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My Year Without Sugar

I made a Facebook post a couple days ago. It said this:

As of today, it’s been one full year since I ate anything with added sugar.

The response was immediate. In addition to the comments on the post (worth reading), I got a half-dozen private messages on Facebook, a few text messages, and multiple people stopped me over the next few days both at church and the gym to ask me questions about it.

Apparently the idea of removing sugar from their diet completely was incomprehensible to people.

In an attempt to mass-answer as many questions as possible, I decided to write everything down. If you asked me questions I didn’t get to, I hope I answer them somewhere below.

(I’ll warn you in advance that this article starts out very matter-of-fact but gets more touchy-feely and pseudo-psychological as it goes on. Feel free to bail out at any point. The nuts-and-bolts information is at the top.)

Yes, I stopped eating added sugar a year ago — October 18, 2013, to be exact.

How am I defining “added sugar”? Basically any sugar that God Himself didn’t put in the food. Yes, yes, I know there are naturally occurring sugars in all sorts of foods — fruit, dairy, etc. These are fine. What I’m avoiding are the sugars dumped into food during manufacturing specifically to make the food sweeter.

How strict have I been? Very. So much so that I can still remember most of the accidents. For example:

  • I was eating some trail mix in an airport in Boise, Idaho when I realized there were yogurt chips in it. I spit it out.
  • I got halfway through a steak salad that tasted suspiciously sweet. The server swore the dressing was vinaigrette…”Oh, wait, it’s maple vinaigrette…” (Maple vinaigrette? Seriously, who does that?)
  • I accidentally had some cranberries on a salad a few weeks ago. (Watch out for cranberries, as they’re essentially inedible unless soaked in sugar. If something has cranberries, I guarantee it has added sugar.)

There were a few more accidents (and I’m sure even more that I probably didn’t catch), but you get the idea of how far I took this. When you’re leaning over an airport garbage can spitting yogurt chips out in full view of everyone walking by, you’ve clearly become somewhat obsessive.

No, I do not feel deprived. Not at all.

  • I’m eating more food than at any other time in my life.
  • I’m enjoying food more than at any other time in my life.
  • I have a healthier relationship with food than at any other time in my life (much more on this below).

What do I eat? Damn-near everything. Contrary to what everyone thinks, it’s quite possible to avoid added sugar completely. Yet, the most common question I got was, “If you don’t eat sugar, what can you possibly eat!?” People apparently think I’m starving.

You’d be amazed how much stuff you can eat, but the current American diet can’t see past manufactured, processed foods, so people tend to overlook all the other stuff. Factory food is the default, and real food has almost become a fringe diet. I should package this and market it as “The Retro Diet ™” because I’m essentially eating what your grandparents ate in the 1950s.

Basically, I eat lots of meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, nuts, eggs, and dairy.

I’m thinking back over today, and it was a pretty average day food-wise, so here’s the play-by-play:

  • For breakfast I had the same thing I always have: a big cup of frozen strawberries (defrosted in the microwave) and two cups of bulletproof coffee. (The BP coffee is something I’ve been having in the last few months. Prior to that it was four eggs fried in butter and smothered with goat cheese.)
  • I had a couple handfuls of almonds about halfway through the morning. I wasn’t really hungry, but smoked almonds are awesome.
  • Lunch was at a Rotary meeting, so it was a buffet. I had a salad, some cold cuts, some cheese, cooked beef of some kind (I think it was brisket), a few potatoes, and milk (I’ve started to love whole milk again).
  • I was a bit hungry later in the afternoon, so I had some grapes and some cheese slices from a big hunk of “Seriously Sharp Cheddar” that I keep in the fridge.
  • For dinner, Annie made flank steak with sweet potatoes and green beans. (My wife is an awesome cook, and she’s been really supportive of my diet for this last year. Bless her.)

Yes, that’s a lot of food. My diet beats up rice cakes for fun and takes their lunch money. Clearly, I’m neither deprived nor hungry. In fact, I’m writing this at 9:33 p.m. and I’m still stuffed.

And I’m writing this from memory only because it’s fresh. I do not track my food. I can’t remember what I ate yesterday, and I don’t care. If I’m hungry, I eat until I’m not. I don’t plan anything in advance, and I don’t write anything down afterwards.

There are some generalities you can draw out of yesterday’s food –

It’s almost Paleo, with the exception of the dairy. In particular, note the lack of grains . I went through a Paleo challenge at CrossFit Sioux Falls in January and loved it. I’ve been avoiding grains for almost as long as sugar. I usually find myself in a social/group situation a couple of times a month where I don’t have much choice but to eat grains (bread, essentially), but I never eat it otherwise. I did finally bring back dairy (I even have a blog devoted to cheese plates), so I’m “Paleo + Dairy,” if that’s even a thing.

There’s a lot of fat in my diet. I’ve come to understand that dietary fat doesn’t make you fat — sugar and carbs do. After much experimentation, I can say that my weight is unaffected by how much fat I consume. I’m eating more fat in my diet now than at any other time in my life, yet I’ve never been leaner and my weight has never been more stable (I’m invariably within 2-3 pounds of 210, to the point where I’ve stopped bothering to weigh myself).

In addition to weight stability, I’ve never been in better physical condition or had more energy than I do today — both background energy throughout the day, and acute cardio endurance for CrossFit WODs. Even at 43-years-old and two solid years of CrossFit, I still set a couple of PRs a month. If I don’t have my BP coffee in the morning I can feel it. Fat is my biggest energy source.

