Categorized as: CF Naples

The intent of a dynamic warm up

I get many questions from clients asking why I prefer not to perform static stretches and foam rolling prior to their training sessions and my answer is always the same: because I do not want to relax the musculature. Rather, I want to activate musculature and get the body primed for diverse movement patterns. Two of the major goals of a warm up should be to increase core body temperature and tissue blood flow, and to stimulate joint lubrication.

I often assign what I call the “Dirty Thirty” to my clients. They know all too well what this is and are now well trained to perform this task prior to the beginning of our session. It is simply 30 calories on the assault bike where the first fifteen calories are performed at moderate intensity and the second fifteen are performed at a slightly higher intensity. By the time they are done with their “Dirty Thirty,” they have broken a sweat, they have increased blood flow, and they have some joint lubrication.

By moving specific tissues and joints in the body, they become lubricated in what we call synovial fluid. This helps to enhance fluidity in movement and minimize stiffness. I have a silly analogy for you guys. For the sake of this analogy I want you all to think about frozen chicken for a second. When you first take it out of the freezer, it is very stiff and not very pliable. If you immediately strive to move the pieces, you risk ripping apart the chicken and making a mess, or worse injuring yourself. However, if you thaw the chicken by placing it in some hot water, the chicken has a little bit of lubrication and moves a bit easier. Read More… 

Tempo Run

A tempo run is a faster-paced workout also known as a lactate-threshold, LT, or threshold run. Tempo pace is often described as “comfortably hard.” Tempo running improves a crucial physiological variable for running success: our metabolic fitness.

WHY TEMPO RUNS WORK

By increasing your LT, or the point at which the body fatigues at a certain pace. During tempo runs, lactate and hydrogen ions—by-products of metabolism—are released into the muscles. The ions make the muscles acidic, eventually leading to fatigue. The better trained you become, the higher you push your “threshold,” meaning your muscles become better at using these by-products. The result is less-acidic muscles (that is, muscles that haven’t reached their new “threshold”), so they keep on contracting, letting you run farther and faster.

But to garner this training effect, you’ve got to put in enough time at the right intensity.

FINDING THE RIGHT TEMPO

To ensure you’re doing tempo workouts at the right pace, use one of these four methods to gauge your intensity.

  • Recent Race: Add 30 to 40 seconds to your current 5K pace or 15 to 20 seconds to your 10K pace.
  • Heart Rate: 85 to 90 percent of your maximum heart rate.
  • Perceived Exertion: An 8 on a 1-to-10 scale (a comfortable effort would be a 5; racing would be close to a 10).
  • Talk Test: A question like “Pace okay?” should be possible, but conversation won’t be. Read More…

You Can Now Call Us Naples Strength & Conditioning

Since the days of training clients out of my sisters garage over 6 years ago my vision has always been to use CrossFit and it’s methods to get others in shape; look better and feel better. Today our vision remains the same.

As the years went on what I came to realize was that as CrossFit got bigger there were many stereotypes that I would hear about that just weren’t true. In alot of the Introductions that I completed many would admit to the fear of getting hurt or CrossFit being “too intense” for them. As time went on we knew that if we didn’t offer multiple services to suit clients needs we would lose them all together. This is the reason the Masters Program and our Boot Camp programs were created. Since then we have extended our program even more to Kids, Personal Training, and Weight Loss Consulting.

We went even further to adopt a reservation system. There were some growing pains in the beginning but after working out the kinks it has been the single most important decision we have made to the quality of coaching and culture of our gym.

As our company continued to mature and grow we felt like we were providing more than just a fun-intense group class that people loved coming to a few days a week. What we came to realize was that we are a community of like minded individuals who offer multiple services to suite anyone who is willing to get fit and improve the quality of their life.

What this re-branding will allow us to do is open the conversation to prospective clients who initially were intimated by the word CrossFit. This will give us the opportunity to cast a wider net to those who want to get in shape but just might too “afriad” to try CrossFit initially.

At the end of the day, getting in shape is one-half of the goal. The true essence of wanting to get in better shape is because you believe by losing weight and improving fitness you would become a happier person. Naples Strength and Conditioning opens the door for people to make that decision no matter what program they chose at our facility.

4 Hip Flexor Stretches to Relieve Tight Hips

The most common complaint we hear from our members is “my hips are so tight.” The response is always, “Here, try this hip flexor stretch.”

Why are everyone’s hips so tight?

Take a step back and think about where you spend most of your day. If you’re a young athlete, you probably spend most of your time at school or maybe work or practice and  even a little time at home, if you’re lucky. Now think about what position your body is in during those periods. I would bet that you spend most of your day sitting down. You may walk to class or run in practice, but the majority of your day is spent in a seated position.

