COMMUNITY BLOG

Ask a Nutritionist

A few weeks back we asked our members to come up with questions for our friends at RESULTS Professional Food Coaching, which has a team of experienced Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. We’re excited to share the very informative video they created just for us! For your convenience, we’ve also listed the questions below with the approximate time you can find them in the video.

1.       (:49)  Many of us have heard that there are “good” fats like avocado and almonds, but often times I feel like this makes people think they can eat as many or as much of these types of food as they want. Is there a limit to a number of grams of fat we should look to consume in any meal or snack?

2.       (2:03) I know I should cook and prepare my own food. But life can be hectic. What are the healthiest meals you recommend from Panda Express, Taco Bell, and In & Out (or any other fast food restaurant) if any? What about healthiest smoothie from Jamba Juice?

3.       (3:22) What’s your take on no/low-fat dairy products vs full-fat dairy products? Usually, people try to cut calories by avoiding the latter, but I’ve also read about full-fat being a healthier choice in moderation.

4.       (4:18) Recommendations for how to count/breakdown/calculate macros?

5.       (4:58) What’s your take on meal timing, size, and content? Three big meals or several small meals a day?

6.       (6:11) What and when should I eat around my workouts?

7.       (7:03) Are there foods that we should avoid completely? How about foods to limit?

8.       (7:56) What are your favorite healthy meals that all family members – from toddlers to grandparents – can enjoy?

9.       (8:40) What are some healthy foods/meals to prepare on a budget?

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Post-Workout Nutrition

In last week’s Food for Thought Friday blog post I touched on Pre-Workout Nutrition. If you haven’t read it yet, click the link and check it out, you won’t regret it!

Naturally, as expected, we had a few people ask for a follow up blog post about post-workout nutrition, so I figured I’d give it a go this week.

Now, just like almost every conversation that has to do with nutrition, there will be differences of opinion on the details or the best products to use, supplements to take or food to eat, but over years of trying all sorts of different things, the information below is what I’ve found to work best.

And once again, just like last week, I’m going to do my best to keep this thing high level and short so I don’t lose any of you in the science or bore you with the details of why.

If you decide you want a more detailed answer, shoot me an email at david@crogacrossfit.com and we can figure out how to chat about the subject off-line over coffee or lunch or email.

So, here we go:

Once again, just like last week I’m going to give you this thing in steps to keep it as easy as possible to follow along.

Step 1: Decide what time of day you’re going to workout so you can decide if you can eat a post-workout meal or if you’re going to need to drink it. If you’re working out in the morning and are driving straight to work, you’re probably going to need to drink it. If you’re working out in the late afternoon, you’re probably going home after and eating dinner, so you can plan for food after.

Step 2a: If you’re going to drink a post-workout shake and not eat for a couple hours, make sure that you’ve got protein AND carbs AND fat available to you to consume preferably within 30-45 minutes of your training. My typical recommendation for our athletes that attend a 1-hour class is 20-35g protein, 25-50g carbohydrates and 10-20g healthy fats. Now, these numbers are debatable and can vary based on height, weight and your goals, but the rule of thumb is if you’re a smaller athlete you’ll be on the lower end of these numbers and if you’re a larger athlete you’ll be on the high end of these numbers. Also, on days that you do A LOT of work or feel especially fatigued you should be consuming larger quantities of carbs because they are the fuel source you most likely used during the workout and they need to be backfilled and ready for the next day.

I have 2 recommendations for consuming these nutrients post-workout in liquid form, but you’re free to source your own supplements as long as you’re getting them all.

Recommendation 1 is 1-1.5 scoops of Driven Whey (23g protein per scoop) with 1-2 scoops of Driven GlycoDrive (27g carbs per scoop) and then eat 1 individual packet of nuts from Trader Joe’s (maybe even the trail mix with a few M&M’s in it) or a small handful of nuts (think like 7-10 total).

Recommendation 2 is 1-1.5 scoops of Driven PostWOD (20g protein & 20g carbs per scoop) and then eat 1 individual packet of nuts from Trader Joe’s (maybe even the trail mix with a few M&M’s in it) or a small handful of nuts (think like 7-10 total).