(If you want much more on the effect of fat in your diet, I highly recommend The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong In a Healthy Diet. This is a meticulously-researched book on the effect of dietary fat on the body, and how we’ve been led down the wrong path for decades. It was recommended to me by a cardiologist.)

Note too that everything I eat is awfully close to its natural state. Very little in my diet is manufactured or processed. I didn’t do this on purpose, but if you eliminate sugar and refined carbs you end up removing most processed foods as an accidental byproduct, which tells you a lot about how food is produced in this country.

I try to get my diet as “irreducible” as possible — which is to say, I try to eat food that cannot be reduced any further.

Consider a piece of cake — there are probably 30 ingredients in it, all mixed together. You could never separate all these ingredients back out. On the other side of the coin, consider a simple tomato. There’s one ingredient — the tomato itself. You can’t “reduce” it any further than that. Even if you have a salad, this is still reducible. If I wanted, I could pick it apart and separate all the different stuff in the salad onto little piles on my plate. This is a good thing because I know what’s in it.

If I can’t visually separate (reduce) food to its base components, I get nervous and generally avoid it. You just don’t know what’s in it, and if it’s not irreducible, there’s a good chance sugar crept in somewhere along the way. The best food hasn’t been changed much from how it was pulled out of the ground.

Finally, if the food can’t rot, it’s probably not good. If you can leave something sitting in the open for months without worrying about it going bad, then for God’s sake don’t put it in your body. Real food rots.

(Yes, there are exceptions to everything I wrote above. Relax — they’re just guidelines.)

There’s clearly a lot of food you can’t eat. Check the ingredients because sugar has become something of a default ingredient. We can trace this back to the low-fat diet craze of the 1980s. The government told us that dietary fat was bad (based on poor evidence), so food manufacturers pulled the fat out of everything and just replaced it with sugar. The “cure” was worse than the “disease” (in quotes, because it was a cure that didn’t work for a disease that didn’t exist).

(A sad byproduct of this was that obesity rates almost immediately began to climb and never stopped. Read this article for some handy visual evidence.)

Sadly, there’s lots of sugar in “healthy” food too (looking right at you, granola bars), so you have to be diligent about ingredients. A pet peeve of mine is that “Applesauce” has sugar. If you want it without sugar, you have to buy “Unsweetened Applesauce,” which just contributes to the expectation that sugar is normal and deserves to be in everything. Someone needs to be slapped for this.

A good rule of thumb is that if you have to individually unwrap something, it’s probably not good . Sugar and carbs get injected into food in factories. If it’s wrapped individually, then it was manufactured, and it’s likely loaded with things you don’t want.

I’ll stop here before I go all tin foil hat on you, but you get the idea. You have to know what you eat. Read labels religiously, and try to keep food as natural as is practical.

So, why did I swear off sugar completely? Well, there’s a lot of background behind this, and this is where we get touchy-feely and personal. You might read this and think, “well, that has nothing to do with me.” Everyone has their own story and if you’ve never related to food the way I did, then good for you.

But even if none of my story applies to you, I’ll talk a bit about the lessons I learned from it, which I think are fairly universal to the human condition.

Here we go –

Last October, I was returning from a four-day trip to Boston and New York where I spoke at back-to-back conferences. It was stressful — lots of travel, lots of people, two full speaking gigs for two different talks, which means double the work. I ate my way through it all. I was delayed in the Minneapolis airport, and was on the tail end of a three-day sugar binge.

You have to understand that when I binged on sugar, I binged hard. I would stop at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in whatever airport I happened to be passing through, and that would kick off days of eating anything sweet I could get my hands on. I’d eat so much that I’d essentially get hungover — I’d wake up in the morning feeling like crap, and the only way to feel better was to eat more sugar.

It had been like this all of my life. I had always had a sweet tooth. Even in the four years since I started my fitness journey, and the two years since I started CrossFit, I still measured my diet in “days since the last binge.” When I would start eating sugar, I couldn’t stop. I’d start to slip, and then I’d consume 5,000 to 6,000 calories a day for several days before I could get a handle on it. (It wouldn’t stop at sugar, but more on this below.)

I was (and am) obsessed with CrossFit, but it was barely stemming the tide. It was the only thing keeping my weight in check. What I would do is absolutely kill it in the gym for a week, then trade all the progress I made for some (read: lots of) Haagen Dazs.

This made me feel like crap, both physically and emotionally. It was the latter one that really took a toll — physically it was bad enough, but the feeling of being out of control was tough to take. Food would just kind of roll over me and there was little it seemed I could do about it.

And once you blow it, you figure, “What the hell? I already blew today, so I may as well go for broke.” So, it started with a little treat here and there, and ended up with me eating anything and everything.

It was at this low point sitting in Minneapolis that I pulled out my trusty Kindle and searched for “food addiction.” At the time, I wasn’t sure this was appropriate, but it certainly seemed reasonable at the time and I didn’t have anywhere else to go. The top result was this book: Food Addiction: The Body Knows

I read the book in one sitting (I read fast). The first half forced me to confront the truth — I couldn’t control what I was eating. When it came to sugar, I was an addict. (For the record, the book is uneven. The first half is great; the second half, less so.)

I decided to detox myself. I decided not to eat sugar for a week, which I did and felt great. Then I went another week. Then another. Then another. As of a few days ago, it was 52 weeks.