So, who cares right? Wrong. Everyone has seen that little old man walking with a cane, hunched over almost to the point of staring at the ground. Do you think he always walked like that? I’d bet you he didn’t. Maybe he had an injury that never healed properly, or maybe after spending years and years in a similar position, his body became tighter and tighter until eventually he ended up bent over.

Repetitive motions over time can change the positioning of your body.

How?

When a muscle contracts, it shortens. Take the biceps for example. Without getting too technical, the biceps are attached at the forearm and shoulder. When your biceps contract, they shorten and bring those two points closer together. When you rest, the muscle returns to its normal length, and the two points move farther away. Constantly contracting your biceps over a long period of time would cause them to get shorter, even at rest.

Why Are My Hips Tight?

Apply the above concept to your hips. When you sit, your hips are in a “flexed” position. Therefore, the muscles that flex your hips are in a shortened state. You probably spend at least a third of your day sitting down. Think about how much time those hip flexor muscles stay shortened. A lot. Over time, they become tighter and tighter until you look like the old man in the picture. So unless you want to look like that, perform the stretches shown below. Read More…

Mental Toughness

Written by Sage Burgener (and her brother, Casey)

I’m not going to say much in this post, I’m going to let my brother’s letter do all the talking (he doesn’t know I’m posting this. He’ll probably be upset. I’m ok with that).

But I will say that last year when I was training for the CrossFit Games I was struggling with feeling like I was mentally weak. I saw all these amazing athletes around me that, during the hardest of workouts, never had one look of pain or struggle across their face. They appeared to be immune to the torture. I never felt that way when I was working out. I feared workouts. I feared getting under heavy weights. I feared the pain that was to be inflicted upon me via thrusters. Because I feared so often, I was certain that I had some rare, possibly fatal, medical condition.

My brother Casey got his degree in physics,which basically means he knows everything. Therefore, I burden him with all of my questions about life, liberty and the pursuit of chocolate. I wrote him an email asking him, as an Olympic athlete, what he thought it meant to be “mentally tough.” The letter he wrote to me seriously changed my life. I am not saying that I am mentally tough by any means, but I at least have a better understanding of how to go about becoming a better person each day. I read this letter almost everyday and it has gotten me through many times of self doubt. It is long, but I promise you won’t be disappointed if you read the whole thing…especially if you feel like you may have the same medical condition that I had.

First, you need to decide what you are going to do. This may sound like a simple step, or like you’ve already done it, but let me tell you, it’s the hardest, and most important step in being tough. Once you make the commitment to do something, then almost nothing can stop you. This is why it took me so long to decide to come back to lifting. I knew once I committed, nothing was going to stop me from achieving my goals, no matter what the costs, or how much workouts sucked, or how badly my body felt.

So with you, you have to really really really decide that the Crossfit Games are what you want to do. Once you decide this, the process will be easy. When you commit, it’s easier to block weaknesses out of your head, and workouts will seem like steps forward to your goal, rather than burdens. When you commit, I really believe you can do anything. Really take this decision seriously though, because if you only “half” decide you want to do it, or do it for “fun”, then you shouldn’t even worry about Regionals, and just train whenever you want to and not care about how a workout goes. If you decide to do it for “fun”, then you can’t be bothered by any performance at Regionals or any meet, because you decided not to take it seriously.

Now, either decision in your case wouldn’t be a bad one (in my opinion), just make sure you stick to your choice wholeheartedly. I read a great book recently, and it talked about how when someone commits to something, they should do it all the way, and be satisfied with whatever the outcome. So if you commit to the Games and start training as hard as you can, you have to be comfortable with the possibility that you may succeed tremendously, or fail miserably (in terms of winning and losing). The important thing is that you committed, and you did everything you could to make it happen. Trust me, if you do that, the thoughts about winning and losing seem to almost disappear. It’s about overcoming yourself, and pushing yourself to become greater than you were the day before, that’s what really matters. Read More…

Handshakes Better Predict Life Expectancy Than Blood Pressure

You probably give a couple of firm handshakes a day. A firm handshake not only helps you make a good first impression, it can also serve as a good indicator of your health. According to a recent study published in the journal The Lancet, the firmness of your hand grip, which measures muscular strength, is better than your blood pressure when it comes to predicting mortality and morbidity.

Typically, hand-grip strength decreases as you age, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. This makes it more difficult to accomplish routine activities, such as opening a jar or even turning a key. The simple squeeze can become an important diagnostic tool in assessing strength and quality of life. It can be highly predictive of functional limitations and disability years later.

“Grip strength could be an easy and inexpensive test to assess an individual’s risk of death and cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Darryl Leong, principal investigator and an assistant professor of medicine of McMaster’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and cardiologist for the hospital, in the press release. “Doctors or other health care professionals can measure grip strength to identify patients with major illnesses such as heart failure or stoke who are at particularly high risk of dying from their illness.” Read More…