Step 2b: If you’re going to be able to eat your breakfast, lunch, dinner or a makeshift meal after your workout I’d make the same recommendations for protein, carbohydrates and fat as with your shake, but I’d advise you to eat real food, not processed stuff. So, for protein you might have fish or chicken breast or lean ground meat or egg whites. For carbohydrates you might have rice (white or brown is fine), oatmeal, sweet potatoes or fruit. And for healthy fat maybe some nuts, avocado, olive oil, peanut or almond butter. Oh, and if I can convince you to eat a couple handfuls of greens like broccoli or spinach or tomatoes or any other veggies most people don’t typically like that’d be awesome, they’ve got a lot of stuff in them you can’t find elsewhere, they’ve got fiber that’ll slow digestion, which will keep you full longer, and they will help fill you up which will make you feel more full too.

As for figuring out how much of each thing to eat, my best suggestion is that you look up the nutritional facts of whatever you’d like to be eating and weigh out the food so you’re getting accurate numbers. For some benchmarks here, a medium sized chicken breast is about 30g of protein, 1 cup of rice is about 50g of carbs and a golf ball sized clump of peanut butter is about 15g of fat.

Step 3: Be PREPARED. Have your supplements ready by putting them in a container or a bag or your shaker bottle and bringing it to class for mixing after. Put your post workout meal in a Tupperware container and have it ready to eat when you get to the office. Or have the food in the fridge waiting to be cooked when you get home with a recipe planned as well. The best way to not get the proper post-workout nutrition is to not have a plan and then stop at a fast food restaurant on your way home because you’re freaking starving after crushing a 20 minute WOD at Cróga at the end of a long day of work.

Step 4: Reap the rewards of proper post-workout recovery fueling. Just like eating well or drinking the right stuff before the workout helps you perform during, having the right recovery plan is essential to getting the most out of all the hard work you’re putting in at the gym.

This post-workout stuff is a little more complicated because it’s a little more dependent on each persons specific size and goals, but once you’ve got it dialed in, it becomes a no brainer and a good habit.

I prefer to drink my post-workout fuel because I can adjust it as needed based on the work I did that day (by adding an extra scoop of carbs on a really high effort day, or keeping my shake a little lighter on the super easy days) and because I don’t have to worry about anything except having the powder and the water and consuming it while I’m driving to the next thing I need to get done.

Finally, a simple rule of thumb for those of you that are thinking about either gaining weight/strength or losing weight and need to know how to choose how much to consume. If you’re looking to gain, you need to eat/drink more calories, so load up the shake or plate. If you’re someone looking to lean out or cut some weight, you need to eat/drink less calories, be diligent about your portions and try to keep them on the lower end of the windows I gave you as long as that doesn’t cause you to be lightheaded or get a headache from not having enough to recover properly.

Just like last week, if you’ve got questions, I’ve got answers.

Shoot me an email at david@crogacrossfit.com and I’ll be glad to help guide you along your path and to help you reach your goals.

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Madhu N. Is The May Member Of The Month

Madhu has been an athlete at Cróga for almost 2 years now and she’s been a fixture at 5 am and on Sundays since the day she joined. Her positive attitude, love of training and passion for challenging herself have all been important parts of her growing and improving steadily month over month. She even convinced her husband to start training with us! She loves bringing her son to the gym before class to show off all the fun stuff she does to improve her health and fitness. It has been a fantastic 2 years, Madhu, and we’re looking forward to many more ahead!

When did you join Cróga?
I joined Cróga in August 2015, almost 2 years ago but it seems like yesterday thanks to so warm of a reception from day one.

What were you doing before for fitness?
Regular gym and running. I was introduced to gym workouts by my husband. I had been going to the gym for many years but having a kid 4 years back has changed my routine. It was hard to loose the baby weight as well as be regular. I was going to the gym like once a week or so.

What was your first workout? First reaction to the workout?
My first workout was rowing, box-jumps and hand-release push-ups. It was an intro class with Coach Dave. Although I had been working out prior to Cróga, the intro workout was really hard for me. It was an intense workout and I was tired after working out for just for 45 minutes.