I wish it was more complicated than that, because everyone keeps asking me how I did it. There was no trick to it. I just did it.

It was not planned. There was no way I could have looked out at a year stretching in front of me and decide not to eat sugar. I started with one week. But what I found is that it made my life better in so many ways, many of which were not physical. It quickly became something of a self-sustaining thing. The more I did it, the better I felt, so the more I wanted to do it.

I’ve given it a lot of thought over the last year, and I’ve come to two realizations –

First, I’ve realized that some humans (read: me) are not good at moderation. We can be “on” or we can be “off,” but we find it tough to exist somewhere in the middle. And the complicated thing about food is that we have to eat to live. You can’t quit all food cold turkey. I find it virtually impossible to moderate addictive food, but simply quitting that type of food altogether wasn’t that difficult.

(Consider this: what if we had to have just a little heroin each day to live? How many heroin addicts would we have? For many people, sugar is just as addictive as heroin. This has been proven.)

Second, while sugar is bad for you in an immediate sense, the really destructive part of it is the secondary effect it has on your appetite. It’s not just the sugar you’re eating right now that’s the problem — a more destructive effect is what that sugar is going to encourage you to eat later.

I have a pet theory I call “The Lonely Carbohydrate.” Carbs are inherently lonely, and when they get inside your body, they try to invite company over. They’re like the loser that comes to your house party and then invites all his friends.

Sugar begets sugar. If it gets inside you, it will try to prolong the spike in blood sugar by getting you to eat more sugar. This is true of all refined carbs. Carbs are lonely. Invite them to your party, and they’ll text all their stupid friends, and the next thing you know your house is over-run by douchebags who crash on your couch and won’t leave.

These two lessons combined to make it weirdly easy to quit sugar. Where I thought I would feel deprivation, I felt…peace. Moderation is stressful. Constantly keeping track of how much sugar I’ve eaten, whether or not this “treat” is deserved, and whether or not I’d be able to stop after one cookie — it extracts a mental toll. When I completely removed that, it eliminated an enormous and constant source of stress. I could finally just stop thinking about it all.

Yes, it would be wonderful if I could moderate my sugar intake. If I could just eat a reasonable amount of sugar, then I’d still be fine. I’m sure some people can do this. I am not one of them.

And somewhere in there, I discovered a very hard truth: there was no way to win my battle with sugar.

If I ate one Mint Brownie, I would want to eat 10 and would just end up pissed off that I wouldn’t let myself eat 10. But if I ate 10 (oh, I’ve done it), then I’d end up pissed off that I ate 10.

Damned if I did, damned if I didn’t. Moderation would still piss me off, just from a different direction. I lost either way.

I found some comfort in a saying that’s been floating around addiction recovery circles for years.

One is too many. A thousand is never enough.

And therein lies the absolute truth: an addict can never get enough, and they’ll destroy themselves trying to fill a hole that can never be filled.

To quote the computer from Wargames:

The only way to win is not to play.

So, will I never eat sugar again? I don’t know. Maybe not.

The cravings pass after a while. Avoiding sugar starts out as a novelty, and you wonder when you’re going to quit this latest fad. But at some point — and I imagine it’s different for everyone — it ceases to be a novelty and just becomes the new normal. There is now a huge category of food that just doesn’t even register as an option for me. If I’m in a situation where there’s nothing I can eat, I just don’t eat, and this feels entirely normal.

I’ve learned to love food again and I’m not giving that up. Few things make me happier than my strawberries and coffee in the morning. There’s rare joy in demolishing a 20oz ribeye and not feeling the slightest bit guilty about it. Give me a bag of trail mix and I’ll be the happiest guy on Earth for five minutes.

I love real food again. I can’t get enough of it, and when you eat the right things, you almost literally can’t eat too much. I defy you to blow your your diet on almonds. Or chicken. Or green beans. You’ll run out of hunger long before you’ll do any damage to yourself.

I can say this: I have no current desire to eat sugar ever again (or grains, for that matter). To say that I’ll never eat it again seems a little drastic, but I doubt I’ll have a craving for it tomorrow either.

If you string enough tomorrows together, then I guess you have…well, forever.

I suppose we’ll see. Talk to me in 20 years.

Posted in Crossfit Philosophy, Lifestyle, Members, Nutrition, Uncategorized8 Comments

barbells for boobs2

Barbells For Boobs October 25th

barbells for boobs2

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to celebrate we are hosting Barbells for Boobs.

“Barbells for Boobs” is a non-profit organization dedicated to the early detection of breast cancer, with an emphasis on women and men under the age of 40. Inspired by athletes everywhere, local communities come together, fund raise, and help us detect potentially life threatening breast cancer occurrences.”

We will be doing a partner style “Fight Gone Bad” type workout; the movements we will be doing are wallballs, burpees, rowing, push press, and box jumps/step ups.  This event is open to all members, non-members, friends, family, or anyone who has been affected or knows someone who has been affected by Breast Cancer or any other type of cancer. The workout times will be 8:30am and 9:30am for the partner workout. 10:30 we will have a “Max Out for Boobs” where you can max out your clean, jerk, clean and jerk, snatch, back squat, front squat, or a combination of lifts.  If you are interested in bring your kids to workout with you that is fantastic, yet to make it a win-win for all kids (and you) must attend the 9:30 workout and the kids must be at least 10 years of age.

