Categorized as: CF Naples

The 3 Most Important Things In Life: Self Confidence (P3)

By Coach Mario

When you’re a little kid being overweight is cute, as you get older, that’s not the case. It eventually becomes a source of guilt and humiliation from your “friends” and yourself.

From the ages of 8-14years old, I was fat. That’s just a fact. I consistently weighed 15-20lbs heavier than my peers.

I knew that I was overweight, but it wasn’t something that we ever talked about in my family. I had been that way since I could remember. It never had a negative impact on me growing up until the day I couldn’t play football anymore.

I had been playing Pop Warner Football since I was nine years old. Before every game, we were required to weigh ourselves to ensure we didn’t exceed a defined weight class for our division. In theory, it makes sense. If you control weight classes, you level the playing field and keep kids safe. (Now that I’m much older I don’t believe that to be true. Genetics play a significant role in sports, but for now, I’ll leave it at that.)

Having played since a Pee-Wee, I always barely made weight, but nevertheless, I was never benched for not making weight. This year was different. I was 15lbs over the maximum weight limit. I never did make weight before the first game and was indirectly forced to quit. I hated myself for not being able to play. My friends would brag about football while I was stuck at home doing nothing. For the first time in my life, I felt like an outsider.I was 13 years olds.

It was that experience that negatively impacted my self-confidence for years to come. I came to believe that If I could just lose the weight, I would be happy just like my friends.

So the summer before my freshmen year of high school I asked my mom to buy me an exercise machine. Through a lot of hard work and multiple workouts, I lost 20lbs. My friend’s who hadn’t seen me all summer couldn’t believe I lost all that weight. On the first day of school, I remember wearing the tightest shirt I could find. I even tucked it in to make me look even slimmer. My confidence was at an all-time high.

I even ended up playing football again for a few years before I realized wrestling was better suited for my stature. But even then the issues with my weight never disappeared.

A running conversation with my wrestling coaches was always about my weight. Wrestling at the precise weight class is crucial for competing at the highest level possible. I knew that but hated what it took to lose the weight to stay ranked. During wrestling season my weight fluctuated an average of 15 pounds every week. We ate when we were hungry and starved ourselves when it was time to make weight. That’s how we dieted. The constant struggle to lose weight took a toll on me both physically and mentally. It took almost a decade to fix and understand.

Through high school and my young adult life, I attached all my self-worth to how I looked. It became an infatuation. I would say to myself, “If I were skinny then all my problems would go away.” What a lie! I wasn’t happy until I got there. And when I did lose the weight, I found myself unhappy again because it was impossible to keep it off. When I wasn’t able to maintain a certain weight my confidence would drop drastically. I called it “yo-yo confidence”. I was tired of these emotional roller coasters. Then one day, I decided I was going to stop chasing the elusive 8-pack. When I did that everything changed; I learned to develop a level of self-worth, self-belief, and self-assurance that was completely detached from how I looked.

I began studying the Greats and what made them successful. Book after book, I noticed something profound. They never once mentioned anything about eight pack abs. Instead, they talked about believing in yourself first and taking action for the things we did not like. “Be yourself,” said Emerson. “Realize your potential,” said the Dali Lama. “Trust yourself and you will know how to live.” said Goethe. I took all these things literally, even if that meant I could never be the perfect weight again.

Which is why I believe the most important thing you can do in your life is to develop self-confidence through internal belief systems. “Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” Lao Tzu

How you look is the icing on the cake (pun intended).

Part I: Love

Part II: Friends

My Experience at a CrossFit Seminar

Written by Coach Brett

This past weekend I attended the Crossfit Level 1 Trainer Seminar in Miami, Florida. Speaking to plenty of coaches that have already completed the L1, I had somewhat of an idea of what to expect but I kept an open mind and was hyped to learn from some of the best in CrossFit.

Here are three major takeaways that stuck with me after completing the seminar:

The Diversity in CrossFit

Crossfit is spreading like wildfire. I already knew that to a certain extent but this weekend opened my eyes to truly how far across the world the Sport of CrossFit is spreading. The first person I met was from Jamaica, he and his best friend opened up the original Crossfit box in Jamaica. Other attendees were from South Africa, Netherlands, and even Egypt. The attendance this weekend set the record for a number of people ever at an L1 Seminar and although all 50 plus of us differed from different backgrounds and personalities, we were all there for one reason and that was Crossfit.

Community Driven

This goes along with my first point, the unity involved with the program is unmatched. From group classes to group seminars, to group competitions the desire to become “fitter” is in all of us and the message Crossfit delivers is loud and clear. You don’t see this in mainstream commercial gyms or training programs.  Not the case here, we all perform the same movements, understand and believe in the CrossFit program, and work to get better together.

Intensity delivers Results

Constantly varied, functional movements, at high INTENSITY. That is the definition of Crossfit. It is the formula that has proven to work and is the formula that all other training programs lack. Specifically referring to the intensity characteristic, it’s what separates the strong from the weak. This weekend taught me intensity is more than just the thought of working hard and fast, but ways to actually measure intensity. The lead training staff set a goal to deliver the message about intensity. They played a joke on us on the first day, they set up barbells next to the pull-up bars and told us we will be performing ” Fran ” which is arguably one of the hardest and most extreme benchmark work out Crossfit has to offer.

Everyone’s facial expressions changed, some people’s smiles turn to stone-cold faces, some people that were tired were woken right up, it was safe to say everyone was left uneasy. The lead trainer started the countdown 3..2..1 and then proceeded to tell us it was just a prank. The reactions were due to people understanding the seriousness nature and intensity it takes to perform Fran.Crossfit programming is set up with the goal in mind to produce the most power. With power comes intensity, and with intensity comes results. Through intensity, we will continue to get stronger both physically and mentally.

Overall I feel like I came back a better coach, athlete, and communicator.


Coaching Tips: Kipping Pull-ups

Before I found CrossFit, I had never seen a kipping pull-up. I had never heard of any other style of pull-up besides a strict, dead-hang pull-up. I remember watching videos of CrossFit workouts on YouTube and seeing athletes rocketing through sets of pull-ups, tearing their hands to pieces and I wanted in.

While all athletes are different, I developed a kipping pull-up before I had the strength to complete a dead hang pull-up. I have heard coaches recommend that the strict pull-up serve as a pre-requisite to the kipping pull-up progression out of concern for athletes injuring themselves on the more ballistic movement.

I respect this decision, but have found that I can safely develop an athlete’s mechanics in the kipping pull-up while simultaneously increasing their pulling strength with assisted strict pull-ups and other accessory exercises. Read More…