Chris started a 6 Week Challenge last November. His results have been incredible. He has lost 44 lbs without losing any lean muscle and an incredible 21% Bodyfat.
He is now at 8.5% BF and is now on a maintenance program of 80/20. You ROCK Christopher Sawallich!
“I came to Sweat Factory after hearing about the 6 week challenge as a way to get my health back on track. I was in the worst shape of my life, and by far the biggest, growing into a size of clothes that I did not like at all. I could feel a difference in little things , like being winded when walking up a flight of stairs that I did not like at all, nevermind being so tired at the end of the day that I was looking to head to the bedroom by 7pm every night. My wife and I moved to Florida a few years ago to enjoy it, but although I was enjoying the food, I was too tired to enjoy much else other than the couch.
At this point I saw a a facebook post about the 6 week challenge and as a someone who had completed crossfit quite some time ago I was intrigued. I went and spoke with Clint and saw how much he cared about his members and the different mindset of the crossfit of old that used to be all about the score of the Rx workout without care of injury or form. With the Sweat Factory approach of the Fit Class, Level Method and truly scaled WOD’s, I knew Sweat Factory was a good fit for myself I signed up immediately for the six week challenge.
As I progressed through the challenge, I found that the diet was a key component. Through the initial education and documentation it gave good knowledge to get started. By no means was it easy, from someone who has a very mobile job, a diet has always been a challenge. Meal prepping for the week was key. Without that I wouldn’t of had anywhere near the success I had. The first few weeks was a challenge, but it soon became routine and I found better ways to do things while keeping a vey balanced diet with calories under control. I was now eating less calories in a day than I was previously eating just in lunch alone. The first two weeks of Fit class were pretty rough, but continued to push through and held myself to not missing any of the three workouts weekly. Some nights it was tough to get home form work and head back out to the gym, but just would not let it hold me back from going. The toughest part was getting to the box, but once I was there, the fatigue became a non issue. The hardest part is getting there.. I didn’t even let Thanksgiving and Christmas get in the way. I made all three workouts for all six weeks and stayed true to my meal prep all seven days of the week, even with Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.
After completing the Six week challenge with great results, I felt conditioned enough to move over to the Crossfit side while continuing my health dietary habits. I continued the three day habit of working out, until challenged by another member to remain nameless …..Cheryl…😛 to up my schedule. I’ve since been hitting the box 4 to 5 days a week and couldn’t feel any better. I’m up until late at night now, have much more energy during the entire day, and am enjoying hearing at least three times a day from others about how much weight I’ve lost. I was not easy by any mean, but the challenge was well worth it. Myself and now my wife have developed some real quality eating habits, I fell and look better, and I’ve met some really awesome people from the family that Clint and Maci have built.
Both seasoned athletes and gym neophytes know that the cocktail of choice when working out is a protein shake. Lots of these powders are designed to serve different purposes, which means there are so many to choose from it can make your head swim, Phelps style. If you feel overwhelmed when shopping for a protein supplement, don’t fear, there are answers to all of your questions. Nutrition School is in session and your first class, Protein 101 will teach you all you need to know.
Why should you choose protein powder? Whether you are a gym rat or a couch potato you need protein. Protein is composed of amino acids, which are the fundamental building blocks of muscle proteins and enzymes, making it a crucial part of a daily diet. According to Men’s Health, protein also prevents blood sugar spikes and boosts the hormones that tell your body you’re full and should put the fork down. We believe that the biochemical mechanism responsible for preventing sugar spikes is gluconeogenesis. Basically, when a protein is broken down to amino acids, these amino acids can be used to make proteins such as muscle proteins or biochemically changed to sugars. This transformation is called gluconeogenesis. What is interesting is that gluconeogenesis is a way to slowly adding sugar to your energy system without spiking sugar or insulin.
Protein powder can be a great way to up the health quotient to your favorite recipes. Bodybuilding states that whey protein is a good addition to your menu if you are looking to build muscle and lose fat. When you combine whey with a health regimen like a workout routine, this protein supplement can help pump you up with lean muscle and increase your strength, as well as help you maintain the hard body you already have. A study in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism stated that 35 grams of protein per meal is a target amount for a healthy diet.