Wear pink if you can or something honoring someone you know who has been affected by Cancer.

We ask that you donate to the cause either under the CrossFit Sioux Falls team on barbellsforboobs.org or bring a cash donation the day of the event. https://fundraise.barbellsforboobs.org/fundraise/team?ftid=37842. We have an events page on our facebook page so please join our event so we can plan accordingly.

Liza

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in CrossFit Workouts, Events, Members0 Comments

#KOTP

Update: #BlessTheGym Tour @ CrossFit Sioux Falls This Sunday!

Reminder this Sunday! Oct 26th, only a couple spots remain! Email matt@crossfitsiouxfalls.com with any questions or to grab your spot!

You can choose to pay by credit card for $235.00 or cash/check for $225.00. Your spot is reserved when we receive payment.

Official times soon, but be prepared for 8:30am to 3:00 pm on Sunday (with 1 hour lunch).

CrossFit Sioux Falls is proud to announce we have made our gym a stop for the #BlessTheGym Tour put on by two time and current Olympian Kendrick Farris.

Photo courtesy ofkendrickjfarris.com/blessthegym-tour

Photo courtesy of kendrickjfarris.com/blessthegym-tour

This is a one day seminar on Sunday October 26th focusing on the Snatch and Clean & Jerk. Come expecting to be coached by one of, if not the, best lifters to ever represent the stars and stripes. If you would like to use PVC to warm up, that is fine, but but come ready to work up to 80% as this will be a live camp. We couldn’t be happier to have this opportunity right here at CrossFit Sioux Falls.

KOTP3

This is a one day seminar, Sunday Oct 26th @ CrossFit Sioux Falls. Expect a seminar brief from Kendrick before the 2 hour morning session, lunch break, then 2 hour afternoon session, followed up with time for pictures and time with Kendrick Farris. Please note no video will be allowed any time during the seminar, and only paid attendees will be allowed in the gym during the seminar. We will provide more specifics to the attendees as the date approaches. Reserve your spot now!!!

Any question please contact Matt Byers matt@crossfitsiouxfalls.com

Also, check out http://store.blessthegym.com/ in the mean time.

Photo courtesy of http://store.blessthegym.com/

Photo courtesy of http://store.blessthegym.com/

Posted in Events, Members0 Comments

billy member

Billy Jones – Member of the Month – October

 

 

billy member

Billy Jones – Member of the Month – October 2014

When did you start doing CrossFit?  June of 2013.

Favorite Movement? I love doing Double Unders; now that I am good at them they are really fun to do in a workout.

Least Favorite Movement?  Well, I absolutely hate Burpees.  Nobody really likes Burpees do they?!

Favorite Lift?  Split Jerk.  I think this is just a really fun lift to do.

Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, sports, military, interests, etc.). I am a marketing professor in the Business School at the University of South Dakota.  I am originally from Scranton, Pennsylvania; yes that is where the TV show The Office is filmed.

What were you doing before CrossFit?  Before Crossfit, I mainly did my own thing at a typical globo gym – running, elliptical, and a little weight training.

What were your goals when joining CrossFit?  I wanted to feel young again, and I wanted to have my workouts count for something.  I wanted to feel stronger and look stronger. I also wanted to feel better about who I am no matter what my age or fitness level.

Has CrossFit affected your life outside the Gym? CrossFit has made me more focused and organized.  Most days I drive to Vermillion for class, so in order to get my workouts in I need to be organized and ready to go.  CrossFit has helped me focus on what matters and it also helps my mind work.  Getting my workout in either starts my day or sometimes may end the day.  It is a great tim to clear my mind of all the other junk, and I can just relax and work on myself.

Do you have any other special memories/ achievements during your time here?  Yes, I remember my first couple of month at the gym and at times feeling overwhelmed at learning so many new movements and lifts.  Mike Heineman came over to me and reassured me that I will catch on and things do get easier. When you are a new person in a new world it is always great to get a little encouragement from your fellow workout buddies.

What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Sioux Falls?  Even if you hate the workouts and are scared to participate, come as much as you can because the community is the best part of the gym. The main thing everyone needs to know as well is give yourself time, don’t give up, keep coming and working and you will start to see the results that you are looking for both physically and mentally.

 

Billy, thank you for being such an excellent member athlete and congratulations on Member of the Month for October.

 

 

Posted in Members0 Comments

Join CrossFit Sioux Falls now and get 1-month of Free CrossFit

Join CrossFit Sioux Falls now and get 1-month of Free CrossFit

Are you ready to join?

ARE YOU READY?

PROMO DETAILS: at bottom, but please read entire post for an overview.  Thanks, Greg

CrossFit Sioux Falls is expanding.  Our expansion is your opportunity.
In the past month, we have invested over $20,000 in the gym and equipment with another $10,000 expected in the immediate future.  The gear, while some on backorder, is expected in the next 2 weeks.  At that time, we will take over approximately  2,000 square feet of actual floor space right next to our existing space.  Most notably, this expansion will allow us to reach more people in the Sioux Falls area with the best mix of coaching and training in town.  I believe we have the absolute best strength and conditioning program in town and want you to be a part of it.

Wow guys, what the heck did you buy?
If you have ever been in the gym, you will note we already have likely the most vast assortment, quantity and high quality gear in Sioux Falls.  Yet, we are upgrading from there.  Over a ton of Colored Competition plates, true Olympic lifting bearing barbells,  10 additional Rogue Ohio bars, another Rogue infinity rig, Games style boxes, and other sweet gear.  You will be hard-pressed to find another CrossFit gym in the country with the gear we have.

