Discipline and Success Tips

“Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.” — Abraham Lincoln

You get the idea.  We all want to be in great shape, feel good, and be healthy.  BUUUUUT, we really want to just take a nap right now, after a quart of ice cream.  Oh, and my favorite movie is on, so let’s start Monday!  We never really want to go to the gym and workout, but we want the results.  At FTGF, we work hard to keep you focused on your goals and motivated to do those things you don’t necessarily WANT to do, but will lead to the results that you want.  Discipline, is staying focused on your long term goals and not how you feel at this moment.

Key components of success in your fitness journey.

1.  Nutrition:  First of all, don’t eat buns of cinnamon.  Or at least not all the time.  We need to plan ahead and make conscious decisions.  Don’t wait until you are hungry to figure out what you are going to eat.  If you are going to have a cheat meal and plan for it, make it the best thing you can get, so you feel it’s worth it.  Don’t waste a bunch of empty calories on some Meijer cookies or some Hoho’s.  Plan for it, make it count, and plan for a healthy diet the rest of the time.

2.  Sleep:  Kind of like what we do with babies, it is a great idea to have a routine before bed.  Whether it’s showering, reading, praying, snuggling.  If you have a certain routine, it will help your body prepare to go to sleep.  This is more for people that have trouble sleeping.  If you are like me, we just need to have our head on the pillow at the proper time and we’re out.

3.  Activity:  I am blessed enough to have a desk at work that will raise up so I can stand.  While there are many days that I really don’t feel like standing, I know it’s good for me.  If you have a desk job and have an opportunity to get something like this, do it.  Or periodic walks throughout the day would help to keep the blood flowing throughout the day.  Walks at lunch time, at night after dinner, whenever you can get a little more movement in.

Schedule It!

Besides a healthy diet, I feel the #1 building block, to improving your fitness, is being consistent with your activity.  Many people want to get in better “shape” and jump in, feet first, and go crazy with a bunch of exercise right out of the gate.  The fact is, it’s hard to keep that up consistently.  The key is to pick a specific day and time that you will be doing whatever activity you choose.  Then stick to it, no matter how you feel at that time.  It’s kind of like planning your meals ahead of time and not waiting until you are starving, you won’t make a good decision.

At FTGF, we help with the schedule part, because there are scheduled “class times” for the Group Training or scheduled “appointments” for the 1 on 1 Personal Training.  There is always a specific starting time and you put it in your schedule.   You PLAN on it!!  It’s not like you can just go to the gym whenever you like, and then put it off, until it’s too late, and then you end up not going at all.  It’s a routine part of your schedule or day.  There is built in accountability with the software we use.  Everyone knows when you are signed up for a class.  We/they know if you did what you said you were going to do.  It’s pretty simple.  AND it works.

Key components to success in your fitness goals.  Listed in order of importance.

1.  Nutrition:  Without proper fuel, engines will never run well.
Cutting out pop, and any processed sugars would be the first step to better nutrition.

2.  Sleep:  Without proper rest, there will not be enough energy to perform on any level.
You MUST get AT LEAST 6 hours per night, but 7.5-9 would be preferred.

3.  Activity:  Without training your body, you cannot expect to become stronger or more conditioned.

We like to see people in the gym a minimum of 3x per week.  That is why we do the memberships the way we do.  Normally, that is all your body is ready for when you first start CrossFit.  That doesn’t mean you can’t go for a walk or swim or some other form of activity on NON gym days.  Schedule it, make it happen.

Coaching through Change

The only thing you can count on to be consistent is CHANGE. As soon as everything is in line, organized, and figured out, then something is about to change in your life. You can count on it.

Our goal should NOT be to keep everything the way it is, but to proactively adjust to change. We need to be prepared for change to happen, because it’s inevitable.

Our programming is “constantly varied” which results in consistent growth. That’s what life does. It constantly varies, which results in great opportunities for growth – personal, physical, and spiritual.

We coach people to help develop a routine for fitness, nutrition, and just life in general. But the routine is more than just do this, then, do that.  It’s routinely looking at your goal, or your long distance objective/destination on a road map.  The route may change, but the overall objective does not.