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
I get compliments that I look stronger than before. I feel stronger, my posture is much better, I do not get tired as often as I used to, and I perform all my tasks with much more focus.

In my first intro workout, Coach Dave mentioned that he practiced and preached helping people to get ‘Ready for Life’. After almost two years I feel that I am getting ready for life.

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
Monday-Wednesday-Friday 5 am, sometimes on Sunday.

What’s your favorite WOD?
Murph

What’s your least favorite WOD?
Every WOD while I am doing it. Once it is over then that WOD is my favorite one.

“The Madhu” WOD! What would it be?
Running, pull-ups, deadlift, pull-ups, running

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
Usually, I have to rush back home so that my husband can go to his workout while I stay with my son, more of a schedule than a routine. Sometimes when I have time, I like to hang around to try out a few things for extra credits.

What do you love about CrossFit?
Let’s start with Coach Dave and all other coaches as well. I used to workout in other gyms or go for a run but what I like about being here is that if felt like being connected. As the song goes ‘Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name’. I started looking forward to being in the gym even when I was really tired and sore from an earlier workout. Everyone is competitive, yet it feels like one team and the WOD feels like some team activity.

Being from a different geographical region and totally different culture, I had my doubts and concerns before joining a group workout like CrossFit. I wasn’t sure if I would fit in or even be able to do anything. Looking back, I sure am glad that I dared to join as I have never felt like an outsider any time.All the members are so nice and the way they help each other to unload weights or any other gesture is appreciated.

What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?
I learned about Whole30 and did it sincerely for a couple of months.

What’s your biggest fitness goal for 2017?
I would like to achieve a hand-stand push-up and strict pull-up. Other than overall fitness, I want to be more disciplined. I think discipline and fitness go hand-in-hand – if I am more disciplined, I will be more fit and vice versa.

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
First I would like to tell people that CrossFit is fun, it’s not impossible. Don’t get overwhelmed by looking at the workout videos on the Internet and think it is for already fit people.

I used to think that CrossFit may not be for me but when I walked into Cróga and talked to Coach Dave, I realized it is something that I can do. Credit goes to coaches who make it look simple. Once you get into the zone, it becomes your second nature and you don’t feel like missing it. Joining Cróga is like working out with your buddies and it’s statistically proven that you workout more regularly if you workout with your friends.

My advice for new members is to give it a try. There is a learning curve, some may take a long time to get into it, so keep digging in. Everyone has to start somewhere and Cróga is the best place to start.

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
Thanks Cróga CrossFit team for considering me as member of the month, its an honor for me. I am really lucky to be part of the Cróga community.

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Pre-Workout Nutrition

I’m not quite sure why it’s taken me this long to write about the subject of pre-workout nutrition.

I mean, I’ve had this conversation with, I dunno, 50 or more of our members…

Maybe that’s why I’ve never written about it.

Maybe I just figured the people that needed the info have already received it straight from the horses mouth (did I just refer to myself as a horse? I wonder what kind of horse I’d be if I was one…) and so there was no point in writing about it.

Well, after having this conversation one too many times and having a few of our coaches tell me that they’ve had this conversation with a few members, I figured I better write this stuff down.

So, before we get started, I want want to warn you, this WILL NOT be a biology lesson.

I’m going to keep this very simple and high level with the hope that you won’t need a college text book to understand, but if you have more detailed questions, feel free to shoot me an email or ask me in class or ask your coach for more info.

Without further ado…

Step 1: Decide what time you’re going to work out. It’s really hard to decide what or when you should eat before your workout if you don’t know when you’re going to work out.

Step 2: Determine if you would like to eat something and have it in your stomach during the workout, or if you’d prefer liquid nutrients because you have a tendency to feel sick or get sick during hard training.

Step 3a: If you want food, have some form of carbohydrate (my suggestion is a piece of your favorite fruit) ready to consume approximately 30-60 minutes before your class starts. Most average sized pieces of fruit like bananas or apples contain approximately 25g of carbohydrates, which should be good to get you through a CrossFit class. If you want to eat a different kind of fruit, just type it in google to figure out how many grams of carbs it has an try to consume about 25-30 grams worth. For example, if you wanted to eat kiwi’s you’d have to eat 2 or 3 of them because an average kiwi has about 10g of carbs.