Great, how about coaching?
Our trainers are the best group in town.  For some this is their full-time career; for all they learn, compete, and share with all our members.  This is a fantastic staff to learn from and improve yourself.

Sounds Awesome. How do I fit in?
CrossFit is for you.  That’s right.  I said you.  Not the average, I just want to stay the same you; but the best you.  The competitive you.  The you that wants to be an elite you.  A better you.  The you frankly that has maybe been missing for a while or never been tapped.  The you that is inside.  An awesome you.

It may not be the you today.  That is fine.  That you is inside every one of us.  It is your choice what you do with it.

You have a choice every day.  Surround yourself with awesome people or average people.  It is likely you will follow suit.  I love awesome people.  People who want to learn, be better, improve.  You will be no better then the people you surround yourself with, the knowledge you gain, an the development of skill.

I do not believe you were meant to live at the average you.  Come in an experience a group of people 200+ strong who pushed average aside long ago and seek continuous growth in all aspects of life.

That is how you fit in.  Come in, commit, improve, and enhance yourself!

WOW, what a sales speech.  What’s the catch?
How does a 1-year commitment sound?  12-month minimum agreement?  PUKE! Terrible. To me it sounds like a screw job.

But here is the deal…

OPTION A: Have you done CrossFit in the past?  On your own? In a CrossFit gym? At CrossFit Sioux Falls?  Anywhere?

Maybe you just moved to Sioux Falls.  Possibly you have been missing in action for a while and want to come back to CFSF.  Could you be the “garage guy” we hear about killing WODs to Van Halen with a barbell next to your ’69 Camaro.  Whatever the case, if you have 3 or more months of past CrossFit experience and are looking to join a CrossFit gym, CrossFit Sioux Falls has an offer for you…

Any athlete who has at least 3-months of previous CrossFit experience and joins CrossFit Sioux Falls before October 31 will get their 1st month free. Yep, the entire 30-days Free.  ***Here is the Fine Print: Your total commitment after the 1st month free is just our standard 3-months (so 4-months total then month to month – in case you want out, no hard feelings).  We accept both credit and debit cards and there is no start-up fee.  Any day thereafter, you can quit any time 10-days before your next billing date hits.  No further commitment or fine print just come in and tell us; that simple, no fancy “lock you into something you do not want to be in.”

OPTION B: I have never done this CrossFit thing but am interested.

Any athlete with no CrossFit experience and joins CrossFit Sioux Falls before October 31 will get their 1st month free. Yep, the entire 30-days Free.  ***Here is the Fine Print: Your total commitment after the 1st month free is 4-additional (so 5-months total then month to month – in case you want out, no hard feelings).  We accept both credit and debit cards and there is no start-up fee.  Any day thereafter, you can quit any time 10-days before your next billing date hits.  No further commitment or fine print just come in and tell us; that simple, no fancy “lock you into something you do not want to be in.”  LIMITED: 1st 10 athlete commitments only for this one.

With this expansion, CrossFit Sioux Falls is excited to strengthen our core group of athletes and change lives.  CFSF truly is an amazing place filled with not only equipment, trainers, athletes and workouts but emotions, community, love, success, failure, wins and shared life.  It is filled with people who live, truly live.  People who want more out of life and themselves. People who expect more and know “easy” does not typically create triumph. Will it be filled with you?

I believe CrossFit Sioux Falls is the best place to workout in our community, hands down.  There are many places in town you can get a workout.  If you want to be trained, as an athlete, improving in life to attain more tomorrow, with an amazing community of friends, and trainers who know how to make you better, I recommend you find CrossFit Sioux Falls.   Bring your experience and together, let’s make CFSF even stronger.

Throw Average aside.  Be ATHLETE YOU!

See you in the gym.

–Greg

Posted in Featured, Members0 Comments

DAYCARE

Daycare Policies and Reminders

 

 

DAYCARE

 

We love kids.  Trust us, we have 5 of them, and I love hanging our with them, playing with them, watching then grow and develop.  And we are happy to be a small part of your kids lives as well when you come to the gym.  Even so, at time in life with kids, we tend to overlook the obvious out of our own desire to do something; I know I do it.  And guilty as charged, occasionally I need to be reminded of the policies or courtesies that make this all work in the end.

The interesting thing about policies is that we all like to stretch them until they are policed.  I on the other hand like to think of adults as wise enough to sensibly self-police.  Yet, there are times humanity fails these high standards ;)  As such and with winter season, colds, flus and such already coming, please read ahead.

Sick Kids Policy
We all know that school is in full swing and the weather is getting colder.  Germs are flying around everywhere and in order to protect our members along with there children we are implementing (reinforcing is a better word) some rules on daycare to keep everyone safe and healthy during this years winter and flu season.

Please do not bring your child to the gym if they:

  • have or had a temperature within the last 24 hours
  • has vomited or has had diarrhea within the last 24 hours
  • has a runny nose with green or yellow mucus
  • has been exposed to a contagious disease (chicken pox, head lice, pink eye, etc.)
  • if your child is home sick and missing school do not bring them to the gym! No exceptions!

The flipside of ignoring this on top of getting other kids affected it that our Daycare (thanks Alli and Sarah and all of our workers) themselves become sick and then it is unavailable to all.