You should always read the Supplement Facts information on labels When choosing a protein powder, checking out the fine print is a smart idea. Finding a high-quality protein will not only taste better but offer you more benefits and a healthier shake. When weighing which kind to buy, whey comes out on top as far as nutritional value. The ‘biological value’, or the proportion of absorbed protein you get from your food, is generally higher with whey products. The other types of protein powders: casein, egg white, soy, hemp, and others are lower biological value. Furthermore, in the case of soy protein, there is the chance that you are getting protein derived from a GMO source. Be on the lookout for powders with a limited amount of added sugar and carbohydrates as well as little in the way of additives. Beware of the blends, suggests Oxygen magazine, powders that have “concentrates” or “solids” which can be hard on the digestive system and might cause problems like bloating or gas.
If you are using shakes to shed pounds, according to the Cleveland Clinic, choosing a powder with no added sugars or sweeteners is key.
When is the best time to throw back a protein packed shake? Some people use their shakes as a meal replacement, having one at the beginning of the day or as their lunch when they don’t have time for a mid-day meal. That said, protein powders shouldn’t replace real food, as a rule. Many bodybuilders and fitness fanatics like to imbibe before or after a workout. Some sip during their sweat session too. According to a study in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, there is a small window of time when a shake is optimal for your body. About thirty minutes after a gym session, these amino acids will have the most impact on your muscles, bringing you a bit of extra strength and muscle gain. It also helps to repair muscles and recover after exercise. For weight management, the Cleveland Clinic suggests a steady supply of protein at meals to keep you constantly satiated.
In the SFH supplement world, some powders are created to take before a workout. Fuel is a great option if you aren’t going home after the gym or you need something to get your get-up-and-go going before your exercise routine. FUEL contains coconut milk, which is a natural source of coconut fat. This is considered an energy fat burns quickly, providing a burst of energy rather than being stored as fat. FUEL is a fantastic way to get your energy revved without having a heavy meal sit in the pit of your stomach and weigh you down.
How can you mainline your protein powder in the most delicious way? Shakes are the most popular way of getting your powder boost. There are many recipes, from simply adding water or milk and shaking, to combining a variety of fruits, vegetables, nut butters, and ice and blending into a creamy, frothy frappe. Depending on your favorite foods, you can mimic the taste with different shake recipes. If you’re a fan of chocolate covered strawberries, try making a protein smoothie with chocolate protein powder and blended strawberries. If you like pina coladas, you can go for a run in the rain with your smoothie made from coconut and pineapple blended with vanilla whey protein powder.
There are other ways to get your amino acids in powder form. You can use protein powder like flour and make protein-rich pancakes, waffles, muffins, cookies, muffins and more, making those treats and sweets a little more nutritious. Maybe add some powder to your coffee for a protein-infused latte. Make a batch of quick overnight oats with added protein powder for a complete meal, which will hold you over until lunchtime. Using unflavored powder can also enhance your cooking. Adding a scoop to your appetizers, like hummus or guac, could mean you will fill up faster and dip fewer chips. Or perhaps sprinkle the powder in a soup or sauce you are making for extra oomph. The powder will be undetectable to the taste buds, but the addition of protein in your diet will be duly noted by the rest of your body.
When you are striving to live a healthy lifestyle, there are many factors that must be taken into consideration. Many people know about getting enough exercise and drinking enough water each day, but they may still not be feeling at the top of their game, especially after eating a meal that contains wheat, barley, or rye. If this is the case, it’s possible that you have a gluten allergy or intolerance. We’ve put together some common signs of gluten allergy or intolerance, however, please consult a doctor if you feel that you have an allergy or intolerance to food or ingredients.
Some common signs of a gluten allergy or intolerance include:
Bloating, as well as other gastrointestinal issues. If you’re finding that you need to be near a bathroom and are suffering from diarrhea or constipation frequently after eating a meal, you may consider the fact that it has to do with what you ate. If it was something containing gluten, that could be a good start to see if eliminating it helps your stomach.
Abdominal pain or cramping. This is exceedingly common after eating gluten, and while it can have many explanations, if it occurs frequently after eating certain meals, it could be a gluten sensitivity.