Step 3b: If you don’t want food because you think you’ll puke or maybe because you’re one of the crazies that comes to 5 am class and you wake up like 15 minutes before you have to be at the gym, you should look into drinking some quick absorbing carbs. Our favorite supplement company, Driven Nutrition, offers a product called GlycoDrive that is unflavored and has 27g of carbs per serving, so that’s a good option. I also like a product called Cytomax (I like the Cool Citrus flavor) that is kind of like Gatorade, but it’s got about half as much sugar and has 22g of carbs in it, so it can be a good option too. If you’re going to drink this stuff in the morning, you should try to drink it before class or before and during the warm up so it can begin to be absorbed and used by your body.

Step 4: Enjoy a well fueled workout without the light headedness, bonking, bobble headed zombie or any other weird feelings you’ve had in the past that are caused by lack of fuel. Having your body more well prepared with the proper fuel will not turn you into the next Rich Froning, but hopefully it’ll help you avoid feeling like you’re going to pass out for no reason 2-3 minutes into a 20 minute workout. Don’t get me wrong, you will still get REALLY tired when you do Murph (run 1 mile, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats, run 1 mile), but it’ll be because you are working hard, not because you’re running on empty.

Step 5: Reap the rewards of improved fuel in workouts with improved overall fitness. It’s really hard to get more fit when you spend half your workout just standing around doing nothing because you body has an empty fuel tank. Hopefully by following these simple steps you will be able to push yourself to new heights and it’ll all result in overall improved fitness.

Got questions?

Email me at david@crogacrossfit.com

I’ve got answers.

And if I don’t, I’ll gladly find them and pass them along or write a Part 2 piece of this blog post so I can share them with the world.

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New Coach: Danny B.

I met Coach Danny at CrossFit, not long after I started, almost 9 years ago now. However, I like to joke that I met him while driving to CrossFit because he used to be a Santa Clara Police Officer and one time he pulled me over to ask me what I thought about the WOD that day, haha.

As Danny made his transition out of the police department and into an administrative role for a private security company, he stumbled on our Coaches Wanted post. He reached out because he had finally gotten his CrossFit certification and thought Cróga might be a great place to start his coaching journey. Well, boy am I glad that we stayed in touch all these years! His new job is a little more flexible so he’s free to do some coaching in the mornings and hop into a class here and there in the afternoons/evenings.

Danny is a guy with a great head on his shoulders, a fun and engaging attitude, and is always good for a weird story or random fact that’ll make you laugh. He’s someone you can count on to shoot it to you straight regarding what you need to do to improve. We couldn’t be happier to have him on our staff!

Full Name: Daniel Philip Burde. Funny story on my true birth name and how it came to be, just ask during the next class. 😉

Tell us a little bit about your family, job, and interests:
I have two children, Audrey (8) and Braylen (7) and they are my world. Audrey is a passionate runner, dancer, and artist. It’s awesome to see someone her age who genuinely loves to run for distance! Braylen is basically a cave man who eats tuna out of a can, he loves all sports and anything military related. He even makes up his own CrossFit WOD’s with his 10-pound dumbbells I got him for Christmas. They have a mom, we are no longer together, life happens lol. I am the operations manager for a private physical security company in the Bay Area, I’d tell you about it but I’d have to whisper into my wrist and tell the sniper to take the shot right after… My interests are my kids, fitness, hiking, sunsets, coffee, making craft cocktails, sipping any high-quality beer, whiskey, or tequila, and spending time with good people.

What was your athletic background before you started CrossFit?
I played competitive football throughout high school and college as a running back. In college, I realized that I actually enjoyed the strength and conditioning aspect of football even more than the football itself. I still love football, but I am very happy to have found CrossFit because it utilizes a lot of what I loved about football conditioning.

