204 Blog

Few things are better than seeing athletes smile and cheer for each other. I’ve seen it a thousand times at the gym, and it’s still heartwarming every time.

Today’s holiday workout was another fantastic opportunity to reflect on how a community motivates and supports its members to do great things.

During today’s three-round workout, I heard a loud cheer from small group of three women as a fourth dropped her bar.

“Is she finished?” I asked.

“No. She just completed a round.”

And that’s why we train together.

We had a great time on our archery field trip today.

You’ll note that one sentence of Greg Glassman’s Word-Class Fitness in 100 Words encourages athletes to take their fitness outside the gym and apply it to new pursuits. Doing so is a two-way street: You express your fitness in sports and become better at the activity, and you pick up new movement patterns and skills that make you fitter inside the gym.

Watching our athletes learning how to shoot a bow and arrow today made it pretty obvious that CrossFit produces competent people–people who can get stuff done. Give them any physical task and they’ll figure it out. Even if they aren’t great at stuff right away, they have the tenacity to figure it out, and they’re coachable, which makes them able to learn.

So build your fitness inside our gym, then use it outside the gym to make your life better.

I’d wager that people do more damage to health and fitness on Saturdays than on any other day of the week.

Many people think a day of excess doesn’t derail the overall plan, but think about this: What if you only smoked one day a week, but you smoked two packs on that day? It’s similar with nutrition.

Instead of ripping into a weekend of insanity, what if you accounted for a few treats during the week as part of a healthy overall diet? Then the weekend wouldn’t be a time to cut loose but rather just another day of sound nutrition.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t enjoy yourself. I’m saying that you should enjoy yourself regularly in moderation while keeping yourself on track for health and wellness.

We can show you how: 204 Lifestyle.

3 for 204: Dumbbells

By Mike

We know dumbbells are coming in the Open, but we’ve been collecting them over the years, and the Open just gave us a chance to add a few more to the rack.

Dumbbells are great training tools. When starting a gym, barbells are a better investment, and they’re also better for many exercises. For example, you could use dumbbells to train for strength, but it’s impractical to get a set of 250-lb. dumbbells for our strongest athletes to use on deadlift day. Similarly, snatches and clean and jerks and squats are easier to do with barbells.

But that’s an important word: easier. The real world isn’t easy, and squatting, snatching or deadlifting a dumbbell requires adjustments–just like to have to adjust for the awkward object you want to put in your trunk. Dumbbells also force you to control two objects instead of one, making them much tougher to use.

Overall, using dumbbells from time to time will make you fitter, so expect to see them in workouts.

3 for 204: The Open

By Mike

Some of you who have been around for a while might wonder about why we’re emphasizing the Open in the gym this year. The reason: It’s a great chance to celebrate both our 204 community and the global CrossFit community.

It’s going to be really cool to do the same workout as about 400,000 other people around the world this year, but more than that it’s fantastic to see our members connecting, generating team spirit and getting to know each other.

In previous years, the competition aspect overwhelmed the fun aspect, and through the help of some friends we realized what’s really important: spirit. So thank you to everyone who’s participating, and to our great team captains who have filled the gym with energy that hasn’t been seen at this time of year before. Hail to Maegan, Michelle, Paul and Shawn–and to their teams!

3 for 204: Strength

By Mike

I’ve been doing a lot of work on gymnastics articles lately, and I’ll share a secret with you: strength is required for success in gymnastics.

As coaches, we can provide lots of technical tips, and you’ll need them at some point, but to get a first muscle-up or pull-up or handstand push-up, you have to have strength. There’s no way around that.

So we focus on that: strict work, gymnastics focus sessions, weighted pull-ups, couplets, accessory work, spotting and scaling. All of that is designed to bring up strength levels. Once you’ve got that strength, we can iron out technique to get your chin over the bar or your hands on top of the rings.

But strength comes first. Whenever you see a block of gymnastics time in a class, know that you’re usually doing strength work–and it will pay off.

3 for 204: Capable

By Mike

We’ve had a lot of snow this year, with much of it coming in large dumps.

Every time I have to shovel, I think about getting older and wanting to be able to clear my driveway until I’m 100. I know that everyone at the gym is capable of getting out of the house after a storm, and I know that some others in the city are not because they lack the strength.

As society gets a bit softer through computers and machinery and so on, I find it very comforting to know a large group of people who are physically capable of anything they want to do. Perhaps prime in this group is our Legends–ranging from about 50 to 75 years old. Every day, they motivate me and show me what’s possible as you age.

I hope they inspire you to maintain and improve your own function as you age. Age well with fitness.