And, how about you?  We would also like these same policies to be upheld by our adult members as well if you are not feeling good or may be sick please rest and stay home.  Our trainers and other staff do not want to be subjected to the winter flu season.

Daycare After-Hours and Unstaffed Hours Policy
Again, we all love your children in the gym, and we want our members to be able to come in and get a workout in when it works with there schedule.  Sometimes this means bring your children in when there is no daycare.  Being the mother of 5 I totally understand how you may have to bring the kids with you when there is unsupervised daycare.  If you choose to use the daycare with No Supervision you are responsible for picking up toys and turning off the TV when your children are done.  This is just common courtesy for other members and our staff.  This is a privilege for you and your children; please do not abuse the system and make us take this away.

How do I avoid this?  Yelling up the stairs for your unattended child IS NOT picking up after yourself.  Trust me (Greg) as I see it daily.  I know you just got done working out and want to get your child and run, yet cruise up the stairs, pick up the jumble as a group and it will be done for all.

Food and Drinks
Food and drinks are NOT permitted in daycare; in the past we have allowed both but today and going forward because of food allergies and mess we are not going to be able to have your children eating and drinking in the childcare area.  Please make sure to feed your children before or after daycare hours.  We have tried this in the past and struggled here folks.  Believe it or not Fruit Loops and Cheerios in a baggie while not a nutritious meal still constitute food. Banana = Food.  Happy Meal = again really bad food, but still Food.

Diapers and Change of Cloths
If your child is still in diapers, it is up to you to bring diapers and wipes to the gym for your child.  It is not the responsibility of the daycare worker to change your child’s diaper, and if they need to they have the right to come and get you from class.  It is optional for you to bring a change of clothes for your children.

Picking up Your Children
Please be respectful to our staff and pick your children up no later then 5-10 minutes after class is dismissed.  We also ask that you keep your children off of all the equipment; we would hate for anyone to get hurt.  Also we all know about our parking lot and how dangerous any parking lot can be so please make sure that when you get your kids from daycare they are with you at all times in the gym.  Please DO NOT assume someone is watching them.

We love your children and want them in the gym yet we also need to have rules and reminders in place so that nobody gets sick or hurt and things run smoothly.  And, we do work hard to staff it and have it available as much as possible.  We also know we are not perfect.  If you have any questions or concerns about the daycare please feel free to call, email, or facebook me.  We would love to hear any comments on our daycare area we are always interested in what you have to say.  Thanks again for understanding!

Liza (with additional commentary from Greg)

 

 

 

 

 

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Fall Outlook 2014

Fall Outlook 2014

fallthrowdownchamps

 

Like it or not as our South Dakota weather cools off, it’s time for fall. Whether it be time for school for yourself/kiddos, it can be a busy time of the year as well. As the gym went through some transition, it is also shaping up to be a very exciting time this fall.  Not only are more memberships coming in the door, we have several events either about to unfold or already rolling.

* We’ve installed a new Big Ass Fan to keep it cool and to keep air moving. Not that you get to actually use it yourself, but a very solid investment in the members as we continue to grow.

* Continuing on the facility investment, we also bought a real floor scrubber.  Now we can all lunge and leave with clean knees.  And while we will keep our chalk around, it is cool to be able to get the mats sparkling black.

*Speaking of growing, come October we will be taking over the space immediately west of our current space (along with a new door where the KB’s currently sit). This new space will allow us to split up large classes, offer more classes, new times for current classes, more intro, barbell club and the likes.  We will cross over 5,000 square feet of just gym space and 7,000 sq ft in the complete facility.

*Of course this new space wouldn’t be complete without some new equipment! Does anyone like Blue, Green and Yellow? Stay tuned…

*We have purchased a new Crossover Symmetry system to test shoulder mobility/development/rehab.  Plus, they threw in a cool hat for me (Greg) and Cody so how could we not get that deal.  Seriously though…great system.

*A new session of Intro class started today, 9/15.  If you missed, no worries you are still in luck.  We can work anyone in through next week.

*Lurong Paleo challenge has kicked off!  Today was day 1.  I (Greg) nailed it.  But, it was Day 1.  I hope we can all succeed through this challenge together.  Accountable and counting.

*Sunday class is back 9/21! (open gym at 4:00 with class at 5:00).  It is on MindBody and we are excited to get this rolling again.  Plan to attend.

*605 Barbell Club is up and running, more time slots coming with the new space.

*We just had nearly 20 athletes from the CFSF community compete at the Granite Games.  Awesome event to watch our athletes excel.  I truly was impressed by all.

*CFSF Fall Throw Down coming Soon! (Open to members only) and have a Holloween Costume ready!  Final details being made.

*Fit Aid punch cards Available… $26.50 tax included for 10 punches…save a little coin and chug away!  If you would like one, put it on the sheet when you take your next FitAid.  We will ring you out and punch out your first one.

*Returning member promotion coming in October.  Interested?  Are you a returning member or experienced CrossFitter?  Too anxious to wait…contact us for more details or await the post.

A very exciting time for the CFSF community… we can’t thank you enough for the community you have all helped us build. We look forward to the fall and continuing to work on providing a gym you are proud to call your own.

Thanks,

The CFSF Team.