As coaches, we help you to navigate “life”.  You come to a road block?  Do we go around or climb over it?  Will we get out an ax, or some dynamite?  Do we take a side route, or do we have to backtrack a little?  It all depends on you, your objective, and the tools you have available.  Let’s not get bogged down by life, or thrown off by change.  Let’s team up and work through these changes and road blocks together.

CLICK HERE to set up a free 15 minute phone call, and see what we can do to help you in your fitness journey.
Coach Mike

Testing or Training??

We “test” for today, but we “train” for the future.  When doing a test, we do whatever we have to do to get the best score, period!

When we train, we think about how to approach a workout so we come out better on the other end.  That means, you might get done with a workout and NOT get your best score, but you worked on what you needed to work on.  That is why we scale workouts certain ways.  If there is a movement that you are not good at, we try to set you up so you are better when you are done, not necessarily with the most reps or quickest time.  You cannot avoid those weaknesses and expect to improve.  For example, if you need to get better at stringing together pullups, we might say you have to do at least 2 in a row no matter what.  Which might mean you take a little more rest to make sure that happens.  Did you get done faster?  Maybe not.  But did you get better at doing multiple pullups?  You bet.

I know it doesn’t always make sense with the world we live in, but God loves us no matter what.  We don’t have to earn it, He just does.  That’s because He IS love.




Key components of success in your fitness journey.

1.  Nutrition:  Keep it simple.  Don’t over complicate things by counting and weighing, etc. if you don’t have to.  Pick out the 2-3 items that you really need to stay away from, and DO IT.  They are like gateway drugs and lead you down the wrong path,  You will be much better off without them.

2.  Sleep:  With most smart phones, you can set a “bed time” and it will give you a reminder to go to bed.  While we usually don’t like being told what to do, if we are telling ourselves, that’s a little different.  Sometimes we just get caught up in TV or other things and lose track of time.

3.  Activity:  We all need accountability and some guidance.  At the gym, we put the programming together for you, so you don’t have to.  What that does is help to avoid the typical pitfall of “programming bias”.  That’s where we only do what we are good at and never improve on the stuff we are weak at.  That holds us back from our overall fitness improving.  So just show up, and we’ll take care of what you are doing that day.

Change can be good!

Some say, “People don’t change.”  Wrong.  I know, because I changed.  The problem is not everyone knows because the change is on the inside and most people don’t talk about it enough.  It’s called our testimony, or our “story”.  If you have a story of how you’ve changed because of coming to know Christ, people need to hear it.  Many times it’s obvious, because some of the changes are visible.  People can tell when you lose weight or quit smoking.  Many of my struggles have been in my mind and after coming to know Christ, and growing in my faith, those battles have become fewer.  I’m not as selfish as I used to be.  I don’t get depressed like I used to.  It’s not me, believe me I tried hard to change before Christ, but it never really happened until I gave up trying and handed those things over.  It’s not a one and done kind of thing though.  It takes time and continually handing things over to the Great Physician.

While we offer a GPP program, “General Physical Preparedness”, we also set aside time for people to work on certain areas.  Such as, bodyweight movements (Pull Ups, Handstands, Handstand walking, rope climbs, etc.), weight-lifting, and other skill work.  We want people to see the improvements they are looking for.  You want to lose weight, then you need to get in the gym consistent and get accountable with your diet.  You want to get stronger, you just need to show up and we will show you how to lift and have a program that includes strength work daily.  You want to gain confidence, you will when you get stronger, but we also get you a little uncomfortable so you can grow in those areas too.  Let us know what you  are trying to accomplish and we can show you how to do it.  Set up a FREE call today!

Why the HOOK GRIP??