Why/how did you get started with CrossFit?
In the police academy back in 2006 (I was a cop for 10 years), an instructor by the name of Steve Dixon started talking about CrossFit during one of our breaks. He showed us the video “Nasty Girls” with the original CrossFit girls, Annie, Nicole, and I believe Eva (they each have WOD’s named after them now). I remember Annie struggling to get her muscle ups and her heart was inspiring.

Steve Dixon challenged us to do the workout “Cindy” during our next physical training session. It sounded easy, but of course it wasn’t and I was SO sore for days after. Did CrossFit at globo gyms and at the park for over a year before joining a gym called CrossFit Santa Clara. That is where I met the one and only Dave Musgrave. So here we are now…

What made you decide to become a CrossFit Coach?
I’ve always wanted to but never felt the urge to get my L-1. One of my best friends and I started talking about fitness and CrossFit about 6 months back. He said something that I’ll never forget. He said, “You realize that your eyes light up, your body language changes, and you get excited when you talk about fitness and nutrition. That is where you belong.” After that it was funny, because people started telling me that more and more. On a whim I said screw it and signed up for the L-1 in Sacramento over Super Bowl weekend. About 2 weeks later I see a Facebook posting on Croga’s page for a coach and I jumped out of my seat. Seriously, I was freaking excited when I saw that!

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was super young I wanted to be a doctor or a pro athlete. Nowadays I’m searching on LinkedIn to be the guy who puts stickers on fruit, I’m pretty sure I could knock that out of the park.

If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
A Liger, for obvious reasons.

What is the one food that you could never give up?
This is a boring answer but I would have to say whole scrambled eggs, I could eat them for every meal with a little Sriracha on them.

What’s your favorite quote or saying?
I have two: “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” – Mike Tyson (This is true in life, sports, and CrossFit WODs). “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” – Ricky Bobby (Also true in life, sports, and CrossFit WOD’s).

Anything else you’d like to share with us?
I genuinely love to educate people on fitness, nutrition, mobility, and healthy habits in general. Do not hesitate to reach out! I know sometimes classes get busy and it’s tough to ask questions after. Feel free to drop me your number or business card and I’d love to answer any questions.

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Hero WOD – “Murph”

There aren’t many people that know this about me, but for years I considered joining the military and sometimes when I look back I’m surprised I never did.

My great-uncle and my grandfather on my mom’s side were both in the army and I admired both of them growing up and loved seeing pictures of them in uniform and hearing about all the places they served.

My grandfather on my dad’s side was a captain of destroyers in World War II. While I never got to meet him because he passed before I was born, my dad loved telling stories of him and kept all his medals and badges framed around the house along with tons of photos of him and his men on the different ships he commanded.

With these men leading the way for our family, I felt an urge to follow in their footsteps and to defend our country, especially after 9/11, but for some reason I never did take the drive down to the recruiters office.

Although I was never in the military, to this day, I still feel a deep connection and an appreciation for those that did make the decision to join and to defend our country.

I love reading stories of their heroism and learning about who these war hero’s really were beyond their hardened shells.

I think one of my favorite parts of CrossFit is that we honor the fallen by naming workouts after them and performing them year after year in their honor.

For those of you that don’t know, traditionally, the Hero WOD Murph is performed on Memorial Day in honor of Lt. Michael Murphy.

The workout is:

For Time:

Run 1 Mile

100 Pull-Ups

200 Push-Ups

300 Air Squats

Run 1 Mile

This workout was chosen because this was Murph’s favorite workout, and he used to regularly perform it in order with his body armor on, in fact, “body armor” was his name for it before it was later named after him.

Since many of us were still returning from Del Mar on Memorial Day this year, we decided that we should still run Murph, but do it on the following Saturday (Tomorrow, June 3rd @ 8 am ONLY).

We felt that taking the opportunity to honor a fallen hero like Murph is something that should not be skipped because it wasn’t convenient for our calendars.

So, we hope that as many of you as possible can join us for this event/WOD to help us celebrate the life and sacrifice of one of our nations hero’s.

To read more about Hero WODs and the story of Michael Murphy, check out Fallen But Never Forgotten by Russell Burger on the CrossFit Journal.

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Who’s Really the Selfish One?

