Maximizing Your Amplify Experience

Part 1: “Cleared for Arrival” – Before Entering Amplify

Prior to setting foot in the gym, some items need to be in place to ensure success with any fitness program. For us at Amplify, we pride ourselves in understanding that the development of the whole person is the ultimate goal; we always want to consider the entire spectrum of health and wellness: a balance of physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being.

This means we should first acknowledge time outside of the gym in order to help facilitate personal progress in your fitness journey and in life.

To start, here are some “to-do’s” before coming to class.

BEGINNERS:
First off, welcome! You’ve taken control of your fitness journey, and in looking for a safe and reliable place to land, you decided on us.

Some newbies come to us with absolutely no fitness background. Others are athletes looking for the next step in life or have been in and out of other programs before settling on Amplify. No matter what, no matter how intimidating it may feel, and no matter how much turbulence life has had before now, we are here to make that transition as smooth as possible. We’re glad you landed on Amplify.

1.) See the big picture.
Strength and conditioning takes time. Fitness is both a journey and a destination, although in this analogy we never really “get there,” we just arrive at layovers– short-term benchmarks where we refuel and reenergize to keep working our way towards the next goal. Keep in mind, it doesn’t all have to happen in one workout. Set a one month goal. Set a summer goal. If you want, set lots, aim high. But see them through. How? Write them down. Tell other people. Amplify coaches are here to help, so ask questions!

2.) Plan ahead.
We already set the daily workout, so that’s easy. But by planning your set days each week, checking the workout and any related videos ahead of time, and coming in with a plan of action, this not only shows true commitment but it’s also mentally easier once you set foot in the gym. And no extra baggage! Work around your career and social calendar, just for an hour. Allow yourself that. Let the only weight on your shoulders be that of the barbell, and the only stress be that of the MetCon.

3.) Hold yourself accountable.
While it’s okay to miss workout days, it’s not okay for it to become a habit. You didn’t register as an Amp member to stay home. We host nutrition challenges, so become involved! Use Wodify or a personal journal as a workout log to see your progress. Need more help? Find a copilot. Connect with a buddy in the same class hour as you and create weekly check-ins.

VETERANS:
Thanks for continuing to fly the friendly skies with Amplify. You are the heart and soul here, so your preparation is not to be neglected. Even after months or years at the gym, we could all use refocus and reminders.

1.) Don’t become complacent.
No recycled air here. If you haven’t felt stagnant, good on you. However, if you think your fitness journey is now an overcrowded flight circling the runway, then we need to find new motivation. How? See #2 and #3.

2.) Revisit goals.
It is just as important to examine your own goals as it is for a beginner. Life changes, and so should your outlook on approaching your fitness regimen with fun and fury. You know how exciting it is to have small victories or PR after years of hard work, but also remember to smile at life’s setbacks. That’s just headwind, after all, so set a new standard and attack. Change your altitude to improve your attitude.

3.) Maintain priorities.
Family and friends matter. Put those life essentials on level with your personal health. Along with social health development should be your physical well-being, and vice versa. After all, you can’t be there for loved ones if you literally can’t be there because of a lack of wellness. There’s always a big picture involved; invest in yourself in order to invest in others. Adjust for heavy winds, and keep navigating.

RECOMMENDED READING:
Goal Setting
Simple tips on how to plan your summer workouts and reap the benefits come fall.

The Fitness Equation
Things can look so simple on paper: fuel, work, rest, repeat. So where do we go wrong? Check out the basic recipe for success in physical fitness.

Cherry Picking
Why shy away from the very workouts you need? See recommendations on how to avoid laziness.

 

This is part one of a six-part series entitled Maximizing Your Amplify Experience. Stay tuned for more.

– Scott, 6.16.2017

Words of the Week

target-practice-with-babyGoal Setting

Any good summer begins with a goal. Multiple goals, perhaps.

Most of these goals are unwritten, which is just fine. So in your head, or in your heart if you typically think of things cinematically, albeit inaccurately, what is it you’re looking to accomplish this summer? Does it include your personal fitness? Let’s assume so.

In life, a good goal needs to be smart.
It needs to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. “SMART.”