(Post created by Matt with additional comments from Greg)

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lurong

Overview of the LuRong Paleo Challenge- Meeting Wednesday Sept 10th 6:30

lurong

 

All right I know many of you have questions about this new Paleo Challenge that we are trying and after reading the 60 pages of rules and “to do’s” I totally understand why you have questions.  I am going to try and summarize as much as I can for all of you and then we will be having an info meeting Wednesday night at 6:30 for more questions.

The challenge starts on Monday September 15th-Sunday November 9th; in order to be eligible to win cash and prizes you must complete all of the requirements of the 8 week long Challenge.  These rules include completing 10 standardized workouts, dietary compliance, taking before and after body measurements, recording your weight at the beginning and end of the challenge, setting and tackling goals, trying new recipes, and submitting a video or written experience.  I know this list is long and it sounds a little overwhelming at first but all of these things are going to help you be successful with this challenge.  We will plan on covering every requirement in our weekly meetings as well.  I think one of the most important requirements and key to your success is goal setting and that will be covered in our first meeting.

Workouts:
You will be required to complete 10 workouts during the challenge, weeks 1 and 2 you will be required to complete 3 workouts; these are going to be your baseline workouts.  In weeks 7 and 8 you will test these workouts again to see how much you have improved on your performance.  During weeks 3-6 you have 1 workout each week to complete.  We will have these workouts programmed into our Thursday workouts, or you are more than welcome to come into open gym and do the work.  There is an option for each workout to choose your skill level, level 1 being the easiest and level 3 being the most challenging.  The level that you choose for workout 1 -3 must be the same level that you use for workouts 8-10 as these are the testing workouts.

Weeks 1&2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Weeks 7&8
Benchmark Workouts (WODs 1, 2, and 3) WOD 4 WOD 5 WOD 6 WOD 7 Benchmark Workouts WODs 8, 9, and 10
Initial Body Measurements Ending Body Measurements
Starting Weight Ending Weight
Set Goals Track Goals
Recipe Explorer
Educational Blog
Written Experience
Video Experience
Optional Progress Photos Upload

Measurements and Pictures:
During the challenge we will be taking 7 different body measurements; these measurements will be taken at the beginning and at the end of the challenge.  The seven areas are waist, hips, chest, right and left legs, right and left arms.  We will be doing the measurements at the gym starting Monday morning September 15th; please make sure you email me and set up a time to get your measurements done.  Weight will also be done at the same time as your measurements; again try to make sure to wear the same clothing for your first weigh in and your last.

Dietary Rules and Guidelines:
Everyone will submit their food log on the challenge platform page for everyday of the challenge.  You will mark a “cheat” or “clean” for each of the 6 time periods during the day.  This will make more sense when you go to the challenge platform and see how it is set up.  The time periods that you are accountable for logging are Breakfast, Morning, Lunch, Afternoon, Dinner, and Evening.  You will receive 3 points for every “clean” and receive 1 point for every “cheat”.  If you fail to submit any score at all that will result in a 0 score for that day.  You will have 6 full days to enter in your scores for a given day.  You will need to read through the dietary rules to find out exactly what counts as a “cheat.”  Below is an overview of Paleo foods and foods you are allowed to eat in moderation.

General Paleo Diet Rules

  • Eat lean meats, lots of vegetable, some fruit, some seeds and nuts, limited starches, no sugar, no dairy, and no legumes.
  • No candy, soda, pastas, wheat, rice, oats, rice, artificial ingredients, bagels, tortillas, corn, or cereals.
  • No, beans, peas, lentils, white potatoes, or soy.
  • No milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, or butter (see ghee exception).

General Moderation Defined

Many foods are perfectly acceptable and nutritionally beneficial for someone to consume while trying to become healthier or when losing weight. However, some of these items need to be limited in their quantity or frequency of consumption in order to help Participants reach their goals.

Foods that are listed in the Food Search under Moderation without any specific rule, serving, or allotment are considered General Moderation. The Sponsor puts it in the hands of the Participant to police themselves on these items. With these items more is not better, primarily due to either their high calorie content or potential effect on blood glucose levels or insulin response.

Specific Moderation Defined

Some foods need a little stricter monitoring than a general call to moderation, especially when the goal is weight loss, body transformation, and improved performance. Therefore, some food items listed as moderation will also contain a serving size and allowance in order to help keep Participants on track and more likely to reach their goals.

Reference the Food Search for comlete details.

Special Allowances

Natural Sweeteners- 1 total combined tablespoon per day or 1 pack of Stevia (1 Packet per day= 1 gram). Allowable sweeteners are listed in the food search. Some of the included items are raw agave, honey, coconut crystals, erythritol, and pure maple syrup.

Bacon- eat in moderation only if no nitrates or nitrites and nutrition label says “0″ Grams of Sugar. Some are cured in traces amounts of sugar so sugar could be on the ingredient list but if it says “0” grams of sugar it is allowed.

Ghee- Grass fed clarified butter is the only dairy exception. When grass fed it is a versatile and healthy fat source with valuable Omega-3 fatty acids. Limit Ghee to 2 tablespoons per day.

Caffeine- Naturally occurring caffeine from tea or coffee is in general moderation, but caffeine in a supplement or listed as an ingredient on the label is limited to 30 mgs or less in a serving. Zero Calorie Chewing Gum- no more than 2 sticks per day

Wine- One 6 ounce glass of red or white wine per day with dinner. You cannot save up days for a weekend splurge.