Joint and muscle pain. It may seem like this intolerance would only affect your stomach, but the effects are farther reaching than that, and your joints may become painful or inflamed from ingesting gluten.
Skin conditions. Anything from psoriasis to alopecia could be caused by gluten sensitivity or intolerance. You may also find that you develop rashes after eating, which goes hand in hand with an allergy to food.
While there are many signs of a gluten allergy or intolerance, if you are having serious health issues, please consult your doctor to eliminate anything more serious. There are many gluten-free options on the market today, which makes this diagnosis an easy one to live with. With a few simple diet adjustments, you’ll be feeling better in no time!
HINGE VS SQUAT
Arguably the two most essential movements a human being can do, the hinge and the squat often get misunderstood. It is not uncommon to see people squatting when they should hinge and vice versa. In CrossFit, many exercises are built upon these two movement patterns. Even though they are simple movements, many people have trouble figuring out how and when to do which. So it is very important that we understand the difference between the two, both for your safety and for your efficiency.
Two things are necessary for correct implementation of these movement patterns: body awareness and mobility. You might have the knowledge of what is a hinge and how to do it but if you don’t know where your body is in space or have the mobility to go through the range of motion, it will be hard for you to perform the movement. If you are having trouble with squats, for example, awareness and mobility might be the issue, but it might also be that you are hinging instead.
These two movement patterns can be easily distinguishable by this one rule of thumb: if the joint going through the biggest range of motion is the knee, you are squatting. If the joint going through the biggest range of motion is the hip, you are hinging.
Going a little further into it, hinging recruits primarily your posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes and lower back) while squatting is mainly done with the quads. Or think about it this way, on a squat, you bring your hips toward the ground vertically, on a hinge you bring your shoulders toward the ground in a forward motion. You will still bend at your hips during a squat, and you will still bend your knees during a hinge, but that’s not the primary movement going on.
A squat, a dip, a hinge, bending of the knees and lowering of the hips are all different cues. So when I ask you to bring your hips down when you are about to deadlift I do NOT mean “squat a little”. Or when you dip, you are NOT just “bending the knees”.
The most basic movement we can relate to the hinge is the deadlift. Most of the times, when you are trying to move an object from the ground upward, you will be performing a hinge. Cleans, kettlebell swings, and high pulls are all hinging movements. Therefore, to maximize your efficiency on these movements, make sure that you are using your posterior chain when performing them.
The squat first has to be differentiated between the exercise and the movement pattern. The exercise “squat” is usually referred to a full, or partial, squat pattern done for reps or load. Front squats, air squats, overhead squats are all squatting exercises. “Squat” as a movement pattern refers to the act of bending at your knees while maintaining an upright chest. Wall balls and thrusters are movements that require a squatting pattern.
So why do athletes have a hard time separating these two movements?
Let’s first look at the hinge. Many people end up doing a more squat pattern movement when they should be hinging because of body awareness. It can be hard for some people to know if they have a straight back as they hinge, so to overcorrect that they may keep their chest upright and squat down. Another option could be that their core isn’t that strong yet. So when they perform a hinge their back round. Again, to overcorrect that, they might keep their chest more upright so it will round less.
Regarding the squat, there are more factors at play. Ankle, knee and hip mobility play a big role in squatting. So, as athletes want to get lower in their squat and a joint, or multiple joints, is at its current full range of motion, they tend to bring their chest down to create the illusion of being low (or maintain balance). Another reason could be that their posterior chain is much stronger than their quads, causing their hips to come up first during a squat and turning the movement into a hinge.
Finally, a big factor limiting your movement could be the strength imbalance. Like mentioned above, if you are way stronger on one type of movement, it might influence you when you are trying to perform another pattern. Especially if you have gone through an injury and have been avoiding a certain range of motion for a while.
So if you are stuck in one of these exercises, make sure that you are performing the correct movement patterns. Also, make sure that nothing is keeping you from doing the correct movement patterns. And as always, if you have any questions on the form or how to improve your hinge, or squat, ask your Sweat Factory CrossFit coaches!
Becoming healthy, getting into shape, and building strength are delicately woven together and serve as a journey. No amount of progress or change will be visible overnight; results take time and most importantly only come with dedication, determination, motivation, and knowledge.
