is best avoided and makes proper pre-workout nutrition an easy choice.

2. Choose the right foods

The types of foods consumed are just as important as the quantities consumed. A balanced meal of low glycemic carbohydrates and high quality protein is the best choice. For carbohydrates the best foods to consume are fresh fruit like apples, berries, and oranges. For protein try grabbing a 4-6 oz. chicken breast or a shake containing 30 g of quality whey protein. Fats carry a high caloric load and are not an immediately available source of energy for high intensity activities like strength training so they are best left out of pre-workout meals in high quantities.

3. Avoid Certain Foods

Dairy products, spicy foods, and fibrous vegetables may not be the best choice for your pre-workout meal. They can cause cause discomfort on your gastrointestinal (GI) tract that is less than ideal when you are about to train. Feeling queasy, or running to the bathroom is not the best way to spend your time at the gym. As a rule of thumb, if you have to ask “will this food bother me?”, it is probably not the right choice.

4. Keep it consistent

The more you change up your pre-workout nutrition the greater chance you have of something going wrong. It’s best to be a bit boring when it comes to nutrition, especially when you are eating to live rather than living to eat. Eating the same foods every day around your training schedule is the best way to dial in exactly the foods and quantities that give you the best results.

“Routine, in an intelligent man, is a sign of ambition.”

5. Keep it simple

The best routine is the one that you have the highest probability of following. When you plan your pre-workout meal consider the foods that you generally have access to and can properly prepare and take with you.

So there you have it. The top 5 pre-workout nutrition tips. If you have any other questions about diet or training reach out to one of our coaches and get started.

City of Dunwoody Celebrated CFD’s Grand Opening with Ribbon Cutting

The City of Dunwoody hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony at CrossFit Dunwoody’s new location on Wednesday, September 23rd at 11:30AM. The ceremony was held at 1343 Dunwoody Village Pkwy, Dunwoody, GA 30338, where CFD has renovated the old Jiffy Lube into a brand new facility with several unique features.

“We are so excited, myself along with members of Dunwoody City Council and City Manager to welcome you to your new home,” said Dunwoody Mayor Lynn Deustch. “You have made a very attractive and inviting permanent facility for CFD and we wish you tremendous success. Dunwoody residents, if you haven’t seen it please drop by!”

 

“We just opened up our new facility on August 31st. We’re so excited to lay a foundation here in the City of Dunwoody,” said Glenn Dorris, owner of CrossFit Dunwoody.

Glenn took the City of Dunwoody on a virtual tour of the gym. “We kept it very open, left the bay doors, and we’ve got our rig here for lifting weights and pullups. Our prized feature is our outdoor workout space. We added to the back of the building, it’s completely outdoors. One of the coolest things about the new facility is we’ve got a kid’s room. People are welcome to bring their kids.”

Click here to watch the ribbon cutting ceremony and to see CFD’s gorgeous new space.

Interested in stopping by to see the gym in person? Click here to schedule your free intro session.

How Stress Can Motivate You

Did you know that a little bit of stress can actually maximize your performance?

If you’ve ever been in a flow state and totally lost track of time immersed in the task at hand, you know know how astounding it can be to snap out of it. You were so focused that you couldn’t worry about your bills, external relationships, and the little worries in life.

It turns out that time spent in a flow state is one of the highest corollaries to a fulfilling life. The more time you spend in flow the happier you are. It also turns out that flow is the best way to get good at a particular skill- assuming the activity meets some key criteria. 

The Yerkes Dodson Law examines how as arousal increases so does performance. Being pushed slightly beyond your comfort zone you get hooked. Locked in flow you will continue to push yourself, just barely keeping up with the challenge that is inches from your grasp. They even assigned a specific value to the degree of difficulty. If the level of the challenge is approximately 4% greater than your current skill you will be most likely to get into a flow state.

If you think about great athletes, musicians, artists and other high performing individuals you will see countless examples of them rising to the occasion. Completing the game winning drive as they march their team down the field and scoring with just seconds left on the clock. Playing a guitar lick faster and faster immersed in sweat and the roar of the crowd. These folks are locked into what they are doing to a place that is beyond what conscious mind and ego can interfere with. They are fully present and immersed in the task at hand.

It is important to find the thresholds in your life where you can push yourself and grow. If you feel like a task is too easy you will quickly lose interest and find yourself bored. If it is too difficult, you will feel like it’s hopeless and not actually give your best effort. Find the challenge that is engaging and challenging yet attainable if you truly want to get the most out of yourself!

Want to challenge yourself? Click here to learn more about our programming and start today!

Six Reasons Why You Should Sign Up for that Next Competition!

  1. Have something to work towards. #GOALS

Having goals keeps you motivated, it gives you something to shoot for. You can focus your training (i.e this week I will work on pull-ups, and aim to link 3 by the end of the next week).  