I’ve talked about it and demonstrated it.  I’ve explained it helps when cycling a barbell and saves your grip.  Here is a picture showing a clear visual of what the hook grip looks like.  You basically wrap your thumb first, then your fingers wrap OVER your thumb, trying to get one or two over it.  The thumb is your strongest “finger”, and that’s why it makes sense to get it more involved to improve your grip.  Takes a little getting used to.  If you have small hands, you want to be sure to use the 35# bar, which is smaller in diameter than the 45’s.  It will help to get more fingers over your thumb and give you a stronger grip.  One of the side affects is your thumb may be a little sore the next day, but you’ll get used to it.  If you’ve ever had a deadlift pull out of your hands, you can utilize this grip with deadlifts also.  However, it is primarily used with the Olympic lifts and the Power versions, when we are doing multiple reps.  Any questions, please let me know.

Keys to Success

​”Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” — John D. Rockefeller

Key components of success in your fitness journey.

1.  Nutrition:  You want to lose weight?  You need to cut the crap and stick to lean meats and vegetables.  It’s pretty simple but we can all struggle with this one.  I know the good foods are more expensive, but so are larger clothes and hospital bills.  You can’t out work a horrible diet.

2.  Sleep:  Black out curtains will help you sleep better, especially when it’s light out later during the summer.  You may want to invest in them.

3.  Activity:  “High Intensity” – You don’t have to work out for hours and hours a day.  If you put maximum effort into the workouts we are doing, the benefits will last throughout the day or into the night, when your body is still revved up and burning calories.  High Intensity means something different for each person.  Form comes first, then speed and intensity.

How do you know if you are progressing in your fitness, or anything for that matter?
You have to track it.
We use a Fitness Level with several tests to track long term success.
We also use short term 6-7 week training cycles with Test weeks and Retest weeks.

Let us know if there is anything we can do to help with your fitness journey.  Schedule a “No Sweat Intro” today.

A Changed Man

God is in the people changing business.  There was a man named Saul that persecuted or punished, tortured, and killed the early Christian church (those people that followed Jesus and his teachings).  It’s because Jesus challenged the beliefs of the Jews in that time and no one likes to be proved wrong or have their “business” messed with.

Jesus got a hold of Saul, blinded him (just to get his attention), had one of his followers (whom was extremely afraid of Saul) to go and show him the love of Christ, thus obeying Jesus’ commands, and returned Saul’s sight.  Saul was a changed man and Jesus changed his name to Paul.  It was a drastic change.

He went from persecuting the church to, probably, one of the most persecuted follower of Christ.  He claimed Jesus as his Lord, was convinced He was God, and got baptized shortly there after.  God used him to do many great things.  He didn’t wake up one day and just change his mind about all the Christianity stuff, Jesus got a hold of him and made it happen.

We don’t do the changing ourselves, but we need to allow it to happen.  The gift of salvation is freely given, we just need to see our need for it and accept it.  There are no perfect people.  There was only one, and that was Jesus.  And he is the only one that cover up the sin in our lives.

We all pretty much know the difference between right and wrong.  And, we all have some things in our lives, whether big or small, that we know are wrongs, but we continue to do whether we want to or not.  There are just some things we can’t quit, get rid of, or put away forever.  Will you let Jesus do that for you today?  He’s done it for me and I am so grateful for the amazing things he does.

Time Domain Variance

You may wonder why we lift weights, do short sprints around 2min, and many workouts that range from 5 to 20+ minutes.  Why the different time domains?

Well, there are three metabolic energy pathways called phosphagen system, glycolysis and aerobic system.
These are the 3 ways the body produces and used energy.  To improve in all 3 areas, we need to work and train in all 3.

1. Phosphagen System

This is the short-term, high power output, that is anaerobic (not requiring oxygen), and only lasts a very short time, up to 10-30 seconds.  This system does not burn fat or carbs, but uses an energy source found in the muscles.  This energy source is limited, so it only last a short time.  We would see this in a 100m sprint or heavy lifting.

2. Glycolysis

Glycolysis is the predominant energy system used for all-out exercise lasting from 30 seconds to about 2 minutes.  It uses sugars stored in the blood or muscle (more readily available) along with oxygen.  As long as there is oxygen available, the energy is processed and the muscle works.  When the oxygen supply runs out, the muscle stops working at the same capacity that it did originally.

