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Athlete Spotlight: Megan C.

Hometown: Wall, NJ

Age: 30

Profession: Coordinator of Afterschool and Summer Program at a non-profit

What did you do for fitness before CrossFit? Did you play any sports growing up? I did a mix of yoga, running, and cardio at other gyms. Growing up I played soccer, track, and was a competitive dancer. You couldn’t get me to stay still!

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? A few of my friends had tried it and found great success. I was nervous to try CrossFit since I had very minimal experience with lifting weights (weight rooms at gyms are intimidating!)

What was your first workout and how did it go? How did you feel after? My first workout was a 6:30 am class with Coach Luke. It was so awesome! He was so encouraging and explained everything thoroughly, so I felt comfortable right off the bat. It was challenging, but it made me want to go back and get better and stronger.

Favorite CF Movements: Hitting my first wall handstand!

Least Favorite Movements: Prowler- and I swear Brett loves to torture me with it on Friday afternoons

Favorite Cheat Meal: Pasta Bolognese

Favorite Healthy Meal: Chicken, rice, and veggies

What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you? My favorite thing to do is snowboard! I frequently skipped my college classes so that I could hit some fresh powder.

What sort of unexpected changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit?  I have gone from hitting snooze multiple times in the morning to hopping out of bed at 5:30 to get ready for CF. Because of this, I am taking sleep more seriously, making sure I get to bed early enough for a good night’s rest. I amaze myself each day, doing things I thought only serious weightlifters could do!

Any advice for people just getting started or new to CrossFit? Don’t be afraid to ask your coach questions. They are here to help you and keep you safe, and are more than happy to answer what you might feel is a silly question.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? I love being outside! Some of my favorite things are playing with my dogs, hiking, traveling, paddleboarding, and riding bikes. I also do a lot of work with local animal shelters.  

A better way to view Mobility

“Mobility” experts talk about the importance of mobility by using an illustration of a pyramid. I believe and understand each variable of mobility to have equal importance, so by placing mobility on a hierarchy based on most important to least important is inaccurate and dangerous. Instead, a pie chart displays and justifies EQUAL importance on 4 main factors:
 
Modality
Which tool you choose for mobility therapy has a dramatic effect on the frequency, duration and body part you use. You can’t use the same protocol for various modalities. The tool justifies the means.
 
Frequency
How many times a day or times a week you mobilize is based on the Body Part and modalities used. A great tool for adequate frequency is “better, worse, or the same”. If it gets better the frequency is perfect. If it gets worst, its too much frequency. And if it stays the same it’s not enough.
 
Duration
Likewise, the total time under tension plays a major factor in how you mobilize your body. Too little per set and nothing changes, too long and you could injure yourself. Don’t believe me? Try to compress your shoulder in a Voodoo band for 15 minutes and see how quick you lose circulation to your fingers. Each body part has an effective dose you should be familiar with. 
 
Body Part
Is the area you are trying to mobilize a joint or tissue? Start there. You can’t compress joints but you can compress surrounding structures. A foam roller works great on the belly of major tissue groups like the quads, calves, and triceps but not so on the fingers, neck, toes. The body part you want to improve factors into duration, frequency, and modality.

How Often Should I CrossFit?

The intent of your individual training frequency is to train often enough to reach your fitness goals, but not often enough to overtrain or develop overuse injuries. Training frequency is dependent upon many factors, the most important of which are goals, intensity, rest, nutrition, and existing level of fitness. The remainder of your daily/weekly schedule is also a relevant factor. Let’s examine how each one affects your training.

Goals
If you simply want to maintain an adequate level of fitness for daily life and ward off obesity then your training frequency will differ substantially from an elite athlete seeking to compete in the national CrossFit Games. Training more frequently will advance your fitness faster, to a point.

Intensity

If you train more intensely then you will require more rest than if you train less intensely. If CrossFit is your workout regimen then we can probably summarize your workout intensity as either intense or very intense, assuming you are putting 100% effort into your workouts.

Rest

Quality and quantity of rest are a huge factor in training frequency. Quality rest increases your ability to train more frequently. I’m defining quality and quantity in two principal ways: your level of activity on your rest days, and hours of sleep per night. The most effective rest is lack of prolonged or intense physical activity during the day plus 8.5-9 consecutive hours of sleep per night. Yes, that’s asking a lot of the typical American schedule.

Nutrition

This is pretty simple. If your body is getting the nutrients it needs to perform tissue repair and fuel your workouts then you can train more often. If you eat poorly then you will inevitably train less often or with less intensity, and will require more rest when you are done. Your body also won’t get as full a benefit from the workout because you haven’t supplied it with the tools to fully adapt to the stress you provided during the workout.

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