This last week I stumbled on a blog post written by a fellow CrossFit Box Owner, Wes Piatt of Coast Range CrossFit in Gilroy, and it really struck a chord with me.

As I read through it, I realized that I’ve had this exact same conversation a million times with our members, potential members, and people I have met that find out I own a CrossFit gym and just want to chat, but I’ve never really been able to put my finger on how exactly to respond until now.

So that I don’t spoil Wes’ message, I’ll just give you a little background on him and then I’ll let him “take the mic”. Wes made the CrossFit Games in 2013 as an individual, he’s made regionals 5 times now including this year, he’s earned his CrossFit Level 1, Level 2 & Level 3 Certificates and is on the CrossFit HQ Seminar Staff, and on top of all of this, he owns and operates Coast Range CrossFit with his wife, Megan.

To say that he’s a trusted source for information and has been around the block a few times would be an huge understatement.

So, without further ado, Wes’ “Who’s Really the Selfish One?” Blog Post

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Jason R. Is The April Member Of The Month

Jason is one of our 6 am and weekend regulars that we always look forward to having in class. He’s been a CrossFitter for years since he started with workouts in the police department, and it’s been an absolute pleasure being his coach since his first class. He always gives his best effort, is willing to take instruction and learn even with his years of experience, always has a joke to tell, and you can always count on him having a smile on his face even after a tough workout. We’re proud to call him one of our own and to reward him as our Member of The Month for April 2017.

Here’s a Q&A with Jason about his experience here at Cróga CrossFit:

When did you join Cróga?
Well, Stacey and Madi joined in May of 2013. So I would say that I started attending classes with Stacey and Madi in the summer of 2013. I think I officially joined Cróga as a member in the beginning of 2014.

What were you doing before for fitness?
I was fortunate to be a police officer in Fremont at the time Crossfit began to hit the mainstream. As a result, the Fremont Police Department built a CrossFit gym in the police department and I was sent to become a level 1 CrossFit trainer along with 10 other police officers. So I guess that is a long way of saying I have been doing CrossFit since around 2007 or 2008.

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout?
My first CrossFit workout was ‘Fran’. And when it was over I thought I was going to throw up!

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
I would say the biggest improvement I have seen doing CrossFit is that I have reduced injuries to my body despite working out and training on a consistent basis. When I was competing in running or swimming competitions prior to doing CrossFit, I would find that I would be injured once or twice a year from the training.

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
I try to make the Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 6 am workouts during the week. And the morning workouts on Saturday and Sunday.

What’s your favorite WOD?
I think “Murph” is my favorite. I love to run and do pull ups. Plus there is no weightlifting, which is good for me because I am already pretty huge!

What’s your least favorite WOD?
Any workout that has double unders. Jumping rope is not my thing.

“The Jason” WOD! What would it be?

If I would was to program a workout it would probably be “four rounds of 400-meter run, 20 burpee box jumps, 10 thrusters and 5 handstand push ups”.

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
Drinking a beer… On the weekends that is. Apparently, it’s frowned upon to drink before showing up to work as a police officer.

What do you love about CrossFit?
I love that every time I show up to Cróga, Dave has programmed the workout so all I have to do is workout. And the fact that Stacey and Madi workout as much if not more than I do, I am forced to push myself during the workout so they don’t always beat me.

What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?
Drinking beer after the workout.

What’s your biggest fitness goal for 2017?
To master butterfly pull ups. And front squat more than Madi.

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
Commit to giving Cróga and CrossFit a try. It is a great gym, with great coaches and fun people to work out with every time you show up.

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Cold Showers

Many of our clients, especially the ones that attend our AM classes, have heard me talk about how since late 2016 I’ve been finishing all of my showers with somewhere between two and five minutes of cold water, not kind of cold, but as cold as my shower gets water.

Most of them look at me like I’m out of my mind and either don’t believe me or think that what I’m doing is absolutely insane, and my response is usually, “I’m definitely a little crazy, but there is some science behind it and if there’s a chance it’s making me a better athlete and human, I’m willing to keep doing it until someone proves to me that it’s not”.