  1. Discover your weaknesses.

It’s easy to say “I’m bad at double unders”, then just avoid them in a class. But with competitions, there’s nowhere to hide. Maybe DU’s or T2B is the only thing keeping you out of the Rx division. If so, this is a great way to dial in on those skills or lifts that you struggle at. Maybe signing up for that competition is the one thing that will finally motivate you to work on what is holding you back.  

  1. You don’t have to compete alone!

More often than not, many competitions will have a TEAM or PARTNER division.  This is a great way to get your favorite workout buddies together, come up with a silly name and have some fun.  Being part of a Scaled Team at an event can be a great way to get your feet wet if you are new to competing. And sometimes this is a great way for you to challenge yourself to step up to that Rx category if you have one of your teammates that might be able to do some of the higher skilled movements (i.e. muscle ups) while you push yourself on some of the heavier weights required.

  1. Gain inspiration and inspire others.

The camaraderie you get in your local box doesn’t leave when you get to a competition. Sure, everyone would like to win, but that doesn’t mean leaving others in the dirt. You will always see the top athletes stick around until the last person has finished, offering words of encouragement and advice. Be as inspired by the grit and determination of those left on the floor at the time-cap as you are by the flourish of the elite.

  1. Meet new people.

Whether it’s your fellow competitors, volunteers, judges or just watching, you’ve all got something highly emotive in common. This can create a bond you won’t get anywhere else. 

  1. Discover what your body can really do.

Maybe you can’t string T2B together during a WOD or have never run a sub-8 mile during your training. But you will be surprised what you can do come “Game Day”. The adrenaline and energy of the crowds and your fellow competitors can help give you that extra push. Competitions can be an awesome way to PR!  (And you can bet there will be someone there that got it on camera!)

  1. It’s FUN!!!

Ask the majority of CrossFitters that have ever competed and they DON’T do it to WIN, they DO it to FINISH, to COMPETE. And most, even if they said they would only do just one, do another and another! You may not always remember the struggle of training or the exhaustion that comes after the event, but you DO remember the awesome friends you made, the incredible athletic performances and the FUN you had.

If you are looking for more information on competing, what opportunities are out there or even how to focus your training, be sure to ask one of our amazing coaches or set up a personal training session.  If you are not a member, but are curious about CrossFit, whether you ever compete or not, be sure to check out our KICKSTART PROGRAMS including our Comprehensive Kickstart that includes a Movement Screen for Flexibility and Mobility.

 

AUTHOR’S NOTE: As always, I LOVE WHITEBOARD DAILY (@whiteboard_daily) for quick and easy visual explanations and some great drawings on perspective like the one in today’s blog.

 

Q&A with Bella Zack: High Schooler, CrossFitter, Our Champion

Last weekend CrossFit Dunwoody had one of our own compete in the Garage Games Junior Open in Woodstock, GA. Bella Zack is only 16 years old. She carries with her a water bottle with a sticker that says “Eat. Sleep. CrossFit.” And that pretty much sums her up.  Not only did she participate in last week’s competition, but she placed 1st in her age group to take the top spot on the podium. 

In addition to going to school and working out at CrossFit Dunwoody, she also works part time deep cleaning the gym every day to keep it clean and our athletes safe and healthy.  Her work ethic shines in and out of the gym and we had to know just what motivates this young athlete to grab Crossfit by the horns and dominate the way she does.

So we sat down with her this week and asked her a few questions about what got her interested in CrossFit and why she started competing:

CFD: Tell us about yourself!

Bella: My name is Bella Zack and I am 16 years old. I am a junior in high school at Saint Francis. Some of my hobbies are CrossFit, and I am also involved in Drama at school. When I am not at school or hanging out with my friends, I am at the gym. 

CFD: How did you get into CrossFit? How long have you been at CrossFit Dunwoody?

Bella: In the 7th grade I ran cross country and I liked the way I felt after I finished a race. After the season ended, I needed to find another way to exercise. I started taking CrossFit kids classes at another gym. It was a long commute to get to the gym every night so ended up not going as much as I would have liked. Luckily CrossFit Dunwoody opened up so close to my house! I started working out at CrossFit Dunwoody in October 2017.

CFD: What do you like best about CrossFit/competitions?

Bella: The thing I love the most about CrossFit is that it is different every single day. I also love that there is something that you can improve on every time you come into the gym. The thing I love about competitions is the excitement of showing off what you are capable of and pushing your limits.  

CFD: What made you decide to begin competing?

Bella: I have always wanted to compete but was too scared. I competed in my first competition in December of 2019.  I knew after that I wanted to compete more often and become more serious.

CFD: What advice would you give someone thinking about joining CrossFit?