Lemon juice or fruit juice- if used for flavoring or cooking (3 oz or less per day)

Protein Shake Supplementation- Due to the wide spectrum of Participants in the Challenge and different end goals we are allowing 1 serving of your choice of Protein Powder supplementation if it is taken within 30 minutes post- workout. It cannot be used as a meal replacement or used in any manner other than as a post WOD Protein Supplement. A pure egg white or hemp protein with no added sugar or other banned items would not be held to the same limitation.

Endurance Athletes- many Participants may be training for or competing in an endurance event during the Challenge. For any event or training session that lasts for 120 minutes or more of continuous and strenuous exercise a Participant is allowed to supplement with electrolyte replenishing drinks, goo, energy blocks, etc.

Bonus Points:
You will also get the opportunity to earn bonus points which will help you on some of those days that your “cheats” may have been high.  Here is how the bonus points work….

Bonus Point Title Why Points Possible
Benchmark Workout Completion 5 points for completing each benchmark workout 30
Performance Workout Completion 15 point for each workout completed 60
Goals 5 points each for your first 6 tracked goals 30
Recipe Explorer 4 points for up to 5 recipes submitted 20
Written Experience Submitting a written experience 10
Video Experience Recording and submitting a video of your experience 20
Total Bonus Points Possible 170

I hope this helps clear up some of the confusion and makes the challenge easier to understand.  Remember that we are having a meeting tonight (Wednesday) night at 6:30, so if you are thinking about doing the challenge or you have already signed up and just have a few questions please come to the meeting for feel free to email me at liza@cfsiouxfalls.com. Also the link to the rules page on the LuRong Challenge website is https://www.lurongliving.com/challenge/page/rules  and please go to this page, it will give you all of the information you need to know.  It will also give you all of the deadlines you need to know for the whole 8 weeks.

Challenge ahead!

-Liza

 

Posted in Lifestyle, Members, Nutrition0 Comments

605BC

“Advanced Class” and 605 BC

hard gym

The current time slots of M/W/F 9:30 AM and T/Th 6:30 PM are known as “Advanced Class”.  What this class is and is not has always been a combination of mystery and what we felt the gym needed at the time. It has come time in it’s evolution to once again tweak to attempt to get what we want out of the time.

Step one will be to draw a line between the morning and evening time slots as they will be treated different, programmed different, and coached different.

9:30 AM on M/W/F will remain “Advanced Class” and “start” at 9:30 and run until 11:00. What this means is, it is NOT open gym and coaching will begin at 9:45, most likely barbell in hand. Warm up as needed, the provided warm up for the Daily WOD can be used, but is not mandatory by any means. The programming for this class will be intended for those who chose to do competitions, and will be fairly intense in both volume and expected ability. We understand that at times this is the only time slot someone can make from time to time. You are all more than welcome to come to this time slot, we just may have to scale things to allow for proper training.

9:30 AM M/W/F Advanced Class

*Warm Up is 9:30 to 9:45 (on your own)

*Coaching begins at 9:45

*You can be late…but showing up at 10:30 is not late, that is expecting Open Gym, which is at 1:00 PM (Reminder, there is no Open Gym on T/Th at 1:00PM)

*If you have a comp coming up and need/want to test a WOD, clear it with the coach before class, and it can be done after the barbell work (skill/strength).

 

605BC

 

 6:30 PM T/Th “Advanced Class” will now be known as 605 Barbell Club  (605 BC)

* This will be reverting of sorts to our “Olympic Lifting” Class of the past.

*First 10-15 minutes are stand warm up on your own.

*This class will focus on barbell lifts and accessory work helping mainly with the Snatch and Clean & Jerk.

*There will be some conditioning, but nothing like the daily WOD’s, they will be shorter, heavier, or containing only barbell movements.

*Knowing your Snatch and C&J PR will be very helpful to the programming, but not mandatory.

*This class is not tailored for advanced weightlifters and will focus a lot on technique and position work we all can use.

*We will very rarely have max out days, to be honest these would probably only be on a Saturday.

*Yes this class can be performed with an empty barbell, training bar, or even some PVC.

*The programming will be based off the work done by the Power and Grace Performance Team  (Will not follow exact as that is 5 days a week)

http://www.powerandgraceperformance.com/category/weightlifting/

**If you have a comp coming up and need/want to test a WOD, clear it with the coach before class, and it can be off to the side.

*You can do both a daily WOD and 605BC, but keep it mind it counts as 2 classes and both will have skill strength, so be smart and don’t double dip if you can help it.

I would like to add more class slots for 605 BC, so please email me at matt@crossfitsiouxfalls.com if you have times that would work, or have any questions (About either class). I am hoping to add Saturday 10:30 AM as well (not replacing Open Gym, but splitting the gym).

Thanks, and hope to see you all at the gym.

MattyB

Posted in CrossFit Workouts, Members0 Comments

change

LuRong Paleo Challenge Starting September 15th

For those of you who are interested in changing your way of thinking about food and improving not only your performance in the gym but in life this Paleo Challenge is for you.  Registration opens today August 11th, so stop thinking about making a change and get ready to do it!  Athletes will be tested in 10 workouts which include 3 benchmark WODs and 4 performance WODs.  This allows participants to challenge themselves physically, see how much they improve, and how they match up with others.  This is also a great opportunity to win prizes and learn how easy eating Paleo can be. Check out the challenge at https://www.lurongliving.com/challenge/, get signed up today!

Posted in Events, Members, Nutrition0 Comments

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