After all, a goal without a plan is just a wish.

SMART Goals

  • Create the specifics.
    Again, even if just in your head. What is it that will specifically happen, and how?
  • Fix a measurement to put in place.
    Without a means of tracking things, how will you ever know if you’ve succeeded?
  • Make sure each goal is achievable.
    Sure, you could shoot for the moon, but what frustration or procrastination might develop without immediate success?
  • Is your goal relevant to you?
    Make sure it’s not just something you think sounds good over cold beers at a summer party.
  • And finally, make your goal time-based.
    Bound it all to the calendar. When is it that these things will happen?

smartgoals

In the the realm of strength and conditioning, goal setting is just as important as it is in any other facet of life– career, family, hobbies, etc.

Spending an hour here or there throughout the week working through a series of Back SquatsPull-ups, or maybe hitting a fun MetCon while hammering an area of weakness is all well and good. All very important, and all topics in articles I’ve written in the past. But without a sense of what the end goal is, this work is futile, unfortunately. The Fitness Equation requires another piece: a look ahead to the why.

Each summer I kickstart our weekly articles with the same reminder: that this time of year can be two-fold in purpose. These are the months to do great things with family and friends. And those “things” are essential to life. Go, do them, and enjoy the social health development. But with the right plan, with set goals and fitness priorities, summer can also be the perfect chance to get your workouts in and reap the benefits come fall.

Below are my three constant reminders as I start into the Words of the Week each summer.

Summer Goal Setting
Step 1: See the big picture
You have three months of great things ahead. Three months to work on your strength and conditioning. It doesn’t have to happen in one workout. Set a one month goal. Set a summer goal. If you want, set lots, aim high. But see them through.

Hold yourself accountable with a nutrition challenge or look ahead to the Amplify Open competition in August. Use Wodify or a personal journal as a workout log to hit correct lifting percentages and also to see your progress.

I don’t know one CrossFitter who is content with their current skill set or fitness level.  That’s the best part– there is always more to do. But it takes goals, everyone. Which is why summer is not just a three month beach escapade with horrible pop music playing over the stereo.

Step 2: Plan ahead
If you come to Amplify we already set the daily WOD, so that’s easy.  But by planning your set days each week, checking the workout and any related videos ahead of time, and coming in with a plan of action, this not only shows true commitment but it’s also mentally easier once you set foot in the gym.

I don’t mean you should obsess over your future or what’s to come; I’m talking about knowing what you’ll expect of yourself come “go time.”

Let this also be my yearly reminder to warm-up properly. Yes, we’re all sore. So get in here and perform some self-maintenence whenever possible. Can’t fit in extra minutes before or after your class?  Foam roll at home any chance you get. Speaking of, are you in need of a mobility goal this summer? Neglecting your deficiencies for three more months seems like a really crappy plan.

Step 3: Intensity
Always include the correct intensity. Some is good, more is not necessarily better. Yes, intensity is key. But no, you don’t need to spend hours breaking down your body systems. Especially without proper recovery.

If you keep the intensity up in your conditioning and your time under duress at appropriate levels, you not only make gains but also keep overtraining from spiraling out of control.

funny-astronaut-space-moon-quote

So there it is; a three step process as common sense reminders each year. Make the most of your efforts by formulating goals each day, each week, and each month this summer and always.

And remember that baby steps are important and very motivational. Allow the little victories in life to build together like foundational columns supporting the future you.

So away we go! More coming each week through August, so stay tuned for updates each Monday. Or at least that’s the goal ;)

Happy Summer!

– Scott, 6.15.2015

dream-big

Words of the Week

whiterabbit
Time

As the new adage goes, “a one hour workout is only 4% of your day.”

But hell, let’s tell the truth here… we could all use more hours in the day. Especially if this extra time were to involve something we actually want to do. (Not filing those TPS reports.)

For instance, I’m currently typing this with a 2-month-old baby on my lap.  Not that you necessarily care, but the point is that you, me, all the faces we see day in and day out– everyone we meet is fighting their own battle with time. Multitasking isn’t just for procrastinators. It’s our reality. Which says something about our 21st century lifestyles and the apparent need for stress relief, doesn’t it?  Perhaps a topic for a different day.