3. Aerobic System

This system uses oxygen and burns both sugars and fats.  Since this system takes longer to produce energy, it doesn’t normally kick in until after a couple minutes of work.  While the sugars will burn much quicker and produce a lot more energy that the other two systems, the fats produce even more energy than the sugars.  That is why it’s said you have to work for a certain amount of time before getting into your “fat burning” zone.

These 3 ways the body produces energy are important to understand.  We train to improve our body’s efficiency to produce oxygen for both medium and long workouts.  The short sprints or weight lifting normally increase the size of our muscles which would, in effect, increase the amount of high-output energy available.  We also need to understand these systems so that we can fuel our bodies properly.  That is why complex carbohydrates like grains and vegetables and healthy fats are so important to give us longer lasting energy.

Hope this helps.

Mindset Matters!

I want to point out a couple things about our athletic mindsets.  A simple way of categorizing them are as follows:

It is either True or False.  We either have an accurate view of our ability or not.
Then, Positive or Negative.  We either in a Positive or Negative capacity with our ability.

There are 4 combinations of these mindsets and what comes along with them.

False Positive – Glory days!!  We think we are better than we are.  We are reliving our glory days back in high school when we are 50lbs over weight and 20years out of high school.  This can lead to pushing yourself harder than you should or trying to lift heavier weights than your body is capable of at this moment.  Also, setting goals that are far out of your reach.  This mindset can lead to INJURY very quickly.

False Negative – We don’t think we are capable of anything and tend not to push ourselves when we should.  This is taking the safe way out, staying in our comfort zone, and never progress like we should.  You aren’t setting goals.  This is safe, no risk, but you won’t see the improvements that you really want to see.

True Positive – This is a correct view of what you are truly capable.  You know what you are capable of and push yourself.  You will see true improvements.  You set big goals, but they are realistic.

True Negative – You know your limitations and scale appropriately.  You may not be at your best right now, but you are taking the right approach to improving and are avoiding injury.

As a coach, my goal is that you have a True mindset, whether positive or negative.  You need to start with the truth, then work toward making a new truth by staying healthy and setting realistic goals.  If you see yourself in one of those “False” mindsets, talk with the coach and let’s get things straightened out.

Return on Investment

Just a thought.

I was thinking of investments and what it means to invest in yourself.  What does that look like in terms of ROI (return on investment).  We really only have two things to invest, time or money.  The time is a limited resource, we only have so much time in each day, and we ALL have the same allotted amount.  With money, it seems limited also, but we can always make more of that.  When investing in yourself, it will take time and money, but which one is more difficult.

My example, pertains to the health and wellness portion of ourselves.  And we can look at it two ways.

First, you invest time, say an hour a day, four times per week exercising.  That amounts to an annual investment of 4hrs x 52weeks = 208 hours.  OR 8.67 days.  If you did this for one year and it added an extra one year to your life, that would be an initial return of 42 times your investment or 365 / 8.67.  If you did that for 42 years and still only gained one year to the end of your life, then you’d break even.

Second, you can look at it on the financial side.  If you spent $125 per month for a gym membership.  Everything else is taken care of, you just need to show up ready to work.  That would be $1,500 per year.  Say you make $40,000 annually at your job and add one more year to the end of your life (hopefully you don’t work for the rest of your life, but this is just an example), then you’ve made 26.7 times your investment in the first year.  Say you did this for 26.7 years and you still only add that one year to your life, then you’ve broke even.

Just putting things in perspective.  You can’t put a price tag on time with family or a better quality of life.  You can’t put a dollar amount on the confidence you would gain and how much better you would feel.  The ROI here can be infinite.  What if it gives you the drive to tackle that problem that always held you back, or take that risk that you were always afraid of taking and it resulted in a complete change in your life.  You can’t just buy this sort of stuff, you have to earn it.  It takes time and hard work, and maybe a little bit of money for some coaching.  What do you think?

We’d love to sit down with you and see what kind of program would best fit your needs.  CLICK here to book a No Sweat Intro today!!