With that being said, I know most of you won’t care how much research I give you to support this crazy idea, you just won’t be able to convince yourself to turn that shower handle all the way to cold and stand in it for 2 straight minutes, but who knows, some of you might…

So, this is how the story goes and if you’re willing to give it a shot, this is what you might find.

It was late 2016 and I was feeling a little run down.

This late fall and winter in Northern California were filled with cold temperatures and lots of rain and member after member was reporting being sick.

With The Open only a few months away (it started in late February and ran through all of March), my coach was worried about me getting sick and not being able to perform my best one of the 5 weeks of competition, which could be enough to rule be out of contention for a Regional qualification spot.

He sent me a strength and conditioning journal article that he had recently found that talked about how performing cold therapy (ice bath or cold shower) for a minimum of 2 minutes daily had been shown to increase the disease-fighting white blood cell count in participants with statistical significance.

With this increase in white blood cell count, the study showed that the participants that finished their showers with cold water, as opposed to hot showers only, got sick less or were able to fight sickness and return to full health quicker.

That was all the convincing I needed to give it a shot.

The first week was MISERABLE!

I would get in the shower at 4:10 am, wash myself off with soap in the hot water and just cringe at the thought that I was going to once again turn that handle all the way to cold and just stand there letting the water beat on my face while breathing erratically until it was time to get out.

The first few days I only made it 30, then 45, then 60 seconds before I couldn’t take it anymore.

A couple more days and I was getting closer to 2 minutes.

After about 10 days or so I was turning the shower to cold sooner and spending 3, 4 or 5 minutes in the cold water and only getting out because I didn’t want to be late for work.

As I started to get comfortable I started scouring the internet and asking my coach for more information on what else this might be doing for me that was positive because I felt like this was making me a superhuman, haha.

As I read more, I learned that there were three other significant positives about cold showers that I couldn’t ignore and I made the decision that this was something I was going to continue FOREVER.

Yes, I just said that I will never stop taking cold showers.

Yes, you might think I’m crazy once again, but just wait for the other details.

In addition to helping prevent susceptibility to getting sick and helping you recover quicker when you just can’t avoid it because your 3-year-old sneezes germs right into your face after picking up something nasty at day-care, there are two more awesome positives that come with cold showers or ice baths.

1. Faster Recovery: As an athlete knows, sometimes when you’re training hard your entire body hurts. Like you can barely walk up and down the stairs or it’s hard to put your shirt on because your upper body is so wrecked sore. Taking a cold shower or ice bath has been proven hundreds if not thousands of times to help reduce inflammation, increase blood flow and get you back to 100% quicker than without.

2. Increased testosterone: Although a cold shower might make you feel like your male parts are going to shrivel up and fall off, it has been shown that this cold water actually increases testosterone production, which not only boosts a man’s libido, but will increase overall strength and energy levels, as well as help speed up recovery during hard training cycles.

So, now that you know why, who’s gonna join the cold shower club???

Oh, come on, give it a shot!

And don’t give up during those first couple days.

Just make them shorter and slowly try to extend the time spent in the cold.

You’ll thank me later, I promise!

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Coach Spotlight: Marcus

We met Marcus one weekend when he dropped in for a class and I guess he liked the place because he just kept coming back. He already had some CrossFit experience and A LOT of training experience from his hockey playing days, so he fit right in at the gym. When he decided he was interested in becoming a coach he really made it a point to spend as much time as possible at the box coaching, training, and learning. He’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet and he has become an integral part of our community in a relatively short period of time.

Full Name: Marcus Alan Watson

Funniest or coolest Nickname?
Busters – got the nickname back when I was playing hockey because I used to score a fair amount and my shot would always bust the goalie’s water bottle on the top of the net.
Or Mookie/Mooks- been a family nickname since I was little.

If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
Dolphin – they’re very smart animals, I’m not very smart. The things they can do under the water are amazing. Beautiful animals and very strong.

What’s the last thing you watched on TV?
Probably fixer uppers. That’s mine and my wife’s favorite show to watch together.

What is the one food that you could never give up?
Ice cream.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Hockey player – I kind of did it.

What’s your favorite quote or saying?
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

“Always stay humble and kind.” – Tim McGraw

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