For now, ponder if you will what you would do if time was no element. We could press pause on the game of life and master the piano… or read a hundred books…. or maybe build an epic waterslide.

I’d probably take a nap, in all honesty. Well, after the waterslide thing.

In the realm of fitness, without a ticking clock the options would be limitless as well.  Simply spending one or two hours working through a series of Back Squats or hitting a fun yet arduous MetCon or even hammering an area of weakness would all be no issue.  All very important, and all topics in articles I’ve written in the past.

Yet without the time to do these things, obviously none of them can happen.

So how can we stop time?  Or at least, how can we prolong the onset of the aging process?

stop time

Each summer it seems I make mention in writing that this time of year can be two-fold in purpose: these are the months to do great things with family and friends. And these “things” are essential to life. Go, do them, and enjoy the social health development. But if you have the time, if you can create the space in your busy personal schedule, summer can also be the perfect chance to get your workouts in and reap the benefits come fall.

Since we can’t time travel (yet), we’ll kickstart the Words of the Week for summer 2014 in familiar territory: behind the hands of a ticking clock.

Back to the Future Delorean Time Machine s

 

How to make the most of your time in and outside of the gym:

Step 1: See the big picture
You have three months of great things ahead. Three months to work on your strength and conditioning. It doesn’t have to happen in one workout. Set a one month goal.  Set a summer goal. If you want: set lots, aim high.  But see them through.

Hold yourself accountable with one of our nutrition challenges, or keep a journal or workout log to hit correct lifting percentages and also to see your progress.

I don’t know one serious lifter who doesn’t know their one rep maxes on every lift and at least ballpark percentages off the top of their head.  I don’t know one serious athlete who doesn’t understand what their max effort feels like and how to test that threshold during training sessions.  Likewise, I don’t know one CrossFitter who is content with their current skill set or fitness level.  That’s the best part– there is always more to do. But it takes time, people. Let it happen in small chunks, like summer.

Step 2: Plan ahead
If you come to Amplify we already set the daily WOD for you, so that’s easy.  But by planning your set days each week, checking the workout and any related videos ahead of time, and coming in with a plan of action this not only shows true commitment but it’s also mentally easier once you set foot in the gym.

I don’t mean you should obsess over your future or what’s to come; I’m talking about knowing what you’ll expect of yourself come “go time.”

And let this be my yearly reminder to warm-up properly. We’re all sore. We know… just walking up those stairs sucked today. So get in here and roll out ahead of time whenever possible. Can’t fit in extra minutes before or after your class?  Foam roll at home any chance you get. Time manage to make the most of your hour in the gym, and you’ll find yourself with more hours out of the gym to do the things you want (or need) to do.

Step 3: Intensity
This, ladies and gentlemen, is your true time saver.  Your time turnerà la Hermione, you silly muggles. Intensity in CrossFit is a savior not only from hours of long, slow endurance training like the cardio trance dance of the elliptical, but if used correctly it’s also a savior from overtraining.

We can slow down the clock on the aging process by limiting the oxidative stress of extreme physical training.  Some is good, more is not necessarily better. Yes, intensity is key.  But no, you don’t need to spend hours breaking down your body systems. Especially without proper recovery.

Call “TIME!” on your workout and, once you can walk again, leave the gym for rest and relaxation. Well, okay, leave the gym for the normal stresses of every day life. If you keep the intensity up in your conditioning and your time under duress at appropriate levels, you not only make gains but also keep overtraining from spiraling out of control.

spiral clock

So there it is; a three step process as common sense reminders each year.  Make the most of your time each day, each week, and each month this summer and always.

My aforementioned baby girl stirs, letting me know my time is up.  At least for now. So I’ll end with this thought, then leave you to your musicianship, your reading, or your napping…

An hour in the gym may be just 4% of your day, but when utilized correctly it’s the catalyst and the conductor to a lifetime full of results. That one hour can stop time, or at least temporarily put the world on hold. So hold it close and use it wisely, since time can pass through your fingers like the sands of an hourglass.

Here’s to another great summer! See you on the waterslide.

-Scott, 6.16.2014

hourglass1