It’s difficult to achieve the results you desire if you are not properly educated on what is needed to get there. All too often people will plateau their results or fall off completely simply because they are not aware of the bad habits that are preventing them from moving forward.
What habits will halt your progress and keep you from feeling and looking your best?
Inconsistent in the number of days you work out per week
While it’s important to take rest days so that our bodies can recover and refuel, taking too many can actually derail our progress. All too often, people take a day off from exercise whenever they feel sore, thinking that’s what their bodies need. However, it’s in those moments that what your body really needs is to keep moving! Aim to commit yourself to 3-5 consistent training days per week.
Never changing your routine
Routine is the enemy when it comes to seeing progress and results. When we continuously engage in the same exercises, the same number of sets, and the same number of reps, our bodies become used to the workouts and therefore begin to put in less effort. When our bodies put in less effort, our muscles don’t put in the work needed to progress and build strength.
This also applies to those who “pick” which workouts to show up to. Not only do you lose out on improving in other areas by doing this, but you are also putting your body at risk. How? Variance provides balance. If you always skip a squat day but never miss a deadlift or pulling day, your backside becomes dominant and you create a recipe for body imbalances.
Not eating enough
Healthy food is your friend! Eating less isn’t going to help you lose weight, it will cause you to lose muscle and might even cause you to gain or store weight you don’t want to. Our bodies need food to refuel, especially before and after working out. Without eating enough, our bodies begin to feed off our muscle tissue and lead to us feeling sluggish and fatigued. Eating more of the right foods will not lead to weight gain, but will lead to the body you want and better recovery from workouts.
Focusing solely on cardiovascular exercises
While cardiovascular exercises are very important and necessary, focusing the majority of your time on cardio isn’t going to get you the results or body you want. You will actually begin to lose muscle tissue becomes weaker. Strength training, however, is extremely effective when it comes to burning fat and building muscle mass.
Performing functional exercises and compound exercises like the squat, press and deadlift deliver the most profound results. Now combining your cardio and weightlifting? That’s the recipe for fitness and improving your capability to do more work in less time!
Working out to the point of exhaustion every time
Of course, it’s good to push ourselves to the extreme every once in a while, but doing so every single time you train is a recipe for failure. Your body will become too exhausted, drain your central nervous system, and won’t have the means to recuperate, leading to an increased risk of injury.
Mixing up your training stimulus is an extremely important piece of the puzzle. At Crossfit Daytona, we do this every day. Some days we go short and fast, some days we go long and sustained, some days we mix in intervals, some days we pace, and some days we go at max effort. Some days we will just lift, some days we will lift after a workout, and others we will lift within a workout.
It’s not random, it’s deliberate. Life is unpredictable and will demand different things of you (variance). To achieve the best results for body and performance think about it like this: 20% of time should be spent practicing, 70% of time should be spent “training,” and 10% should be what we call “compete” or go for it.
Practice: Very low heart rate and not on the clock. Loads are extremely light and there is a deliberate focus on improving, whether that be in positions or technique. No stress.
Training: Implementing the aspects of “practice” typically under a duress setting. (You’ve practiced your kettlebell swing a dozen times, now let’s incorporate them within a workout while still focusing on the quality of movement, but moving with a purpose as well).
3 rounds for time:
400m run (or row)
25 air squats
25 kettlebell swings
Spend most of your time here. Not only does training deliver the highest value for results, but combined with a healthy diet, it gets you the body that you want too!
Compete: Go as fast as you can and push up towards your highest output possible.
Those who don’t train CrossFit typically will hear the buzz words “high intensity” and immediately think we “compete” every day. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Let’s debunk this myth here:
- No matter how in shape you are before CrossFit, it is more than likely that even a practice session will whoop your butt. Yeah, it’s that good.
- New athletes to the program will spend the first 90 days focusing on consistency (showing up 3-5x a week) and mechanics (learning the movements and moving well).
Simply put, new athletes are blending practice and training within their first 90 day period.
- High intensity is relative. Each athlete works at their own intensity. 68-year-old Fred’s intensity is different than 32-year-old Abby’s to 20-year-old Elena’s.
We respect all of that. Intensity isn’t a one size fits all for everyone and understanding intensity is a major key to success and moving the needle in the right direction.