Bella: If you are thinking about joining CrossFit, you should not be intimidated at all. You can scale any of the movements and the coaches are great at giving modifications. Also, you will feel so much better after you workout. 

CFD: What has competing taught you? Has it changed you in any way?

Bella: Competing has helped me get out of my comfort zone and has taught me to push to the limit. Competing has shown me that I am better than I thought!

CFD: How would you describe your daily or weekly workout routine? Nutrition? Sleep habits? 

Bella: I try to workout five to six times a week. Before I go to workout I try to have a protein bar to give me some energy. I try to get at least eight hours of sleep each night but sometimes that does not happen because of school/TikTok/Netflix, etc..

CFD: What advice would you give to someone thinking about competing? 

Bella: If you are thinking about competing you should sign up for one, even if you are in a scaled division. It is super rewarding once you have finished all the workouts. 

CFD: What is your favorite WOD? Favorite movement? 

Bella: My favorite workout is Annie. Annie is a benchmark workout that is 50, 40, 30, 20, and 10 reps of double unders and sit ups. My favorite movement is the deadlift because I feel super strong when I can pick up so much weight.  

CFD: How has COVID changed your workout routine?

Bella: I worked out and did all of the home workouts during quarantine. I was limited on which equipment I had so I definitely repeated a lot of the same movements. When everything was shut down I was in the middle of trying to build up skills to be able to qualify for a competition down in Miami, Florida. It was definitely hard to adjust to the way I was working out and not being able to go to the gym everyday. 

CFD: Why should people join CrossFit Dunwoody? 

Bella: People should join CrossFit Dunwoody because of the amazing community. I am one of the youngest people who workout there and everyone is so welcoming and encouraging. It is truly my happy place. 

 

Everyone at CrossFit Dunwoody is so proud of her for pushing out of her comfort zone and starting to compete.  She is the future of fitness and we can’t wait to watch what she does next.  Especially on TikTok!!

If you are looking for more information on competing, what opportunities are out there or even how to focus your training, be sure to ask one of our amazing coaches or set up a personal training session.  If you are not a member, but are curious about CrossFit, whether you ever compete or not, be sure to check out our KICKSTART PROGRAMS including our Comprehensive Kickstart that includes a Movement Screen for Flexibility and Mobility.

Top 3 Tips to Maximize Your Deadlifts

People tend to have polarized feelings about deadlifts. Either they love them or they hate them. No matter how you feel about them, deadlifts are a great movement to strengthen your entire back and surrounding muscles.

Let’s explore the top 3 tips to maximize your deadlifts!

  1. Ditch the Mixed Grip
  2. Dial-in Your Setup Position
  3. Train Deadlift Variations

1.Ditch the Mixed Grip

One of the best ways to start improving your deadlift is to ditch the mixed grip. Many people worry that grip will be a limiting factor at their maximal percentage lifts but you can easily overcome this by implementing a hook grip. This takes some getting used to since you’ve probably never lifted a bar of this weight with a hook grip and the pressure can seem unreal. Try taping your thumbs the first few sessions to take some of the edge off.

The benefits of a double overhand grip is a better position on the bar, less torque on the hips and spine, and decreased strain on the bicep. Build up this strength in your training sessions and if you really need to resort to a mixed grip for a competition or 1RM attempt then you will be better for waiting.

2. Dial-in Your Setup Position

One of the biggest issues you may be facing with deadlifts is the setup. That first pull off the ground never feels quite right. To overcome this you can practice rolling the bar into position. This may feel more comfortable and your body will naturally find the right position without you fidgeting around.

If you are new to lifting or know that your mobility is lacking then you may find it beneficial to practice pulling off of blocks. The higher start position will make it easier for you to engage your posterior chain. Another good option here is to work from the top down with lighter loads. Take the loaded bar from a rack or higher blocks and start standing tall, hips fully extended. Keeping your back and core tight and start pushing your hips toward the wall behind you as the bar descends down your thighs. Keep the bar in contact with your legs and the weight in the middle of your foot and heels.

Practice lowering down in a slow control fashion taking 4-5 seconds to lower for each rep. If you have a hard time finding the right position then you should take someone on one time to work with a coach who can provide the right cues to get you properly set up.

3. Train Deadlift Variations

Another way to build confidence in your deadlift is to explore different deadlift variations. Sumo deadlifts, single-arm, single-leg, trap bar, dumbbells, kettlebells, atlas stones, dballs, and tire flips will all help you. Getting stronger is going to help even if it is nonspecific. There’s no shortage of heavy stuff to pick up off the ground! These variations will train your grip, stabilizers, and strengthen many smaller muscles of the glutes and hamstrings that may not get fully recruited in your normal deadlift style.

There you go, the top 3 tips to maximize your deadlifts. Now go find a coach and pull some big numbers!